Monthly Archives: June 2010

Why Aaron Rowand Should Work at Safeway More Often and On Beating LA

Incidentally, I was watching Fox Saturday baseball last week and saw the recap of the Tampa Bay Rays game.  I immediately spotted my new dreamy team guy: Sean Rodriguez, second basemen.  He’s not replacing David Wright but maybe… some sort of backup?

On the postgame show yesterday afternoon, Mychael Urban said he couldn’t think of anything good about yesterday’s Giants/Red Sox game except for the bullpen.  So I say: What about Aaron Rowand?   He did not start yesterday, but he did pinch hit and get on base.  And the past week or so, he’s been showing some encouraging signs.  He may never be the clean-up hitter we signed or the lead-off man Bochy envisioned at the beginning of this season, but honestly, if he’s a solid number 6 or 7 hitter, that’s fine with me.  Interestingly enough, these signs come shortly after his two hour stint as a bagger at Safeway in San Francisco on June 15th.  That job was promptly followed by a one hit game, a three hit game, etc.  Rowand may still be slumping, especially compared to his outstanding spring training performance, but there’s definitely hope when he comes up to bat these days.  Especially, since the 15th.  I can’t explain this, but I had to put it out there.  Phil Coke, of the 2009 Yankees, now of the Tigers is coming off an offseason of working as a chimney sweep and he’s 5-0 with a 2.90 ERA.  Interesting?

Despite all the sad things from the games today and yesterday, I want to note that Jeremy Affeldt and Dan Runzler both pitched outstandingly.  The good news is, they may be on their way back to being strong relievers.  The bad news is, I owe everyone in the room with me during Saturday’s game five dollars.  Because yeah, I predicted Affeldt wouldn’t get too many batters (i.e. any) out.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Good job, Jeremy.

News of the day… vote for the All-Stars!  I won’t tell you who to vote for, but I urge you to exercise your right as a baseball fan to vote.  Only three days left! 

Who heard about the Yankees v. Dodgers game last night?  A dramatic come-from-behind win, making up a 6 run deficit in the 7th to go to the 11th, where the Yankees eventually won.  Extremely encouraging for Giants fans, with the Dodgers coming to town tonight.  I think the moral of that story is:  Go for their starting pitchers who are spotty, and then try to get into the LA bullpen, because they got nothing.  And I’ve done my research on this, because my grandfather tried to convince me for a very long time that Broxton is a better closer than Wilson (false).

And the rivalry is renewed.  Loving the video.  Tonight I am asking everyone to lean out their respective windows and scream, “Beat LA!”  We may need the good luck.

I’ll start by screaming into blogsphere: Beat LA!

Diamond Girl

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So. The Bullpen.

Well, okay.  The first two days of this road trip were sad.  And then there was a bewildering win on the last day in Toronto and the sweet win yesterday against the Astro’s.  I know I should just be happy and not think about it when the Giants score 9 runs, but I want to preserve a win like that and try to figure out what went right, aside from the obvious reason of the pitchers they were facing.  The hitting so complicated, aside from the obvious brilliance of putting Huff and Uribe next to each other.  Today, actually, we’re talking about what went wrong, though.  The bullpen.  Our starting pitchers are so strong and it’s nice when we just need Wilson for a save, but that isn’t always the case and the bullpen is going to need to keep us in the game, at least some of the time.

 

The last game against the Jays was tense when it just should not have been.  Reading about the story behind the homer Affeldt let in on the front of the news the next morning, I won’t say I wish he hadn’t given it up (read the story here), but we do have to assess the bullpen and that assessment may not be totally positive.  Take a look:

 

Jeremy Affeldt- 2 wins, 3 losses with a 5.64 ERA
Denny Bautista- 1 wins, no losses with a 2.89 ERA

Santiago Casilla- 1 win, 1 loss with a .88 ERA

Guillermo Mota- no wins, 2 losses with a 2.84 ERA

Sergio Romo- 2 wins, three losses with a 2.67 ERA

Dan Runzler- 2 wins, no losses with a 3.06 ERA

Brian Wilson (closer)-  20 saves, 21 save opportunities with a 2.05 ERA

 

Looking at the stats, it doesn’t seem so bad.  So why did we need to bring in our closer in (what should have been) a blowout?  You could say that Affeldt is the problem, but that would be simplifying the issue.  The truth is stats only tell half the story and I’m evidently not a MLB batter, but if I were facing the Giants, I think I’d have visions of getting something going when they take out their starters.  Because even if the relievers/closers for San Fran get the job done, there is always drama.  Looking at their stats, it’s baffling because most of them are really pretty good.  So is it just me or are you nervous too when we think Speedy Oil Change (if you’re not a KNBR listener, you won’t get that)? 

 

This quote from the SF Chron, after Zito beat the A’s for the first time, is the story of the 2010 Giants bullpen:  “It ended in dramatic fashion.  That’s how you like to do it.” -Brian Wilson

Um, Brian?  That’s not how us fans like you to do it.  Duh, you wouldn’t have a job if there weren’t close and dramatic endings, but you don’t have to make it all the more dramatic when you do come in.  But this post is not, in fact, about Wilson and he’s one of the strongest legs of the ‘pen, so I’m not complaining.  If nothing else, maybe a talk to the relievers is in order about the virtues of getting the job done fast?  Just a suggestion, Bochy.  And if we’re dreaming big?  Maybe a few new relievers are in order, too.  Like Steve Efeldsen who is 5-0 with a 1.74 ERA in the Giants AAA affiliate. 

Wait.  I got a good idea.  What about teaching Ryan Braun to pitch and then using him alternately as a reliever and a left fielder?  Now we have to trade for him.

