Tagged: Barry

2 straight losses

Before I start, I want to send my condolences to the friends and family of Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock.

Josh Hancock

Well, the Giants are on the verge of getting swept by Arizona.  A few thoughts:
-It was just a matter of time before Barry started getting walked again.  He has, at 43, resumed his role as the best in the game.  His current numbers: .362 batting average, .519 OBP, .828 slugging percentage, and a 1.347 OPS.  May I remind you that he’s a few months shy of turning 43?
-What does Matt Cain have to do to get a win?  He’s averaged 1.2 runs , 2.4, and 7 innings hits in his five starts, posts an ERA of 1.54 and a WHIP of .089, and has an opponents batting average of .136 and OPS of .500.  Despite all that, he only has one win, compared to DOntrelle Willis, who has a 5.59 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, and opponents are batting .312 against him.   Despite all that, he’s won five of his six starts.
That’s just fair
-of course I had to jinx it by saying the bullpen was finally pulling it together
Hopefuly we can avoid the sweep.  Right now the Giants are only one game of the division, so hopefully they can take the lead within the next few days.  Playing catchup  all year just isn’t fun.

7 In a row/ 741

Giants 6, Dodgers 4

On a strange night in which Pedro Feliz hit a go ahead home run in the sixth, and Armando Benitez pitched a 1-2-3 inning, at least something out the norm happened to contribute the Giants win: Barry hit a home run.

Noah Lowry had a weak outing (4 runs on 7 hits and 5 walks with four strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings, but he got the win, so that’s all that matters there.  The bullpen looked strong too, allowing just one baserunner (a walk by Taschner) in 2 1/3 innings, at it was refreshing to see Armando look like he did in Florida back in 2004.

If the Giants win today, we’ll catch the Dodgers for first place, which would be huge considering the horrible start, not to mention how sweet it would be to get payback for them sweeping us in SF a couple weeks back.

The Giants are the hottest team in baseball right now, riding a 7 game winning streak and winning 9 of the last 10.  I’m enjoying it while I can, because that won’t last.

Found this on the Giants website:

A few days ago (I think it was Wednesday), some woman from MLB.com came up outside the park and asked me a few questions about the All Star game.  I had completely forgotten about it, until I was surfing around MLB.com and came across this article
Just a small little blurb, but it’s still cool that a quote of mine made the website:

Fellow Giants fan Joe Kirshenbaum shared King’s enthusiasm for seeing Bonds on the All-Star squad.

"I really hope Barry [Bonds] will make it," Kirshenbaum said. "If he
doesn’t, it will be a joke. It’s Barry’s town and it could be his final
year."

Barry

From time to time in this blog, when I’m bored and there’s nothingmuch to write about, I will post my thoughts on some Giants, past or
present.
For the first one, it will be none other than Barry Bonds.
For
the last 14 years, I have been lucky enough to see this guy play.  He’s
been the best player in baseball the entire time.  And after a two year
hiatus due to his leg injury, he has resumed that role once again in
2007 at the age of 42.
As for the steroid thing, it’s a load of
****.  It may be likely that he used steroids, but the fact of the
matter is, most players used it at the time, it wasn’t against MLB
rules, and he is just as good without them.
He was the best player
in baseball throughout the 90’s, while he was clean as a whistle.  He
was clean as a whistle in 2004 when he had the greatest offensive
season in baseball history.  And he’s clean as a whistle now, when he
has resumed his dominance.

Most baseball fans can’t stand Barry Bonds the person, that’s fine. The
real baseball fans don’t let that get in the way in their view of Barry
Bonds the player. If you can’t respect his accomplishments as a player,
then it’s your loss.

In the history of the game, there has never been a better combination
of offense, defense, and baserunning than Bonds. In terms of power, he
was one of, if not the best ever (740 career homers and counting). In terms of
patience and eye for the ball, he was one of, if not the best ever
(2437 career walks). In terms of striking fear into pitchers, nobody
came close (607 career intentional walks). But it wasn’t just
offensively. Defensively, he was the best ever at leftfield (8 gold
gloves). It’s even a myth that he had a bad arm, brought on by one bad
throw 13 years ago. In nine seasons, he’s reached double digits in
assists, and has 158 career assists. This is a man with seven career
MVPs, and was named Player of the Decade before having the four
greatest offensive seasons any player has ever had.  His 40/40 season was the most impressive of the three guys to do it,
because Alex Rodriguez, Jose Canseco, and Alfonso Soriano didn’t win gold gloves the
years they went 40/40 (not to mention he got caught stealing the fewest amount of times in those years as well).

