Friday, April 30, 2010

Zito goes to 4-0

Henry Schulman's blog

The San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman has started blogging called San Francisco Ball Scribe. Henry does a pretty good job on the daily beat by knowing what's newsworthy and interesting. I still disagree with what he posted earlier this spring attacking bloggers for pointing out that Fred Lewis was riding the bench despite having a better onbase percentage than a number of the starters. But most of the time, Henry breaks good stories and stays on top of all things Black and Orange.

His first post is quite interesting, discussing dealing with competition and mentioning a couple of scoops from long ago -- Robb Nen's shoulder problems during the 2002 World Series and Benito Santiago's selection as an All-Star.

Dodgers lose fifth straight

The Dodgers are sucking wind right now. The just got shut out 2-0 by the Pirates, thanks to their best player Matt Kemp misplaying a fly ball, according to James Peltz of the LA Times. Kemp got booed tonight by dingbat fans amid Candlestick like conditions, thanks to GM Ned colletti blaming his recently lousy performance on his new contract. The guys on the "Dodger Talk" postgame program on KABC-AM radio were even admitted that Colletti had crossed the line.

I know that I bag on Brian Sabean a lot but I must admit that he's never gone the class-free Colletti route of inciting fans to start ragging on the team's best player.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

More on bringing up Buster

Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle says it may happen soon. I say it's a fine idea -- the team is near the front of the division and the dodgers can be had. They just went 2-7 on their trip and got swept by the Mets. And their GM Turncoat Ned Colletti has managed to get Matt Kemp in a big snit -- a fine LA Times story. Keep in mind that the Dodgers really won't be able to spend much this year or next because of the McCourt divorce.

Do I feel sorry for Dodger fans? What a silly question.

The Orange and Black bullpen gascans it away

Heartbreaking loss at Mays Field today at the bullpen, which had been lights out, flat out imploded.

The Giants' recent run of well-played games came to a halt today as Brian Wilson turned around a 4-1 lead into a tie into the ninth. The pen went to allow another run in the 10th and two in the 11th as Eugenio Velez made an egregious error on a Shane Victorino fly ball; the Giants left 16 men on; Nate Schierholtz went 5 for 5 with a walk.

Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury-News has a long postgame post about it and why Bochy did what he did. He also made this comment about The Franchise, who should be 5-0 now -- Tim Lincecum keeps getting better. It’s always interesting to see him face the Phillies because he made his first big league start against them. It’s amazing to see how far he’s come in such a short span of time.

Time to bring up Buster Posey

Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle says the time is now. He contends that plate discipline is a badly needed quality that Buster would supply and quotes Brad Penny, the winning pitcher in Sunday's 2-0 loss to the Cards -- "If you look at it," Penny said, "that was the difference in the game. Our guys were patient, ran Matt (Cain's) pitch count up ... (The Giants) were swinging at first and second pitches ... It helps me a lot."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wellemeyer saves his job for now

After sucking gas for his first three starts, Todd Wellemeyer pitched like he belongs in the MLB tonight. He pitched into the 8th and allowed only two runs. If Todd had delivered one more lousy start, the Giants might have tried Kevin Pucetas or Madison Bumgarner as a fifth starter.

Henry Schulman's game story for the San Francisco Chronicle has this nugget -- The Giants' pitching has been phenomenal on this homestand. In one full turn against two dynamic offenses, the starters allowed six runs in 32 innings. The bullpen has been better, allowing nothing in 13 innings.

Sanchez outpitches Halladay

That's the bottom line to me, anyhow. Jonathan Sanchez was by far the better pitcher tonight for your schizophrenic San Francisco Giants, who had their biggest offensive game since waxing the dodgers 9-0 nine days ago. It was his first game since the 1-0 one-hit nightmare loss to the Padres.

Here's a key line from Henry Schulman's game story for the San Francisco Chronicle --
Sanchez's past three starts have been revelatory. In 20 innings he has allowed seven hits and two earned runs. He has not yielded a hit to a lefty batter in 14 at-bats this year.
Two strikeouts on two sliders to Jayson Werth, with two on in the first inning and the bases loaded in the third, helped make him a winner. A fifth-inning strikeout of Ryan Howard was icing on a $125 million cake.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Jerry Martin?


