Originally written April 26, 2012 on Croix De Candlestick:
Well this was a game that had a little bit of everything.  The Giants went down 2-0 early only to come back and score two runs of their own.  Then they went down 4-2 and scratched and clawed to get back within one run.  Then Scott Rolen,  he of the sub-Mendoza Line batting average in late April homered for the second time in the series and things felt like they’d been Cincinnati’d all over again. Please, let Joaquin Arias not be some elaborate mirage of hitting. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) We had the usual “shut down all hitting interface” command any time a runner reached second base.  After the first two reached base in the ninth against the Reds’ fill-in closer Sean Marshall, Brett Pill struck out on three pitches.  The next hitter, Angel Pagan, fell behind 0-2 in all of about three seconds.  But in the normal fashion of winning games in completely bizarre and unexpected ways, Pagan put the Giants on top with a go-ahead three-run homer, effectively ending the Giants’ 63912308371305 game losing streak at Great American Ballpark. Quick Observations:
  • Given how used to stressful ninth innings we are, it felt strange seeing Santiago Casilla strike out the side facing the top of the order in the ninth, but you won’t hear any complaints from me.  Just know that if Casilla saves 35-40 games this year, he’ll automatically be worth a lot more than the sunflower seeds we’re paying him.
  • Brandon Belt is hitting .273/.368/.364.  It’s almost like regular playing time makes you play better.  When his power comes around expect big things.  For now, I’ll take the shiny on-base percentage.
  • Rough series for Nate Schierholtz, who didn’t even reach base by way of a fielder’s choice.  I blame the evil that haunts the corridors of Great American Ballpark and expect that he’ll be fine as long as he continues to play every day.
  • Welcome to the team Joaquin Arias, who went 2-3 with a walk and two runs scored in his debut start.  If he magically learned how to hit down in AAA he may very well win the Ryan Vogelsong Award winner for most pleasant reclamation project of the year.
  • Pablo Sandoval’s hitting streak continues, as he now officially has the franchise record for most games hit in to start a season.  The next milestone is Jack Clark’s hit streak of 26 games.
  • Javier Lopez needs to stop pitching to righties.  I’m not one to dwell on righty/lefty matchups, but Lopez has a massive platoon split.  Keep him around for the Joey Vottos and Jay Bruces and leave the righties to anyone else.
And now we’re done with playing in Cincinnati for the rest of the year.  Wasn’t it just a blast?  We were one miracle home run away from losing eight games in a row in that ballpark, a streak of Petco-Park-ian proportions.  That said, let’s never go back again ever.
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