Barry Zito

Randy Johnson…OK, I’m sold

I got into a discussion with SGL around the beginning of tonight’s Giants game against the A’s, and muttered aloud that the Giants would have to score at least 6 tonight to have any chance of winning. After all, Randy Johnson was on the road, he was getting whacked around to start the first inning like a liquored up Sidney Ponson (which, in the case of everyone’s favorite Arubian Knight, would be pretty much all the time), and there was no way the A’s wanted to lose this series after getting swept by the Giants a week ago.

Then, the Giambino struck out, and so did Orlando Cabrera. That’s right, aging stars! You just got struck out by a guy who’s been playing a decade longer than you. And may end up staying in the Majors after you’re gone!

Well, maybe not. The Unit, who’s threatening to end the year with around 310 career wins at this rate, still has to be babied. Even so, it was a nice sight to see him dutifully carrying his notepads and jacket to the clubhouse after the seventh inning. Let the youngsters sweat out their wins in the cold-ass dugout. I’m going to go take a damn shower, put some ice on my arm, and watch the rest of the game on TV. Then I’m going to work on my charts for a while after I talk to the dumb-ass media.

Tonight, I’m finally sold on the Giants getting Johnson for $8 million. I held out for a little while longer than most. I was a little put-off by the marketing angle I thought the Giants were going for with the soon-to-be Mr. 300 when they signed him.

The whole thing has gone just perfectly, though. Johnson’s been great at home, but he won No. 300 in front of his family, 24 ushers and some Washington D.C. residents who were paid personally by Larry Baer to be there. Since then it’s been a great time to watch Johnson battle Barry Zito for the title of “Most oddly entertaining really really really famous lefty who wouldn’t have surprised us if he was 2-8 at this point.”

And best of all for the Giants, they got 6 runs, but they didn’t even need them. Not often you can utter that sentence.

Other Game Notes

  • Nate Schierholtz is one of my personal favorites for many reasons, so you’re going to need to just allow me to slip into cliche mode here: one of my favorite parts of this season so far has been watching Schierholtz turn into a playmaker in the last few weeks. That’s right Emmitt Smith, he’s a baseball player who makes plays on the baseball field! Schierholtz MAKES PLAYS! Wouldn’t the Giants’ prospects for contention look better with Schierholtz in RF, if I told you the rest of this year he would hit around .300 with 10-12 homers and just as many outfield assists? Because I don’t think that’s out of the question. There’s no Lindenesque or Ortmeierish qualities to Schierholtz I’ve noticed yet, although 3 walks in 107 PA’s makes him fit in a little too well on this team.
  • No offense to the city of Oakland, but that was some pretty bad corner outfieldin’ from the A’s this series. I feel bad for Ryan Sweeney, who covers more ground than Aaron Rowand could on a bike.
  • There isn’t a stadium in baseball that loves the plastic air horn more than the Coliseum. When I’d look away from the TV for a while, the crowd sounded like the same one that watched the US shock Spain this afternoon. I just might have to watch the FIFA Final this weekend. I don’t write about it much, but futbol’s actually really fun to watch. MLS soccer? Not so much.
  • Kind of nice to only watch Brian Wilson for three pitches, wasn’t it? “Life of Brian” jokes aside, dude is absolutely feelin’ it right now. 20 out of 23 saves, 2.91 ERA, 1.15 WHIP.
  • Makes you wonder if Wilson is going to go back to his 3-2 count ways anytime soon, or if he’s actually one of the best closers in baseball when his manager isn’t making him pitch more than an inning every 5 games. In Wilson’s first 15 outings (which spanned 34 days), Wilson went over 1 inning six times. In his last 18 outings (which spanned 45 days), he’s gone over 1 inning only twice.
  • I’m not saying Bochy suddenly became a genius (or in other words, had the opposite of a Felipe Alou moment); this is what happens when the starters become so dependable that you’re struggling to get innings for your bullpen. Having Sergio Romo helps, too.
  • If you’re the Giants, wouldn’t you much rather have the Giants’ Jonathan Sanchez this year instead of Gio Gonzalez, who in his first start back from Sacramento looked a whole lot like a poor-man’s Sanchez? Gonzalez has good stuff, and he could very well blow Sanchez’s career out of the water when it’s all said and done. But Gonzalez totally lost it, Sanchez-style, walking Rowand on 4 pitches after he made that throwing error in the fourth. Get it right, Gio. Sanchez only gets upset and loses focus after his teammates make an error.
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