He was adequate as a Giant, racking up 267 ABs during the strike year. The Giants nearly made the postseason that year.
The Giants had traded Joe Strain to the Cubs to get Jerry; they traded him away for Rich Gale and Bill Laskey.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Why Brian Sabean should be fired NOW

A simple glance at the MLB stats should do the trick. Even before being shut out today 2-0 by Brad Penny, the Giants were one of only six MLB teams not have scored 80 runs yet. In other words, the offense remains as pathetic as it's been since Barry Bonds was forced into retirement three years ago. Since scoring nine runs a week ago Saturday at Chavez Latrine, the Giants have scored 11 runs in seven games and gone 2-5 as a result. The Giants remain hacktastic with impatient ABs as they are one of five teams with less than 60 walks at 53 -- none today by the way. They won't be last though as it appears the Astros have that locked up with 30 so far.

Yes, the pitching is terrific -- the best in MLB by far with only 54 runs allowed. What Sabean has done is squander the opportunity to get the Giants into the postseason by essentially acting as if Barry Bonds is still in the lineup. You are asking totally average guys like Aubrey Huff, Bengie and Mark DeRosa -- serviceable in the 7 or 8 slots -- to be middle of the lineup guys. It's like asking Steve Buscemi to be Brad Pitt.

Is that a firing offense? Yes, it is. He's had 15 years as the GM of a franchise with a decent amount of financial firepower that's being wasted on fading vets who are average at best -- Aaron Rowand ($12 million per), Edgar Renteria ($9 million per) and Freddy Sanchez ($6 million per). All we usually get to hear from the sporting press is apologists (see Bruce Jenkins) who whine about how unreasonably harsh bloggers are. Just for the record -- I don't live in my Mom's basement and I have a decent job. And if I did my job as poorly as Sabean does his, I would have been fired long ago.

"My God, this team isn't so bad"

Grant at McCovey Chronicles believes that the improvement of Barry Zito is real and means that the Giants can contend this year. Here's the key verbiage -- His improved control at the start of the year is the biggest reason for his fast start, but don't give short shrift to the changeup. FanGraphs had it as one of the least effective pitches in baseball last year, but if he can throw it for strikes with the movement it had tonight, it would be a mighty fine pitch for a left-hander like Zito.
My god, this team isn’t so bad. The Southern California trip was an anomaly. This
Giants team can win through the strength of their starting pitching. They’re contenders again.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The $126 million man arrives

Barry Zito is finally pitching up to the expectations of his contract. Either that, or he's gotten enormously lucky -- shutting down the Cards for eight innings tonight on 10 strikeouts.

I was fully expecting the other shoe to drop tonight and for Zito to get hammered. Instead, John Shea's game story for the SF Chron has this telling line at the end -- It was his first career win over the Cardinals. He had been 0-4 with a 5.54 ERA in five starts.

"Somehow he still got it done"

Mike Krukow and Carl Steward of the San Jose Mercury-News both noted last night that Lincecum had little command over his stuff. Krukow said after the game that Tim would have been knocked out of the game two years ago, adding that Tim's learned how to use guile to get outs. Here's Carl's key verbiage --

As good as he has been the past two seasons, he admitted afterward that he might not have had the guile or the poise to get through Friday night’s game a year or two ago. He labored, to be sure, even though he had good velocity. He couldn’t find the zone. He threw 120 pitches over seven innings, 52 over the first three alone. Somehow, he still got it done. That’s because he’s become an even more complete pitcher than he already was. Frightening thought.
On this night he really hung in there, didn’t surrender to his early struggles and wound up being the focal point of a fabulous, much-needed victory.

Friday, April 23, 2010

"I don't know how he does it"

That's Duane Kuiper said tonight on the radio as Tim Lincecum got out another jam in the third inning despite not having his best stuff. The game's just gone final, 4-1, and leaves him with 4-0 record. He struck out eight and gave up six hits.

"Full blown Tomko territory"

A Giants Win hat tip to Paulie at Give Em Some Stankeye for his very apt description of the lousiness that is Todd Wellemeyer in post titled The Five Stage of Petco Park Death. Here's part of the post --

All right, let's just get this out of the way. Todd Wellemeyer sucks. Every Giants fan in the world was willing to put their better judgement aside in hopes that Wellemeyer would grab the fifth starter job by the barrel and reign fiery hell upon with NL hitters. As Rod Stewart's "Reason To Believe" was played repeatedly on iPods in Giants fans' living rooms everywhere, Wellemeyer's pitching history was subsequently ignored and his poor stuff was glossed over.Well, after three starts of batting practice, Wellemeyer is in full blown Tomko territory. The guy was marketed as a control pitcher, but he's walked 11 batters in 14 innings.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cheer up, Giants fans

Awful, awful, awful

As Leonard Pinth Garnell would say at the end of the iconic Saturday Night Live sketch -- "There, that wasn't so good."

