Giants Roundup: Barry Bonds, Still Good And Still Grumpy.
Barry Bonds continued his assault on the pitchers of the National League as he hit #743 in a 5-4 win over the Rockies. Even more importantly, the Giants finally got a clutch hit as Barry’s two-run, eighth inning single was the difference in the game. Zito pitched well again, but the Giants have decided to make him earn those checks. Aside from a seven-run outburst in Colorado earlier this year, the offense has scored a total of five runs in Zito’s five starts. [SFGate]
We’re starting to sense a pattern here. At the commencement of every series, the opposing team’s sports section runs a story detailing the ornery disposition of a certain Mr. Bonds. C’mon media folk, let’s get creative! [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Want a subplot in the Philly series? Last year, in their first meeting, Ryan Howard went deep twice off Matt Cain. In their next meeting, Cain dominated the MVP and struck him out twice. Power versus power is always fun to watch. Our prediction: Cain (who’s on fire these days) wins Round Three. [SFGate]
And in today’s Lincecum-raderie, here’s an anonymous scout’s thoughts on the Giants’ refusal to turn the youngster into a reliever: “He should be the Giants’ eighth-inning guy right now, and then close if [Armando] Benitez breaks down again,” the scout said. “He’s lightning.” Lincecum zips through innings so fast, the scout joked, he has a chance to set a record — “longest career with the least time on the mound.” [ESPN, Jason Stark]
Benitez might not conquer for a couple of days; he tweaked a knee. Meanwhile, Bochy looks like he going to drop Omar Vizquel and his .221 average to the eight hole in the lineup. [sfgiants]
Speaking of struggling, Pete Happy is at least reducing his propensity for swinging at the first pitch. For his career, he’s swung at 40% of first pitches, but this year, he’s cut that in half. The major league average is 27%. Could this be a sign of maturity at the plate for the 32-year-old? [Press Democrat]
Starting Friday tonight, the Giants host the fourth-place Phillies (12-15) in a four-game set. The anticipated weekend matchups are as follows: Morris v. Moyer, Lowry v. Lieber and Ortiz v. Hamels. Sunday night’s game will be televised nationally on ESPN.