Archive for May, 2009
Looks like Brian Sabean is getting ready to make another franchise-devastating trade:
…. It's becoming more apparent, though, that if the Giants are to build a respectable lineup before 2011, they must give up a prime asset — the kind of trade that Sabean made as a rookie G.M. in 1997, when he moved popular third baseman Matt Williams for a package that included Jeff Kent.
With that in mind, club sources said Sabean would put out feelers to see what he could fetch for right-hander Matt Cain, who pitched a complete game Saturday to improve to 5-1. Because Cain is young, controllable and relatively cheap for two more seasons, it would require productive offensive players with similar service-time attributes to strike a deal.
“If the bat per se is talented and hopefully not a free agent to be, you pay the market price, whatever that is,” Sabean said.
The Chron also wrote about the potential moves:
…. “We obviously can compete, but we know where we are challenged, and it's maybe more acute than we thought it would be,” said Sabean, who interrupted his draft scouting to attend this series after the Giants scored four runs as they were swept in San Diego.
…. Sabean said he has held preliminary trade discussions on a “narrow list” of hitters. He would not name them but acknowledged that the list of hitters publicly known to be available is fairly accurate.
The Nationals are willing to deal first baseman Nick Johnson and the Indians have made infielder/outfielder Mark DeRosa available. Both are potential free agents. Others who could be moved include A's outfielder Matt Holliday, Texas infielder Hank Blalock and Seattle third baseman Adrian Beltre, whom Sabean is known to like.
Where they play does not matter.
“Wherever we can find a bat, we'll make the adjustment positionally,” Sabean said. He acknowledged that to swing a deal this early in the season, a team seeking players needs to make an attractive offer, and he is willing to deal young players and prospects.
However, Sabean is not willing to move his best prospects, saying, “If it's young and potentially up-and-coming impact talent, no. Nobody wants to trade that.”
Of course where they play doesn't matter. When you field an entire team made up of role players and has beens, any real hitter will immediately play where wherever he normally plays. But is there anyone out there who cares about this team who thinks that Sabean's gonna get the best of a trade right now? I sure as hell don't.
Not to mention that the entire framing of this dilemma is flawed from the outset. It is apparent that the team needs to trade to acquire a hitter because the team did not go after any significant free agent hitter in the off-season. It was
not apparent that they would be forced to trade a good, young pitcher to acquire a hitter prior to the off-season. After we ended last season with the worst offense in baseball, it was obvious to everyone in baseball who didn't work for the Giants that the team absolutely had to upgrade the offense. Anyone who knows anything knew this team did not have the offense to compete. They could've signed a free agent or three or four.
Instead of solving a known problem, however, they went out and got a shortstop; an old, declining shortstop, to fill a position that was already filled. (Two years ago, we went out and signed a center fielder, an old, declining center fielder, even tough we already had a center fielder)
Now, we're gonna see Sabean trade Matt Cain for Adrian Beltre, an old, flawed, overpaid player. Beltre, by the way, is currently falling off the face of the earth, running out a cover your eyes awful .214/.246/.306 .552 OPS line.
Only in Sabean's Bizzaro world could you envision trading a 24-year old starting pitcher –one who has just begun to reach his potential– for a declining, 30-year old third baseman who earns five times as much. Here's an idea….
STOP PRETENDING THAT THIS TEAM CAN CONTEND!!
Don't trade good young pitching at all.
The 2008 Giants are three position players –at least– away from being a real team. I wouldn't trade Cain for A-Rod right now, let alone Adrian Beltre. Be afraid, be very afraid.
UPDATE: Via Musings, Henry Schulman says Cain ain't being dangled:
…. I have the utmost respect for the reporting ability of my talented friend and San Jose Mercury competitor Andrew Baggarly.
I don't know if I'm right. I don't know if he's right. But the fact is, he wrote a rather jarring paragraph that said the Giants are dangling Matt Cain to other teams to gauge his trade value. I ran that by a very high-level source with the Giants, and he said, “Absolutely false.”
The player he's supposedly being dangled for is Florida's Dan Uggla. Uggla is an OK hitter, with good power, but he's 29 years old, he's running out a dismal .205/.328/.424 .756 OPS line this season, and he also makes twice what Cain makes. If you look at Cain's numbers –other than wins and losses– he's one of the top pitchers in baseball. Uggla's not even one of the top second basemen in the NL, for crying out loud.
But that's the kind of deal you're gonna see Sabean make. An absolutely horrible one.
