Thursday, August 06, 2009


Houston Fling

Excuse me for having a case of the "Here we go agains" while watching Monday's game against Houston. I had a baaaaad feeling about that one early, as the Giants left runners all over the bases and squandered several chances to put a crooked number on the scoreboard. When you miss that many opportunities, bad things tend to go down, and sure enough, Matt Cain ended up getting beat by an inexplicable power display by two of the worst players in the major leagues.

It was a horribly demoralizing loss, one that seemed to foreshadow more road misery, but luckily the impending disaster wasn't to be. Good fortune shined down on the Giants, as they faced every Houston starter not named Roy Oswalt or Wandy Rodriguez. The offense came alive against Houston's gaggle of retreads in the next two games and the Giants won the series, and any time you can take two of three from anybody on the road, it's like frosting on the cake.

Special series props to three guys. First, Freddy Sanchez for tearing it up in the three games and helping quell our doubts about trading Tim Alderson for him. Second, to Eli Whitside for hitting his first home run in the majors in such a crucial manner, with the bases loaded and the game tied. Whiteside has been a pretty effective backup all year, removing himself further from the grey-haired, "whothehellisthatguy" label he had when he first came up. Pitchers seem to love throwing to him, also, so that's a plus.

Third, major thumbs up to Joe Martinez, who pitched a solid game to earn the win in his first appearance back from that horrid injury he suffered in April. It takes a better man than me to go up and face major league batters again only four months removed from taking a line drive to the eye socket.

Martinez, like erstwhile failed fifth starter Ryan Sadowski, doesn't have great stuff. Unlike The Big Sadowski, though, his minor league numbers were pretty solid. He doesn't walk guys and has a pretty heavy sinker, so his chances of sticking seem reasonable, at least enough to ride out the end of the year at the back of the rotation and not give us flashbacks to Jamey Wright or Russ Ortiz Part Deux.

The Giants kick off this homestand against suddenly not-so-genius Dusty Baker and the hapless Reds. After that, it's the Dodgers. This should be fun. Tomorrow, Tim Lincecum goes up against one of the worst lineups in the majors, full of guys who strike out a lot and don't take walks. Can I start salivating already?

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