Saturday, June 21, 2008

Need to Win at Home

Before any games were played on Saturday, June 21, 2008 the standings were like this:
Arizona W39 L35
Los Angeles W34 L39 4 1/2 (Games Back)
San Francisco W32 L42 7 (GB) *****(14W 24L at home)
San Diego W32 L43 7 1/2 (GB)
Colorado W31 L43 8 (GB) 19W 18L @home

The Giants need to overcome the dimensions at AT&T the way Roger Craig's Giants overcame the elements at Candlestick Park.

Throughout the Giants' lineup there is balance. They just have to maintain that the way they are going to score runs is through proper fundamentals and solid execution. (The Giants' players appear to forget what it was that got them there after a game when they produce more than 5 runs.)

Here's a look at their statistics at this point in the season.

Fred Lewis AVG-.285, R-46, 2B-15, HR-6, RBI- 22, SB-12, CS-4.
Ray Durham AVG-.294, R-27, 2B-16, HR-X, RBI-24, SB-5, CS-1.
Randy Winn AVG-.303, R-39, 2B-22, HR-5, RBI-29, SB-10, CS-1.
Benji Molina AVG-.315, R-24, 2B-17, HR-6, RBI-45.
Aaron Rowand AVG-.307, R-34, 2B-20, HR-8, RBI-39.
Rich Aurilia AVG-.291, R-12, 2B-10, HR-5, RBI-23.

You can see that Fred Lewis may be the only youngster in the list but actually the way the Giants are bringing their youngsters along has worked so far.

Not listed, yet still contributing a lot are John Bowker (Avg.-.264, R-18, 2B-7, HR-7, RBI-29) and Emmanuel Burriss, who still doesn't have as many at-bats as Eugenio Velez (AB-87) but is hitting .299 and has stolen 6 bases in 8 attempts. And his playing time has increased while Omar Visquel struggles at the plate.

But understand that players such as Ray Durham and Rich Aurilia, although they started off-Bengi Molina-slow this season, both have begun to put up numbers Giants' fans are more accustomed to seeing. So you can see why their names are in the lineup more often than not.

I don't buy the Barry Zito has lost it story. As a member of the Oakland Athletics he had scrappy ballplayers who did what it took to win games. Unfortunately, the Giants are not there yet. They are beginning to find ways to win and execute small ball better but still they are on the losing end of many more games where simple execution is as difficult as getting a consistent strike zone out of the home plate umpire.

Hope continues to spring eternal, as we approach the halfway point in the season. You still have to be pleasantly surprised by this group of guys donning the orange and black. And the front office seems to be pushing all the right buttons when it comes time to bringing someone up to the big club.

Let's hope they continue with the progress and no matter what the won/loss record is, it'll bode well for a potential free agent wanting to play for the San Francisco Giants.

(thanks to Baseball-Reference for the current stats)

Kevin Marquez