I'd also like to mention that the clumsy, inept and worthless Adam Dunn is still hitting, with 14 home runs 39 RBI and banging out a stellar .284/.420/.594 1.013 OPS. Yep, the Giants sure don't need that kind of player.
There were multiple times when I wrote that we all needed to realize that the problems plaguing Noah Lowry were career-threatening. It now appears that his Giants career –at least– is over:
…. Lowry was diagnosed twice in the last five days with thoracic outlet syndrome, a circulatory disorder that both doctors — one who practices with Dr. James Andrews in Alabama, and Dr. Greg Pearl, who performed today's surgery — apparently believe was the root cause of the forearm numbness that first shelved Lowry in August, 2007.
In March 2008, Lowry had surgery to cut a sheath around the muscles in his forearm to relieve wha
t was described as exertional compartment syndrome, which Giants doctors believed to be the cause of his numbness.
That diagnosis now is being called into question, and Lowry now wonders if he has lost two years of his major-league career to a misdiagnosis and a surgery he did not need.
That's a tough thing to face. I'm currently going through a similar misdiagnosed problem with my elbows, three years running and no real solution, and I can tell you it's exhausting, mentally and physically. And like Lowry, it's costing me my career (I'm a carpenter) and denting my income.
My thoughts go out to Noah and his family as he tries to rebuild his strength and get back to baseball.
So far, the Giants have been exposed by the NY Mets, losing the first two games of this series in a display of some pretty poor baseball. They’ve allowed 11 steals, and have failed to protect a lead repeatedly, blown two saves, thrown the ball all over the field, and generally looking like a Triple AAA ball club.
When Lincecum gets a 5-1 lead and cannot keep the bases empty for even one inning, you know the team is in trouble. I’d also mention that now that the pitching staff’s willingness to ignore the runners has been exposed, we can expect the rest of the league to force the action just like the Mets have.
For the most part, I’m not sure Righetti even wants the pitchers to pay attention to the running game. It appears as though he thinks they should just concentrate on the hitters for fear of losing their focus. That’s just one more way the complete lack of offense hurts the team.
UPDATE: This is pretty close to stealing, in my opinion:
…. There’s no such thing as a bad first baseman. Just as there is no such thing as a bad first base coach.
Name me a team that fell just short of greatness because its first baseman was klutzy – and Bill Buckner doesn’t count. He was a good fielder who made one mistake. If a fellow is coordinated enough to hit 25 homers in the big leagues, he can play first.
…. The Giants ignored free agent Adam Dunn last winter, because he’s hard to hide, defensively. Dunn has 11 homers (to 20 for the entire Giants team) and has 28 RBIs, both stats among the league leaders.
I’m not asking for residuals, but a plug would’ve been nice.
The Giants beat the hapless Washington Nationals yesterday 11-7, behind Randy Johnson. The Big Unit won his 298th game, and the offense took advantage of a massive number of walks to score a season-high 11 runs. The win pushed the team's record to 17-14, and I have to say I'm surprised.
I'd also have to say that this run isn't sustainable. You can't win more than half your games when you allow more runs than you score (128-120), and when you score the fewest number of runs in the entire baseball world. With just 120 runs scored in their first 31 games, the Giants have been the beneficiary of close to perfect timing, serendipity if you like. They've won two games by a score of 1-0, two games by a score of 2-0, and several others by just one or two runs. The odds of this continuing throughout the season are long, indeed.
During the pregame show, John Shea reports that Adam Dunn, said that the Giants never called this past off-season. Dunn, who landed a two-year deal worth $20 million –or just slightly more than Edgar Renteria got from Sabean– said that he would have had no problem playing at PacBell:
…. “This place doesn't scare me. You can definitely find better places to hit if that's what you're looking for. As far as home run-wise, I wouldn't (not) go someplace because the park's too big. If I hit it, it's going to go.”
Dunn is second in the NL with 11 home runs and 28 runs batted in. The Giants, as a team, have hit just 16 home runs. So, to reiterate, the team lied when they told us they weren't pursuing Dunn because they knew he wasn't interested in playing at PacBell.
The truth is that Sabean thinks it's fine to have a mediocre bat at first base –a premiere offensive position that the team has failed to fill adequately since Will Clark– because Sabean thinks defensive whiz first basemen save 100 runs a season, and Sabean thinks that veterans with track records –or as they're more commonly known, washed up players– are more valuable than young, power-hitting players who know how to get on base.
