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Friday, April 17, 2009

Sweep: Dodgers 7, Giants 2

The Giants, a Facebook friend reminds me, are winless on this road trip (0-6 now), and 2-7 for a dreadful start to the season. If last year's team — regarded in some quarters as a candidate for a 100-loss season — failed to live down to their wretched predictions, this team seems, in limited action, to be making up for it.
They have drawn 20 walks, hit five homers and struck out 74 times in their first nine games while becoming the first Giants team since 1947 to lose their first six on the road. Their supposed strength, the rotation, is 1-6 with a 7.42 ERA.

The next question on the minds of Giants fans: Are they doomed to watch this wretchedness for the next 5 1/2 months? If so, heads will roll, but the temptation to declare this team a reincarnation of the 1962 Mets must be tempered by the calendar. No fair assessment can be made after nine games, even if the Giants' first impression has left little cause for hope.

"Are we this bad? No," manager Bruce Bochy said, attempting to answer the central question about his team. "But right now we are."

It's hard to imagine a scenario in which a sub-.500 San Francisco team will still have Bochy running it by the break, but given what Brian Sabean has given him to work with, is it any wonder? Why is Bengie Molina pretending to be a cleanup hitter, for instance? The rotation issues will probably work themselves out, but the offense likely won't.

Eric Stults survived — about all you can classify this ugly but ultimately successful outing — five innings, James McDonald repaired his reputation after an earlier splat, and the offense generally had a holiday against Barry Zito, lately sporting a 10.00 ERA. (That's more than one run per inning pitched, in case you were scoring at home, and my God.) He actually retired ten Dodgers in a row from the last out of the second through the fifth, but he started a fit of wildness in the sixth that started by plunking leadoff man Russell Martin, and that ended his stretch of effectiveness. He's become something like Russ Ortiz was for the Diamondbacks a while ago, only with a much worse contract.

Of course, the worst thing to happen last night was to see Doug Mientkiewicz separate his shoulder on a slide to second. Never a good idea, that, and he's probably done for months if not the season (given his age). I feel badly for him, but seeing as how the Dodgers traded his most likely replacement — Delwyn Young — earlier in the week, I think I feel worse for the Dodgers. They'll probably call up Blake DeWitt. (Tony Jackson favors Xavier Paul, lately hitting .571.)

And don't look now, but the Dodgers have a five-game winning streak going.

Yahoo boxDodgers recap

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