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Showing posts from July, 2008

Giants Stay Quiet at the Deadline

As many expected, the Giants stayed very quiet during the final hours of the non-waiver trade deadline Thursday. In fact, most of baseball was pretty quiet outside of the Ken Griffey deal and Manny Ramirez getting shipped to LA. I am a little disappointed the Giants couldn't unload Randy Winn and get something halfway decent in return, but not at all surprised. Winn seemed like the one logical piece the Giants have that could have made sense for a team like the Mets. As far as trade targets, there was an article out of the San Jose Mercury yesterday that confirmed that the Giants and Rangers were discussing a potential Hank Blalock deal as the Giants had scouts in Texas watching him over the last week. However, Blalock was just placed on the DL after getting injured a few days ago, which killed any potential trade in the works. The name that was mentioned regarding who the Rangers were targeting from the Giants was Jonathon Sanchez. If that was the case, I'm glad no deal was ma

Giants Rebound In LA

After sweeping the Washington Nationals for their first home series win since mid-May, the Giants again slumped back into their losing ways getting swept at home by the Diamondbacks, before rebounding in LA on Monday night. That's pretty much the Giants season in a nutshell there: play good for a few games, then look horrible for a few and vice versa . Last nights game in LA could have been disastrous, as the Giants defense fell apart behind Kevin Corriea in the fifth inning after staking a 7-0 lead. Corriea had one of his better starts of the year, carrying a no hitter and not allowing a base runner into the 5 th inning, but the team got sloppy behind him and it almost cost him the game. It was good to see "KC" throw well as he has had a tough year battling injuries. His line doesn't look great, but if you saw the game you'll know that he pitched a whole lot better than the box score shows. He was also helped out by the bullpen as they came through in getting

Giants Win a Home Series

For the first time in 2 months, the Giants won a series at home vs. the Nationals, and like always, it was the pitching that lead the way. Barry Zito made his first start of the second half and it was a success. I know I shouldn't be saying that when your so called ace scrapes out a quality start, you shouldn't be praising him, but that's become the case with Zito. Matt Cain did a little more of good ol' fashion dominating in his start yesterday. Cain's sea saw year continues as he seems to keep following up sub-par starts with dominant ones. As a matter of fact, over his last 5 games, Cain has gone shutout, loss, shutout, loss and shutout again, in that order. If only he could start stinging together some of these dominant starts like Tim Lincecum did in the first half of the year, he'd really start coming into his own. Cain's era is falling though and he's almost back to .500, a place he hasn't seen much of over the last 2 seasons. However, Cain an

Durham Sent to Millwaukee

With a little less than 2 weeks before the July 31st trade deadline, the Giants have made the first of what hopes to be a string of moves in order to rid their roster of their veteran players. Ray Durham had been scouted by the Brewers for the last 2+ weeks and on Sunday night after they finished their 3 game series, the Giants and Brewers agreed on a deal that sent Durham to the Brew Crew for a couple of minor leaguers. The guys the Giants got in exchange for Durham aren't 4 or 5 star prospects, but I am at least little bit intrigued by 22 year-old Darren Ford who was playing for the Brewers high-A affiliate. Ford was ranked as the best defensive outfielder and base runner in a Brewers' system that featured some big time talent before the year. He is only hitting .237, but has 48 stolen bases which ranks second in all of minor league baseball. He also has scored 57 runs which isn't bad and made the FSL all-star team in June. Ford's bat looks like it has the potential t

Giants Stagger Into Break

Heading into this month, the Giants were probably playing their best ball of the year. They were still 8-10 games below .500 at the time, but they were only 3.5 games out of first place at one point in early July. However, they lost 7 of their last 9 leading up to the break and the pitching is starting to look tired. The bullpen hasn't been great, but it hasn't been bad either over the first half of the year, but everyone in that pen could use a few days rest and the break couldn't have come at a better time. The offense has been tailing off over the last 2 weeks as well, mainly the run producers in the middle of the order. Aaron Rowand hit only .225 in June after tearing it up and leading all NL outfielders in batting average over the first two months of the year. The teams' cleanup hitter, Bengie Molina, has hit only .234 since June 1st and hasn't homered since May 27th, not quite the numbers you look for from your cleanup spot. The team's number 3 hitter, Ran

NL West Again NL's Worst

Back in 2005-2006, the NL West was widely regarded as one of the weaker divisions in the game. Then 2007 came around and 2 teams from the West made the playoffs and all of the sudden the NL West was starting to look like the class of the National League. However, As we sit in mid-July in the 2008 season, not a single team in the division is sporting a record higher than .500. In fact both the Dodgers and Diamondbacks are tied for first place, both at 45-46 and even though the Giants are over 10 games below .500, they sit only 6 games back of first. In a way it makes it exciting to watch games knowing your team is only a handful of games out of contention, but I think it could be hurting the Giants a little in this case. It would still take a small miracle for this team to work itself into a position to make the playoffs but right now, Bochy and Co. are taking that approach. I'd hate to see the Giants hold onto their veterans come the July 31st trade deadline just for the simple fac

Lincecum and Wilson All-Stars

The all-star selections were made official on Sunday, and surprisingly to some, two San Francisco Giants were selected. Everybody across the nation has heard of Tim Lincecum and is recognizing his dominance this season, so he was a lock to make the team. At this point, he has as good a shot at starting the game for the NL as anybody. The other Giant selected to the team was closer Brian Wilson. This selection came as a surprise to a lot of baseball fans as Wilson does lead the league in saves, but his 4.37 era and 1.40 whip is nowhere near the other elite closers in the league. One guy who some felt should have gotten the node over Wilson was the Dodgers' Takashi Saito . The Dodgers closer is marginally better than Wilson in every statistical category this year except for saves. Other than that, I am glad to see Wilson get the nod. Young closers can never have too much confidence and Wilson should feel like he's officially arrived as one of the games better closers with this

All-Star Picks

With voting for the all-star game over with and official selections right around the corner, I wanted to pick my own version of how the all-star teams should play out, based purely on performance with no popularity taken into consideration. NATIONAL LEAGUE Starting Lineup: SS Hanley Ramirez Fla. 2B Chase Utley Phi. 3B Chipper Jones Atl. 1B Lance Berkman Hou. DH Albert Pujols Stl. RF Ryan Braun Mil. LF Carlos Lee Hou. C Russel Martin LA CF Nate McLouth Pit. P Tim Lincecum SF Bench: 3B David Wright NYM 1B Adrian Gonzalez SD SS Jose Reyes NYM 2B Brandon Phillips Cin. 2B Dan Uggla. OF Ryan Ludwick Stl. OF Matt Holliday Col. C Brian McCann Atl. OF Corey Hart Mil. 3B Aramis Ramirez ChC. OF Carlos Beltran NYM Pitchers: RH Edison Volquez Cin. RH Ben Sheets Mil. RH Brandon Webb AZ RH Kerry Wood ChC RH Dan Haren AZ RH Brad Lidge Phi. LH Cole Hammels Phi. LH Billy Wagner NYM LH Johan Santana NYM RH Jon Rauch Was. RH Jake Peavey SD The toughest choice here seems to be who's going to start on t