Monday, July 18, 2005

Joy & Pain

I have loads and loads of luck, and all of it rotten.

A game apiece on Saturday and Sunday, one full of triumph and the other full of frustration. Guess which one I saw from start to finish, and guess which one I missed completely?


In Saturday's game...well, who am I kidding? It all comes down to the blown call by 1st base umpire Adam Dowdy, saying that Jason Phillips checked his swing on a 1-2 pitch when he didn't. Unfortunately Tyler Walker's two out walk came back to haunt him -- he cannot totally avoid blame here, as the game was tied under his watch. But it would've been nice for the Giants to have an opportunity to win the game, instead of handing the victory to a team in the Dodgers who clearly are in a tailspin.

Other notes from Saturday:

  • While our initial reaction might be to perk up a bit at Brett Tomko's outing, we must remember the state of the Dodgers' offense -- which is, that the Dodgers don't really have much offense. I will allow you all to enter a state of guarded optimism, but that's all. Only allowing six hits through six innings can't be considered bad, however, and only allowing one extra-base hit (a double) through six is very good.
  • Nice two-hit game by Jason Ellison, but he is still 8 for 45 in the month of July at the plate. On the flip side, his fielding has calmed down quite a bit, and he now stands 3rd in the majors among CF in zone rating at 2.97. Still dead last in fielding percentage, though.

Sunday's game was missed by myself due to myself not missing an opportunity to go wine-tasting. Sipping on different types of zinfandels and various other red wines doesn't really rank up there in preference to seeing a Giants game, however, seeing the various intoxication levels of the other 16 people I sipped zinfandels and various other reds with, well...that just can't be missed. Throw in a nice little barbeque action after we got back, and that adds up to myself not regretting missing the Giants game...much.

Hey, how's this for a snappy comeback? Snippet of conversation between my buddy Donnie and Sarah, a pretty young lady that was with us on the tour bus (she was pretty drunk, too, but nevermind that):

Donnie: Damn, girl, how'd you get that tan?

Sarah: I'm Mexican.

Perhaps you had to be there, but it was something like seeing a dog not noticing a clean sliding glass door, and running into it full steam. You feel bad for it, but you'll still laugh your ass off.

As far as a few other things I'm gleaning from this weekend's action:

  • As down on the LaTroy Hawkins trade as I was (and still am), Hawkins is making every effort to become as useful as he can. Since coming back from injury, he's pitched 5.2 innings, giving up only one run and four hits while striking out seven.
  • Michael Tucker is making the most of the fact that he's a better baseball player than Alex Sanchez in just about every way...except, possibly, bunting (Tucker is a pretty good bunter in his own right). While I suffer no illusions that Tucker is a starting outfielder, he's still easily a better and more useful player than Sanchez. And since they both bat lefty, there's no reason to ever play Sanchez ahead of Tucker in right field unless Tucker is hurt, or Father Alou goes temporarily insane. After running a .997 OPS in June, he's running a .918 OPS in July.
  • The grain of salt I told you to take when evaluating Brett Tomko's performance Saturday? Take another one with Bran Hennessey's start Sunday. However, it's still encouraging to see one of the young guys putting up some quality starts.
  • It's starting to become official -- after being a wreck just about a month ago, the Giants bullpen is rock solid...unless they're just on a good run and yanking our chains, of course. (sigh) Bullpens are so unpredictable.

That's all I have. I'm going to take a pass on the Giants/Royals Links of the Day for now. I'm realizing I already have to know what they are before I put up an entry, rather than during. Silly me.

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