Giants Blank Dodgers Second Straight Time Behind Lincecum and Posey (Again)

Buster Posey was scintillating at the plate and on defense and Tim Lincecum tossed a real gem as the Giants won their fifth straight by shutting out the Dodgers at AT&T Park, 4-0 tonight.

TIM LINCECUM. On a tear, ERA down to 2.04.

TIM LINCECUM. On a tear, ERA down to 2.04.

Except for the fact that he walked LA’s starting pitcher, Brett Anderson (which never ceases to annoy the crap out of me), Lincecum was about as close to perfect as you can get. Posey drove in three of the four runs and made a spectacular catch over the Dodgers’ dugout fence.

In picking up his fourth win of the season, Lincecum also dropped his ERA to a remarkable 2.04. He came into the game at 2.35.

The Giants are now just 2-1/2 games back of the league-leading Dodgers, with whom they finish their three-game brief homestand tomorrow with a rare mid-week day game. Madison Bumgarner starts for the Giants, facing LA ace Clayton Kershaw. He has struggled against the Giants this year, making six starts against them and having an 0-1 record to show for it. His ERA against San Francisco is 5.59.

Bumgarner, meanwhile, has four starts against the Dodgers, a 1-1 record and an impressive ERA (3.16) and an absolutely brilliant WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) of 0.97.

Couple that with the fact that LA is winless in AT&T Park this year and I’m going out on a limb here and predict a rare Giants’ sweep. It may even be a series shutout sweep. Final score? 3-0.

Go, Giants!

Giants Bats Quiet, Dodgers Quieter in Shutout

The Giants shut out the LA Dodgers at AT&T Park tonight, 2-0 behind Tim Hudson (2-3) who gave the men in orange and black 6-1/3 innings of solid pitching, scattering five hits. Sergio Romo got credit for a hold and Pablo Casilla nabbed the save.

Buster Posey was the offensive story for the Giants, collecting the only RBI of the strange night game. The Giants left nine runners on base and hit only 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position. But tonight it was enough to win their fourth straight.

Every other team in the NL West won tonight but the G-Men picked up a full game on the Dodgers and are now 3.5 games back at 21-18.

Tomorrow’s game pits Tim Lincecum (3-2, 2.43) against the Dodgers’ Brett Anderson (2-1, 3.50). Timmy’s coming off a rough start in Cincinnati where he went just 4-2/3 while giving up five hits and three earned runs before giving way to the pen. But his two previous outings were strong. Back in front of the home crowd, I think he rebounds and pitches a solid game to lead the Giants to their fifth straight victory. Call it 5-2.

So Much for Predictions

Predicting is a difficult task, particularly when it involves the future.

That’s something I used to say when I was a technology analyst and it’s clear it holds true for sports, too. As reader Michael Payan pointed out in a not-so-subtle email followup to my prediction of a Giants’ two-run win yesterday, “At least you got the margin right.”

The feast-or-famine offense of the Giants is going to drive me nuts again this season. And I’m afraid we’re going to see the G-men lose a lot games where they score less than three runs.

The biggest problem with the offense isn’t hits, it’s runs. After just 3-1/3 innings of yesterday’s game, the Giants had had 10 men on base and left nine of them. The 10th was doubled up. Going into the game, the team was in the bottom third of all of baseball with an average of 3.71 runners left in scoring position.

If hitting isn’t timely, it’s as bad as not hitting.

Young Chris Heston acquitted himself pretty well for his home debut and for a change the bullpen didn’t blow up. But the sticks? They were just absent.

Giants Rightie Tim Hudson

Giants Rightie Tim Hudson

Today’s game features Tim Hudson against substitute starter Christian Bergman. Hudson had a great start in San Diego, scattering five hits over 6-1/3 innings. Bergman, who’s only in the rotation because of an injury to Jorge De La Rosa, has faced the Giants twice at AT&T Park, and has a 1-0 record and 3.75 ERA to show for it.

Watch Buster Posey today. He’s “owned” Bergman, though the two have faced each other only five times. In those five ABs, Buster has four hits including a homer and a double and four RBIs.

My prediction? Gulp.

How about Giants 3, Rockies 2?