Week one of the 2015 season is in the books and the San Francisco Giants are coming home after 7 games on the road to start it all up. They are limping back to AT&T Park after dropping their 3rd straight game to the San Diego Padres under the bright sunshine at Petco Park. They sit at 3-4 and are last in the division, but remember it’s early and they only sit 1.5 games back. This is no repeat of the torrid start from last season.
Each week I’m going to take a look back at the good and the not so good of the previous week. Don’t worry though, I won’t leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. I’ll always look ahead to the upcoming week ahead for the Giants. So let’s roll this baby out and bring you my new weekly look at the Giants.
Nori Aoki- He’s been a pleasant surprise in the leadoff role for the Giants. He’s hitting .400 (12-for-30) with 2 doubles, 3 walks, 4 runs scored, and only 2 strikeouts. Every at bat for him is a grind and he sees a lot of pitches. At the moment Aoki is the only regular in the Giants lineup batting over .300. He’s hit safely in every game this season and is currently riding a 15-game hit streak overall dating back to last season. That ties a career high for the Japanese born outfielder. He’s also shown the ability to cover ground in left field and despite an average arm is an upgrade defensively at that position.
Justin Maxwell- Another newcomer that has been a bright spot for the Giants. His 12th inning pinch-hit drove in Brandon Crawford last Thursday and gave the Giants a 1-0 victory against the Padres. With 2 outs no less and you know how much I love 2-out hits. Maxwell has started 2 games in RF with his most impressive being the Sunday loss. He went 2-for2, walked twice, scored 2 runs and reached base in all 4 plate appearances.
Tim Lincecum- He’s been the biggest question mark in the rotation for 3 straight years. Oddly, he’s owned the Padres. But if you missed it they overhauled their roster this season. Well some things never change. Lincecum dominated the Padres on Friday night at Petco. He threw 7 innings of shutout ball and held the Padres to a .182 batting average against him. He managed to strikeout 5 as well as getting 12 outs via the ground ball. Two of those were double plays. If his first start is any indication, training with his father again may very well pay off for Timmy.
Petco Park- It continues to be Death Valley for Giants hitters. In 39 innings at Petco the Giants were 23-for-132 which comes out to a .174 batting average. They scored more than 2 runs only once and that came in Sunday’s loss. Dating back to last season the Giants have managed to score more than 2 runs in only four of their thirteen games in San Diego. It’s their own personal house of horrors.
Injuries- Let’s see if I get all of this. Matt Cain is on the 15-day DL without throwing a pitch. Jake Peavy was scratched from his first start and then proceeded to pitch himself in to trouble on Sunday when he did pitch. Brandon Belt missed 4 games and most of another with a strained groin. Casey McGehee went down with a bone bruise during Saturday’s game and will be out for a few days. This doesn’t even take into account Hunter Pence recovering from a broken bone in his arm and Travis Ishikawa starting the season on the DL with a bad back. The injury bug has hit the defending champs hard.
Well there’s good news on the horizon for Giants fans. The team will be raising a 3rd championship banner prior to the start of Monday’s home opener against the Rockies. There will be feels, lots of them. That starts a 10-game home stand that is NL West heavy. The Rockies are in town for 3 before the Arizona Diamondbacks come to AT&T Park for 4 games. They finish the home stand next week with 3 against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.
Important things to know this week are the banner raising and the ring ceremony. They will be on 2 different days this season. Like I said, the banner gets raised before the home opener against Colorado on Monday. It’s a 1:35 start time so make sure to get to your seats early to watch the fun. Saturday is the ring ceremony before the game against Arizona. Once again, get there early to take in the festivities. It’s a 6:05 start time that day and TortureCast will be in the press box to report on all the fun stuff.
Yes the team has been less than stellar since their first series in Arizona, let’s see if some home cooking changes that for the orange and black.