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Monday, April 04, 2011

Defense Costs Giants in LA

The Giants defense was their one question mark coming into the season, and it really reared up and bit them in the backside on Sunday, costing them a split of the Dodgers series that they had under control.

It was a Sunday Night, nationally televised game, so I'm sure most Giants fans at least caught some portion of the contest, so I don't want to sit here and nit-pick all the little things that happened. It basically came down to the fact that the Giants couldn't catch he darn ball when it counted. I knew Aubrey Huff wasn't an ideal fit in the outfield, but I didn't know he was this bad. He butchered two plays that accounted for 5 of the Dodgers runs, yet the Giants pitchers get charged with earned runs. What was a pretty nice start out of Barry Zito, after a rocky first inning, was ruined on two plays that weren't routine can's of corn, but plays Cody Ross makes, and 95% of big league outfielders make. He allowed just a couple of base runners and 5 strikeouts in the 5 innings after that rough first inning, an inning in which Huff played a hand in as well. His routes to the balls off the bats of Carrol and Thames were horrible. He looked like a little leaguer trying to catch a fly ball for the first time running back on that back and twisting around on that Thames' drive. I can't even imagine what it'll be like for him at AT&T Park, where there's way more wind to deal with and a lot more ground to cover. We'll see how it goes in San Diego, but if Huff doesn't improve, it could ultimately cost Brandon Belt his roster spot when Ross returns (which cannot come soon enough)!

Now off to another SoCal destination that's been good at kicking the Giants when they're down, that's San Diego. The Padres played pretty well in their first series of the year vs. St. Louis, getting good pitching, solid defense and some timely hitting. They're young trio of Nick Hundly, Cameron Maybin and Chase Headly all have big-time potential which they've yet to find, but if they find it this year, the Padres will be a player in the West. The Giants will send Madison Bumgarner to the hill Tuesday night to oppose Aaron Harrang, in a match-up that clearly favors SF, but again, their pitching can only take them as far as their defense. Offense wasn't much of an issue for the Giants in the LA series, outside of game one vs. Kershaw, and they'll see more young pitching in SD after Harang on Tuesday. Pablo Sandoval's bat is looking a little better and Freddy Sanchez has been one of the toughest outs in the league to start the year. Giants fans are finally seeing a healhy Freddy, and are now getting a glimpse of that '06 NL Batting Champ and 2-time all-star and seeing indeed why the Giants were so eager to jump at extending his 2012 option. Just need to keep him healthy and on the field.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 6:21 PM, Anonymous Billy Owens said…

    Brandon Belt kind of cooled off a little bit those last 2 games too. I wouldn't be surprised to see him get some more days off with Huff moving to 1st and Schierholtz to RF. That would improve the defense, which as you pointed out, is killing them.

  • At 12:41 AM, Anonymous Jason Billingsley said…

    Giants are definitely scaring me now. 1-4... Timmy better be on tomorrow, and they better get him some friggin runs!

    It was good to see Huff actually catch the ball today at least, hopefully that gives him confidence.


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