Jose Guillen had quite a day, whacking a 1st-inning grand slam and stroking a 2-run single in the 5th, thus making a mockery of my complaints about him. Sure, he moves like Bengie Molina, but when you pound the crap out of the ball and lead the way in a must-win game, you get at least a nod and a tip o' the tam o' Shanter from yours truly. The offense-starved Giants found the soft underbelly of the Brewers pitching staff (finally!) and racked up 9 runs on 10 hits and 7 walks. Barry Zito put together a solid start and got a "W" next to his name for the first time since July 16th. While it's true he lacked run support in some fine outings (q.v. 7/31, 8/6, and 9/8), he did run off a spectacularly wretched stretch from August 11th to September 3rd, with Game Scores of 40, 34, 28, 13 and 39, throwing 23-2/3 innings and allowing 38 hits, 14 walks, and 27 runs. That included a loss in relief as well! The Giants need all the cylinders firing here at crunch time, and quality starts (Game Score 60 today) from Barry Zito are a necessary part of that, so I was happy to see some good work from him.
One thing about the 40-man roster that's puzzling me: where is our no. 3 catcher? In a blowout, I'd like to see Buster Posey sit out the last few innings. Eli Whiteside can do the job, and if we had a third catcher we could use him. Why is Steve Holm in Fresno? Forty guys on the roster and no catcher in the bunch? Buster Posey is the best player on the team, the most valuable hitter in the lineup as well as an exceptional fielder. He had another awesome day (2 hits, 3 walks, 3 runs). But he gets dinged up every time he goes out there--all catchers do. This is precisely why you have a 40-man roster in September! Ah well, just add it to the list of things I don't understand.
The Giants won a big game today and in a big way. The Padres lost. No complaints there. The Giants have a travel day tomorrow, then head for Chicago on the last road trip of the year. It ends with three games in Coors Field! It looks like Lincecum-Zito-Cain for Friday-Saturday-Sunday. Like I said yesterday, don't trim your nails, you'll need 'em to gnaw on.