Undefeated And It Feels So Gooood
(originally written 4/9/10)
(I know, a trite title, but I’m pressed for time here.)
Whoa, who expected THAT? A sweep of the Houston Astros IN HOUSTON. The starters weren’t scored upon for their first 16 innings of work over three games. Only Brandon Medders was anything less than superb on the hill. Speaking of Medders, that is one situation we’ll be monitoring all season—how many times the Giants go into the 9th up by four or more runs, bring in a reliever not named Brian Wilson, then end up having to warm him up and/or put him in the game.
It happened more times last year than it should have; 2010 has already started on the wrong foot in that department.
Aside from that, I don’t think even Earl Weaver himself could find much to complain about the opening series. The Giants are leading the N.L. in hitting by 22 points (.349) and the Astros, held in check by the San Francisco arms, are the only team in the league without a home run (though Jeff Keppinger came so close, replay was needed). The only hitches aside from Medders: Rowand’s ugly start at the plate (which he made up for) and failure to clutch the drive to center in Game 3 by that cost Matt Cain a win (in a game S.F. ended up winning by six runs), a celebrating Sergio Romo heading to the dugout after the 2nd out, and Eugenio Velez’ San Francicso uniform—seriously, I’d just finished taking a shot at the Nats’ uniform people for their goof last year and here it happens to us.
Edgar Renteria socked the ball pretty good, including a five-hit game. Uribe was Uribe, John “The Hook” Bowker smacked a bomb (yes, I'm officially pushing that nickname), and Travis Ishikawa even went yard in a pinch-hitting appearance. If you’re Houston, your SportsCenter moment was a middle reliever (who later hurt himself) with a bizarre routine. And that isn’t good. BTW, loved Kruk and Kuip’s take on Hunter Pence—“He’s one of those guys that never blinks.”
Coming up: The Atlanta Braves and wunderkind Jason Heyward, who hit a very impressive home run off a top-of-the-line pitcher (Cub Carlos Zambrano) on his first MLB swing earlier this week. Atlanta is 2-1 overall and will send ex-Athletic Tim Hudson vs. Jonathan Sanchez in the home opener at 1:35. Saturday will be ex-Dodger Derek Lowe against Todd Wellemeyer at 7:05, with Kenshin Kawakami squaring off against Tim Lincecum in the series finale—weather permitting—Sunday at 1:05.
NOTE: Dave Flemming fooled me pretty good during the radio broadcast of Game 2; ex-First Lady Barbara Bush had attended Game 1 with her husband George, but only George was present for Game 2. Jon Miller raised the question of her whereabouts. Flem answered with “Barbara Bush passed on…today’s game.”