Thursday, August 03, 2006

Anatomy of a win

Trying to figure out the Giants and the NL West is an exercise in futilitism and frustratocity.

The win finally came, as we all knew it would...eventually. But if the Giants have been the epitome of mediocrity this year in most areas, one thing they do very well is steal the joy out of a win -- this time with a near-meltdown in the 9th inning, for once not caused by Armando Benitez (though in true team spirit he did contribute a walk to the only batter he faced). The meltdown was courtesy of Brad Hennessey, student closer.

I'm not quite understanding the reluctance to give a greater role to Kevin Correia, whose done every bit as much as Hennessey this year, and actually more in a sense -- Correia's big improvement is a bit more believable than Hennessey's to my mind by virtue of the 10 more games he's pitched in, and the fact that Hennessey's success is largely attributable to his newfound ability to not allow hits...and allow me to be skeptical that that will continue. Matt Cain had a lot of success at the end of last year, mostly due to not allowing hits, and we've seen what that "ability" has gotten Cain this year.

In any case, I am at least mildly pleased at the win. It isn't a loss, of course, which helps. Shea Hillenbrand went deep, and Moises Alou's bat woke up. Those are nice things. Will it help the Giants make a run at the division? I don't think so, but the division doesn't seem interested in leaving behind any of the teams. The Giants, Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Rockies have had some horrible stretches in the last month and change of baseball, and the division (okay, the Padres) just refuses to put any distance between themselves and the slumping team-du-jour.

Three and a half games back. No matter how you slice it, that isn't a large lead. No matter how you slice it, with this team, it's both right around the corner and miles away at the same time.

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