Talking Giants Baseball: A San Francisco Giants/Baseball Blog: The torture continues--Giants hang on to beat Diamondbacks 6-5 in Sandoval's return

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The torture continues--Giants hang on to beat Diamondbacks 6-5 in Sandoval's return

Chris Stewart congratulates Brian Wilson, as he records his 19th save of 
the year. Wilson struck out Stephen Drew looking to end the game.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

By Vince Cestone

The San Francisco Giants squeaked out another one-run victory, edging the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-5.

The Giants' offense was jolted by Pablo Sandoval's return from the disabled list. In his first game back in the lineup, Sandoval went 1-for-4 with a walk, including an RBI single in the first inning which put the Giants on the board first.

With two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the ninth inning, Giants' closer Brian Wilson walked Kelly Johnson and Justin Upton, who both moved up a base on a wild pitch. Wilson struck out the next batter, Stephen Drew, looking on a backdoor cutter with the tying and winning runs in scoring position. Wilson earned his 19th save.

The Giants jumped out to a 5-0 lead by the fifth inning.

They scored their second run in the fourth inning on a squeeze play with Matt Cain at the plate. The Giants tacked on three more runs in the fifth inning with two of them driven in by Cody Ross, who went 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs.

The Diamondbacks roared back in the bottom of the sixth inning. With the score 5-1, Miguel Montero laced a three-run home run to right off Matt Cain, cutting the Dbacks' deficit to 5-4

The Giants and Diamondbacks scored one more run each in the game. Nate Schierholtz drove in the game-winning run for the Giants in the seventh inning with a double that Dbacks' outfielder Chris Young bobbled, allowing Huff to score and Schierholtz to get to third base.

Starting pitcher Cain was less than spectacular tonight, pitching 6 2/3 innings and giving up five runs on eight hits. Cain earned his sixth win of the year.

The Giants' bullpen picked Cain up, throwing 2 1/3 scoreless innings of no-hit ball.

The Giants roughed up Josh Collmenter (4-2, 1.86 ERA), who came into tonight's start with a 1.18 ERA. The Giants touched him up for five runs and eight hits in the five innings he pitched.

Game Thoughts

By Chris Bissell

With offensive injuries comes lower production, which means less runs, combined with great pitching, means close games. We all know the formula, and we're all accustomed to the type of wins the Giants pull out.

Besides the pitching staff, there's nothing pretty about this team anymore--except the fact they continue to win games.

There's still one freshly-polished offensive gem on this team, healthy of course, and that's Pablo Sandoval. At this point, the offensively-challenged Giants understand how detrimental Sandoval's bat was before the broken hamate bone injury on April 29.

Sandoval hit the disabled list with a .313 average, five home runs, and 14 RBI after a hot start, fresh off an off-season of strenuous workouts, and a 38-pound drop. Sandoval led the team in average all the way up to his return tonight, and he certainly picked up where he left off.

After beginning the season in the bottom part of the order, hitting from sixth to ninth on several occasions, Sandoval had established his 2009 presence all over again, and you can guarantee that's not changing.

Sandoval has an irrefutable impact on this lineup, and you can see just from tonight how vast a difference it is. Aubrey Huff had 2 walks, Cody Ross went 2-for-4 with 2 doubles, and every starter except Matt Cain had a base hit.

The Giants since the beginning of last season have simply never been about one hitter, one individual, or one player in general, but at this point, you can't deny the importance of Sandoval's bat in the lineup and presence in the dugout.

This team has certainly caught the injury bug, and with Freddy Sanchez going out, there was almost nothing left in that lineup to be optimistic about. Huff was seeming to have his "off year," Crawford was coming down to earth, etc, etc.

The Giants won six out of ten on the last home stand, scoring a mediocre 2.4 runs per game. As I said, there's nothing pretty about this team, except the fact that they... yeah, we get it.

Nate Schierholtz continues to show up when it matters, driving in a run off Aaron Heilman in the 7th inning. Despite only being at a .261 average and a decent 4 home runs, Nate "the great" is certainly coming up in the clutch, with a line of .313/.361/.406 (.767 OPS) with runners in scoring position.

Giants' Health Notes

By Chris Bissell

  • Freddy Sanchez will get a second opinion on his right shoulder tomorrow and will try to rest the shoulder to have it heal on its own, despite labrum damage and a loosened capsule.
  • Mike Fontenot will resume his rehab in a few days after suffering a minor groin injury.

  • Brandon Belt will have his cast removed Friday after suffering that right wrist hairline fracture a few weeks ago against the Cardinals.

Giants Blurbs

By Vince Cestone

The Giants are 5-1 against the Diamondbacks this season. The Giants have not scored six runs in a game since June 2 against the St. Louis Cardinals, where they won 12-7. The last time the Giants and Diamondbacks were 1-2 in the division standings in mid-June was 1999. Tomorrow, the Giants' Madison Bumgarner (2-8, 3.23 ERA) will face the Diamondbacks' Joe Saunders (3-6, 4.56 ERA) at 6:40 p.m.

Vinnie Cestone is a blogger/reporter for The Talking Giants Baseball Blog. Unless otherwise noted, all information was obtained first-hand or from official materials from ESPN or the Major League Baseball website.

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