Tough times to be a Giants fan! The Giants have scored five runs in the last four games and have perhaps the best hitter in the franchise playing catcher for the Frenso Grizzlies. FIRE BRIAN SABEAN NOW.

Sounding like a broken record -- Fire Brian Sabean

The Giants have now scored three runs in three games and managed to lose all three, tonight by a 1-0 count. The offense has looked awful since Barry Bonds was forced into retirement. Brian Sabean has had THREE YEARS to fix the offense but is too incompetent to do anything other than continue to squander astoundingly great pitching with an astoundingly bad offense.

Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle notes that it's the first time that the San Francisco version of the Giants has allowed only one hit and still lost a game.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Validating instant replay

Even the dreadful Ted Leitner, the Padres lame radio announcer, got this right -- the umpires at Petco completely blew it on Clayton Richard's hit last night, initially calling it a homerun before looking at the instant replay and making the correct call. Paulie at Give Em Some Stankeye weighs in and gets off a great line -- It was a home run only in the sense that Avatar was a deep, original story.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Don't kid yourself -- it's Sabean's fault

The Giants have just lost their 5th game of the year in the most disgusting way possible -- on a 10th inning walkoff homer at Petco to David Eckstein that made the final margin 3-2. That wasted another fine outing by Matt Cain, who's still looking for his first 2010 vic. The Giants have now lost 8 of their last 10 games at the Petco Hellhole, according to Chris Halft's story for mlb.com.

Here's the thing -- the Giants have now scored exactly 3 runs in 19 innings with two of those coming on Juan Uribe homers. He hit one in the 9th tonight to tie the score.

So the Giants continue last year's trend of wasting perhaps the best pitching in MLB because Brian "Big Brain" Sabean 1. couldn't be bothered to find a decent bat in the offseason and 2. insists that Buster Posey isn't ready for the bigs. By the way, Posey is hammering Pacfic Coat League pitching; he's 16 for 44.

The Giants managed to lose eight games last year by the 2-1 margin and another three by 3-2. So there's no excuse for not having fixed the offense (And no, I don't call it fixing the offense when you sign league average guys on the fade like Freddy Sanchez, Aubrey Huff and Mark De Rosa)

As I said, there's no excuse. None. Were Sabean in any other line of work, he would have been justifiably fired by now. For those of you with strong stomachs, here's another 3-2 loss from last May at Petco where Tim Lincecum held the Padres to one run, saw the Giants go ahead in the ninth 2-1 only to see the pen give up two in the bottom of the 9th.

Perhaps I would be less bitter if it weren't for Eckstein, one of the more over-rated players of all time. He's become a thoroughly lousy player living off the fumes of being hyper-lucky to be on World Series winners in 2002 and 2006. Before the homer, he had one RBI in 42 ABs.

The notion that Scott Rolen wasn't the MVP of the 2006 World Series and that Eckstein was shows how delusional sportswriters are. Here's a good deconstruction of one embarrassingly puffy piece. I found it by using Google and typing in "david eckstein" and "over-rated" as my search parameters.

No Dye in the Orange and Black

That's what Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle thinks. Here's a mid-game tweet on Twitter --
Even with OF injuries, the Giants have no interest in FA Jermaine Dye. His reported asking price, defense are the chief reasons.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bitterness at the Ravine

The Giants have just lost their fourth game of the year, 2-1. Barry Zito pitched into the 8th, allowed a runner, and Sergio Romo came in to serve up a pinch homer to Manny.

The Giants only got 4 hits all day and looked very much like the terrible offensive team that they've been for the past two seasons. Still, they haven't been shut out all year so I'll withhold comment for now on Brian Sabean's incompetence in not acquiring a real bat. They are way ahead in terms of walks this year -- they got 5 today -- so perhaps replacing Carney Lansford with Hensley Meulens has been a help.

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles times notes that Zito was five outs away from what would have been his first shutout in 7 years. Tim Lincecum has three in his career. Zito has four.

Bruce Miller?

Velez in the spotlight

I was looking at how Eugenio Velez and Nate Schierholtz might do now that Aaron Rowand is on the DL. It turns out that Velez, Schierholtz and Fred Lewis had remarkably similar seasons last year. They each got 76 hits; Fred had 10 more at bats at 295 while Eugenio and Nate had 285 each. Fred got 115 total bases while Nate and Eugenio had 114 each. Fred had 4 HRs while Nate and Eugenio had 5 each. Fred's big advantage was in OBP as he got 36 walks while Nate and Eugenio had 16 each.

