The San Francisco Giants (15-10) finished off a dominant sweep of the Cleveland Indians (11-14) in walk-off fashion, regaining the National League West lead. Brandon Hicks hit a big two out, three-run blast, to send the Indians home empty handed, knocking them off by a final score of 4-1.
Ryan Vogelsong was magnificent on Sunday, throwing seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits and striking out six. Vogelsong showed shades of his dominance from a few years ago when he was an All-Star. The Giants will need his bulldog toughness if they want to win the division.
But Vogelsong wasn’t the only Giants pitcher who showed his dominance over the weekend. The staff as a whole gave up just five runs to the Indians. After getting lit up in Colorado, they needed to settle in back at home , and were able to do just that. With a 3.44 ERA, the Giants rank seventh in the National League. Their .261 batting average against is also the third worst in the National League. But it appears that both of those stats have been slowly but surely turning around.
As for the Giants bats, they were able to score 14 runs over the weekend. Their 103 runs scored ranks fifth in the National League, but their dismal .233 team batting average is just 11th. Oddly enough, the problems stem from the middle of their order. Buster Posey is hitting just .238, Hunter Pence just .253, and Pablo Sandoval is having a horrendous year at the plate with just a .180 average. Sandoval managed to connect on just his first two strike hit of the season on Sunday. He was previously 0-42.
The good news for the Giants is that the makeup of Angel Pagan, Michael Morse, Brandon Belt, and Brandon Crawford are all hitting at least .263, with Pagan being the highest at .333. Morse and Belt have combined for 13 home runs and 30 RBI’s, which has carried the Giants during the slow starts of their big guns.
Looking forward, the Giants will host the San Diego Padres for a three game set beginning on Monday. They are 1-2 against the Padres this season, losing a series in San Diego a weekend ago. But what lies ahead next weekend will be the ultimate test as they travel to Atlanta to take on the red hot Braves.
Atlanta currently has the second best record in baseball at 17-7. Their pitching staff is the best in baseball with a .214 ERA and just a .213 batting average against. The Giants will really need to get their bats going in what will be a huge early season series. The Braves and Giants tend to meet each other often in the postseason, so emotions will be running high.
Whether or not the Giants sweep of the Indians was a sign of a dominant San Francisco team or a lackluster Indians performance remains to be seen. Regardless, they took care of business and head into the new week atop of their division, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers by a full game.
Commentary by Rich Peters
Guardian Liberty Voice Writer covering the San Francisco Giants