It’s a rare occasion in which I can sit down on my couch and watch an actual Giants game. Living on the east coast means that I’m usually catching the Giants through MLB.TV (which is an awesome service) on my computer. You can imagine my excitement as the Giants rolled into DC for a three game series in my, as they say, neck of the woods. I was ready to plop down, turn on an HD feed of my favorite baseball team, and watch some winning baseball.
My god I was wrong.
Q: How do you stop a 6 game losing streak?
A: Play the Giants.
Instead of winning baseball, I stumbled upon one of the worst Giants games I’ve seen all year. It was truly terrible. Errors, hacking, and bullpen meltdowns abound!
A bullet-point list of atrocities:
- Rob Dibble. Listening to Rob Dibble is akin to taking sandpaper to your ears. Dibble could just-not-get-past Lincecum’s size. Every other comment was about how small he is now or how small he was in high school. How people probably called him ‘shrimpo’ in high school. Did you know that he’s small? I bet he could live in a thimble! I bet he could surf on a toothpick! Dibble’s problem is that he’s not a good announcer, he offers little insight, and he’s essentially a trumped up version of the I ONCE WAS A BALLPLAYER, DID YOU KNOW THIS?-type announcer.
- The Giants overall impatience. You’ve got a struggling rookie pitcher that threw 20 pitches in the 1st inning. What do you do? Hack! Craig Stammen threw 10 pitches in the 2nd, 8 pitches in the 3rd, and 9 pitches in the 4th as the Giants were in full Hack Mode . It was ugly.
- Molina continues to skid. The big catcher went 0-5 with 2 K’s and 6 LOB. After a hot start, Molina cooled down in May and posted a .559 OPS. I’d love to see Bochy move Sandoval to #4, Fred Lewis to #5, and stick Molina at #6. In the big scheme of things it won’t matter (Deck Chairs, Titanic) but Molina is hard to watch right now.
- Neither team looked great on defense. When you are running out the worst offense in the NL, you’ve got to make your plays on the defensive end. The Giants’ team defense has been above average this season — UZR has the team at +5 runs — but you would have never known by watching the game last night. Uribe let an easy grounder deflect of his shoe for a run in the 3rd inning and Edgar Renteria almost threw the ball into the stands in the 6th. Uribe did earn a little redemption in the 7th inning when he made a bare-handed grab on an Austin Kearns dribbler up the third base line.
- Bob Howry and Merkin Valdez were both involved in some stinkers. Howry wasn’t hit hard — he gave up 3 straight singles, none of them hit hard — but the majority of the damage in the 8th was on his shoulders. Merkin Valdez was brought into the game and was unable to wiggle out of the Howry jam. Valdez throws hard but you need more than a plus-fastball to survive in the majors. 85% of his pitches this season have been fastballs.
An all-around bad night for the G’s. Remember that the Nationals are a good hitting team. Their team wOBA of .344 ranks them 3rd in the National League. Compare the top-3 Nat’s hitters by wRAA: Adam Dunn (+13.9), Ryan Zimmerman (+13.5), and Nick Johnson (+10.7) to the top-3 G’s hitters: Aaron Rowand (+6.2), Fred Lewis (+2.2), and Randy Winn (+1.4) and you get an idea of the offensive difference between these two teams.
Tonight Randy Johnson will go for win #300.