Ok, it’s early. Very early. And in no way can you acknowledge any type of trend(s) after just two games. So after last night’s 7-6 defeat to the Diamondbacks, let’s just state a few obvious observations: 1) the Giants will likely continue to be involved in lots of nail biting, one-run decisions, 2) with two starting pitchers shelved (Matt Cain on the DL with a strained forearm and Jake Peavy scratched last night from his first start due to a sore lower back), starting first baseman (Belt, strained groin last night), and starting right fielder (Hunter Pence on the DL after fracturing his forearm in spring training), depth will continue to be key for this veteran ball club, 3) this offense, even without the injured Pence, looks to have some pop, with the ability to put runners on base.
Last night’s starter, Ryan Vogelsong, battled for 4 ⅔ innings, throwing 99 pitches. But he was unable to avoid the long ball, allowing two 3-run homers. The Giants offense fought back, twice coming back from 4-2 and 7-4 deficits to make things interesting. Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford both went yard as the Giants muscled up, delivering 6 extra base hits on the night, and the Giants roughed up Arizona starter Rubby De La Rosa. But after De La Rosa departed with one out in the sixth, four Diamondback relievers shut the Giants’ offense down over the last three innings. Brandon Belt injured his groin in the fourth inning, turning to chase a fly ball into short right field. His status remains to be seen, but it’s unlikely he’ll start tonight, as the Giants consider their options, including placing Belt on the disabled list.
After the first two games, this offense has generated 23 hits and 11 runs. This team is built to put runners on base, with most players sporting solid, career on base percentages. So it’s not far-fetched to think that the offense could put up 4.5 runs per game in 2015, which would be a nice improvement over last year’s 4.1 runs per game.
The biggest question for this team right now is the health, longevity, and effectiveness of the starting pitching. Next man up? Chris Heston, just called up from AAA yesterday, will take the mound in Matt Cain’s place tonight as the Giants look to take the rubber match in tonight’s finale. Would not be surprised to see Hector Sanchez get his first start behind the dish tonight, with Buster moving over to first base while Belt rests his strained groin. Manager Bruce Bochy is certainly blessed to have a roster that offers maximum flexibility. It looks like that flexibility could be the key to the Giants success this year.