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Thank God for Travis Ishikawa! "The Giants doubted Ishikawa's ambition. He answered those...

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Thank God for Travis Ishikawa! "The Giants doubted Ishikawa's ambition. He answered those criticisms this season, slugging his way through the pitcher-friendly Eastern League and getting hotter when promoted to Triple-A Fresno. He credited his turnaround to a newfound faith in God. "I'm not feeling all the pressures that would burden my mind,'' the 24-year-old first baseman said. "A pitch would come in at 85 mph and it'd be by me. Now, if a bad day happens, there's always tomorrow.'' Giants officials gave 300 at-bats to John Bowker before determining that he wasn't ready for the major leagues. Now it's Ishikawa's turn, but he isn't going to fret over seizing the moment. "That's the kind of thing where faith helps,'' he said. "I worried last year and all it got me was demoted from Double-A to A-ball.'' Ishikawa had success during a brief call-up in 2006, when he batted .292 in 24 at-bats. But he doesn't pretend he had the game figured out. "Deer in the headlights,'' he said. "I was just swinging away and hoping the ball hit the bat. Now I'm more mature and I'm putting my trust in God. He's the reason the balls are going farther.'' Manager Bruce Bochy said Ishikawa looks like a threat at the plate. "A determined young man,'' Bochy said. "He said, 'I've got to turn it up a notch.' "... He takes a good cut and he's got a good idea of the strike zone.'' --Andrew Baggarly, Mercury News
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