No place like home...

OK, not the greatest of road trips, 2-5. The Giants could not get their offense going in either LA or SD, two of the more extreme pitchers parks in the NL, as players who were red-hot cooled down. Plus it didn't help that Alou had to play Grissom in LA - the difference between the faltering Grissom of LA and the robust Grissom of SF is that he can't hit for his life in Dodger Stadium but he loves hitting in SBC Park (Career: .273/.319/.417/.736; Dodger Stadium: .238/.285/.401/.686; SBC: .302/.331/.474/.805). And if it wasn't for Tucker heating up at the right time, the losing would have been a heck of a lot worse. Hopefully the Giants will be inspired by home cooking and beat up on Arizona and Milwaukee over the next 5 days; however, the D-Backs aren't the sad sacks from last year, though luckily we are facing Javier Vasquez, who still is in his funk, and Ortiz is always good for a lot of baserunners via inopportune walks. Plus Alou will be coming back on Friday, if his recovery continues unabated.

Heard something interesting today. The difference between the Giants of 2003 and the Giants of 2004 basically hinged on the way they played the Padres. In 2003, they whupped them good, going 15-4 during the season. In 2004, they got a whipping, going 7-12. That is an 8 game difference, which would have translated into a 99 win season in 2004 had they continued their dominance. Obviously, when you go 15-4 against any team, there is a lot of luck and randomness involved, but by win/loss record, that is what was the difference between the teams of those two years.

After tonight's loss, they are now 0-2, a bad start but still early. They were 7-2 in SD in 2003, 4-6 in SD in 2004 (which implies 3-6 in SF in 2004). Hopefully Alou will get his hitting stroke going fast once he gets back as the offense has been needing it the past week. One might have thought that Tucker's slammer would have put a little energy into the lineup but there was no carry over, the offense has been pretty limp except for Niekro.

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