Not a great start for the Giants, and, as Josh pointed out, there is plenty to freak out about. I’ll get to that in a minute, but consider this: the two big concerns going in to the season were: defense and pitching. More importantly, would the defense be able to adequately back up the staff and would we get similar performances out of the rotation.
The bullpen may be a topic for another post, but for the most part the Giants bullpen cannot be graded fairly at this point. Some garbage innings on Saturday, a Runzler implosion, too much Mota, and no Wilson: there just really isn’t much to say at this point. It doesn’t look great, but I want to see how they do with a 3-2 lead in San Diego before we pass a judgment.
Now, consider the starters. Many (myself included) are fearful that all the extra work from last year will lead to a downturn in effectiveness. So, far though, so good. Sure we’ve seen Timmy with better stuff, Sanchez continues to tease and tantalize, Cain only went 6 and struck out 3 (only 3!!!), and Zito made a terrible decision on that home run pitch to Kemp, but the starting pitching has not been the issue so far.
24.2 IP, 5 ER (1.88 ERA), 8 BB, 21 K. Not bad. The Giants could have (should have) won all three of the games they lost (based on the starting pitching).
Note: I was really impressed, actually, with Zito. If he does that this year, fantastic and great for us! Usually he gets down after getting down and it can get ugly. To put up 5 zeros after that first inning was huge.
I have some real worries here: particularly Tejada and Huff in the OF. But when Ross returns Huff goes to left and I think that will make a big difference. The reality, though, is this will be an issue all year as long as this is the team. All the more reason to keep Schierholtz around. Some are wont to discredit advance scouting and positioning of fielders, but it seems that, once again, a true team effort will be required to play good-enough defense and mask the inadequecies…this is not a “throw some athletes out there and let them do their thing” team.
4.5 runs a game. They got shut down by Clayton, but you tip your hat there and move on. 4.5 runs should be enough for this team to succeed. I have no real complaints about the offense so far, and think that they can and will do better.
Bottom line: 1-3 with a bullet. On to the house of horrors in San Diego. Never expect to come out of there unscathed, but if the Giants go back home 3-3 that would be huge!