Thursday, March 20, 2008

Giants 2, Cubs 4, March 19th

In the only night game of the spring, the Cubs played small ball a lot better than the Giants in winning this game. The Cubs got an infield "hit" in the first inning and scored the first run of the game without hitting the ball out of the infield. The "hit" was another case of bad defense as Daniel Ortmeier ranged to his right to field a ground ball and Kevin Correia got off the mound too slowly and was unable to beat the runner to the bag. This is about the 5th or 6th time this spring that I have seen a Giants pitcher fail to cover or be slow to cover 1B, resulting in a base hit. By the end of the second, the Cubs had 2 runs on 3 hits, only 2 of which left the infield.

By contrast, by the time there was one out in the 3rd, the Giants had 5 hits, one of them a triple, and had scored zippo. A no out DP by Aaron Rowand in the first ended that threat and a DP by Ryan Rohlinger in the second pretty much ruined that inning. The Giants out hit the Cubs and had 10 hits on the day, but managed to only score 2 runs (Rowand hit into a 2nd DP later in the game). Even with the DPs the Giants still led the Cubs with 8 men left on base as opposed to only 4 for the Cubs. Ortmeier finally had a good offensive game, going 2 for 4 with a triple and an RBI. Dave Roberts, Ray Durham and Rajai Davis also had 2 hit games.

Speaking of Ryan Rohlinger, players who come over from the Minor League camp wear jersey's in the 80's and 90's with no name on the jersey. I noticed when Rohlinger took the field he was no longer wearing his customary #90 with no name on the back. He was wearing #48 with his name on it. I made the assumption, which was proven correct when I read the paper this morning, that Ryan had been added to the Major League camp. So naturally, since he was promoted to the big time and given a chance to start at 3B, Rohlinger went 0 for 3, with a DP, a strikeout and 3 men left on base, while dropping his average from .400 to .308. Not a good start.

Speaking of player movements, Nate Schierholtz was optioned to AAA by the Giants yesterday. As predicted, the only outfield candidate with an option left was the odd man out. What I didn't predict was that the Giants would give him no real chance to win a job. I can't remember the last time he had more than 1 AB in a non-split squad game and he was given only 35 ABs, 12th most on the team. I would have expected the Giants to give him as many ABs as Davis and Lewis (48 & 44 respectively), but they didn't. He got a few starts in the first few games and after that......nothing. Nice reward for batting .333 in Fresno and .304 in San Francisco last year. As you can tell, I am not real happy with the Giants' handling (or mishandling) of Nate.

The good news is that the pitching was really good last night. Correia deserved a better fate as he really only threw 2 bad pitches (a 2B to Soto and a HR to Cedeno). More importantly, he didn't walk anyone. Correia gave up 7 hits in 6 full innings and allowed 4 runs. By contrast, the Cubs starter gave up 7 hits, plus a walk, in 5 innings and only gave up 1 run. Despite the talk.......the Giants are still playing station-to-station baseball.

The relievers had yet another good game as Erick Threets, Brad Hennessey and Jack Tashner combined to throw 3 innings of no run, 1 hit, 1 walk baseball. Taschner struck out 2 in his inning of work and lowered his ERA to .096. Jack has been probably the best reliever of the spring. He surely has wrapped up one lefty spot in the pen, with Threets and Steve Kline fighting over the other. Threets should have a big lead, but you know how the Giants love their vets.

We went for an early dinner with some friends before the game, so I didn't bring my camera to the game. I will bring the camera to today's game and post some photos tonight or tomorrow morning for those of you who enjoy the visual accounts of the game.

6 comments:

Fred Sarra said...

I am heading down tomorrow to catch games this weekend, I can't wait! I just wish the Giants were as committed to youth as they claimed and I would see a line-up like this.
1B Ortmeier
2B Velez
3B Frandsen
SS Bocock
LF Lewis
CF Rowand
RF Scheirholtz
C Molina
The Veterans should fill out the roster, with the Giants willing to take any offer to get their numbers off the books. Problem is they are so bad, and so overpaid, nobody is willing to take them. Cut your losses and cut the players. Maybe only one or two of the homegrown guys pan out, but they would be the first position players since Will, and then you could spend the money to fill in around them.

The Giants youth movement will still be the oldest team in the league.

Giantfan9 said...

I like your lineup, but Randy Winn has played well and isn't ancient, plus I am not a big Fred Lewis fan. I would replace Lewis with Winn. I also am afraid that forcing Bocock, who had a mediocre bat at Single A, to face Major League pitching will hurt his development. We need a placeholder at SS for a year. If that is Omar when healthy, I am OK with that.

All the rest of your lineup is at that point where they have to sink or swim. Good or bad, we need to know what they can do at the Major League level. Bocock isn't there yet.

Cat said...

GF9-

Continued appreciation for your recaps.

Any reason why the Giants didn't name Ivan Ochoa as SS rather than Bocock? Ochoa hit well last season in AAA. Is his defense not up to par?

Fred Sarra said...

Where does Manny Burriss fit in as well. Is he the 2nd baseman of the future? I would hate to think yet another 1st round pick was wasted.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to stress my displeasure after reading the Giants website. They might stick with Rich Aurilia for 1B. ARE YOU KIDDING ME! I love Richie but common, when are we going to see a youth movment? LET THE KIDS PLAY!! The Giants are not going to do much this year anyway. At least the younger players can get some experience and show their worth. I.E. the rookies the past couple of years.

Anonymous said...

GF9,

As always, many thanks for this blog.

Completely agree with you on the mishandling of Nate. Of the current Giants prospects, none has earned a shot at not just making the club, but of starting. This is because of options?

I'm really trying to take what you've said at the outset of Spring, to keep things positive on this site.

But it is disheartening to see the Giants repeatedly paint themselves into a corner.