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Saturday, July 08, 2006

Offense showing up in LA.

The Giants are finally starting to hit the ball with some consistancy. Ray Durham has been the hot hand lately as he has already hit 4 home runs on the road trip including a few big ones over the last few days in Los Angelos. Even though the Giants pitching didn't get it done Friday night in LA, the offense did their share to win that game. Barry Bonds had arguably his best game of the 2006 season so far going 2-4 with a huge 3-run home run and an RBI single Friday, but the Giants pitching couldn't hold up. The Giants are starting to set a trend with all these late inning losses at Dodger Stadium in the past couple seasons. Bonds has yet to get his average up above .250, but he has showed some bright spots lately. The Giants are a much better team with Moises Alou and Bonds in the line-up at the same time and they've finally been able to string a couple games together. Only Lance Niekro is noticably stuggling as he has been all season. Brian Sabean has stated recently that the Giants are looking for a "right-handed power bat," and with the teams current set up, it looks like first base is the only spot where the Giants are really lacking. That being said, I can't really think of any right-handed first baseman that may be available that would get anyone excited. Nick Johnson and Sean Casey are a few first basemen who's names have been mentioned in trade rumors, but both those guys are left handed. I wouldn't mind to see either hitting 3rd for the Giants, but if Sabean sticks with his plan, he has something else in mind.

On a much somber note, Mike Matheny doesn't look like he's getting any closer to returning to the Giants. Unfortunetley he hasn't made much positive proggress in recovering from his multiple concussions. Matheny has been out since May 31'st and probably wouldn't be able to return untill at least August if at all this season. There have even been whispers of the issue forcing Matheny out of the game for good. Fortunetley, Elizer Alfonzo has been one of the best rookie catchers in the league hitting around .300 all season with clutch home runs and RBI's. Where the Giants are really missing Matheny however, is behind the plate. Alfonzo is nowhere near the defender, thrower or game caller that Matheny is, but the Giants pitching staff seems to be pretty comfortable with him. The bullpen has still had it's shakey moments, but I still like all the youngsters they have out there. I haven't lost any confidence in Jeremy Accardo, but I do think Alou should start using Steve Kline more in set-up situations. It seems like Alou may have worn down Accardo a little bit, his era is right at 9 over his last 10 outings. For a while there, Accardo was the throwing the ball better than anyone else in the pen, but Alou can't expect that to continue if he throws him 5-6 times a week. I think it's time to give Kline the ball in the 8th, regardless of the matchups.
The Giants Baseball Blog


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