Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Show of Solidarity Against Violence

Jamey Carroll addresses the fans last night at AT&T Park
A Show of Solidarity
In a plea to fans from both sides, Giants and Dodgers players met on the field in pre-game ceremony to express their concern and support for Bryan Stow and to implore their fans to restrain from engaging in violent conduct towards each other.  (I  was going to attach my video footage that I filmed from the ballpark last night, but technical difficulties failed to allow me to upload it.  That was probably for the best since it was my amateurish video account from my I-phone that was akin to The Blair Witch Project when it comes to the camera steadiness factor).  
Jeremy Affeldt takes the michrophone in pre-game ceremony

The Giants Troubles
I reiterate it again.  This Giant team is really awful defensively.  A productive strategy for any team that faces them is to simply put the ball in play.  This time, Pat Burrell, Freddie Sanchez and Miguel Tejada played roles in giving up over 3 runs to the blue.  Even when they picked off Kemp, San Francisco failed to execute the play to record the out.  Pat Burrell misplayed Kemp’s single in Aubrey Huffesque fashion, resulting in a couple of runs.  In all seriousness though, it should be noted that if it weren’t for two Ryan Franklin meltdowns over the weekend, the Giants would be staring at a 2-8 record.  They should feel fortunate that their record is 4-6.  It is very early, but certainly this is an ominous start for the defending champs.
Many may be blaming the Giants poor start to the amount of distractions to start the season.  First it was “banner gate” in L.A., followed by being shut down by Kershaw and Billingsley.  Then was the Bryan Stow situation.  They return home to Opening day, raising the pennant, followed the next day by the ring ceremony and then last night, the pre-game Uribe ceremony followed by the meeting with the Dodgers in a sign of non-violence solidarity.  That’s a lot of extracurriculars.  I think they simply just want the normal season to begin without all the pre-game events.
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt
As great as he looked in the opening series, Brandon Belt looked lost out there last night.  The kid appears to have the makings of a fantastic future and his plate discipline was impressive in the first four games, but Kershaw simply blew him away with three straight fastballs last night, (the last showing on the stadium radar gun at 95).  Belt’s line after 39 plate appearances is .143 avg., .231 obp, .257 slg., .488 ops, 1 HR, 4 RBI.  I hope he sticks with the big club because keeping him in the lineup means that Huff and Burrell share the outfield at the same time.
Giant players decide to give Uribe his World Series Ring in a public display on the field after overriding Giant management that earlier in the day announced that it would be done privately.

Same Old Raffy, Snake Bit Again
Furcal is out again.  It’s easy to understand his frustration.  He will probably be disabled 6 weeks due to a broken left thumb that he suffered on the stolen base when he slid head first into third last night.  This might not be such a horrible turn of events for the club in the long term since now it’ll be nearly impossible for him to have 600 plate appearances, which would invest an automatic option and guarantee him another $12 million for next year.   So now the question is: who is called up?
Ivan DeJesus Jr. is the obvious choice, but do the Dodgers dare attempt to call up Dee Gordon and see how he does?  Gordon would be a risky move and the fan base would need to be patient with him as he makes errors of enthusiasm.  It’s probably not the right time as he needs additional grooming at the Triple A level, but the idea is intriguing.  Fortunately the club has a lot of options at the position with Uribe, Carroll, DeJesus, and Gordon all possible replacements.
I would guess that DeJesus gets called up and we see a constant lineup with Carroll at second, Uribe at shortstop and Blake at third.  To my surprise, Uribe covered the position relatively well last year in San Francisco, and he has a UZR of a respectable +3.4 over his career at the position.
Clayton Kershaw greets Rod Barajas at the plate following Barajas' solo homer  to left field in the Dodgers 6-1 victory over the Giants on April 11, 2011.
Kershaw a Giant Killer
Clayton Kershaw has now put up zeroes in 26 consecutive frames against the Giants.  Is there any better way to win over the Dodger fan base than to thoroughly dominate the San Francisco Giants?  I think not.  I believe that’s why Paul LoDuca was initially so popular, he started out something like 24 for 20 against the Giants, (OK, slight exaggeration).
Not as thoroughly dominating as his opening day start, Kershaw still took charge nonetheless.  Key strikeouts against young Giant phenoms Brandon Belt  and Buster Posey were impressive bringing the oohs and ahs to a crescendo at AT&T Park last night.  

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