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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Offense Spiraling Downward

The Giants were shut out in the series finale in Atlanta Thursday, and were once again held scoreless in Houston Friday night, as their offense continues a tailspin of epic proportions.

How this team is still 2.5 games out of first in the West with the way they've played since the calendar turned to August is beyond me. Perhaps the worst game of the stretch came Friday night, as the Giants rolled into Houston to take on the worst team in baseball, and had their rear-ends handed to them in a 6-0 loss. Within 24 hours of being shut down by Braves rookie left-hander Mike Minor, the Giants went up against another quality left-hander in Wandy Rodriguez, and were once again held scoreless. The batting order Bruce Bochy trotted out was one of the worst I've seen the Giants use in a couple of seasons at least, featuring a top-3 of Aaron Rowand, Mark DeRosa and Cody Ross. No Beltran, no Pablo and no Keppinger. In fact, Nate Schierholtz was the only hitter in Friday nights starting lineup with an average better than .244, so it really shouldn't surprise anyone that the Giants were held scoreless. There are some PCL lineups that would have had a better go of it than what the Giants showed Friday night, but that's what happens when your squad is banged up late in the year. The Giants had to put another player on the DL Friday after Eli Whiteside suffered a concussion, prompting the re-call of Hector Sanchez and I wouldn't mind seeing him get some at bats this time around. He was briefly called up earlier in the year, but had only a handful of at-bats before being sent back down to Fresno.

As far as the other injured Giants go, the Giants are desperately hoping to get their big fish, Carlos Beltran, back into the lineup when he's eligible to return from the DL Tuesday in San Francisco. Seeing that the wrist was supposedly barely bad enough to warrant the DL stint, I would expect him to be back Tuesday, or shortly thereafter. Hopefully by that time Pablo Sandoval and Jeff Keppinger will each be feeling a lot better too, and can resume their everyday roles, cause we're seeing what this offense is like without those guys in there and it's not pretty. I'm still very curious to see what's going to happen at the leadoff spot. Bochy has tried Rowand, he's tried Ross and he tried and re-tried Andres Torres, but they just can't seem to get anything consistently going in that spot. Torres is starting his rehab assignment in AAA and is eligible to return in 10 days, but he may not be returning to his starting center field spot. With the waiver-trade deadline approaching, and the Giants desperate for a spark for their offense, primarily in the form of a leadoff hitting center fielder, I wouldn't put it past Sabean to go out and grab someone. We talked before about Coco Crisp and Angel Pagan each going through waivers, and I really think either of those guys would help. If they can't get someone via waivers, it's time for Bochy and Sabes to consider giving Darren Ford a look see.

Catching Situation: With Whiteside now shelved for at least a week, it could prompt Sabean's search for a backstop on waivers. Chris Stewart is a fine defender and OK getting a start per week, but he's one of the worst hitters in the big leagues in an offense that's been putrid. 21 year-old Hector Sanchez should get another brief look, but Bochy probably won't give him too much time (Boch likes experience in pennant races). If the Giants weren't desperate for a catcher 2 weeks ago, they sure are getting there now and the guys I'm looking at are Ramon Hernandez and Ryan Doumit. I have no idea if either will go through waivers, but if they do, the Giants should kick the door down to obtain one.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 1:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Catcher and center Field are the killers right now. Does anyone see any improvements though? I'd love Coco Crisp, but so would about 10 other teams probably. But I agree, the Giants need to make another Cody Ross-August addition like they did in '10! Is Pagan much better than Torres, they seem the same to me.

  • At 2:27 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Actually, going through the contending teams, the only clubs that would appear to have a need for Crisp are the Giants or possibly the Angels. The Indians could also make a play, but they just got Fukudome. Every other contender or first place club has a leadoff man. That's why I think the Giants should be able to get someone like Crisp if they have the chance! And right now, since they're sitting behind AZ, they would get first crack at waived players.

    I know Crisp and Rich Harden were placed on waivers a couple days ago, but I didn't hear anything else after that. It's hard to believe that no team placed a claim on either of them? SF was after a leadoff guy before the deadline (Bourn), so I'm sure they'd take Crisp if they could.

    I just keep thinking of what Kenny Lofton did for the Giants in '02, and how much a good leadoff guy could come in and spark an offense. Crisp has that game-changing speed (4 sb's in one game last week) and ability and would thrive in front of Kepp', Pablo and Beltran if you ask me. He'd make everyone in the lineup better, without a doubt.

  • At 3:14 PM, Anonymous Mr. Baseball said…

    I kinda have a bad feeling the Giants are going to get Johnny Damon and put him in left and move Ross or Beltran to center. Sabean loves veterans and Damon is probably what he'd want at leadoff. I agree with you that Crisp would be good. So would Pagan. His batting average isn't very high cause he got hurt, but he's way better than Torres.

  • At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The Giants and the Astros look evenly matched right now. The astros may look a little better even. If the Giants get swept here, I'll be seriously doubtful about this team.

  • At 10:33 PM, Blogger chrles61 said…

    bruce bocchi why are you do this when carlos beltran get healthy . brandon bells in left field , nate ,in center field , and beltran in right field! they are your hitters . pick up heath bell off of waivers just incase you can't get Brian wilson or cassilla . Then have keepinger to lead off then cabrero . Then Pablo then beltran. Then huff. Then mate, then foinote, then Stewart, then the pitcher. If beltran can't go pick up that outsider who's hitting .295


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