 

Diamond Girl

p.s.  A quick question… why do baseball teams only have one closer?  Maybe there’s something I’m not getting about closer territory– okay, now that I’m thinking about it Brian Wilson and Jonathon Papelbon in one dugout is a bad idea–but wouldn’t it seem like a smart move, to take some of that pressure off the one and only closer?  In the situation of a 5 out save, that would also give the team more options (using one in the 8th, the other in the 9th).   Thoughts?

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Notes from 6-15-10 Giants v. Orioles Game…

Riding on a cloud and staying true to my promise that I would be happy forever if I got a Barry Zito autograph.  Well, maybe just half of forever until I get a Wilson autograph.  That’s still pretty happy.

I went to the game last night early and sang happy birthday to Tim Lincecum (love Giants fans, but they really can’t sing in tune…), got his autograph and got a Zito autograph and photo.  And watched Joe Martinez pitch 6 1/3, four runs and get the loss.  But more on that another time.  Now, the good things.

Here’s the picture with Zito. 


 
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On to Lincecum.  He stole my pen.  The cap is sort of a sacred object, now, since he has the other half. 

Oh, and the woman who gave Barry a jewelry box?  That was weird.  He looked pretty puzzled, which was my basically reaction too.

Enough tid-bit talk.  I was, of course, thinking business while watching the game and so I took some pictures for a study I want to do here.  What is with the geeky photos on the scoreboard at the game? In my opinion, the Giants have a (perhaps inordinate) number of good looking guys (as you can probably see from the percentage of them on my Dreamy Team) so how hard could it be to get cute photos of them?  Take a look (photos from the game last night):

 

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I mean, how hard could it be to catch a semi-candid, nice smile?  The Giants actually have a problem with photos all together, as demonstrated by the picture on Sergio Romo’s page: http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=489265.  Sergio is cute, no mistake, but that is just not a great photo.Has anyone else noticed this?  Comment and let me know.  And also let me know your autograph experiences.  So want to hear more. 

And!  I’m now tweeting in additon to this blog.  Check it out at www.twitter.com/sfdiamondgirl. 

That’s it for now.  Except I’m thinking the next movie in the “New York, I Love You” series should be made by me… “Brian Wilson, I Love You”.  What a beautiful 5 out save, today.

Here we come, Canada!

Diamond Girl

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My Own Dreamy Team

Who else caught Barry Zito on the Unicorn Hour on KNBR on May 1st?  Listen to the podcast here, if you missed it.  Basically, Zito describes him and Dan Haren (D-Backs starting pitcher) making a “Dreamy Team”- an imaginary team of the best looking guys in baseball.  So I, of course, thought, I could totally do that!  And I even might venture to think I have better taste than Zito and Haren.

 

(Note:  Yes, I know David Wright is a 3rd baseman, but I couldn’t take A-Rod out so Wright will have to learn how to play 2nd.  That couldn’t be that hard, right?)

 

In the field

1B- Albert Pujols

2B- David Wright

SS- Jose Reyes (or Omar Vizquel, nod to my mother)

3B- Alex Rodriguez

LF- Ryan Braun

CF- Eugenio Velez

RF- Andre Ethier

C- Jorge Posada                                                                       

 

Starting pitchers:

Tim Lincecum

Andy Pettite

Barry Zito

Madison Bumgarner

Joe Martinez

 

In the ‘pen

Sergio Romo

Dave Robertson

Mariano Rivera

Brian Wilson

 

Who’s on your Dreamy Team?  Comment and let me know.  And who else wants to pitch a Dreamy Team game- just like, or even instead of, the All-Star game- to MLB?  I’ll start collecting signatures, if anyone’s interested.  I bet our TV ratings would skyrocket.  Just saying.

Diamond Girl

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My Pitch for the No. 5 Spot

No pun intended.  Seriously.

From what I can see, Wellemeyer is still scheduled to start tomorrow, but I have to talk about this anyway.  As great as the Giants pitching is, the reality is the starting rotation doesn’t end half as strongly as it begins.  It’s reasonable to have hope for all of the staff (two time Cy Young Award winner, one time Cy Young award winner, All-Star, no-hitter pitcher) all the way through Todd Wellemeyer.  I saw him pitch in LA this April and by the end of the 2nd it was 7-0 LA.  Think about that for a second.  Yeah.  Things haven’t improved that much.  He can pitch alright at home, but that’s not really good enough, especially for a club with offensive problems, like the Giants.

So people are saying “bring up Bumgarner or Hacker!” but great minds think alike.  I was listening to the Giants wrap-up on Saturday and Mychael Urban said exactly what I was thinking: bring up Joe Martinez.  Hacker and Bumgarner are pitching well, but not that well and to debut Bumgarner in a high pressure hitters park is just madness.  Well, not as mad as starting Welllemeyer, but close.  Joe has Major League experience and recently pitched a complete game in AAA, striking out seven and allowing one run.  I was at the game last season where the Giants lost 11-0.  Martinez let in 8 of those runs.  I get the concerns, but I think he’s back.  The other concern I’ve read “who should be sent down,” which is legitimate, but I’d say we should send down Wellemeyer or a bullpen guy.  If we replaced Wellemeyer in the No. 5 spot but didn’t send him down, he’d presumably go the ‘pen, so we’d be able to send another pitcher from there down.  As Bochy said, Bumgarner is almost ready, but for the Cincinnati start?  We need Joe.

Or we could pitch Wilson in the #5 spot.  I wouldn’t mind a whole game of Brian and we might even break a few records for number of runs allowed by a pitcher. 

Diamond Girl

Update:  Ah, poor Wellemeyer.  He was doing so well.  Wishing him all the best and a speedy recovery.

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