Brian Sabean

Giants go on bender, wake up next to Cody Ross

Don’t mind Brian Sabean if you see him in a 7-11 buying Gatorade, Ibuprofen and Alka-Seltzer. Or if you see a haggard Bruce Bochy waiting in an In-N-Out drive-thru, his prodigious cranium resting against the driver’s side window.

After a bender of a 6-game road trip against contending teams, the Giants had some highs (consecutive starts by Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner that broke the starters’ winless streak) and an awful come-down with yesterday’s Tim Lincecum unraveling and today’s pathetic performance against Jaime Garcia, the eventual 2010 National League Rookie of the Year.

The Giants stumbled through Philadelphia and St. Louis, and then realized they just banged a grenade, in Jersey Shore parlance. After flirting across the bar with the Florida Marlins in an attempt to block San Diego’s, Philadelphia’s and Atlanta’s chances with Cody Ross, the Marlins called the Giants’ bluff. This morning, the Giants woke up, looked into their wallet and realized they spent about $1.1M more than they meant to the night before, and all they have to show for it is another average outfielder to give the already-confused Bochy yet another way to put together a questionable lineup.

Like anybody who overindulges on a work night, the Giants will find that nursing their road trip hangover for long is out of the question. In between rehydrating and keeping food down, they have to find out which outfielder to send to the DL with a phantom injury (the money’s on Nate Schierholtz, who will probably find himself on the Toronto Blue Jays by January). More obsessing over Lincecum awaits the team once their plane touches down at SFO, but at least he isn’t alone. Barry Zito has given up 13 ER over his last 15 innings, and the team enters the make-or-break portion of their season while living with the reality that their best pitcher is their closer and their best player is a rookie.

If the Giants actually did play this recent road trip while intoxicated at least they’d have an excuse for how poorly they finished it. Heat? Please. Tough teams in their own time zone? Save that excuse, since if they happen to make the postseason those are exactly the types of games they’ll find themselves playing. The Giants better sober up quickly, because the dream of spraying champagne at each other in October is fading away.

Moments remembered before blacking out…

— Lincecum’s problems seemed mental yesterday. Three no-hit innings with a fastball averaging 93 mph, and after suffering the ignominy of giving up a homer to Randy Winn of all people, (great shot of Bochy in the dugout immediately afterwards, shaking his head and undoubtedly thinking, “Would’ve been nice to see that a time or two last year.”), Timmy lost it. A half hour later, he looked ready to cry while handing the ball to his manager, with nothing but five more days of self-doubt awaiting.

— Why is it when the Giants hit singles it’s due to great at-bats, but when opponents reach base safely it’s from things like, “bloops,” “flares” and “seeing-eye singles”?

— Unless NBC plans on spending the money for some HD cameras, every single game should be broadcast on CSN Bay Area. Because every Friday night, my eyes feel like two goats in a pepper patch!

— As I said on Twitter earlier today, the Giants should just buy season tickets at Petco Park, either behind the plate or the Padres dugout, and make Cody Ross sit there every game with an SF hat on.

— Of course, the Padres seem to be a little more swift than the Giants this season, both physically and mentally. They probably didn’t want any part of Ross.

— After watching roughly 25 grounders scoot down the line past Pablo Sandoval, it was hard not to look at the Cardinals’ acquisition of Pedro Feliz and feel a little envious, at least as a late-inning defensive replacement.

— 9 IP for Jaime Garcia, 0 walks and 89 pitches thrown. Good thing Ross and his .320 OBP are coming to town, he’s just what the party needed.

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