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Youthful Things

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There was a moment in the Giants loss...loss...loss..., ahem, win last night where you could almost glimpse a successful future for the Giants in the near term. The hitting side is exempt from the glimpse, as you can't count on Omar Vizquel to pop two-run homers too often in 2007, and you hope Todd Linden isn't going to strike out every other at-bat. The pitching, though, was encouraging.

Noah Lowry gave up four runs, but pitched much better than that reads. The command was there for most of the game, the fastball was crisp, and the off-speed pitches were fooling hitters. The Lowry of the past month is the one Giants fans were waiting for. He was relieved by Scott Munter, who is very easy to picture throwing bathtub-weight sinkers in the eighth inning for the next fifteen years. That was eventually followed up by Tyler Walker, who could be a filthy closer if he would a) get some consistent command, and b) stop hanging sliders like they were repeat offending cattle rustlers. It was a snapshot of what could be, if only....

This isn't to imply the future of any of the three is an assured success. Heck, if any of them are still around for the next contending Giants team, it will be a minor coup. Still, it was easy to picture last night, the progression flowed so naturally. Lowry was missing bats, Munter was inducing his double-play balls, and Walker getting check-swing strikes on his occasionally ridiculous slider. It was a good win, and the most fun I've had watching a Giants game in a while.

Sixteen months ago, it would have been borderline ridiculous for anyone to predict Lowry, Munter, and Walker would have contributed to a win for anyone but the Fresno Grizzlies in 2005. Sixteen months from now, it could be Pat Misch, Brian Wilson, and Casey Fossum getting the team through nine innings of winning baseball. For now, though, it is enough fun to wishcast on the current bounty of young players the Giants are trying out.

Comment starter: Of the You've Gotta Tolerate These Kids! brigade, give your pick for most likely to stick around. Current minor-leaguers are eligible.