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Friday, September 18, 2009

Johnson Returns As Reliever

Randy Johnson hasn't thrown a pitch for the Giants since July 5th, but the lanky left-handed legend has been activated from the 60-day DL and the Giants expect him to contribute out of the bullpen for the rest of the season.

With Brad Penny now in the rotation, and Jonathan Sanchez and Barry Zito each pitching very well, there really wasn't a spot in the rotation for the Big Unit anyway, so bringing him back in relief is actually a plus for this team. Right now, Jeremy Affeldt is the only left-handed reliever who Bruce Bochy really trusts with the game on the line, and now Johnson gives him another. Dan Runzler, who was among the September call-ups, has thrown very well in his limited appearances, but those have been in lopsided games and I don't think Bochy has the confidence in the young lefty to throw him out there with a game on the line in the middle of a pennant race. I'm stoked to see how Johnson does out of the pen and I have a feeling he's going to be lights out if he's healthy. He doesn't need to pace himself to pitch 6-7 innings per night now, so I'm expecting him to really let loose in the inning+ he gets each outing in relief.

Johnson will definitely help the bullpen with his return, but that's not an area on the team that is desperate for help. That area is the Giants offense, which actually came alive for the first two games of the Rockies series, both Giants victories, before being shut down by Jorge De La Rosa on Wednesday night. No Giant hitter had a multi-hit game on Wednesday, and if it weren't for Andres Torres' double, they would have been held without an extra base hit. Now, don't get me wrong, Jorge De La Rosa is a nice young lefty, who's certainly capable of doing what he did on Wednesday. I just didn't expect him to do it to a team who virtually has no room for error in their fight for a postseason birth. I don't want to say that the Giants hitters looked disinterested and overmatched, but they certainly looked like a tired bunch on Wednesday. It's really a shame too, because if they would have pulled out that victory, it really would have given them the momentum, and would have given the Rockies something to worry about. Now, even though the Giants won the series, the Rocks had to feel pretty good about themselves as they left San Francisco, still with a solid 3.5 game lead and heading into Arizona to take on one of the leagues worst teams while the Giants head to LA to take on the leagues top team. Now, this race is still very much alive, but with only 16 games on the schedule remaining, the Rockies magic number is dwindling by the day.

Bruce Bochy still hasn't given Buster Posey his first major league at-bat, as the kid has been up for nearly 3 weeks now and is the only guy on the roster who hasn't gotten into a game. It's really surprising too, because I think this kid could definitely give the Giants offense a boost, even if it is as just a pinch hitter. They need something to kick-start their offense, and I think a few nights with Buster Posey getting some action may do just that... Top pitching prospect, Madison Bumgarner, has also been out of action since he made his big league debut start on September 8th. I was kind of expecting Bochy to use the kid in relief, but apparently that's not in the cards... Jonathan Sanchez will try and get some revenge on the Dodgers in Friday night's start. Sanchez's last outing came against these Dodgers last week, and they handed Sanchez his worst start and loss since June 16th.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 2:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Lets hope AZ beats Colorado because the Giants are getting whopped by the Doyers right now.

  • At 9:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Actually Buster Posey did get one at-bat a week or two ago, in which he struck out. However I still agree with you that he should be in the game more often than he is currently.


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