THE SGHTINS ahoabout the Giants is thaot asasj othatsreallly cian;’ta ahit snd ashtat’s fareallly aduasndoying.
Just kidding. Not about the wine, but I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t have at least a little practice writing with a bit of the ol’ fire water in my system. I think I’ll be alright.
Tonight’s game, along with last night’s game, the one before that, the one before that, and probably the one tomorrow, all collectively show something: the Giants don’t have very many good players. They have some stars, yeah. But after the thin crust of skill among the team’s hot young players, there is miles and miles of hot, molten suck among the position players on this team.
That’s not to say that there was something they could have done, no no. When the Giants sign a bunch of washed up veterans who play badly, we make fun of Brian Sabean’s oldcageyveteranophilia and clamor for the Giants to play their youngsters. When the Giants throw out a lineup full of people just a few years removed from puberty, we wish they’d signed somebody, anybody, who knew what he was doing. Aaron Rowand’s five-year, $60 million contract may have been one of the worst in the history of baseball, but at least it’s an ethos. Sometimes you just have just have to rely on players, and sometimes those players just play really badly.
When people point to the 2011 Giants and say “those guys could’ve won, expect for all of the injuries,” I always cringe. Injuries are a part of the game, and they will happen. As long as Pablo Sandoval has an unbroken hamate bone, he’s an injury risk. The 2010 team was blessed; every time somebody got injured, their replacement ended up being an upgrade. That’s not how it’s supposed to work. Tonight showed how it’s supposed to work: Pablo Sandoval -> Emmanuel Burriss. You’re supposed to feel it when your stars get hurt.
And tonight was one of the worst lineups the Giants could have thrown out there. Melky Cabrera sat because of a minor injury, Joaquin Arias was day-to-day after being HBP, and Brandon Belt sat because he can’t hit lefties. Even with Burriss performing above expectations (1-for-4, 2 K) and Culberson beating out an infield single, this lineup really isn’t very good. It doesn’t look very good on paper, on dirt, on water, on sand, or anywhere. When they get hits, they’re singles, and when they get singles, it’s when there are no runners in scoring position. The Giants.
And it’s not like there’s a simple solution. The Giants probably should’ve pursued Carlos Beltran last offseason, but the outfield is actually the entire silver lining of the hitters on this team. Even with Nate Schierholtz mired in slumpitude, Melky and Pagan have been the most consistent studs of this team. They probably would’ve had to ridiculously overpay for someone like Jose Reyes or Jimmy Rollins, and it made sense at the time to give Crawford a shot, sign Freddy to another year, and let the youngsters develop.
But then a butterfly flapped its wings in Singapore, and now Emmanuel Burriss is playing third.
Let’s Get Frustrated. Together.
On Monday I wrote about Troy Tulowitski’s leg injury, and my own experience with getting-hit-in-the-leg-by-hard-objects. Last night I twisted my ankle while playing Ultimate Frisbee very badly, and tonight Gregor Blanco twisted his ankle. I feel like this blog is becoming an online version of An Almost Perfect Game by Stephen Manes, a book I read as a kid, except with injuries. Essentially a kid is at a minor league game and realizes that anything he writes in his scorecard comes true. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but it was a good book. I’ve also been drinking. This happens when we lose.
Brandon Watch 2012:
Crawford: Good defense on mostly “routine” plays, and actually a couple of hits. Not like it matters, because with Sandoval hurt, and especially with Arias/Theriot hurt, he’s playing every day.
Belt: He struck out last night in a crucial situation, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Aubrey Huff gets the next start against a righty. To be honest, as impressed as I am with Belt’s plate discipline and ability to Kubel the occasional double, I’m really surprised by his lack of power. I don’t know how much of it is a result of the Giants fiddling with his approach at the plate, or inconsistent ABs, or what, but it sure would be nice to see more extra-base hits. Until that happens, though, I love him in the 2-hole, with his OBP skills.
Stats of the Day:
10: Hits for the Giants, with just one for extra bases. Pretty appropriate on #SFGiantsSingles Night.
3: Hits by Buster Posey against Jaime Garcia. It’s easy to forget now, but Jaime Garcia was a popular pick early in 2010 to win NL Rookie of the Year, going 13-8 with a 2.70 ERA. He ended up third in ROY voting behind Jason Heyward and, well, Buster Posey. #science
2: Times I needed to double-check the spelling of “Rzepczynski.”
1: At-bats by Aubrey Huff since coming back in which he did not hit a weak popup.
0: Reason to throw a ball in the strike zone to Brett Pill.
0: Walks for the Giants. See above.
Bonus Stat of the Day:
5: Times I considered signing home plate umpire Doug Eddings to the Giants bullpen. Dude has a cannon.