Sunday, May 29, 2011

Don't look now . . .

. . . but the Arizona Diamondbacks are in first place.

Matt Cain has given up NINE runs in his last 12 innings of work. Today the first five guys in the Brewers lineup rapped out seven singles in the first three innings to go up 3-0 and put the Giants in a huge hole. Cain, from what I could see, didn't look bad, but he had some lousy luck and the Brewers hit good pitches. They are an excellent hitting club and the best team at home in the league. In the 6th, though, Cain gave up three hits with two outs and they tacked on two more runs. The pitch to Rickie Weeks was a clear mistake and got too much of the plate, and a hit to the pitcher (even though Gallardo is a good hitter) was inexcusable. It looked like Matt was going to put in six or maybe even seven with just the three runs, which would have been tolerable. But he let the game get blown open and that made any chance at a comeback impossible. Coming back from 3-0 would have been tough enough, and perhaps impossible today anyway. Yovani Gallardo did not break a sweat as he sliced neatly through a Giants "attack" that featured FOUR rookies. Emmanuel Burriss, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, and Chris Stewart all started. I suppose it is a stretch to call the 29-year old catcher now with his fifth big league club a rook, but the 37 AB in 2007 with Texas is his highest season total, and today was his only 27th career game. Santiago Casilla is back and worked a scoreless inning. Freddy Sanchez got his 1000th career hit, a nice milestone.

One year ago today Buster Posey was called up and started at first base at home against the last-place D-backs. He got three hits in a 12-1 victory. The Giants were 26-22 after that game, in third place 2-1/2 games behind the Padres, a half game back of LA, and a half game ahead of the Rockies. They'd scored 201 runs and given up 160. (This year's team has scored 177 and allowed 186.) The 2010 season is proof that there is a lot of baseball left after Memorial Day, but today's game was a depressing affair. I have the feeling this hard, cruel stretch will continue. There is some uncertainty and a bit of scrambling in the wake of The Collision. The pitching will continue to be tough. Matt Cain will get his groove back. But the starting eight will be a mess for a while, even when Pablo Sandoval returns. They had a great run of comebacks, walk-offs, and close victories, but those kinds of wins are too dependent on good bounces, close plays, and other lucky breaks. The next series--four in St. Louis--will be very tough. The Giants come home for ten games after that before their next off-day on June 13th.



Ron said...

Panic point for me is Huff. Despite the fact that his meager total of RBI's leads the team, he is being counted on for much more. The biggest stat that makes me cringe every time is the OBP in the .270's. It was perhaps foolhardy, but unavoidable, for us to give a big contract to a guy who has had trouble putting back-to-back good seasons together. We really had no choice. But, he's got to pull himself out of this. Without Uribe & Posey, we really have to lean on Huff for the heavy-lifting.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Huff is as low as he can go at this point. He's hitting like Aaron Rowand. Wait, Rowand is actually better.