Meet the Freaky Franchise

Tim Lincecum has been called The Freak and The Franchise.  In this ad for ESPN, he calls himself The Freaky Franchise.  I have to disagree with him.  I think the Giants organization is the Freaky Franchise around here.

The only thing you can say after a game like Wednesday’s is:  fluke.  Sure, we got creamed, 13-1 (letting in 6 homers, which we haven’t done since the 90s), but we had also just come off a spectacular 12th inning win against the NL West leaders.  It happens.  What I actually want to talk about is the weirdness we’ve been seeing all season from the Giants.  And I’m going to single out Brian Wilson.

Let me preface this all by saying I am a serious B-Weezite.  (I know what B-Weez is, to start with.)  He’s my favorite Giant, hands down and I cheer every time they put him in the ‘pen.  But there has been some serious weirdness from him this year.

How about two days in a row, with two outs, bottom 9, he faces the same person with the winning run on base?  Granted, the fact that it’s the same batter is not his fault (I think the Astro’s were trying to psych him out) but he did put the winning runner on.  And then letting in the two insurance runs against SD in the 12th?  (Secretly, that made me a little happy because it made Velez, my second favorite Giant, a hero, but that’s beside the point.)  The weirdest thing about this all is that Wilson has pitched over 100 pitches in the past week or so and not blown a save.  Now is that making things hard for yourself or what?  Wilson is walking a fine line here, but he hasn’t fallen on the wrong side yet.  And when it matters, he gets the job done.

I honestly have no explanation.  I just had to put it out there.  Thoughts, anyone?  Comment and let me know.

In the meantime, show some orange and black pride in Oakland this weekend, if you’re in the area.  We’re having a Bay Bridge series.  I’ll be rooting for Zito tonight, as he takes the mound of his old home, and thanking my lucky stars he won’t be in an orange jersey.  Orange is just not his color.  (Have you heard about the thing with the orange retro jerseys on Friday night home games?  More on that another time.) 

I love you, Brian Wilson.  Work it out, for the sake of my poor, over-stressed, over-Gianted heart.  Thank you.

Diamond Girl


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One response to “Meet the Freaky Franchise


    The B-Weez of the Freaky Franchise:

    What is it about Brian Wilson? Yesterday, I posted on Facebook that he was “killing me” after giving up a game-tying two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth. Duane Kuiper calls Giants Baseball “Torture.” If that’s true, then Wilson may very well be the Grand Inquisitor. Does he deserve this moniker? A quick check on his stats and you find out he’s doing what he’s always done. His ERA is 2.55 and WHIP (walk + hits / inning pitched) 1.338. With one third of the season completed he has 14 saves and 2 blown saves. His season stats in those categories for the last two years which includes his All-Star year (2008) are:

    YEAR ERA WHIP Saves Blown Saves
    2008 4.62 1.444 41 7
    2009 2.74 1.203 38 6

    Breaking down the statistics by month doesn’t seem to reveal any insights either. Brian Wilson appears to be right on track. So why am I so nervous this year when he comes in to close the game? I think it’s a number of factors.
    1. The Nen-Factor. Robb Nen was the last established Giant closer before Brian Wilson. Wilson is a very good pitcher, but he is not Robb Nen – at least, not yet. As a Giant, Nen’s average ERA and WHIP is lower than Wilson’s career best numbers in both categories. Nen did blow eight save opportunities in 2002 (Wilson blew seven in 2009). However, most were late in the season when he was bothered by a torn labrum in his shoulder, a serious injury that proved to be career ending.
    2. The entire pitching staff has faltered. Tim Lincecum hasn’t been right for several games. Matt Cain, who was an early Cy Young candidate in 2009, is not having as good a start this year and still suffers from zero run support. Jonathan Sanchez is just enigmatic; displaying brilliance with flashes of ineptitude at the most inopportune moments. Todd Wellemeyer needs to be replaced. Averaging one win per month, he is the starting staff’s weakest link. Barry Zito has been a much welcomed bright spot. Greatest disappoint honors go to Jeremy Affeldt in particular and the relief staff in general. Giants relievers are responsible for 16 of the 25 losses thus far. When a starter does turn over a lead that ultimately gets blown or nearly blown, it exasperates the relatively shaky situation. As the closer, Wilson is the point man for the relief staff. Although unfair, he can receive the lion share of criticism.
    3. The Giants need to score more runs. The Giants, despite having a decent team batting average, are third worst in the NL for runs scored. Discounting Pittsburgh and Houston, the only two teams to score less, the Giants have scored 31 fewer runs than the average of the other thirteen teams. If the Giants scored more runs, there wouldn’t be as much pressure on Wilson in the ninth. That’s simple math.

    Brian Wilson is not really the problem, it’s the team in general. If Wilson blows one save per month, when otherwise he’s lights out, so be it. I hate the overused term “perfect storm,” and “synergy” seems way too ‘80’s. I’ll be bland and just say it’s a bad combination of a wavering all-star caliber starting staff, a reeling relief staff, and an anemic offense. From this, a slim one or two run lead is handed to Wilson and he issues a walk or allows a hit before the outcome of the game is decided. That’s Giants Baseball – torture.

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