Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Giants Rest Atop Baseball World (clip and save)

I do believe it's time for all Giants fans to give the schedule maker one big, fat, sloppy kiss. Oh, to open every season against a team that is as offensively challenged as the Giants. I'm not sure what's more sad, counting on Bengie Molina to drive in runs or counting on Geoff Blum to do the same.

'Stros fans, I feel your pain.

But, not being one to look a gift horse in the proverbial mouth, I'll take the 2-0 start. Moreover, in Year Four of his contract, Barry Zito actually looked like a pitcher. Only time will tell if this is some sort of miraculous recovery or just a blip on the EKG of a terminal patient; but Barry, both my blood pressure and my fantasy team thank you.

Of course, there's a fly in the ointment. If players were paid based on performance, Aaron Rowand would already be offering refunds. After an entire spring campaign where he drove the ball effectively, he's off on a mind-numbing 0-for-10 tear to start the season. Worse, he's swinging at the same crap that had him being compared to Pedro Feliz last year. Why anyone would ever throw this guy a strike is beyond me. He walks at about the same rate as Stephen Hawking and is about as selective as Tiger Woods.

There are some things I like. Mark DeRosa shouldn't be hitting in the middle of anyone's order but he does give spirited ABs -- which is like saying that chick would be really hot if she weren't your sister. Bengie Molina is a little more patient at the plate, although the guy still runs like a turtle stampeding through peanut butter. And we've now gone two full games without a Renteria injury. Yahoo, I think I'll wet my pants.

The pitching is hard to evaluate because the Astros put up about as much resistance as drunk coed on prom night, but the starters have yet to allow a run in 13 frames to date. I do hope that Zito doesn't prove to be a $126-million six-inning pitcher, although given his 2007-09 performance that could be considered an improvement. Still, a starter failing to go seven full points out what looks to be the one problem area.

Brian Wilson is entrenched as the closer. Sergio Romo and Jeremy Affeldt should be solid set-up men. The bridge arms may be the issue. So far we've seen three candidates for that job. Dan Runzler was okay in a brief audition. Waldis Joaquin had no clue where the ball was going. Brandon Medders, unfortunately did --  he got a good look at it as it rocketed past him on the way to the outfield wall. Someone there needs to step up.

Fortunately, there's plenty of time to sort that out. The Giants are off to a good start. Where will they be after one trip around the league? That's anyone's guess. It's certainly a shame they can't spend the first two months in Houston.

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