The Giants couldn't quite keep their mini winning streak going in Monday's game as Matt Cain ran into a 6th inning jam he couldn't escape. Luckily, Barry Zito had no such issue in Tuesday nights contest.
Barry Zito stepped up in a big way vs. a team I thought would give him trouble and he set the tone for a strong all-around game by the Giants. The lefty had some trouble with Allen Craig, who took him deep twice with two solo shots, but that was it for the Cardinals. Zito had complete command of just about every pitch he was throwing, and even that second home run by Allen Craig came on a low fastball that painted the outside corner, it was just an excellent job of hitting on Craig's part. St. Louis did scatter out 8 hits off Zito, but he stayed out of trouble most of the night because he wasn't giving up free passes. It was one of the better games I've seen Zito throw this year just because the lack of mistakes and the uncanny command. Buster Posey, who hasn't caught Zito as much this year, really did a good job with him and seemed to have #75 in focus mode all the way through. Sergio Romo and Jeremy Affeldt shut the door on St. Louis to help the Giants even up the series at one apiece and improve Barry's record to 9-8.
One thing I've been critical on Bochy about is his need to play the matchup game in seemingly every situation. I really liked the fact that Boch stuck with Affeldt in the 9th inning instead of going with Casilla in this case. Affeldt, in my opinion, has been throwing better than any other Giants releiver the last few weeks, and when you don't have an ace closer, you have to stick with the hot hand sometimes. It worked well for the Giants Tuesday and I hope we see more of it (more on that at the bottom of the post).
Now I know we've talked a lot about Buster Posey here lately, but it's really tough to go a day without mentioning him. He's in a Bonds-like streak right now! The all-star catcher was at it again Tuesday, continuing his hot streak and homering for the 2nd game in a row. Posey's Tuesday blast, a 3-run shot, came off Lance Lynn in the top of the first which allowed Zito to take the mound in the bottom half with a comfortable lead. It was Posey's only hit Tuesday, but ultimately the deciding swing of the bat in that game. Buster has hit 6 home runs in his last 11 games and is in the midst of a 12-game hitting streak in which he's near .500. His shot off Westbrook was probably more impressive than the jack off Lance Lynn on Tuesday night, but neither were particularly good pitches to hit and just shows you what kind of zone the 25 year-old is currently tapped into. Some of that may be starting to rub off on first basemen Brandon Belt too. I've noticed Belt playing with an heir of confidence over the last week or so and not just at the plate (that base running maneuver after being picked off was brilliant).
Roster Notes: The Giants have added a few pieces to their roster over the last few days. They claimed Xavier Nady off waivers on Sunday in a move they hope will eventually add depth and another right-handed bopper to the Giants outfield. This move was made more with an eye on September though, and hopefully Nady isn't needed before then... The bigger addition for the Giants was them adding another quality reliever to mix in the form of Jose Mijares. The lefty had a 2.56 ERA in 40 games for Kansas City this season, and although he may not have been he closer/set-up guy the Giants ideally wanted, his addition frees up Jeremy Affeldt to do more late relief (which we've already seen benefits from).
Read The Full Article: