Gee, what do you know? I rant and rave yesterday about why acquiring LaTroy Hawkins was such a dumb move, and my reasoning is shown in vivid detail right away in the game following my comments.
Tie game at 6-6, in comes Hawkins. Great! He retires the side. In comes Tyler Walker. Game no longer tied, Giants lose 9-6.
Do you see my point? Hawkins did his job and still couldn't help. Why? Because the rest of the Giants bullpen sucks (save, apparently, Jeff Fassero and Scott Eyre).
Brian Sabean, you don't need one LaTroy Hawkins, you need FOUR LaTroy Hawkins.
Anyone want to make Hawkins the closer instead of Walker? Okay, so now the lead is blown in the 8th instead of the 9th, by either Walker (kills me he'll just never be what I want him to be, but the heck with defending him), Matt Herges, Jim Brower, or Jason Christiansen.
Keep Hawkins as a setup guy? Okay, the lead can be blown in the 7th or 9th, too, by any one of those gentleman I mentioned above.
Hawkins' struggle as a closer are well documented, but Sabean has two choices before him now to be the closer, since the organization apparently will feel the need to have one guy bear that title. Make it Hawkins, or make it Eyre. Eyre is the only pitcher left in that bullpen with the stuff to do it, and who hasn't given up mass loads of ass to opposing offenses. Fassero's been clotted cream and a great pickup thus far by Sabean (yes, I can give credit where it's due), but relying on him too heavily could be the undoing of his very effective run with the team this year.
But just so that everyone can see the truth, the Giants are not a contender. They stand a chance of hanging around until Bonds gets back, but that's the ceiling of their ability as a team. Jason Schmidt, bless his heart, can't be the savior while only pitching once every 5 days -- besides, he's obviously not truly back to form, and even while at his best Schmidt can have a bad day just like the rest of us.
No, the only hope is Bonds, and that a faint, far-off hope at that. Bonds must come back sooner rather than later for that hope to blossom, and he'd have to hit the ground running a 1.300 OPS to stand a chance of giving as much help as the Giants will need by that time.
Let's all just do ourselves a favor and expect the Giants not to contend. If they happen to stay in it, well, it's a bonus and pleasant surprise that'll make us feel much better than expecting contention, then getting upset when the team struggles just to stay at .500. Make no mistake, this is a mediocre team, and a .500 record is the best they can hope for if we look at things realistically.
Well, now that I'm all done with that, I can move onto the happy prospect of doing the Royals Recap (insert wordless cry of anguish here)...somebody tell me why I love baseball?
It only breaks my heart.