In some ways the Atlanta Braves mirror the Giants – great pitching, good defense and “just enough runs” come to mind. Looking at Andrelton Simmons and Crawford side-by-side does, too. Or how about the pitching staff … for example in today’s game when it’ll be Bumgarner versus Teheran – dominant big pitchers.
So when the Giants went into Atlanta and swept the Braves last week, it wasn’t so much a surprise as the first move in a chess match that could easily end in the National League Championship series playing for the pennant.
In the first game of this week’s series at AT&T Park on Monday, Tim Lincecum turned back the clock and turned in a glittering performance: the FreaKKKKKKKKKKK – yup that’s 11 strikeouts.
Timmy was backed up by an equally exciting performance at the plate – by Tyler Colvin – who smashed a splash hit into McCovey Cove in his first at-bat as a Giant. Colvin followed that stellar drive with a bases-clearing triple that drove in three and gave the Giants a 4-1 lead. Wow, what a debut!
Romo got the save, but not before giving up another run to the Braves. In fact Romo’s been pretty shaky the last couple of outings – including giving up a game-tying HR for a blown save in LA.
Hey Romo, Maybe worry less about your new shoes and more about keeping your eyes on the prize: 50 saves … you said that was your goal two years ago, Sergio. Make it happen, cap’n.
Then of course, the Giants went to sleep in game two, and couldn’t plate a single run for Ryan Vogelsong. The Braves’ powerful lefty Mike Minor mowed down the staff and earned Atlanta’s first win over the Giants this year.
Vogey fell to (1-2), despite a decent five innings. It all fell apart in the 6th. The critical error in this one was that Buster Posey missed a tag at the plate, that he should have easily made. The 6th inning unraveled after the play and the game was lost.
It’s going to be over 90 degrees at the park today as the two aces take the mound. Julio Teheran has only been beaten once since April – but that was by the Giants – and Madison Bumgarner seems to have righted his course and is back to his winning ways. Will the warm weather knock one or both of these guys out? Or will it be a lock-down nail biter?
Stay tuned – it’s Giants and Braves at battle once again.