Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Two Shots of Sad
Then the game began, and the Giant-Dodger ceasefire quickly collapsed. The second the first pitch was thrown, the usual booing and chants of "Dodgers Suck" soon drowned out any feelings of fraternity. Not that it did any good. The Giants lost 6-1 in a game that was a big bowl of horrid fielding, bad umpiring, and double plays at every turn. Madison Bumgarner again struggled with his command (he wasn't helped by a tight strike zone), and it was all LA basically from the start.
The Dodgers have been dabbling in satanism for a long time now, but Clayton Kershaw is starting to resemble the devil himself when he takes the mound against the Giants. Even though the Giants got some runners on base against him early, those were quickly washed away by double play balls. The endless slew of twin killings enabled Kershaw to run his scoreless streak against the Giants to 23.2 innings. The knowledge that the Giants may have to face this guy four more times this year is horrifying.
Nothing to see here. As Bill James said about Jeff Bagwell..."Pass". Timmy goes tomorrow, and all will be well with the cosmos. Er, we hope.
--I think we have our answer to the age-old question of who gets sent down or released when Cody Ross comes off the DL. While it's completely unfair to judge Brandon Belt based on less than two weeks in the major leagues, I think it's clear that he's the odd man out when Ross returns. The combination of his slow start and the Aubrey Huff/Pat Burrell/Ross positional mishmash probably means that he's destined to get acquainted with the Fresno nightlife in the near future.
In a fair world, Belt would get around 200 plate appearances to prove he's major-league ready, but the Giants are in the business of defending a World Championship and I doubt they are going to be particularly patient waiting for a young hitter to develop right now. No time for this small sample size malarkey!
Not that a demotion would be bad, necessarily. After all, he is only 22 and has only 61 AAA plate appearance under his...er, belt. It's certainly possible that Belt does need more time in the minors. Even considering small sample size fooferah and the vagaries of batting average, I don't think anyone would say that Belt has been unlucky. There haven't been too many line drives coming off of his bat lately, and there have been a lot of weak ground balls. Again, that could be simply due to the quality pitching he's faced so far, but as of this moment, his days with the big club seem numbered.
Then again, he could bash .500 over the next week with four home runs and render everything I've just written completely irrelvant. Brandon, I'd love to be proven an idiot.
--Good news: Pat Burrell is on pace to smack about 50 home runs right now. Bad news: he might hit .180 while doing it. If there's one thing the Giants should be happy to have, it's Burrell's ability to launch the ball over the fence at any given time. Remember also that this guy basically took a low ball deal to stay with the Giants.
Burrell made a horrible defensive miscue in tonight's game that basically ended any chances of a Giant comeback, and that won't be his last impression of a dancing bear in the outfield this season. However, just like last year, the Giants will live with the poor defense, because it's clear they need Burrell in the lineup. Nate Schierholtz can also credit his roster spot to Burrell's ability to rake; few players necessitate a sixth inning defensive replacement quite like Burrell.