Tim pitched damn well last night in what was perhaps, for me, the most deflating loss of the year. Kershaw has consistently beaten us and we had him albeit by the slimmest of margins. In the eighth, Tim had Kemp swinging at a ball that would have bounced on the front of home plate for strike three. Instead, a "hit" that could not have even been called a dying quail. More like a little turd that a quail leaves just before it dies. The ball dribbled about one-quarter of the way down the third base line and did not roll foul while the Giants stood around watching it. The worst of luck. Then, a steal of second and a passed ball to allow a speedy runner who has no other discernible baseball skills to take third, and didn't you just know that this game would be tied? Can anyone inform me why we substitute Whiteside for Stewart? Doesn't this passed ball/can't throw out a runner kind of thing happen just about every time we do? For what, a .205 average as opposed to a .199 batting average? Yeah, then a two-out hit for a tied game. The Giants scored in the first, and got damn few hits after that against Kershaw, none of them out of the infield. Perhaps it is atonement for the hubris of believing that our pitching could carry us in spite of a totally shit offense. I'll leave that thread to MOC, who believes in that stuff. By the way, fuck Eugenio Velez.
The Chron on Friday carried an article by Henry Schulman about arbitration-eligible and free agent Giants, speculating on whom would or would not be on the team next year. It is here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/09/SP9I1L1S75.DTL. The free agents are Beltran, Ross, DeRosa, Burrell and Cabrera among hitters, and Affeldt, Lopez and Mota among pitchers. Arbitration-eligible hitters are Torres, Keppinger, Fontenot, Schierholtz, Sandoval, Whiteside and Burriss, and there are plenty of pitchers: Lincecum, Sanchez, Ramirez, Casilla, Romo and Vogelsong. First, before getting into this discussion, the Giants absolutely must keep the core of pitchers together. The Atlanta Braves went to the playoffs, what, 11 straight years on the backs of Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz, and they paid a higher percentage of their total salary to their pitching staff than any other team. The Giants must keep Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner and Wilson (assuming he is not permanently injured, and he doesn't seem to be) on the team, anyone who thinks that one of them might be traded for a big, big bat is an idiot. Vogelsong pretty well played himself into a must have, hasn't he? The relievers are more problematic, because they absolutely necessary, but may be replaceable. A big, big reason that we won the World Series is because of Ramirez, Lopez, and yes, Affeldt, Mota, Casilla and Romo. Romo is the must-have out of the group, and probably one of the least expensive must-haves. You need Mota and Casilla or someone like them, and you need Affeldt (currently out due to a kitchen accident). Among hitters, Sandoval is the must-have. Cabrera is a net detriment at any price, DeRosa, Ross, Fontenot and Burrell rate a "meh" at best. I like what Keppinger has added, don't know if he can play short, but if he can, he is a far better acquisition than Fontenot. Beltran would be great, depending on the length of contract and the price, unfortunately, someone might offer him 5 years plus and option, and I'm thinking it would be the White Sox (it would be the Mets, but they did that already with him, they wouldn't be dumb enough to do it twice, would they?). Whiteside is a waste of time, and why anyone thinks that Burriss is a major league baseball player is beyond me. Ditto Ford, unless you want a really fast guy for baserunning and don't mind that he has been thrown out almost as many times as he has stolen a base (5 vs 6). Which brings us to Torres. It seems like the Giants fully intend to go into the offseason totally unsure about which Torres is real, the 2010 Torres or the 2011 Torres. So they will either give him raise and regret it or not offer him arbitration and regret it. I like Schierholtz much better, but that means we need a lead-off guy (or maybe, keeping Torres would still mean we need a lead-off guy). I don't know yet if Christian is that guy. Jimmy Rollins, Philly free agent and Bay Area native, could be that guy, solving the SS vacancy with a competent glove, but NOT IF IT MEANS THE LOSS OF OUR CORE PITCHERS. Neither Beltran, Rollins, Pujols or any other hitter is worth that.
Sorry about the lack of hyperlinks. I am too pissed about last night.