GIANTS 5 - PHILLIES 2
This team is so Jekyll & Hyde. One day they can't score runs, get good pitching, and look nothing like pennant contenders (actually it was for the better part of 2 weeks). But then they have a great all-around performance against the National League's world series representative for the past 2 seasons.
Jonathan Sanchez turned in what was easily his most dominating performance of the season. Even though he did have one start against the Padres earlier this season where he only gave up one hit and one run and still lost the game. This one was better.
On the face of it, that game back in April was more dominating since he struck out more and he allowed two hits last night as opposed to one. But you need to consider that the Giants starters have been reeling. They haven't been credited with a win in their last 14 starts. The Giants as a whole have just looked incredibly flat since their amazing 11 inning victory over the Padres on Saturday.
But Jonathan Sanchez came out last night, Put the Giants on his shoulders, and made us all wonder why we were so hot to trade him in the first place. There is no #4 starter in all of baseball who pitches as well as Sanchez and is capable of the performances that he puts in. We all get frustrated with Sanchez because he has Ace quality stuff, and he tantalizes us every so often with a gem like last night, but he never is consistent enough to attain that Ace status.
However as the guys over at Raising Matt Cain point out, Sanchez is getting better every season. Think back to the first half of last season and remember that the guy was giving up six or seven runs every other start, he was demoted to the bullpen, and he only made the start when he threw the no-hitter because of an injury to Randy Johnson.
One thing to keep in mind is that Sanchez improved tremendously after throwing his no hitter last season and that, hopefully, he uses this start as a springboard to better success over the last month and a half of the season.
Another huge development on the offensive side of the ball. Pablo Sandoval hit his first homerun of the season right handed! the fact that it came off of Cole Hamels who is one of the better pitchers in the league makes it all that much more impressive. Pablo has had his ups and downs this season but he is showing signs of taking off on an extended streak of good hitting this month and we all know the Giants could use that boost.
Tonight, the Giants travel to St; Louis to face Jake Westbrook and the Cardinals. Madison Bumgarner faces one of the biggest tests of his young career as he faces the dangerous Albert Pujols and Co.
Oh and by the way, the guys who say the Giants can't consistently beat good teams should realize that the Giants split the season series with the Phillies 3-3.
Lastly, for those of you who saw yesterday's post on Yardbarker, I have no idea why they posted a picture of a fat Dodger pitcher with my story. Rest assured you will never see one of those on this site. Unless it's funny!