Grindin’ With The Champs: Road warriors
The Giants came home to face the Braves after taking two series’ on the road and were promptly swept. Giants pitchers gave up 16 walks, including a career-high six from ace Tim Lincecum. Both teams trail the top teams in the league, with the Braves behind Florida and Philadelphia, and the Giants behind Colorado. The 2010 NLDS rematch produced a memorable Easter Sunday contest that the Braves won in extras, but mostly it was about excellent Atlanta pitching shutting down Giants hitters and the Giants championship hurlers looking like mere mortals.
The Giants face a stretch of 10 straight road games. Rookie Darren Ford, who has yet to have a hit in the big leagues, scored two runs against the Pirates to help eke out a 3-2 win. He’s there for his blazing speed, which the Pirates got to see up close — the winning run was scored from third on a ground out to second with the infield drawn in! Ford helped the Giants beat Ubaldo Jimenez at AT&T last season with some freaky base running, and has endeared himself to fans despite the lack of playing time. I think the Giants are going to love his defense in center field and might think about keeping him around even when team talisman and starting center fielder Andres Torres returns from the DL.
Ryan Vogelsong will get a start in Pittsburgh on Thursday. The Giants drafted the 33-year old in 1998, but he’s spent most of his career with the Pirates. He’s taking the roster spot of injured Barry Zito. The Giants play four in Washington and three in New York before coming home to face Colorado on May 6. The Giants took two of three in Denver, the only loss coming on the getaway game when the Rockies pounded Matt Cain for six runs. Cain’s scheduled to pitch the Friday opener.