Why do we ever take our foot off the throttle? (AKA: Series Review)



Morris tries to stop the onset of a migraine caused by three homeruns flying over his head. (Eric Risberg/AP)

Look closely at this picture. What do you see? Do you see a starting pitcher that gave up 6 ER on 3 homeruns within 3 innings on a game yesterday? Do you see a pitcher who looks to be wiping a tear from his eye for how bad he was throwing? Do you see a pitcher who threw the game away for his teammates and wound up with a loss?

I see all of those things…except all of them didn’t happen. That’s Giants starting pitcher Matt Morris. He did pitch poorly. He did give up 3 homeruns of varying RBI-production within three innings of work. He did pitch badly enough to cost his team the game and to take a loss…a loss that would’ve ended a 5-decision winning streak.

But he didn’t wind up with that loss.

Instead, he "settled down" and didn’t allow another baserunner until he hit Rickie Weeks with a pitch in what…the 7th inning?? It is ridiculous to believe that after just plain dominating Morris for a third of the game that he’d be able to fool us so badly from then on out.

And don’t even get me started on Doug Davis and his I’ve-been-staked-to-a-six-to-one-lead-so-now-I-can-nibble-to-my-little-heart’s-content bull. Another three walks to go with eight hits. That’s an 11 in the numerator of our little WHIP calculation. In the demoninator is a 6.1 IP. That works out to a 1.74 WHIP. That’s not going to get the job done when you’re a soft-throwing left-hander that needs to be in control and hit the corners to succeed.

I think our offense got complacent in yesterday’s game. They all probably figured: "He we go again, baby. Yesterday was a let down, but today we’ve already got six runs through two and a half. Let’s put this bi+ch on cruise control and get ready to leave for Cincinnati." News flash! There was still a game to play. I know everybody wants to have confidence in whoever is on the mound, but that doesn’t mean that you can stop trying…especially given what happened the night before.


Speaking of yesterday, allow me to make my three comments on that game.

A: Geremi Gonzalez needs to officially be our "long man for when the game’s already been lost". No more running him into games where you have a chance to win. There’s a reason the Mets let him go. He wasn’t helping them win. It’s time that he stops trying to help us win too. We’ve seen the results of those efforts.

2: This hits both yesterday’s game and Tuesday’s game….Bill Hall needs a stint on the DL. I know we can’t afford that right now, but he needs to rehab his injury. What’s that you say, Hall isn’t injured? How else can you possible explain his base-"running" mistakes? I figured he’s got cataracts or a scratched retina or maybe a blood clot on the brain that’s swelling and causing lapses in motorskills and intelligence. If he’s healthy, maybe a good swift kick in the @$$ would help. The guy’s got SO much talent, and for whatever reason he’s just not doing enough with it. I love the 19 HRs, but I hate the 95 Ks. His strikeout percentage is a successful batting average!!!!!! It can’t continue. We don’t have any other options, but that doesn’t mean that Yount or Yost or Sveum can’t remind him that the opposite field is his friend, and that it’s okay if you get a single with the bases loaded and drive in two instead of wanting the grand slam but grounding out to third base.

D: My hitter for Game 2…Cirillo again…1/4, 1 K. Nothing to write home about. He didn’t produce, we lost. I’d like to think that I had the right guy that we needed to produce, and since he didn’t, we didn’t score more and ultimately lost.

Anyway, back to Game 3 and the series as a whole.

TurnbowwipebrowI haven’t yet watched the ninth inning of yesterday’s game because it wasn’t on TV here (I’ll have to check it out on MLB.TV later today), but I hear that Turnbow’s latest blown save (that makes 4 in a row) was due to bad luck rather than bad pitching. It sounds like that’s the case with a 1-out single off of his glove that allowed two runs to score. For what it’s worth, in his non-save situation outing in Arizona on Sunday, he looked like the D-Bow of old. Hopefully that carries through to his next chance.

Come on, no matter how frustrated you may be, you know he’s going to get another chance. Here’s a question for everyone to comment on…who else curerntly on the roster (I don’t want to hear about going to get Bob Wickmann, but feel free to use our farm system if you know a name) would you have close?

Okay fine, one more comment relating to Tuesday’s game…

I know we did the opposite of what I suggested might happen in Monday’s game by tattooing Jason Schmidt. The problem was, we still had the hangover that I predicted could happen in Tuesday’s game, just for the other reason. We had the "we beat Jason Schmidt so we can take it easy today because Jamey Wright out performs my Hoover XL" hangover. Lot of good that did us.

I mention that while San Francisco hadn’t scored more that four runs on us this season (our two games in May were a 0-2 loss and a 7-4 win), it was no reason to think that our six run outburst would stand up. That takes be back to the title of this blog post.

Why do we ever take our foot off the throttle?

We should know enough about come-from-behind victories to realize that it can happen to us too. Always keep going and always keep trying to score runs. I don’t care if it’s the top of the 9th and we’re up by 10. If you can add another run, you do it. The New York Mets recently dropped an 11-spot on the Cubs in the 6th inning of their game on July 16th. The Rockies/Diamondbacks game from just before the break on July 8th saw 13 runs scored between the two teams in just the 9th inning. The Rangers were up on the Yankees by a score of 9-0  in their game on May 16th and then still by 10-1. They lost 13-14…in regulation. Maybe they remembered that game when they kept pouring it on the Baltimore Orioles on July 13th.

This is baseball. This kind of thing happens. But that’s just my point. Everybody knows it happens, so why would you think it couldn’t happen to you any day, any time, any game, any opponent.

As Rob said in the previous post, or maybe in a comment to the post before that, this team has the offense to contend. They just need to utilize that offense, that talent, that ability.

And for the love of all things holy, PLEASE don’t stop hitting when you start hitting. Just let it carry the team all the way through a game.

Find a cinder block, put it on the accelerator, and just steer.

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