Aaron Rowand

MLB Monday: Aurilia buys some time

Were you one of those people who smiled and cringed at the same time when Rich Aurilia hit that home run yesterday? Giant fans will take tie-breaking home runs anytime they can get them, but check out these reactions from McCovey Chronicles today after Aurilia’s first homer of the season:

“He did indeed tag it. I like Aurilia but he’s still largely useless on this team.”

“I looked at my dad and said that hurt the team more than it helped in the long run when richie went yard”

“Rich Aurilia hit a HR? WTF”

As much as yesterday’s Chronicle beat writer thinks yesterday’s homer changed how the fanbase feels about Richie, it’s clear that most wish he was a roving minor league instructor as opposed to a roving utility infielder taking up a roster spot that could be used by a younger player.

It’s looking more and more like Travis Ishikawa has been forced to the bench in favor of Juan Uribe, who looks to be the team’s starting third baseman for the foreseeable future. It’s hard to blame Bochy for making the move, since even though Ishikawa has been coming around lately he’s hardly a home run threat, and Uribe has 20-homer power. Or at least he had 20-homer power, but on the Giants that makes him one of the most dangerous hitters on the squad.

The fans want somebody, anybody other than Aurilia on the bench. However, it’s tough to imagine that a noted veteran-admirer like Bochy will replace Aurilia now, especially since yesterday he seemed OK with playing a little third base and hit a series-clinching home run. So fans, get ready for more stank-eye, more superstitious facial hair growth and more double plays. Pine for Jesus Guzman, John Bowker or Kevin Frandsen all you like, but Aurilia’s going to get at least a month or two to raise his average, which rose to .200 after his 2-for-2 explosion yesterday.

Giants’ week that was

The Giants flew to Washington, D.C. last night, hoping to improve their 7-15 road record on a 9-game trip against the Nats, Marlins and D-Backs. . . Besides Sergio Romo, who gave up 2 ER in 2/3 of an inning yesterday in his first outing of the season, the only reliever with an ERA over 4.00 is Brian Wilson (4.07). . . Merkin Valdez only has 9 K’s in 16.1 IP, which seems amazing considering the stuff he possesses . . . The Giants are 10-5-2 in their 17 series this season. . . Aaron Rowand has an 11-game hitting streak since moving to the leadoff spot (and since I ripped him), with 6 doubles in his last 6 games. . . After 10 SB’s in his first 34 games, Emmanuel Burriss has only 1 steal in his last 15 games. . . Bengie Molina has 5 hits in his last 46 at-bats. Looks like nobody is going to be whining about Barry Zito’s “personal catcher” moving Molina out of the lineup anytime soon.

The Giants are rumored to be interested in Milwaukee OF Corey Hart, who I dropped from my fantasy team on May 9. Of course, if every rumor came true the Giants and Brewers would have swapped their entire rosters by now. . . Are you ready for the next Angel Villalona? Another rumor has the Cardinals, Giants and Dodgers interested in 16-year-old Dominican CF Wagner Mateo.

He’s not on the Giants, but he played them this past weekend so it fits: Rick Ankiel looks absolutely awful. Besides David Ortiz, it’s tough to think of anybody who’s been affected more this season by injuries and/or MLB’s drug testing policy. . . Since we’re on the subject of non-Giants, Francisco Liriano’s on the road to the bullpen after losing his last three outings (12 IP and 16 ER combined). Now he’s 2-7 with a 6.60 ERA. Losing Joe Nathan for what amounted to the most hated Giant in franchise history (A.J. Pierzynski) means Brian Sabean will never get a free pass on the trade that also gave Liriano and Boof Bonser to the Twins, but Liriano may not be the second coming of Johan Santana many thought he could become.

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