Monday, March 27, 2006

Giants at Padres - March 26th, 2006

I am finally back on-line. I am afraid that, this being the last weekend of Spring Training, I have been partying all weekend and just didn’t have the time to update my blog. I think most people are getting a little tired of Spring Training games anyway. I know the daily readership of the blog has been dropping pretty steadily since the first week or so of games.

At any rate…..the Giants lost to the Padres yesterday at Peoria Sports Complex. I can’t remember the last time the Giants won a road game this spring……of course I also can’t remember the last time the Giants brought more than 2 starters to an away game. It’s kind of funny because many of the Padres fans asked where Barry Bonds was, and spoke derogatorily of him not being present. When I pointed out that the Giants only brought 2 starters to the game and only 2 or 3 other players that had a chance to make the 25 man roster…….they had no idea. They know when Bonds is missing…….but they are clueless that Alou, Finley, Winn, Durham and Visquel are also not present. It is truly a love/hate relationship…..the say they don’t like Bonds……but their biggest disappointment of the spring is attending a Giants game where he doesn’t play.

Yesterday the starters that made the trip to Peoria were Lance Niekro and Pedro Feliz……and the two of them accounted for all 5 of the Giants’ runs. Feliz with a solo HR in the 5th inning and Niekro with a 2 run HR and a double plus two additional RBIs. Feliz’ HR was his only hit of the game, but his 1 for 3 performance raised his spring average to .294. Niekro’s 2 for 3 performance raised his spring average to .386. Niekro also leads the Giants with 18 RBI, even though he missed almost a week with shin splints.

The only other offensive star of the game was Kevin Frandsen (again). Kevin went 3 for 4 with not just his daily double….but with 2 doubles and 2 runs scored. After a 0 for 12 start, Frandsen now has his average up to .385. Those of you, who have been reading my stuff for more than this year, know that I said last year in Spring Training that Frandsen reminds me of Robby Thompson. I caught a little flak for that comparison, but now I am hearing a lot of people saying the same thing. The only other hits in the game came from Angel Chavez (a double) and Clay Timpner (a single). Timpner actually started the game in CF and had a couple of good running catches. By the 6th inning the Giants had Chad Santos at 1B, Jed Hansen at 3B, John Bowker in LF, Brian Horwitz in RF and the scoring was over for them. Yeah…….I didn’t know who Jed Hansen was either. The media guide says he is a 33 year old Minor League journeyman who the Giants picked up in May of last year as a warm body for AAA Fresno. This guy was in the Majors in 1997, 1998 and 1999 with the Royals and hasn’t made it back yet. Talk about perseverance.

Noah Lowry started the game and had his best game of the spring. He threw 5 shutout innings before running into trouble in the 6th. Noah ended up pitching 5 2/3 innings, giving up 3 hits, 2 walks and 2 runs. Through 5 innings he was spotting his fastball well and both the change and the curve were working well as evidenced by his 5 strikeouts. He lost his location in the 6th, but when he left the game, only 1 run had scored. Scott Munter allowed Noah’s 2nd run to score when he allowed an uncharacteristic RBI double instead of his usual groundball. Munter only went 1/3 of an inning and got the out on the very next batter.

Tyler Walker followed Munter and had one of his better appearances of the spring with a 1-2-3 7th inning. Jack Tashner followed and had just a disastrous outing, picking up the loss in the process. Jack had only given up 2 runs the entire spring before giving up 4 runs on 3 hits (2 of them HRs) and 1 walk in only 1/3 of an inning. Jack’s pitches had nothing on them. I don’t know if he has hit a dead arm period or what, but his pitches just did not have their usual life. Tim Worrell relieved Taschner and allowed no runs on 1 hit and 1 strikeout.

Even though this was another loss for the Giants, there were a lot of good things happening. The pitching was very good, except for Taschner’s melt down. Even though the Giants played mostly very young players, it took the Padres until their last AB to beat them. The two starters that did play in the game brought a ton of offense to the game and Lance Niekro in particular continues to justify the Giants’ trust in him in naming him as the starting firstbaseman. You hate a late inning loss, even in Spring Training, but given the circumstances, and who played (or more accurately who DIDN’T play), it was a good game.

Today is the Giants vs the Royals at Scottsdale. Showers are again in the forecast (even though the temperature is about 74 as I type this) so I probably won’t take my camera to the game. I would think that the Giants would play mostly starters today with Matt Cain taking the mound. It will be interesting to see how Cain reacts after he last, very poor, outing.


fullmonty8 said...

thanks for the updates........they are appreciated as usual.
I, for one, don't really care if the "regulars" play for more than a few innings. We already know what they can or cannot do. I do, however, prefer the pitchers that actually nned the work and can make a difference.

fullmonty8 said...

I forgot to say, I think the readership is down because in the beginning you were posting more pictures, and now are relying on commentary, which we can get in alot of different places. Most of us listen to the games and can read a boxscore. I do want to thank you for all your hard work.

grmg said...

Hank, I still check in religiously...and while I listen to the broadcasts and read the papers, I still prefer your accounts of the games, as your point of view is as a fan, not a jaded journalist.

Thanks!!! And come home safe!!

thedodgerssuck said...

I found your blog this season and want to say thanks for the info! It's very informative and always an interesting read. I usually checked in more than a few times a week. Thanks and Go Giants!

Anonymous said...

I much prefer your accounts of the games as well. I figure you are paying attention.....

Anonymous said...

i like seeing the pictures, but your commentary is always a bit biased towards your favorite players and against those you clearly don't like. i guess that's to be expected.

Giantfan9 said...

"but your commentary is always a bit biased towards your favorite players"

Hey annonymous.....just out of curiousity...who is it I like and who is it I don't like? I thought I was honestly reviewing performance of the players. Please tell me who I am favoring vs who I am not giving enough credit so I can improve my reviews.

OutsideSource said...

I donno if support from EZBoard people counts as your mom telling you how special you are, but... I'm still reading every entry.

I was at Sunday's game with my dad, and I gotta say, Ellison also looked really, really locked. Even though he had an 0 fer, he had a couple good whacks, they just found mitts.

I also managed to turn the family sitting next to me into Frandsen fans. I'll toast you with the Kool-aid, Hank.

DrBGiantsfan said...

I actually believe comparing Kevin Frandsen to Robby Thompson, as great a Giant as he was, is doing Kevin a disservice. I know you don't mean it that way, but Thompson made an awful lot of outs punctuated by some very exciting moments. I really believe Frandsen is going to hit .300 with consistency in the majors with as much power as Robby had.

loritk said...

Thanks for all your updates all spring. Although I like the pictures your commentary is great. I don't see that you have been biased in your take. I look forward to see some of the kids as I live in Fresno along with seeing the others when I go to the games in SF.

Reading your blog has made me want to attend Spring Training even more than ever but your pages have made it bearable not being there.