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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Team Brought Back to Reality In Arizona

The Giants rolled into Arizona Friday afternoon, fresh in the midst of an eight game winning streak, and pretty much clicking on all cylinders. The team actually held sole possession of first place by about 3 percentage points over the Dodgers. My how so much can change so quickly. This team was swept by Arizona, and although all the games were close, the Giants play looked exactly like it did during the season's first two weeks. The bullpen blew another game in which Matt Cain was lined up to get the win in on Saturday, and it looked awfully like the way they blew it in Colorado a few weeks ago. There wasn't the blatant misplay like the Linden dropped fly ball, but there was a key ground ball that snuck in between Ryan Klesko and Rich Aurilia, a ball that most infield's eat up. We all know what happened after that as Vinny Chulk was summoned from the pen and served up a first pitch jack to Scott Hairston. The bullpen had been pitching so well up to that point, throwing 18 straight scoreless innings. It wasn't all the bullpens' fault though, the offense, although they showed a little bit of pop, couldn't get runners in from scoring position at all. Omar Vizquel had an especially bad series, as he continues to struggle offensively here early on. That is one guy who will be happy to see the calendar turn to May. Ray Durham is another guy who hasn't been getting it done with runners on base. He looked a lot better Sunday, but came up short in crucial situations on Friday and Saturday. Good baseball teams don't lose the games that the Giants lost this weekend.

There were, however, a few positives to take out of this series. Matt Cain had another 1 hit performance, although it wasn't his best start of the year. Barry Zito also had another quality start Friday night, but the offense couldn't support his 7 inning, 3 run outing. The offense struggles have been in no part due to Barry Bonds. The dude continues to rope the ball, even with the limited amount of pitches he is seeing. He was walked a total of 6 times over the weekend, and only started two of the games. Bonds raised his average to .362 and has a ridiculous 1.353 OPS. I know it's only April, but can you say, MVP? Randy Winn also flashed some power this weekend and it looks like he is finally slipping out of his early season slump that had him right around .200 for the season's first 3 weeks. Winn added about 30 points to his batting average over the weekend and hit his first home run of the season. If Winn can get going, it would help this offense out tremendously. With Rich Aurilia starting to cool off, the offense needs other guys to start stepping up. I think it would be wise for Bochy to consider swapping Randy Winn and Omar Vizquel for a while to see if it can spark some action at the top of the lineup. Winn showed what he was capable of when the Giants picked him up in 2005. While I don't think he's as good as he showed then, I do think he is better than he showed last season. If Winn keeps doing what he did this past weekend, he may end up finding himself in the 3rd spot sooner or later.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 5:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The bullpen is not good. The offense will be more reliable than the bullpen. They need to trade for about 3 relievers.


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