Monday, July 20, 2009


Post All-Star Break Blues

I spent all weekend horsing around in Yosemite, and I'm not sure what's more brutal: the 17-mile hike up Halfdome, or watching the Giants bat against Paul Maholm. Bada-bing!

Seriously though, I got back Sunday just in time to see that the Giants had been busy laying down their arms to the Pirates. Is it just me, or does every Giant hot streak seem to come to a grinding halt once the team rolls into Pittsburgh? Must we remember the consecutive extra-inning losses in 2004, or the ill-fated clash between two viscerally-hated Giants in 2006? The Giants managed to score one run in the first 23 innings of the series. And just when we thought this offense had some giddy-up, after all.

Tonight's game was more of the same, with the Giants able to eke out three runs only because Nate McClouth has a habit of letting routine fly balls drop twenty feet behind his head. Couple that with a bullpen meltdown from an unexpected source (Sergio Romo), a boatload of (ugly-looking) strikeouts at the hands of the nasty Tommy Hanson, and an injury to Aaron Rowand, and I had honestly flipped over to "Mythbusters" by the time the seventh inning had ended. Finding out whether you can turn crappy vodka into top shelf vodka by running it through six filters seemed sooooo much more interesting than watching the bullpen serve up longballs to Braves scrubeenies.

Hopefully this lull is just your typical road woes, and the perfect cure is the start of the seven-game homestand next week, with the lowly Pirates arriving to help the medicine go down. I'll tell you one thing, watching this offense is a good way to test the limits of your sanity. Even Duane Kuiper is getting noticeably cranky on the air!

--Don't look now, but Aaron Rowand's batting average is down to .275, and he certainly looks a lot more like the '08 version of himself that Giants fans hated so much than the super-leadoff hitter that possessed him in May and June. Perhaps the whole leadoff thing was more correlation with his hot streak than causation? Were we wrong to believe that he had suddenly transformed into Roberto Clemente simply because of a shift to the top of the order? The rational baseball nerd in me knew this success would be fleeting, but like a subtitle for a crappy X-Files sequel, I wanted to believe.

--Ryan Sadowski (or, El Saderino, if you're into the whole brevity thing*) will start tomorrow, hoping to still have some of that magic voodoo dust left that has enabled him to get so many outs with so little stuff. John Bowker looks like the number one candidate to get sent down, but many are clamoring for Rich Aurilia's head. Nostalgia and awesome goatees can buy you a few weeks of extra life, but the Giants didn't seem to have this same problem when cutting Kirk Rueter loose, and he was more beloved than Richie.

*Honestly, we need...need...Sadowski to have a ten-year career just so we can continue to make these stupid Big Lebowski jokes at every oppurtunity. If, in thirty years, I can go to Sadowski's Baseball Reference page and see under "nicknames" the words "The Dude", I'd die a happy man.

July's Hardball Hero inductee is former Giants pitching inspiration Dave Dravecky.


We'd appreciate the link, and will return the favor.
Did the vodka work?
No. In the end, passing the crap vodka through all those filters improved it's quality slightly, but it was still nowhere near the good stuff. So, in the end, you're better off just splurging on good vodka than wasting time and money on filtering bad stuff. Yeah, there go my Saturday night plans, too.
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