All season my brother has been singing the praises of Brad Hennessey. I went to the game last Saturday (8/19/06). Yeah, that’s the one the Giants lost 14-7. The Dodgers scored 10 runs in the first two innings, and I believe most of them were charged to Hennessey (even though he left in the middle of the second inning). Now I’m watching him mow down the Wild-Card leading Reds. He hasn’t allowed a run into the 6th. And speaking of young arms… Lowry nailed down a complete game shutout on Monday (8/21/06) against Arizona. The next couple of years could see the Giants have the best young staff in the NL.
The Giants lost their first game to Colorado after winning one to end their 9-game losing streak. They had a glimmer of hope in the 9th, but drama interrupted, Bonds got tossed, garbage got tossed, and ultimately the Giants lost the game. Yes, the ball was low and a bit outside, but Barry can’t get thrown out of that game. Krukow said it on the postgame wrap and I have to agree. That’s not to say that the umpire wasn’t out of line. He shouldn’t have taken his mask off and reignited the battle. And yet, Barry is the one to blame because his actions let down his teammates, and the fans. I wanted to see Barry on first, with Vizquel already on third, and Alou coming up. But alas, it wasn’t to be. The only silver lining from this debacle will be if a sleeping giant has been woken. Can the Giants get pumped enough to start getting it done???
I just didn’t have the heart to write during the 9-game losing streak. Boy, these guys can break your heart sometimes, can’t they? But finally, although not easily, they won one on Wednesday (8/2/06). And it being the NL West, we’re only 3.5 games out! Not too surprising, I suppose. Maybe we should just hang out in last place until the very end, and have one of those winning streaks that we’ve yet to have, and surge through ’em all. One thing that needs to happen is Pedro needs to get off this slump he’s in. He can’t hit the ball. I wonder how easy it is for a batter to change his approach. For example, Pedro is essentially a .270 hitter with power. Could he change his approach and try to poke a few through the infield, get some hits, and then ease back into the power game? It’s got to be demoralizing to continue to pop up every time he’s at bat.
Shea Hillenbrand should feel right at home in SF. This team knows how to deal with controversial players. Although I surely hope Shea left his problems in Canada, because we can handle only so much. He had a decent first series with the Giants. He made a couple of nice plays in the field even though his defense is not the reason we picked him up. His bat was fairly quiet, but I suppose we’ll have to wait a bit for him to feel comfortable in the NL, but we haven’t got long. Actually, it probably doesn’t matter. We’ll be in the mess of the NL West for the remainder of the season. It will go down to the last week, I’m sure. In the end, will we be sorry we dealt Accardo? Sure, he hadn’t been exactly lights out, but he’s young, and he’s got a great arm. If he goes the way of Joe Nathan after leaving us it will be tough to take.
Wow! I’m basking in Tony Bennett’s, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," as the Giants pulled out an improbable one against the Brewers. The Giants were down by 1 in the bottom of the 9th. Bonds led off the inning (he was pinch hitting for Linden), and he poked a single. Vizcaino runs for him. Finley hits a ball up the middle that was hit hard because it hit off of the two infielders’ gloves and when the dust cleared, Vizcaino was on 3rd and Finley was standing on 2nd base. Turnbow intentionally walked Alou and that brought up Durham with the bases loaded. A few outside pitches, and then Durham hit a would-be double-play ball (according to Jon Miller who made the excellent call), but Turnbow, probably instinctually, stuck out his glove. The ball hit off the glove and away from Weeks who was preparing to make the game-ending play. And so with a little luck the Giants have put two in a row in the win column!
The Giants just lost two of three to the Phillies. This is a weird team. They played a really nice game on Friday night and beat the Phillies, 5-3. And I thought, this is a nice way to start the second half. But then they play two utterly lifeless, mindless games that see them lose 14-6 and 6-2. What is up? I’m at a loss to even begin to explain it.
Are the Giants going to be buyers or sellers this year? They’ve got a lot to deal, because they’ve got a number of good players who will be free agents at the end of the year. The list includes, All-Star pitcher Jason Schmidt, right fielder Moises Alou, outfielder Steve Finley, second baseman Ray Durham, third baseman Pedro Feliz, lefty reliever Steve Kline,
right-handed starter Jamey Wright and infielder Jose Vizcaino.
I would like to see them deal a few to get some great players for next year. What I don’t want to see is dealing good players (probably young ones) for a rental player who doesn’t get us to the postseason, and then he’s gone after September (e.g., Pierzynski, Ponson, Hawkins).