San Francisco, CA – The start to the season was difficult due to many factors. Injuries, no offense and poor pitching. Looking back, its being them, today the Giants are on a winning streak. To kick off their ten-game homestand, the Giants have won four consecutive games while sweeping the first team they faced. They’re off to a great start for the month of May.
Chris Heston who replaced Matt Cain in the starting rotation has the best ERA through four starts. His 2.51 ERA is the lowest of all of the starters this season. Justin Maxwell has been the breakout player (filling in for Hunter Pence in right field). He’s made nine straight starts due to his hot at-bats. Ryan Vogelsong who was demoted to the bullpen has done well in place of injured starting pitcher Jake Peavy.
So how long before we see the return of Cain, Pence and Peavy? Cain is getting close to throwing in the bullpen. Pence has began taking batting practice this past Saturday. As well as fielding balls and doing sprints in the outfield. Peavy threw a successful bullpen this past weekend and if he stays the course he could get a minor league rehab assignment soon.
The Giants have won seven straight home contests. They swept the Angels to kick off the homestand and beat the Padres 2-0 tonight. The players are closer to a return this month. Cain’s elbow injury is not to be taking lightly, the club wants to proceed cautiously with the right-hander. They don’t want another set-back with rushing his return.
“We’re going to slow-play him and make sure he doesn’t have another setback,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy.
Pence is looking for a mid-May return but hasn’t given any insight on his progress to the media just yet. Until he begins his minor league assignment, the outfielder wants to remain mum. While the fans miss Pence’s aggressiveness in the outfield that always gets the crowd going. Maxwell and Gregor Blanco have been doing enough to help the team win in his place.
“He snuck in there and took some BP though he wan’t scheduled,” Bochy said of Pence. “It went well. It’s a big step for him, looks like he’s on his way and we’ll evaluate him on Monday to see where we’re at moving forward through the week.
The goal is to have everyone back by mid-May. In the meantime, the team has been very successful despite a rocky start in April. The Giants are off to their best start of the season. They’ve hurled back-to-back shutouts and look to turn things around to play winning baseball. The offense has collectively come together behind great pitching and good defense.