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Showing posts from April, 2007

Team Brought Back to Reality In Arizona

The Giants rolled into Arizona Friday afternoon, fresh in the midst of an eight game winning streak, and pretty much clicking on all cylinders. The team actually held sole possession of first place by about 3 percentage points over the Dodgers. My how so much can change so quickly. This team was swept by Arizona, and although all the games were close, the Giants play looked exactly like it did during the season's first two weeks. The bullpen blew another game in which Matt Cain was lined up to get the win in on Saturday, and it looked awfully like the way they blew it in Colorado a few weeks ago. There wasn't the blatant misplay like the Linden dropped fly ball, but there was a key ground ball that snuck in between Ryan Klesko and Rich Aurilia, a ball that most infield's eat up. We all know what happened after that as Vinny Chulk was summoned from the pen and served up a first pitch jack to Scott Hairston . The bullpen had been pitching so well up to that point, throwing

Bochy Pushing All the Right Buttons

The Giants bullpen has turned it around. The laughing stock of the team and of the division is actually starting to perform. They have been pretty stingy since that Colorado game where they blew a brilliant start by Matt Cain and allowed 5 runs in 2 innings of work. A huge amount of the credit has to go to Bruce Bochy . This dude knows how to use his pen. After the first series of the season, every Giants fan on the face of the earth was looking for Jack Taschner's (among others) demotion after he gave up a game winning home run on opening night. Instead of panicking, Bochy knew, that whether he liked it or not, this is the bullpen he'd be stuck with for the season, so he had to make it work. Instead of getting down on the them, he has given all his relievers a vote of confidence, both through the media and to them individually. They are all responding terrifically . Jack Taschner has even mentioned how much it helped him to hear the vote of confidence coming from the manage

Bonds Dominating Again

After Barry Bonds struggle through the first half of last season, through times when his batting average dipped into the .230's, there where plenty of questions regarding this guys health, and whether or not he was finished. Bonds finally rebounded in the second half of the year last season putting some of those questions to rest, but there where still plenty of doubters. The doubters have to be biting their tongue now, Bonds is back. He has been nothing short of spectacular early on in the 2007 season, looking as healthy and fresh as he has in 3 years. Love him or hate him, he'd likely be your 2007 NL MVP if the season ended right now. His bat along with the tremendous starting pitching the team has gotten over the seasons' first 3 weeks has taken the Giants from a sorry, 2-7 ball club, and turned them into a respectable 9-8 team. If you take away that heartbreaking loss suffered in Colorado after Matt Cains' last start, this team would be riding an 8 game winning s

Starting Pitching Continues to Shine

I can't even began to think where this team would be if they hadn't gotten gotten such solid starting pitching through the first 2 weeks of the season. After another solid performance from Noah Lowry Thursday afternoon, the teams' starting pitchers combined era fell to 2.77. Luckily for Lowry , the offense decided to show up after getting down early, and the team provided solid run support with a lineup that did not include Barry Bonds. The Giants predicted strength coming in was the starting pitching, and they have lived up to the billing. They have bailed out a slow starting Giants' offense that as a team has less home runs than Alex Rodriguez does himself through April 20 th . Something the team is going to be challenged with, is coming up with enough runs to be competitive on nights when Bonds is not in the lineup. Another thing this team is going to be challenged with, is coming back in games, as they are not an offensive power house. When they do both of those

Team Needs Changes in a Hurry

Why Pedro Feliz is still playing is beyond me. The Giants need to bite the bullet and sit him down already. The only time he should ever see the field is when a weak left-handed pitcher is throwing, or as a late inning defensive replacement. Even the casual fan can tell how much this guy hurts this team, and Sabean panicked into giving him double his salary from the previous season. What a waste of a crucial 5.1 million dollars on a guy who wouldn't start for any other team in baseball, yet he is the starting 3rd basemen on a team who's payroll is in the top 1/3 of the league. This all adds up to horrible, absolutely terrible player personal decisions. Of all the Brian Sabean signings over the years, even including the Niefi Perez resigning, this has got to be Sabeans' worst signing yet. He gave a guy a bundle of money to start when that guy has already proven over the years, that he has no business belonging in an everyday lineup unless it's with some semi-pro tea

Zito Gets First Win As a Giant

The Giants' 126 million dollar man finally got into the win column in his 3rd start of the season and the Giants' bats continued to come through even after being grounded for a few days in Pittsburgh. Finally a Giant not named Barry Bonds connected for a long ball as the Giants hit two Coors Field aided home runs. Ray Durham and Bengie Molina hit the first back-to-back home runs of the 2007 Giants season, with Ray's being the one that really put the Rockies down early. Ray Durham has now hit safely in all of the Giants 11 games. But the story of the night had to be Zito as he shut down the potent Rockies lineup for 6 innings. Zito got some great defense from Omar Vizquel and Pedro Feliz to help him with his scoreless effort, but this was by far the best the Giants have seen of Zito so far in '07. He seemed to have pretty good command of all his pitches, especially his changeup. So much is made over Zito's big 12 to 6 curveball, that sometimes you forget what a good


