Good starts. Wins. That's the connection, right? The Giants get good starts, the Giants win. That's our mantra around here. As goes starting pitching, so go the Giants. This season we've seen some poor starting pitching from our beloved ballclub. This week, though, we've seen a nice change. The trend line ticked up a bit. Matt Cain threw seven strong against the Padres on Tuesday. Madison Bumgarner followed that with seven strong on Wednesday. Two good starts, two wins. Chad Gaudin was pitching well before the line drive knocked him out of the game on Thursday but you add in Sandy Rosario's relief job and you got yourself another seven strong. That game was a loss. OK, it happens. Sometimes the bullpen blows it. The lineup can't hit. The breaks don't break. The team pitches well but gets beat anyway. Hell, this franchise cornered the market on that for a while--we fans called it "getting Cained." Yesterday Tim Lincecum pitched well for seven innings but the bullpen coughed it up. And his mates could manage only three runs to help him. Today, Barry Zito delivered his version of seven strong, and his hitters barely squeaked out a run. Fortunately, the 'pen bent, but did not break, and the Giants kept getting second chances. The lineup was pretty damn feeble, and could not conjure up a big hit until the 11th inning. But conjure they did, and the Giants finally crack the Marlins curse and walk off with a much-needed win. I'm happy the team won, and I'm even happier that they've given us a bit of hope with a nice run of good starts. Get the 'pen back in order and the hitters hitting again and wins could start to pile up. They could use a big pile here real soon, on the road against LA and Colorado to close the month.
Matt Cain tomorrow. Seven strong, eh, Matty?
p.s. Game 72 was Thursday's loss. Sorry for my tardy innings analysis. That's 4/9 of the season. Giants went 11-7 in their first 18 games, and 10-8 in the next 18. Unfortunately they followed that with an 8-10 stretch. After 54 games, 1/3 of the season, they were an uninspiring 29-25. The fourth seasonal inning was another 8-10 stretch, putting them at 37-35. With today's win. they are 1-1 for inning five and sit at 38-36, 2-1/2 back of Arizona. Time to get those winning ways back, lads!