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Monday, August 24, 2009

Giants Losing Ground In Wild Card Race

This weekends series vs. the Rockies was definitely one that the Giants wanted to use to gain ground in the wild card race. It's still pretty early, and they do see the Rockies a couple of more times before the end of the season, but if they can't manage to win Monday nights game and split the series with these Rockies, they'll find themselves 4 games back in the race and will have a hole to dig themselves out of.

The Giants who had been heating up coming into this series (Eugenio Velez, Nate Schierholtz and Randy Winn) have really gone cold in the mile high city. Velez was thriving in the leadoff spot for most of the second half, but has gone just 1 for 19 over his last 5 ballgames, and his average has dropped from .330 back into the .270's because of it. Schierholtz is another guy who was really swinging a hot bat coming into this series. He hasn't quite fallen off over the last couple of games like Velez has, but he'd be the first one to tell you that he hasn't done as much at the plate as he's like over the last couple of games. Nate did homer in Saturday nights' loss, but that's the only hit he's collected in 10 at-bats in one of the most hitter-friendly yards in all of baseball. The Giants need to get their offense going early on in Monday's game and hopefully get out to an early lead. They don't have the offense to come back from 4 run deficits, even in a place like Coors Field. As they showed in Tim Lincecum's start on Friday, it doesn't necessarily matter who you have on the mound in Denver, runs will be scored, you just need to be ready to keep up with the Rockies and the Giants haven't been through the first 3 games.

Ryan Garko has been somewhat of a bright spot in this Rockies series though. Garko hit his first two home runs as a Giant in Saturday nights' loss, and has gone 3-9 with 3 runs and 4 RBI in the series. Garko was kind of sputtering along for a couple of weeks there, and people were starting to wonder if this guy would ever get any offense going here in the National League, and I think he answered that on Saturday night. If Garko can start hitting the ball like he has in Denver, then the Giants offense will get that boost that they thought they were getting late in July when they pulled the trigger on the Garko deal. The other Giants newcomer, Freddy Sanchez, has been nursing a bum shoulder for the last week, and it's created a void in the Giants lineup and in the number 2 spot of the order. I think it's safe to say that Sanchez is the Giants most complete right-handed hitter at the moment, so losing him for these games in Denver is certainly hurting the team. Hopefully there are some changes on the horizon regarding the Giants batting order, because Bengie Molina in the cleanup spot, and Eugenio Velez at the top of the lineup while struggling are killing this team.

Up Next: After the Monday nights game, the Giants will return to San Francisco for 3 with the Diamondbacks then 3 more with the Rockies, so again, no matter what happens on Monday night they still will have a chance to redeem themselves against Colorado 6 more times this year.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 12:37 AM, Anonymous Vinay said…

    the worst loss in years. goodbye postseason.

  • At 1:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    yeah, what a heartbreaker... get the hell out of colorado already. Maybe we can repay them when they come to visit us in a few weeks.

  • At 7:58 PM, Anonymous Bleacher Bum 138 said…

    Garko shows glimpses sometimes, but he's a hack. Shea Hillenbrand number 2 as you reported when the trade happened. I'm really frustrated with the way things are turning out and Sabean could have done a lot better at the trade deadline if you ask me.


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