True Schmidt returns
Now this might actually be a turning point. I heard some people in the press and public say that yesterday's game could be the turning point with how the Giants fought back from a 4-0 deficit after 1 inning and a disheartening tie at 7-7 before blowing them away with 7 in the 9th. But I disagreed: there's no way the Giants can get things together without their ace and a closer.
But this game exhibited both elements in good form. Besides Schmidt's sterling outing, his one big blemish was giving up 3 straight singles to load the bases in the bottom of the ninth, making the bases loaded with the Tigers 5/6/7 hitters coming up: I-Rod (5, 34, .287), Craig Monroe (8, 41, .268), and Chris Shelton (1, 6, .322 in 31 AB). And Tyler Walker came in and empathically showed that he's the closer, not the closer du jour: he struck out all three of them.
In addition, the offense seems to be waking up from its doldrums of the past month. Vizquel has been quietly building up a nice bit of hitting before totally waking up against the Tigers and getting 5 hits the other night. Tucker has also responded to regular play of late and been getting some key hits. Matheny appears to be starting to hit again after a bad multi-week period of Oh-fer's. And Feliz appears to be out of his hitting funk that he has been in for the past month and more. More importantly, it is a different player helping the offense out each game, something that marks an offense that is going good, instead of being carried by one player.
Without Bonds and other key contributors of the past couple of years, we need the offense, starting pitching and bullpen working in good form. And the past stretch of games showed that all three parts appear to be finally putting it together.
Now lets see if this is only temporary or if they can put together a good stretch like the Dodgers, D-Backs, and 'Dres have done so far this season and get back in the thick of things. None of the other teams have gone for the jugular, they would push forward to the front of the pack but then falter and fall back, so the Giants still have a chance with so many games to go. But for now, one game at at time, lets hope for one win at a time, that's the only way to go. Go Giants!