Sunday, April 18, 2010

Burned rubber

Sometimes you get burned. Sergio Romo has all of 79 major league games under his belt, having faced fewer than 300 batters in three years. Manny Ramirez is one of the great stars of his generation, sporting a 1.002 OPS in almost 9500 plate appearances. Experience prevailed in the most important matchup of the game, as Ramirez blasted Romo's 1-2 pitch into the left-field seats and erased not only the Giants lead but a tremendous performance by Barry Zito. The LAtriners took the rubber match in a well-fought, evenly-matched series. The Giants had their chances against an impressive Clayton Kershaw, but couldn't manage a big hit with men on base. Zito was positively brilliant, facing only 26 batters, mixing his pitches well and keeping the Smoggers from making hard contact. He looked good in the field, handling all his chances expertly, and even executed a sacrifice bunt. If this is the Barry Zito we paid a billion dollars for, then I'm on board. Let's hope he keeps it up--his 2010 has been outstanding so far. The Giants lost a close one today, a real heartbreaker, the kind of game this pitching-heavy team needs to win. I kept thinking "just get the ball to Wilson and we'll win." Which makes me think--why not use Wilson against Ramirez? After all, it's a "save situation" and Romo gets charged with a "blown save" for his effort. Is it possible to consider using your very best relief pitcher when the game is truly "on-the-line" and not necessarily wait for the ninth inning? I like Romo, I appreciate that Ol' Boch has confidence in the kid, and it was a great chance for him to get a huge out. Alas, he didn't get it done. The Giants won't get a chance at payback until the end of June. Meanwhile, our boys may find it tough going in run-stingy San Diego before they come home to face two other first-place teams, St. Louis and Philadelphia, who come to San Francisco just ahead of the big showdown with Colorado.

--M.C.

4 comments:

Bob said...

That Kershaw's a damn good pitcher. He sure made Velez look bad. Uribe's been a nice asset. What will they do when F Sanchez gets well?
Kudos to Zito. I've always been his biggest fan, as I'm sure you all know.
I don't like streaks and I like them to end before they become a distraction. So our streak of won series is over. Good. (I'm lying.)

Anonymous said...

Zito got Cained. He's been very good and today he really got no run support (though it was against Kershaw so it's understandable I guess). It's OK though. The Rockies lost, the D'Backs lost, so we're still like 2 games up. It would have been nice to beat those Blue buggers, but what can you do. Affeldt or Wilson should have been there since Romo is usually the 7th inning man anyway. Well, Cain's up tomorrow. Go Giants!

Zo said...

You ask a good question, MOC. Especially as Wilson had not been used since mop up duty in San Francisco last Wednesday. Whatever, Boch got out-guessed. Too much chance involvend to say that he got out-managed (at least this time). But you roll the dice and takes your chances. I think before the game Kruk was saying that Kershaw is usually a 6 inning pitcher. He also has one of those squinty, neo-nazi Orel Hershiser looks about him. I don't know, maybe it is just the uniform.

Misha Imberman Berkowitz said...

Zo, I absolutely love the way you described Kershaw's "squinty, neo-nazi" look. It seems to me that Jeff Weaver sports that same look out of the Dodgers bullpen. Could the Aryan brotherhood be the key to the Dodgers' success in 2010?

Los Angeles is 2-1 this season when both Kershaw and Weaver appear in the same game, compared to 0-4 when both bitter-faced blondies pitched in the same contest last season.

Something to watch for as the season progresses...