You can complain about overuse of the “10 observations” format this week, or how much I write about Nate Schierholtz, but at least I’m not presenting this article in slideshow format. Today’s game featured great things from 10 players, none of them with a last name that rhymes with “Beer Cults,” so let’s get to it.
1. Andres Torres‘ day looked rather pedestrian on the surface (1-for-4 with a walk), but as Henry Schulman pointed out, he saw a ton of pitches. Not enough to keep Rowand on the bench against Cliff Lee tomorrow night (hard to imagine Cody Ross will sit), but a good game for Torres to build from. Reportedly Carlos Beltran has tried to convince Torres to stop trying to hit home runs and concentrate on getting on base. If Beltran’s words have an effect, that would be like trading for two players. The Giants are a much more formidable team with Torres doing what he did in 2010 at the top of the order (and no, that last sentence isn’t exactly breaking news, I admit).
2. Speaking of Beltran, he’s been so good at home that people were starting to openly wonder in the middle of today’s game whether the Giants should re-sign him after the season. While it’s a bit too early for that kind of talk, nobody’s talking about the way his Giants tenure started out on the road (2-for-17, 0 XBH) after he went 6-for-13 with 2 triples against the Diamondbacks.
3. Jeff Keppinger was smashing the ball today, with two hits and a hard line drive out to shortstop.
4. I could get used to seeing Pablo Sandoval (who came through with a couple of singles today) hit third for a while. Seems like it could be a better idea to have Beltran protect Sandoval than the other way around.
5. Ryan Vogelsong, even with the offensive explosion (8 runs! Hide yo kids!), was the hero. You’ll be seeing highlights from that performance on The Franchise sometime soon. That curveball he used to strike out Justin Upton in the first inning set the tone; today was Vogelsong’s first 7-strikeout game since June 5 against Colorado.
6. However, that was kind of overshadowed by Guillermo Mota coming in and striking out the side in the seventh and eighth innings. Like Lefty Malo tweeted during the game, “For those who have suggested Zito could replace Mota as the mop-up bullpen guy, I hereby present to you today’s top of the seventh.”
7. Sergio Romo, who struck out the only guy he faced (Xavier Nady … yes, he still plays) to end the game, continued his ridiculous season, and earned “stat of the week” honors from Rob Neyer. 13-to-1 K/BB ratio. Um, what???
8. People were befuddled by Bruce Bochy’s decision to bat Orlando Cabrera fifth in the order, but he didn’t disappoint. While Cabrera did get thrown out trying to take third on an Aubrey Huff single, he also had a productive out (grounder to short to score Pablo Sandoval) and hit the 2-run double that put the game away in the 5th.
9. Cody Ross also had a run-scoring groundout and a 2-run double, all while walking twice. Don’t think that’s a big deal? It was only the second time in the last 10 games that a Giant has walked twice. The other guy to do it? Ross in the Giants’ 4-3 loss in Cincinnati on Friday.
10. I need to complain about Aubrey Huff more often. I held out for the entire year and then vented a little this morning, and he delivered with a 2-for-4 day that should keep him in the lineup through August, at the very least.
Madison Bumgarner goes up against Lee and the Philadelphia Phillies tomorrow night, and a certain basement-dwelling blogger just might find himself watching a game from the AT&T Park press box. I can’t wait…