The Giants are fading fast on a road trip from hell, and last night’s wasted effort by Matt Morris is a bad sign. Losing 1-0 can happen to anybody, but not if you’re gonna allow a bunch of walk-off home runs. You gotta do one or the other, win when you shut the other team down, or win because your offense can save a bad pitching day. Right now, the Giants are doing neither:
…. haven’t you noticed the 5-11 record in games determined by a single run? Or the seven straight two-run losses? Or the 3-7 record in games decided in the final inning? Or the 2-4 mark in extra innings? Or, while we’re at it, the 3-7 record with Barry Bonds out of the lineup?
How about three walk-off home runs allowed in the last week? How about going 2-2 in Philadelphia despite leading 2-0 after the top of the first in each game? How about losing a 7-3 sixth inning lead?
Finding ways to lose? That’s a bullshit cliche. This is a bad team, with a terrific rotation. See, that wasn’t hard, was it? Against any of the contenders we’re facing, there is no position on the diamond at which the Giants run out the better player. Molina’s having a great start? Yep, he sure is. You think a 32-year-old catcher who is slower than dirt, with a career OPS of .725 is better than some of the great, young catchers the rest of the NL West contenders have? Please.
How about our first base combo? 4 home runs from our first basemen all year? That’s 15th out of 16 teams. Prince Fielder has 21. Are you kidding me? The Giants have sacrificed wins and runs from first base, traditionally a power position, for going on 10 years; a decade of 8 home runs a season. For that alone, Sabean should be given his walking papers.
Second base? How about a repulsive, embarassing, almost criminally bad .303 on-base percentage, good for 11th in the NL. But wait, you say. Ray Durham is our #5 hitter, an RBI man. Well, with a .391 slugging percentage and just 6 home runs, he’s been leaving Bonds on the basepaths at a staggering rate. He’s already had 107 plate appearances with men on, and he has just 36 RBI to go with his 8 double plays and .696 OPS.
Third base? Feliz has almost all the at-bats there, so we’ll talk about him specifically. He’s already had 205 plate appearances, and made 161 outs, counting double plays. That puts him on pace for 480 outs, give or take. He’s scored 17 runs, and driven in 28. He has a .293 on-base percentage. Even though he has 11 doubles and 7 home runs –numbers which (sadly) put him among the team leaders– the Giants collective third basemen rank 9th overall with 21 extra base hits, far behind the league leaders, who have already collected 35 or more.
How about short? Forget about power, all we need from Vizquel is to just get on base, right? Well, he’s had 210 plate appearances, and he’s reached base just 61 times. Jose Reyes has reached base 111 times. His .236/.292/.287 .579 OPS tells a story; a story about a player who has reached the end of the line. He was supposed to bat second, but with a man on first, he was an absolute disaster, with just 4 hits in 33 at-bats, which translates to an ubelievable .121/.147/.121 .268 OPS line. How in Christ are you supposed to put a bat like that in your lineup. Saying that he’ll work his way out of it is fine, if the player is alive. Vizquel is 40, and he’s done. There aren’t enough defensive plays in the game to make up for 150 outs from a guy who’s score 22 runs.
Center field, with Winn and Lewis being red-hot, is at least showing a pulse. Ranking pretty much in the top six or seven in most categories, it still bears mentioning that the team OBP for a traditional on base position is an anemice .328.
Right field? .252/.303/.378 .681 OPS. 3 home runs, 20 RBI. Enough said.
Essentially, the Giants hitters –outside of Bonds– do nothing well. They don’t get on base, they don’t hit for power, they don’t hit for average, they’re not fast, they’re not patient…. This is a team of bench players, a team of Sabean’s “veterans,” a team of Neifi Perez’s, simple as that. Brian Sabean should lose his job for putting this embarassment on the field. Nothing short of a complete overhaul would make this team competitive. What, trade a young pitcher for another AJ Pierzinski, another Michael Tucker?
There’s only one answer. Get A-Rod.
A qualified GM worth anything would be harrassing the shit out of Brian Cashman. We’ve got a surplus of the one thing the Yankees need, starting pitching. Matt Morris will, arguably, NEVER BE AS VALUABLE AS HE IS RIGHT NOW. Never again. Morris and a couple of prospects so that Cashman can get rid of a headache, and Sabean can save his job. There friends, from back in the day. Call him. Again and again. I’d call him five times a day, reading him the stories in the paper about how his teammates don’t respect him, don’t like him. About how he’s leaving at the end of the season. Shit, throw in Vizquel, since A-Rod would get to go back to short. It’s a match made in heaven.
Short of that kind of blockbuster, the season’s over. There’s no move to make.