So, with the $9 million were giving to Renteria this year, in 108 at-bats our shortstop has scored 18 runs, banged out 5 doubles, 2 home runs, and a .258/.328/.358 .687 OPS line this season. Last season, in 124 at-bats at short, Emmanuel Burriss scored 19 runs, banged out 5 doubles, 1 triple and 1 home run, and ran out a .306/.382/.387 .768 OPS line. This season, Burriss has struggled a bit, but still has managed to post an OPS of .632, just a hair below Edgar.
How have the Nationals done with the $10 million they're paying Dunn for 2009? He's scored 19 runs, banged out 4 doubles, 11 home runs, and run out a .318/.457/.655 1.112 OPS line. Yeah, why would the Giants need a player like that?
UPDATE: Lots of great stuff in the backtalk, but I can't help but wondering what the optimists are looking at when they continue to suggest that the Dodgers can be had. The Dodgers are leading the NL in runs scored and runs allowed. I
don't care how much you hate them, they are playing phenomenal baseball right now. Did you see that play Kemp made last night, scoring from second on a bunt to the third baseman? When was the last time a Giant made a play like that?
ESPN's expected wins calculator shows that the Dodgers are 23-12 and they should be 24-11. The Giants are 18-15 and should be 15-18. Sure, our pitching matches up well with them, but we're at the bottom on offense and they're at the top, averaging a full run and a half more per game. They are the best team in the entire league right now, and even with Manny gone for a third of the season, they will still be better than the Giants by a substantial margin.
And, not for nothing, but I cannot believe how many people have taken the time to point out all of Dunn's shortcomings. His positives so far outweigh his negatives as to make your arguments laughable to the point of absurdity. He's a 28-year old who's hit 40 home runs and drawn well over 100 walks FIVE YEARS IN A ROW!! And all you guys want to talk about is how he isn't a great defender? Are you fucking kidding somebody? Make a point that matters, for Chrissakes, instead of sitting here telling me we have no room on our team for a player who will hit more home runs than our whole fucking team.
FIRST BASE IS AN OFFENSIVE POSITION
The top teams in the league get elite production from first base. Ranking all of the teams in both leagues by total bases by first basemen is startling. The Giants have 31 total bases from first base, Tampa Bay is number one, with 88. The average team gets 65 total bases from the position. This is the highest average of any position, and this holds true for virtually every offensive category. The Giants are the only team in the league that considers defense an important attribute for a first baseman. Every other team puts their best hitter there, and hopes for the best.
That is what championship teams do, by the way, since we know that the Giants strategy hasn't produced a championship in my lifetime.
Here's what a real GM of the worst offense in baseball would have done, during an off-season in which a guy who'd hit 40 home runs five years in a row was basically siting at home with his hat in his hands; call him up, and say, hey Adam, we'll do the extra year that no one else will, say, 3 years for $33 million, and all we ask of you is to spend the off-season working out with JT Snow, because we need you to play first base.
How hard would that have been? It would have taken something more than just throwing the most money in the ground, like Sabean did with Zito, outbidding the rest of baseball by $25 million. It would have taken leadership and imagination and, sure, some risk. But we've got an up and coming pitching staff that needs some runs, and signing a declining Edgar Renteria for top dollar right out of the box was thoughtless, full of just as much, if not more risk, and wasteful. And, by the way, worthless. The Giants had the worst offense in baseball last year with Burriss at short, and now we have the worst offense in baseball with Renteria at short, with $18 million dollars less to go after a real hitter.
The latest steroid scandal involving Lou Merloni is old news. I wrote about teams bringing in doctors to talk to players about the positive aspects of using steroids years ago, and the Mitchell Report mentions it as well. Nonetheless, it is refreshing to hear a player, even one who is out of the game, talking candidly about the issue:
…. Merloni’s exact quotes, according to The Boston Globe, were: “I’m in Spring Training, and I got an 8:30-9:00 meeting in the morning. I walk into that office, and this happened while I was with the Boston Red Sox before this last regime, I’m sitting in the meeting. There’s a doctor up there and he’s talking about steroids, and everyone was like, ‘Here we go, we’re going to sit here and get the whole thing — they’re bad for you.’
“No. He spins it and says, ‘You know what? If you take steroids and sit on the couch all winter long, you can actually get stronger than someone who works out clean. If you’re going to take steroids, one cycle won’t hurt you; abusing steroids it will.’