What the stats don't show is that Velez played far better when he got back from Fresno last year. Last year's game logs have vanished from the Giants official site; all I have to prove this contention is a Ray Ratto column for the SF Chronicle from last August.

With Eugenio hitting the ball well right now -- 7 for 17 with 2 homers and 7 RBIs -- I suspect that he will get most of the starts in the next few weeks.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tim Terrific

The current Cy Young winner showed how it's done with 6 shutout innings and 3 RBIs on the way to a magnificent 9-0 vic at the Ravine. The Dodgers looked like they had conceded with a starting lineup that didn't include Manny, Casey Blake, Rafael Furcal or Russell Martin.

The pitching brilliance is so routine that Henry Schulman's game story for the SF Chronicle focused mostly on injuries and notes that with Rowand out with a fractured cheek, Eugenio Velez will be the starter -- Eugenio Velez will be the primary center fielder. He went 3-for-5 Saturday and ultimately helped the Giants more than he hurt them in the first inning, when he tried to score from second on a wild pitch with nobody out.

Ben Bolch of the LA Times gets off a good line about the Dodgers, calling Saturday's starters a "white flag lineup."

Friday, April 16, 2010

Paging Kevin Pucetas

I'm not a big fan of Vin Scully. He can't be bothered to learn how to pronounce the names of other players (he kept pronouncing Bowker as "boe-kir") and he makes mistakes galore. But he was astute to point out tonight -- with the score 7-0 Dodgers in the second -- that the Giants had made Todd Wellemeyer their fifth starter even though he had allowed the highest batting average of any NL starter last year (.328) and had an ERA of nearly 6.00.

Even though the Giants wound up scoring 8 runs tonight, five of them were in the 9th. The horrible pitching by Wellemeyer put the game out reach. The bottom line here is that Brian Sabean's trying to get a guy who can't pitch on the cheap. Why would you sign and start a guy who got creamed last year? Isn't there a better fifth starter available somewhere?

So far Madison Bumgarner's gotten hammered in his two starts in Frenso but Kevin Pucetas has been decent. His minor league stats are OK and it's hard to believe anyone could pitch worse than Wellemeyer.

At least the Giants didn't give our old pal Russ Ortiz another shot. He gave up all five runs in the ninth and got pulled after giving up a two-run homer to Eugenio Velez. Is it just me, or is Eugenio a pretty decent 9th inning guy?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Adios, Fred Lewis

He's headed for Toronto, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, for either cash or a player to be named later. Here's part of his post --
It makes sense. The Jays are very short on outfielders. They got a good first-hand look at a hot Lewis the last three nights as he played against their Triple-A team in Las Vegas. Et cetera.
If anyone needs a change of scenery, it's Lewis. He has not been happy here for a long time, asked for a trade last year and does not believe he will get a fair shot anymore under manager Bruce Bochy, despite how he played last year.


Jesse Sanchez at mlb.com has the official story.

This is kind of embarrassing -- Fred had the second highest OBP on the team last year at .348, yet got only 322 plate appearances.

Duane Kuiper lets it hang out

He's the subject of a nice Q&A in today's Chronicle by Sam Whiting. Here are some highlights --

Q: Condense your major league career for us?
A: Ten years, two really bad ballparks, Cleveland and Candlestick, one home run, Aug. 29, 1977.

Q: Where did you meet your wife?
A: We met in a bar in Waikiki. My parents think we met at a church function. Michelle and I were married in 1985.

Q: Neighborhood hangout?
A: The older I get, the hangout is really the couch, which isn't good. We spend some time at Pete's Brass Rail (and Car Wash) in Danville.

A great way to start the day -- dodgers lose

Suffer, dodger fans. At about 12:10 a.m., the dodgers finished gagging away a 9-7 loss to the Dbacks in 11. dodger starter Chad Billingsley couldn't hold 3-0 and 5-3 leads and got hammered from the fourth inning on. We can thank our old buddy Russ Ortiz for coughing up the two runs in the 11th to the Snakes.

A few dodger faithful were still in the stands five hours after the game started. Doug Padilla of the Daily Breeze notes that it was the longest dodger home game in terms of time since 1985.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Is Henlsey Muelens a genius?

