Monday, April 17, 2006
As for the Giants, there are a lot of problems with this team, but they're 7-4, so they're still coming out ahead, meaning that if they can get the offensive problems ironed out, they could be really good. Speaking of which, that offense is just brutal. You have Vizquel and Winn doing all right, and Alou is good when he's healthy, but after that it just falls off a cliff. Bonds and Durham will come around in time, but I'm not sure how the Giants are going to score enough runs with a 6-7-8 slot that is so horrible. Granted, Feliz, et al, will come off the interstate at some point, but even so, there are going to be a lot of unproductive, low-pitch at-bats coming from the bottom of the order.
The way the Giants got their runs last night, on a balk and a seeing-eye single by Durham, is the kind of fugly rallying the offense has been so adept at this season. They've been relying a lot on the opponent giving away runs, and it's got to stop. As the season wears on, these kinds of gift runs are going to stop coming, so the offense needs to kick it in gear fairly soon. I am at the point where I wouldn't mind seeing Mark Sweeney get the majority of the at-bats against righties (yeah, yeah, call me impatient).
Brad Hennessey was great yesterday, but it was the kind of low-strikeout performance that usually doesn't repeat itself the second time around. If some of those grounders find holes and those fly balls go over the fence, it could get ugly. Hennessey has to have a flawless defense to have that much success on a consistent basis. But I guess that's what Omar Vizquel is for, and his pickoff of Cody Ross at third in the sixth inning last night was the kind of artistry he's getting paid the big bucks for. There aren't many players who would have the heads-up to make that play.
I know there were some Giants fans grinning when Jeff Kent got nailed, but that was plain nasty. As much as beanball can be fun, you hate to see guys getting hit in the head and whatnot. Plus, even though he's a jerk and he makes Giants fans want to tear off and stomp on his pornstache, I have a hard time hating Kent because of what he did as a Giant. Of course, when Bonds got plunked, I wanted Tim Hamulack's head on a platter, so sauce for the goose, Mr. Saavik, sauce for the goose.
Due to the rainouts, the Giants have to go with a sixth starter for tonight's game, and that man is none other than UAC-excavated relic Jeff Fassero (kewpie doll to whoever gets that reference), which could mean we're in for a good ol' sandlot game tonight. There's no better place (other than Coors Field) to re-energize a laboring offense than Bank One...er, Chase Field. The Giants always have good success in Arizona, so hopefully the winning ways will continue. As an added treat, the Giants also get to tee off on former SF fan fave-turned-overpaid cannon fodder Russ Ortiz tomorrow, so we have that to look forward to.
-Here's more plugging of my baseball beat writing work for my school newspaper, this time of last Friday's game, which Sac State won. Thanks to this interminably rainy weather, I finally, finally got to cover a game in the sunshine, and when the sun comes out so, inevitably, do the hotties. As more and more pretty girls start sitting in the stands and the skirts start to get shorter, it's becoming increasingly difficult to focus on the game at hand. I'm now convinced that staring at hotties at collegiate sporting events is the number one killer of all budding sportswriting careers. Remember what Crash Davis said about the "Bermuda Triangle" in Bull Durham? Truer words have never been spoken. I can feel the pull.
Seriously, my eyes were roaming the bleachers more often than the baseball field, and half the time I was finding some excuse to wander down to the concession stand to oogle some hot chick from San Jose. There are times when I've watched the Hornets play and wished that I hadn't given up so easily at baseball and could be out there playing, but at this point I was more into playing the field than playing on it. At the Thursday game (which I didn't report on), I successfully juggled the amazing trifecta of watching the Sac State game, scoping out cleavage, and listening to the Giants-Astros game on the radio. That, my friends, is talent.
There's also the added excitement of the crazy people sprinkled here and there in the stands. Some guy was sitting a few rows behind me Friday, doing play-by-play of the game, out loud into what I assumed was a phone to a buddy or something. When I snuck a peek back, I found that there was no phone or radio; he was just a weirdo doing color commentary into his Pepsi bottle. A few innings later he wandered away, perhaps to be the Jon Miller of the softball game being played on the adjacent field.
I'll be back Thursday afternoon to cover the game again. Weather reports: sunny. Gigitty.