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Giants 2010: State Of The Giants, 5/3

(originally written 5/3/10)

The 1984 Tigers they aren’t, but at 15-10 and one game behind the 17-10 Padres, the only complaints our 2010 Giants should elicit are the dearth of balldudes knocked over by rolling baseballs.

The way he’s been swinging the bat, maybe Aaron Rowand should get beaned more often. (No, I was NOT serious and no, I know it WASN’T funny. It’s just so good to have him swinging a hot bat.)

Someone asked me why, if John Bowker won the starting RF job in the spring, Nate Schierholtz has been the RF regular the last few series. My answer resembled a teenager’s explanation of a make-out session: “It just sorta happened.” Fortunately, Nate’s beaning at the hands of Florida’s Hunter Jones will only cost him one start. 

A 6-3 homestand would feel like a World Series victory for a lot of teams, but for us Giants fans, knowing how close it came to being 7-2 hurts. Still, beating St. Louis, Philly and Colorado two out of three each shows the Giants can hang with the best…at least at AT&T Park. If they can just stop letting nobodies silence their offense…

Aubrey Huff hits a splash shot and its landing is not recorded, because neither CSN or Channel 3 aired the game. A huge part of AT&T’s appeal are the home runs into McCovey Cove; I’ve really missed them since Bonds left and Carlos Delgado’s hip gave out (he seemed to deposit one into the Bay there whenever the Mets came to town.) 

The only other park that offers anything close to such a treat is PNC Park (Pirates), but the Alleghany River is 443 feet from home plate at its’ closest (70+ feet further than at AT&T), and only journeyman Daryle Ward has ever landed one there during a game.

Love the Mike Krukow comment after Huff hit the 51st Splash Shot: “I was getting’ tired of seeing the Splash Hit Counter on 50. I was starting to think they retired Scott Garrelts’ number.”

Fred Lewis, one of few to land one in the Cove (and robbed of another when a jack was knocked down by a pillar), has done decently with Toronto so far, starting regularly in LF not long after being acquired. Today (5/5), he had a three-hit game, including two doubles. As far as anyone knows, he is not “tryin’ to go yard”. If you listen to KNBR, you got that one.

Panda Sandoval isn’t right at all—he hasn’t been dominant at all yet in 2010—yet he’s still at .337 and slugging .525. When he gets his swing right, he will put holes into the Willie Mays Wall with his searing liners. Hell, the giant glove behind the bleachers may not be safe, either.

Freddy Sanchez is allegedly nearing a comeback. Tell me—do any of you care? There is no room for him as the team is presently assembled. You’re not gonna sit Sandoval; even if he wasn’t their best hitter, the guy flew through the sky bobbling his head to promote the Giants. Do you sit the red-hot Edgar Renteria? Once a week for rest, that’s it. Do you sit Juan Uribe, your RBI leader and most respected player? Only if you want the men in white coats to take you away. Barring injury, Sanchez would have to go Eugenio Velez and learn other positions to crack my lineup if I’m Bruce Bochy. 

By the way, Tim Alderson: 2-0, 5.84 in 5 starts for AA Altoona. But he’s still just 21. At least the Sanchez trade helped Delwyn Young.

As happy as we all are to see Barry Zito succeeding, we are equally annoyed to hear every local media member giving the same theory as to why and just wording it differently. “Barry’s relaxed now.” “Barry’s not as hard on himself.” “Barry’s having fun.” “Barry’s not trying too hard anymore.” Barry is succeeding because he’s locating and changing speeds better than he’s done in his Giants career; it’s that simple. Can we all stop analyzing the guy? If you’re not Mychael Urban, you don’t know him!

If Sergio Romo blows another victory for Tim Lincecum, but it happens in the Marlins’ home stadium…does anyone actually see it?

Ernie Harwell, legendary Tigers broadcaster of 42 years, died on May 4 at 92. Not being a Tigers fan, I never heard him in action. But imagining a world without Jon Miller allowed me to empathize with the grieving Tiger family.

The Seattle Mariners’ offense is old and pathetic, and the Bay Area’s own Eric Byrnes became the first casualty when the M’s released him over the weekend. He’s back in Half Moon Bay contemplating retirement. But the best part is: the Diamondbacks, his previous employer, are still paying him over $10 million to contemplate retirement. That’s dough they can’t use to improve their current roster. Yippee!!!

Ex-Giants birthdays: Manny Aybar (38), Kent Oberkfell (56), and Rick Leach (57) on May 4, and the great Willie Mays (79) on May 6.
Matt Cain squares off against Ricky Nolasco to close the Giants’ trip to Florida 5/6 at 4:10 PT. The same Nolasco who nearly no-hit the Giants in 2008. 

Next, San Fran shuttles up to Citi Field where a hot Mets team will await them. Good fortune may have shined on our Giants when they missed Ubaldo Jiminez vs. Colorado and Josh Johnson vs. Florida, but the Mets will send Mike Pelfrey—the 4-1, 2.40 Mike Pelfrey—and the future Hall-of-Famer Johan Santana to the “bump” in the first two games. 

Mets’ star 3B David Wright is showing his sub-par 2009 was a fluke as he’s already cracked six homers after blasting only 10 last year (though only one of those has come at home). We touched on beanings earlier; surely you remember Wright’s at the hands of Cain last season—and Cain’s sarcastic cap tip to jeering Mets’ fans afterward. Expect Matt to hear the boos as well as a fastball whizzing under his chin at some point.

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