Fast, fast, fast

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

dodger fans harrassed for tailgating

Giants Win rarely feels any kind of sympathy for dodger fans but this story in the Los Angeles Times bugged me. It seems that the LAPD and stadium security were particularly vigilant during today's home opener at telling people that they are not allowed to hang out in the parking lot. I mean, come on. It's opening day, for heaven's sake. Evidently the LAPD is too chicken to bother with trying to bring in real criminals -- they just want to bother ordinary folks looking to have some fun with friends, rather than being forced to go into the stadium, listen to boring music and pay $9 for a brew.

It's just more of the same class-free behavior that Southern California residents have come to expect from the dingbat owners, Frank and Jamie McCourt, who have been using the dodgers as their personal ATM to support extravagant lifestyles that would have made Marie Antoinette blush.

UPDATE -- The arrest total was 132, according to the LA Times.

Back to Earth for the Orange and Black

The veteran savvy clutchness that Edgar Renteria had in such abundance during the first week was long gone Tuesday night as he made an egregious error in the 8th and then popped up in the 9th with one out and the Giants down a run, according to Chris Haft's recap at mlb.com. On opening day at home on Friday, he homered in the 9th with one out and the Giants down by two. He started the season going 11 for 16 and has since gone 1 for 14.

But how about Eugenio Velez? Not much of a player, I know, but the guy has a knack for hitting in the 9th. He got the double before Edgar's homer last Friday and lined a two-run homer over the Willie Mays Wall to make it close tonight. Rowand and Renteria popped out and Sandoval lined out hard to the first baseman.

As usual for most his time in the bigs, bad luck came to Matt Cain, who managed to give up only three runs early despite having little command. He might have won but for a luckout play by the Pirates, which Jon Miller noted when Pirates pitcher Paul Maholm held off a big rally by making a stunning fielding play in the 3rd on an Aubrey Huff dribbler; the Pirates web site calls it "miraculous."

Fred Lewis staying for now

That's what Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle thinks, anyway. Here's what he tweeted just now -- I predict F. Lewis will be with the Giants this weekend. I'm hearing little or no interest in the trade market.

Fred has gone seven for 14 for the Fresno Grizzlies while he rehabs an injury.

Schulman is refusing to go any further than that -- Whenever I try to speculate whom the #sfgiants will demote, I'm usually wrong. I won't try to guess.

Monday, April 12, 2010

MLBPA collusion case coming

Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News blogs mostly about Barry Bonds' six-minute interview during Sunday's commemoration of the 10th anniversary of PacBell Park. There's a bit of a bombshell in it -- Bonds hasn’t retired because the Players’ Association is preparing a collusion case against Major League Baseball. And I have it on good authority that Bonds plans to be a part of the proceedings.

Zito goes 2-0, just like Lincecum

Well, not really. Zito's second win came tonight against the feeble Pirates, who got hammered 9-3; Tim's second win was against the Braves, who look like a top-tier team again. Tim has 17 strikeouts; Zito has six. Henry Schulman's game story for the SF Chron notes that Zito's won 33 games in his 100 starts in the Orange and Black.

Still, the hallmark of a good team is that it will beat down bad teams, particularly at home so tonight's lineup must have been salivating at facing Brian Burres. Bengie went 4-for-4 with a 2-run homer in the 8th; Sandoval got three hits; Huff tripled to the 421 foot mark in right center, his first extra base hit for the Orange and Black.

So the Giants are 6-1; after seven games last year, they were 2-5 and they hit their low point at 2-7 with a horrific 7-2 beatdown by the dodgers. The 2009 Giants didn't get to 5 over .500 until the 61st game of the year, a 5-2 win over Oakland.

Opening day at Mays Field


Here's Jeremy Affeldt in the 13th inning on opening day, continuing a remarkable string of fine pitching by the bullpen.


Artolog shot both of these. The balloons got released just before the game started. What a wonderful day for Giants fans.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Your 5-1 San Francisco Giants

There was a familiar "here we go again" feeling late this afternoon after Tim Lincecum gave up a two-run homer by Brian McCann in the first inning following a 4-hour rain delay. Three hours later, the Giants had a 6-3 victory with the only other run for the Braves coming in the 9th on Jason Heyward's second homer in two days. (Heyward's foul balls into the lower deck Saturday were seriously scary -- the kid appears to be the real deal).

