Thursday, March 02, 2006

Giants @ Brewers - First Spring Game

It was an absolutely fabulous day for the first Spring Training game. Bright blue sky.......gametime temperature of 73 degrees (high of 78) and a 10-5 Giants win. What more could you ask for? My seats were 5 rows behind the Giants on deck circle....so I kind of fell in love with closeup photos of Giants players in the on deck circle.

The Giants never really had a chance to lose this game, even with Todd Linden's defense. They took a 1-0 lead on a leadoff HR by Randy Winn. I thought Randy was leaving the team for Team USA and was not going to appear today.........I guess I was wrong. By the way....I don't think I saw Winn hit a HR in batting practice this spring.....and he goes and hits one on his first at bat. Go figure.

After a 1-2-3 first inning, Noah Lowry gave up 3 earned runs in the second, thanks to 2 errors by Todd Linden (1 scored error). Todd lost an easy flyball at the warning track in the sun. The sun was actually more of a problem for the centerfielder....but the Arizona sky is tough......so Linden gets the benefit of the doubt. Shortly after that, Todd got a scored error when he pulled up short on a linedrive he should have caught. When he pulled up short, he tried to shorthop the ball and the ball bounced off his hands and skipped away from him allowing runners to advance. Without Linden's 2 mistakes......Noah does not give up any runs in the game.

In the very next half inning, the Giants scored 5 runs and essentially put the game away. The big blow of the inning was Ray Durham's bases clearing double. I really like Ray in the #5 slot. It seems to me that his conscentration is better with men on base.

The game was pretty much over after Ray's double. The Giants really put on their hitting shoes today, with 16 basehits, including 4 doubles and 2 HRs. The boxscore says Michael Tejera got a double. I assure you that Michael Tejera is still a pitcher and Brian Buscher played a couple of innings of 3B and actually hit that double. After his fielding gaffs in the second inning, Linden went 3 for 3 with a really nice sliding catch of a sinking flyball down the LF line. I just don't know about that guy. He can go from doghouse to penthouse and back faster than any player I can remember. The other HR was hit by Justin Knoedler who also had a single to go 2 for 2 in the game. Knoedler's swing is prettier than I remembered. He looks like a hitter. He allowed a wild pitch that was charged to Matt Anderson, that he really should have blocked. Being a converted pitcher, Knoedler still has to work on his catching fundamentals.

All in all the only disappointments in the game were Linden's defense, Kevin Frandsen's 0 for 3 while hitting into 2 DPs and the pitching of Matt Anderson. Anderson is more than likely cannon fodder for AAA Fresno, so I wouldn't worry about it. It was the first game of the spring, so I wouldn't worry about Frandsen's 0 fer. Linden's defense is slightly worrisome. For all his tools, he seems to drift mentally and just do stupid stuff that he really shouldn't do given his talent level. I really don't know what to think about the guy. He drives me nuts.....and my friends will tell you that is a VERY short trip.

That's about it for today. I have many more photos than I posted. I really enjoy watching the kids play, so I tend to post more of them than the vets. If anyone has any specific requests for a player, I will post the photo if I have it. 1-0 good guys........nice start.

PS.....there are a number of errors in todays boxscores (at least the ones I saw). Hopefully it will get better as the spring goes on. The game was also officiated by only 2 umpires. I can't remember the last time I saw only 2 umpires in a spring game (3 is not unusual though). I hope MLB isn't cheaping out on the "non-essentials" this spring. I know Uncle Bud is conscentrating on the WBC this March.....but the regular spring games ARE still important.

PSS.......I totally forgot to mention Brad Hennessey. The man was in total control for his 3 innings. I have no doubt that Giants management did not expect him to go 3 innings the first time out, but he only gave up 1 hit and 1 walk and had an economy of pitches. Really inpressive outing. I think he really wants that #5 spot in the rotation.

11 comments:

DrBGiantsfan said...

Once upon a time, Matt Anderson was supposed to have a 100 MPH fastball. Did you get any impressions about his velocity today?

Giantfan9 said...

It was a great deal less than 100MPH, amybe low 90's......and pretty staight from what I could see.

Anonymous said...

Hank,

Your blog is fantastic. I gave it a mention at my Giants blog. It's the Barry Ridiculous post.

http://jay.typepad.com/william_jay/2006/02/barry_ridiculou.html

Should have given it a separate entry! Sorry.

I am retired from the Air Force. I was stationed at Luke AFB in 1993 and 1994. Went to as many games as I could get away with. Went to see the Giants at Brewers. Our seats were right about where you were yesterday. I loved seeing the Giants away like that because the crowds were a lot less than at Scottsdale.

Anyway, thanks for all the great pictures and observations.

Are you going to blog the regular season??

Jay Roberts
Alexandria, VA
Web Site: The Giants Journal http://members.aol.com/Jaybird926/giants.htm
Blog: Jay’s Giants Blog jay.typepad.com

baseballfanof51 said...

Thanks again for the great details. I listened to the game on mlb but you gave much better detail. Was good to re-affirm that Noah should have gotten out of that inning w/o giving up any runs - oh well....can't play the outfield too. Thanks again and any extra pics of Noah would be appreciated.

Giantfan9 said...

Jay.....I will take a look at your website & blog. Glad you are enjoying mine.

I haven't decided about the regular season. Many people have asked me to, but this is really a lot of work and I am not the best typist in the world. Seeing as how I go to every home game. This just might be too much for the regular season. Maybe an occasionaal entry when something good happens,.....I don't know though.

Giantfan9 said...

baseballfanof51......Noah is tough. I have a lot of photos of him......but he keeps that hat so far down over his face.....it's hard to get a good shot. Even the batting helmet is down over his eyes. I don't know how he can the the ball coming to the plate.

baseballfanof51 said...

can you tell me about Noah's at bat. It was hard to tell where he hit it from the mlb radio....did the fielder make a great catch or was it an easy out? Thanks again for your time, you're awesome!

Giantfan9 said...

Sorry...I went to get a beer and missed Noah's at bat.

Marc said...

I'm jumping on the bandwagon, and I say you blog the whole season with your insights. Its been a great blog thus far, and would be nice to see your perspective as a die hard Giants fan a few nights a week.

-Marc

Anonymous said...

Hank,

Perhaps you could do one report per homestand or something like that.

If not, I understand.

As far as watering holes and hangouts, is the Pink Pony still popular for Giants fans? Or is there a new place with Giants stuff on the walls, etc?

Jay

Giantfan9 said...

Jay...although they do good business, I don't think the Pink Pony is the draw it used to be. There is always Don & Charlies. They have the biggest collection of memorabilia I have seen in a restaurant. As matter of fact, more than many sports museums. The Blue Moose is just steps from the park, so most fans go there after a game. And there are just so many more restaurants and bars in town than their used to be.....it's hard to point to one as THE place to go.

I picked my son and daughter-in-law up at the airport last night and we went out for a late dinner at the best primerib place in town, Bandera. Old Scottsdale was still jumping at midnight when we left. Judging by the game yesterday, and Scottsdale last night......the fans are starting their partying very early this year.