Watching Barry Bonds go yard, and opposite field at that, still instills a certain amount of awe in me. Number 710 was impressive as all heck, with one of those no-doubt cracks of the bat along with the inherent beauty of watching someone identify exactly where a pitch was going early in its flight, and using his power to go with the location of the pitch -- which was outside.
It was also interesting to see Jamey Wright just...pitch...his way through the Mets lineup. Still early to give him the keys to the city, but he seems to know how to use what he has, and doesn't deviate from how he wants to pitch a particular hitter. When he makes a location mistake he can get pounded, but that's no different from most pitchers out there. I'm no longer cringing when I see him on the mound.
However, it's still sad to see how ineffective Pedro Feliz and Mike Matheny are right now, and while Ray Durham was stinking up the joint, too, seeing someone with as little offensive ability as Jose Vizcaino take his place doesn't put soothing balm on the wounds (although I'm much more comfortable with him defensively at 2nd base than Durham).
The shiny lustre has even come off of Randy Winn, who's been 0-fer his last 16. I love Kruk and Kuip, but they made a comment about how unusual it is for Winn to go 0-fer a few games in a row...guys, he's been on the team for about three months. For all we know, this could be the real player they traded for. In any case, his slump is still a bit of a surprise to me, too.
So while the umps once again made a questionable call that went against the Giants in their 4-1 loss to the Mets last night (which was, like the last game in the Colorado series, followed almost directly by the opposing team taking advantage to a game-winning effect), this team still has those gaping holes in their lineup. How do they fix them?
Todd Greene's had a nice offensive beginning to his season, so perhaps sitting Matheny for a day or two could help matters, and Steve Finley is waiting in the wings for whomever falters in the outfield, whether it be through injury or ineffectiveness.
But what about Feliz? This is truly a bad spot, because there is no plan "B" for Pedro Happy Swing. There isn't a backup for him, per se. Vizcaino can play 3rd, sure, but Feliz's defense at 3rd so far this year has been rock solid, so there's no need to replace a poor hitter with some power with another poor hitter with no power.
Brian Sabean's got to be worried, and he's got to be thinking in the short term. Feliz wasn't exactly lighting it up last season, especially after the All Star Break, so Sabean can't really assume Feliz will break out of this. I'm thinking Feliz will get to about mid-May before Sabes trader-finger gets itchy -- but, of course, trading Feliz at his current salary could prove a bit difficult.