So? Whaddaya think?
Was all my (and possibly your) optimism unfounded? Things are clicking, and this team appears to have left Scottsdale ready to deal and rake.
And yes, I did predict the sweep of the Astros right here.
The Astros are not exactly a stiff test, but what they've been to the Giants is twofold. Firstly, they were a perfect team to warm up against without being a real threat. Secondly, they provided an opportunity to last year's stiffs and this year's hopefuls to get off on the right frickin foot.
Even more so than Aaron Rowand, Edgar Renteria's scorching start has to be taken seriously. While Row had a few hits and ribeye steaks in Wednesday's finale, we all know that his lack of discipline and approach at the plate leaves us all uneasy... seemingly constantly. Renteria, on the other hand, excites me.
Last season was unacceptable on so many fronts for the Colombian vet. It was just so inexcusable that he was allowed to play so terribly for so long last year when management knew he was injured.
For what it's worth though, he deserves "gamer points" for playing hurt, never once speaking to the media about it, and doing his best. Gamer points or not though, he still has a lot to prove to Giants fans who at this point still have him in their crosshairs.
In this opening series we appear to have seen the old Edgar Renteria-- as opposed to the "Old Balls" Renteria of '09. In the past three days, I've seen flashes of the guy who has four .300+ average seasons under his belt. And hell, I've even seen some solid defense from him.
We'd all love to have a guaranteed beast out there at SS and in the second spot, but we all know that Rich Aurilia circa 2001 is not walking through that door. What we potentially have here is an aged version of the 2007 Edgar Renteria, who hit .332.
Trust me, that's miles better than the antique version we got in '09.
I know it's optimistic, but hell, why can't I be? The guy went 5-5 on Wednesday, and appears to be totally healthy. Honestly, he looks nothing like the player we knew.
And let's keep in mind that we shouldn't be discriminatory in our optimism either. Many of us keep saying, "Well Aubrey Huff is only one year removed from a huge season."
I know I've said that...
Well, Edgar is two years removed from a huge season. Hey, just saying...
The other aspects of the team speak for themselves. I really don't see a need right now to comment too much on the pitching. Lincey is a monst. HurriCAIN Matt is a stud (shame he got the ND though), and Brian Wilson looks like he's trying to commit involuntary manslaughter out there with his fastball.
The one guy who really deserves plaudits thrown his way is Barry Zito. I'm allllmost the point where I'm taking his excellent starts for granted... as if it would be unusual for him to suck.
Lest we forget that he's been garbage early in the previous three seasons for us (in addition to other parts of the season too!). With this in mind, getting 6 shutout innings from Zeets is like melting cheese over the entire team, it just makes it SO. GODDAMN. GOOD.
(Even with those asinine striped socks...)
Anyway, I hope you all make it out to one of the Atlanta games this weekend, crank the John Fogerty, Kenny Rogers, and Alabama, and start to get fired up...
...because I think we are in for one epic season here boys and girls!.
Notes & Thoughts
-- Atta boy Johnny Bowker. The guy appears to be for real. And who told you so?
-- Good to see the bench guys like A.U. Velez, Whiteside, Schierholtz, and Ishikawa contribute. Good to get 'em all off the schneid at once.
-- Looks like we're going to see a pattern of defensive replacements every 7th inning if we have a lead. Ishikawa takes over for Huff at 1B and Schierholtz takes over in RF for Bowker. The move I don't understand is A.U. Velez taking over for DeRosa in LF. Yes, he's faster, but is The Pharaoh a better outfielder? Really friggin questionable. However, I do like the "WE PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!" approach by Bochy to take zero chances of losing any games because of defense. Hey if we had won 4 or 5 more games last year, that woulda meant playoffs.
-- Sammy Gervacio sucks at life. His little "Voodoo/Santeria priest at an animal sacrifice ceremony" bit is already old, and I'm almost glad that he had to leave the game on Wednesday with an apparent shoulder injury. It's unacceptable to do that crap out there, and the act is not appreciated by the opposition let alone his own team.
Think about it. If you're the Astros, you've got some cocky punk out there doing a street performer bit before every pitch? You're not going to come sprinting to the guy's side when an opposing player finally tells him to knock it off.
That crap isn't baseball. Go back to the Dominican League if you want to dance around like a jerk. That doesn't fly up here. If you cannot see this video above, click here.
Also, check out my interview with the Astros' Bud Norris if you haven't already done so. Come on, how many fan blogs get to talk to real major leaguers? Haha.
Let's hope Hollywood Norris can stop the Astros' skid against Philly on Friday.
MLB Extra Innings is on a free preview, so you can watch ANY GAME YOU WANT! IT'S MAGICAL!