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Series wrap-up: Braves bring out the broom, Giants put on their walking shoes

April 24, 2011

April 22, Giants 1 – Braves 4
Bumgarner vs. Hanson

Madison Bumgarner went all of 2 2/3 innings on Friday, thanks to a combination of a squeeze job from the ump and shaky control.  Bum’s struggling through some challenges right now, safe to say, but we’ve far from given up hope.  The loss was the result of one pretty remarkably bad inning after a solid start and a Braves defense that made it exceedingly difficult to get any run support going.

On the upside, it was great to see Ryan Vogelsong go 3 1/3 in relief with two strike outs, no walks, and no runs.  If there’s anything that this game proved it was that our bullpen is capable of holding down the fort when they need to and that having a solid spot start/long relief arm in the bullpen is a huge asset.  This was something we were saying about Vogelsong during Spring Training, and it is exactly these scenarios that we were envisioning when we were hoping to see him in the ‘pen.  Mota, Runzler and Romo all had good outings, Romo once again proving that he could well be the closer of the future.

The team was a remarkable 0-4 with runners in scoring position.  And just when we were thinking our offensive woes might be different this season.

April 23, Giants 2 – Braves 5
Lincecum vs. Hudson

Timmy was… not quite Timmy.  Everyone is allowed a bad day once in awhile, and we’ve seen it happen to Lincecum before, but it’s still never fun to watch your ace give up five runs on six hits and six walks on only six strike outs.  Yeah, it wasn’t pretty.  It also wasn’t as disastrous as some of those August games last season, so we’re going to roll with it.

Offensively it just still couldn’t quite come together.  Just 2-7 with runners in scoring position and seven left on base does not bode well for having sufficient offense to overcome a bad start from the mound, but we suppose that’s not and won’t be the kind of ball the Giants play.

April 24, Giants 6 – Braves 9
Sanchez vs. Beachy

Happy Easter, and lo, but the walk is risen!  Apologies to the religious amongst you for that joke, but in the wisdom of one Dave Flemming as we were reminded by a friend earlier today, “laughter: because the alternative is not good.”

Jonathan Sanchez was the Mr. Hyde version of himself today, aided by a battle with whatever flu crud continues to go around the clubhouse, and the bullpen kept the momentum going as they issued walk after walk for a total of seven over the course of ten innings.  This was absolutely not a game we should have lost, given that we actually outhit the Braves 9-8 and .244 to .229 behind a two-run shot by Buster Posey and an RBI double by Aaron Rowand.  The walks are what killed us, and this is something the pitching staff and Bochy and Rags are more than aware of by all accounts of the post-game conversations.

Tomorrow is a travel day leading to a ten day road trip in which the Giants will face the Pirates, Nats and Mets.

Briefly and unrelatedly, have a look at Brandon Belt’s first at bat after being sent down to AAA Fresno.    Awfully pretty, isn’t it?  We certainly think so.

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