A couple of days late but I wanted to post some reactions from the doubleheader against the Pirates on Monday. I’m back to a PC with internet access after spending the last few days in Pittsburgh.
Matt Cain’s game 1 start was typical for this season in almost every single way. Lots of pitches in the first, a few earned runs, and little support from the offense. Cain had more first inning troubles as he threw over 30 pitches that helped to derail a otherwise quality start. From my seats in the LF bleachers I couldn’t tell how close Ortmeier was to the two doubles down the line but my suspicions are that a more experienced first basemen would have gotten some leather on both hits. It’s hard to believe that Cain is 4-13 with a 3.77 ERA.
The crowd was surprisingly pro-Bonds. You still saw a few knuckleheads walking around with various “Boo Bonds” t-shirts or ones with asterisks, but every time Barry came out to LF, he was cheered more than booed. Minus the lady next to me who constantly screamed about Bonds being a cheat, the crowd was pretty kind to Barry. I was really surprised because when I saw the Giants last year in Pittsburgh the crowd was very surly and would boo Bonds whenever they got the chance. They even honored Bonds between the games with a video highlight of Barry’s career on the scoreboard. He came out, tipped his hat, and received a lot of cheers.
Paul Maholm owned the Giants in game 1. The G’s were obviously swinging away at whatever he was throwing without much plate discipline. I think by the 6th or 7th he had only thrown 70 pitches. He easily cruised to a CG victory. In a lot of ways it reminded me of a Greg Maddux start because the game was under 2 hours and the pitcher took advantage of a over aggressive offense.
Game 2 was a rare Giants win. Much like Cain’s first game, it was a typical Noah Lowry start. Lots of base runners, mostly from walks, that Lowry managed to wiggle out of. I really have no idea how Lowry is doing it this year. His WHIP is a high 1.458 and he walks as many guys as he strikes out (77-79) yet, he leads the team in wins. Lowry did give up a rare 2 home runs in the game, only allowing 6 the entire year before the game. That’s a incredible number any way you look at it. The last two seasons Lowry has given up 21 HR’s in each season but this year he’s cut that rate by more than half. It was good to see Lowry come back from his arm scare and pitch well enough to get the win but the 114 pitch count is a little dicey for a guy that missed his last start with arm pain.
Klesko hitting the granny into the RF stands. He’s been struggling in the 2nd half but he put together a nice game going 2-3 with a walk and 4 RBI’s.
I’m still a fan of Rajai Davis. Not only did he make the best Giants catch I’ve seen all year but he stole 2 bags in the first to scrap together a run for the Giants. Davis also tacked on two 2B’s in the game. The diving catch he made in center was amazing. I kid you not when I say that it felt like Davis had to run a entire football field to get to the ball before laying out for a amazing catch. He’s probably not going to hit much but he’s sure fun to watch, which is something that you can’t say about most of the team.
The Giants still aren’t a very good team.
After watching the doubleheader, the Giants moved to 1-5 in games that I’ve seen them play live this year. It was fun to see them play even if they stink. Can you say “High draft pick”? PNC Park is a great place to catch a game and theres nothing like summertime baseball. It probably ranks 2nd only to Mays Field in terms of overall park appeal. I’m just glad the Giants won the 2nd half of the double header, I mean, how depressing would it be to lose 5 games in a row to the Pirates? Almost as depressing as this entire season.
Good news for the farm system, the Giants have signed first rounder and 29th overall pick OF Wendell Fairely for a cool 1 million dollars. Fairley is considered by many to be one of the “best overall athletes” in the 2007 draft and he’s “toolsy” as hell. Today is the deadline for draft deals to get done and #10 pick Madison Bumgarner still hasn’t signed yet. Bumgarner is allegedly looking for “Clayton Kershaw money”, which puts him around 2.3 million dollars to sign. Kershaw like Madison, was the top LHP talent out of high school in the 2006 draft but the difference is that Kershaw was a #7 pick and Bumgarner is a #10. If the Giants and Bumgarner can’t come to a agreement they’ll lose the rights to Bumgarner as he’ll most likely enter Junior College to try and increase his draft value for ’08. Also, if the Giants can’t come to terms they will get their #10 pick back in the 2008 draft on top of whatever picks they’ll earn from this year.
I’ve heard that the Giants have offered around 1.8 million for Bumgarner which is in the slot range for his draft pick. Personally, I don’t see why you would risk 1.8 million dollars for an extra “measly” 500k by going to Junior College and potentially coming down with an injury. I get the feeling that his family / agent are pushing him to get more money.
The Giants have just announced that they’ve signed Madison Bumgarner. The financial details aren’t online yet but this is good news (e: Looks like he signed for $2M which is a little less than his asking price of 2.3). Quoting from the SFGiants.com link:
Bumgarner, a 6-4, 215-pound left hander, helped Hudson’s South Caldwell High School to the North Carolina state championship in 2007. Gatorade’s North Carolina Player of the Year posted an 11-2 record with a save and a 1.05 ERA (13er, 86.1ip) this year. A member of the two-time state champions, the southpaw struck out 143 batters, while issuing just 11 walks over 86.1 innings.
The Giants have now signed 45 of their 52 picks from the 2007 draft.