The San Jose Giants may have lost a star in recent San Francisco send-up Brandon Crawford—the shortstop from Mountain View has been flat-out killing it since hop-scotching several levels and going straight to the majors from Single-A—but a few notable names have been seen in the local lineup in recent weeks.
First, the panda known as Pablo Sandoval was suiting up for San Jose in a short rehab stint, which might happen again after he was sidetracked this week in his rush back to the Big Show. Then there was $126 million man Barry Zito—if the Giants hadn’t won the World Series, we’d still be shaking our head about that contract—doing the same Monday against Stockton.
It helps having major league talent on the field, but overall the club is so balanced it might as well be telling the rest of the CAL North teams to show rabbit ears before the Giants walk away with their lunch money. More than 10 games ahead of Bakersfield and Stockton, San Jose has been absolutely dominant at home, winning close to 75 percent of its games when wearing white.
Pitchers Kelvin Marte and Craig Westcott have been doing people dirty all season—both have an ERA under 3.00—while 23-year-old center fielder Gary Brown (people still name their kids Gary?) has a ridiculous .366 batting average. Third baseman Chris Dominguez and catcher Hector Sanchez are also not to be toyed with, as they lead the club with 10 and eight home runs, respectively. In total, the Giants have five players who are currently batting over .300.
And last but not least, while his beard leaves a little to be desired, closer Heath Hembree has been making big whiffers out of almost everybody.
The Giants will be back in their comfy confines Monday through Wednesday to face the Bakersfield Blaze after playing four games in Modesto. Obviously, the Giants will be happy to be back at home for work, even on Monday, as there really is nothing more depressing than a Sunday sunset—in Modesto.
To go the cheapskate route for free tickets, fans can either stop by an OSH hardware store or bring a Kraft Singles package wrapper for a buy one, get one deal. Why Kraft Singles? Because it’s American cheese, basically a synonym for the goofy, fun-loving minor league experience.