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Like they did to San Diego during their last home stand, the Giants got some revenge on their other southern California foe LA Dodgers at AT&T Park this week. The Giants didn't sweep the Dodgers, but they took 2 out of 3 in the series and looked much more capable of matching up with the NL West's elite team than they did in their showing in Los Angeles in the season's opening week.
Tim Lincecum made his 3rd straight dominant outing, carrying a shutout into the seventh before surrendering a few hits and couple of runs. Lincecum's line for the  day didn't look quite as good as he was throwing the ball, but he still got the win while going 7+ innings and striking out 8. "The Freak" has hit his grove after starting out slowly, and looks completely back on track now. In fact, the whole Giants rotation is really throwing the ball well, kind of like everybody expected them to coming into the year. Even Barry Zito has put together back-to-back quality outings and looks confident and in rhythm when he's out there on the mound, a complete opposite from the majority of his first 2 seasons here. In fact, Zito only put together back-to-back quality starts just 4 times last year, and only once in the first half. The fact that Zito is looking solid in the beginning of the season is also good news, because he's been a notoriously slow starter.
Jonathan Sanchez was the other starter who got the nod in the Dodgers series, and he had himself a decent start. The only thing that Sanchez did wrong was takeing hitters too deep into counts too often, which was the reason why he only went 5 innings, despite not allowing any earned runs and only three hits while striking out 5. Although he's only had 3 starts, Sanchez has carried the second best era out of all the Giants starters in the month of April as he's sitting right at 2.60. Matt Cain, who's throwing like he wants to play in St. Louis at the mid-summer classic, leads the team with a 2.08 era.
The Giants also got some offensive guys really going this week. I mentioned last post that Pablo Sandoval's bat has come alive, but he's not the only one. Edgar Renteria has seen his average spike in the last couple of days. Renteria was key in the Dodgers series especially, going 6-9 with  2 RBI and 4 runs. The Giants' shortstop came into the series hitting just .217, but now enters the Giants/Rockies series at .275. The guy who all the scouts and baseball analysts felt was going to be a major bust is second the the team in RBI and leads the team in runs scored in the month of April. He's also been playing solid defense at short, where he was supposed to have no-range left and a deteriorating arm. No, I'm not trying to say I didn't have my doubts with the Renteria signing, I made it perfectly clear at the time that I preferred Rafael Furcal, back questions and all, but I still expected a decent season out of Edgar, and much better than what he showed in Detroit last year. Oh by the way, Furcal is hititng just .241 with a home run and 5 RBI so far, roughly half the numbers that Renteria has put up. As a matter of fact, based on performances alone thus far, I think Edgar Renteria would be the NL All-Star teams' back-up shortstop, behind Hanley Ramirez. I know the season isn't even a month old yet, and I'm not deeming him a success just yet, but Renteria's play of late deserves some appreciation and attention.
Notes: Nate Schierholtz is finally getting some more playing time. Schieholtz has started twice in the past 4 days and has shown that Bochy needs to keep finding ways to get him into the lineup by carrying a .389 average through his first 18 at-bats... Emmanuel Burriss is still really struggling and Kevin Frandsen has hit .325 in his last 10 games at Fresno so a move may be in place here if Burris get it going in early May... Another Grizzly who could get a call-up when the Giants need another infielder is Jesus Guzman, who came alive in Fresno's recent series with Reno. Guzman went 9 for 16 with 3 HR, 8 RBI and 6 Runs scored in the four-game set. Needless to say, the dude is capable of producing big numbers and his bat is major league ready. The Giants current corner infield utility-guy, Rich Aurilia, is hitting just .167 in 24 at-bats right now, so both of these situations are certainly worth keeping an eye on.
Trevor Cole The San Francisco Giants Blog