By Wes Yee (@wesyee)
How quickly the cookie crumbles for fans of the Giants. Ace Tim Lincecum combined to shutout LA on Saturday and things were looking up for the city by the bay. With the resurgent Barry Zito starting Sunday for the Dodgers’ rubber match followed by three with lackluster San Diego, It looked like a statement week for the squad.
It sure was, as they blew an 8th inning lead in LA and got swept at Petco. The Padres series should serve as a reminder that a team that lacks offensive punch is prone to streaks. As hot as Lincecum and Zito were against LA, Todd Wellemeyer showed why he hasn’t been a rotation regular in the majors. As fans clamored for Kevin Pucetas or Madison Bumgarner, the beleaguered Wellemeyer walked four in a row and burned through 87 pitches in just four innings. 2009 organizational mover of the year Dan Runzler continued to struggle, giving up 3 runs.
The bright side:
Madison Bumgarner made a mechanical fix and was throwing in the low 90’s in his last start, far better than the mid 80’s being discussed during Spring Training and in his first start.
Star setup man Jeremy Affeldt, who allowed just three home runs in 2009, was tagged for a second, off the bat of spaz second baseman David Eckstein. The first was hit by the monstrous Jason Heyward, so we can give him a break on that one. He’s a key though, as Sergio Romo hasn’t been strong and Runzler cannot be counted on in close situations.
Around the league:
Ike Davis made his debut to a WSG7 type ovation in New York. The hapless Mets, who had hoped to be energized by the return of former speedster Jose Reyes, were forced to turn to the patient Davis. Ike won’ t be Jason Heyward, but he could provide 20 or so home runs and a .360 OBP for a team badly in need of some offensive consistency.
Ubaldo Jimenez threw the first no hitter in Rockies history. He was far from perfect and walked six, but a no hitter is a no hitter. He could be in for a bit of a hangover effect after throwing a career high 129 pitches. Although he faces the lowly Nationals, their offense has actually been decent, 11th in the Majors in runs.
Indians prospect Nick Hagadone made his third start, he’s gone 13 innings and has yet to yield a run. The powerful lefty has been throwing in the mid to high 90’s.