Saturday, March 18, 2006

Giants @ Rangers - March 16th, 2006

I am a couple of days late on this game review so I will make it short. The Giants lost to the Rangers 4-3, but once again, because of who was playing the game; this was a “good” loss for the Giants.

The Giants only brought one starter to Surprise, Lance Niekro, and only Todd Linden or Jason Ellison realistically even have a chance to make the 25 man roster. The remainder of the players in this game were the Giants Minor Leaguers. Those loveable youngsters who have been playing so well this spring. I really enjoy watching these kids play. I know some fans only want to see wins, even in Spring Training, but having young players perform well and gain confidence in these games, means MUCH more to the organization that 1,000 spring wins.

The Rangers played mostly starters and played many of them late into the game. Merkin Valdez gave up a HR in the 7th to Kevin Mench to allow the first runs scored by Texas to tie the game 2-2. Mench is a 4 year Major Leaguer with almost 1500 ML at bats and he was still in the game in the 7th inning. Meanwhile, the Giants were playing Tyler Von Schell and some kid named Bowers or Powers in the 7th inning. Neither of these guys are even in the Major League camp and I have never even heard of Bowers/Powers who played SS and isn’t even listed in the Giants Media Guide Minor League roster. Can anyone help me out here?

After the Rangers tied the game in the 7th, the baby Giants came right back in the 8th and took the lead once again on Von Schell’s double and Kevin Frandsen’s RBI single. Unfortunately Merken gave it right back again in the bottom of the 8th and Matt Anderson gave up the winning run in the 9th. The winning run was unearned because of Anderson’s own error on a pick-off throw. Surprise is the only stadium in the league that has a radar reading posted on the scoreboard. Merkin was throwing 97-98 MPH consistently, but even though he only registered 1 walk, he was not locating his pitches at all and fell behind most batters. Merkin hopefully learned a valuable lesson. You can throw 98 all day long, but if you put a 3-1 fastball right down the middle to a Major League batter……he can/will hit it out of the park.

Kevin Correia pitched a great game, throwing a 4 inning, 1 hitter with 2 strikeouts. He was in full command the entire outing and just may have popped himself back into the competition for the 5th starter.

Considering the mostly veteran Rangers took until the 9th inning to beat the mostly VERY young Giants, it was a very encouraging game. Hopefully these kids will continue to develop and we might actually see some homegrown position players on the Giants in the next couple of years.


Anonymous said...

Bowers/Powers = Bowker, John

Giantfan9 said...

Nope......not so. John Bowker is a non-roster invitee outfelder who is wearing #82 with his name on the back. Bowers/Powers was an infielder earing the Minor League uniform, which does not have a name on the back. He was wearing #81, the same number that Jake Wald has in the Major League camp. Also Bowker bats & throws LH....this guy was a righty.