Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Debuts - Sometimes to Winn is Haad

Goodbye, Marquis Grissom. I had to get that in before anything else. Despite my opinion of Grissom before this season began (that he should've been let go in the offseason), Grip had a lot of good moments as a Giant, and performed better than I expected him to when he first came over. I wish him luck in anything that he does. His career numbers (through last season) are here, and I'll think you'll find a fairly consistent performer who, in many seasons, had pretty good numbers for a centerfielder.

As far as last night's 4-3 loss, well, I guess it was a bit more about the debuts of Randy Winn and Yamid Haad more than anything else. Those debuts bring mixed reviews. First, we'll do Haad:
  • He didn't look too good at the plate, but it's simple enough to give him a pass as it's his first game in the majors.
  • Behind the plate, he looked okay. He gunned down a would-be basestealer with what didn't seem to be a particularly good throw -- whether one calls that great because he didn't even need his best throw to get the runner, or if one says Haad is lucky that the runner wasn't fast/got a poor jump, doesn't really matter. He had some trouble with a few pitches from Brett Tomko, but much of that seemed as much Tomko's fault than anything.
  • He did, however, drop a fairly routine pop up behind the plate that sort of opened the floodgates in the 5th inning. The error turned into a triple, and that eventually turned into Matt Holliday's 2-run home run later on.
  • Overall Grade: a very passive "D". It's his first game, ya know?

Then we come to Winn:

  • Defensively, a mixed bag. He made a nice play ranging back towards the wall, but then botched a liner later on. It wasn't scored as an error, but it could've been -- you can see Winn's knees sort of buckle after the ball was hit as he initially misjudged it, then after a decent display of speed to catch up with it, he made a sort of dive towards the ball but could not hold on after getting good leather on it. I wouldn't have expected him to catch the ball if he had judged it correctly and the same finish happened, but when combined with the misjudgement, the dive wasn't really necessary if he had read the ball correctly in the first place. Same as with Haad -- I'm inclined to let this go because it was his first game with the club. But it gives me the heebie-jeebies, though.
  • At the plate, Winn managed to draw a walk and hit a single. He also failed to come through with the bases loaded, but there were 2 outs at the time, so I'm not going to harp on that. He has a fairly odd batting stance -- a bit hunched, and it seems a bit obvious that he doesn't have home run power.
  • Overall Grade: a passive "C", similar to Haad's situation. We'll keep an eye on him.

Oh yeah, Justin Knoedler got in the game last night as well, a result of Mike Matheny's bereavement leave. He ended up with a pinch-hit appearance where he was...hit by a pinch...er, pitch. Grade? Incomplete, of course.

Kruk & Kuip seemed to think the Giants should've won this game, but I beg to differ -- they handed it to the Rockies, and the Rockies took what was offered. If the Giants were a better team, then I would say they "should" have won it. But what wins are the Giants really entitled to right now? If you can't beat the worst team in the NL while at home, then you do...not...deserve...to...win.

By the way, not to add salt in the wound, but for those who have argued with me on the merits of Randy Winn's defense, heck, even Kruk mentioned that his centerfield arm is "below average", which is probably a nice way of saying his arm is weak. This, I suppose, goes against Joe's information that Winn was "above average in every facet of the game except power".

6.5 games back, and now the Giants have the task of beating the Rockies in two straight -- there really simply is not any other option. This is the weakest team the Giants will face until they face the Rockies again later this month, so they are must win games.

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