The game story by Chris Haft of mlb.com has this amazing nugget -- McCann's homer was the first that Lincecum has given up at home since September 2008. And even though Tim got two starts in the first week, no one would have predicted a week ago that the Giants would wind up at 5-1 at this point of the season.

Aurilia hangs it up

Where's Buster Posey?

I heard that question asked a few times tonight during a chilly and mostly forgettable 7-2 loss to the Braves at Mays Field in Section 126. Since Bengie Molina had caught 13 innings on Friday, Bochy started Eli Whiteside at catcher and he was a fiasco, leaving seven men on base and not making a decent defensive play all night.
The Giants had nine walks but three of those went to Juan Uribe, the guy hitting in front of Whiteside.
The bottom line is that Whiteside can't hit MLB pitching and is undistinguished in calling a game and his defense. Not only was he a rally-killer, but he didn't come close to making solid contact even once tonight. For reasons that seem to be tied to wanting to avoid getting Buster Posey to arbitration a year early, the Giants have opted for a popgun offense -- even though that's clearly the biggest Orange and Black shortcoming.


So here you have the Braves -- one of the most successful franchises of the last two decades -- making the bold decision to go with a 20-year-old just because he has a huge upside. Meanwhile, Brian Sabean cements his reputation for incompetence by deciding not to bring up his best prospect at a time when the Giants need offense. Posey's someone who will languish at Fresno.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ninth inning magic for the Orange and Black

Opening day at Mays Field is always special but today's game was off the charts, particularly in the ninth inning.

Things looked mighty grim in the top of the 9th with the Braves already up 4-2 and the leadoff hitter, Martin Prado, on base with no outs. But Prado managed to start too early on a steal and Dan Runzler got the ball over to Ishikawa in time to start a rundown, thus killing any rally.

In the bottom of the 9th, new closer Billy Wagner came in firing bullets but Eugenio Velez managed to blast a double into left center on the second pitch. Velez is a frustrating guy but every now and again he comes up clutch. I couldn't help but think of the Sept. 10, 2008, game when he ended the game by blasting a two-run triple into Triples Alley - with two strikes and two outs on him.

At that point, the guy next to me in Section 311 noted that Brian Wilson had gone down to the pen to warm up. "Bochy's expecting the Giants to tie the game," I replied, half-kidding.

And 90 seconds later, that's what happened. Rowand made the first out and then Edgar lined a homer into left. And I couldn't help but think about the same thing happening to Wagner four years ago when he came into close for the Mets with a 3-run lead at 7-4 in the bottom of the 9th. The Giants got a run on what should have been the third out and then, Barry Bonds blasted a two-out two run pinch-hit homer off him. You read all the time about players asserting that they put it all behind them and focus on the future but I sure felt a sense of deja vu -- and I would bet that Wagner did too. He was probably thinking once Velez got on, "Well, at least none of these guys are Barry Bonds."

Henry Schulman's story for the San Francisco Chronicle notes that the Giants needed 108 games last season before overcoming a three-run deficit, which they did today. They only had one hit going into the 7th, when Rowand blooped a single and Renteria doubled up the third base line. Sandoval and Huff then did the professional thing and hit back to back grounders to second to get the two runs home.

The Giants are now the only undefeated team in MLB.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Paging Jermaine Dye

Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News contends that the Giants should seriously consider seeking the service of the currently unemployed Jermaine Dye. He notes that the team didn't trail during entire 3 games in Houston, then adds --

. This is not a group meant to launch comebacks. The bench is constructed around late-inning defense, which doesn’t do you much good when you’re trailing 7-2.

We all know the Giants are thin in a few areas. I’d venture to say the biggest one, especially right now, is the lack of a right-handed thumper on the bench. That could be alleviated somewhat whenever Freddy Sanchez comes back and Juan Uribe isn’t in the starting lineup. But the other day against lefty Wandy Rodriguez, the Giants’ right-handed options were Eli Whiteside and switch-hitters Andres Torres and Eugenio Velez.

Which reminds me … paging Jermaine Dye …

I know he isn’t a favorite among the UZR set. But if properly used, there’s no doubt he would make an impact. Last year, even though he tailed off badly at the end, he still finished with a .387 OBP and .508 SLG in 130 at-bats against left-handed pitching. Seven bombs, too.

I don’t know what Dye’s priorities are or how badly he wants to continue his career, although apparently he turned down $3 million from the Cubs over the winter.

Joe West = dingbat

Here we have a crappy ump whining about the length of the Bosox-Yanks game. What a dingbat.

