Friday, May 09, 2008
I guess it's not as bad as being taken over by the Crimson Permanent Insurance, but getting swept by this band of Pirates is humiliating enough. I thought that the Giants could go into Pittsburgh, square off against maybe the worst-run franchise of the last decade (to be fair, they've gone through an ownership change for the better, but the wreckage is still there), and get out of town that much closer to .500 on their way to a shockingly successful season. As J.T. Snow said on the radio last weekend, the best way to get over the .500 mark is to make it a goal to win every series, and what better team to do that against than the freaking Bucs? The Giants should have been Donatello.
Obviously, it didn't go that way, and now the Giants have lost five of six and are starting to really resemble that boring team that everybody predicted would crash and burn into 100-loss land. I'm still holding on to that glimmer of hope that this team can will its way to like 80 wins, but these last three games were quite a downer. All that, and Stankeye fave Doug Mientkiewicz didn't even get into any of the games. Ah well.
Some encouraging things...
--Barry Zito's start wasn't horrendous, which is a backhanded compliment if I've ever heard one. The five strikeouts were the most positive sign, but he still needed 99 pitches to get through five innings, and one diving stop by Rich Aurilia kept Zito from further disasters. He was still throwing in the low-80's, so maybe he's adjusted somehow, or maybe it was a fluke and he's going to get tattooed again in his next start.
--Dan Ortmeier has been a beast ever since switching solely to right-handed hitting, and he's 3 for 10 against right-handed pitching. With the power potential he flashed from the right side last season, it'd be interesting to see him get full time work against all types of pitchers, not just lefties, with Aurilia or Jose Castillo moving to a reserve role.
--Aaron Rowand just keeps ripping, and he's at .336/.390/.523 for the year, with sparkling defense and at least one great catch per week. No, I still don't like the contract, but Rowand is small sample sizing my words right back down my throat right now.
--The return of Billy Sadler. He blew away the red-hot Nate McClouth in the 8th inning yesterday with a runner on base. The 24 strikeouts in 16 AAA innings is stunning, but the 12 walks ain't. With Brad Hennessey down trying to get himself back on track, this is a great opportunity for Sadler to establish himself. Hopefully he can be more Brad Lidge than Scott Ruffcorn in the majors.
The Phils come into town tonight. Has anybody noticed what a miserable year Ryan Howard is having? .165/.285/.331 with 51 strikeouts in 127 at-bats! If he keeps that pace up, that's 221 K's over a full season. Somewhere Jack Cust is smiling.
--To paraphrase a line from a Simpsons character, for no reason here's U2...with a buffalo, for some reason.
Ok, back to GTA.