Another day, another walk-off victory for the San Francisco Giants. You know, no big deal at this point. Just Nate Schierholtz being awesome, pretty run-of-the-mill these days. Also run-of-the-mill is the fact that the team has suffered yet another big injury, this one coming in the form of second baseman Freddy Sanchez. Sanchez injured his shoulder in game two against the Cincinnati Reds and will definitely miss some time. Add him to the list that also includes names like Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey and Brandon Belt, and it's a wonder how the Giants still remain in first place of the NL West.
Walk-off victories with something not entirely unlike regularity sure do help.
As it stands, they're two games up on the Arizona Diamondbacks, and are looking to ensure at least a series split against the Reds today with a victory. Tim Lincecum will be taking the mound for the Giants this afternoon, which means, rather affectionately for Giants fans, it's Timmy Day. In his last outing, Lincecum reached 1,000 career strikeouts and drew all kinds of praise from the crowd, but he didn't have a great outing overall. He lasted just five innings, giving up five hits and four runs with three walks while fanning five. The Giants did go on to win that game against the Washington Nationals, however. Lincecum is 5-4 with a 2.85 earned run average in thirteen starts this year.
He'll be up against Mike Leake of the Reds. Leake is 5-2 with a 4.63 ERA in twelve games (nine starts). He's coming off a good outing against the Chicago Cubs, pitching eight solid innings, giving up ten hits and two runs while walking one and striking out three. The Reds won that game 8-2, so he had plenty of room to work with at that point. They haven't been doing that against the Giants, and against Lincecum, it should be even harder.
Still, the best thing the Giants can do is go out there and show that they will pass this test of will once again, that they can mount some kind of offense after Sanchez went down with an injury in game two. They continue to pull off strong victories, and they continue to celebrate them somewhat akin to a cymbal crash, an initial boom of excitement, with a hand quickly going to steady the vibrations as they deal with the injuries suffered.
So all in all ... hope for no more injuries.