Friday, April 11, 2008

Good Pitching Needs Some Help

The past three (3) games, all of which were won by the Giants, have been outstanding pitching performances by starters Tim Lincecum, Jonathan Sanchez, Kevin Correia and clutch bullpen contributions. The Giants have received very little clutch hitting, with the exception of the aforemention pitcher's battery mate, Benjito Molina.

Which goes to show, good defense and stellar pitching will win you its share of games. Provided, of course, you have enough offense to generate more runs than the opponent.

It appears Brad Hennessey is finding his form as he began the season on shaky grounds. But the one guy who just doesn't seem to have found his comfort zone is Brian "Wouldn't it Be Nice" Wilson. I'm waiting for the day I can change the somewhat cynical label 'Wouldn't it Be Nice' to a more confident Brian Don't Worry Baby Wilson.

And believe it or not there are still a few Giants' fans who are holding out hope that Brian Sabean will do something to bolster the hardly intimidating eight playing the field for the orange and black. That maybe he can come to some kind of agreement with #25... I kid you not!

Now if Barry Zito can come around and consistently give his team a solid outing of at least 6 innings the idea of manufacturing runs may not be something fans used to the home run prefer but if the wins keep coming the fans will have no problem adjusting. Winning does cure all ills in the sporting world, that much is certain.

Let's go back to the 1965 major league baseball season. The Los Angeles Dodgers had a W-97 L-65 season and defeated the Minnesota Twins in the best of seven, 4 games to 3, World Series.

This Dodger team was flawless afield with the glove but not much with the bat.
Maury Wills led the team batting .286 and stealing 94 bases (thrown out 31 times). Ron Fairly led the team with 70 RBI. Lou Johnson and Jim Lefebvre tied for the team lead with 12 home runs. But they had Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax.

Sandy Koufax was W-26 L-8 with 27 complete games and 8 shutouts.
Don Drysdale was W-23 L-12 with 20 complete games and 7 shutouts. AND on an anemic hitting team double D hit 7 homers while batting .300!
Claude Osteen posted a W-15 and L-15 record.

In the World Series they were facing the Minnesota Twins. A powerful lineup that featured Harmon Killebrew, Jimmie Hall, Bobby Allison and Don Mincher (all hitting at least 20 homers).
The American League MVP that year was the Twins shortstop, Zoilo Versalles (who also hit 19 homers) and sweet swinging Tony Oliva was coming off a .321 season at the plate with 16-HRs of his own.

Game One at Metropolitan Stadium the Twins won 8-2.
Game Two at Metropolitan Stadium the Twins won 5-1.
Game Three at Dodger Stadium the Dodgers won 4-0. Claude Osteen pitched the shutout.
Game Four at Dodger Stadium the Dodgers won 7-2.
Game Five at Dodger Stadium the Dodgers won 7-0. Sandy Koufax pitched the shutout.
Game Six at Metropolitan Stadium the Twins won 5-1.
Game Seven at Metropolitan Stadium the Dodgers won on a 2-0 shutout by Sandy Koufax.

Three (3) shutouts in the World Series and that is why the anemic hitting Dodgers won the 1965 World Series championship. Smooth fielding, timely hitting and superb pitching.

Something Giants' fans can only hope will happen with the 2008 San Francisco Giants. Hey, it's still early enough for hope to spring eternal, right?

Kevin Marquez