Entering the night (June 12) the San Francisco Giants were 29th in the majors with just 35 team home runs. It has been a struggle all year long for the team to come up with that timely homerun to pull ahead in a ball game or even to tie it. Usually the team has to manufacture runs and it can be a struggle to sit through a game and see the team go through so much just to get a run across. That, however, did not stop the Giants from hitting not one, but two home runs against the Houston Astros in their 6-3 win.
As it happened, the first home run of the night came from a player that I don't believe anyone suspected - starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner. It was a solo shot that would tie the game at one in the bottom of the third inning. I suppose Bumgarner figured that he had better get the job done to tie the ball game before relying on his teammates - or perhaps he just ran into a pitch that was up in the zone. It certainly wasn't a cheap homerun as he got a hold of it and the baseball landed about eight rows back into the left field bleachers.
Bumgarner not only homered, he also managed to strike out twelve batters en route to his eighth victory on the year. Out of the Giants' strong pitching staff, Bumgarner is the one that always manages to surprise me the most in everything that he does. Not only because he's a solid lefty, but because he is so young at just 22 years old.
Bumgarner's home run wasn't the only one of the evening as Brandon Belt got off the snide and hit his first home run since September 27, 2011. Prior to the start of the season, Bill James (FanGraphs.com) had assessed Belt as a player capable of hitting 25 home runs and 79 RBI this season, but that prediction has yet to look like it could come to fruition - and honestly, I don't think it will. Belt has had his fair share of struggles this year and I even suggested that Bumgarner or Matt Cain would hit a home run this season before Belt did - and while it was technically only five innings prior - Bumgarner beat Belt to it.
Belt has surprisingly found himself in fourth place of the NL first baseman All-Star balloting and perhaps gave him a bit of confidence as he looks to find his swing. While the sources were unlikely - including a Brandon Crawford two-run single - the Giants' offense got the job done as the insurance runs were needed in the end. The Giants will look to take down the Astros once again at AT&T Park on June 13, when James Anthony Happ of the Astros toes the rubber against Matt Cain, who is looking for his seventh straight win on the year.
Food for thought: Will the Giants become a consistent offensive team at some point this year or will they continue to rely on random sources of offense to remain in the NL West race? Do you foresee a trade before the deadline in order to acquire some offense from the middle infield?
David is co-founder of wrapupp sports blog where fresh content is posted daily and present sports blogs and sports opinions - all with a West Coast bias. Growing up in the Bay Area, David is a huge supporter of all the local sports teams; the Giants, Athletics, Warriors, Sharks, 49ers, and Raiders. His one fault, admittedly, as many of his friends and family would say, is his love for the Los Angeles Lakers . Growing up, Magic Johnson was his favorite basketball player and he fell in love with the team. He chalks it up to, "Not knowing any better". Now his love for sports has turned just as academic as it is intuitive and he follows most all sports all over the nation.
You can follow David on Twitter: @officialwrapupp
MLB.com. Giants and Astros box score. MLB 2012.
MLB.com. All-Star Voting Update . MLB 2012
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