It’s been a rough week despite the San Francisco Giants going 4-3 over their first 7 games of this 10-game road trip. During Wednesday night’s game in Atlanta, Hunter Pence left the game with what is being called a “severly strained” hamstring. In typical Pence fashion, he smelled an infied hit as he sent a slow roller towards 3rd base and burst out of the box, but it didn’t end with a hit. Hunter pulled up, grabbed his right hamstring, and stopped.
He’s on the 15-day DL, and will probably be out for a while. Update: Pence is having surgery and will miss 2 months. Jarrett Parker got the start yesterday and will probably split time with Mac Williamson, who was recalled from Sacramento. With Angel Pagan still on the shelf that makes the Giants play with a regular outfield of Gregor Blanco, Denard Span, and the Parker/Williamson combo. Just like we all were dreaming of back in March.
Anyway, losing Pence sucks, but gaining ground on the Dodgers doesn’t. The Giants are now 5.5 games ahead of their rival in LA. Yesterday was the first time in 12 days the Giants were able to expand their lead. During the previous 11 days the Giants and Dodgers had the exact same result, every day. So let’s poke around with this week’s, Friday Five.
1) The Giants will finish up this ten game road trip with 3 in St Louis against the Cardinals. The birds are 28-26 and in 3rd place in the NL Central behind Chicago and Pittsburgh. The Cards currently sit 10 games out of first place. That’s a lot of ground to make up.
The redbirds have a good offense. They lead the NL with 293 runs scored and already have scored 10 runs or more, in 10 different games. The Cardinals make the most of the opportunities they are given. Amazingly, this team has 10 home runs in 101 pinch hit chances. That’s ridiculous. The Giants don’t even have 1. Brandon Moss and Jeremy Hazelbaker both have 3 pinch-hit home runs. June just started! Amazing.
Matt Adams is having his best year in the bigs for St Louis. He’s batting over .300 for the first time in his career and has a .921 OPS. The guy that always gets the Giants is Matt Carpenter. He’s 34-for-47 (.442) lifetime against the Giants and has an OBP of .506. Maybe Friday starter Johnny Cueto can keep him in check. Carpenter is 4-for-16 lifetime against the Dominican right-hander.
The Cardinals starters haven’t been the best this season. They’ve needed all those runs. Facing Cueto on Friday night is Adam Wainwright. He’s been hit hard this season. Opponents are batting .315 against the righty and he has a WHIP of 1.49. Saturday it’s Michael Wacha. You remember him from 2014? Travis Ishikawa does. Wacha is struggling, his ERA is 4.99 and he’s got a WHIP of 1.50.
Sunday night is an ESPN game. The Giants broke that curse a couple of weeks ago when they beat the Cubs 1-0 behind Madison Bumgarnerer. This week, it’s Jake Peavy against Carlos Martinez. Peavy is coming off his best start of the year. He threw 7 shutout innings, facing the minimum, on his 35th birthday this past Tuesday to lead the Giants to a 4-0 victory.
2) The road trip is almost over. In the past week the Giants have taken 2 of 3 from the Rockies in Denver, and split 4 games with the Atlanta Braves. I mentioned Pence’s injury earlier. That same night, the Giants blew a 4-1 lead to the Braves. The capper was a 9th inning in which Santiago Casilla couldn’t find the zone. He’s blown 1/4th of his save chances this season.
The Thursday matinée had a bit of history in it. First, Madison Bumgarner struck out more than 10 batters for the 28th time in his career and hit his 13th career homer, which is the most by any active pitchers. In the 6th inning the Giants hit 3 different 2-run home runs. It was the first time they had ever done that in one inning. Bumgarner hit the first after a lead off walk to Blanco. The second was hit by Joe Panik after a walk to Denard Span. The final 2-run homer was hit by Buster Posey after a Matt Duffy hit-by-pitch. All 3 home runs were hit on the first pitch.
Brandon Crawford had himself a good May. The Gold Glove shortstop drove in 23 runs and hit 4 home runs. Brandon Belt just had a great series in Atlanta, batting .500 with 2 home runs and 2 doubles. Posey also gets a tip of the cap for his 2 homer game at Coors last Saturday.
3) I know I checked in on Adam Duvall earlier this season, but I need to visit him again. In the month of May, Duvall batted .289 and hit 11 home runs. His OPS for the month was 1.004. He hit more home runs in May, than any Giants player has hit all season. Good for Adam Duvall, he got a chance to play everyday. That’s something that wasn’t going o happen in San Francisco.
4) How cool is this?
Yes, it’s true.
We can’t believe it either. (h/t @theaceofspaeder) pic.twitter.com/0twG75CDiE
— MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) June 2, 2016
I’ve got an extra tweet today because Bumgarner is just that good.
Babe Ruth career
Innings pitched: 1,221⅓
HR hit as a pitcher: 13
Madison Bumgarner career
Innings pitched: 1,251
HR hit as a pitcher: 13
— Ace of MLB Stats (@theaceofspaeder) June 2, 2016
5) Links and stuff from the interwebs:
Barry Bonds calls himself a dumbass for how he acted during his playing days.
The Ringer tries to repair Barry’s image.
Back at The Ringer again, there’s a great profile on Joe Buck and why he’s underrated.
Did you know Vin Scully almost became the voice of football? It’s true, and his partner would have been John Madden.
Tim Lincecum made his minor league debut in the Angels organization last night. He allowed 3 runs, on 3 hits in 5 innings pitched. He’s scheduled to make his Angels debut on June 12.
That’s all for this week. We’ll be back recording podcasts next week. May was a little tough for scheduling so we apologize for not giving the people what they want.
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Have a great weekend everybody this could be the year June doesn’t rhyme with swoon.