The San Francisco Giants conjured up quite an offense in Arizona tonight, scattering 10 hits all over Chase Park and thwarting the recently surging Diamondbacks 5-2. Even though Giants' pitching yielded nine hits to the home team, they were tough enough in the clinch to keep Zona from scoring a run after the fourth.
I continue to be encouraged by the G-Men, who have been bitten by the injury bug pretty hard the past few weeks and have seen the middle of their line-up erode faster than an Arizona sand pit in a gully-washer. Manager Bruce Bochy has to get a lot of props for the way he's keeping the lineup fresh and the players up and ready to play despite the difficulties.
Meanwhile, Colorado kept pace with a win that kept them 6 games back but the pre-season favorite Dodgers are playing el-foldo once again and find themselves nine off the pace while the Padres, also recipients of much pre-season hype, are in double-digits in the GB column at 10.
It's fun being a Giants fan at the moment and while I've been around baseball way too long to become complacent in mid-June, the fact is that they can only get better after weathering the current injury storm and heading into the stretch. We're two weeks from mid-season and I'm liking what I'm seeing there.
The San Francisco Giants remain in first place in the NL West tonight, up by a game and a half over the D-Backs who pulled ahead of them a week ago. This despite the fact that the Giants have been without a pretty core group of guys:
Catcher Buster Posey, who's out with an ankle injury
2B Freddy Sanchez, whose shoulder injury from June 11 has him sidelined
Ace pitcher Tim Lincecum who, after a great start, has had trouble finding his stuff lately
They did get third-sacker Pablo "Panda Bear" Sandoval back tonight after 47 days of injury-caused sit-downs and he played a key offensive role in the Giants' 6-5 win over Zona.
It's actually pretty surprising that the G-Men are in such good shape. Offensively, they rank in the bottom four of the NL in batting average (.241), runs (236), on-base percentage (.309) and slugging percentage (.363). Their pitching has been predictably excellent, though, with a team rank of fourth in the league on the basis of a 3.25 ERA.
But they seem to have just enough offense just enough of the time to stay at or near the lead in their division.
Good teams win when their good players are down, even though they have to win ugly. The Giants have had quite a few ugly games this season but they're atop the division and, BTW and FWIW, they have the second best winning percentage in the entire NL and the fourth best in all of Major League Baseball. They're clearly doing something right.