Giants stay quiet on and off the diamond
Giants (44-63) @ Dodgers (54-54)
7/30/08Public enemy number one, the Los Angeles Dodgers, now hold a 6-3 advantage over the Giants halfway through the season series. Giants fans have learned to shelve expectations of their ball club to minimize disappointment each season, but no one can fault them for depending on their team to do one thing: Beat LA. Beat them frequently, and beat them mercilessly. Obviously, Chad Billingsley didn't get the memo.
2 hours and 29 minutes after Billingsley (11-9, 3.05 ERA) threw the first pitch of the game, he threw the last in the Dodgers 4-0 win. It was a dominant performance, with his repertoire of sinking breaking balls working effectively to garner him eight strikeouts. The Giants, with only five hits to show for, retreated sheepishly to the clubhouse with a shared body language of shame. That shame could have been in light of the evening’s events, it could have been the 22.0 straight scoreless innings the Dodgers pitchers threw over the three game set, or it could have been the 10-76 the team went collectively at the plate during those 22.0 innings.
Southpaw strikeout hurler, Jonathan Sanchez (8-7, 4.61 ERA), found no answers to his recent troubles on the mound, and after 4 ip he issued four walks (racking up his pitch count to 84) and let the only runs for each team cross the plate. If there was anything positive to take away from the series for the Giants, it was the solid performance from their relief corps that had been mediocre in recent weeks.
Points of Interest for the Giants
Matt Kemp of the Dodgers had an excellent series. He extended his hitting streak to 17 games and was an absolute tormenter on the base paths to Giants pitchers.
Don't expect to see regular third baseman Jose Castillo start at second base much more this season. While Rich Aurilia was being showcased at third base for a potential trade, GM Brian Sabean and Manager Bruce Bochy decided to use the opportunity to see how Castillo performed at second base where he played from 2004-2006 for the Pirates. If the Giants acquired a third baseman in the offseason and Castillo were to enter the second baseman depth chart in Spring Training, he would presumably have to make his way up behind Eugenio Velez, Emmanuel Burriss, and Ivan Ochoa. Castillo had one fielding error during the course of the series at second base.
The Giants came up empty handed as the trade deadline dropped last night. There were talks to deal catcher Bengie Molina to either the Yankees or Marlins, infield utility player Rich Aurilia to the Twins, and left handed reliever Jack Taschner to the Brewers, but the right offers never presented themselves to Brian Sabean, who worked tirelessly to set something up for each player down to the very wire.
The Giants are at PETCO Park for the weekend, in hopes to distance themselves from the last place Padres, for a three game set. Expect to see:
Friday, August 1st - Tim Lincecum (11-3, 2.78 ERA) vs. Josh Banks (3-4, 3.92 ERA)
Saturday, August 2nd - Barry Zito (5-13, 5.80 ERA vs. Greg Maddux (4-8, 4.29 ERA)
Sunday, August 3rd - Kevin Correia (2-5, 5.80 ERA) vs. Chris Young (4-4, 4.12 ERA)
By Gavin Stuart
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