Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Giants vs Royals - March 27th, 2006

Well, as encouraging as the pitching was the day before…..…it was downright depressing in yesterday’s 15-6 loss to the Royals. The Royals hit early and often in yesterday’s game, amassing a total of 18 hits.

Matt Cain started the game and although he pitched better than he did the last time out (when he gave up 8 runs) he didn’t do that much better. Matt went a total of 5 1/3 innings and gave up 8 hits (including 2 doubles and 2 triples), 3 walks, 5 runs and registered 3 strikeouts. As with most poor pitching performances, the problem was location, location, location. Cain was unable to hit his spots and fell behind in the count often. When he threw a “get it in” strike, the Royals blasted it. Cain was relieved by Jack Taschner who, as opposed to the day before, was a pitching bright spot. Jack came into the game with a runner on 3B with 1 out after Cain gave up his 2nd triple of the day. Jack struck out both batters he faced to strand the runner on third.

Armando Benitez came on to pitch the next 1 1/3 innings and was just horrid. He really was bad…..but not as bad as his 10 runs on 9 hits, a walk and a HR would indicate. The first hit Benitez gave up was a broken bat blooper, followed by another blooper….then after the first 2 lucky hits he started getting hit hard. In his second inning of work, he looked like he was pissed off and was throwing the ball harder than I had seen him throw as a Giant. The good news was that he induced what should have been an inning ending double play which would have led to a scoreless 2nd inning of work. The bad news was that Angel Chavez threw the ball away and didn’t even get 1 out. That led to yet another 5 run inning for Benitez. Benitez just started grooving the ball after the botched DP. Only 1 run was unearned because of Angel’s error, since the scorer can’t presume a double play…….but in reality the error allowed all 5 of Benitez’ runs in that inning. I am not making excuses for Benitez as he threw way too many pitches over the heart of the plate that were hit hard, but his disastrous 1 1/3 innings were not entirely his fault.

Steve Kline came on to relieve Benitez with 1 out in the 8th. After giving up another bloop single to allow the last of Benitez’ runs to score, Kline got the next 2 batters out to mercifully end the inning. Merkin Valdez finished the game off, pitching a no hit 9th inning. Unfortunately, while he gave up no hits and struck out one, Merkin walked 2 batters in his inning of work. Merkin’s stuff may be “electric” but all too often he has no idea of where it is going once the ball leaves his hand.

Offensively, the Giants had 14 hits of their own and scored runs off of all 3 of the Royals pitchers. Moises Alou was the only starter to not get on base and he and Jose Vizcaino were the only starters to not get a hit. Randy Winn was 3 for 4 with a double, a RBI and a run scored. The Giants had SIX doubles in the game. I am still not sure how they had 14 hits with 6 of them being doubles and only scored 6 runs. Lance Niekro was the only other Giant to have multiple hits, going 2 for 3 also with a double and striking out once.

After the starters left the game, the replacements hit pretty well too. Kevin Frandsen, Jason Ellison, Angel Chavez and Jed Hansen all went 1 for 1, with Frandsen and Ellison chalking up an RBI each with their hits. In a shocking development, Frandsen DID NOT get a double today. I can’t remember the last time that happened. Abraham Nunez also went 1 for 2, while Daniel Ortmeier, Todd Greene, Eliezer Alfonzo and Todd Linden were hitless in 1 AB each. Mark Sweeney was 0 for 2.

I can’t believe that yesterday was the final game of the spring at Scottsdale Stadium. Seems like just yesterday that I went to the stadium to see the first practice session. I have now been to 25 games and will headed back to San Francisco tomorrow evening after the A’s game at Phoenix Muni. Six weeks gone already. Time flies when you are having fun.

I won’t be taking the 4 hour roundtrip drive to Tucson today. It has been drizzling all morning and we have a lot of cleaning and laundry to do before heading back tomorrow. I seem to always find a reason not to make the drive to Tucson…….but as my wife says……we have seen enough baseball. I will probably post a few photos later in the day, but I probably won’t be able to post my final review (of the A’s vs Giants) until I am back in San Francisco on Thursday.


Anonymous said...

I just wanted to thank you for your write-ups and pictures throughout Spring Training. I have really enjoyed my daily visits here and really appreciate the time you spent on sharing your thoughts and pictures with us Giants fans stuck up here in the Bay Area.

Thanks a lot.

grmg said...

Again, thanks so much for the photos and the commentary. You are the best!! Have a safe trip home. See you at the yard!!

Anonymous said...

maybe we should back off any trade talks and hold onto all of our relievers...Benitez has me very worried.

mameluke said...

Hey Hank, your boy Frandsen hit another double in today's game against the Rockies. Couldn't have guessed it. ;-)

steveb said...

Thank you for your spring training commentary from Arizona, it's been a pleasure reading your reports. Your photos were great too. It was nice to be able to put a face to some of the young names, which is hard to do from my seat in Tokyo. Have a safe trip back to the Bay Area.

desertdave said...

Hank, it has really been informative and entertaining to read your blogs. Thanks for all your hard work.......the only thing wrong is that we haven't been with you for the entire time.

Hope to see you and Mary sometime during the season.


DrBGiantsfan said...

Thanks again!

luvschmidt said...

thanks from me too!

Anonymous said...

Hank, are you going to continue taking pictures at the games in San Francisco? I hope that you do as well as continue to do your postgame write ups because i truly look forward to reading them everyday.

Be safe and thanks again.

That was my first real inside look of spring training and i really enjoyed it, thanks. Hope to see more of your work, but if not i will look forward to next year during Spring training time.

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