Saturday, May 16, 2009

May 15th...

This day in baseball, on May 15, 2009, Tim Lincecum was on the mound. At one point the score was 5-1 Giants but due to one circumstance or another he ran out of pitches and his bullpen let him down... We'll get back to the Giants after some historical feats of note.

May 15th was a day for pitchers, ya think?

1918: Washington's Walter Johnson pitched a 1-0, 18-inning victory over Lefty Williams of the Chicago White Sox, who also went the distance.

1919: After 12 scoreless innings, Cincinnati scored 10 runs off Al Mamaux in the 13th inning to beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 10-0.

1941: Joe DiMaggio began his 56-game hitting streak against Chicago's Eddie Smith, going 1-for-4 with one RBI.

1944: Clyde Shoun of the Reds tossed a no-hitter against the Boston Braves for a 1-0 victory in Cincinnati. Chuck Aleno's only homer of the season was the difference.

1952: Detroit's Virgil Trucks pitched his first of 2 no-hitters for the season, beating the Washington Senators 1-0. Vic Wertz's two-out homer in the 9th inning off Bob Porterfield won the game.

1960: Don Cardwell became the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter in his first start after being traded. The Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-0 at Wrigley Field.

1973: Nolan Ryan of the California Angels pitched the first of a record 7 no-hitters, beating the Kansas City Royals 3-0. Ryan tossed his second gem 2 months later.

1981: Len Barker of Cleveland pitched the first perfect game in 13 years as the Indians beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0 at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland. (Sometimes referred to as the
mistake by the lake.)

(back to the 2009 San Francisco Giants)

Bullpen. It's not been Brian "Don't Worry Baby" Wilson in 2009. More like Brian "Help Me Rhonda" Wilson. Because last season was a breakout season for the guy- with the same name as the leader of the Beach Boys- I have shed the "Wouldn't it Be Nice." Fortunately, the Beach Boys have many song titles and I feel I can always arrive at one that fits his performance level.

The Giants. Where do I begin? Offense? Okay, let's go to when they are up to bat. This is a team that has to pay attention to its base coaches. Otherwise, just get a couple of cardboard cut-outs and stand them up, until a gust of wind blows them down and then stand them up again in their spots at first and third bases. It could be a job for the ageless "ball dudes or dudettes" to do, since attempting to catch a screamer down the line seems a bit life-threatening.

This offense cannot afford to run themselves out of innings. And, what's so damn difficult about sacrificing a runner over? Has bunting suddenly become blase for the person asked to do so and that's why the batter fails more times than not? The Giants have to do the Ground Attack (per Duane Kuiper, Giants' announcer) better than their opponent to have a chance to win. If not, it's gut-wrenching defeat after heartbreaking loss.

And for defense, what is it about Freddie Lewis? He's the only outfielder, I can think of, that always gets to the ball and just plain misses it. How about forking out the cash for some lasik surgery, huh Giants? Has there ever been a player who consistently got to the ball and then stabbed blindly at the passing orb?

I recall the story about Paul Waner, that it was discovered he was seeing the ball as a blurry object. And even still, he was proficient at making contact with that blurry white thing at a very successful rate. When he put the spectacles on he saw the ball clearly but now he was introduced to all of its movements and he wasn't as successful. Somebody couldn't leave well enough alone or they got greedy and wanted more!

Something has to be done with Freddie or take him out of the lineup completely and replace him with someone who gets to the ball and then catches it.

It's almost time for another timeout from YOUR San Francisco Giants. (Exactly one month from the first timeout.) Let's see how they handle the final game with the New York Mets. (If the Mets sweep it'll be the first time in their history that they swept the Giants in San Francisco. Holy Got-them city!)

(thanks to This day in Baseball)

Kevin Marquez