The Friday Five: Giants keep winning games

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Photo/Eric Nathanson

We’re half way through the month of June and the San Francisco Giants have a 6.5 game lead over the rival Dodgers. So far this month the Giants are 8-5 and have won their last 5 games. Friday night’s game in St Pete against the Rays starts a stretch of 20 straight days of baseball for the Giants.

I want to mention the horrible tragedy that took place in Orlando last weekend. As some of you may know I live in Kissimmee, which is right next to Orlando. Our communtiy has been rocked but has responded with nothing but love and kindness. My heart goes out to the victim’s families, and to all of the survivors.

Friday night’s game is dedicated to those we lost as the Rays celebrate Pride night.

 

1) As you can see, the Giants are in Florida to play the Tampa Bay Rays. It’s their 3rd ever trip to play at the Tropicana Dome. The previous two trips were in 2004 and 2013, with the Giants losing 2 of 3 both times. But don’t worry Brett Pill won’t be starting at 1st base this weekend. This is where I go into how the Giants almost moved to Tampa and crushed little Brandon Crawford’s heart. Thankfully they didn’t move and have rewarded the fans with 3 titles. That’s all the research I’ve got on this right now, it’s been a long week. If you click that link, there’s some good hits on the Google machine.

Friday’s game starts at 4:10 PT. Jeff Samardzija (7-4, 3.36) faces off against Chris Archer (4-8, 4.61). Shark has struggled lately and Archer has struggled all season. We’ll see if one of them bounces back. Saturday is a 1:10 PT start as Jake Peavy (3-6, 5.83) looks to stay on a roll as he faces left handed Matt Moore (3-4, 5.05). The Giants haven’t named a starter for Sunday’s game. Reminder, that one is brunch and baseball, the game starts at 10am PT. It could be either Chris Stratton or Albert Suarez. I really don’t know what to expect this weekend.

The Rays are 31-33 and in last place in the AL East. They have won 4 of their last 6 games, all at home. With the good hitter’s backdrop, and what are sure to be lively crowds all weekend, I expect the Giants to launch a lot of balls into the seats.

2) How about our Giants, huh? They’ve won 5 straight games for the third different time this season. Over their last 32 games the Giants are 24-8 (.750), that ties them for the best 32 game stretch of any SF era team. Santiago Casilla has been placed on paternity leave and the Giants have recalled Steven Okert. This is part of a long list of transactions for the Giants lately. Matt Cain came back for a start and went right back on the DL with his hamstring injury. The good news is, Angel Pagan is back, for now.

Buster Posey is coming around again. He had a 4-hit game on Tuesday and was 8-for-12 against the Brewers. His swing is back and he could hit some deep ones this weekend. Brandon Belt was hit on the ankle by a pitch on Tuesday, but should be ok to play Friday night. Fun fact about Matt Duffy, when Manny Machado serves his suspension, Duffy will become the active leader in consecutive games played. He’s currently at 185 straight games.

The sweep of Milwaukee was the 5th one of the season for the Giants. They’ve only been swept once, by Arizona back in April. The next 23 games are against teams at, or below a .500 winning percentage. As long as the Giants keep hitting like they did this past week, they should be able to hold on to the division lead through the All-Star break.

3) Let’s check in on a former Giant…

4) Best fans in baseball, huh?

 

5) Just a couple links from around the interwebs.

As I mentioned above, Tim Lincecum will be the starting pitcher this Saturday afternoon for the Angels against the A’s in Oakland. It’s a 1:05 pt start. That’s the same time as the Giants game so make sure you have 2 screens.

Back in 2013 I was living in Tampa. Here’s my account of covering a game from the press box for the first time. It was a lot of fun even though I was flying solo. Meeting Russ White, who has a lifetime gold pass to enter any MLB game from his days covering the Washing Senators, was the highlight of the night. The pitching matchup that evening was Tim Lincecum vs David Price.

We recorded an actual episode of the podcast this week if you haven’t checked it out yet. We covered a lot of ground.

As always, have a great weekend. And a happy Father’s day to all the Dads out there.

-Eric

@2outhits

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