Opening Day was a template for how the Giants were going to be terrible. No offense, no bullpen, and a little starting pitching -- it was bad baseball. Wednesday's game was almost a template on how the Giants could expect to win. Matt Cain looked great. Bonds's batting eye is still the best in the game, and you know he's going well when the home runs are going out to left-center. There were a couple of clutch hits and walks...
- When the Giants hired Bochy, I asked GasLampBall what they could pass on about Bochy. The condensed version: He ain't bad, but his obsession with platoon advantages is annoying. He's like Mr. Burns in the "Simpsons" episode where Homer is sent up to bat instead of Darryl Strawberry because of a lefty/righty match-up.
So, of course, Bochy sends Eliezer Alfonzo up instead of Todd Linden to pinch hit against Trevor Hoffman. Uh. What? Either Linden ate some hamachi he found floating in the clubhouse spa and spent the ninth inning in the restroom, or Bochy is still trying to find his sea legs with his new roster. Unless the pitcher is a garbage-time lefty, Alfonzo is a guy you send up in the 16th inning because you've already used Noah Lowry.
Bochy must know something about Hoffman that we don't. A crippling fear of "z"s? No excuse is a good excuse for this one. Eliezer Alfonzo? Against Trevor Hoffman? If there's ever a Dowd Report II, moves like that will be listed on the jacket cover.
- Cain looked great. It means nothing that he gave up a couple of homers Schilling-style. He walked one, and it happened to come right before one of the three or so hard-hit balls of the game. Heck, the curve before the 3-2 pitch should have been a strike, but the umpire was being equally ignorant for both teams, so it doesn't make much sense to put too much blame on questionable calls. Cain will get Cy Young votes if he continues to throw this well.
- Benitez looked pretty good. Every pitcher is going to have a bad inning, but it's clear that Benitez isn't allowed to. When he walked a hitter after a legitimately tough battle, the crowd started to boo. I'm not a huge Benitez fan, but come on. Save the boos for when they're really, really deserved. Benitez throwing 93 and getting swing throughs with his breaking stuff isn't exactly time to chew the guy out. There will be other chances for that. There'd better be; I have more Benitez-related Photoshops than anyone else.
- Hennessey is a reliever is a reliever is a reliever. He throws harder in relief. His sinker does more. His slider does more. Stop. The experiment has ended. We've figured it out. Our long national nightmare is over. He does not want to be moved between roles. Stop it. Keep him there.