2009 MLB National League West Notebook
If starting pitching was going to carry the San Francisco Giants for at least a part of the season, their 2-7 start was because of their starting pitching.
Consider reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum fell flat in his first two starts with a 7.86 ERA and only eight innings. Left-hander Barry Zito’s career may really be spiraling with a 0-2 record and ERA of 10.00 in his first two starts. And veteran Randy Johnson’s body may just be showing that there is not enough left in it with an 11.42 ERA in his first two starts.
The Giants just suffered a sweep at the hands of the rival Dodgers and scored only seven runs in the process.
Everybody figured San Francisco was not going to be a serious contender for the National League West because of offensive issues. And of course, it is early. However, the Giants really need to start to get some consistency with their rotation.
Right fielder Justin Upton has high hopes of having a great career. But he has really struggled to begin the season.
He followed a poor .197 performance in the spring to a wretched .105 start to the season. Upton was 2-of-19 with one double and one RBI. The 6-2, 205-pound rising star has had some issues trying to find the right comfort zone at the plate.
But he has allowed teams to pitch at him. He has eight strikeouts.
Right-hander Jason Marquis has taken the lead of the Rockies starting rotation with two very good starts to begin the season.
Marquis is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA and has averaged seven innings per start. When the Rockies acquired him from the Chicago Cubs back in January, the idea was for Marquis to do exactly what he is doing. And he did that against his former team in a seven inning performance on April 15.
Marquis is also holding opponents to a .204 batting average.
Just continue to watch Padres’ first baseman Adrian Gonzalez emerge as one of the best first baseman in baseball.
Gonzalez is leading the team in home runs (3), RBIs (8). Now, it may seem odd because he’s already at 100 home runs for his career. But he just doesn’t get the credit he deserves.
Gonzalez could be this generation’s version of Rafael Palmeiro. He has a very smooth swing and has great power to the opposite field.
The great Vin Scully is celebrating his 60 th season broadcasting Dodger games. Scully began his career when the Dodgers were in Brooklyn, and he really hasn’t slowed down.
Scully calls 110 games and does all nine innings on Dodger television broadcasts. He does all Dodger home games and will travel with the team to San Francisco, San Diego and Colorado.
And at 81, he really hasn’t lost his touch. His call is sharp, his storytelling continues to captivate the audience and he is still the face of the Dodger franchise.
By Kevin Lonnquist
> View all of the 2008 MLB team previews from Pro Baseball Fans