Andrew Baggarly

Monday aside, Giants still built on pitching (Bumgarner!)

Doubleheaders are weird, and the San Francisco Giants sure seem to dominate whenever they’re forced into this rare scheduling quirk. Alright, that might not be 100% true. It might be 10% based on last year’s 19-10 combined thrashing of the Chicago Cubs last year in a doubleheader at Wrigley, and 90% based on a Wrigley doubleheader my buddy Carp and I saw in person on August 25, 1999, when the Giants won both games by a combined score of 17-10.

I still think about that doubleheader at least once every couple weeks. Barry Bonds hit 3 home runs that day. J.T. Snow hit 2. Gary Gaetti and Marvin Benard both hit home runs. Sammy Sosa hit No. 52 in Game No. 2, a homer that got lost in the nighttime fog on its way to Waveland Avenue. Estimated distance: 470 feet, although that it could’ve been a Cubs PR person who put that on the scoreboard for all we knew. Most impressive perhaps was Glenallen Hill’s homer in the 9th inning of Game 1, a blast where Hill’s 3/4 swing sent the ball 490 feet into straightaway center, according to the Wrigley Field estimate. Hill hit 20 HR in 278 PA that year. Baseball was different then.

The Giants won Monday’s 2-game battle by a score of 13-3. Since they normally took at least a week to score 13 runs a year ago, that’s the number getting all the attention. And why not? Runs, HRs, near-cycles and Jason Bay faceplants are fun. Still, raise your hand if you were thinking the Giants would only allow 1 run when the Mets had the bases loaded in the 5th — before Emmanuel Burriss flipped it to Brandon Crawford’s barehand.

And lost in Tim Lincecum’s return to halfway-decent was a 7-inning, 1-ER outing from Madison Bumgarner. The key was Bumgarner absolutely deflating the Mets in the first inning with three weak groundballs after the Giants took a 3-0 lead in the top of the inning. And the snot-rockets. Oh, so many snotrockets! Bumgarner was asked by Henry Schulman after his last start if he had a cold. “Why?” asked Bumgarner (who was called a “moose” by Mike Krukow during Monday’s game, something that may or may not have been suggested by a representative from the Giants dugout store). Schulman said he sounded stuffy, but maybe it was just allergies. I think Schulman wanted to find out the source of Bumgarner’s never-ending supply of  nose-to-ground missiles.


— Where’s the Nate Schierholtz love on BASG after a 6-hit day? Sure, I’ve taken some heat over the years for being the biggest Schierholtz advocate on the interwebscz, but that was when he needed help. He doesn’t need it now. He’s getting the chance I always thought the Giants should give him, and he looks like Walt Hriniak’s dream. Hopefully it lasts, but here’s one thing I know: if the Giants start Schierholtz in 90% of the team’s remaining games, they won’t regret it.

— I can’t blame people for wondering if all this Hector Sanchez love is a little over-the-top. It very well may be, but he sure looked good during the end of last season (I’ve said this before, but I’ve never seen so many opposite-field drives that were caught at the warning track), Spring Training and the beginning of this season. It’d be nice if he walked more (at all), but whether it’s for the Giants or another franchise not quite as deep at catcher, Sanchez is going to have a long Major League career.

— That being said, this idea floated by some of the beat writers that Sanchez will push Posey to first is a little premature. Part of Baggarly’s logic came from idea that Freddy Sanchez will be back on May 11. Just because “ready” and “Freddy” rhyme does not make it so.

— Pablo Sandoval went all Bonds on us in the first inning of Game 2.

— Buster Posey.

— Melky Cabera walked 35 times last year. So far in 2012, he’s 5th in the NL in walks with 10. Not to go all homer on you, but think about that the next time you scream about Hensley Meulens. Not to say Bam-Bam’s the reason why Cabrera’s more patient, but he isn’t offering bounties to players who swing at crap with 2 strikes, either.

— Burriss pretty much saved Lincecum’s ass on Monday afternoon. Even if he ends up not collecting an extra base hit all year, watching him get better in certain areas this weekend (read: defense) was a lot more fun than trying to survive the Jeff Keppinger era without slicing my own achilles tendons in half.

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