Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Who Is Shairon Martis?

If you watched Shairon Martis beat the Giants today and thought that his name sounded somewhat familiar, that's because it should. Martis, waaay back in 2006, was flipped to the Nationals by our very own Giants for two pointless months of relief work from Mike Stanton. See, there he is, look at him, pitching pretty damn well as an 18- and 19-year old in the lower levels of the Giants farm system. Now he's 5-0 to start the season, and that on a terrible team. Yeah, that trade seems worthwhile now, doesn't it?

To be fair, Martis isn't exactly blowing anybody away, with a mediocre 21:17 K/BB ratio in 41 innings. He's gotten more than a little lucky, shocking since he's a flyball pitcher and the Nats have a miserable oufield defense, as evidenced by Josh Willingham's bumbling around on Monday. Martis also wasn't a great prospect, but he was good enough not to be thrown away for an interchangeable left-handed reliever for the stretch run in a lost season. Whatever soured the Giants on Martis is probably lost in the history books forever, but he's 22 and doing some good things in the majors, so the trade that looked weird at the time could really come back to bite the Giants in the ass.

On the bright side, the Giants won two of three, finally showing some life at the plate. Daniel Cabrera will do that for you. I mean, is that guy awful or what? I wonder, if you're going to have a bad team, is it better to have good hitters like the Nats do but a horrible pitching staff that will give any lead back right away, or decent pitching with a horrid offense? It's a toughie, but the Giants have generally been the latter since 2005 and they've been pretty excruciating to watch much of the time.

Erstwhile offensive black hole Travis Ishikawa's bat came alive in the series, but that presents a curious chicken-and-egg question. Is the Ish just legitimately seeing the ball better, or was he just feeding on the really awful Nationals pitching? He still hasn't connected for a home run, and neither has any Giants first baseman, which is just unacceptable. Adding salt to the wound, apparently we have to tolerate this powerless attack while Brian Sabean didn't even consider signing Adam Dunn, who already has 11 bombs. What a joke.

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