Giants Sweep Astros, Prepare for Braves
The games were tight, but the results were sweeeeeet for the San Francisco Giants.
Beating the Houston Astros three games in a row, the Giants took the National League West division lead and extended it to a game and one half above rival the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Giants needed the fast start, as now they have to travel across country to play one of the hottest teams in baseball, the Atlanta Braves.
In the sweep, the Giants started with style. Behind the arm of Madison Bumgarner, they ran away with game one by a count of 5-1. And it would not be the last time the Giants pitching came through for them last weekend.
On Saturday they gave up a lead late in the game but was able to push across Pablo Sandoval for the winning run to win 3-2. Another fantastic pitching performance this time by…Tim Lincecum. The same Lincecum that ended the first half on more than a terrible note has attempted a rejovenation at the start of the second. And though he did not get the win (since it took 12 innings to finally declare a winner) it was clear that he was on point (and facing Astor hitters helped a little I am sure).
Regardless, with the pitching were it needs to be for the Giants that have trouble scoring, the Giants will now face the second wildcard team the Atlanta Braves who also swept their opponent, the New York Mets. The difference however is that the Braves got most of their work done via the bat, which makes the upcoming series one of the most fascinating of the week.
The Braves currently stand in third in the national league when it comes to runs scored (412). The first place team is the–not so much anymore but was juggernaut–St. Louis Cardinals (436).
In the same breath, the Giants are tied for fifth best team ERA in all of the majors with 3.53.
The story for this series will be the battle between ball vs. bat when they are in the hands of Giants pitchers and Braves hitter…respectively.
The probables for the series are:
Barry Zito (7-6) vs. Jair Jurrjens (3-2)
Ryan Vogelsong (7-4) vs. Mike Minor (5-6)
Madison Bumgarner (11-5) vs. Tim Hudson (7-4)