4.11.2005

Giants had total domination

The Giants totally ripped the Rockies on Sunday from every which way except for power. They scored 11 runs dinking hits all over. They got a great start from Schmidt plus good relief outings for the most part, stopping the bad trend of the bullpen giving away tons of runs before settling down. It was a good game all around. Hopefully the Giants can keep it going on the road against L.A. and Colorado.

Alou gave me the sign this weekend that he does take L/R and OBP seriously. Many times the past two seasons he would play someone against L/R conventions or low OBP at the top of the lineup. People, including me, would whine.

However, this weekend, with his two biggest sluggers out of the lineup, he went for the R/L advantage by playing Ellison in RF and Niekro at 1B against LHP when the easy route would have been to say that he needed his vets and play Tucker and Snow. No one would have blamed him for that and it would have been the safe choice. Plus, he is giving the young guys a chance to show their talents by doing this, which is another benefit.

Yes, Feliz still plays against RHP, but the Giants need his power, even if he does hit poorly against RHP (though much much better last season, he is Neifi-ish against RHP for his career).

Basically, it seems like he will go against the grain to show confidence in the player and encourage the player. Plus you never know when you catch lightening in a bottle, like he did with Grissom two years ago. Plus you need to develop your young players somehow. Alou will go against the book to accomplish such objectives.

But his talk about Grissom batting lower because of his OBP was not all smoke, he only did batted him leadoff two years ago because Durham was out and he needed a leadoff hitter. Desperate measures for desperate times. Otherwise, from what I could tell in general, the low OBP will bat lower while the higher OBP would bat higher in the lineup. And left would face right and vice-versa.

But he is not wedded to those plans, he would do anything he can to help him win the game. And he realizes that such moves, while optimum, is not that much different on a one game basis to the alternatives, so he doesn't do everything "by the book" in setting up the lineup when the net gain is not that great. He would rather give a player a vote of confidence by playing him than to just continue what he was doing before.

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