Nothing beats a well pitched game at the ballpark. For Dad’s San Francisco Giants, pitching and defense are a tradition. The Giants will never knock you over with a Murderer’s Row that’s spoiled us Yankee fans in the Bronx. But when push comes to shove, the Giants do it the right way. By getting great pitching, solid team D and manufacturing runs.
In some aspects, the defending World Champs have perfected the art of winning ugly. They rarely make it easy on themselves. Preferring to do it the hard way. By making every game go down to the wire. Their fans are hanging on every out or virtually every pitch. That’s what these Giants are. A personification of skipper Bruce Bochy, who’s never been afraid to go to the bullpen. Or pull a double switch, epitomizing classic National League baseball.
They continue to get it done the same way. A winning formula. If you can get quality pitching and shutdown the opposition, it doesn’t matter how dangerous their hitters are. We saw it in 2010 when they turned Philly bats into aluminum. You see. It isn’t just Yankee sluggers who have become ghosts of October. If you got the horses, you can win. The Giants do- boasting a solid five-man rotation featuring Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong, Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito, who continued his renaissance by tossing seven scoreless for his first win in 1-0 decision over the Cardinals in a successful championship banner home opener.
The old adage is good pitching beats good hitting. That’s what the Giants have done winning two of the past three World Series. Both times, surprising many. In 2010, they beat Texas. Last year, after stunning St. Louis by rallying from a 3-1 deficit, they swept favorite Detroit. It didn’t matter that the Tigers boasted the game’s first Triple Crown winner since Yaz in AL MVP Miguel Cabrera. They also had Prince Fielder, Delmon Young, Jhony Peralta and Austin Jackson. The Giants countered with Pablo Sandoval, Marco Scutaro, Hunter Pence and NL MVP Buster Posey. Plus underrated defensive shortstop Brandon Crawford, who forms a solid middle infield with Scutaro.
When going through San Fran’s lineup, it doesn’t intimidate you. However, 1 through 9 they contribute including the pitcher, who either can hit or sacrifice. A lost art. Good baseball can still be discovered. All you have to do is watch the Giants scrap their way at the plate and in the field. A walk is as good as a hit. Taking advantage of errors counts just the same. That’s one thing they do well. They did it in taking the rubber game against the Dodgers Wednesday in a 5-3 win. A four-run third included a couple of unearned. Sandoval slugged his first home run and Pence added an insurance marker to make a winner of a wild Lincecum, who survived five frames allowing two unearned while walking seven. Bochy mixed and matched the rest of the way until Sergio Romo closed it out.
Today, the Giants made an Angel Pagan bases loaded walk stand up with Zito going the first seven before giving way to Jeremy Affeldt and Romo, who were perfect. That included a nasty Romo cutter that froze Allen Craig to end it. And so, in a division where the Dodgers spent like Kings and changed their motto to “A Whole New Blue,” here are the Giants at 3-1 in first. They do it their way without the fanfare. They’re what the Mets aspire to be. Pitching, defense and timely hits. A winner.