Sunday, March 05, 2006

Giants vs Cubs - March 4th, 2005

Well, a day late is better than never I guess. We had early dinner reservations with some friends from Ohio, and were then out very late. I didn’t get to my computer until about 1:00 am and by then I was too tired to write a game review. No photos today either, since I knew I would be short of time, I didn’t even take any photos at the game.

Pretty darn good 7-2 win against the Cubs yesterday. Jason Schmidt had a very encouraging outing. I wish I had a radar gun, because it looked to me like he had more zip on his fastball than he did for most of last year. Jason was throwing free and loose and pitched 3 very tidy innings giving up only 2 hits. In the first he had to get 5 outs, when he was slow to cover 1B and allowed Juan Pierre to have a bunt base hit. Then Ray Durham booted an easy groundball for an error. Schmidt still got out of the inning easily. In order to make up for the first inning, Jason had a 7 pitch second inning, which included a 1 pitch groundout and a 1 pitch fly out. He allowed another hit in the third inning, but was never really in trouble. He only had 1 strikeout, but that is because his pitches were crisp and well located and the Cubs were swinging and making outs early in the count.

The published boxscores continue to be very inaccurate. I was surprised to see that had Nate Shierholtz pitching the first 3 innings of the game. I assure you Nate is still an outfielder. Nate is still #46, Schmidt is still #29. I have no idea how the scorekeeper can make such a mistake. The Spring Training uniform numbers are a little hard to read…..but no way does 29 look like 46.

The next 4 innings were pitched by the twins; 2 by Matt Kinney and 2 by Brian Cooper (they look nothing alike, but I always mix those 2 guys up). They pitched pretty much the way they always seem to pitch in the spring. Nothing spectacular, but efficient. Both gave up single runs. Kinney on a solo HR and Cooper on a couple of hits. Jonathan Sanchez pitched the 8th, giving up a hit but getting 2 strikeouts. Sanchez looks like a good, young lefty; but remember, by the end of the game he was facing the Cubs Minor League replacements. Dusty Baker is just like Alou, in that veterans are rarely in the game in the late innings (or even in the middle innings) in the spring. The game was finished off by Brian Wilson. Wilson pitched a scoreless inning, but was not overly sharp, giving up 1 hit, 1 walk and getting 1 strikeout.

The hitting star of the game was Lance Niekro. In his first at bat he had a bloop opposite field hit for an RBI. In his second AB he hit a shot in the hole between 3B and SS for an RBI single. Then one AB later, he smacked a 3 run HR to straight away LF. 3 for 4 with 5 RBI is a good day in anyone’s book. How big would it be for the Giants if this guy could keep hitting like that?

Our new 4th outfielder, Steve Finley, had another good day in the black & orange. At the plate he was 1 for 2 with a double and a run scored. He also made three Gold Glove caliber catches in the outfield, including a fabulous running grab of a liner into the left centerfield gap that I thought there was no way he could make that catch. Finley saved at least a double and a run with the catch. He may be 40, but the man has not lost much speed.

Daniel Ortmeier was the DH and went 2 for 4 looking comfortable at the plate. I really like this kid. I hope he gets a good long look this spring with Barry taking it slow and Winn and Alou vacationing in the WBC. Ray Durham went 1 for 3 with a RBI double and a run scored. Jason Ellison, Abraham Nunez and Jose Vizcaino had one hit each. Ellison’s hit was a standup double that I am pretty sure goes for a triple during the regular season when the coaches aren’t being so protective of the players’ health. Todd Linden came back down to earth today with a 0 for 3 performance. Linden did have a walk, so he continues his string of reaching base in every Spring Training game.

Other than Durham’s error and Schmidt’s tardiness in reaching 1B on the Juan Pierre bunt, the Giants played a clean, crisp game, with timely hits and good defense. Today, the Giants play split squad games against the Cubs in Mesa and Team USA in Scottsdale. I will be in Scottsdale. Hopefully, I can get a post up earlier today with a few photos. I can’t guarantee it though. As many of you who have been to Scottsdale know……there is a lot more to do in this town than just baseball!


Anonymous said...

did mattheny throw out Pierre stealing?


Giantfan9 said... the 3rd inning. As a matter of fact, I believe it ended the inning.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping us Giants fans informed!

We're heading to spring training next week and we're taking my nephew. On away games from Scottsdale, do they allow fans to watch practice of the remaining players?

Tom Clifton said...

Thanks for the posts and photos. I especially enjoy the shots of kids from San Jose, keep them coming.

We will be in town for games on the 17th - 19th. Hope to stop by and say hello.