72. Primakov is once again done with politics Posted: April 08, 2010 at 02:49 PM (#3497721)
Are you shitting me? #### you West. If teams get fined for badmouthing umps, umps should get fined for badmouthing teams. Especially since they're ALLOWED to play the game the way they do. What's the suggestion here? Tell players to stop taking pitches? (No.) Take the specialization out of the game? (No.) There's little MLB can do about it, and yet we have this ump (and a lousy one) taking shots at the teams for doing what helps them win. In addition, the fans of both teams don't care how slow the games are. These three games have all been close, exciting ones, not least because of the rivalry. I have news for you, Joe--it ain't about you.

West just wants to get to the ####### buffet table faster.

Your San Francicso Giants

More early dodger gagging

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The red-hot Orange and Black

The Giants completed a 3-game sweep of the Astros today, with 10 runs on 19 hits. The Astros tied at 4-4 in the 7th before the good guys scored half a dozen over the last 2 innings. Edgar Renteria went 5-for-5, prompting Chris Haft of mlb.com to comment -- Renteria, probably the most maligned Giants player in 2009, improved to .727 (8-for-11) so far. San Francisco would be thrilled even if he hits 450 points lower.

Here's what Edgar told Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle afterwards --"From the first day of spring training, we had a different attitude," Renteria said. "We know we have a great team. We know we can compete like we're trying to do right now."

That's what we've been waiting for

Monday, April 05, 2010

dodgers cheap out, gag to Pirates

After spending the offseason cheaping out and raising ticket prices -- due to the apparently insatiable greed of Frank and Jamie McCourt -- the Dodgers got humiliated 11-5 by the Pirates. They decided to start Vincent Padilla, who couldn't even get out of the 5th. He clearly wasn't up to the task, according to Ken Gurnick of mlb.com --Padilla, manager Joe Torre's unexpected choice from a rotation with no established ace, served up a pair of homers to Garrett Jones and was charged with seven runs on six hits and three walks. He was up in the zone for much of his 93-pitch workday.

Padilla's an ordinary pitcher if there ever was one with a career 98-86 mark. The Dodgers are paying him $5.025 million this year. Despite charging fans $15 for parking and $8 for a 12 ounce brew, the McCourts were too cheap to even offer arbitration to Randy Wolf, their best pitcher last year because they apparently can't afford to pay draft picks any more -- not with Jamie McCourt living in six homes.

Am I going to bag on the dodgers and the McCourts this year? Do you even have to ask?

Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times notes that the Pirates have the lowest payroll in MLB.

A great opening day for the Orange and Black

Tim Lincecum was superb tonight with seven shutout innings, seven Ks, four hits and two BBs. Chris Haft of mlb.com gets right to the point --Lincecum, the two-time reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, improved to 34-2 lifetime when San Francisco scores at least three runs behind him.

A poster named Al corrected me by noting that Tim gave up no walks.

Henry Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle notes that Rowand, Bowker and Sandoval all made fine plays in the field--In his first game as the regular right fielder, Bowker made a stellar running catch in the claustrophobic right-field corner for an out on J.R. Towles. Aaron Rowand took an 0-for-5 but ran into the farthest reaches of deep center to rob new Astro Pedro Feliz of extra bases. Pablo Sandoval made a nifty running catch in short left with his back to the plate to return Geoff Blum to the dugout.

Six years ago today

Steve Kroner of the San Francisco Chronicle has a good story about John Bowker opening the season in right field. He also notes that Giants last opened the season in Houston six years ago and won 5-4.





1.Barry Bonds (39).60942004L
2.Barry Bonds (37).58172002L
3.Ted Williams+ (22).55281941L
4.John McGraw+ (26).54751899L
5.Babe Ruth+ (28).54451923L
6.Babe Ruth+ (25).53191920L
7.Barry Bonds (38).52912003L
8.Ted Williams+ (38).52561957L
9.Billy Hamilton+ (28).52091894L
10.Babe Ruth+ (31).51561926L



Sunday, April 04, 2010

"Failure to improve the offense when the division is winnable...."

