It was a sloppy day on the field for the Giants with errors by Brandon Belt, Ryan Theriot, Angel Pagan, and Joaquin Arias. All three runs given up by Matt Cain today were unearned. Good thing then that the Giants scored eight runs, because it was one of those fielding performances that should have doomed them. The Padres squared up on a few from Cain, but he got some big strikeouts (nine) and two double plays, with a particularly timely one from Cameron Maybin to end the 6th. I've been going on a bit lately about the importance of defense, and a pitching team that plays close games really needs to field well. Today the Giants mashed their way past the Padres, with Gregor Blanco flashing power (a homer and a double), The Riot stroking four hits and nearly getting a fifth, and Buster Posey smoking one deep to left leading off the 3rd after already driving in a run in the 1st. Fifteen hits in pitcher-friendly Petco Park! The first two runs off San Diego starter Jason Marquis were also unearned, as he made a throwing error before Buster's hit.
Not quite the kind of series we expected down there, but it ended well with two big wins. Madison Bumgarner wasn't stellar yesterday (four walks!), but the Padres helped him out with a huge error by rookie and Tuesday night hero Logan Forsythe, and the lineup thumped Clayton Richard for ten hits. A team effort, to be sure.
The Texas Rangers come to town tomorrow--they lead the AL West by four games and have the best run difference (+64) in baseball. Should be fun.
p.s. Cain now has six wins in his last six starts and has seven total which is tied with Bumgarner for the team lead (they are in a crowd for third-best in the NL). In his 12 starts the team is 9-3. They are 8-4 with the lefty on the hill.
p.p.s. Giants drafted 40 players--21 pitchers. No surprise there, and I like the first two picks very much. I'm also intrigued by the first position player they took (3rd round), Johnathon "Mac" Williamson, an outfielder from Wake Forest. He led the ACC in home runs (17).