Put a fork in the Giants. They’re done. Two straight losses in Arizona — at least one of which a contending team wins — has put them eight back of both the Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres in the National League West, and this club is simply too old, too tired and too flawed to make up that much distance against two clubs.
The wild-card you say? Nice thought, but the Giants are also 6 1/2 back of the Dodgers, who are second in that race. Bottom line is that the NL West is a top-heavy division with the Padres, Diamondbacks and Dodgers clearly better than the Rockies and Giants. Team Barry will have a difficult enough time making up ground on Colorado, much less making a move on the top three.
This road trip has showcased all the Giants shortcomings. They’ve won just three times in eight games, even though they have led late in five of them. If it’s not the bullpen one night, it’s the offense the next. Many times it’s a combo of both. And the result is that the Giants are wasting one of the deepest rotations the franchise has ever had. But even the starters’ are getting into the act. Tim Lincecum couldn’t protect two leads in Philadelphia, and Matt Cain has been having his troubles recently.
And new manager Bruce Bochy shouldn’t be completely exonerated from blame, either. Caught the end of last night’s loss. Bochy had Barry Bonds and Bengie Molina on the bench in the ninth. He pinch-hit Bonds to start the inning, and got one of his desired results when Bonds walked. But rather than try to sacrifice Dan Ortmeier (who had pinch-run for Bonds) to second, Bochy then used his best bullet in Molina, who struck out. Kevin Frandsen then pinch-hit and flew out. One question, why now use Frandsen to get Ortmeier to second, then use Molina, who is hitting .391 with runners in scoring position?
Randy Winn’s strike out ended the game, but by then, the final result seemed inevitable. I know that some folks will say you can’t play small ball and go for a tie on the road, but with this pop-gun offense, you have to generate runs at any opportunity.
Then again, lamenting the ninth is like lobbying for a band-aid to be put on a gaping wound. The bottom line is that this is simply a mediocre team, maybe good enough to win 83 games if everything goes right. That won’t get them within sniffing distance of any of the three teams ahead of them.
The consolation is that the Giants get six picks among the first 51 in today’s draft. That should give the lunatic fringe plenty of ammo in the years ahead. Remember, Brian Sabean doesn’t exactly have a shining track record when it comes to drafting hitters, and the Giants organization sure could use some.