Barry Zito did something today against the Cubs that his teammates Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain could not do, and that was get an out in the 9th inning. Giants starters have thrown 24-1/3 innings in the first three games against Chicago and have allowed only three runs. Zito, so far, has thrown the best game! Check out these Game Scores: 69, 73, and 78. The Giants have flashed excellent leather in the series as well, and benefited from some fielding lapses, particularly by left fielder Alfonso Soriano, who is clearly hobbling. A run also scored today when catcher Koyie Hill could not handle a good throw by right fielder Reed Johnson. The Giants aren't doing much with the bat, but when they pitch this well and catch the ball and make their throws they can win by scratching out runs. The Cubs are the second-worst team in the league but have kept it close this weekend with some fine pitching of their own. The Giants, once again, have a shot at a series sweep. Tomorrow at 12:45 Ryan Vogelsong gets his tenth start of the season. The San Diego Padres come to town on Tuesday, and they are the worst team in the league.
The Giants find themselves only three games back of the NL West leaders after three innings (54 games). At the one-third mark, the Dodgers are 33-21 and the Giants are 30-24, quite a turnaround after LA's blistering start. In the last 18 games the Giants have gone 12-6, a big improvement on their two previous 9-9 innings. The team seems to have found its way out of the .500 rut. The outfield of Melky Cabrera, Angel Pagan, and Gregor Blanco has become a clear team strength on both sides of the ball. Blanco made two fine plays today and scored one of the team's two runs after a walk. Pagan had a leaping catch on the track and scored the other run after a one-out double. Cabrera, naturally, delivered the hit in the 8th that scored Blanco. It is an interesting collection of ballplayers--unlike most outfields there is not much home run power. But there is lots of speed, good D, and excellent on-base skills, and that seems like a winning combination, especially at AT&T Park. The bullpen has continued to excel despite the injuries, and the starters are racking up loads of quality innings. The Giants are only 12th in the NL in runs scored, but fourth-best in runs allowed.