Greek Giant

An Old-School Classic Win at Home

Ok, Let me begin by saying Farhan Zaidi has heard us here at TWG Central all clamoring for the youth movement. Maybe it was not his first choice but after all the injuries the Giants are now playing with excitement and competence thanks to the infusion of youth in the form of Marco Luciano, Heliot Ramos and Luis Matos with added spice by Casey Schmitt. Yesterday the Giants beat the Rockies 4-1 to sweep the weekend series from the Colorado team that had come into town riding a seven-game winning streak. They were the hottest team in MLB, as Jon Miller mentioned. Today they are not.

That 4-1 win came courtesy of a clutch RBI single by LaMonte Wade Jr., a homer to dead center by Heliot Ramos, an infield single by Matt Chapman and a rare error by Rockies all-world third baseman Ryan McMahon, and of course, a big, gutsy outing by Jordan Hicks, the Giants starting pitcher.

Jordan Hicks pitched five innings allowing only three hits and one run while striking out only one batter and walking only one Rocky. His big moment was the top of the fifth inning when the Rockies had runners on second and third with one out. From there Hicks would strike out a batter, walk a batter then retire Charlie Blackmon on a pop-up in what was the key moment in the game. Hicks used a hard slider and effective fastball to grind through an outing that at times was difficult, especially because Rockies starting pitcher Dak Hudson was pitching very well, shutting out the Giants until the bottom of the fifth inning when the boys in orange and black scored three runs to go ahead in the game for good.

Hicks would earn his fourth win against one loss and lower his ERA to 2.38. He threw 72 pitches but many of those were in high pressure situations and they took a toll on him. Evidently he was sick before the game and had diminished velocity! I respect his performance even more with this knowledge! Well done Jordan! He’s turning into Ryan Vogelsong 2.0: a game and the guy you want on the mound when your team needs a win.

Right now Hicks has bene the Giants best, most reliable starting pitcher for the whole season and also the best free agent signing by Farhan Zaidi since picking up Carlos Rodon to a one-and-done deal. Let’s give credit where credit is due!

The Giants bullpen held the fort after the fifth with Hjelle, Jackson, Taylor Rogers and Doval pitching shutouts. Taylor Rogers walked two batter in his inning but escaped unscathed. Camilo Doval pitched a perfect ninth inning to record his eighth save of the season. In fact the Giants kept the Rockies to only three hits in yesterday’s win, one of them being McMahon’s wind-aided opposite field solo home run in the top of the first inning.

The Youth Movement Is Working!

This game had all the markings of a classic Giants home win circa 2010 with solid starting pitching, a big hit here and there and sound defense for the Giants. It’s just the way I drew it up when I yelled, begged, and prayed for the Giants to ditch the veterans past their prime who had no future with the team and call up guys like Luciano, Ramos, Schmitt, Matos, and others so they could develop and infuse new energy into the team, the fanbase, and maybe, just maybe, make the Giants a better team!

Well that’s exactly what’s been happening!

Now, it’s important to remember these young players will make young player mistakes, like popping out on the first pitch with runners in scoring position (Ramos). But they will learn from those mistakes and these players have nothing more to give playing in Sacramento. It’s time for the Giants to make this evolution permanent and trade or DFA the aging veterans who are, frankly, overpaid and who nobody in Giants nation is excited about (save their families). I won’t name names but we know who they are.

My prediction is that once the Giants reach .500 and beyond, which is a distinct possibility now that they are 23-25, the fans will begin to show more interest and come to more games. Don’t believe yesterday’s official attendance figure of 34,766. It’s a lie. It was more like 27,000, if that. But with these new young players showing promise, hustle and a winning edge, the fans enthusiasm could and should grow quickly. I know mine has!


The LaMonte hit:

The Ramos Long Ball:

A random Amy G, Joe Panik post, just because: