Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Giants 6, Padres 9 - March 4th

Just a couple of belated thoughts on yesterday's game. Surprisingly, the offense has not been a problem in the Giants Spring Training games this year. Pitching and defense have been the culprits. Seems like I remember Giants' management saying this team would be built on pitching and defense. Maybe so.......but that plan is off to a slow start.

Does anyone know if Guillermo Rodriguez is hurt? He hasn't been around the last couple of days and I have been wholly unimpressed with Eliezer Alfonso. Yesterday Alfonso had another 0 for 3 and is batting a great big donut hole (.000) for the spring. In addition, the Giants pitchers were charged with 2 WP's that Alfonso should have handled. The WP against Lincecum was right in front of Alfonso and should have been blocked....the WP charged to Pichardo caught a large portion of Alfonso's mitt and I would have charged it as a passed ball. Additionally (I can't remember the game situation as I didn't keep score yesterday), on an attempted sacrifice bunt, Alfonso tried to get the lead runner at 2B. His throw was on target, but it was a lollipop and everyone was safe. The only runner thrown out was by Stephen Holm after Alfonso left the game. Alfonso is just a stationary rock behind the plate. No movement at all.

Tim Lincecum deserved a better fate. He had a 1-2 count on Tony Clark and threw back-to-back fastballs that were in the middle of the plate about waist high (remember Clark is a huge target at 6'7"). Both were called balls by umpire Brian (Blindman) Rungy. Even the Padres fans said they were strikes. Clark followed the 2 bad calls with a 2 RBI double. Clark was moved over to 3rd on the Pichardo WP (Alfonso PB) and scored on a SAC fly by Khalil Greene. If Rungy gets just 1 of those 2 calls right.........Timmy gives up zero runs. He did throw too many pitches, however. I read it was 49 pitches in 2.1 innings.......WAY too many.

I was in a great position (first row behind the plate) to observe Lincecum's pitches. Everyone knows about his fastball, but he has a wicked curveball with some darn good break (even in the dry Arizona air). Additionally, his delivery hides the ball well. You can't see the ball at all until it leaves his hand. It almost looks like the ball is being shot from a cannon directly out of his shoulder.

Jonathan Sanchez was pretty bad again. He doesn't seem to have any control of his pitches. He gave up a couple of walks, a couple of hits, a HBP and 3 earned runs in 2 innings. The hits were mostly due to falling behind in the count and having to throw down the middle.

I probably most disappointed with Brian Wilson's performance. He gave up 2 runs on 4 hits and a walk and couldn't even make it out of the inning. Wilson's problem was that he was getting ahead of the hitters and then not finishing them off (Lincecum was doing the same thing). I don't know if this is the Giants philosophy of pitching.....but for the last few years we sure do see a lot of 0-2 counts turning into 3-2 counts. Two quick strikes.........then nibble, nibble, nibble. In Wilson's defense, all 4 hits were singles and were not hit overly hard. At least 1 hit was off of a broken bat.

Pat Misch pitched well again. He gave up only a walk in his 1 inning keeping his spring ERA at 0.00.

Although I was disappointed with the geriatric lineup.......Roberts was 1 for 4 with a run scored, Durham was 0 for 2 but had an RBI and Aurilia went 2 for 3 with a LONG HR, and a double. Get used to it folks.......this is Bochy Ball. The old guys will start as long as they are healthy. Hopefully, there will be one or 2 slots for the youngsters.......but this will not be a wholesale youth movement as has been rumored.

Well, so much for my "couple of thoughts". I tend to get a little wordy when the talk comes to the Giants. Today will be Giants vs Royals at Scottsdale Stadium as the Giants attempt to get heir first home win and Barry Zito resumes his search for the strike zone.


bpfastball said...

Isn't it generally considered that the offense is ahead of the pitching at this point of ST?

I'm not saying fans shouldn't take note of what's happening on the mound, but might we not have a clearer picture of what the Giants have, arm-wise, a couple of weeks from now?

And I know you're probably sick to death of the kudos for this blog, Hank, but this is truly the *only* place to come for the real Giants spring news.


Anonymous said...

Who wouldda thunk the hitting would be our best asset now...


Giantfan9 said...

Hey BP
Actually....I think pitching is "usually" ahead in the 1st third of the spring season. Batters move ahead in the middle when the pitchers sink into the "tired arm" stage. Then things even out at the end. At least that is the "script".

Anonymous said...

i just remembered that it's not just time for spring training, but it's time to read Giants Jottings. I love this blog!

bpfastball said...

You know Hank, I think (know) you're right. The instant I hit send I knew I had it the wrong way around.

I guess it was just wishful thinking on my part.

I can't remember having such a feeling of dread about a baseball season, EVER.

Anyway, thanks for setting me straight.