“He sat there for one hour and told us how to properly use steroids while I’m with the Boston Red Sox, sitting there with the rest of the organization, and after this I said, ‘What the heck was that?’ And everybody on the team was like, ‘What was that?’ And the response we got was, ‘Well, we know guys are taking it, so we want to make sure they’re taking it the right way.’ … Where did that come from? That didn’t come from the Players Association.”
Steroid Nation’s piece goes on:
…. In fact, there were occasions when physicians presented steroids in a favorable light, in particular Dr. Robert Millman, of Cornell. Here is what John Rocker said about a presentation:
The loudmouth former reliever said he and then-Rangers teammate Alex Rodriguez, among others, were advised in spring training of 2002 by management and players’ union doctors on how to use steroids in a way that is “not going to hurt you.”
Rocker said a doctor hired by the Players’ Association pulled aside himself, A-Rod, Ivan Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro following a spring training lecture and candidly told them how to use steroids.
“Look guys, if you take one kind of steroid, you don’t triple stack them and take them 10 months out of the year like Lyle Alzado did,” the doctor told him, Rocker said yesterday during an interview on the Buck and Kincade Show on WCNN-680 The Fan in Atlanta. “If you do it responsibly, it’s not going to hurt you.” (italics, mine)
My steroids category link is taking too long, but I’ll find the piece I wrote back in ’03 or ’04. Old news, but still good news. I’m all for transparency. The people who profited from the home run explosion, the owners, GM’s, and baseball officials who are pointing fingers need to be put to the same scrutiny players have been. About time.
So new we learn that one more player was willing to do whatever it took to win, one more player who took the mantra that winning isn’t just everything, it’s the only thing as seriously as a heart attack.
One more reason for all of the talking heads to wring their hands, declare themselves the last bastions of decency and all that’s good, to remind us that while Manny Ramirez doesn’t care about saving the children, they sure do. One more overwrought response to an overblown issue, by one after another overweight and underpaid hacks.
The NY Daily News has nine articles related to Ramirez, this from a paper that considers itself the anti-steroids locus operandi of the sports world, but is, in reality, a joke; running one more innuendo-filled smear after another. Or, if smear jobs aren’t enough, the News will run flat out attack pieces, with enough anonymous quotes to make Selena Roberts blush. Here’s John Harper:
…. Unless you think that cheating the game shouldn’t matter, you continue to cross the names off the list of future Hall of Famers. Not that deleting Manny Ramirez’s name from consideration is particularly painful.
It was always going to be hard to vote for someone who quit on his team as transparently as Ramirez did with the Red Sox last year, when he forced his way out of Boston. So in this case, Ramirez’s suspension for using a banned substance just makes it easier to say no.
Or the poster boy for calling everyone a cheater, Lupica:
…. Ramirez talks about some doctor doing this to him. What doctor? He doesn’t give us a name on his doctor any more than A-Rod gave us the name of that Nurse Betty-cousin of his. Manny and Boras also fail to mention that there is a hotline ballplayers can call, one that tells them exactly what drugs they can and can’t use.
So, in a one-paragraph statement, Ramirez manages to give us a story as full of holes as the one Rodriguez gave in Tampa before he choked himself up.
Again, baseball officials and sportswriters know, FOR A FACT, that virtually every baseball player for the last fifty years has used performance enhancing drugs of some kind during his career.
Let me write that again, so you understand how disgraceful all of this posturing and hand-wringing really is:
BASEBALL PLAYERS HAVE BEEN USING PERFORMANCE ENHANCING DRUGS FOR THE LAST FIVE DECADES:
…. Here’s what Gilbert wrote FORTY YEARS AGO!!!!
…. “A few pills—I take all kinds—and the pain’s gone,” says Dennis McLain of the Detroit Tigers. McLain also takes shots, or at least took a shot of cortisone and Xylocaine (anti-inflammant and painkiller) in his throwing shoulder prior to the sixth game of the 1968 World Series—the only game he won in three tries. In the same Series, which at times seemed to be a matchup between Detroit and St. Louis druggists, Cardinal Bob Gibson was gobbling muscle-relaxing pills, trying chemically to keep his arm loose. The Tigers’ Series hero, Mickey Lolich, was on antibiotics.
Bob Gibson? He’s one of the heroes these guys keep going on and on about. He’s one of those guys who would never, ever have used steroids, right, Lupica?
