Because there are so many little news stories surrounding the Giants lately, here are some blurbs on each of them:
Bruce Bochy pinch hits Belt?
We are all aware of hoe Brandon Belt has been treated since he first made the big league roster in 2011. After over a year and a half of the Giants front office sending him up and down like a yo-yo, it has become clear the Giants mismanagement is a hot topic angering fans.
The entire #FreeBelt trend started when he was in AAA Fresno hitting .300+ with power and speed last year. This year, Belt has started a large chunk of games for the Giants (all at first base) while Brett Pill and Aubrey Huff are in the minors rehabbing and such. Good for him, opportunities!
After a cold streak, followed by a hot streak and ending on the coldest of streaks he is currently on, Belt was pinch hit with runners in scoring position today, for none other than Justin Christian.
Don’t get me wrong, I think there is a right time to sub in Christian, but a lefty was throwing on the mound against the Giants while Belt smashes lefties in his splits (batting .316 against lefties and .206 against righties). He already had a hit in the game, adding another would have been a huge boost of confidence for the young hitter.
Alas, Bochy put Christian in, moving Pablo Sandoval to first base and sliding Joaquin Arias over to third. The Giants ended up losing that game against the Braves 3-2, failing to score that run Belt almost had a chance to.
Interesting development concerning the treatment of Belt, we will see how this plans out.
Gary Brown turning season around
In 2011, Gary Brown had a spectacular season with the San Jose Giants down in single-A. After a promotion to double-A Richmond, he lost a step and his early numbers raised huge concerns for the Giants future center fielder.
In the first 96 games this season, Brown has raised his average to .295 with an on-base percentage of .359. Sure, his power is still a tad low compared to seasons before (six homers in 96 games in ’12 to 14 homers in 131 games in ’11) as well as his decreasing base-stealing ability, but he is starting to hit like the Brown the Giants initially drafted out of CSU Fullerton.
There really is nothing else to say about Brown, but I know all eyes are on him in the next couple years until he is ready for the big leagues. Giants fans everywhere are grasping for good news about the farm system, so for now Brown’s comeback is something to pay attention to.
Okay, this Lincecum start is his biggest yet
Tim Lincecum, as I’m sure you all know, is struggling this season. Bad.
As of last week when he returned form the All-Star break, Lincecum batteld agasint the Houston Astros. Eight innings, five hits, one walk and eleven strikeouts later, Lincecum looked to have turned the corner.
Sure it’s a positive sign, but turning the corner? Nay, says I.
Matt Cain threw a perfect game earlier this season against the same Astros lineup. Lincecum has career ownage agasint the Astros (although, everyone does). It was very likely Lincecum would survive and pitch a decent game against this team. But its not the Rangers, Angels, Pirates or even the Nationals.
Lincecum will start out the next series agasint the Phillies. This, my freinds, is the matchup to pay close attention to. Watch for his location, his velocity and pitch selection. Look at his body language, how wet his hair gets, or how many times he rolls his eyes.
Just do it okay, its important science stuff. Bottom line: Lincecum will face a big test against a big market team next game, let’s hope he prevails.
Also, the trade deadline is coming up (on my 21st birthday, so yay me!) and I will be looking into possible trade targets the Giants should be considering. Coming soon!