Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Catching Up

Sorry about the scarcity of posts in the recent week. Two things have been keeping me from writing: 1) I was housesitting for my sister and brother-in-law for a week, and was camped out in front of their big screen, High Definition TV with surround sound for the entire length of my stay. It's hard to find the energy to think of stuff to write on a blog when the alternative is eating Nilla Wafers while watching old Miami Vice episodes. And 2) anything baseball now is taking a backseat to the NBA playoffs, which have provided some of the most riveting basketball games we've seen in a long time. So excuse me over the next few weeks, as my attention may be diverted toward the hardwood, or at least as long as the Kings and Clippers are still alive.

The Giants are now 13-12 and in second place. I hate to say it, but this team is going to sink fast if they don't make some changes soon. The offense is not there, the starting pitching has been off and on, and the less said about the bullpen, the better. This 13-12 stuff...pure Mysterio magic. The Giants have been outscored by their opponents and on several occasions (i.e. Saturday's escape job against the D'Backs) they've been flat out lucky to come out on top.

There are hitters who are doing their job. Moises Alou, Randy Winn, and Omar Vizquel could hardly be asked to do any better. Alou is killing the ball like he did in 2004, and he's single-handedly won about three games thus far.

Then there are the guys who aren't doing their job, and not surprisingly, they're the usual suspects.

Pedro Feliz: .208/.243/.313
Mike Matheny: .203/.259/.284
Lance Neikro: 232/.293/.319

Yes, it's early, but at what point do we stop making excuses for this shit? It's one thing if it's Barry Bonds or Ray Durham who aren't hitting; their track record indicates that they'll pick it up at some point (Bonds already has). But the Three Stooges are guys we all expected to hit like crap, and lo and behold, they're doing just that. The NL West sucks. Balls. However, I just can't see the Giants winning even this crappy division with non-production like they're getting out of those three spots in the lineup. Something needs to be done.

Which brings me to Kevin Frandsen. The kid has hit well in the minors and has shown the ability to steal some bags and take walks. Most importantly, he's not Pedro Feliz. That alone is enough reason to try him out as a regular and stick Feliz on the pine. Frandsen has three hits in 12 at-bats so far filling in for Durham, and I think it's worth giving him a shot at third base when Durham is back from the DL.

I don't know, he may be bad, and he may not be able to play the keystone well, and he could just flame out Chris Brown-style. Then again, he could turn into a very good player, like a Robby Thompson. The Giants won't know unless they play him. Conversely, they know what they're going to get by continuing to play Feliz, and that's a non-stop avalanche of steaming pig shit.

The pitching has been anything but steady, but there are plenty of good signs. Jason Schmidt broke out the first vintage Schmidt performance of the season, and frankly his best since 2004. Hopefully there are more of these to come.

Matt Cain's ERA is a lofty 5.28, but a lot of that has come from his tendency to give up the long ball in key situations. He's still tough to hit (.246 opponents' average), and his 1.31 WHIP is pretty good, an indication that if he can keep the ball in the yard he could turn into a top starter very quickly.

Brad Hennessey has pitched out of his mind. We probably shouldn't expect anything like this to continue, especially with the 5:9 K.BB, but it's nice as long as it lasts.

Finally, it looks like Noah Lowry will be back from the DL very soon, which is good for the pitching staff and the offense, since Lowry can outhit any of the aforementioned Three Stooges.

Now for the bad. Jamey Wright showed his true colors last night. Expect much, much more of this. He'd been good so far, but in the typical "good-but-really-not-all-that-good-when-you-really-look-at-it" way. He wasn't striking anybody out and was walking on eggshells in three of his four good starts. Patented Stankeye prediction: he's out of the rotation by the All-Star Break.

Matt Morris also scares me a little. His dancing curveball looks tough against crappy offenses like San Diego's, but against the Mets or D'Backs in Arizona, he just looks like another dude with mediocre stuff. And again, he's not striking out guys, which is not good in the long term.

The team squares off against the Padres (just as I write this, actually) after being trounced last night. They won't have to face Peavy, which is good. They do have Kevin Frandsen in there leading off, which is good. However, the Three Stooges are also in the lineup, and that's oh so bad.

-Quick note on the NBA action. Being a Clippers fan (don't ask), I've never been a fan of Chris Kaman. He was overdrafted, he turns the ball over too much, and frankly he just isn't that good, and I don't see him ever justifying his draft position. And if that's not enough, he just may be the most repulsive-looking human being on the face of the planet, or at least the worst-looking individual who gets any sort of regular screen time on television. Seeing him run around in High Definition is a horror show of epic proportions.

However, I can never say another bad word about him after what he did to Denver's Reggie Evans in Game 4 of the Clips-Nuggets series. That shove gave me all kinds of new respect for the guy, and I'm going to lay off him now.

If you missed the incident (here's video of the play), Evans (a guy who is basically in there to play dirty and do nothing else) essentially tried to tear Kaman's nut sack off going for a rebound at the end of a quarter. The buzzer sounded and Kaman responded by shoving Evans into the ground. I give Kaman credit for keeping his cool; a lot of guys would have murdered Evans on the court for doing that. Kaman didn't go berserk, but at least he did something, and he and the Clips came out on top, as Evans was issued a heavy fine and the Nuggets were spanked in five games. Mr. Kaman, you have my respect.

See, Pedro Feliz next time you play the Rockies, if you plant an elbow upside Jose Mesa's head, I'll never say another bad thing about you.

-He may be a white boy-hating sociopath, but Bonzi Wells is a freaking beast. He seems like, amazingly, one of the few players who Bruce Bowen just can't guard.


Bonzi Wells is a freaking beast!
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