Wednesday, August 11, 2010


The Mike Fontenot Era Begins With a Bang

The Giants continued to have problems with the Cubs tonight, blowing an early 3-0 lead before finally scraping out a 5-4 win on another late-inning home run by Pat Burrell, who is seeming like less a player than some kind of season-saving angel riding in from the clouds. It's frustrating to watch the Giants having such a hard time beating a Cubs team that looks like it can't wait for the season to hurry up and end, but a win is a win. Much-maligned Aaron Rowand also came through with a big home run, and the Giants got typically excellent relief work from Sergio Romo and Brian Wilson to seal the deal.

So the Giants hang with the Padres for another game, which is all they can really hope to do until Friday, since the Pads are busy kicking the crap out of a hopeless Pittsburgh team. On the heels of tonight's win, let's welcome the newest member of the Orange and Black. Into the torture baseball fray comes utility infielder Mike Fontenot, last seen killing the Giants with a late-inning RBI, last night. Yep, all Fontenot had to do was run across the grass from dugout to dugout, as the Giants dealt a low-A infielder for him before tonight's game. With Edgar Renteria going on the disabled list, Fontenot provides a little added versatility and another left-handed bat off the bench.

Once upon a time, Fontenot looked like he could hit enough to be a regular. Yeah, a lot has changed since 2008. Fontenot learned the hard way what happens when your BABIP decides to come back to Earth, and he was miserable in way too many at-bats for the Cubs last season. This year he's been a little better, although his main asset to the Giants is that he isn't Emmanuel Burriss. As a minor trade to bolster the bench, I give it a courtesy clap. Hey. it's better than having a pea sprout in your lung.

The loss of Renteria means that the Giants no longer have to find him playing time in lieu of more at-bats from Juan Uribe. Uribe, as flawed as he may be, is still one of the Giants' most productive hitters and has no business losing plate appearances to the likes of Renteria and Freddy Sanchez. Unless Sanchez regains his hitting mojo, Fontenot will probably spell him against tough righties down the stretch, and with Renteria out the Giants don't have any excuses to sit Uribe and his potent bat.

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