After a 14-3 loss to the St Louis Cardinals on Sunday, things weren’t looking good for the 3-3 San Francisco Giants.
Now, they are 6-3, tied for first in the NL West after a rather easy sweep of the Colorado Rockies.
Barry Zito finished off the sweep with seven brilliant innings, continuing San Francisco’s incredible 16-game winning streak with Zito on the mound. Zito hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in his last 10 starts, and he hasn’t given up a run this year. Zito twirled another gem with his seven shutout innings, and he extended a remarkable four-game hitting streak as well with two hits.
In other words, Zito has a whole lot of streaks going.
Buster Posey and Andres Torres picked up three hits for the Giants, who racked up 16 total hits in eight innings, or two hits per inning. Posey hit a double, triple and single, knocking in a run with all three hits. The Giants had six players with at least two hits, as the offense was firing on all cylinders. Brandon Belt was hitting .091 before this game, but he went 2-for-5 to snap out of his funk.
If there were any more players in a funk, they snapped out of it. The offense was amazing, as every player who hit reached base (Hunter Pence reached on an error, though). The bullpen was smooth, as Javier Lopez and Chad Gaudin finished off the win easily. Zito was the one who set the stage, however, as he dominated on the mound. Zito was locating his pitches on the corners and had a demoralizing break on his curveball, giving the Rockies little chance of hitting him.
On the other hand, Jeff Francis, Colorado’s starter, gave the Giants a great chance to hit him. Posey continued to tear up left-handed pitching, as he somehow hit .433 against left-handers in 2012. Joaquin Arias had an RBI single, Zito knocked in a run with a single and Marco Scutaro had a sacrifice fly. San Francisco’s offense has accumulated 19 runs in just 16 innings over the last two games, which propelled the team to a much-needed sweep.
Now, the Rockies are in third place in the NL West, and they can fall back to fourth place if the Dodgers beat the Padres tonight. The Giants and Diamondbacks are tied for first place at 6-3, and San Francisco is now off to Chicago for four games against the Cubs. Zito won’t pitch in the series, which, judging from his performance today, will hurt the Giants. However, Ryan Vogelsong, who did very well in 2012, will open the series, as he tries to give the Giants sole possession of first place.
The Giants aren’t known for their offense, but the offense has stepped up. They also aren’t known because of Zito, but the southpaw has been absolutely dominant this year. If Zito keeps it up, he can make the Giants a force. His 2-0 record and 0.00 ERA is certainly an encouraging sign, and thanks to him and the bats, the Giants set off to Chicago with only positive thoughts.