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Friday, April 01, 2011

Giants' Bats Dissapear in Opener

You have to tip your cap to Clayton Kershaw, cause he did pitch one helluva ballgame, but the product the Giants put out on the field Thursday was not the one I expected and hardly resembled a World Championship team.

First off, Lincecum was a little off and wild early on, but settled in nicely and pitched fine, plenty good enough to win. It's tough to take the L when you pitch 7 strong innings and not allow an earned run, and that's what Timmy did. But he did walk 3 batters, which didn't help matters, and surprisingly, it was the defense and young Buster Posey that let him down. If Posey doesn't throw that ball into left field in his attempt to catch Matt Kemp sleeping at third, but it wasn't necessary and Pablo Sandoval couldn't come up with the short-hop. Again, Posey is still a young player, but he needs to know who's on the mound, who's at the plate and what the situation is. But back to Tim, how did Kemp get on in the first place? A walk, which I'd have to say was Timmy's kryptonite on this opening night. Not only the walks, but the fact that he would get behind batters, and he was hanging a lot of stuff. He didn't seem to have that confidence in his fastball like he normally does, but again, a lot of that came as the game wore on, so it's not going to get too much attention. After Lincecum gave his 7 strong, Santiago Cassilla allowed an RBI double to James Looney in the bottom of the 8th, which gave the Dodgers an extra run of breathing room, a run they ultimately needed to win the ballgame.

The offense just wasn't there. They looked over-patient vs. a pitcher who was right around the zone, then they'd get behind in the count and have to swing at Kershaw's pitches. Again, it's not like I can just sit here and bad mouth San Fran's hitters all post, cause it's not like Kershaw is some scrub. He looked like a legit Cy Young contender last night. Once he left the game, the Giants woke up a bit, as Pat Burrell hit that big fly off Jon Broxton in the 9th to inch the Giants to within one, but they just didn't have it that night. Brandon Belt looked pretty good though, very patient at the plate, smooth swing and looked very good out there on defense. I know it's one game, so we'll see how he continues to play, but he certainly looked like a pro Thursday. Other than that, nobody did anything too noticeable. The team collected just 5 hits, non for extra bases. They made some nice defensive plays, especially that full extended dive on that grounder off the bat of Barajas with Kemp and Looney both on base to save 2-runs. Only to be negated by the ball Posey ended up throwing into left.

Now I'm not going to sit here and beat a dead horse, it was one game, and there is really nothing you can take out of it. Nothing too bad happened, nothing much happened at all, it just looked like they were still in spring mode. Blame it on the March Opening Day schedule or something, but I expect them to be back to normal very quickly, probably tonight as they send Jon Sanchez to the hill vs. Chad Billingsley. They should be able to see Billinglsley better, but he's certainly no easy assignment either, so the Giants need to improve on last night to avoid the 0-2 start. I expect the same exact lineup as last nights set, but much better results. The bats need to be aggressive and swinging early in counts if Billingsley's in the zone.

Note: The Giants just announced they extended 2nd basemen Freddy Sanchez's contract through the 2012 season ($6 million), and I can't really say I blame them. I don't love Sanchez as a player, I've always thought Sanchez is fragile, but he's good when he's healthy, as he started showing in the 2nd half of '10 (.298/6/21/.762). Plus, the only potential FA's who are better (Robinson Cano, Aaron Hill, Brandon Phillips and Kelly Johnson) will likely stay put, or cost $10+ million per.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 1:06 PM, Anonymous Noah said…

    Belt looking like he belonged in the big leagues with the glove and the bat and Burrell's continued pwnership of Jabba the Broxton were nice highlights in an otherwise sloppy game.

  • At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    One game. I'm not worried. That Posey throw surprised me though. He's normally so good back there and mistake-free.

    Tonight, I was thinking they'd maybe use Schieholtz out in RF, Huff in LF, but Burrell hit that bomb off Billingsley and that should earn him another start vs. a righty. I can't wait to see Sanchez pitch either!


  • At 3:33 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Yeah Noah, Belt looks like a pro. Very patient and confident at the plate, even with 2 strikes he doesn't panic. A lot like Buster Posey in almost every way. Wish some of their moxie would rub off on Sandoval.

  • At 4:52 AM, Anonymous Just Sayin' said…

    Sandoval needs to be a back in AAA.. I can't stand the errors, and his bat is overrated. Popularity and positivity are great for teachers and politicians, but we need a gritty third basemen. Just Sayin'!


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