Tim Lincecum alleviated any concerns there were for his left knee after taking a line drive directly off of it in his last start. There was some question as to whether or not he would even make the start, but it's a good thing he did. Lincecum reassured everyone that he's alright by going 7 2/3 giving up only 3 hits and 1 run while striking out 10 batters. He did walk 4 batters and his control looked off at times, but dominated when he had too and improved his record to 13-3. Over the second half of the year him and Matt Cain, especially, have begun to gel into the two top end starters that they are. Since the all-star break, Cain is 3-2 with a 2.11 era and 32 k's in 42 innings pitched (6 starts). Cain has been very good since the calendar hit July and a lot of it has to do with the fact that he's finally starting to get some run support. He may actually finish the year with winning record after pitching through horrible luck and run support in last years 7-16 campaign. Yes, the Giants are still 20 games below .500, but surprisingly, they are a little closer to getting back on track than many think, and I can't wait to see what these two guys start doing when they're actually pitching for a decent ball club.
A few other bright youngsters who have came up and made some noise over the last week are Travis Ishikawa and Pablo Sandoval. Ishikawa hasn't missed a beat since his promotion after tearing it up in the minor leagues for the first 4 months of the year. It's hard to get too excited after only 4 games, but Ishikawa looks like he has middle of the order potential. The 24 year-old hit his first big fly as a major leaguer on Sunday and reminds me a little of the Dodgers' James Loney. Sandoval has been getting looks at both first base and catcher and looks pretty smooth in both places. He could work on his blocking ability a little behind the plate, but he looks like a natural at first base. His bat has also looked solid since he was called up from Connecticut. He's not going to get quite as many starts as Ishikawa because he has Bengie Molina in front of him, but look for him to start at first base vs. lefties and behind the plate on most day games. The only call-up from last weeks trio who has not looked comfortable is Ryan Rohlinger. The third basemen has only 2 hits in 18 at-bats and has looked a little out of his element up here so far. Not saying it's time to send him back down, but I would hope to see more out of him over next 18 ab's.
Note: The Giants signed their top pick, Buster Posey, just before the deadline Friday night. Posey will get a 6.2 million dollar signing bonus which ended up being less than the original reported 7.5 that he was seeking. Good to see it done, now can't wait to see him began his career.
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