It’s all over. The Giants lost the first game of the season.

Wait, there are 161 more games? There is hope!

After watching the Giants’ Opening Day game against the Dodgers on Thursday night, there were a few of things that jumped out.


Tim Lincecum’s Performance

Tim Lincecum went seven innings and allowed no earned runs against a Dodgers team with a middle-of-the-road offense. Despite this, he did not pitch very well.

He left many pitches out over the plate and, at times, very hittable.

But the Dodgers also came in with a good game plan against the two-time Cy Young Award winner.

They didn’t chase his changeup as it dipped out of the zone and made Lincecum come into the strikezone.

The three walks were also uncharacteristic of him and should only improve as the season goes on.


Pablo Sandoval: New Body, Same Swing

The Panda looks trim, fit and a bunch of other adjectives that describe Sandoval’s near 40-pound weight loss.

But Thursday proved that while you can take the weight off the Panda, you can’t keep the Panda in the stirkezone.

Sandoval continues to swing at pitches in the dirt and, although it worked out once, this cannot continue if he wishes to chance the fortunes in 2011.

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw knew this and continued to pound the dirt with his curve ball.

Pitchers will not stop until Sandoval stops swinging at pitches outside the zone.


Brandon Belt’s Plate Discipline

Belt got his first major league hit on Thursday in the form of an infield hit to Dodgers first baseman James Loney.

However, what was most impressive was his patience at the plate.

The 22-year-old rookie is the youngest member of the starting lineup and saw 27 pitches in his four at-bats—more than any other Giants batter.

Elsewhere, 34-year-old Aubrey Huff and 36-year-old Miguel Tejada saw eight and nine pitches respectively in their four at-bats.

This is a very good sign for Belt considering he had to face Kershaw, who is one of the best left-handed pitchers in the game.


Outfield Speed Exposed

While Cody Ross is out, the Giants have to survive defensively with Huff and Pat Burrell patrolling the corners. Their lack of speed was evident on Thursday.

In two instances, Burrell and Huff pulled up in front of fly balls, both of which could have been caught by Ross or Schierholtz.

The Giants are a team that survive on pitching and timely hitting. Due to the fact that the team cannot afford to give away extra bases, however, this needs to be a concern.

What’s more, this may even become more of a problem when they return to the spacious outfield of AT&T Park.

Follow Zack Farmer on Twitter: @FarmboySports

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