Ryan Vogelsong had his best start (Game Score 77) of the young season, twirling seven strong and allowing only two hits. He was backed by some stellar defense as well as four extra base hits including a game-winning 3-run bomb in the 9th by Brandon Hicks. The radio guys (I didn't get to watch, too busy out back cooking up some homebrew) raved about the double play The Three Brandons turned on Nick Swisher in the 3rd, and also complimented Brandon Belt for some nifty work at first base. That's a good thing because the big lefty had himself an ugly weekend with the stick (9 K in 12 AB!). Our boy goes blind sometimes, doesn't he? But the story is the bounce back start from Vogie, who looks so bad every other time out there it makes us wonder whether he's got anything left. I like to think that this game and the one against the Dodgers on the 16th are what he will begin to deliver more consistently as the season goes on.
Cleveland's young fireballer Danny Salazar was bringing some serious heat and kept the Giants offense from getting much going other than the back-to-back two-out doubles from Panda and Brandon Crawford in the 4th to open the scoring. Vogie left leading 1-0 but Santiago Casilla, who has been lights-out so far, gave up a solo homer to another impressive youngster, catcher Yan Gomes, in the 8th to tie the game. Fortunately Buster Posey singled off hard-throwing reliever Cody Allen to open the bottom of the 9th and the Giants seized their chance to push across the winner. A bunt from Gregor Blanco moved pinch-runner Adrianza to 2nd, but Sandoval whiffed for the second out. An intentional walk to B-Craw gave Hicks the chance to be a hero and he delivered. With Marco Scutaro on the shelf, the Giants have mixed-and-matched at second base, but the third Brandon on the roster has staked a claim to regular starts. He's only batting .224, but 11 walks and 6 extra-base hits have him raking an .846 OPS.
The Indians were a Wild Card team last season and have some talent in their lineup. It was an impressive weekend for the home team, though, who racked up 14 runs and only allowed five in the three-game sweep. It is too early for scoreboard watching, but the Colorado Rockies gave the Dodgers and Hyun-jin Ryu a good thumping today to take the series and surge into a tie with LA for second place. Guess who is in first with a 15-10 record? Very tough road trip coming up--three in Atlanta, the hottest club in baseball, then three in Pittsburgh, a playoff team last year but under-performing so far, and finally four in big-budget Los Angeles, everyone's pick for this year's West title.
p.s. I neglected to say the Giants have three at home with the Padres before the road trip. San Diego is by far the worst in scoring runs (2.6 p/g) but fifth-best in runs allowed (3.5 p/g). Bumgarner, Cain, and Hudson get the call.