So what, he’s not the most likeable guy? What does his demeanor off the
field have to do with what he does on the field? Yes, he can be more
friendly, but he’s a lot better compared to other athletes. I found a
good article that sums it up perfectly here.   All those things are worse than just being an unfriendly guy.

As for the steroid issue, there’s a few things you have to consider:

1.  Cheating is defined by violating the rules to obtain an advantage.  At the time he alledgedly used it, it wasn’t against MLB
rules. By
definition, if it’s not against the rules, it’s not cheating.

2. Do steroids really help? Nobody disputes that he was clean throughout
the 90’s. And who, exactly, was the best player in baseball throughout
the decade, and was named Player of the Decade? Oh, that’s right.
Bonds. And steroids really helped Alex Sanchez…Marvin Benard…Jeremy
Giambi…Armando Rios…Ozzie Canseco…eh I could go on forever, but you get
the gist.

And explain his 2004 season?  Explain his current tear. 

3. If you think he was the only player to have done it, that the majority of players didn’t do it, you are simply naive. 

This whole steroid thing is nothing more than a vendetta by the
media.  They’ve been trying to take him down for years, and found an
excuse to try to discredit his legacy.  Because a guy has been simply
unpleasant to them, they’ve been trying to destroy his life, career,
and legacy.  The sad thing is, many fans (who buy into everything the
media says as an excuse to hate on someone that’s far superior to
anyone to have played on their team), Bud Selig (who’s grasping at
straws with the Mitchell investigation to find some sort of excuse to
do something), and even the feds have joined in.

The part I’m loving is, that they’ve pretty much failed.  No matter
what the media has done, they haven’t been able, nor will ever be able
to, turn the one fanbase that Bonds actually cares about what they
think, here in San Francisco.  All the **** will not be forcing him
into an early retirement before he can break the record.  All this
other stuff, from the BALCO investigations and the grandy jury
proceedings that followed to the Mitchell investigation, has become
nothing more than a lost cause.  Barry will break the record, and in
six, seven, eight years (depending on when he retires, if he plays like
he has been which he will barring injury), when he’s eligible for the
hall of fame, enough writers will realize that there’s no way they
can’t vote for him and will have to let him in on the first ballot.

It’s
really remarkable how tough he is to endure all this ****.  Albert
Pujols came out last year and basically said that it’s a load of ****
what Barry has had to go through and that he’d rather retire than deal
with that (not coincidentally, the media turned on him and have been
much harder on him every since).

And for you people that criticize us Giants fans for continuing to
support and defend Bonds, if one of your star players were going
through this, you’d be saying the same thing.  When Bonds breaks the
record, hopefully it will be in San Francisco so he’ll get the respect
he deserves from myself and 40,000+ other Giants fans.

Bonds is the greatest player any of us every have or will see.  If you can’t sit back and appreciate it, it’s simply your loss.

Perfect homestand

Before I talk about the Giants, how about them Warriors?  Open the playoffs with yet another win against Dallas…BD is the best he’s ever been, he and Stephen Jackson carried the W’s tonight.  All I have to say is thank you Larry Bird and George Shinn.
Right now things are looking good for my teams.  The Niners have had a strong off-season after a season in which they had greatly improved from the previous couple seasons (remember, if you’re in rebuilding mode, all that matters is improvement).  The Warriors just won their first playoff game in 15 years against the best team in the NBA.  The Sharks are advancing to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
But most importantly, the Giants are on a roll.
I can’t remember the last time the Giants had a perfect homestand (after looking it up, it was May of 2004 when the Giants swept Arizona and Colorado during a six game homestand, although more impressive was the next homestand when they went 9-1 against Boston, Toronto, and Los Angeles, the latter being a four game sweep).  But it’s nice to see the Giants finally clicking.
And how about Matt Cain?  The guy is simply phenominal.  He will win at least one Cy Young Award within the next few seasons.  And Barry went deep again to become 15 away from the record.
Speaking of Barry, he’s proving he doesn’t need any steroids to dominate.  He played four games this homestand, and hit homers in three of them.  Going back to the two home run game in Pittsburgh last friday, he’s hit five homers in seven games.
Of course, Cain pitching another gem and Barry going deep wasn’t all a surprise.  The biggest shocker is that, Pedro Feliz came through.  The only things that were more surprising on this homestand was Armando Benitez pitching a 1-2-3 inning against St. Louis Wednesday and Pedro drawing a walk in the same game. 
The only downer today was Richie’s hitting streak ending after 14 games.
Now it’s on to LA.  Hopefully we can sweep them like they did to us, but realistically, I’d be happy with 2 out of 3.

