Your old pal the BASG finally has cable at work. No, not the “Limited Basic” package starring such luminaries as “The Rossmoor Channel” and every Asian-language station available in the country, but the fabulous “Extended Basic” package, which actually includes ESPN, ESPN2 and CSN Bay Area.
So for the first time since I switched jobs to our Walnut Creek location, I was able to watch a Giants victory. It took awhile, and I needed to ignore at least one or two customers to view the entirety of the tenth inning, but I somehow found a way. Some might call it loafing; I call it a job well done.
Customers need help every day. How often am I going to be able to catch the Giants not only win their second straight road game, but also take a series at Coors Field in the process? Sure, if I was a professional sportswriter I’d be able to watch every game as it happens, but at this point I still have to actually work for a living. Oh, the humanity!
Anyway, I mentioned earlier today how Brian Wilson is definitely a keeper at closer (even though he gave up two runs in the ninth and came about a foot away from giving up the game-tying homer in last night’s 6-5 win). Wilson had a much better outing today, facing only four batters and allowing zero runs in the tenth inning of San Francisco’s 3-2 victory. So Wilson not only has the look and demeanor of a closer, he also has the innate ability to give up just enough runs so that the Giants win by one, a skill all great closers learn at some point or another. Who cares how much you make the audience, your manager or the starting pitcher that day sweat, as long as you get the win.
Another highlight in a season fairly devoid of them has been Fred Lewis. Not only was Freddy wearing Jeff Kent’s old fire-lens wraparound Oakleys, he also had another spectacular game. After starting out as one of the better contact hitters in the National League in April, even more heartening has been his comeback from the slump that immediately followed. He’s tied for the league lead in triples, hits better than any Giant with two strikes other than Bengie Molina, and has the “I just don’t give a %$#%” demeanor that every Giants fan can appreciate. Not that he doesn’t care about winning, but the ups and downs of his own individual performance don’t seem to either impress nor bother him. Just a tad different than the injured Kevin Frandsen, who would take a curtain call for a sacrifice fly if his teammates would let him.
Since talented outfielders aren’t available too often these days, the Giants have to hope that Lewis, Aaron Rowand and somebody else can patrol the outfield for a few years without having to overpay some former star (like the Dodgers did with Juan Pierre, then a year later with Andruw Jones, even though they could have just rolled with Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and Jayson Werth for the next decade — sometimes teams can have too much money for their own good). Since I believe every Randy Winn at-bat is a wasted one for the Giants these days, and I’m a total non-believer in John Bowker, I’m hoping that the third outfielder can eventually be Nate Schierholtz, who’s still hitting well in Triple-A. I’m wondering why the Giants haven’t called him up yet … does Fresno have some Schierholtz bobblehead day scheduled in June that can’t be disturbed?
As for the infield, the Giants are in much worse straits. Their power at the corners currently consists of Rich Aurilia, tied for the team-lead in home runs with 5. That’s right, no Giant is on pace to hit any more than 16 homers this season, which means the Giants should think about playing in baggy woolen uniforms. Hey, if they’re going to hit with as much power as a team from the pre-Babe Ruth era, they should look like one too.