The Giants got their first off day in two and a half weeks, and it didn’t seem to affect the team’s energy level or trajectory too much. They barely avoided getting shut out for the second straight time at Coors Field, which is like going through the In-N-Out drive-thru two straight times without getting stuck behind a packed SUV — with every family member and pet represented in sticker form on the back window — that takes five minutes to order.
So let’s look at the bright spots, because there’s no reason to write a 1,000-word post about this team, this game or this road trip.
1. Buster Posey is earning his salary
Posey’s always around .300, so when he goes on one of these tears his average climbs toward batting champ territory before you have time to prepare yourself. He’s now hitting .321 (higher than Marco Scutaro!) after going 3-for-4. He also hit a home run for the third straight game, an opposite-field drive on a 94-mph Rex Brothers fastball.
Posey actually showed human tendencies after signing his nine-figure extension, putting up a .213/.315/.319 line with no home runs and only four extra-base hits in his first 14 games. Since then, in his last 61 games, Posey has produced a .344/.409/.579 line. Posey also came up with 100% of the Giants’ runs and 75% of their hits on Friday night, but now we’re starting to venture out of the realm of silver linings and into Dinger’s lap. And no one wants to be in Dinger’s lap.
2. Hey, Jake Dunning!
Dunning’s photo makes him look like one of the dozens of kids who started blogging about the Giants in September 2010. However, unlike most fairweather bloggers who realized writing all the time wasn’t that much fun during the offseason, Dunning looks like he may last longer than a few weeks. He lowered his ERA to 2.12 on Friday night, and he’s only allowed two runs since getting called up (both against the Marlins on June 21).
The 24-year-old reliever wasn’t exactly dominant, allowing a couple hits and a walk over 1.2 innings, but he didn’t allow the runner he inherited in the sixth inning to score (which Barry Zito surely appreciated). Dunning has only struck out four over 8.1 IP, but he also hasn’t allowed a run in seven of his eight appearances. After Jean Machi started hot and flamed out, we’ll see if Bruce Bochy tries to conserve Dunning. It might be tough over these next six games in Denver and Cincinnati.
3. 2012 George Kontos *may* be back
He seems to have figured out something in Fresno, and would’ve had a one-two-three inning if he didn’t stick a glove in front of a chopper that probably would’ve been an easy play for Marco Scutaro. Yes, Kontos gave up a single to Yasiel Puig with the infield in that drove in the go-ahead run in his first appearance after getting called up. Since then, he has pitched 3.1 scoreless innings. He also struck out Michael Cuddyer (who extended his hitting streak to 25 games) to get out of an eighth-inning jam.
So there you have it, some stuff to keep your mind off things like Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Crawford looking like they came back from their respective injuries too early, Barry Zito’s road ERA dropping to 10.41 after allowing 4 ER in 5.1 IP, and the non-Posey Giants going 3-for-55 over the last two games. Or better yet, focus on the hot weather we’re experiencing in the Bay Area. It’s a weekend, the 4th of July is rapidly approaching and everybody knows someone with access to a swimming pool, lake or river. I’m partial to rivers, myself.