Sunday, July 18, 2010
Stuff about things...
I'm glad all my new Twinkie brethren enjoyed my Target Field review. I'd go back any time...
As for our Giants, well, things are looking pretty okay and good, and not too shabby.
Heading into the series at Chavez Latrine, the Gyros are riding a streak in which they've prevailed in 9 of 11 games, stemming from their pre-all star dismantling of the Brew Crew, and taking 2 of 3 from the Nats.
The horrendous blown call by Phil Cuzzi notwithstanding, the Giants had an amazing series against the competent Mets. Sure there wasn't too much offense going on until Saturday, but it's the results that count. If nothing else, the G-Men are riding high again-- confident, loose, and rested.
More importantly, it appears as though 3 of the most important Giants are getting back on track: Timmy, Zeets, and Kung Fu.
Timmy's shutout is something that is the most impressive. Most of the year, he's been just a top 20 pitcher, when we're used to him being anything from the best to the third best in the world.
Despite the fact that we all would've loved to have seen Big Time Timmy Jim throw gas in Anaheim, I have to imagine that the time off to get shitfaced with other major league goofballs in SoCal was like a sweet vacation for him.
This vacation also allowed Zeets to get his head together and to recapture the control he has enjoyed most of the first half of the season. Zito's 10K performance on the heels of his upsetting premature departure in Milwaukee, is something that will serve him well heading into the ultra-important second half.
Most importantly though, this Mets series had an unexpected visitor: Pablo Sandoval.
Oh, nice to see you again Mr. Panda. How nice of you to join us! We've been expecting you for some time now. Did you find the place alright? Did you get lost on the way to 2010? Sorry. Sometimes Bochy--our housekeeper-- gives bad directions. Can I get you anything? Tea? Coffee? Rack of lamb?
So much about Pablo has been wrong this season, to the point where his sudden sign of life during this most recent series actually prevented me from writing this:
I'm sorry to say, but Pablo Sandoval has proved incompetent, and in order to salvage his season, he has to be sent to the minors, just in the way that Jeff Francoeur and Chris Davis have been sent down. It is a shame and...
I'm just glad that I didn't have to write that. However one series does not save a season. It may just be a temporary show of confidence/competence. On the other hand, it looks like something may have clicked for him. I saw a Panda this weekend that was waiting on balls to actually reach the plate before swinging. I saw a guy who wasn't hitting every single contacted ball from his front foot. I saw a guy who drove the ball hitting right handed.
Did someone take my advice and start slipping ritalin or adderall into his horchata?
Regardless, Kung Fu is hitting .500 in the young post ASB era with an unheard of 2 extra base hits and 4 RBI. Before this series, Pablo's last XBH was on June 19th. Yes. That was literally a month ago. Imagine if he hadn't have hit those two doubles in the Mets series. Could you really justify keeping a guy in the lineup who was incapable of getting more than a single?
The bumps in the road are not over for Sandoval, who seems petty enough to be able to forget about things he has done recently. For Pablo, his ability to forget or disregard past failures is both a blessing and a curse.
It is a blessing in this case, because his slump could be a thing of the past, almost as if it never happened. It is this happy-go-lucky attitude and way of life that both upsets us and endears him to us as fans.
More importantly, all this insane talk about dealing Jonathan Sanchez for Corey Hart or some other dude could be averted. The beauty about Pablo Sandoval is that he could be the hitter that we have been saying we needed. After adding Burrell and Huff this season, we shouldn't have to add another player. Sandoval was supposed to be a cornerstone and consistent building block already in place enhanced by the presence of Huff and Burrell.
Instead it's been the opposite. With the pitching staff solidified and returning to its true form, Pablo Sandoval is currently and will be the key to the rest of the season from here on out.
Coming in second place as the key absolutely has to be Bruce Bochy, who continues to upset fans by playing Aaron Rowand at all, inexplicably carrying 13 pitchers, and refusing to utilize Nate Schierholtz at all. I am not as anti-Renteria as I was earlier this season because at least the man is taking quality at bats, and is not the automatic out that Rowand and Sandoval have been all season.
The moves Bochy makes are simply inexplicable to anyone paying attention. Baseball is a game where a manager can use any reason he wants to do anything he wants. It could be anything from, "Rowie has always hit well against this guy" to "Well Schierholtz is 25 and left handed, so how could he possibly be any good?"
It simply drives us nuts, and I truly believe that the Giants have won 9 of 11 IN SPITE of Bochy, not because of Bochy. He's a consistent issue that simply shouldn't exist. This team has enough problems without this lumbering buffoon meddling it its success.
With that said... BEAT LA!