…. “We occasionally use Dexamyl and Dexedrine [amphetamines]…. We also use barbiturates, Seconal, Tuinal, Nembutal…. We also use some anti-depressants, Triavil, Tofranil, Valium…. But I don’t think the use of drugs is as prevalent in the Midwest as it is on the East and West coasts,” said Dr. I. C. Middleman, who, until his death last September, was team surgeon for the St. Louis baseball Cardinals.
Tim McCarver was Gibson’s catcher, wasn’t he? When is McCarver gonna come out and tell the truth? When is McCarver gonna be asked a tough question? He and Joe Morgan can sit there during games and drone on and on about how horrible it is that this player or that player is cheating…. WHEN WILL THEY COME CLEAN?
Think about that when you listen to these guys talk about their heroes being so full of love for the kids, so true and honorable that they saved people from burning buildings before hitting the game winning home run. We know, KNOW that all of these guys, Reggie Jackson and Cal Ripken and Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays and Tom Seaver and Joe-fucking-Morgan ….. all of these Hall of Fame players absolutely, positively used speed to play baseball. And we know, for a fact, that the only reason they didn’t use steroids is because they weren’t readily available.
And we know that the sportswriters and broadcasters knew as well.
Instead of another article quoting Cal Ripken as being disappointed or shocked, I’d love to read an article in which Ripken lists, in detail, every single thing he ever took to play in 2130 games in a row.
…. “I don’t know what people would think. You stand for what you stand for. If you’re asking me whether I juiced, the answer is no.
When different people are suspected or popped, there’s a kind of shock that runs through your system. This falls in the shocking category.
You can only control what you can control. You have to live your life and live it as consistently as you can, the way you believe.
Instead of looking at it from a pessimistic point and saying it’s dragging the game down, I still would like to believe most players are making the right choice and right decision based on who they are. That’s how I choose to look at it. Whether it’s going to prove out to be wrong, time will tell. The truth will come out.
Yeah, don’t ask him a real question, like, what did you take, at any point during your career, to take the field? Or better yet, did you ever use speed, or anything stronger than ibuprofen, EVER?
This is all bullshit. It’s all lowest common denominator, pander to the idiots, race to press and make sure everyone knows that you stand for honor. And it’s all a lie.
Just glancing at what I wrote about our two major off-season acquisitions makes me all teary-eyed.
…. In my relentless criticism of the Edgar Renteria signing, I have been accused of worshipping home runs, ignoring cutting edge statistics, and forgetting how horrible shortstop was for the Giants last season. Hmmm….. Lemme see.
I like the work the boys over at Baseball Prospectus put out, so let’s see what their projection system, PECOTA, says about Renteria:
It says that Renteria has an 8% chance of having a breakout season, a 29% chance of being better than last year, and a 36% chance of collapsing. It projects him at .280/.341/.410, with 8 home runs, and 60 runs scored and driven in. Upgrades for sure over last season’s debacle, but overall, just 1.9 wins over replacement.
Renteria is currently running out a .253/.327/.374, which is quite a bit worse than his projection. Orlando Cabrera –who I complained was Renteria's equal, and who labded a contract worth roughly 20% of
what Renteria got from Old 401K Sabean– is at .240/.302/.269, which, while horrible, would certainly make the savings look worthwhile.
And as for Mr. Johnson, well, he's now at two terrific starts and four horrible ones, which, of course, is what happens when you are older than me and still being paid to be a top-flight athlete. In his last 600 or so innings, Johnson has allowed a staggering 100 home runs, a rate that is something like 25% greater than his career average. Sure, he'll get strikeouts, that's what he does, but if the Giants really want to do something interesting, they ought to consider making him a middle reliever.
He could ramp it up a notch, be a little more overpowering, and put less mileage on his arm. As a middle reliever, who knows, he might be able to pitch for three or four more years. As a starter, his days are numbered.
Since we're talking about me, I'd also like to remind everyone that I predicted the Dave Roberts debacle, and was wrong on Zito. Que sera, sera.
Well done, gentlemen. Very incisive and thoughtful.
As for the negativity, all I can say in my defense is this:
I write from inspiration. When I read or see something that drives me, makes me want to say something, I say it. The “negativity” you see here is simply a reflection, a mirror of the team that has been run out for most of the last four or five seasons.
You want to read positive? Go back and read my posts from 2002, when we went to the Serious. Read what I've written about Barry Bonds, or, for that matter, Tim Lincecum. Or, more to the point, go read the fucking Chronicle. You want pablum, you want me to play nice? I'm not interested.
