Monday, June 25, 2012

Dodgers-Giants series preview, a view from the other side

Editor's note: This post comes is authored by Russell Preston. Preston is a Giants' fan and runs Seedspitters, a Giants' blog that's part of the Yardbarker Network. Preston is a journalism major at Sacramento State University and was a reporter and editor under my watch.

After a four-run rally in the ninth inning in Oakland on Friday, the Giants were on their way to stealing the series opener from the Athletics.

The Giants never seem to win games when they overcome a deficit. In fact, in the games the Giants were losing after the eighth inning, their record stood at 1-29 before the Game 1 win.

Then a huge game on Saturday had the Giants leading 9-4 with just one out remaining in the ninth. Four relievers and four runs allowed later, the Giants pulled a fluky win out from under the Athletics for yet another lucky win.

In the first two games, the main offensive leaders for the giants came from a future all-star in Buster Posey, and a guy who many thought would never produce at the big league level: Brandon Belt.

Giants’ fans alike were rooting for the kid in Spring Training after a rough rookie season in 2011. Now after some consistent playing time, he has been the most productive Giant in the past couple weeks.

In the past 15 games, Belt has 17 hits in 47 at-bats along with four home runs and 14 RBI. What has been most impressive is his on-base percentage of .509 in that stretch, taking 11 walks and only striking out seven times.

Sunday’s game was the only bad note to Belt’s recent success; he went 0-3 with two strikeouts. Then again, every Giant except Ryan Theriot (2-for-4, 1 R) and Buster Posey (1-for-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI) was unable to hit the ball against the rookie pitcher A.J. Griffin.

The Giants bullpen has been shaky (as seen in the 9-8 win on Saturday, allowing four runs in the ninth), and closer Santiago Casilla has been the weak link this weekend. Casilla allowed a three-run walk-off home run to rookie catcher Derek Norris to give the A’s a 4-2 victory. Other than the past two nights, Casilla had been lights out (even better than Brian Wilson, I might add) against hitters in the ninth.

Heading into an exciting home series with the division-leading Dodgers, the Giants will test their ability to keep a lead in a ballgame.

The offense has been doing well. The only question is if Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito can put together good enough starts to gain some ground on the rivaled Dodgers.

Check out Seedspitters for my take on the Dodgers and this series.

Photo credit: SD Dirk, Flickr


  1. Dustin - this is off topic but you seem to quite well connected to the Dodger minor league system.

    Do you know why Chris Reed has has a series of three inning appearances at AA?

    Is it a matter of managing innings? Is he being primed for a trip to LA, used as a reliever, as he is a lefty and we are looking for a left handed reliever?

    It doesn't seem that he is being converted to relief full time after consecutive seven inning starts at RC before he was promoted to AA.

  2. I'm pretty sure it's to limit his innings. Remember, he was a reliever in college. It's going to take him a little time to get stretched out in the majors.

    I'd like nothing more than to see him going 5-7 innings per start, but that isn't going to happen in his first full season.

    The results have been good so far. Let's hope he builds his stamina.

    I don't see him reaching LA this season. Next season, however, is an entirely different story.