Brandon Belt "served notice" today with two impressive home runs in consecutive at-bats. A very long one to center off Chris Volstad and a pull shot off tough lefty Mike Dunn. Much howling and hand-wringing ensued when the youngster was demoted, so today's display ought to make folks happy. Save us, O Baby Giraffe! The Giants scored all their runs with the big fly. Cody Ross spoiled things with a two-run homer, ruining the record streak of solo shots, but Nate Schierholtz, who hit the ball hard three times, smoked one and then Belt kept the new streak going with his two. Ryan Vogelsong was the story, though, with another fine start. He ran out of gas with two out in the 8th inning, but otherwise was on top of his game. He looks like Matt Cain out there with his fastball command and his ability to throw the curve ball for strikes in hitters counts. What fun it was to watch him do his thing! It has been a while since the Giants won a series and this writer has been a little cranky about it. Apparently both Sergio Romo and Brian Wilson were unavailable so Bochy had Santiago Casilla bat in the top of the 9th and then go out to close it. The plate appearance was his first and he cowered in the rear corner of the box but still managed to look at ball four. He got the first two guys in the bottom of the inning but needed help for the third out. Jeremy Affeldt took his shot and issued a walk, so Ramon Ramirez got the call and he carved out a five-pitch strikeout for the save.
The recent run of poor play by the Giants dropped them two games behind Arizona in the West and 4-1/2 back of wild-card leaders Atlanta. The Giants open a four-game set tomorrow at Turner Field and get the D-backs at home for three on Labor Day weekend. The final quarter of the season will be very interesting for the defending champs. August has been a cruel month with 45 runs allowed (and only 34 runs scored) in the 13 games. The 5-8 record is not surprising. Barry Zito sprained his ankle in a rehab start--no more "phantom injury" talk--so Jonathan Sanchez is the lefty on the spot. After the day off, the Giants went on the road and had three good starts, all of them winnable games. Now the southpaws have to hold up their end of the ro' and get that five-man groove-thing going again. A spark from the rookie, some freshness back in the swings of guys like Nate and Cody, a run of quality starts, and the month looks a lot better. Another 2010 post-season re-match coming up!