You knew it wouldn't be that easy

From the euphoria of taking 3 of 4 from the quasi-authentic D-gers (almost a sweep if the boys in blue were watching the batter and not some babe in the stands ... or was it a hot dog... :^), reality slaps us upside the head with a 6-1 drubbing at the hands of a real team, the Atlanta Braves. The Giants, despite their recent wins, are still 9.5 games behind the division leading Padres, it wasn't going to be a cakewalk. Pedro Feliz didn't make it any easier, failing to do anything to get a run in when he batted with the bases loaded in the first and third innings. Had he done something in either case, the Giants might have been emboldened to fight back with a little more vigor.

As I noted in a prior post, this stretch of games against Atlanta and Florida will probably decide the Giants' fate for the rest of the season. A poor stretch of games would finish any waning hopes of coming back to win the division, barring a miracle return of Bonds soon, and push the team to pursue "present and future" opportunities as Sabean and Colletti has been saying.

I've been hearing rumors of trades for other teams and they reminded me that perhaps Sabean could pull off some sort of "Matt Williams"-like trade where the Giants trade Schmidt for a bunch of good, developing, but not polished players, who could further develop this year with the view of contributing next year. I still think that a trade of Schmidt kisses away both this season and next.

Even a diminished Schmidt would be a good 1 or 2 starter for most teams, you cannot obtain a pitcher like him easily or cheaply, especially now with players of mediocre stats getting $7M+ per season in the past off-season. And it is not like we are like the Marlins with a boatload of pitchers who could be a 1 or 2 starter for most teams, we just got Schmidt. If anything, I see the Giants re-doing his final year of his contract to reduce the cost to the team for 2006 and push $ to later years, like with Vizquel and Matheny.

The silver lining of this drubbing is that Rueter had a stout 5 IP, 1 hit, 0 walk, 0 runs, 0 strikeout, outing. This might win him back his spot in the rotation over Correia, who just did not have it this time, or at least get him closer to getting it back. Tomko was out of the rotation for just one start if I remember right, so Rueter might have to have another good outing, since he didn't have it at all the whole season whereas Tomko had that nice stretch in May.

Plus, Alfonzo and Grissom are going on a minor league rehab to get some ABs before coming back to the majors. So they could be back by the end of July, if not sooner. They would both add to the offense and should help us win a few more games, assuming the starting pitching holds up. Go Giants!


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