Melky Cabrera will be making his return to San Francisco though now a member of the Toronto Blue Jays (24-33) whom many picked to win the AL East given their offseason potpourri of transactions. However things have not gone nearly as planned resulting from injuries, underachievement and poor management. The last place Jays visit the second place Giants (30-28) in an Interleague 3 game series this evening late at AT&T Park.
Those following an additional controversy from last season remember Cabrera deliberately disqualifying himself from the NL batting race while hitting .346. Then Cabrera's teammate at the time Buster Posey wound up winning the honor batting .336. All was certainly not lost as Melky still wound up receiving a World Series ring earlier this season. when these teams met several weeks back, Cabrera hit .625 in the series scoring 4 times and driving in 2 runs. His numbers have certainly taken a nosedive since the unsettling revelation however he is still hitting .281 overall.
Tonight the Giants send a struggling Tim Lincecum (3-5 5.12) to the mound who has shown anything but Cy Young results so far this season. Lincecum has lost 4 of his last 5 starts with an ERA off nearly 6.5, and manager Bruce Bochy has done everything in his power to nullify speculation that he could be headed for the bullpen unless he improves into the ASB. He'll be facing a Blue Jays lineup that certainly lacks consistency as evident of their record letting go numerous opportunities by the waistside. Adam Lind (.323 5 14) leads Toronto in hitting and Edwin Encarnacion (.265 16 47) has been crushing the opposition amongst the leaders in HR and RBI. Jose Bautista (.260 12 29) missed significant time at the beginning of the season due to injury but is starting to show his midseason form. JP Arencibia (.225 12 29) has also shown some pop yet at other times fail to deliver. The Jays have belted 72 HR but need to put together bigger innings at more opportune times if they hope to climb out of the AL East cellar.
Toronto counters with Josh Johnson (0-1 6.86) who has been out since April 21st suffering from inflammation in his right triceps. This once storied ace of the Miami Marlins would sure love to regain his once dominating form several years back. Since going 33-12 from 2008-10 he has seen a couple of seasons marred by injury and a career worst 8-14 3.81 mark in 2012. The Giants have not shown exceptional power so far this season as evident AT&T being a pitcher's friendly ballpark to both corners as well as in dead center. However they are collectively hitting .270 led by Marco Scutaro (.329 1 13) who has done all he can at the top of the lineup to get the Giants going. Hunter Pence (.292 9 30) has been a little more selective on his chances but remains a free swinger. Pablo Sandoval (.288 8 37) has been a dependable source of offense looking to put up numbers he is used to while staying injury free. Former ROY, batting title holder and defensing MVP Posey (.308 7 31) hasn't even started heating up yet and could be in the talk for the latter honors in 2013 which will be part of the key to San Francisco's success.
Tonight we get a bit of a steep price which makes me like my chances even more thinking the books have been running scared as of late in light of my success. However we can't be too overconfident as while the ball doesn't carry quite as well as it could at AT&T, the area near the splash hits in right center combined with the tall fences could mean a merry-go round of runs and hits. We like both offenses to generate somewhat of a fight considering both of these pitchers once making a name for themselves seem to have lost their luster from several years back. Tonight we look to hit out third straight and move back to 67%, and the late start gives us plenty to think about. Best of luck however you play!