Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Awww Schmidt

Jason Schmidt. Have we gotten our ace back?

Well: 9.0 innings/5 hits allowed (only one an extra base hit)/Zero runs allowed/Zero walks/7 strikeouts

...and all that on just 113 pitches, which may be the most important piece of it. Oh, and by the way, he did it on the road in a hitter's park against a team which, before the start of this game, was 2nd in the NL in runs per game at 5.26 runs/game.

That's like, cool. 2-0, Giants.

I must admit I got a chuckle when reading the MLB game recap from Giants beat writer Rich Draper. I'm sure part of his mandate is to up-play the positive and find a positive spin on the negative, but lying just shouldn't be allowed. The Giants offense was 100% provided by Pedro Feliz, which is great -- it's nice to see him go deep and drive in some runs, but Draper had the following to say about Feliz and his efforts:

Fireworks came from third baseman Pedro Feliz, who is struggling offensively, but has a knack of rising to the occasional with men on base
That's incredibly untrue. From 2003-2005, where pretty much all of Feliz' career resides, he's hit .254 with runners on base, and .240 with runners in scoring position. This year, he's hit .200 with runners on and .148 with runners in scoring position.

Rich, what the heck are you talking about? I think he means well, but when he talks about the Giants, I think some kind of fluid leaks into his brain and dumb stuff flies from his keyboard. I've started to pick up the habit, if I happen to read a game recap from, of reading the opposing teams' recap from the opposing teams' beat writer. There's just less of a chance of wading knee-deep through fecal matter doing things that way. Or, at least I'm wading knee-deep through the fecal matter of that other team rather than the one I follow. That, I can stand.

One thing that is becoming painfully obvious once again this season -- ain't no wildcard coming out of the NL West. It's win the division or bust. The NL Central has three teams with over a .600 winning percentage, and five of six teams with a record above .500.

Lance Niekro, after having some encouraging at-bats earlier this season, is starting to look a lot like he did last season -- smack in the middle of the Amazon without a guide.

(That was a tough one, deciding between the remote place of the world to finish that metaphor. I started with Siberia, moved onto the Sahara Desert, then to the Nepalese Mountains, Antartica, the Bermuda Triangle, finally settling on the Amazon. I was even switching between his method of aid -- from a compass, to a map, to a GPS, then instead choosing to go with a guide. See, I bet you all just thought I threw things together here with no kind of plan, didn't you? Far from it. There is careful planning that goes into each...wait, what was I talking about before this?)

The Giants upcoming schedule is truly screwed. The short two-game set with San Diego that they played followed by hitting the road for the two-game set with Milwaukee, starting a three-game series in Philadephia the day after ending with Milwaukee, then flying all the way back across the country to play the make-up game with Houston the day after the Philadelphia series ends. Oh, and they play for nine consecutive days after that, too.

Their next day off is May 18th, which will make it 20 straight games. Most of the games will have been at home, luckily, but that's got to take it's toll on a team this old. I'm going to set a bit of a mile-marker on that Thursday, May 18th, to see where the team stands after all those games. Could be a little rough.

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