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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Benitez Gone, Not Much Changes

The Giants opened their weekend series in Philadelphia with a bang, scoring 13 runs against the Phillies while getting another dominant performance from Matt Morris. This all came fresh off of a tough series in New York, and right after the team traded the enigma that is Armando Benitez. The popular theory around the bay area sports radio stations and among the media was that the problem had been removed from the team, so the team would and should play better. I can see how not having Benitez around could ease some of the tension in the clubhouse and it saves the Giants fans the agony of watching him pitch for this team any longer. However, the fact that Benitez is no longer on the team does not change the fact that this lineup is still very old and unproductive. It doesn't change the fact that the rest of the bullpen, outside Brad Hennessey and occasionally Kevin Corriea, is so poor, that any reasonable lead late in a ballgame is never safe, no matter who it's against or where it is. No, the fact that Benitez is gone does not change the fact that this team is still a .500 ball club at best, and that's only if they are clicking well together in a facets of their game. I'm not at all trying to defend Benitez, I'm just trying to point out that Brian Sabean has messed this team up in a lot more ways than just Armando Benitez, and even though Benitez is gone, the expectations should not change at all with this team. Right now they are still 2 relievers and a decent hitter away from even being mentioned as playoff contenders. The division has gotten a lot better, and the Giants haven't.

We got a little taste of Brad Hennessey as a closed the night after epic blow up in New York and I think Hennessey will do an adequate job. He gave Giants fans a perfect ninth inning, which is something we haven't seen in a while. Will he be a lights out type closer? Probably not, but he should be better than what they've had there for the past 4 season's, really ever since Tim Worrell saved 38 games in 2003. Hennessey was brilliant out of the bullpen last season before being moved into the rotation, and he's been the Giants best so far this season. But as Brian Sabean said, it really won't matter who's closing if the team can't score runs. They have looked a lot more live in Philadelphia this weekend than they did at any point in New York. They ran into one of the best young pitchers in the game in Cole Hammels on Saturday afternoon, but have scored 21 runs in the other 2 games. Ray Durham and Ryan Klesko both were back in the lineup this weekend and it showed. They just haven't been able to get a consistent offense and consistent relief pitching together. The starting pitching continues to carry the weight, and is keeping the team in every game, but it's either the offense or the bullpen that let's the team down night after night. When a team keeps finding new ways to loose, they aren't a very good squad, and that's where the Giants are right now.
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  • At 4:35 PM, Anonymous JuTMSY4 said…

    The phillies lineup has showed that they will try to bet back into the game despite their terrible pen...today was just another example...

    Even if you look at the terrible D-backs series, they still tried to get back in it (and might have won 2 outta 3, had the pen not given up some serious runs)...

  • At 5:04 PM, Blogger TC said…

    The Phills and Giants' bullpens' are almost identical. Both are brutal, but at least the Phills have Tom Gordon and Brett Meyers to look forward to and maybe turn it around. The Giants have no help on the way, and look as bad as ever.

  • At 9:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I can't believe they are no in possession of last place in the nl west... Wonder if Barry still wishes he came back?

  • At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Now we need to get rid of Sabean who assembled this terrible team and farm system!

  • At 12:06 AM, Blogger TC said…

    Yeah, the farm system has a chance to get some major help in about 2 days when the draft takes place. The Giants have something like 10 picks in the top 5 rounds or something ridiculous like that, inlcuding 3 in the first.


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