|Wear high socks -> hit bombs. It's logic.|
In the early going, the San Francisco Giants are 9-7, and in second place in the NL West. This is good. After a choppy start in Los Angeles and San Diego, the Giants are starting to look like, well, the Giants.
One of the reasons they're winning is because they've been scoring a lot. And early. There's something about playing with an early lead that makes the game a lot easier.
As a pitcher, you're not afraid of being aggressive because you've got a little bit of wiggle room. Ask Matt Cain or Barry Zito what it's like pitching with no run support and I guarantee you that they'll say something along the lines of "I was constantly sh*tting bricks."
As an offense and a defense, you know that even if you just score one run, that team on the other side of the diamond has to score not just once, but twice in order to beat you. And stopping two runs from happening is a lot easier than keeping one runner from crossing the plate.
Playing from behind, offenses and defenses start to press, and pitchers start to nibble to limit whatever damage has already been done. Neither is helpful.
In summary, playing with the lead is good, and the Giants have done so in many of their wins.
April 2, W 10-0: OK, so this is the first win of the season, so the Giants don't know what scoring early means. But big innings in the fifth and sixth led to this win.
April 6, W 8-4: Giants score three in the first on a Buster Posey 3-run homerun.
April 13, W 4-3: Huff sacs in Rowand in the first, Fontenot doubles in Belt in the second.
April 15, W 5-2: Pablo Sandoval with a three-run shot in the first inning.
April 16, W 5-3: Buster Posey hits another first-inning homerun, Giants roll.
April 18, W 8-1: Burrell and Schierholtz go back-to-upper deck, Rockies bat a relief pitcher three times.
Early and often, early and often, early and often. Especially with a team like the Giants, who seem like offense is either there or it's in the next county, scoring early usually precipitates scoring often.
With their pitching staff not known for blowing leads, and their bullpen even less known for such, if the Giants can score first, good things can happen. That's what they've been doing this season so far, and in games where they score first, they're 7-2.
Keep scoring early, Gents. I like winning.
P.S. Last night it was announced that Tim Lincecum has tied Christy Mathewson with 28 games with 10+ strikeouts. Lincecum is currently in his fourth year with the Giants. Mathewson played 17 seasons in New York. I have a sneaking suspicion that Lincecum will be at the top of that list before long.