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Article:SF Giants: Starting Pitching Shining

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The San Francisco Giants' starting pitching is starting to match the D-Backs' 5 as the class of the division and quite possibly the whole National League. Jonathan Sanchez turned in another dominant performance, his second 10-strikeout game in his last 4 starts, and beat the Cincinnati Reds 3-1 on Friday night. In previous seasons, Sanchez has had some trouble keeping a consistent release point and arm angle, but early on this season, it looks like those troubles are behind him. If you take away his horrible season opening start in Milwaukee, he is 2-0 with a 1.50 era and 28 punch-outs in 24 innings. One of the most impressive things about his start on Friday though was his ability to get deep into the game and he did it by keeping the ball in strike zone. He only walked 1 batter in 8+ innings and if he can keep that ratio up, starts like this will start happening more and more frequently. With the emergence of Sanchez, the Giants now feature a power-armed threesome that can bring no-hit type stuff to the mound on a nightly basis. Tim Lincecum has been throwing like a Cy Young contender in April and it seems like the less support he gets, the better he pitches. Matt Cain has been inconsistent so far in the early going, but his last start (7 ip, 1er, 7 k's) is hopefully a sign of good things to come for Cain. Expect to see these guys still hit some growing pains here and there as they are all still 25 years old or younger, but not many.

Another youngster has come on and impressed in his limited time as well. Emanuel Burris was called up early in the week as Eric Threets was designated for assignment. Burris looks like he has the same type offensive game as Eugenio Velez without as potent of bat, but probably a little faster and a much better defender. Burris was a key component in Wednesday nights win against the Padres as he doubled, had a steal and scored a run. While he may not be quite as polished with the glove as Brian Bocock, he looks to be more major league ready at the plate. Although 8 at bats is hardly a sample, he has shown a good eye at the plate and also the ability to avoid striking out, which is something that has nagged Bocock. When Omar Vizquel returns from his injury, which may not be until mid to late May at this point, I would assume that Burris will stay up and Bocock would get sent down to Fresno.

The San Francisco Giants Blog-

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