This is our second installment of Elephants and Seals. And just like last time Chappy will be covering the A’s, and By will be covering the Giants.
San Francisco Giants (13-15) Oakland Athletics (15-14)
Oakland A’s – They lost two of three in LA, but came on strong over the weekend to take 3 of 4 from Texas to bring themselves over .500. Their bats seemed to wake up against what we all kinda knew was some weak starting pitching out in Texas. Kurt Suzuki hit two bombs after having his newly born daughter. Willingham hit a game tying homer, and Matsui hit a walkoff in yesterdays series winning game, so there’s some reason for optimism for the offense. Andrew Bailey is throwing again, and should be back sooner than later as he’s set to face some live hitting this week. That is a big relief because Fuentes is about as scary a ninth inning as you’ll get. He doesn’t throw hard, and puts guys on base giving A’s fans a heart attack every time he’s on the mound. Bailey we need you back! Coco Crisp’s bat is as lively as his hair these days, and when he’s on, he scores lots of runs. Oakland pitchers still lead the league in ERA at 2.76. They are did pretty good in April for their standards, because April is a month they almost always have a losing record in. You don’t win a division in April, but you can be far enough behind to lose it if you aren’t careful. I mean, we could be the Twins with only 9 wins.
San Francisco Giants – 1. We won the 2010 World Series. I know that was last season, and that historic event is a thing of the past, but when your beloved team plays as inconsistent as they have been, despite the talent and experience they possess, well then you got to hang your hat on something. We’re only about 7% into the season, and if they don’t clean up their act by the 20% mark, I’ll throw this trump card away. Which brings me to my next ”up” ~
2. We’re only 7% into the season! It’s still very early and the Giants are much below .500 ball thanks to taking two out of three in five of the past seven series’. They’ve been in a lot worse situations, and for them to be even despite not finding themselves is a good sign.
3. Aaron Rowand is hitting .300 (o.k. .296) and Pablo Sandoval is hitting .313 with five dingers. These are two players who contributed very little last season. Aaron Rowand was considered a free agent bust, and Panda was looked at as a fluke. The Giants are currently 11th in hitting in the N.L. but it’s neither of these two’s fault. If they keep playing this well offensively, it will almost be like we picked up two solid free agents this year.
Oakland A’s – Kevin Kouzmanoff is supposedly on the team more for his defense prowess, yet he’s already made 6 errors on the season. If his bat actually worked, I wouldn’t mind the errors as much, but this is getting ridiculous, and these errors are leading to runs almost every time he kicks an easy grounder. The team as a whole hasn’t been good defensively, but I doubt they will be tied for the lead the league in errors. The offense as a whole is offensive as they’re ranked 27th in the league in runs scored, don’t have a hitter over .300 in the lineup, and swing at way too many pitches early in the count. Pitchers that give up a few runs to us still are in the game in the 7th. Aside from Barton, I’m not sure anyone in the lineup knows how to work a count, unfortunately his working the count has resulted in a high amount of strikeouts. Pitchers are throwing 70 pitch complete games against us. Ok, not really, but you get the point. We have renamed the Oakland Coliseum to the Overstock.com Coliseum or O.co Coliseum. This is in the three down section, because it sounds lame.
1. We won the 2010 World Series. I know you’re asking, how can this be an ”up” and a ”down”? It’s an ”up” from a fans’ perspective, especially someone like me who is grateful he witnessed a World Series championship during his lifetime. It’s been a ”down” for the actual team. I tried not to think it, but it’s becoming more and more apparent, the Giants have a World Series hangover. They’re too busy making music videos with Keenan Cahill that they forgot there’s a season to play. But then again, this is the reason why we fell in love with these guys, they’re a bunch of goofy clowns and miSFits.
2. Missing Andres Torres has been a huge downer for the Giants. He’s a great lead off man, and plays a fantastic center field. The one thing that’s underrated about Torres is his defense. Our outfield has been our week spot early on, especially when we threw Pat Burrell and Aubrey Huff out there (wtf!) but with Ross back, and Torres on his way, I’ll stop holding my breath on every fly ball.
3. Pitching and hitting. If it’s not one, it’s the other. This is reminiscent of years past with these Giants team. They’re winning or losing games, 1-0 or 9-8. Neither side can get it together consistently and act as a cohesive unit. Like I mentioned earlier, we’re 11th in the N.L. in hitting. I’m not concerned about average starts from Timmy, Jonathan Sanchez and Matty Cain, but Madison ”Mad Bum” Bumgarner has struggled big time. Last season he was brilliant in the post season, we’ve only seen one glimpse of that pitcher since. Could I actually be asking this, but are we missing Barry Zito? If it’s come to this, then that’s a huge downer.
Oakland A’s – Taking on the best team in baseball, Cleveland Indians at home. They found a little groove offensively against Texas, so hopefully that keeps up. I can’t wait for the day when I’m not shocked when they put up 4 runs in a game.
San Francisco Giants got to start doing their best Charlie Sheen impression, winning. We got the Mets and Rockies next, very winnable series’.