I'm interested in honesty. Who cares about how well the pitchers are doing when our hitters are so God-Almighty horrible? Like MIA says, our great young pitchers are gonna sign long-term deals with us? Why, exactly? We know that Lincecum has already rebuffed the team's initial attempts to discuss such a deal. What makes you think tomorrow will be different, when we have so much evidence to the contrary, right in front of us?
Our prospect-rich system is gonna produce great players? How, exactly, does anyone “know” that?
They don't. No one can predict major league success with that kind of precision. Sandoval will or won't turn into our own version of Vlad. Posey will become a great catcher, hit for average and get on-base and call a great game, or he'll blow out a knee, or he won't be good enough by thismmuch, and the Giants will still be waiting.
Meanwhile, we knew coming into the season that the pitching would be good enough. We knew that getting a player or two who actually is a major league hitter would have made a huge difference. We knew that we would lose games 2-1 and 3-2 all year long because of our lack of offense, and all we did was sign Renteria. And why? Because we didn't have the money. And, now –twenty games into the season, by the way– we're already being fed Chronicle puff pieces about how the Giants might not be able to acquire any real hitters at the deadline because of a lack of revenue. Is
When you pour tens of millions of dollars on the ground, year after year, obviously, you won't have the money to sign real players; a story we've been hearing for the last ten seasons. I've listed, again and again, the ridiculous, albatross contracts that have hamstrung this team since I've been covering them. You think we could use the combined $26 million dollars we paid Neifi Perez and Dave Roberts over the last five seasons? Or the $18 million dollars we gave the already on his way into retirement Kirk Reuter? How about the $15 million we threw on the ground at Steve Finley's feet? The $28 million we wasted on Edgardo Alfonzo? The list of players who have gone straight from the Giants into retirement just over the last five seasons alone should give all of our young pitchers pause when they consider signing a long-term deal with the club.
Positives? You find 'em. What I see is this: In the last four seasons alone, I can find almost $100 million dollars that Brian Sabean has given to guys who were out of baseball the day the Giants released them.
UPDATE: As if on cue, David Pinto wonders where the Giants should hit the Giants best hitter, Bengie Molina:
…. Bengie Molina helped the Giants to a 6-2 victory over the Cubs with a 2 for 4 day, including his fifth home run, a three-run shot. Bengie’s now hitting .304, but with a .302 OBA. That’s possible because he has no walks, no hit by pitches, but three sacrifice flies. On the other hand, he’s slugging .554, which is good for a number four hitter. Twelve of his 28 hits have gone for extra bases.
Where should a team bat a player like this? He power is valuable, but he’s an out machine despite hitting .300. I would think the right spot for him would be sixth or seventh, depending on the makeup of the team.
Exactly. The Giants have Molina batting cleanup, and on a good team, he'd be sixth or seventh. That sums up Brian Sabean's failures more eloquently than any rant I could come up with.
Once again, the Giants were exposed by the kind of players they normally go out and get. Don't be surprised if you hear rumors that Sabean is interested in 29-year old baseball vagabond Ryan Spilborghs, who essentially had the best game of his career. And let's not forget Jason Marquis struggling to stay in the Show, but dominating the punchless Giants in a complete game.
…. “We're not going to have a 40-homer guy, but we have guys who can hit, I believe we can score enough runs. … When you're not hitting a lot of homers or doubles, then you've got to do the little things.”
That's Randy Winn, being interviewed after the game. I'm assuming he was being asked why he hasn't lost his job yet.
Ratto wonders how long the team can continue without a true major league hitter:
…. So far, the Giants have met every hope-tinged expectation and every worst-case scenario at the
same time. After Saturday's feeble offensive effort, they rank second in runs allowed and rank last in runs scored. The starting pitching is among the game's best despite Cain's meh-level outing, though the bullpen ranks in the lower fifth, but the hitting … well, you knew long before Saturday's game, in which the Giants hit five balls well off Marquis, including Pablo Sandoval's second home run of the year.
So the question needs to be asked – are the projected revenues sufficient to allow the Giants to be a player in the expected distressed hitter sales in June and July?
Actually, the question that needs to be asked is this: How could you possibly have imagined that this team was close to contending? Without one single hitter to worry about, teams can use Giants series to rest their bullpens, give struggling starters a confidence boost, and hope that they can avoid the one game per week the Giants manage to string together a bunch of singles.
The Mets sure wish they were facing the Giants this week, so they could avoid having to send Oliver Perez to the minors.