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Sunday, August 20, 2006

7 Games Back Again

Just when it looked like the Giants may actually get back within striking distance of the first place Dodgers, the Dodgers have taken the air out of their sails. The Giants had gotten withing 5 games of the Dodgers with their 5 game winning streak, but they are again 7 games out and it looks like their slim window for a playoff spot will probably be all but closed by the time September 1st rolls around. Again, the Giants' lack of consistency has forced them from being able to even get back to .500, let alone back atop the NL West. Brad Hennessey had his worst performance of the season Saturday when he didn't even make it through the second inning. Then Matt Morris kept the Giants in the game for a while Sunday, but the offense didn't show up and the game got broken open late. This season is starting to unfold worse than last year did. At least last year the Giants started to make a push late in the season when Randy Winn came over and Barry Bonds returned. This season, everybody has stayed pretty healthy and the high expectations are coming nowhere near being met. I know the team was built based on Barry Bonds being at least half of what he used to be, but he is getting worse as the season goes on. It's not unlikely that he'll finish the season at .230, 20 hr and about 60 RBI. If your cleanup hitter and best player, the player you built around and accommodate so much, is having a season like that then your probably not going to do too much. The team is also the oldest team in the league, I have a hard time seeing them put together a surge in September and winning 10 in a row. With only 37 games left, 7 games back is actually a lot more than it seems. For the Giants to even have a shot at getting back to first place in the west, they would need to go something like 25-12 and the Dodgers would have to play .500 ball the rest of the way. The Giants haven't shown any sign that they are capable of playing that kind of baseball, there's no reason to think they all the sudden will the last 6 weeks of the year.

Todd Linden is the latest Fresno Grizzly call-up to come in and contribute. He's hitting over .300 and has put together some clutch at-bats in some key situations. His best contribution though has been with the glove. He made a game saving catch in San Diego earlier in the week that helped the Giants sweep the Padres. Kevin Frandsen has also looked more comfortable this time around than when he was up earlier in the season. Frandsen had his best game as a pro Wednesday going 3-5 with a home run 2 RBI's and 2 runs then he had to be put on the dl with a broken jaw. I'd like to see more of Frandsen at 3rd base when he gets healthy. Feliz has been ice cold over the last month and his average is dropping steadily. With Ray Durham's bat too valuable to the team, 3rd base is a solid spot to get Frandsen some at-bats although it would cost them defensively. I'd also like to see Todd Linden getting some of Steve Finley's at bats and starts. Finley hasn't gotten it done all season long. I don't remember seeing this guy get a hit in the clutch when it really mattered. He's hitting .230 with runners in scoring position, but only .127 with bases loaded and .184 with runners on 2nd and 3rd. Plus his defense isn't like it used to be, so I really see no reason why he should be getting PT over Todd Linden. I can't until the Giants' hire a manager who will have enough guts to play the young player over the ageing, un-productive veteran. I thought we where done seeing it when Dusty Baker left, but Felipe Alou is almost as bad.
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The Giants Baseball Blog
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