Friday, June 17, 2011

Medicine Goes Down: Upton Hits Walk-Off Homer, Arizona Wins 3-2

In the bottom of the 10th, with 1 out, the red hot Justin Upton yanked a walk-off homer off of Giants reliever Santiago Casilla, sealing a final score of 3-2 and giving the Giants a bitter taste of their own medicine. Giants fans have grown so accustomed to watching their team pull off voice-stealing walk-off victories that experiencing the other side, a walk-off loss, is like some sort of bizarro rehab--an intervention to the comeback addiction. But the slap felt good, reminded us that the gods don't always toast in our favor.

Ryan Voglesong had a strong appearance, as usual, as he gave up only a two-run knock to Chris Young in the 4th. Even though the Giants offense remained cold, Cody Ross managed to score on a throwing error by the Snake's catcher, Miguel Montero. That was all for both teams until Pat Burrell brought Pablo Sandoval home on a sacrifice fly in the top of the 9th. Soon thereafter, in the bottom of the tenth, Justin Upton took Casilla yard, dancing into the D-Back's scrum at home plate to end the game.

Nothing was especially horrible or amazing about the Giants' performance on Thursday night. They gave Arizona a run for their money by catching up late in the game but couldn't muster the consistency to go ahead. The hole in the lineup--Crawford and Whiteside--is the obvious issue. Crawford is an exceptional shortstop, and Whiteside gets the job done behind the plate, but both couldn't hit a joint if Timmy passed it to them. If the Giants are serious about playing in the post-season, a new catcher must be acquired--one who is a tad more consistent at the plate. Even though General Manager Brian Sabean said shortly after the Posey incident that he doesn't "think somebody's going to trade a catcher that's going to be better than Eli Whiteside," as time begins to dwindle in the regular season, he's likely to make a move. As for shortstop, Mike Fontenot should be rehabilitated by the All Star break. His offensive skills didn't prove outstanding at the beginning of the season, but he's had a decent bat throughout his career, and as beggars, we'll take it.

Lincecum starts against the Oakland A's on Friday and will try to shake his slump. A little run support from the Giants' offense could prove very useful to the staggering ace, as he matches up against A's rookie starter Graham Godfrey.

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