The San Francisco Giants take their winning ways to Petco to tangle with the San Diego Padres.
San Francisco is starting to surge and they couldn't have picked a better time with the Dodgers banged up and losing a few games. A 3-2 victory over the Cubs on Monday gave the Giants four consecutive victories and wins in eight of eleven that have SF in second in the National League West and hot on the trail of Los Angeles. The bats aren't doing a whole lot but the Giants arms are coming up big just as they did Monday when Ryan Vogelsong won his fourth straight with two runs allowed on eight hits over seven innings. The bats weren't explosive but with eight hits and seven walks they had plenty of runners. Brandon Crawford doubled in a run and a pair of RBI ground outs scored two more. The Giants give the ball to Tim Lincecum who is off to his worse start of his career. Lincecum comes in off one of his best starts of 2012 when he gave up two runs (one earned) n four hits and five walks in seven frames of a 4-1 loss to Arizona.
A few weeks ago, I thought San Diego's biggest challenge would be reaching the .500 mark while avoiding the National League West basement. Fast forward to the present and reaching the .500 point isn't likely and last place looks unavoidable. A lack of offensive punch is the obvious issue and the pitching hasn't been great either with a 6-0 loss to Arizona on Sunday more of the rule than exception which was also their eighth defeat in ten games. It all began with starter Eric Stults who was lit up for six runs on seven hits and a pair of walks in 6.1 innings pitched. The bats totaled six hits with a trio of bases on balls with Mark Kotsay and Logan Forsythe logging a pair of hits each but clutch hits were absent. The Padres send Anthony Bass to the bump looking to rebound from consecutive poor outings in which he allowed eleven runs on 14 hits in ten innings pitched. Bass has been inconsistent at times and has has some control issues as well.
The Giants are playing like contenders and the Padres are relegated to spoilers already. The big question here is when and will Lincecum end his struggles. It might not be now but at this price I feel obligated to back him...