Arizona Diamondbacks

Giants lose on Opening Day, but it wasn’t Melky’s fault

The San Francisco Giants have now lost six straight to the Arizona Diamondbacks, but this was a tough game to really glean much from, for a couple reasons. First, the defense was fairly wretched, and the guys who committed the three errors are thought to be among the best fielders on the team. Second, almost all the key contributors did something good and something bad in this game.

Tim Lincecum

Good: 4 straight outstanding innings (innings 2 through 5); a stretch where he struck out 4 consecutive D-Backs; walked against Ian Kennedy.
Bad: surrendered 4 extra base hits, including 2 home runs; fastball velocity that couldn’t rise above the 89-91 range.

Aubrey Huff

Good: nice single to right in the 6th; fought off a lot of pitches from side-slinging lefty Joe Paterson (who the D-Backs took from the Giants in the Rule 5 draft a couple years ago).
Bad: the end result of that at-bat against Paterson drove everyone to wonder aloud what many were thinking privately — why didn’t Bochy send up Brett Pill in that situation? Otherwise, why did Pill make the team?

Pablo Sandoval

Good: went 2-for-5; hit an RBI double in the 9th that gave the Giants some hope.
Bad: throwing error in the 8th.

Brandon Crawford

Good: RBI groundout in the 6th to tie the game at 3-3.
Bad: 2 strikeouts; 0-for-4; fielding error on an Aaron Hill grounder that looked pretty routine.

Buster Posey

Good: went 2-for-4 with a walk; looked as healthy as ever behind the plate.
Bad: called for a tough error on Jason Kubel’s chopper; one batter later Ryan Roberts knocked Kubel and Paul Goldschmidt in with a double.

Brandon Belt

Good: more than one very good scoop at first; hit a single during the Giants’ mini-rally in the 6th.
Bad: struck out swinging in the 4th; struck out looking in the 8th.

Then there was Melky Cabrera, who hit an opposite field double in the first inning, a ridiculously low and fast home run to right in the 5th and a pretty impressive catch on a deep Miguel Montero drive in the 6th. His contract year is ON.

So you could look at this game in one of two ways: panic over the defense, Lincecum’s current arsenal, Huff’s intoxicating hold on Bochy’s soul and the D-Backs’ recent ownage of the Giants … or, let Cabrera’s Giants debut and the idea that he, Sandoval and Posey hitting back-to-back-to-back could be pretty damned fun to watch.

Also, Gregor Blanco looked like he did all spring. Guillermo Mota, Jeremy Affeldt and Clay Hensley pitched pretty well, too.

Your choice. There’s a game tomorrow. Madison Bumgarner’s pitching. That almost always makes things better.

And if that doesn’t cheer you up, during the postgame wrap Mike Krukow was talking about how he and Duane Kuiper would call tomorrow’s game from the pool. Soon the topic turned to swimwear, and Kruk referred to he and Kuip wearing “marble bags” by the pool. Kruk and Kuip in Speedos. In Arizona that might drive ticket prices down. Here in San Francisco, who knows…

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