Bengie Molina has almost single handedly carried the Giants over the last 2 weeks and his hot bat may find it's way onto the NL All Star team if he keeps raking like this. Molina has raised his average nearly 80 points over the last 10 games and has carried the Giants to a 5-2 record over the last 7 games. Molina normally gets a rest every 3 or 4 games, but has started every game over the last week as Bochy cannot afford to keep his cleanup hitter out of the lineup. Aaron Rowand has also stayed solid at the plate over the first 2 months of the season as he has his average up at .337. These two as well as Jose Castillo have held up their end of the bargain offensively and providing just enough offense to support the solid starting pitching the team has gotten recently. Coming into the year, I would have thought there was no way a Giants positional player would be able to earn an all-star spot playing in this weak offense. However, at this rate, both Molina and Rowand could easily work themselves onto the roster as both are leading their respective positions in hitting.
Jonathon Sanchez also has been throwing well recently as he turned in his third straight quality start on Wednesday. Sanchez is still walking more than he should which is keeping him from going deeper into games, but he also is learning how to pitch through those walks and minimizing damage with runners on base. It sucks that Noah Lowry has been injured and unable to go all year, but it has brought on the emergence of Jonathon Sanchez who may have eventually been dealt if Lowry and Corriea never got hurt. Another young lefty who has been emerging in the Giants bullpen is Alex Hinshaw. The 25-year old lefty has been nearly untouchable since his big league call-up 2 weeks ago. In 4 1/3 innings pitched, Hinshaw has allowed only 1 base runner while striking out 9 batters. That's dominance folks. While 2008 has mostly been a struggle for the Giants, they are shaping up a young bullpen and pitching staff that could be a strength for the next 8-10 years. Brian Wilson, Merkin Valdez, Alex Hinshaw and Billy Sadler look like they may lock down the bullpen for years to come.
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