My god, it’s a boxcore! Baseball is officially back. I can’t tell you how good it feels to be able to wake up, go online, and read an honest-to-goodness boxscore. Yes, ST stats don’t really mean anything, but, it’s great see the players on the field — even Eugenio Velez.
The first ST game of the year for the Giants felt a lot like previous full-season Giants baseball (besides the scoring of 10 runs). The Indians threatened in the 9th inning to tie the game, but a shaky Jesse English got the final out on a long flyball from Matt LaPorta. Lincecum looked good in his one inning and we got see a bunch of the “new guys”: Brandon Medders, Francis Beltran (who?), Andres Torres, Luis Perdomo, Edgar Renteria, Jesus Guzman, and Juan Uribe just to name a few.
Other things I learned from this game:
~ The new park in Goodyear really played small. I’m not sure if it was the heat, or what, but balls were carrying quite well. Travis Ishikawa hit 2 HRs, the 1st was legit but the 2nd would have probably fell short of the RF wall in San Francisco — or banged off the wall at least.
~ Speaking of Ishikawa, I’m predicting that he’s going to hit 324 HRs in 2009. This is in no way outlandish.
~ Nate Schierholtz hit a long flyball that left the park. Velez even had a couple of hits at the plate. I don’t know about you, but after Game 1 of ST, I’m ready to cut Dave Roberts and move on. It would be a shame if he took even 1 at-bat from Schierholtz or maybe even Velez.
~ In the field, Renteria looked decent-ish. He bobbled at least one groundball and his arm isn’t impressive, but for a first ST game, I wasn’t recoiling in horror from his defensive play.
Lowry Update: It looks like Noah Lowry has had another setback with a “cranky” elbow. From SFGiants.com:
Discomfort in Noah Lowry’s elbow will prevent the Giants left-hander from throwing before this weekend, at the earliest, and jeopardizes his availability for the start of the regular season.
“I’d say it’s questionable whether he’ll be ready to start the season,” Bochy said.
It’s a shame that Lowry can’t stay healthy. I’m begining to wonder if the 50 innings pitched that I’ve projected for him this season is too much.
Baggs has a neat little piece on the “Giants Hitting Manual”. It’s a super secret manual that details all the things the Giants think young developing hitters should be doing. Thankfully, Baggs doesn’t go into detail but he does list a chapter outline — 16 in all — that give a feel for the manual.
I’ve got some connections inside the Giants organization and I’ve discovered a previous chapter thought to be lost: Chapter 17. The Strike Zone and You: Diagramming the Mythical Strike Zone. My inside source sent me a couple of diagrams from the SZ chapter. For the first time ever, let’s check them out.