That was the day for Giants hitters. SIX homers! They smacked the ball all over the place. They had a season-high eight-run inning which featured FOUR homers (two by the Panda). They hadn't hit four in an inning since 1961. Even Matt Cain got in on the act with a two-run bomb. Both Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford hit dingers. Mike Fontenot blasted a massive homer to start things off in the first inning. And Pablo Sandoval was ridiculous! (He was impressive with the glove as well.) The Giants sweep the Rockies by scoring 8, 9, 6 and 12 runs (35!) in the four games. Besides the absurd offensive explosion, the other noteworthy aspect of today's game is that Cain did NOT get a quality start. Considering he leads the NL in that category (and is second in baseball to über-aces Justin Verlander and Jered Weaver) I think it qualifies as news. He did, however, manage to get a decision, the good one (you know, the "W" kind), and that puts his record at 12-10 for the season. It was a hard, ugly slog for the big righty. He walked guys and hit guys and was in trouble every inning, allowing 11 baserunners. It is always a tough day when Joe "Joke" West is behind the plate. This guy has been umpiring since I was a senior in high school and he is an embarrassment to the profession. I try not to complain about the umpires as most of them do an amazing job. But Mr. West is too much a part of any game he officiates when his job is exactly the opposite of that--not to get noticed. He had one of his inexplicable, random strike zones that shrunk and expanded at his whim. Matty is the kind of guy who relies on corner strikes to be effective and he seemed to get squeezed from the first inning. (To be fair, all good pitchers need to command the corners.) Certainly the Giants benefited from Esmil Rogers and his quartet of relievers having to pump balls down the middle, but it doesn't stop me from spilling digital ink about it. Joe West needs to retire and get replaced by a proper umpire who has read the rule book. And that's all I have to say about that.
Giants get another win and now have their longest streak of the season (eight games). Maybe it is too little, too late, but it sure is fun. With Atlanta losing today that puts them four back in the Wild Card race with nine to play. Unfortunately the Cardinals (who play tonight) are still in the mix and the Diamondbacks won their game against the Padres. That puts their magic number at five, so Arizona are masters of their own destiny at this point. The series in LA coming up this week will be epic as you know the Dodgers would love to play spoiler and end the Giants season before the Arizona series this weekend. Tim Lincecum gets the call Tuesday, so we get to see our best guy against both clubs.