Thursday, May 10, 2012

On the Van Halens and Spinal Taps of Baseball

So what did we learn from the series against the Dodgers? 

That the Dodgers are the Van Halen of baseball. That's right. Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are the Van Halen brothers, and a handful of the other guys are a composite David Lee Roth, guys with marginal talent and yet an eye for opportunity. While Roth wore wears silly outfits and dances around the stage and makes silly faces, the other Dodgers take advantage of a few mistakes in the zone, and next thing you know Lincecum is behind 4-2, despite striking out Kemp three times. We hoped that the Giants could make a statement against the Dodgers--but for now we've got to wait as David Lee Roth morphs into Sammy Hagar and then that guy who was the singer for Extreme.

Now as much as I'd like to compare the Giants to Fugazi (which means something like: impeccably locked-in*), right now they're much more like Spinal Tap. Which isn't entirely accurate either, but at the moment the guys in the bullpen are the drummers: Affeldt out due to a freak accident, Mota suspended for testing positive for PEDs, Wilson for a second Tommy John surgery, and Otero back in triple AAA due to bad luck. And, whenever the Giants hit the nadir of the season, Lincecum is going to suggest that the band play "Jazz Odyssey."

The comparison stops there (probably). For every Travis Blackley, Steve Edlefsen, and Clay Hensley that lets close games start slipping away, the Giants have Romo, Lopez, and Casilla. I doubt, however, that they can play the next twenty consecutive games with a six man bullpen. But calling up another reliever opens up a whole bunch of problems concerning which position player to send down. I don't want to get too far into this, or else I'll start losing the momentum I gained with those band analogies, so let's just say that they've got some players with good OBP, and those guys shouldn't be going anywhere. I know, small sample size and all, but look (note that Sandoval is not on the list because he's on the DL):

Melky Cabrera .315 .371 134
Gregor Blanco .256 .365 106
Brandon Belt .250 .357 100
Buster Posey .304 .355 135
Joaquin Arias .308 .341 115
Brett Pill .270 .341 141
Generated 5/10/2012.

The biggest question is whether or not they can get it together against the Diamondbacks (and how do you get all of them in the lineup before interleague play?). At the start of the season, the D'backs swept the Giants, and I started to accept that they weren't the leaky ship that I wanted to believe them to be. And then they were: their record stands, after five straight losses, at 14-18, but that can change quickly. Or, maybe the Diamondbacks are a Korn cover band.



Fugazi footnote:
*I mean, seriously, how many bands make seven (or, technically, numerous EPs and six) flawless albums?

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