By Vince Cestone
The San Francisco Giants have had a disappointing week at home so far, but they look to salvage the homestand with a win over the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Giants will move on to Dodger Stadium after today's series finale. They will look to gain momentum before heading off on the road to Los Angeles and Arizona.
The homestand started promising after the Giants took two out of three from the division-rival San Diego Padres, but were promptly swept by the Miami Marlins. The Giants split the first two with the Brewers and look to take the weekend series with Matt Cain (1-2, 2.35) on the hill against Shaun Marcum (1-1, 3.19).
The Giants won yesterday on a spectacular pitching performance by Madison Bumgarner, combined with a little bit of offense.
Bumgarner went seven innings, allowing six hits and one run, while striking out five Brewers. Bumgarner lowered his ERA to just 2.31 after his stellar outing.
While its pitching and offense clicked on Saturday, San Francisco's defense remained erratic. The Giants made yet another miscue yesterday, bringing their season total to a National League-worst 29 errors.
The error was a miscommunication between left and center fielders Brett Pill and Angel Pagan. As a fly ball hit by Aramis Ramirez in the top of the sixth inning approached in between Pagan and Pill, both called for it, but the ball dropped in between the two outfielders.
Ramirez ended up on second base on the play, but Bumgarner was able to wiggle his way out of trouble unscored upon.
Despite the defensive woes, San Francisco's offense showed promise Saturday, especially against the Brewers' Randy Wolf, who has historically shut down the Giants at AT&T Park.
Buster Posey and Hector Sanchez each went 2-for-4 with an RBI Saturday. Sanchez hit two doubles off the wall to the opposite field, where one started a rally and the other drove in a run.
Starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner sparked the offense himself Saturday with an RBI double down the left-field line that tied the game at one.
Angel Pagan extended his hitting streak to 19 games with an infield single in the bottom of the third inning. This is the longest current hitting streak in baseball.
For me, the most salient problem for the Giants has been their defense. They just cannot win by making the most errors in the league, not with this offense--not with any offense.
The mistakes will and have come back to bite this light-hitting team. This could cost the Giants a playoff berth, even with the extra playoff spot in the Wild Card this year.
Simply put, the Giants must tighten up their game--in all facets.
What do you think has been the most glaring problem for San Francisco?
Another note...Giants' broadcaster Dave Fleming did the FOX Saturday Baseball broadcast of yesterday's Giants versus Brewers game. It was really a breadth of fresh air to hear someone who knew what they were talking about on national television.
Hopefully, FOX continues to use Fleming (and perhaps Fleming's colleagues Jon Miller, Mike Krukow, and Duane Kuiper) for its baseball game of the week broadcasts.
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Information from ESPN.com contributed to this article.
Image from: By Ed Bierman on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons