As I walked into my apartment and turned on my television after getting back from a weekend trip to San Diego, the Astros were in the middle of their postgame handshakes. Houston deserved to celebrate, because they were able to muster 4 runs in an 11-inning snailfest — because to call Sunday’s game a slugfest is an insult to everything UC Santa Cruz stands for.
Including today’s game, which I was able to catch a few innings of on the plane (radio feed plus Gameday) thanks to Virgin America’s wifi, I missed watching 3 games, 30 innings and 7 runs scored by the San Francisco Giants. That’s 2.10 runs scored per 9 innings, which actually worse than what they’ve accumulated since the All-Star Break (2.79 runs per 9 innings; 2.90 per game).
The offense is horrible and getting worse all the time, but the pitching is as consistent as can be. They’ve allowed 3.5 runs per game, without fail, for the entire season. Before Buster Posey’s injury, 3.56 runs allowed per game. Since his injury, 3.48 runs allowed. Since the All-Star Break, 3.55. All this team has needed all season: an offense that could score 4 runs per game. Now, if they hope to overtake the Diamondbacks, they’ll probably need to score about 5 runs per game the rest of the way, seeing as they’re 4 games out with only 29 left to go.
Crazier things have happened. But the idea of the Giants scoring more than 2 runs per game, after they could only muster only 8 runs in 4 home games against the Astros, sounds unimaginable.
Javier Lopez sits, Miguel Tejada sulks…
— I felt kind of out of it all weekend. I didn’t get to see Eric Surkamp pitch (yet … it’s on DVR), and when I got a tweet from @dwizzlesworld complaining after the 8th inning how Bruce Bochy should have replaced Matt Cain with Javier Lopez to face Jordan Schafer, I was a step behind. I hadn’t seen how Cain was throwing, and before facing Schafer, Cain struck out Jason Bourgeois after giving up an infield single to Jimmy Paredes and hitting Chris Corporan.
— It’s easy to complain about managerial moves after the fact, and Cain has earned the right to finish out an 8th inning after only allowing 1 run in the previous 7 2/3. But where is Lopez in general? He hasn’t pitched since Aug. 23, and while he’s allowed 15 baserunners over 7 2/3 this month, it seems like Bochy’s holding out on using Lopez because he wants him to be the left-handed situational closer … or something. Maybe Lopez is fine. But it’s something to watch for, because we all know how much fun it is to unearth injuries to a key reliever that the Giants have been hiding.
— Sergio Romo’s back. That’s good news.
— 5 strikeouts from the 8th spot in the lineup today (4 for Eli Whiteside, 1 for the pitiful Aaron Rowand). After getting home I rewound the bottom of the 11th because I felt like wallowing. 3-pitch strikeout? #JailAaronRowand.
— It’s all well and good that the Giants are going to bring up some fast guys when the rosters expand, but it sure would be nice to just release Rowand now and bring up either Darren Ford or Emmanuel Burriss. Rowand isn’t doing anything, and if the Giants somehow make the postseason it would be nice to at least have the option of carrying a guy who can pinch run.
— But if the Giants insist on keeping Rowand around since he’s under contract in 2012, I think there’s another veteran who may be even more DFA-deserving than Rowand. And I’m not talking about Mark DeRosa, who’s proven surprisingly useful this week…
— Good for Henry Schulman, who not only called out Miguel Tejada for dogging it down the first base line on his sacrifice bunt in the 11th, but also asked Bochy about it after the game.
— Bochy said he didn’t see the play because he was ejected, something he had to say but is still completely ridiculous. Are we really supposed to believe when managers are ejected they don’t watch the game in their office? What, Bochy isn’t allowed access to a TV, and he gets screwed over by the MLB.tv blackout rules on his office computer (if he has one) like we do?
— I rewound the bottom of the 11th again (a masochist, I am) to see the Tejada play in full. And wow, forget Rowand. Kick Tejada off the team. Tonight.
1. Tejada’s reaction after Tim Flannery asking him to bunt could only be described as incredulous. Flannery went up and spoke to Tejada directly to make it clear he was to lay one down. After that, Tejada actually turned around and looked like he said something to his third base coach after Flannery ran back to his position. Then Tejada headed to the plate with a smirk:
2. Tejada very clearly shook his head for a little while in the box before the first pitch:
3. Tejada, after what was a decent bunt at least (his only saving grace on the play), didn’t even jog to first base, because that would imply something similar to running. I timed him. 6 seconds from home to first. And once he got there, Roberto Kelly had some things to say:
There can be no doubt — Bochy knew EXACTLY what Schulman was referring to.
The last time I saw a Giant dog it to such a degree was the first and only time I’ve ever booed a Giant at AT&T Park. It was Alex Sanchez, who let a ball fall in front of him in center field that only could have been considered out of his range if Sanchez had torn his ACL on the play. Since he wasn’t limping afterward, I let him have it, as did almost everyone else in the crowd. Sanchez threw his hands up on the play in reaction to the crowd’s jeers, and he was released later that evening.
Hopefully we’ll hear Tejada experienced the same fate when we wake up tomorrow morning, but with his salary and reputation I doubt that’ll be the case. What a terrible signing he was. One of the worst, on a team full of them. Talent always trumps chemistry, but when a team is struggling it never helps to have guys like this on the roster. Guys who won’t lay down a bunt after being asked, even when their team is down a run in extra innings. Bring up Brandon Crawford, Burriss … hell, bring up Ehire Adrianza or Joe Panik. Anyone but this washed up, overpaid, selfish, below-replacement-level player.