Things to Know about the San Francisco Giants

The Mets come home tonight to start a three game series against the San Francisco Giants, defending World Champs. Here’s some stuff you might want to know about them:

Record: 13-15, third place NL West
Manager: Bruce Bochey
Park: Home games for the Mets, Citi Field. USA! USA!

Quickly . . .
Can they hit? Nope
Can they pitch? Yup
Can they field? Sorta
Who’s their best player? Tim Lincecum. The Freak starts Wednesday; on a team built around pitching, he’s the best.

Lineup:
CF – Aaron Rowand – R
2B – Freddy Sanchez – R
C – Buster Posey – R
LF – Pat Burrell – R
1B – Aubrey Huff – L
3B – Miguel Tejada – R
RF – Cody Ross – R
SS – Mike Fontenot – L

You know how Wile E. Coyote would sometimes chase Road Runner off a cliff, running on the air for a bit, only to look down and, realizing he wasn’t standing on anything but thin air, start to fall? Well after riding a patchwork offense to a championship last season, the Giants’ hitters looked down and realized they weren’t standing on anything anymore. This season, they’re second-to-last in the NL in runs scored, they’re one of two teams to have not yet scored 100 runs, and one of two teams to have an on-base percentage below .300 (the Padres being the other team in both cases). Last year’s hero Aubrey Huff is batting .190/.257/.290, while Miguel Tejada, signed in the offseason to stand inert near the left side of second base, has a .211/.245/.295 slash line. Even the players that are hitting, wonderboy Buster Posey and Pat “The Machine” Burrell, are falling short of the standards set last year. Injuries have also taken a toll: Cody Ross missed a few weeks and has struggled since returning, while utility person Mark DeRosa, center fielder Andres Torres, and a reinvigorated Pablo Sandoval (hitting .315 with 5 home runs before breaking his hand this weekend) are all currently on the DL. Maybe it’s best to say that when Aaron Rowand represents the only happy surprise for your offense, things aren’t going so well.

Rotation:
5/3: RHP – Ryan Vogelsong (vs. R.A. Dickey)
5/4: RHP – Tim Lincecum (vs. Chris Capuano)
5/5: LHP – Jonathan Sanchez (vs. Mike Pelfrey)
Miss: RHP — Matt Cain
Miss: LHP – Madison Bumgarner

The Giants may have scored just 99 runs as a team, but they’re only two games below .500 because they have allowed just 105. The Mets will face the two early reasons for San Francisco’s pitching success in Games 2 and 3 this series, wee Tim Lincecum (2.90 ERA) and super-groomed Jonathan Sanchez (2.73 ERA). (Seriously, check out Sanchez’s goatee. Spotless.) Both pitchers rank in the NL’s top ten in strikeouts and fewest hits allowed per nine innings, but whereas Lincecum is almost always sharp, Sanchez has issued 20 walks in 33 innings. A wild fastball-slider lefty, he’s the pitcher the Padres Pirates Mets Nationals had hoped Oliver Perez would become. Veteran Ryan Vogelsong, who before this season last pitched in the majors for Pittsburgh in 2006 and spent time in Japan, starts Game 1. Taking the place of the injured Barry Zito, he throws a 90 MPH fastball and the whole kitchen sink — because the Mets haven’t seen Vogelsong in years, a conservative guess would be that he’ll throw a perfect game.

Vogelsong is sort of a funny name. Also: Bumgarner.

Bench:
C – Eli Whiteside – R
IF – Emmanuel Burriss – S
IF – Ryan Rohlinger – R
OF – Darren Ford – R
OF – Nate Schierholtz – L

A few days ago, Bruce Bochey messed around with starting Eli Whiteside and playing Buster Posey at first, which has the double benefit of keeping Posey’s bat in the lineup and putting Aubrey Huff’s on the bench — this could happen again on Thursday, with a day game after a night game. Nate Schierholtz could also steal a start or two from the struggling Cody Ross in right field. Little known fact (that may not be true): Emmanuel Burris spends his offseasons working on his uncle’s moisture farm.

Bullpen:
RHP – Brian Wilson
LHP – Jeremy Affeldt
LHP – Javier Lopez
RHP – Sergio Romo
LHP – Dan Runzler
RHP – Guillermo Mota
RHP – Ramon Ramirez

They’ve been worked. The San Francisco bullpen’s 93 combined appearances leads the league, and their 92.1 innings pitched is the fourth highest total. Lefty Jeremy Affeldt is on pace to pitch in 93 games, while Javier Lopez, Guilermo Mota, and Ramon Ramirez are all on pace for 75. (For frame of reference, only 12 NL pitchers appeared in 75 games last season.) Despite the heavy workload, most of the Giants’ relief arms have been effective, as Affeldt, Lopez, Mota, Ramirez, and Sergio Romo have combined for a 2.00 ERA in 63 innings. The shakiest reliever has been closer Brian Wilson, who missed all of spring training and the first week of the season with a side injury. He has gone 8 for 9 in save opportunities since returning, but allowed 19 baserunners in his 10.1 innings and let two other non-save games get away.

And those are some things to know about the San Francisco Giants.

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2 Comments

Filed under Words

2 responses to “Things to Know about the San Francisco Giants

  1. Erghh, so much depression coming from one post…

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