The San Francisco Giants have sunk back into the familiar. And the familiar is a bedbug-ridden couch that your dog may or may not have peed on multiple times. You remember, the one with a wobbly leg and an ungodly amount of M&M’s under the seat cushions.
Shoddy defense. Terrible hitting with runners in scoring position. Just enough “ground attack” to keep you interested. And injuries, injuries, injuries! I’d bring up Barry Zito walking 7 guys, but he’s only done that six times in his career and wasn’t around last August and September, when the Giants looked strikingly similar to the team you saw on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
You know the lede, and I’m hoping that burying it might soften the blow: Pablo Sandoval injured his left hand swinging the bat on a 6th inning groundout to second. Sandoval had already gone home by the time we all entered in the clubhouse, so all we have to go on is what Bruce Bochy said.
“He has quite a bit of pain in the left hand. We’ll know more tomorrow. We’re going to find out what’s going on there. Took a swing there, and had quite a bit of pain and had to come out. So that’s where we’re at right now.”
Andrew Baggarly asked how much concern there is, considering he fractured the hamate bone in his right hand last season, an injury that caused him to miss a month and a half in 2011.
“Quite a bit, to be honest. For him to come out of the game, his hand’s pretty sore. There’s a lot of concern here. We know what this guy means to our club, our offense. We get a couple guys out already with Sanchez and Huff. So I have a lot of concern, and you just hope for the best right now, that’s all we can do. Here’s our number three hitter, our number four today. Having a great year swinging the bat well from both sides. I’m hoping we get some good news from this.”
Speaking of Baggs, talk about deja vu:
The offensively challenged Giants just took a huge hit where they can least afford it. Pablo Sandoval, one of only two productive hitters in their lineup, has a fractured hamate bone in his right hand.
He wrote that on April 30, 2011.
I got video of Zito talking about his mechanics, but it was just the same old thing (“I had a bad rhythm … I think I was rushing my delivery a little bit … just being way too quick and wasn’t giving my arm time to catch up.”) so here’s some video of Zito talking about possibly losing Sandoval for an extended period on top of the other injury woes the Giants have dealt with. Fun stuff, these post-loss videos!
— Joaquin Arias was probably going to stick around with the team for a while anyway, after hitting that 9th inning bloop single and making a fantastic play at shortstop to start the 10th (before Giantkillerlo Stanton ruined the Giants’ late comeback with another line drive homer to left). Now that Sandoval’s probably going to miss either a few days or several weeks, Arias is probably the team’s only legitimate option at third base … unless they’re thinking of using Ryan Theriot, Emmanuel Burriss or Brett Pill there. Or bringing up Conor Gillaspie.
— Gregor Blanco will probably play the rest of this homestand. Speed will not take a day off for the foreseeable future.
— The first person to suggest Buster Posey should play third base is forced to spend every day next week listening to and trying to call into Fitz and Brooks. That’s the full noon-to-3, from Monday through Friday (except Wednesday, when the Giants start at 10:10 am in Milwaukee). Call, listen, lather, rinse, repeat.
— Stanton has raised his slugging percentage from .342 to .439 in two games against the Giants. He’s hit 3 home runs in his last 4 games after hitting none in his first 69 plate appearances. Why Santiago Casilla threw Stanton a strike in the 10th, I’ll never know. That’s one area where you miss Brian Wilson (who probably won’t be back as soon as he thinks from Tommy John surgery) — if Wilson figured there was a good shot that a slugger might take him deep, he was staying away, away, away. There’s a reason why Wilson has a 0.48 HR/9 throughout his career, while Casilla’s was 0.75 coming into tonight’s game.
— As if Posey’s year wasn’t hard enough (coming back from a catastrophic ankle injury, partially carrying the team offensively, playing two positions and probably not resting enough so far this season), now he’s the only guy in the lineup pitchers need to worry about.
— With the way Hector Sanchez is hitting, Posey’s only going to catch more. Sanchez went 0-for-5 with 3 strikeouts, dropping his slash to .244/.256/.317. He’s either completely lost or the scouting reports have caught up with him (hint: he doesn’t walk much … at all).
— But hey, Travis Blackley had a nice first appearance in the bigs since 2007: 2 scoreless innings for the Aussie.
— Some fan in a Barry Zito jersey reached his blood-alcohol threshold right below the press box around the 6th inning, when he yelled “ZAMBRANO SUCKS” repeatedly at Carlos Zambrano, even though his jersey’s namesake was terrible on Wednesday night and Zambrano was shutting out the Giants with ease.
— To show there is no such thing as baseball karma, the heckler (who was so annoying at times that his friends were tugging at his shirt at times, trying to get him to sit down) ended up with a foul ball that rolled around underneath the seats in front of him. I appreciated the fervor of his “Let’s go Giants” chants throughout the later innings — and the fact that like many fans he didn’t leave after the 8th inning — but in my mind you have to come up with better insults than “fill-in-the-blank player SUCKS” when fill-in-the-blank player is absolutely dominating the home team.
— In other news, watching 8 innings of middling baseball before the bloop-grounder-bunt comeback got squashed, then finding out the Giants’ best power hitter could miss significant time … well, let’s just say I could be in a less-than-cheery mood. I’ll snap out of it by
tomorrow later this morning.