Count 'em on one hand, lads, that's all it will take to finish this thing. LA lost the opener of their doubleheader in DC and the Giants smoked the Rockies to tick two off the counter and creep ever closer to an NL West title. Pablo Sandoval hit an impossible three-run homer in the 1st inning and Matt Cain was Matt Cain and it all added up to a 7-1 win. The Panda seems to be finding his stroke and the timing couldn't be better. The pitch by Colorado starter Tyler Chatwood wasn't really hittable. It was plunging down and in and out of the strike zone, most guys would have missed it, topped it with the handle, or, if they did manage to put good wood on it, sent it well foul. Hell, most guys would have taken the damn thing for a ball! Sandoval, flashing his freakish bad-ball skills, three-ironed the thing down the right-field line and it clanged off the fair pole before arcing back down to field level and settling in Charlie Blackmon's glove. The Rockies, down 3-0, clawed back in the 5th, getting two hits and putting men on first and third with no outs, but they couldn't get another hit. The run came in on an out (sac fly) and that took some of the air out of the rally. Matt walked two guys and threw a wild pitch but got two ground balls to end the threat. Carlos Gonzalez made the final out with the bases loaded. He had a bad night, 0-for-4 with two whiffs. The Giants tacked on three more right after that with a big hit from Brandon Belt and another by Gregor Blanco, who also seems to be heating up at the right time.
Barry Zito has thrown back-to-back good starts against division foes this month (13 IP, 10 H, 1 R, 8 K), leading the team to two big wins. He gets the ball this afternoon as the Giants look for the sweep. The Dodgers get another shot at the Nationals--who only need one win to clinch a playoff spot--before traveling to Cincinnati. The Reds (magic number three) will probably wrap things up against them this weekend.
p.s. Matt Cain.