It's funny. When I write an article about how Aaron Rowand and Randy Winn are struggling, and that one of them needs to step up in order to fill the centerfield position, both guys absolutely tear it up. Rowand goes 4-for-5 with a home run and 2 RBI. Winn goes 3-for-5 with a double and two runs scored.
Now, manager Bruce Bochy is put in a tough situation because now he's not choosing between two guys who are putting up pathetic numbers at the plate, but instead, he has to choose between two outfielders who seem to be on the cusp of a breakout. Sure, it's Livan Hernandez they were facing today. However, I was so impressed with Winn's and Rowand's at-bats that I just think they are more than capable of building upon these performances today. Who is primed for the bigger breakout? I don't know, but Bochy is going to have to make a tough call, and I guarantee you whatever decision he makes will upset some fans when it is all said and done.
Other than Rowand and Winn's performance, this really was just a great game for the Giants today. They had great approaches at the plate, and special kudos goes out to their pinch hitters. Schierholtz and Lewis both had big base knocks as pinch hitters, which further supports my point that the Giants have a glut in the outfield in a good way (similar to the dilemma Hugh Hefner and Playboy Magazine has when picking their Playmate of the Year. It's that good). I feel that with this latest performance, the Giants are going to be in good shape in the outfield, especially with Torres coming back off the DL. If somebody falters, Bochy will be able to replace them with ease, since Lewis, Torres and Schierholtz can easily replace Winn or Rowand should those two veterans prove today's game was a fluke rather than a encouraging sign.
Other than the hitting, Martinez pitched well in today's 10-1 victory over the Mets. Much like his win in Houston, Martinez didn't have room for much error. When he left the game, it was only a 3-1 game. A mistake here and there (and he didn't get much help as evidenced by Sandoval's two errors) and this could have been a different ball game. That being said, he kept the Mets in check all day and didn't make any big mistakes like Jonathan Sanchez did yesterday (though like I said, Sanchez still pitched great, but giving up a home run to Luis "What is a home run?" Castillo is unforgivable). Great to see Martinez get a win, especially in front of his friends and family since he is a New Jersey native.
Also, great performance by the bullpen. I know they were pitching with a big lead, but they came in and mowed down the Mets' lineup. Medders, Howry, Miller and Valdez all pitched very well and kept things from even getting slightly interesting after Martinez came out in the fifth. This was definitely a good bounce back performance for this bullpen, especially after the last time they relieved Martinez against the Dodgers and got absolutely rocked (i.e. Medders, who may as well change his title from "middle reliever" to "property of the Los Angeles Dodgers").
Did I want the Giants to get more than a split in New York against a Mets team that looks more like their Triple-A counterpart, the Buffalo Bisons? Yeah, but I'll take it. Today's win was big, and with Lincecum going on the hill tomorrow, I think the Giants made a good statement as they hit the road to avenge their embarrassing performance at home last week against the woeful Reds. All I can say is this: with a small ballpark and Lincecum on the hill, the Giants should do well during these next three days.
Like I said...SHOULD. I think Giants fans know what I'm implying.
Postgame box notes:
Winning pitcher: Joe Martinez (3-1) 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO.
Losing pitcher: Livan Hernandez (7-8) 5.1 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO.
Giants standouts: Eugenio Velez, 2-for-5, 3B (1). Freddy Sanchez, 2-for-4. Pablo Sandoval, 2B (34). Randy Winn, 3-for-5, 2B (28). Aaron Rowand, 4-for-5, HR (10). Edgar Renteria, 2-for-4. Nate Schierholtz, 2B (13).
Mets standouts: Corey Sullivan, 2-for-4. Daniel Murphy, 2-for-4, 2B (20).
Giants probable starters for next game against Cincinnati: Lincecum (12-3) vs. Bailey (2-4).
Mets probable starters for next game against Atlanta: Lowe (12-7) vs. Perez (2-3).
SF Giants Minor Lines, 7/26
37 minutes ago