After 2 incredibly frustrating games to begin our title defense, 2011 is fun.
With the 10-0 drubbing of the Blue Bastards on Saturday, we all exhaled an elongated sigh of relief. Like our beloved Gyros, we all needed to get off the schneid too. Just because we sit around and eat and drink alcohol while watching other people exercise on TV doesn't mean we aren't physically involved in these games. I feel better already. It's like a weight off our shoulders. Almost like when you get off the treadmill and then walk around and you feel really light and weird and fast.
Anyway, Saturday's victory did other encouraging things.
It was great to see HurriCAIN Matt still in Postseason form. He was sharp from the beginning, and ended up allowing only 5 measly hits in 6 innings with no walks.
It really is a beautiful thing that we have such good pitching. Even Sanchez on Friday with his walks and bad defense, he was still dealing pretty well.
What I liked about Saturday was the way those 10 runs were produced. It was small ball... but I like to call it "effective ball". Getting on base. Not trying to pull the ball all over the place. Singling in runs. Amazing when that works.
I was shocked to see no Sandoval or Torres in the lineup this morning. I really was. I was like, "Well Torres AND Sandoval got two hits on Friday..."
But once I stop thinking like a fantasy baseball manager and start thinking like Bochy, I'm like, oh yeah, I forgot, Torres hit .226 against lefties last year and Sandoval hit .227.
Makes sense. There are a lot of reasons to sit those two against Ted Lilly, and it's pretty obvious that Bochy wants everyone to get in, shake the excitement off and get back to business. That's why Rowand and DeRosa played (in addition to them being righties). And hey, it worked. "DeRow", all $18MM of them went 4-10 with 3 runs scored. That's what we like to see! That's why Whiteside and Schierholtz replaced Posey and Huff, Torres came in later to force Burrell out, and Panda got a random end of the game at bat.
I can't say that I'm in favor of straight L/R platoons for Torres/Panda, especially because they're both switch hitters. The Giants are very deep this year, and while professionals like Rowand and DeRosa need to get in the game, the starters need a rhythm too.
As much as I railed on Boch last season (and he deserved it), when he finally stopped moving like a slug stuck in molasses with his lineup moves, he made all the right calls. I trust him now. He got it done, and for that we should give him more benefits of the doubt. It's natural to question these things, but we all just need to remain calm.
Anyway. It was nice to see the following things:
Tejada getting two hits, knocking in two dudes, and scoring twice
He was not exactly beloved by Giants fans in the first two games at Chavez Latrine. And it's pretty easy to see why. He looked a step slow at short, and looked like a GIDP waiting to happen. The defensive lapses were ugly, but we have to remember who this guy is.
He's not the MVP he used to be. He's old balls now, but he's still a serviceable SS and a veteran bat. He hit 15 HR last year. He's not Juan Uribe, but Boo-Ribe is now dead to us, so what does that matter? You can't compare Tejada to a dead ghost.
Saturday's game gave us hope that he will be an okay short-term player for us. The range at short is a concern, but if he's horrendous and costs us games, Sabean will take care of it. It's easy to find a light-hitting SS that won't hurt you on D.
He also looks really good in a Giants uni. Come on. You know you agree.
Brandon Belt could be our second ROY in a row...
It's been a series of firsts for Brandon Belt. First hit, first walk, first stolen base, first RBIs... but most impressively, his first home run. Wow. That was just awesome on Friday night wasn't it? I don't know about you, but it gave me chills.
In only three games, Belt has answered the question I asked a couple days ago. He's not going anywhere. I know you hear the Front Office say things about their intentions with Belt, but once you see all this for yourself in meaningful games, you're like... "Whoa. This guy IS for real. And he's good NOW!"
He's so patient; so poised. His swing is beautiful. I see a little Palmeiro in that swing. Maybe a touch of Will Clark. I think I've nailed down what he looks most like.
Belt, to me anyway, really looks like John Olerud. @JohnnyUtah530 suggested that to me on Twitter Friday and he was right on. We forget how good of a pure hitter Olerud was. The helmet in the field is his real legacy unfortunately.
And I know this seems like a lazy comparison, but Belt has a similar swing to Buster Posey. While Olerud's front foot is quiet and he takes a short stride toward the pitcher, Belt's is more like "stepping in the bucket" like Posey's. And yes, you can compare the lefty Belt to the righty Posey.
And here's Buster:
I'd say Belt's mechanics are combination of Olerud/Buster and he's got a beautiful damn swing.
Anyway, there's a ton to be excited about, and to get that first W, and to do it in 10-0 style with HurriCAIN Matt pitching like an ace, well that was just Cholula on the omelet (or icing on the cake to you weirdos that eat cake a lot).
-- I feel teased by the fact we only got Kruk & Kuip for the game on Friday. I love being on National TV, but no one comes close to our collection of broadcasters. They're the best.
-- Orel Hershiser, being the Dodger that he is, said on Thursday's ESPN game that Brandon Belt has "...a slow minor league bat...with only gap power."
How'd that dong to deep center look to you on Friday Orel? Or should I say ORAL. Because you suck big time. Belt rules.
-- I love how Huff made two dives in RF on Saturday and caught the second one. Karros was right to point out that he hit his face both times on the turf.
Aubrey Huff? Gamer.
-- I'm scared about Zito starting on Sunday. The guy was in a neck brace two days ago... I mean, he wasn't very good when he was healthy, what makes us all think he can be okay with a sore body/neck?
-- Zeets has the sleaziest mustache ever. Cain says it's called "The Stache". I'm down. It's heinous, but aren't all mustaches? It's entertaining to me.
-- I will write a separate article regarding our fellow fans who were assaulted by felons in the Dodger Stadium parking lot. I have to really cool down about it because I don't want to be part of an FBI investigation because of something I said in blind rage.
I think I'm going to continue running the "Live Blogging" thing on here. I may do it every game, or I may permanently incorporate it into the site so that it's always picking up fan takes and thoughts on the Giants from Twitter or from you directly on the site.
If you're reading this on Facebook and didn't see the embedded YouTube vids above, click here to come directly to the site.