--3B Pablo Sandoval batted cleanup for the first time in 2011 and drove in the Giants' only run in Sunday's 6-1 loss. Sandoval is hitting .400 (12-for-30) and showing good range defensively, a far cry from his poor play in 2010. In the offseason, he lost nearly 40 pounds, making him more flexible and confident. The difference is as noticeable in his game as with his body.
--LHP Barry Zito took Sunday's loss after giving up four runs on six hits and five walks in 5 1/3 innings. He's 0-1 with a 5.56 ERA. He's 142-121 in his career, 21 games above .500. When he joined the Giants in 2007, he was 102-63 -- 39 games above .500. Sunday, he said his timing and delivery were off.
--C Buster Posey was presented his 2010 NL Rookie of the Year award during a pregame ceremony involving all five of the Giants' previous winners: Willie Mays (1951), Orlando Cepeda (1958), Willie McCovey (1959), Gary Matthews (1973) and John Montefusco (1975). "It was time a Giant got a Rookie of the Year award," Montefusco said. "He deserves it. He's a good kid, too."
--SS Miguel Tejada was out of the lineup one day after his game-ending single beat the Cardinals. Mike Fontenot played short. One of the Giants' offseason concerns was finding a backup shortstop, and Fontenot is more of a second baseman. But in spring training, he impressed management, which didn't go outside the organization to find someone else.
--LHP Madison Bumgarner will pitch Monday's series opener against the Dodgers, a game that will be dedicated in honor of Giants fan Bryan Stow, who was attacked outside Dodger Stadium following the Giants' season opener. The Giants are collecting donations at the gates and inside the park for a fund set up on Stow's behalf, with 100 of his fellow paramedics volunteering in the effort.
BY THE NUMBERS
4 -- Homers surrendered by Giants pitchers through nine games. The team has hit nine. Last year, the Giants gave up 134 homers, tied for third fewest in the majors.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"I know we made some pitches when he had to. He definitely hit some balls hard but at times right at guys," -- Barry Zito, on St. Louis' Albert Pujols, who went 1-for-13 in a three-game series in San Francisco. Pujols was 0-for-5 in Sunday's capper, his average dipping to .143.
Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.