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