Giants Score 675th Run of Road Trip, Defeat Cardinals

With this game, the Giants now lead the National League in runs scored on the road, with 290. They're second in baseball, behind only the Angels with 307.

Look, I don't know either, man.

Star-divide

Another day, another six-plus-inning start for the guy who was released from a Triple-A team two years ago after a mediocre stint in Japan after recovering from serious injuries after being one of the worst starting pitchers in history when he was in his mid-20s after being a prospect with the Giants when they played at Candlestick. Other than that, I still don't see what the big deal is.

Vogelsong's string of six innings or more is the longest active streak in baseball. Justin Verlander had the longest streak going, but but a rainout ruined it. Jordan Zimmermann was next, but he went only five in his last start.

Vogelsong is at 22 straight games with six innings or more, tied with Juan Marichal's 1970 streak for fifth-longest in San Francisco Giants history. Up next is Billy Swift and Atlee Hammaker. Comin' for you, suckers!

More impressively, Vogelsong tied Gaylord Perry for the longest consecutive streak of quality starts -- six or more innings, with three or fewer runs -- in San Francisco history. It's Vogelsong's 17th straight quality start. The next-longest streak in the majors is nine.

Star-divide

Hunter Pence swung at a first-pitch slider in the first inning that would have made Aaron Rowand laugh. "What are you swinging at that for, bro?" The inauspicious start continued.

Then he got a little batted-ball love with a seeing-eye single to score a run. He needed that. And he had a hard-hit single after that, which he needed even more. The best start about the Giants scoring a bajillion runs on the road trip is that we don't have to listen to talk-radio grumbling and yowling about Hunter Pence being a disaster.

I don't know if that will make a difference. If anything, it gives Pence one less thing to worry about. The Giants are winning. He can come along at his own pace. Relax a little. Find his swing. Sing a song by rubbing his back legs together. It's a different feeling than the Carlos Beltran slump from last year.

Star-divide

Congratulations to Marco Scutaro for tying Emmanuel Burriss and Steve Carlton on the Giants' all-time home-run list.

Star-divide

Back in my day, not only did we not have wireless receivers, but we also wanted offense at shortstop. Rey Ordonez was what you stabbed Internet baseball nerds with if you wanted to kill them in their underground lairs. The real prize was a guy like Damian Jackson or some crap, who could put up a .340 OBP. Who cared what his defense was like? Dude took a walk every now and again. A walk, dammit, don't you see, a walk.

Maybe that's oversimplifying things, but it took awhile to get used to the idea that maybe old-timers were on to something with defense. According to Baseball Reference's WAR, Jose Vizcaino was a two-win player in 1997. Who knew? Not me back then, that's for sure.

This comes up because Brandon Crawford is turning into a top-tier defensive shortstop. He's probably there already. Fantastic arm and range. His play in the bottom of the fifth to save a run was sorcery. He also turns a double play better than any Giants shortstop I can remember since Omar Vizquel, maybe better. Maybe the best since Royce Clayton.

I'm not wild about WAR as a way to end an argument. But when a defender consistently shows some good dWAR numbers over a stretch of time, I figure there's something to the trend. And I bring up Clayton not as a random name from the past, but as a no-bat, all-glove shortstop who helped the Giants win. From the time Clayton was 23 through 27, he was a two-win shortstop. His offense was quite Crawfordian.

Long aside short: Here's hoping Brandon Crawford can be the next Royce Clayton. He might be there already. Those early-season yips seem like something that happened when we blacked out drunk. Crawford might not be a good shortstop when you take the sub-.300 OBP into account, but he's not the complete drag on the team I was expecting. Not at all.

Also of note: Clayton is three years younger than Omar Vizquel. Carry on.

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