Resolved: good pitching beats good hitting

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That’s a retrospectively-applied cliche that is ignored the moment someone hits a good pitcher — like, say, Cliff Lee, who certainly qualifies as “good pitching” — but check out what Giants pitchers did to these guys in the playoffs:

  • Jason Heyward: 2 for 16, 0 RBI
  • Ryan Howard: 7 for 25, 0 RBI
  • Chase Utley: 4 for 22, 1 RBI
  • Josh Hamilton: 2 for 20, a homer and one RBI
  • Vladimir Guerrero: 1 for 14, two RBI

Howard got some hits, but basically, if you could swing a bat, you didn’t do any damage against the Giants in the playoffs.  As the winter goes on you’ll hear a lot about whether the Giants should re-sign Aubrey Huff, Juan Uribe and all of their free agent hitters, but the way I see it, they’re gonna be just fine with Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner and that pen.

Giants place Hunter Pence on 10-day disabled list with right thumb sprain

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The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.

Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).

Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.