8/24/11: Giants 2, Padres 1

Last night, I was able to celebrate my birthday at the Giants game, and this was definitely a great game to see. The game showcased the Giants’ spectacular pitching and occasional spurts of offense, which is the recipe to success. The Giants split their short 2-game series with the Padres with a 2-1 win. This game featured stellar pitching between Tim Stauffer and Tim Lincecum. However, Lincecum was that much better. Before the game, Lincecum was holding opponents to a devastating .103 average with 2 outs and runners in scoring position. He continued this dominance last night by ending many 2-out rallies by the Padres. With this outing, Lincecum lowered his ERA to 2.46, which ranks second in the NL behind Johnny Cueto of the Reds with a 2.03 ERA, and also one point above fellow Giant and All-Star, Ryan Vogelsong.

On the offensive front, the Giants weren’t able to score more than their usual 2 runs, but it proved to be just enough as they got solid contributions from the young phenom, Brandon Belt (aka “Baby Giraffe” and “The Most Awkward Man in the World”), and one of the newest Giants and a 2011 All-Star, Carlos Beltran. Brandon Belt had 2 hits in 3 at-bats. The most memorable hit was his stand-up triple to lead off the bottom of the 5th inning. This lead to the insurance run that the Giants needed in order to win. Along with Belt’s contribution, Carlos Beltran hit his first home run as a Giant, giving him a total of 16 home runs for the season, in the 4th inning to break a 0-0 tie. Click on the picture below to see a replay of his home run. The acquisition of Beltran has been controversial because the Giants gave up their #1 pitching prospect, Zach Wheeler, but Beltran has been a solid veteran presence on the team, and hopefully last night was the start of bigger, better play from Beltran.

The Giants continue their 12-game homestand tonight against the Houston Astros. Ryan Vogelsong takes the mound tonight against Henry Sosa, a pitching prospect previously with the Giants who was traded in the deal that brought Jeff Keppinger to the Giants. The Giants had bad luck against this team in their last outing, dropping 2 of 3 games against them in Houston. The Giants hope to have better luck against the worst team in all of MLB in this series in their own ballpark.

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