Three times tonight in his five innings of work, Giants starter Todd Wellemeyer turned around and watched balls leave the yard. Adam LaRoche in the 2nd, Justin Upton in the 4th, and Stephen Drew in the 5th with a man on did the damage. Denny Bautista got in on it too, giving up a two-run blast to Chris Snyder to make an already out-of-reach 5-1 game into a 7-1 thumping. It got worse from there with Brandon Medders joining the gopher ball parade, serving up one to Kelly Johnson and one to Adam LaRoche in the 8th. The 13-1 whuppin' was the most lopsided defeat of the season.
They say Arizona has "power up and down the lineup" and they certainly flexed their bat muscles tonight. Then again, they did not see our best arms--we'll see if they can bring the lumber against Tim Lincecum tomorrow. They also say Arizona has one of the worst bullpens in the game. Good thing their starter threw eight innings of three-hit baseball, otherwise our veteran savvy lineup would have exploited that team weakness and made it a real contest. Three hits is damn discouraging. I realize that the thirteen runs allowed is a bit more significant this evening than the one freakin' run scored, but our feebleness at the plate is mind-numbing. We need to get some hits! I was happy to see the Panda find his stroke.
Ian Kennedy (the winning pitcher) came over to the D-Backs from the Yankees in that weird three-way trade with Detroit involving Curtis Granderson. He was the Yanks 1st-round pick (#21) in the 2006 draft. Tim Lincecum was the 10th pick, and Max Scherzer (who went from AZ to Detroit in the same trade) was the 11th. He's 25 and had ridiculous numbers in the minors. Tonight was only his 21st ML start.
update Mon 0705: Paul DePodesta's blog ("It Might Be Dangerous") is often interesting reading. Take a look at his season-so-far review of the Padres. Can you imagine our GM being this forthright and open with the lowly fans? Mr. DePodesta talked about one-run games and games decided by 5 or more runs. B-R has that data--the Giants are 6-8 in 1-run games and 6-2 in "blowouts" (5+ run difference). They were 21-22 and 21-18 last year. Also, John Perricone at OBM has a thought-provoking piece about good teams vs. pretenders, and contends that good teams dominate. Close games can go either way too easily, so the best teams can "pile on" and win comfortably. He quotes Bill James as well. Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk quotes Joe Maddon who describes his team's style as "the liberal arts form of playing baseball," that is, the Rays do all facets of the game well. I like a balanced squad myself--the Giants have great pitching and fielding but the hitting is just not up to snuff.
Good stuff, check it out.