8.18.2005

What a road trip!

Even though it is only 5-5, it has been a good ride so far, though again the Giants face a gaunlet of good to great starting pitchers at St. Louis: Carpenter (17-4, 2.25 ERA, 0.98 WHIP), Morris (12-5, 3.83 ERA, 1.22 WHIP), Suppan (12-8, 4.04 ERA, 1.42 WHIP). However, despite their offensive shortfalls, they have been playing good pitchers to a standstill and beating the bad team (Cincinnati actually had a 33-29 home record before the Giants came in, so they weren't really THAT bad), so is it a bad offense or just good pitching they've been facing, lately?

Pettitte, Oswalt, Clemens (home games), Willis, Beckett, Burnett, now Carpenter, Morris, Suppan, on the road.

Winn has really revitalized the offense since coming on board and Linden has been providing about the same as what Alou was doing prior to that: good hitting but for little power. I heard they might DL Alfonzo for a neck problem when Alou comes back, which would fix their problem about what to do with Linden: Feliz would play 3B while Linden, Winn, and Alou would man the outfield.

After St. Looie, they get a nice stretch at home (which thus far has not been good for the team) against Philadelphia, the Mets (who are missing Cameron and Beltran from their lineup), and Colorado to close the month of August. This is probably do or die time for the Giants if they are to make any move to the top of the division, unless the other teams persist in falling back to them. They are only 2 games from LA, and 3 from Arizona. They would need to catch up with them by the end of the home stand (as well as gain that ground on SD) to have any chance to win the division.

Or they would have to beat up (somehow) the NL teams the rest of the season as they still have 6 games left with the D-gers and the D-backs and 7 games with the 'Dres. Sweeps of at least one of these total set of games would be necessary in that case but the odds are still long. But you never know, there have been teams that played so badly that they let the other teams back into the race and so far they've allowed the Giants to get close, tantalizingly close. And SD is suffering from one major injury after another, losing Khalil Greene for the season, after losing Ramon Hernandez, plus trading away Nevin.

3 Comments:

Anonymous bacci40 said...

spin tonites loss

Fri Aug 19, 08:44:00 PM PDT  
Blogger obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

You seem to think you know me but you don't. I was going to post that it was a horribly disappointing loss, a ying to the yang, one giant step backward, a terrible ending to a great game of pitching by Hennessey, but I'll just do that in this comment.

You seem to think that I avoid the bad and try to "spin" things like I'm a homer or something. That is one thing I regret about my blog title because it gives the casual observer the wrong impression of me. But that is my column's title on sfdugout.com so I'm sticking with that.

Your (and other's) problem with me is that I simply don't fall into the valleys when things are bad and wallow in the mire. I try to keep an even keel but do acknowledge when things are bad. And they have been bad, I've never said that it wasn't.

And yet we're still nominally in a pennant race. You have a problem because I can enjoy the good among the bad, I can see the pretty flower amidst the garbage of a season.

I will venture that you are not much of a baseball fan. The sting of a 1-0 loss hurts as a fan of a team but I still enjoy it even when it's at the hand of my favorite team because it was a great game of baseball. I will admire when the other team no-hits my team. I will admire a soaring home run that beats my team. I won't be very happy about them, but I can enjoy them as a baseball fan.

The Giants has had a great string of games, playing (and beating) a number of good to great pitchers, keeping their heads afloat in a pennant race that they have had no business being in, especially facing a long string of good pitchers that they have no business beating (except Willis, who seems to melt against us) plus doing it on the road. They should have been buried, facing all these good pitchers.

And yet here they are, still holding on to whatever shred of a chance that they have for the NL West title that no one seems to really care for.

If you cannot enjoy that then I feel sorry for you. This is good baseball, even if the prologue to that is a horrible season that the Giants have gone through. It may not be a 10 game win streak but this has been a great stretch of games until today's game, a very disappointing loss, a sucker punch to the solar plexus that sucks the wind out your lungs.

It will be interesting to me to see how the Giants react to this. Will they fold as many of you think they will? Or will they bounce back since they seem to have shown a backbone that they didn't have earlier in the season?

Well, based on the attitude of you and others, we should have stopped following the season back a few months ago.

But then you would have missed these great games, where the Giants made a tiny stand, a tiny claim on the divisional title, they could have just mailed it in as many of you have done and given up, but they have fought back and done much better than you thought they would.

You would have missed Lowry's maturation and giant steps of growth. You would have missed Hennessey's Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde pitching, but when he was going good, he was dominating, he and Lowry will be a great pair if he can consistently deliver. You would have missed Linden starting to hit the way we all have been hoping for, in terms of average, now he needs to kick in the power. You would have missed Munter channeling Moonman's sinker and doing a great job for any prospect, let alone a high 40's round draft pick. You would have missed Randy Winn's great start as a Giant.

If you cannot find enjoyment during the bad, if you cannot enjoy a nice stretch of games like the Giants have had lately, then why are you still following them right now? Why bother? To wallow in your contempt for Giants management? To say I told you so? Because you like to feel bad?

That's what I didn't understand of the people at the boards I used to go to, part of the reason I decided to blog. In the middle of great seasons, there would be people crying about one thing or another, not enjoying the season. And those were great winning seasons! I can imagine that those people are soiling their unmentionables this season.

Life is too short to not maximize your enjoyment of life. If you cannot enjoy this, then maybe you should move on to football season, it is starting up now. Or take a walk out, the sunsets have been nice lately. Lots of other stuff to do, why keep on following if you are just going to bellyache about it?

I can see beating up on Sabean or management continually, they can't get better overnight. But if you can't enjoy some good games of baseball, then you're no better than a fair weather fan - which you are not but are behaving like one with a comment like this. Because that is what you are doing when you cannot even acknowledge the good among the very bad that this season has been.

Fri Aug 19, 10:47:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous bacci40 said...

nice spin

the reality of the game was this...and this is spin free

alou has decimated the pen by his now 3 year use of matchup ball

he has destroyed the confidence of his players

he is more itnterested in what a radio talk show host says than the condition of his closers arm

and here are some after game quotes to back up my statements...

( Manager Felipe Alou used four pitchers to escape the eighth when the Cardinals put runners on first and second with one out.

"I didn't want to stay that long with the kid, so that ought to tell you how we felt about what could happen," Alou said. "We have some guys here that have been overworked.

"The closer's arm, you could see all of those pitches he threw and he didn't throw one quality pitch."

Christiansen didn't take the comment lightly.

"Really?" he asked. "He's just now figuring it out?"
"Of course our arms are weary," Christiansen said. "We're getting run through like a turnstile."

Alou has gone to the bullpen 389 times this year, tops in the majors.

and finally....

Alou called the National League West a "Bermuda Triangle" and an aberration, with no definite answers why every team is currently below .500.

"It's a shame," he said. "There are so many good players ... unless there's a manager like me with Cream of Wheat for brains. It's been a strange year."

this is a pathetic, poorly run and poorly managed team

but to you its just "dissapointing"

well i spent too many cold nites at the 'stick, not to vent my frustrations

and you keep looking at both the baseball world and the world thru rose colored glasses

la dee da

Fri Aug 19, 11:18:00 PM PDT  

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