The Giants turned in their best offensive performance of the young 2007 season on Friday night scoring 8 runs in Pittsburgh and beating the Pirates ace Zach Duke. The 3 run home run by Chris Duffy late made the score a lot closer than the game was. After a pathetic series in San Diego in which the Giants scored in only 1 game out of 3, they needed to get something going early in Pittsburgh and they did. Barry Bonds looked a lot better Friday as well as he turned in his first multi home run game of the year going 3-3 with 2 jacks and 4 RBI. When Bonds is swinging it like he did on Friday, it usually means good things for the Giants. Bonds was hitting .192 with 1 homer and 4 rbi heading into the game Friday, and left in the 4 th inning with 3 home runs and 8 RBI's on the season. He showed that he is still capable of having what other players would call a good week, in one night. Besides the solid offensive output, Russ Ortiz turned in a very solid performance, and was one strike a

Giants Lose 4th Straight

I can't really say anything more about this team right now than what I have posted over the last few days, so this post will be pretty short and to the point. The offense continues to be a laughing stock, and the starting pitching continues to dazzle. Two of the Giants' best players, Barry Bonds and Omar Vizquel , are in the 40's, and as great as they've been over the years, they are finally starting to look like it. When two of players you are counting on the most are not playing like they have in the past, it makes it tough to win. The Giants haven't even given their bullpen a chance to blow a lead since Thursday night, so you can't pin these 4 straight losses on them. Matt Cain was brilliant again Monday night, and although he was a little wild at times, he proved why he is one of the toughest pitchers to hit in all of baseball. Cain has no taken a no hitter into at least the 6 th inning 6 times in his first 40 career starts. I think it's pretty safe to

Giants Offense Non-Existent

The season isn't even a week old yet, and things are already going about as bad as they can for the Giants. In my last post I pointed out that the only positive at that point was the play of Barry Bonds. Now the only positive thing I can say about watching the last few games is that everybody is healthy. Say what you want about the bullpen, or the questionable outfield defense, but the real reason behind the Giants 1-4 start is that they have scored only 10 runs through five games. If you take away the botched pop up that Kevin Kouzmanoff and Termel Sledge fell all over each other on, we would be looking at an 0-5 team. If that play was made, it also would have wiped another 3 runs off of the Giants season total. I thought inserting Ryan Klesko into the lineup would have had some effect, but this team looks just as stale with him in there as they do without. They are going to struggle even with Barry Bonds in the lineup, but when he needs to take his weekly day of rest like he d

Bonds The Only Bright Spot Early

I know you can't get too up or down after the first two games of the season, but if it hadn't been for Bonds' brilliance in the first couple games, this team would give optimism to nobody. In the midst of the 0-2 start and the sketchy managing by Bruce Bochy, Barry Bonds has looked as good as he has in 4 years. I haven't seen him make a catch like the one he made in Wednesday's game in a long, long time. After seeing him steal a base with ease on opening day, then coming back and running down that ball is a sign that this guy feeling good as well. And Bonds' swing on the opposite field jack off Chris Young was a little off balance, but that reminded me of the Bonds of pre-2005. It looked so effortless for him just to flick the ball out of the ballpark the opposite way, off balance or not. If the first two games are any indication of what kind of year he's going to have, than we are in for another Barry Bonds' type season. He may not hit 40 home runs, but

Giants Exposed in Opener

Barry Zito made his highly anticipated Giants' debut Tuesday, but the start of the '07 season looked a lot like how the '06 season ended. The Giants where shut down from start to finish by Jake Peavy and the Padres, losing 7-0. The only hits they got off Peavy where a check swing single by Barry Bonds, a swinging bunt by Dave Roberts and a line drive single for Ray Durham that probably would have been an out at any other park in the bigs . Mike Cameron was playing Durham to pull and wasn't able to get to what would have been a routine out at a straight away defense. The team as a whole looked very stale. Pedro Feliz fumbled a routine grounder that could have been a double play to end an inning. After the Feliz mishandle, Barry Bonds' lack of range in left field was exposed when he let a line drive fall in front of him, one that 90% of big league outfielders will make. The season is barely a day old, and I have already disagreed with a few of Bruce Bochy's

25 Man Roster Set

The Giants had some tough choices to make by the 25-man roster submission deadline on Sunday. After figuring out the bullpen situation on Saturday, all they had left was to figure out who to take north between Lance Niekro , Jason Ellison and Mark Sweeney. They dealt Jason Ellison to the Seattle Mariners for minor league left-hander Travis Blackey , and placed Mark Sweeney on the 15-day DL with a "sore right foot," the old fake injury to open up a roster spot. I am very surprised Neikro got the nod over Ellison. Both had been having good springs, but the Giants already have 2 first basemen on the roster so Niekro seems kind of useless. Ellison has the ability to pinch run which the Giants are going to need a lot of with players like Barry Bonds, Bengie Molina and Rich Aurllia in the lineup. I think the reason the Giants let Ellison go was because of Freddy Lewis' progress this spring. Lewis now moves up on the organizations depth chart and will likely be the first