Originally written April 27, 2012 on Seed Spitters:
San Diego Padres@San Francisco Giants 6-14 (1 W)Record10-9 (1 W) Cory Luebke
(2-1) 2.52 ERAGame 1 startersEric Hacker
(0-0) 0.00 ERA Anthony Bass
(1-2) 2.33 ERAGame 2 startersTim Lincecum
(1-2) 8.20 ERA Clayton Richard
(1-2) 5.11 ERAGame 3 startersMadison Bumgarner
(3-1) 2.96 ERA The first two games of the Cincinnati series were quite frustrating for the Giants this past week. After Cain threw six and a third innings allowing just three runs, five hits (including two home runs) and seven strikeouts, relief pitcher Dan Otero finished the game in what some would call a “train wreck.” Otero gave up six runs off of six hits in only one and two thirds innings of work, paving the way for a Reds nine to nothing lead over the Giants. The only bright spots for the Giants in that game was Pablo Sandoval extending his hitting streak to 17 games, and Buster Posey homering in the ninth inning to give the Giants a couple pity runs. The next game was far less of a nightmare for the Giants, but nevertheless frustrating baseball. After Barry Zito pitched another gem against a flashy offense, the Giants 2-0 lead in the seventh inning quickly vanished into a 4-2 lead for the Reds. Zito pitched six innings, giving up only five hits, two walks and one run after a Scott Rolen home run to lead off the seventh inning. From there, the runs kept coming for the Reds. Clay Hensley stepped in and gave up the first runs all season (although none of them earned) by allowing three runs in just two thirds of an inning. The Giants couldn’t come back, but Sandoval and Pagan would continue to be  bright spots as Sandoval extended his streak to 18 games – tying the franchise record – and Pagan would hit his second home run of the season. In the last game of the series, the Giants barely avoided the sweep with a three-run from the hot bat of Pagan, and Sandoval breaking the hit streak franchise record with 19 games to start the season. Now the Giants return home after playing 13 of the 19 games on the road to start the season, and Sandoval looks to keep the streak alive against the Padres solid pitching staff. Keep an eye out for Chase Headley as he leads his team in virtually every offensive stat category. So far he has four home runs, 13 RBI and 14 runs while hitting a .275 average. The pitcher to watch out for will be the one starting tonight against rookie Eric Hacker – Cory Luebke. So far he has been a very effective pitcher for the Padres. In his last outing, he pitched eight strong innings against the Philadelphia Phillies only allowing two hits, two walks and no runs as the Padres went on to win by a score of five to one. Hacker was brought up this morning as his contract was purchased by the Giants from triple-A Fresno. Moving down to open a spot for him is Otero after his miserable outing last road trip. Hacker, 29,  was pitching very well for Fresno (4-0, 2.19 ERA in 24.1 innings pitched), and he will take the mound in San Francisco for the first big league start of his career. Good luck to Sandoval, as he is doing something no other Giant in over 100 years has been able to do – hit safely in 20 straight games to start of the season. By far, he is the hottest player for the Giants and I’m sure he is glad to be coming home. Go Giants.
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