Saturday, April 10, 2010

Whoop! There it is!

I really should have known better.

I dared to say a few positive things about the team following yesterday’s game, and they responded by laying out the first unequivocal stink bomb of the season in a 7-2 loss to Atlanta.

When the opposing pitcher spends six innings trying to give you the game, when seven walks result one measly run, your offense officially qualifies as putrid. The lack of a timely hit, a double play rate escalating geometrically, and base running that recalled the halcyon days of Ruben Rivera conspired to make the sticks look like a prep JV team facing the ’27 Yankees.

Now admittedly, any team is gonna have bad days – but it’s not like we didn’t see this coming. It’s also, unfortunately, not like we hadn’t seen this before from the Giants. They can’t hit, they can’t run, they can’t field, and some of their pitchers can’t pitch. Other than that they’re tremendous.

There’s a saying in baseball that you can’t expect to walk guys and win games. Well, the Giants are out to prove that wrong. Unfortunately the poster boy for the Giants efforts was Derek Lowe, who gave out more free passes than Fox News gives to Sarah Palin yet lived to celebrate the win. Conversely, the Giants found themselves in a very giving mood. Walks, hit batters and defensive lapses allowed a competitive game to turn into an embarrassment.

It is absolutely unconcsionable that a team that bills itself as relying on pitching a defense showed neither tonight, at least not when it mattered. Wellemeyer folded up like a cheap card table. Medders allowed an inherited runner to score -- again. The bullpen went into total meltdown. Two potential double play balls were foiled by bad throws (and you’d think the Giants would recognize all permutations of the two ball considering how frequently they see them turned by the opposition).

On the offensive side we saw more of the same failings: weak grounders in key situations, failure to put the ball in play effectively, inability to move runners, poor pitch selection…the list is endless. And once again I gotta ask, why does Eli Whiteside even bother to take a bat to the plate?

The ninth-inning so-called rally will prompt some to say that at least the team didn’t die without a fight. Okay, nice effort. But it’s not exactly like the Braves were ever pressured. Hurlers in that situation aren’t as fine. It’s about avoiding freebies because freebies kill you, and….oh wait. I forgot this was the Giants we were talking about. Freebies are something you waste.

There are things to like about this team, but the Giants seem bound a determined to wreck it. Every step forward is countered by a slide backward. For every young pitcher developed, the Giants feel the need to balance the scale with a “veteran” who was cut loose elsewhere but is expected to rediscover his inner Marichal for the glory of the almighty Sabean.

And again, if you can’t hit, you can’t win. If the Giants can’t, they won’t. Meanwhile, offensive stiffs like Whiteside kill rallies while the Buster Poseys of the world are lining up for scraps at the Silver Dollar Haufbrau in Fresno.

Neukom made a big show about learning to play baseball "The Giants Way". Well, considering the Giants way hasn't produced a title since 1954, maybe they ought to try something else.

Good players and better managment would be a good start.

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