Saturday, March 10, 2007

Giants vs A's 3-9-07

Busy day for me yesterday, so this post is late and I also didn't take any photos. Well, the Giants played the A's in Spring Training.....so naturally, the Giants lost their first game in the last 5. There were some good things for the Giants, but the bats were pretty much asleep........except in the 4th inning off of Esteban Loiza. Once again today, contrary to what Bochy said before games started, the Giants agreed to use the DH in their home park against an American League team. Even more strange, Barry Bonds was not the DH and started the game in LF. Fred Lewis was in the DH slot and batting 9th. 2 of 3 times Bochy has done this, Bonds has not been the DH. I kind of understand using the DH if you are trying to save Bonds' knees......but absent that......you would think you would want to give your starting pitchers an AB or 2 going into the season.

Bonds got his first HR of the spring........a LONG line drive that made it totally out of the stadium between the RF foul pole and the Giants' bullpen. Even though the drive never got very high, it made it out all the way to the new practice area outside the stadium. Bonds only remained in the game through 4 innings. He flied out to CF in his only other AB. The only other real offensive highlight of the game was Lance Niekro. Lance went 2 for 4 with a 2 run HR, another line drive that I wasn't sure had enough height to make it out. The ball just cleared the LF bullpens and slammed off of the back bullpen wall. In another rarity, Niekro started 3 DPs in one game. Niekro's performance prompted my son to wonder out loud "Do you suppose if the Giants moved to Arizona that Niekro and Ellison would be Hall of Famers?". My response was "Only if they play all their games in March". No other Giant had more than one hit as the Giants' hitters were limited to only 6 hits total.

Russ Ortiz was the starting pitcher and again had a very good game. Russ gave up no runs on 4 hits, including 1 double and 1 strikeout. Russ actually pitched even better than that. Of the 4 hits, 1 was a come-backer that deflected off of Ortiz' glove and wound up as a infield single. The 2nd hit of the 1st inning was a hard hit groundball right down the 1B line, that Niekro may have been able to make a diving stop on, but the ball hit the firstbase bag and popped straight up into the air, for a single. Ortiz continues to look totally different than he did, even in his hey day with the Giants. Always a high pitch count pitcher, Ortiz only threw 32 pitches in his 3 innings. I was pretty surprised he did not come out to pitch the 4th inning. 32 pitches seems like a pretty low pitch count for his 3rd appearance of the spring. Always a flyball pitcher, Ortiz erased 2 of the basehits he allowed by by inducing the next batter to hit into a double play. 2 DPs, 2 of 4 basehits on groundballs, only 32 pitches............who is this guy.........and what has he done with Russ Ortiz?

Steve Kline was the 2nd Giants' pitcher of the day and he had another poor outing. 2 earned runs on 3 hits including a double is not exactly what you are looking for in your primary late inning lefty. Kline was followed by Billy Sadler, who had one of the worst outings I have seen from him in the last year. Billy had major control problems while giving up 2 runs on 2 hits, 2 walks and a wild pitch while throwing 31 pitches. Only a 3-6-1 DP to end the inning saved him from an even worse outing. The 3rd pitcher of the day was Matt Palmer, who gave up the A's 5th run a single and a double. At least Palmer got a strikeout and only needed 15 pitches and never threw more than 1 ball to any A's batter.

Scott Munter threw the 7th inning and had probably the best inning of the day with 2 strikeouts and a soft liner to SS. I thought Munter's ball was sinking nicely.......my son disagreed........but the results were there. Even with the 2 K's.......Munter only threw 14 pitches (10 strikes). Munter was followed by Vinnie Chulk, who although he gave up a 1 out single, faced the minimum when he got a 1-4-6-3 DP to end the inning. David Cortes finished out the game, allowing a leadoff walk followed by yet another DP, this one 3-6. Cortes then allowed a 2 out single but ended the inning on a come-backer.

The good news out of this game had to be the continued resurgence of Russ Ortiz. I am not counting on him continuing this type of performance........but wouldn't it be nice. The bad news was only 6 hits, from a team that included all but 2 starters (Aurilia & Molina) PLUS a DH. If it weren't for a terrible outing by Esteban Loiza, the Giants wouldn't have had any offense at all.

Today is the Giants vs Rangers with Barry Zito on the mound. I am hoping to see Sammy Sosa today. I am interested to see what he is looking like these days.

3 comments:

Terry said...

Barry going deep to RF down the line. When's the last time we saw that??

Is it in Surprise? If so, you're Dawg x 2 today, Hank :)

Anything intersting in Scottsdale these days? Any new eats, bars?

Giantfan9 said...

Nope......in Scottsdale. The Giants have 5 home games in a row. All of the Giants sponsored tours are coming through town this weekend.

You know me Terry......I stick to my favorites. We have only been going out (not including the Moose) when friends or family are here. You HAVE to try "Wildfish", though. It opened last March and it is a great place.

With the rise in Season Tix prices.....we gotta save a little $$......so I have been barbecuing a lot. Tequila Grill closed back in September.......now one of my favorite "dive" bars, Bar74, is closed. Sometimes change is NOT good.

Terry said...

Damn...sorry to hear that. I Really liked TG...I hope our wonderful waitress Renae has moved on to greener pastuers out there

The only thing I think that downtown area is lacking is good beakfast variety. The market garden? is always good...but I can't think of another option out there. It has been a couple of years :P

Have a great time grillin' Ever try grilling halibut? Butter, garlic and what spicies you like then wrap it up in foil and cook it in it's own juices. Yum! Prolly not good fish in the desert though..heh