Thursday, March 22, 2007

Giants vs Diamondbacks

Shitty day....shitty game. The Giants lost 6-0 in a 7 inning rain shortened game. It rained off and on for most of the game. The rain decided to seriously come down in the 6th and did not stop until the game was called after 7. As I write this in my condo........the rain still hasn't stopped.

Matt Morris easily had his best game of the spring. He gave up 5 runs on 5 hits.....but all 5 runs were unearned. After throwing 4 scoreless, 1 hit innings, Matt got the first batter of the 5th inning to groundout harmlessly to 1B. Unfortunately, Mark Sweeney booted the ball and the leadoff batter was on base. This actually should have been Sweeney's 2nd error of the game, but on an almost identical play earlier in the game, Kevin Frandsen refused to give up on the play and fielded the ball after it deflected off of Sweeney. Morris also did not give up on the play and Frandsen threw the runner out 4-1. The second batter of the inning grounded the ball to Omar Vizquel's left, and the ball deflected off of a diving Vizquel's glove for a basehit. I really couldn't disagree with the call of a basehit.......but I have seen Omar make that play and turn a DP MANY times. Omar just seems to be a step short this spring. So the D-Backs had 2 men on with no one out.....when they definately should have had 1 out and if Omar makes a play he makes with frequency, should have had 2 out with bases empty. After that the flood gates opened, and 5 runs scored. However, if Sweeney doesn't make the error, no one scores. If Omar makes his play.....it isn't even close. In another good sign.......Morris returned to pitch a scoreless 6th. Morris only gave up 1 walk and got 4 strikeouts over his 6 innings. Just 3 days ago the press was lamenting the fact that not a single Giants' starter had gone 5 innings this spring. Since then Ortiz went 6, followed, by Cain with 5.2, and today Morris with another 6 inning game. As a fan I am, by definition, schizophrenic........but after the last 3 days........I feel much better about the rotation.

Benitez threw the 7th inning and gave up an earned run on 3 hits........all of them singles. I am willing to give Benitez a pass on this game. It rained relatively hard during his entire inning and the fielders were all a step behind by this time in the game. I am actually very surprised that Bochy brought Benitez out to pitch the 7th. You would think with his injury history the past couple of years that Bochy would have said "sorry big guy....we'll catch you tomorrow". The D-backs only had 1 extra-base hit......a double by Dave Krynzel off of Morris in the ill fated 5th.

Offensively the Giants couldn't do much off of Brandon Webb. Winn, Bonds, Feliz, Sweeney , Molina and Frandsen all had 1 hit......all of them going 1 for 3 except Frandsen who was 1 for 2. Feliz and Molina's hits were doubles. The Giants just couldn't string together enough hits to score a run. It didn't help that the D-Backs committed no errors and Webb issued no walks.

The Giants only had 2 less hits than the D-Backs....and had more extra-base hits (2 doubles to 1).....but still lost 6-0. That's what a strategically placed error will do for you. With a clean 5th inning...Matt Morris actually out pitched Brandon Webb. Given Morris' performance last year and his performance this spring.........that is a VERY good sign. Mark Sweeney is now hitting .156 for the spring. He has not swung the bat well since the first time I saw him in batting practice. It is starting to look more likely that Ellison (or less likely Niekro) might replace him on the 25 man roster. The next 10 days should be very interesting.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, is the Giants at the Cubs in Mesa. The Press Notes say it will be Noah Lowry on the hill for the Giants. Noah needs a good outing. It is getting awful close to opening day. Hopefully the rain won't be a factor and the Giants bullpen will get a full day's work in. Also....if the rain stays away.....maybe I can take a few more photos.

11 comments:

phil said...

Knoedler was reassigned to minor league camp today.

Giantfan9 said...

That sucks. Alfonzo has already been awarded the backup catcher job.

Anonymous said...

A Barry Bonds centered video from today's game on another blog:

http://whatsontonight.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2007/3/22/2827284.html

allfrank said...

Me thinks poor Knoedler had too many strike outs - that and they'd rather see him get more regular playing time, both to work on his hitting and on his defense.

Anonymous said...

Knoedler is a better catcher than Alfonzo, runs better, has him in throwing (arm) by far, as is a better althlete than Fonzy will ever be.
But, Alfonzo had the job even if Knoedler would have hit 1.000 with 50 AB's and no K's . I hate it when they invite rooks to Spring Training to compete, and they don't mean it.

allfrank said...

But doesn't Knoedler have a better chance to develop and, if he really does develop, have a shot at a starting position in the bigs, as opposed to stunting his development by having him catch 40 or 50 games in the bigs this year?

Anonymous said...

Let's see, would you want to make about $4,000 a month for 6 months, or 24,000 total this year at AAA, or make the league minimum of 320,000 as a back-up at MLB ? The first, you get to go home after the season and get a job, the other you get to go and condition and train for next year ? Which would you want ? Which could you afford ?

Anonymous said...

I agree with the salary comment. Some people forget these minor leagurers have a hard time making ends meet. One other point none of you have made. Why do they think more of G-Rod, who is still in camp, than Knoedler ? What do they see in him over Knoedler ? I'm missing it.

allfrank said...

The salary comment is completely irrelevant, that is not a consideration of management when they decide where a guy plays.
To some extent, Alfonzo, who saved the Giant's bacon last year, kind of has earned at least a second shot. Meanwhile, Knoedler is still developing, could even turn into a regular, a starter. If he comes up to b e a back up, that is all he will ev er be; his development kind of stops as he is only playing twice a week. He is better off getting a full year starting in triple A, working on both his defense and offense.

Anonymous said...

I agree, the best place for him to become a starter and progress his skills is AAA. The only thing regarding salary is, the minor leagues do not pay the kids enough to get by on. I agree it's not part of the decision on where guys go, but it does stink, and I mean for ALL of the guys in the minors. And I know, and agree, Alfonzo does deserve the back-up spot after last year, but I still think Knoedler is better.

Kenn said...

Alfonzo has shown some Big League pop, and seems a decent Fastball/mistake hitter - fine for a backup. gf9 has been right on the money - Alfonzo had already been "awarded" the backup role (after Molina "stole" the starting spot). I think its a pretty big deal that Knoedler was already off the 40-man roster - that more than anything probably sealed his fate. Although his *advancing* age is probably casting a shadow.