After helping the Giants win a World Series in 2012, Angel Pagan was rewarded with a big contract for his contributions. While last year he was plagued by injuries, 2014 has gotten off to a fast start.
Pagan slugged a three run homer in the top of the 8th to give the San Francisco Giants the lead for good in a see-saw game in Arizona. He’s been the catalyst that the Giants were missing last year, as he’s hit 8-for-19 (.421) over the first four games, driving him 6 runs and scoring 3 times. He’s also played CF spectacularly, robbing the D-backs of multiple hits and saving numerous runs.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about the game yesterday afternoon was how well the Giants bench played. I can’t remember the last time that the bench (and I’m including Hector Sanchez here even though he started yesterday), drove in 5 runs. The bench was thought to be one of the major weaknesses of the Giants this season here, but they came up in a huge way, led by Sanchez and Brandon Hicks, who hit a solo shot in the 7th.
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Brandon Belt also continued his hot start, hitting yet another HR to get things started in the 1st inning. He’s only the 4th Giant in franchise history to have hit at least three home runs in the team’s first four games, joining Barry Bonds, Willy Mays and Kevin Mitchell. Belt only needs 15 more home runs in the next 158 games to surpass how many he hit last year.
Good thing the offense was in top gear, as the Giants starting pitcher struggled yet again. Tim Lincecum was just two pitches away from a solid outing: a two-run home run from Paul Goldschmidt in the 1st and then another two-run home run from Mark Trumbo. Goldschmidt continues his ownage of Lincecum, as he sports a .522 average with 6 home runs in just 22 at bats against Timmy. The silver lining for him was that he gave up 0 walks.
The bullpen was sharp, as Jean Machi gave up a run that was charged to David Huff, but otherwise gave up nothing. Santiago Casilla was sharp again as he retired all 5 hitters he faced, and Javier Lopez got the final out on a grounder from Eric Chavez. Bruce Bochy elected to give Sergio Romo a day off, even with the 9th being a save-situation.
The Giants go down to Chavez Ravine this afternoon as they take on the LA Dodgers. Ryan Vogelsong makes his season debut versus Hyun-Jin Ryu (1-0, 0.00 ERA in two starts) in the Dodgers home opener.
NOTES: The Giants went .355 (11-for-31) with runners in scoring position in this series…According to the Elias Sports Bureau, four different bench players scored runs, the first time that’s happened since June 15, 2009…The Giants chased starter Bronson Arroyo after just 4.1 innings, his shortest start against them in 14 years…