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Friday August 5, 2011 2:48 am

Slumping San Francisco Giants losing ground to Arizona Diamondbacks




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB

Tim LincecumThe San Francisco Giants have been anything but worthy defenders of their World Series championship lately. They’ve lost more than they have won lately and have seen a somewhat comfortable lead in the NL West over the Arizona Diamondbacks shrink to a mere half game. The latest insult came on Thursday night when Cliff Lee – who last pitched against the Giants as a member of the Texas Rangers in the Fall Classic – shut them down and kept them off the scoreboard, handing them their ninth loss in 14 games.

 

Not even a well-pitched game from team ace and two-time NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum could solve the Giants’ woes. He went to the hill on Tuesday night, threw a gem minus one pitch-turned-long ball, and took the heat for San Francisco’s fifth loss in a row at the time. Before that night’s game, the Giants’ bullpen had only allowed one hit since the All-Star break, but in that affair, Ramon Ramirez and Javier Lopez combined to allow four earned runs on four hits, which not only broke the successful run, but massacred it.

Arizona’s power overmatched the Giants’ pitching in their series earlier this week, while Lee certainly set the tone for what San Fran’s hitters are in for this weekend against the Philadelphia Phillies pitchers. Statistically, the Giants are one of the worst hitting teams in the National League, but the pitching staff is in the top three in ERA, saves, strikeouts, WHIP and home runs given up. They’ll need to play on these strengths through August and September.

With just under two-thirds of the season left, San Fran is still very much in control of its own fate. They continue to cling to that divisional lead, and should that slip away, they’re still in contention for a playoff spot. They have a pair of series’ remaining against the Diamondbacks too; both in September, and those will likely play pivotal roles in deciding which of the two clubs emerge victorious. They waited 56 years between World Series championships. They’ll need to start playing a heck of a lot better to ensure that wait doesn’t happen again.

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