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…. Your better is better than my better

That’s where we are, Giants fans. Eight games into the season, and four games out. A team hitting line that looks a lot like Neifi Perez, .221/.277/.324 .602 OPS, with four home runs, (two of which were hit by our cleanup hitter in last night’s 11-inning win).

The player with the best start? Eugenio Velez, who is posting an .864 OPS. Pitchers? Lincecum’s been terrific (1.80 ERA, 11 strikeouts in 10 IP), as have a couple other guys, but some have been horrific, including Mr. $126 million, Brad Hennessey, and Brian Wilson.

A simpler way to look at the team would be to compare what we’ve done to what our opponents have done:

The Giants have 58 hits, 11 doubles, 4 home runs, 85 total bases, 17 RBI, and have run out an ugly .221/.277/.324 line, with a .602 OPS.

Opponents have 90 Hits, 16 doubles, 8 home runs, 132 total bases, 43 RBI, and have run out a pretty .320/.388/.470 line, with an .857 OPS.

That encompasses both our offensive futility, our defensive ineptitude, and our pitching failures. I’d also guess that it probably shows our poor lineup construction, and our unimaginative and frequently flawed use of the bullpen.

UPDATE: Wow, another old guy is hurt:

Giants left fielder Dave Roberts, who admitted that he might need surgery to repair his injured left knee, went on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday.

“I don’t think we’re 100 percent committed to it, but it’s a viable option at this point,” Roberts said.

The Giants officially said before their 3-2, 11-inning victory over San Diego that Roberts had inflammation in his left knee. But Roberts said after the game that he had a torn meniscus in his knee and “stuff under my kneecap” that was causing frequent swelling.

What a surprise, (although, not to Marc). ;-)

UPDATE, Part II: I didn’t watch the game last night, I was working late, but I read about it, talked to some people who did, blah, blah, blah. Joe Sheehan did watch the game, and afterwards, he went ballistic on Bonehead:

…. In the bottom of the ninth, Jose Castillo roped a two-out, bases-empty double, giving Bochy the opportunity to make a huge mistake. With Davis due up and Brian Bocock on deck, Bochy sent Fred Lewis up to hit for Davis. Cringing yet? Bud Black couldn’t put four fingers up fast enough, sending Lewis down to first and bringing Bocock to the plate against Heath Bell. Five pitches later, the game headed to extra innings.

Say what you want about stat geeks and table-game dorks, but there’s not a halfway decent Strat player on Earth who would have wasted a player in that situation.

…. You may think this is a small thing I’m blowing up into a big one, 500 words on a decision that won’t mean much in the big picture. However, if you make a decision like Bochy’s once every two weeks, that’s 13 games you’re actively hurting your team in. I submit that managers across baseball make decisions like this–inexplicable tactical decisions that hurt their teams–a hell of a lot more often than that. Whether it’s wasting a lefty reliever on a hitter who won’t hurt you no matter who’s pitching, or building a lineup that invites tactical hammering from the opposition, or choosing the wrong pinch-hitter for the situation, managers routinely show weakness in this area, an area of the game that should be second nature.

I’ll submit that Bonehead makes mistakes like that all the time. Whether it’s running four pitchers out to get three outs when the Giants are down five, or failing to understand the rudiments of filling out a lineup card, Bonehead is mailing it in at best; completely useless at worst. The simplest aspects of baseball –from major league team construction, to stocking our farm system, to deciding who to pay and how much to pay them– are utterly lost on this team, and nobody –NOBODY– in the entire organization seems to notice.

I’ll bet the players notice. I’ll bet the players on both teams notice. And I’ll bet that, if Bonehead hasn’t lost the locker room yet, it’s only because the team is made up almost entirely of guys who consider themselves lucky to be here; because either they’re too old, too crappy, or too young.

Hat tip to the backtalkers at El Lefty Malo


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All commentary is the opinion of John J Perricone unless otherwise noted.
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