Sunday, April 29, 2007

You Knew It Wouldn't Last, Still...

As that old song goes, "Don't worry, be happy." Yes, the sting of a three game sweep, especially at the hands of the D-backs and all by one run hurts a lot, but keep an eye on the big picture. If on April 9th, when the Giants were 1-6, I had told you that on April 29th, the Giants would be 12-11, wouldn't you be pretty happy about that? That means that they went 11-5 during that period, not too shabby.

But that is our weakness, isn't it, to be emotional beings, to, say, drive up the stock price of a nothing company multi-fold, while selling a solid company when there is a little bit of bad news short-term, but not long-term? So this 3 game sweep really is depressing, ain't it?

I say enjoy the bright spots as the season goes along, you already know that we will probably be in a dog fight for first place, and that, just like the past few years, one team streaks ahead, then another leapfrogs them, then another leapfrogs them. Focus on the pitching staff, enjoy our young starters, enjoy every time Cain one-hits a team, look forward to when Lincecum forces his way onto the major league staff, and, of course, enjoy Bonds majesty shots into the sky, he might pass Aaron by the All-Star Break if he can keep it going.

Clearly, our offense leaves a lot to be desired, sputtering, but to me that is a result of the top two hitters of the offense not really doing much. Most studies have shown how important it is to have hitters who can get on-base to lead off the lineup, but Roberts so far has hit .243/.300/.365/.665 and Vizquel so far has done worse, hitting .222/.276/.259/.535 (not quite the salary drive he's been hoping for). What makes it amazing is that our team is around .500 with such poor hitting up front (actually almost all hitters are not performing up to snuff), a testament to how well Bonds has been hitting and how well our pitching staff has been doing.

Obviously, the pitching most probably will start cooling off at some point and return back to their skill level, and when that happens, hopefully our hitters will return to their past hitting skill level and balance everything out. Everyone has means that they will regress to, except for maybe Bonds who has a mean that defies all logic and history and apparently P.E.D. accusations, HGH has recently been discredited in the saber-community as useless for anything other than making you a freak, and you know the Feds have been going through everything and everyone who comes near Bonds for the past three years in order to catch him at something, anything, and they have not been able to find anything yet. If he is cheating, then catch him, that's good for baseball, but if he is not, then they should stop hounding him.

Go Giants!

6 comments:

  1. Bonds looks to be solidly at his 2001-2004 mean to me. His OBP will be rising steadily.

    Vizquel and Klesko are over the hill and won't be returning to their means.

    Durham is the only other player on the entire team who is a good hitter.

    Molina, Aurilia, and Feliz are probably right at their means.

    Winn and Roberts can improve a little.

    Vizquel needs to hit 8th. Winn 2nd.

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  2. About previous don't fire Sabean posts, this season is a beautiful example of Bonds saving his ass again. How painful would it be to watch if Linden were playing left field instead of Barry. Sabean is lucky he has Bonds, lucky Cain and Lincecum are coming along so well, and lucky Benitez has come back a little bit. He's not good.

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  3. That's funny, it was Sabean who drafted Cain, Lincecum, Lowry, et al. You call it lucky, but he was the one who selected them, all those other teams could have selected them instead but didn't. That to me says that he was smart, he didn't go with the other teams and go with someone else.

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  4. By your theory, Vizquel should have been over the hill last season too:

    Vizquel 2006: .295/.361/.389/.749
    Vizquel career:.275/.341/.359/.700

    If he wasn't over the hill last season, why is he over the hill this season?

    Klesko, thus far, it is hard to argue with the number. I would only point out that out of 39 ABs this season, 27 of them were at D-ger Stadium and Petco Park, two of the worse hitting parks in the NL, if not the majors. However, he also went 1 for 8 in a hitter's park, Chase Field. The only sign that this is an aberation is that he has always killed RHP and died against LHP, but it is reversed this season:

    LHP: .333/.500/.333/.833
    RHP: .278/.316/.361/.677

    I thinks it's too early to proclaim him over the hill but he's not doing anything to dispel it for the moment.

    Durham is next best hitter after Bonds but he should be in the mid 800 OPS range, but is down, at .794, as of Sunday's results.

    Molina at .743 is right about there, just slightly down.

    Aurilia at .709 is down a lot, he's a lifetime .774 OPS hitter.

    Feliz is around there, as you say, at .713 and his homer tonight probably raises it to his career mean.

    Winn and Roberts better improve a lot:

    Roberts 2007: .243/.300/.365/.665
    Last 2 seasons:.285/.358/.403/.761 (approx.)

    Winn 2007: .263/.310/.382/.691
    Winn career:.284/.343/.421/.764

    ... or the season is sunk.

    Good observation, Vizquel would be good in the 8th spot and Winn 2nd. Unfortunately, Omar has hit poorly there during his career, whereas Winn, in much more limited ABs there, has done well, even this season (.283/.323/.433/.756)

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  5. Does no one appreciate what we're witnessing?

    Bonds, who was widely considered washed up with 43-year-old, bone-on-bone knees, is leading the National League in Slugging and On Base Percentage and second in home runs. Most projections before the season showed him hitting about .270 and he's batting .356--86 points over the projection.

    I'm not sure there's any precident for doing what he's doing this Spring, not at his age and given the last two seasons.

    The finest encore performance for a grey-beard position player that I can recall was 1977, when Willie McCovey won the Comeback Player of the Year award by hitting .280/.367/.500 and blasting 28 HR. Bonds' OPS is about 500 points above McCovey's performance. Different eras, but still an astonishing performance so far by Bonds--more remarkable, perhaps, than breaking the single-season homerun record in the juiced ball era. Sosa and McGuire did that as well--but who hits .360 at age 43?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I would say that the only comparable performance would be Ted Williams swan song season, he was 41 years old, had a poor season the year before, poor for him at least, and he hit .316/.451/.645/1.096 with 29 HR in 310 AB and 113 games. Willie Mac was 39 when he had that 28 HR season, then fizzled in 3 more seasons of substandard performance. (I was not there for it but, having written about Bonds, Williams, Aaron, and Darrell Evans on their late career and age surge in power hitting, am aware of it; I should republish by updating some of my prior work that I had done at other sites so that new visitors unfamiliar with my prior work can read articles that I thought were good enough to update).

    Yes, there is no precedence for anything, really, that Bonds has done since he turned, say, 36 years old.

    ReplyDelete

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