Thursday, July 07, 2005
A What A Crappy Web We Weave
OK, so the team blows and they're only getting worse. The offense is pretty good, but the pitching is as interminable as a Billy Gilman album. Coming into the season, there was hope that the pitching staff would be not only tolerable but actually very good. Well, those thoughts have come crashing down in flames like Arnold Schwarzenegger's political integrity. The team has a collective 5.13 ERA, good for fifth worst in the majors, and this despite playing half the time in a relative pitcher's haven in SBC. Let's take a quick peek at the starters and see just what is going on, and if it can somehow be salvaged.
Jason Schmidt The most tragic fall from grace has been Schmidt. He's gone from a 97-mph fastball heavin', string pullin, fire-breathing dragon to a mewling iguana with no command. Theories for Schmidt's ineffectiveness this year have run wild throughout the blogosphere. Maybe it's injury, bad mechanics, or just plain flakiness. Whatever the reason, as much as it pains me to say it, at this point Schmidt is just another crappy pitcher with a huge WHIP. I pray he irons out whatever kinks he has in his psyche in the second half, just so we half our ace back for next year.
Brett Tomko Tomko has gone about proving quite nicely that his strong performance in the second half of 2004 was a fluke. Without an asshole catcher to blame his problems on this year, Tomko has gone from solid starter to mediocre innings-eater to mop-up man in the bullpen. I actually thought Tomko would improve upon last season because his home/road splits ran so contrary to his career norms. Well, he has improved at SBC (3.95 ERA, as opposed to 5.31 in '04), but his performance on the road has been typically ghastly (6.05). I suppose I was naive to think a 30-year old with a career 4.58 ERA would improve but, hey, it comes with the business. I think the Giants would be better off just cutting Tomko and testing out a younger guy with potential upside.
Noah Lowry I openly worried before the season about Lowry's success last year. Lots of people freaked out about his 6-0 record, turning a blind eye to his relatively poor stuff and questionable command. This year he's been the Giants' most consistent starter, but that's like saying that Dio was the best of the post-Ozzy Black Sabbath frontmen. The only thing that stands out is that Lowry has been a little less awful than the rest of the staff. On the bright side, his ERA has been inflated by a couple of poundings at Coors Field, and he's pitched progressively better as the season has gone on. Because of his upside, I'm much more willing to stick with Lowry through his struggles, as opposed to, say...
Kirk Rueter Rueter just isn't a major league pitcher anymore, plain and simple. Yes, he's done so much in a Giants uniform, he's won a lot of games and shown a lot of heart, but at some point you just have to take the earmuffs of loyalty off and listen to the legions of Giants fans who are screaming that he's worthless. At this point, if the Giants could trade Rueter to a gullible contender for a pile of magic beans, I'd be delighted.
Kevin Correia Correia has made two starts and had pitched well in both of them. His 1.80 WHIP over those two starts doesn't portend good things, but I'd much rather see what Correia has in his bag of tricks than sit through five insufferable innings of Jeff freaking Fassero every fifth day.
The Giants already gave Jesse Foppert and Brad Hennessey shots at sticking this year, and the results were disastrous. I'd be all for giving Merkin Valdez a few starts instead of Woody, or give Matt Cain a look-see. Bring some younger guys in and see what Righetti can do for them. This season is already in the toilet and there is just absolutely nothing to gain from trotting Tomko out there for another home run-launching contest. If the Giants are going to be bad, at least let's make it watchable by importing more youth, not more Alex Sanchez.