David Pinto, who runs the respected Baseball Musings site, sees the Giants coming in third and wonders what the hell is going on with the front office:

  • Starting Pitchers WAR: 15.8
  • Closer WAR: 2.4
  • Total WAR: 30.8
The Giants are certainly in striking distance of the Dodgers and the Rockies. Tim Lincecum’s 8.2 WAR is the highest of any player in the division, and combined with Pablo Sandoval’s 5.2 WAR, they are the highest scoring teammates in the division. Their 15.8 rotation WAR is the best in division as well as Matt Cain, Barry Zito and Jonathan Sanchez are more than solid behind Tim.
They need to find five wins on offense. I just don’t see where those wins can come from with their starting lineup. Maybe Edgar Renteria bounces back and adds a couple of WAR, but at his age that’s becoming less likely. The best way would be to give Buster Posey a chance to catch every day, then trade for a first baseman who can actually hit.
The Giants have not won a World Series since 1954, and never in San Francisco. This is a team that is at least close to getting into the playoffs, where anything can happen. Their failure to improve the offense over the winter when the division is winnable leaves me wondering what’s going on with the Giants front office and ownership.

31 years ago today

Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated 31 years ago today in Memphis.

The day before, he'd given a speech at the Mason Temple in Memphis. He was addressing a rally for the Memphis Sanitation Strike, which involved 1,300 black sanitation workers protesting dangerous working conditions and discrimination. He'd been delayed getting into Memphis because there was a bomb threat to his plane. Toward the end of his speech, he acknowledged the recent death threats and said: "Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. So I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."

Bowker in right

And away we go!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Schierholtz vs. Bowker in right field

Christ Haft of mlb.com says the rightfield starter is still up in the air. It looks as if whoever gets hot once the season starts will be the starter. Bowker's strong spring is one of the better stories so far this year.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Giants already in mid-season form

They've scored two runs in 18 innings since they left Arizona; fortunately, that was enough to win tonight. The pitchers allowed only one run tonight following last night's shellacking of Zito. Matt Cain is making it routine to shut down the opposition. Here's what Henry Schulman wrote in his game story for the San Francisco Chronicle -- Matt Cain finished a fantastic spring by allowing one run in six innings, which scored on a Kevin Kouzmanoff double to right-center. In 21 1/3 Cactus League innings - he also worked two minor-league games - Cain had a 2.95 ERA and walked only two batters.

Giants 2, A's 1

They've just beaten Oakland and sent Posey to Fresno.

Posey headed to Fresno?

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Schulman embarrasses himself

Henry Schulman, who usually does a pretty good job of covering the Giants for the San Francisco Chronicle, has done something fairly foolish -- he's told people who believe Fred Lewis shouldn't be sitting on the bench (including Sports Illustrated) to shut the hell up because onbase percentage isn't really that important. Or something like that; his reasoning is a bunch of high-handed "I know better than you" nonsense. I've been following baseball for over 50 years and I have no idea what Schulman's talking about here --

Lewis does have a good eye, but he couldn't really see that outside corner pitch very well last year because he backed off the plate, fearing he could not turn on the inside fastballs he was starting to see more often.
Know how I know that? Freddy told me.
That same issue no doubt contributed to a few walks because pitchers aiming for that outside corner can't always hit the outside corner. They miss 3-2 sometimes.


NOTE TO HENRY SCHULMAN -- ISN'T GETTING ON BASE THE WHOLE POINT? Here's a team that didn't get into the postseason last year for one reason -- Its offense was crappy, largely because Bochy kept running guys out there (Rowand, Schierholtz, Winn, Molina) who were making outs at a higher rate than Lewis. Why is this so hard for you to understand?

Garko on the Rangers

Well, that didn't take long. MLB.com is reporting that Giants-Mariners reject Ryan Garko's now on the Texas Rangers -- two days after the Ms kicked him to the curb. The Rangers may have been motivated by realizing that 1. the Mariners roster was over-stocked and 2. the Giants don't know what they're doing when it comes to evaluating offensive talent.

Giants 6, dodgers 2

Sports Illustrated picks Giants for 3rd place

It's easy to see why -- the front office is incompetent to an amazing degree. Here's one of the things SI gets right as part of its "Modest Proposal" -- Since cutting ties with Barry Bonds after the 2007 season, the giants have spent two ytears aggressively ignoring the team's onbase percentage. Nearly every player choice they've made has createdmore outs, leaving them with OBPs bear the bottom of the league and a below-average offense -- 15th in the NL in runs two years ago, 13th last year -- in support of an amazing pitching staff. It has to stop. The Giants have to play the guys who'll get on base, which menas Buster Posey instead of Bengie Molina at cathcer, Fred Lewis over Nate Schierholtz in right; Travis Ishikawa over the declining Aubrey Huff at first. The Giants don't need a great offense to win the NL West, just an average one. Assigning playing time to guys who make fewer outs could get them back to October.