It really would’ve been disappointing if Hunter Pence left Minute Maid Park without hitting one home run. Pence had hit 54 HRs at the field formerly known as Enron going into this series, and this slump has gone long enough. Luckily, there was a great post today on McCovey Chronicles about Pence’s slump, which included a hilarious heat map (just trust me). If Pence goes on a tear that leads to double-digit home runs in September, Giants fans have Grant Brisbee to thank.
— Hopefully Barry Zito thanked George Kontos, not only for keeping his ERA from jumping to 4.54 instead of 4.42, but also for letting Zito off the hook after holding that 4-run lead in the breeze and letting it blow away oh-so-easily, like dandelion seeds or a hot dog wrapper at Candlestick Park.
— Kontos lowered his ERA to 2.08 tonight, and I think we can safely add Chris Stewart for Kontos to Brian Sabean’s list of successful trades consummated over the past 12 months. Since Carlos Beltran for Zack Wheeler, Sabean’s been doing okay for himself in that department.
— Guillermo Mota was the only reliever to allow an earned run over 7.2 innings on Wednesday … but to be fair, Mota had a tickle in his throat that was bothering him all day, along with a pretty mean case of the sniffles.
— Santiago Casilla has pitched two shutout innings in two days. He also hasn’t given up a run in his last six appearances, so it’s hard to imagine Bochy will take him out of the setup role any time soon.
— Pretty busy last couple days for Jeremy Affeldt. His wife gives birth to Kolt Kristopher Affeldt yesterday in Spokane, and today he pitches a scoreless inning in Houston.
— Javier Lopez now has 5 saves, while Sergio Romo has 7. If I remember (a big “if”), I’m going to look back a month from now and see how many saves those two end up with combined. I’ll go with 22 as my shot-in-the-dark guess.
— Joaquin Arias came up with one of the game’s biggest hits for the second night in a row, a triple off the glove of Fernando Martinez that plated the 5th and 6th runs of the night for San Francisco. Arias is now hitting .283, and looks like a guy we’ll probably see around these parts in 2013.
— Good lord, the Astros are in a bleak state. I remember thinking the Astrodome sounded like an empty echo chamber back when I was a kid watching Will Clark hit home runs. Minute Maid might be even spookier these days.
— By the way, did anybody catch that Thrill highlight they showed tonight, where he hit it in the second deck, the one above the Family Pavilion at The Stick? As a kid I’d pretty much lose my shit whenever anyone hit it up there.
— If you didn’t see that clip, maybe you watched the whole Brandon Crawford beard situation occurring in the dugout tonight.
— Crawford (who looked like an elfin Ozzie Smith on defense after entering this game in the late innings … and the other Brandon’s defense wasn’t bad either) was fluffing out his beard for maximum volume. You know, standard dugout stuff.
Flemming: Now he’s getting some help.
Krukow: Yeah, middle infielders … kind of like monkeys. They kind of tend to groom each other.
Flemming: I didn’t know that!
Flemming: Wow. Ryan Theriot, giving some grooming help to Brandon Crawford.
This wasn’t the first time Theriot has shown himself to be a touchy-feely teammate: