Slumber

June 30

The Giants not only were swept at home by their rivals, they were rag-dolled. On the night of their annual “Slumber Party,” they got an early start.

Oh look, they hit into another double play. That’s what happens when you lack power AND speed. And when you lack a plan at the plate.

The Giants simply aren’t good enough. They’re now 8-17 vs. the National League West, a sure recipe for also-random. Just about every team they face seems to have more firepower. And more fight.

About the only bright spot was in the 7th inning when Santiago Casilla threw at Vicente Padilla as he squared to bunt. It was clear retaliation for what happened in April, when the noted head-hunter Padilla nearly shattered Aaron Rowand’s face. One problem: Casilla missed Padila, and Jamey Carroll advanced from second to third.

Then Carroll scored from third on a passed ball. Perfect.

At least Rowand hit a home run off Padilla and had three hits. I suppose that was a measure of revenge, and I credit manager Bruce Bochy for putting the issue front and center by having Rowand lead off. I credit him for signing off on Padilla’s purpose-pitch. The rest, however, was an epic failure.

The Dodgers limped into San Francisco with a gassed bullpen, losers of eight of their last 10 including a gut-punch by the Yankees Sunday night. The Giants failed to take advantage of any of that. They barely managed to register a pulse, save for a meaningless 9th inning rally.

Like the fans, the beautiful sunny day seemed to suck their energy; they only succeeded in getting a tan.

An incident in the 5th inning summed it all up : down 5-0, the Giants’ Buster Posey took a pitch low and away, a ball he should never swing at, and he should have earned a walk. Instead, plate umpire Tom Hallion rang him up.

Many managers, faced with a blowout loss and sluggish effort, would have gone out to argue. They might have even gone out with the intention of getting tossed just to fire up their team. Instead, barely a peep from the Giants. So now they’re getting slapped around by the umpires, too.

This is the kind of a loss, and the kind of a week, that costs people their jobs. I have backed Bochy and to a lesser degree General Manager Brian Sabean up to this point, but the bottom line is what happens on the field. The results aren’t encouraging.

Maybe no one is going to run away in the NL West, but the Giants aren’t even keeping pace now : an 8-17 record within the division, including a grand total of two wins against the Dodgers and Padres, won’t get ‘er done. A 1-5 homestand is simply not acceptable.

The Giants now play 11 games before the break, a stretch away from home that could very well end their season if they continue their level of play. All the promise of the early season is in danger of elimination. And not by a Mike Krukow pen.

If that happens, we’re looking at a 56-year drought. And we’re looking at a housecleaning. There will be no choice at that point.

Oh look, they hit into another double play.

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One Response to “Slumber”

  1. Marty Says:

    Ray,

    Your writing style is full of wit and humor (another double play).

    Mike Krukow called this homestand a report card for the Giants. As a former teacher, I give them a D- only because they were able to come from behind and defeat the Red Sox last Friday night.

    I didn’t expect this team to do much this year, and they are not disappointing me. The folks who attended the game today should demand their money back!

    Peace,

    Marty

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