The Giants have fully committed to their youth movement, and in doing so, notched their first win of an almost totally different team. The young kids got their chance to shine last night in San Diego, and they had plenty to feel good about after it was all over. Almost all of the key plays last night were made by players in their rookie or sophomore campaigns.
Tim Lincecum, 24, in his second Major League season, went seven innings and struck out 11. He is now the National League leader in that category. He also only gave up one run, trimming his ERA against the Padres to a paltry 1.36.
Fred Lewis, 27, in his first full season, was moved to the third spot in the order to try and give him more freedom with that bat. In his first at bat, he drove in a run with a deep sacrifice fly. He scored the go-ahead run in the fourth on the a passed ball.
Sergio Romo, 25, in his rookie year, pitched the bottom of the ninth, striking out one. He earned his first Major League win.
Emmanuel Burriss, 23, was 1-4, but his two-out single in the tenth started the Giants game winning rally.
Eugenio Velez, 26, in his first full season in the bigs, was the game decider in the top of the tenth, coming through with a pinch hit double to bring in Burriss, who scored all the way from first.
Brian Wilson, 26, in his third year with the club, came in the tenth and had the bases loaded before earning his NL leading 29th save.
But the game ball goes to rookie Ivan Ochoa, 25, who had the beautiful double play on the grounder up the middle that saved the game for Wilson. He conjured up comparisons to his fellow Venezuelan AND fellow Giant Omar Vizquel in the way that he handles himself around second base.
This commitment to the younger players is seen by some as long overdue. In my eyes, I do believe that veterans like Vizquel and Dave Roberts should embrace the role of mentor, while still playing once in a while, instead of the other way around. The Giants are breaking out of the vicious cycle of having rookies who are both unproven and unable to get any playing time whatsoever. The rest of this season should show the true colors of these up and coming youngsters, and will hopefully cement their roles on the field for the next couple years. The fate of the Giants is at hand, folks, so take a look at what's on the field: those are the Giants of the future.