Game Notes and Comments: Houston April 5-7, 2010

The Giants opened on the road to start the 2010 MLB season, playing three games against the Houston Astros. Given Houston’s steady spiral into mediocrity the past several years, this appeared to be a wonderful opportunity for los Gigantes to get off to a great jump on the 2010 season.

But there were (and still are) a number of important questions to be answered as this team begins what may be their most important season in years: would the line-up put up some early runs on the board, or any runs at all, to support the starting pitching? Were the right players selected to make the team at the end of Spring Training? Would the team defense hold up throughout the action?

While an opening series can’t completely answer these questions, the results can be a real indicator of the team’s direction as they begin the fight to win the NL West.

o The Giants won the series 3-0, scoring 18 runs, with 37 hits and 10 walks.

o Lead-off hitter Aaron Rowan went 0-10 in the first two games; then went 4-6 with two RBIs and a run scored in
   game 3.

o Giant pitching was incredible:
  >Game 1: Tim Lincecum 7 innings/4hits/0 runs/0 walks/7 SO.
  >Game 2: Barry Zito 6 innings/3 hits/0 runs/1 walk/5 SO.
  >Game 3: Matt Cain 6.2 innings/6 hits/3 earned runs/0 walks/5 SO.
  >Bullpen games 1-3: 7.1 innings/7 hits/2 runs/1 walk/5 SO.

o Shortstop Edgar Renteria went 8 for 11 (including 5 for 5 in game 3), with 3 RBIs and 2 runs scored.
   His OB% is .846.

o Houston relief pitcher Sammy “The Bull” Gervacio made a huge impression with his stunningly eccentric pitching
  delivery: Gervacio sets up, lifts his head up to look at third base, raises the ball up with his right hand (apparently
  to show the ball to the third base coach), then swings into his delivery.

   Not since the great relief pitcher Mike Fetters has there been such a bizarre pitching delivery. It’s a joy to behold.

o Pablo Sandoval went 4 for 13 (.308) in the series and was not an offensive factor. Which is great news for the Giants;
   they can score runs and win when their top hitter is not carrying them on his back.

A great start for the Giants with a long season to go. But so far, the plan is working and runs are being scored. If the team keeps this up, it’s going to be a very interesting year indeed.

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