Thursday, March 22, 2007

Giants at White Sox 3-21-07

Long day yesterday. I didn't take my camera or scorebook, but here are a few quick inpressions of the game.

First, it was a VERY windy and cloudy day in Tucson. It looked like it was going to rain any minute, but it never did. The wind was blowing infield dirt into my eyes all day. I thought that it would be a pitcher's day, with the batters having a hard time picking up the flight of the ball. Shows you what I know, as the White Sox beat the Giants 10-9.

Matt Cain started the game and had his best outing of the spring. He lasted 5.2 innings and although he gave up 3 earned runs, he pitched even better than his line would suggest. He was throwing strikes, hitting the corners and generally looking overpowering. At least 2 of the 6 hits he gave up were on broken bats, including 2 of the 3 RBIs. He must have broken 4 or 5 bats on the day. I don't have pitch count info, but he struckout 6 and walked only 1. Another thing that plagued Matt (and plagued every other pitcher too) was the fact that there was a strong wind, mostly blowing in all day. Because of the wind, the Giants' outfielders were playing VERY conservatively. There must have been 3 or 4 hits on the day that I thought were easy flyball outs, but dropped in front of the outfielders.

The relief pitching was abysmal, with the exception of Sun-Woo Kim. Kevin Correia was particularly bad. He gave up 5 earned runs in 1 inning on only 2 hits. Kevin walked 3 and gave up a big 3-2 grand slam to Tadahito Iguchi with 2 outs. What was so upsetting about Correia's performance is that he was 1-2 or 2-2 to practically every batter in the inning. He just couldn't put them away. Again, I don't have pitch counts, but Correia must have thrown close to 30 pitches. Judging by Bruce Botchy's body language.....Correia may not make the team. Bochy was getting redder and redder as Correia kept walking batters with a 5 run lead. He was REALLY not a happy man when he took Correia out.

Kim relieved Correia with 1 out in the 7th and pitched a good 1.1 innings. He allowed only 1 hit. Kim has been pitching well all spring. The press accounts this morning say that Kim is being tried in short relief because of the ineffectiveness of the Giants bullpen.....a subject that was suggested here about a week and a half ago. Brian Wilson gave up a 1 run lead in the 9th for a blown save. His only real mistake was giving up a leadoff walk to Jim Thome in the 9th. A poor play, where Ellison let a flyball drop in front of him and an error on a sure DP by Tomas DeLaRosa allowed 2 runs to score. If the plays are made in the 9th.......Wilson escapes with the save.

The Giants brought only 4 starting position players to Tucson. By the 7th inning, the only sure 25 man roster types on the field for the Giants were Linden, Alfonzo and Frandsen. The White Sox, by contrast, played mostly regulars and were still playing Podsednik, Thome, Cintron and Hall in the 9th inning. The Giants hit very well, with Durham, Klesko, Linden and Alfonzo all having a multiple hit game. The Giants got a walk and a basehit to lead off the game but couldn't score when Rich Aurilia almost hit into a 5-4-3 triple play. As it was, it was a double play.......and Aurilia pulled a groin beating out the triple play. Aurilia was not limping when he left the game....but a groin injury is not quick to heal. And so the injury parade begins.

Today the Giants face the Diamondbacks at Scottsdale Stadium. It has been showering all morning and there is a chance of thunder showers all day long. I won't bring my scorepad to a wet game and depending on how the sky looks, I might leave my camera in the car too. Hopefully, the showers will go away before game time and they will get the game in.

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