Well, that was a waste of a gray, drizzly afternoon. A nap would have been a much better option. Not only did the Giants lose their third consecutive game, they did it in highly aggravating fashion. There were so many annoying things about today’s game, I’ve decided to make a list. Don’t worry, I won’t annoy you by breaking out the annoyances into a slideshow to inflate my pageviews. Partly because that drives me crazy, and also because I have no idea how to do that on WordPress.
The top 5 annoying things about the Giants/Braves game played on April 23.
1. Bengie Molina may be gone, but his footspeed remains
The Giants are slow. Really slow, and unless the pitching is breathtaking, their range in the field and double playability seem to become an issue more often than anyone would like. This stat is nowhere near as important as turnover plus/minus in football, but the Giants have hit into 7 more double plays than they’ve turned, 3rd-worst in the league “behind” the Cardinals and Angels, both with a DP ratio of -10.
The only entertaining part of this game, other than Tim Lincecum looking pretty outstanding for the first 45 minutes, was my wife deciding mid-game that she hated the Fox announcers with every ounce of her being. Josh Lewin and Eric Karros were anti-Giants, a sentiment that grew even louder from her side of the living room when I let her know Karros used to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers. They seemed pleased with the Giants’ struggles against Tim Hudson, who my wife deemed both announcers were satisfying orally (although that’s not how she put it).
Fox could also use a different song to play during baseball games. Playing the same song they do for NFL games makes me think a robot is going to come out and start swinging a bat and adjusting his robot cup.
3. Jim Joyce
Can we finally get to the point where we can watch/listen to a game where Joyce is calling the pitches and NOT have anyone say how great Joyce is? Forget the Armando Galarraga incident, his strike zone today with Lincecum on the mound was extremely strict and not exactly consistent. And the screaming is tired. Yelling “HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” shouldn’t be an acceptable way to signal a strike. And if umpires can shriek nonsense for strikes, how come they never make a peep when balls are thrown, or when someone takes a walk? Baseball’s weird that way, like nobody can ever do anything to offend the pitcher except for the manager.
4. Aaron Rowand leading off
Apparently the Giants are going to wait until Rowand’s average sinks below .250 before they realize that just because they almost always use their center fielder to lead off, they don’t have to bat Rowand first. The good news for Rowand: although he’s mired in a 1-for-16 slump, he did double his total for the year with one walk on Friday night.
5. Way to work the count, guys
Almost worse than Lincecum setting a career high in walks with 6 was the Giants not walking one time. That’s following a loss the night before where the only walk for the Giants was the previously mentioned free pass to Rowand. The best stats are the ones that justify previously held opinions, and after watching Miguel Tejada first-pitch-swing for a month I figured he had to have the lowest pitches per plate appearance of any Giant, if not the entire National League. In actuality, Tejada sees the fewest pitches of any player in the Majors: 3.04 per PA.
Besides my wife’s mini-rant on Lewin and Karros (too bad she wasn’t paying attention when Chris Rose would break in with his cute little updates — that would have been at least 10 more minutes of entertainment for me), the best part about this afternoon was flipping over to Brandon Roy’s 18-pt fourth quarter when the game was over. I’m not usually one who’s been known to give a damn about the Blazers, but the comeback from 23 points down, followed by the Blazers’ reaction after the game (including a visibly moved Marcus Camby repeatedly pointing at Roy, as if the crowd didn’t know that their favorite player since Clyde Drexler was back, at least for one day), ranked as one of the best (American) sporting moments we’ve seen in 2011.