I've seen the Giants lose hundreds of times in person but tonight's loss was one of the hardest to take since it can be blamed for the most part on the stubborness (shall we say "stupidity"?) of Bruce Bochy and Brian Sabean. To not win when this team scores 7 runs is unforgiveable
Bochy is one of the many managers who worships at the altar of "the starter MUST go 5 innings." In this case, though, the starter's Russ Ortiz -- a bargain-basement find who's done OK so far BUT who also has been one of the worst pitchers in MLB for the past two seasons
. If anyone should be yanked FAST, it's Russ.
But Bochy kept acting as if Russ were the second coming of Juan Marichal. He was getting hit hard throughout the start and opened the 4th by giving up LONG doubles to the 6th and 7th batters (Brad Hawpe and Chris Ianetta), then a single to the 8th guy (Omar Something), a sac bunt to the pitcher and then a walk to the horrific Steve Finley, then a chopper to Tulowitzky that Omar Vizquel couldn't handle. At that point, the score was 5-3 Rockies, bases loaded and Matt Holliday up -- a guy who had singled and homered. Everyone in the crowd was wondering "What is Bochy trying to prove?" since Jonathan Sanchez was warming up for the Orange and Black.
Holliday smoked a 3-run double, putting the game out of reach. At that point the fans -- people who show up on a cold Tuesday night are probably more knowledgeable than most -- didn't applaud Russ at all and some of them booed, partly because the scoreboard operator had already posted that Tim Lincecum had won his 4th PCL game with 14 strikeouts and no walks a few days ago. And to make it worse, Sanchez immediately struck out Todd Helton looking.
I'm completely confused as to what Sabean thinks he's doing by getting Lincecum to rack up wins in the PCL. I do understand that it's important to not push a young pitcher too hard early in his career but this cautious approach is absurd. As the Rox proved tonight -- when Taylor Bucholz started getting bombed, giving up 4 straight hits in the 4th, Clint Hurdle had the good sense to bring in Alfredo Arias -- who made his MLB debut by shutting down the Giants.
My point is this -- you might as well find out if your hot minor leaguers can perform at the MLB level. If they can, you might win a few more games. If not, just send them back down.
Just to prove that he wasn't being stupid only on his handling of Ortiz, Bochy also decided to let Vinnie Chulk bat for himself in the bottom of the 6th with two outs -- even with Aurilia, Alfonzo, Linden and Niekro all on the bench. Chulk made an out in his 1st AB this year, then proceeded to help give up the 9th run.
As for Sabean, shame on him for not coming up with better bench players than Todd Linden and Lance Niekro, both who are clearly not MLB caliber. They each went down easily as pinch hitters in the 9th -- Niekro striking out to end the game with Bonds on deck. Had a decent hitter gone up for Chulk in the 6th, two things might have happened -- no 9th run in the 7th and Bonds at the plate in the 9th as the tying run.
Sorry to be so blunt but a night at the park -- even 2 middling seats in section 207 -- costs me around $150, which is money that I earned through all kinds of hard work and putting up with endless nonsense around me. So it annoys me when I see stubborness masquerading as "inside knowledge," when it's actually just plain old stupidity.