Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Studly Barry-Z

Barry Zito did not allow a hard-hit ball in his seven shutout innings. He was "missing the sweet spot" as Kruk said. The Dodgers would hit the ball off the handle or the end of the bat and everything was a ground ball, a soft liner, or a pop fly. It was classic LA-style with lots of dinks and dunks, only this time there was no Ron Cey crushing a three-run homer. My formative years as a fan (1973-1981, high school and college) match perfectly the Penguin's peak seasons. Every time I saw a Dodger game in those days that little fuck would blast another ball over the fence and crush my dreams. The Giants were always the scrappy underdogs, while LA won four pennants in that stretch and ruled the West. Our only consolation as fans was that stupid Joe Morgan game. I never want to see highlights of that game again. The Giants should have won the division that year (1982), and having to settle for the consolation prize of "keeping the Dodgers out" was fulfilling for about fifteen minutes. I digress, but I still have that traumatized kid inside of me. When the Men in Blue roll into town, I fear the worst. I got scars, man.

I was a little nervous last night with Zito taking the hill. You never know what you will get with that guy, but last night he mixed it up and mesmerized 'em and threw a great game. It helped that the LA lineup was a little ugly. Their leadoff man, Dee Gordon, is really fast but has a .281 OBP. You have to figure that doesn't help them much. Juan Rivera, Juan Uribe, and Tony Gwynn all sport an OPS of less than .700 (the league average is .715). Are you surprised by their 4.08 rpg, just a tick ahead of the Giants 4.07 mark? Without Matt Kemp they are hurting. Andre Ethier hits .325 vs. righties but only .243 vs. lefties. This team, right now, is ripe for the taking. Unfortunately the Giants have to face Clayton Kershaw AGAIN. That will be a tough matchup for Ryan Vogelsong, but he's been as consistent as anyone in the league, so if the Giants can score at all it should give them a fair chance, especially at home.

And speaking of scoring, everyone in the Giants lineup not named Brandon either scored two runs or had two hits. Melky Cabrera did both, and Pablo Sandoval looked much, much better with three hits (two doubles) and three RBI. I should note that the Diamondbacks won their fourth straight and are only three behind the Giants. It just may be turning into a three-team race. They will start their ├╝ber-prospect Trevor Bauer sometime this week. The UCLA phenom was the 3rd overall pick in 2011 and has been touted as the Second Coming of Stephen Strasburg.




Zo said...

Was Zito effectively wild? He walked 3 of the first 6 batters he faced, but then it made no difference. Wildly effective?

Here is what was not wildly effective: prophecy. From Grant at McCovey Chronicles, "Momentum is as good as the next Barry Zito pitch to the backstop" and from Lefty at El Lefty Malo, "I don't have a lot of faith that one of the two wins will radiate like a mother's love from the left arm of Barry Zito" and from everywhere else in the universe, the discussion of the good Zito vs the bad Zito. But the bottom line here is that the Giants can take the series by playing .500 ball the rest of the way. We are two games back. Pablo hit the ball hard last night. Angel is back in the line-up. "Melky is in a slump" is no longer a true statement. We have an All-Star taking the hill tonight. And the weather is beautiful outside.

Brother Bob said...

God it's great to crush the Dodgers!
I loved the way our big first inning got going- 3 ugly hits in a row. It's a good sign when those things go your way.
This game has me thinking of lots of "what ifs"- What if Zito and Lincecum both got good? What if Belt and Sandoval drive in runs? What if Cabrera and Posey stay consistently good?

M.C. O'Connor said...

Great win, great win. Let's hope they keep it going!!

M.C. O'Connor said...

Bauer was the 2011 Golden Spikes winner. Tim Lincecum won in 2006. Bauer set the Pac-12 record for strikeouts with 203 (136-2/3 IP). Mark Prior (USC, Golden Spikes 2001) held the record with 202 (138-2/3 IP).

Tim had 199 in 125-1/3 IP.

Ron said...

Our bullpen has been erratic. Brad Lidge was released today. Any interest?

M.C. O'Connor said...

Add erratic to erratic in order to achieve less erratic-ness? Hmmm.

On a serious note, I expect Brad Penny to join the team soon. He is actually younger than Lidge.

nomisnala said...

Billingsly has been bad in day games. Giants are overdue for a 3 game sweep. We avoided reciprocal shutouts today by tossing our own. Man, Vogey is a fighter. Lets hope Timmy can duplicate the performances of Vogey and Zito. Our team needs to not be satisfied with the first two games of the series. Now is the time for the sweep.