Thursday, March 23, 2006

Giants vs Angels - March 22nd, 2006

Another ugly day (night) for the Giants in an 11-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Giants were out hit 17-5 and just played generally slow sluggish baseball for the entire game. I am not worried at all about the pitching or even about the offense, but in the 2 games that the Giants finally started playing their regulars, the intensity is just gone……the energy sapped. It might have been the rain the day before or the chilly night air last night, but whatever it is, the vets need to learn a little something from the kids and show some fight.

Defensively, the Giants had only one error, but it wasn’t pretty. Jason Ellison went to field an easy groundball in the outfield and just ran right by it for a 2 base error. No reason for it, Ellison just didn’t bend down far enough and the ball went under his glove. Pedro Feliz had about 4 groundballs hit toward him and he didn’t even attempt to move. Not hard hit smashes…..but medium hard hit grounders and bouncing balls hit to both his right and left where he didn’t even lean in the direction of the ball. Omar Vizquel missed another couple of grounders that were out of his “range”……at least for this game. And Mark Sweeney had an easy double play hit right at him that he fielded cleanly but couldn’t get a grip on the ball to throw to 2B. He had to settle for getting the one out at 1B. Just an ugly sluggish game. I think the team wanted to be out to dinner or at a bar someplace……..anyplace but at the ballpark.

The Giants got their first 2 runs on Barry Bonds’ first swing of the game. He hit a rocket shot that was over the RF fence by a good 100+ feet. The ball was still on it’s way up as it left the park and I am not sure it was hit high enough to make it over the wall at AT&T Park. It might have drilled a hole in the wall, but I don’t think it would have made it over. After that, the Giants offense went into hibernation. They only had 2 more hits until the 9th inning mini-rally, both were singles from Feliz and Mike Matheny. In the 9th, Tyler Von Schell walked and Kevin Frandsen and Eliezer Alfonzo strung back-to-back doubles together for the Giants other 2 runs of the game. That was it for the offense…..5 hits.

Matt Cain got clubbed, but that doesn’t bother me much. It was bound to happen. He got most of his pitches up in the zone and I think he fell in love with his fastball. The Angels were just sitting in the batters box waiting. Hopefully, the kid learned something and this experience will teach him a little humility. The rest of the pitching wasn’t much better. The lone exception being Jeremy Accardo. Accardo went 2 scoreless innings giving up only 1 hit and recording 2 strikeouts. Accardo lowered his spring ERA to 1.50. There are going to be some tough choices in the bullpen this spring. Lots and lots of good arms. What a change from the last 2 years.

Another very poor game for the Giants veterans. They need to take a lesson from the kids and bring some intensity to the game. Talk about a terrible game to televise back to the Bay Area! I didn’t post many photos because most of them were very blurry from the dark conditions.

Today will be the Giants at the Brewers at the Maryvale Sports Complex. After 2 days of playing the regulars, I don’t anticipate too many of them playing today. Maybe we will get to see some action today……after the last two snooze fests……I am ready.

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DrBGiantsfan said...

Thanks again for the pictures and reports.

Nice to see Accardo pitch well again. I hadn't seen his name in awhile and wondered where he'd gone.

The young relief pitchers have been a real bright spot: Munter, Taschner, Accardo, Valdez. Even Brian Wilson hasn't pitched badly. I think even Erick Threets pitched OK in his one or two outings. Kevin Correia looks like he could sneak onto the team as a starter or reliever.

I have to say I'm a little worried about Matt Cain. This is the kind of stuff he was doing with Fresno in the middle of last summer. He's going to have to figure out how to avoid so many longballs.

What more can I say about Kevin Frandsen? He's been a consistent bright spot this spring, well at least since the 0 for 12 start. I guess it wouldn't hurt him to get anther year of seasoning at Fresno, but it sure would be exciting to see him make the opening day roster. It would have to be as a starter though, just no openings.