There are few things in baseball that I like less than playing the Rockies in Coors Field. You hit 4 home runs, they hit 6. You score 10 runs, they score 15. You battle, claw, scratch, fight, and try your hardest to get back into a game, and you still lose. This game was truly the worst of the year.
Terrible, no-good highlights:
- Do you like bases-loaded walks? Because this game had two of them. Zito walked in a bases-loaded run in the 5th when he couldn’t find the strike zone and, maybe the worst, was when Justin Miller walked Adam Eaton (a pitcher) to force in a run in what proved to be the fatal 14th inning for the Giants.
- Sandoval left the game early with a calf injury. The Giants can’t hit, but when you take out Sandoval from the lineup, they really can’t hit. Consider this, the 2nd best hitter on the team next to Sandoval is Aaron Rowand. After Rowand, it’s Fred Lewis, who doesn’t even start anymore. The Giants 3rd best hitter doesn’t even start half the time. That’s quite the production cliff to fall off of.
- Freddy Sanchez is still too hurt to play baseball. What’s with the Giants resistance to putting veterans on the DL? Sanchez hasn’t played in a game since August 17th. If you’re too hurt to make a pinch hit appearance, why are you still active? We’ve seen the same thing with Aaron Rowand. He’s sat on the bench for days and days while trying to GAMER-out an injury, but in the end, he just eats up a bench spot while being unable to play. We call that being gritty. I’ve always wondered, why is it all the gritty, gutty, and gamery traits that baseball players seem to get praised for — seem selfish?
- Merkin Valdez serving up the walk-off slam to seal the deal. What’s the best spot for your lowest leveraged reliever? Why a bases-loaded scenario, of course. Valdez owns an average leverage index of just 0.57 — meaning that he’s mostly pitched mop-up this year. The Giants fell victim to the end of their bullpen. Miller and Valdez have been two of the worst regulars in the bullpen this year and it cost the Giants a game. Valdez is frustrating to watch because the stuff is there. He can run his fastball into the mid-90′s but he’s had control problems all season (5.10 BB/9) and, despite his velocity, hitters haven’t had a problem with his fastball. Valdez pumps heat (82.7% of all his pitches are the fastball) all the time. Maybe it’s time to start working on a secondary pitch. Grant Balfour, he isn’t.
I’m probably missing out on a few of the low points, but you get the idea. This game stunk. The question is: where do we stand now? It’s not that much different than where we were 1-2 weeks ago. The Giants aren’t a playoff caliber team. They’ve played well this year, and better than a lot of us expected, but competing in the Wild Card seems like a stretch.
If Sandoval has to miss a significant amount of time, shut your eyes because things are going to get ugly.
Giants Baseball =