As far as the Giants are concerned, the six game winning streak was nice, but this three game losing streak ought to bring any optimists back down to Earth. Sobering news starting with:
- Barry Bonds. I don't know if anyone noticed or not, but I tend to avoid talking about Bonds. I try to write about the here and now for the most part, and Bonds...is not here right now, and won't be for a while longer after reports of his 3rd knee surgery. Trust me, it'll be a lot easier for all of us if we just assume he won't be back in time to make too much of an impact on any pennant race the Giants try to stay in. If he does, obviously it's gravy.
- Ray Durham. Now this is bad news. I've said a few times that I believed Durham had to play in at least 145 games this season for the Giants to get max production out of the 2nd base position, but unfortunately Ray is the Master of the Nagging Injury. It's never anything too serious, but it happens with alarming regularity and it's always with his legs (he seems to have lots of trouble with groin-related injuries). Deivi Cruz will step in and do his thing -- hit a little, field a little -- but I think the Giants might lose a tad defensively on range with Cruz on defense, and they'll definitely miss Durham's superior power and on-base ability over Deivi on offense. Deivi's a nice enough sub for the here and now, but the Giants are starting to spring leaks in more places than Brian Sabean will be able to attempt to fix.
- This has nothing to do with anything, but Dustin Hermanson has yet to allow an earned run in 13 innings of work for the Chicago White Sox, allowing only two walks while picking up four saves. I mean, sure, I want to say I told you so, but it's too early for that -- and I don't know any good recipes for crow in case I have to eat any.
As far as the Giants last two losses, I only saw a portion of each game, so I only have limited knowledge as to what were the main causes for the losses -- besides allowing the Arizona Diamondbacks to score more runs than the Giants themselves scored, of course. But I still noticed a thing or four:
- The loss on Tuesday was due to a lack of baserunners -- specifically, those by way of the walk. Sure, the Giants hit two home runs and a double, but had no one on base to drive in when they were hit. Result: only two runs and a loss.
- The loss yesterday was the opposite, in a sense. The Giants drew six walks, however, only hit two extra-base hits; both doubles, one of which scored half of the Giants two run output.
- Mike Matheny seems to be cooling off at the plate, which I hope means he'll heat up behind the dish. While the "extra" (read: unexpected) offense he was supplying in April was nice, he seems a bit off defensively. No way that a Jason Ellison situation could occur here, though, as I'm sure Matheny would have to be uber-horrible at the plate and mediocre behind the plate before the Giants would see fit to play Yorvit Torrealba more often.
- Jeremy Accardo made his debut, and I did get to see that. It was only one appearance, but color me impressed. He regularly hit in the mid-90's with the fastball, and seemed to be able to locate it. I only saw one breaking ball, so I'm loath to judge that pitch yet. He has a funky delivery -- no, don't go thinking Dontrelle or anything, but it's a bit different, and I can see how it could easily throw hitters off that are seeing Accardo for the first time. He may be hard to hit until the league gets a book on him and sees him a few times.
Alright, I'm going to call it quits. I'll try for a weekend entry, as I'm hoping me and my slaves ( I'm told they're known in rural areas of this country as friends) will be able to move the majority of stuff tonight, and I can wrap it Friday and Saturday.
I'd also like to thank Aaron Gleeman for the plug he gave this site and OB buddy Warning Track Power on his site today. For those visiting Orange & Black Baseball for the first time, welcome, and I hope you like what you see and decide to come back (or, even if you don't like what you see, you can still come back).
Go Giants! And, although likely futile, Go Royals!