Well, somewhere in a nice Georgia suburb, Bobby Cox had to have been smiling after seeing the team he built finally get over on the team that sent him into retirement last fall. The Braves took care of the Giants in a way that reminded me of 1996 all over again.
Braves pitching was on point, as Tim Hudson and Tommy Hanson put on clinics vs. Giants hitters and kept the normally thunderous AT&T Park pretty quiet all weekend. First, Hanson made Cody Ross' return to AT&T Park miserable, handing the right fielder an 0-3 with 2 punch-outs. The Giants only mustered up 3 hits in the 7 innings Hanson threw and you could tell early on when Madison Bumgarner started losing his cool, it was going to be a long night. That start by MadBum has to re-spark talks of
possibly sending him down to Frenso to work on finding a consistent release point, which has bothered him since Spring Training. However, the Giants are already short a starter with Zito shelved and aren't exactly loaded with adequate replacements, and they certainly don't need to trade for one. If Bumgarner can't turn things around in the coming weeks and has an era over 5 still, maybe I'd look into some of the veteran free agent arms who are still looking for work, Jerrod Washburn and even though I don't care for the guy, Jeff Weaver is still floating around as well. Problem there though, is those guys probably would want significant roles rather than injury fill-ins and even though they're still looking for work, would cost a helluva lot more than just purchasing a minor league deal. Still, if the Giants starters keep dropping like flies, something will have to give.
Now with all that said, Madison Bumgarner has a bright future, and is a guy who will be with this team for years to come. They don't win the 2010 Series without Bumgarner, remember that. So, even if he were to go down briefly, he's very much in this teams plans going forward for this year. What's a little more disconcerting is the fact that this lineup is sputtering along all of the
sudden. "Miguel Tejada drawing complaints left and right", "Pat Burrell strikes out way too much" and "Aubrey Huff was a one-hit wonder in 2010", is just some of the banter we're now starting to hear as the team hits it's first rough patch of the season. And to be fair, the complaints, at least as far as Tejada and Patty, have been valid in large part. Tejada isn't playing up to his $6M price-tag shows and Burrell is tough to critique cause he'll go 0-4 with 3 k's Friday night, then come back and hit a huge 3-run homer Saturday afternoon. He certainly has a spot on the team, but as I've said numerous times at this site, just not as an "everdayer". Give him the right 300 ab's per year and he'll pay off. I still want to give Miggy more time to settle in, but if he doesn't, that could be the place where Sabean goes in-season shopping. I'm not the least bit worried about Aubrey Huff or Brian Wilson. It's still April, and I'm not ready to start sitting any players, especially who just won you a world series, until they've played 50-70 games and we have a good sample size. I hate to think of what we'd have to part with to get him, but the more I see he's healthy, the more I want Jose Reyes
in a Giants uni (in the right circumstances of course)!
With the Giants sitting at 10-11 closing in on May, they don't look like a playoff team, and that concerns me. They looked like a World Series team during the stretch against the Cards, Dodgers, D-Backs and Rockies, even in the games they lost, they were in, but they didn't look the part vs. Atlanta in their own home ballpark. And even though I still have total confidence in B-Willy closing out games, I'm just hoping he
doesn't lose that swagger and that aura that's helped him become so successful (and trust me, that's not likely). Wilson is such a grounded fellow though, so I don't think that's something we have to worry about. But my gosh, he's blown some bad ones and as a guy who's in a huge year as far as post-season contract negotiations (I believe he'll be getting mighty rich this winter in arbitration, so long as he keeps doing in 2011 what he's done since 2008). A good season could be the difference in a $9 million deal or a $4.5 million deal I know, boo hoo, poor them, the average person can't spend that in their life!).
: Hey GBB faithful, thank you all for actually reading! I'm still battling an injury to my right thumb and hand area so for another week or so, I'll be forced to do minimal posting and shorter posts (Doc says don't type at all for a week... Yeah Right!!) But as soon as my hand allows, we'll be back to a near daily-basis.