4.27.2005

Even when the Giants win, they lose

Giants finally win one from the Padres, first of the season, 6-5, but ended up losing Benitez on the last play of the game to a hamstring injury. It was so bad that he was carried off the field (and that is some doing if you've ever seen him, he is a gargantuan man).

I still think the Giants have a good team overall but injuries have obviously been sapping their potential. Losing Benitez for potentially a month or more can be the straw that finally breaks the camel's back. However, thus far the Giants have been doing what I've been hoping they could do, which is play around .500 without key players. So while I would love it if they would just win a lot of games, this slow start, while always frustrating, is a good thing, we could be much worse off. We just need some players to suck it up and outperform, like some did initially when the season started.

There was a mention in one newspaper about throwing Herges into that role again but he has flamed out twice as the closer, I don't think we need another try to confirm it. No one in the minors look like they are close to being ready to take over being closer, Correia just started learning the art of being a reliever last season and of being a closer this season, Aardsma is learning at AA by starting, Munter hasn't been on fire either though he was the one brought up to take Benitez' spot when Armando was put on the 15-day DL today.

What will probably happen is what Alou said, closer by committee, probably between Eyre and Brower, depending on matchups. There is still the small hope that Benitez will only be out a few days (not like the Giants are on a win streak here so how often would they need him over that period?) and not 4-6 weeks, but it's never good when a player is carried off the field.

One key that needs to happen soon is Durham breaking out of this slump. If Durham had been playing the way he is capable of during this first part of the season, we could have been neck and neck with the Dodgers right now. Hopefully Alou putting him down in the 6th spot of the lineup will get him going, we really need him leading off and creating runs for us, as our margin for error got even less with the loss of Benitez. He has made the leadoff spot the most productive in terms of OPS the last two years and he is a key to our offense, the second most important after Bonds.

Addendum: this wasn't reported in the newspaper (bad Mercury! :^) but Alfonzo left the game early because of a strained hamstring. That explains why Alou sat him out today to give him two days of rest to recover from it. The announcer said that he could have played and that Alou would have no problem PHing him if necessary so I guess that is good news, relatively. With a 10-3 lead, I don't think that's going to happen; enjoy your days of rest Fonzie!

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