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3/31/11 - Rotation Singing a New Song? - Giants starting pitcher Barry Zito was injured in a two-car accident on the eve of the defending champ’s season opener against Los Angeles and his status for Sunday’s series finale is yet to be determined. Zito was not at fault when the car he was in was hit broadside near his home in West Hollywood, nor was he seriously injured in the wreck, but he is suffering back and neck soreness and could yet be a candidate for the disabled list. Ryan Vogelsong, traded by the Giants to Pittsburgh in the 2001 deal that brought Jason Schmidt to San Francisco, and signed this off-season to a minor league contract, is the likely candidate to get the call should Zito not be able to go. Vogelsong had a 3.22 ERA in 22 innings this spring.

5/19/10 - Finally got the Monk off their backs - The San Francisco Giants reversed just about all of their season's offensive trends on Tuesday. They came into the game 0-7 against the San Diego Padres with just nine runs scored in those games, plus zero runs scored in 16 innings against Padres starter Mat Latos. For the season, the Giants had averaged 4.3 runs per game and 8.8 hits per game.

So naturally, against Mat Latos Tuesday night in Petco Park, the Giants racked up seven runs on 18 hits, albeit in 12 innings rather than nine. No-name players Andres Torres, Eli Whiteside, Matt Downs, John Bowker, Ryan Rohlinger, and Eugenio Velez combined to go 10-for-20 with a homer and six RBI.

The Giants are currently just a half game in back of the Friars despite their struggles against San Diego and an offense that ranks 13th in the NL in runs scored.



Tim Lincecum
April 9, 2010 – The Best Team in Baseball? - Every team in baseball save one concluded its first series of the season having lost at least one game. The lone remaining unblemished team? The San Francisco Giants. While it would be tempting to write off this feat as a product of playing the lowly Astros, remember that even the Phillies lost one to the Nationals, and even the Tigers lost one to the Royals. The Giants, meanwhile, outscored the Astros 18-6 during their three game set (in Houston, oh by the way) on the strength of their pitching – Zito and Lincecum combined for 13.0 shutout innings – while receiving an unexpected boost from 33 year old Edgar Renteria, whose current RSL is .727/.786/.818/1.604.

By the way, the last time only one team remained unbeaten after the first series of the season? You’d have to go all the way back to 2008 for that. --ABC

April 3, 2010 - Pobrecito After Pablo - After Pablo Sandoval, only one Giants player had an OBP over .330 last year and only one had an SLG over .445, among qualifiers. As troubling as that is, the worse news is that those two players - Fred Lewis and Juan Uribe - are not expected to be starters for the majority of the 2010 season. Among new starters Freddy Sanchez, Mark DeRosa, and Aubrey Huff, none of them eclipsed either the .330 OBP or .445 SLG marks in 2009.   ---KG

September 3, 2009 - Thickest Infield in Baseball - I was at the Giants/Phillies game tonight - last minute tickets - and I must say, the Giants infield of Garko-Uribe-Renteria-Sandoval must have been the thickest (in the face and the gut) infield I've ever seen. Those guys were ALL John Belushi-style fat in the face, particularly Uribe and Sandoval.  ---ABC

September 3, 2009 - Brad Penny, Back in the National League - I lucked into a couple of free Phillies tickets for Brad Penny's return to the NL last night, and it was a doozy. I don't know what he "had," but I do know that he was on - to the tune of eight shutout innings with only five hits allowed. He was rarely in trouble, and outside of two warning track flies the Phillies didn't make seem to make good contact all night. Midway through the fifth inning, he'd only thrown fifty-something pitches, and he ended the game with 101. More importantly, his fastball had zip, touching 97 a couple of times and hitting 94-96 throughout the night. He pitched efficiently, effectively, and at times dominantly. If the Giants are going to be seeing this type of performance from Penny the rest of the way, we are going to have a very fun wild card chase.

Of course, Penny is just the latest pitcher to demonstrate the overwhelming competitive difference between pitching in the AL and the NL.  ---ABC

07/11/09: Error Ruins a Perfect Game - Friday night, Giants pitcher Jonathan Sanchez became the first major league pitcher to throw a no-hitter in 2009, dominating the San Diego Padres a night after Tim Lincecum took a no-no into the 7th inning. The inconsistent Sanchez put it all together in grand fashion in front of the home crowd, breezing through the Pads lineup all night long with 11 strikeouts. He was forced into the stretch only once, after a Juan Uribe error in the 8th. Backed by would-be/should-be All-Star Pablo Sandoval’s 3-run home run, Sanchez, who had never thrown a complete game as a professional, took a comfortable 8-0 lead into the decisive frame and promptly received the requisite incredible, no-hit saving catch from centerfielder Aaron Rowand for the next-to-last out of the game. Finally, on Sanchez’ 110th pitch of the night (77 of them strikes), he froze Everth Cabrera with yet another nasty slider to become the first Giants pitcher to throw a no-hitter since John Montefusco in 1976, and the first to do it at home since Ed Halicki in 1975. ~ RVZ

04/19/09: Lowered Expectations - Twice today, the San Francisco Giants loaded the bases with nobody out and scored just one run in the inning. In the 4th, a sac fly got the run in, while in the 8th, it was a double play that plated the run. You would not believe how excited the Giants' announcers were at both of these outcomes. After the double play in the 8th, they even went so far as to criticize Arizona for taking the double play rather than settling for an attemped forceout at the plate on a deep grounder up the middle. The double play did make the game 2-0 heading into the 9th, but closer Brian Wilson had allowed two runs to these same Diamondbacks the previous day.

In 2008, with no outs and the bases loaded, teams averaged 2.3 runs scored in ther remainder of the inning. The Giants' offense twice fell way short of an average peformance and thier announcers nearly broke out with the Dance of Joy. Talk about lowered expectations.   --KG

12/16/08: That's Not How I Felt, Affeldt - In a recent article, Richard lauded Brian Sabean for inking Jeremy Affeldt to a two-year, $8 M deal and criticized him for singing Bob Howry to a one-year, $2.75 M contract.  The premise has something to do with Affeldt not turning 30 until June, but I believe that Howry was the better bargain here.  Howry's 4.35 FIP last year was the first time since Howry's age 30 season (2004) that it had been over 3.45.  Affeldt, coming off easily the two best seasons of his career, has never posted an FIP lower than 3.70.  They bought low with Howry and bought high with Affeldt.  --KG

12/16/08: That's Not How I Felt, Affeldt - In a recent article, Richard lauded Brian Sabean for inking Jeremy Affeldt to a two-year, $8 M deal and criticized him for singing Bob Howry to a one-year, $2.75 M contract.  The premise has something to do with Affeldt not turning 30 until June, but I believe that Howry was the better bargain here.  Howry's 4.35 FIP last year was the first time since Howry's age 30 season (2004) that it had been over 3.45.  Affeldt, coming off easily the two best seasons of his career, has never posted an FIP lower than 3.70.  They bought low with Howry and bought high with Affeldt.  --KG



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