Welcome to my blog

My name is Joe, I am a 21 year old lifelong Giants fan that hasn’t missed a game since April of 2005, but will posting my thoughts on not just the Giants but various baseball topics.
I guess with my first post I will talk about how the Giants have done so far this year.  Tommorrow will be the final day of the Giants homestand, and right now, it’s a much better feeling that it was at the end of the last homestand.  After the Giants lost two out of three to the Padres, they capped off the homestand getting swept by the lowly Dodgers, going 1-5 to start the season.  After losing two out of three at San Diego, the Giants have since been on a role, winning 6 of the last seven and winning the first four games thus far of this five game homestand.
It’s no coincidence that once Bonds got going (which I’ll give my full opinion on him in a near future post), so did the team.  Now that he’s fully healthy after last year in which he was not fully recovered and had bone chips floating in his hand last year, he is once again regaining his status as the best in the game.  Right now he is leading the National League with a 1.240 OPS, and while he still trails A Rod and Jim Thome for the MLB lead, he will likely be ahead of those two by the end of the month.  After struggling for the first week and a half, he broke out with a two home run game last Friday in his former stomping grounds of Pittsburgh, and has been on a tear ever since.  Not coincidentally, the Giants have gone 6-1 during that timeframe.
Another bright spot, which was somewhat expected, is the starting pitching.  Despite being winless so far thanks to low run support and the bullpen blowing his 3-0 lead on Tuesday in Colorado (although the way the Giants have bounced back and have won four straight is a good sign of them not basically quitting after things go wrong like the last couple of years), Matt Cain has emerged as the ace he has been destined to be.  Zito, after a rough first couple starts (the second one was painful in which he gave up 8 runs in 6th inning), has broken out of his annual slow start ahead of time.  He has always pitched poorly in April but would make up for it over the next five months.
Look at his stats after four starts in recent years:
2006: 1-2, 5.48 ERA
2005: 0-3, 6.94 ERA
2004: 2-2, 6.26 ERA
2003: 3-1, 3.00 ERA
2002: 0-1, 4.37 ERA (he would later go on to win the Cy Young that year).
So after all that was said about his disappointing first two starts, his 2-2, 3.70 ERA is a better start than any of the last five years with the exception of 2003.
Noah Lowry and Matt Morris have both had promising starts, and Russ Ortiz has provided to be an adequate spotfiller until Tim Lincecum is ready.
How about Rich Aurilia?  He may not be putting up the power numbers he did in 2001, but he is looking the best he’s been since then.  It’s no coincidence that this is the first time since then he’s primarily batted in front of Barry.   Ray Durham has been very solid, as he always is when he’s healthy, and Bengie Molina has been pretty good offensively for a catcher.  The offense has been doing better and better, and will get even better, as even though Richie will cool off, Omar Vizquel and Dave Roberts will come around.  Wish I could say the same for Pedro Feliz and Randy Winn.
If the Giants actually had a bullpen, they’d probably take the division this year.  Just imagine if the Giants still had farm system products like Joe Nathan, David Aardsma, Jeremy Accardo, and Scott Linebrink, all of which were basically given away for nothing, currently tearing it up, while the Giants bullpen is in shambles.
The Giants are better than people give them credit for, but no way a playoff team unless they can somehow turn their bullpen around.  And since Sabean has no clue as to what he’s doing, the only thing we can hope for is that Benitez and co. can get it together, which is highly unlikely.
Regardless, my support will still be there no matter what.
GO GIANTS!