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Open Gameday Thread, 7/15

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Things I loved from last night's game:

  1. Matt Morris was throwing strikes, featuring the best fastball we've seen from him as a Giant, and using the fastball to set up a sharp curve. If you missed the game, don't pay the slighest attention to the box score. Giving up homers to Ryan Howard will happen.
  2. Ray Durham has been feeling more comfortable stretching out his legs over the last couple of weeks, and last night went from first to third on a play that could have been tight.
  3. Barry Bonds stole a bag. The Phillies weren't holding him on, sure, but he still had to get them creaky bones moving pretty fast.
  4. Jonathan Sanchez never looked average to me, but I never really saw where the ridiculous minor league strikeout rates came from. I do now. Ho man, that was a nasty inning.
  5. Armando Benitez hung a couple of splitters in the ninth, but his fastball is still exponentially better than what we saw when he first became a Giant. Asking him to be perfect -- or likable -- isn't realistic. On the same acceptable level of, say, Tim Worrell '03 would be an improvement from last year.
Heck of a game, and a great way to start the second half. In the past, the Giants have shown a preternatural ability to follow up the exciting wins with a complete dud. That would not be welcome today.