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Giants/Dodgers Series Preview

Again. We’re playing the Dodgers again. It’s so, so discouraging to watch their lineup against ours. It’s discouraging to watch them pitch. If the Giants get a lead, you can be pretty sure that Lincecum, Sanchez, and Wilson can lock it down, but that’s the only advantage, and when do the Giants ever have a lead? Consider the lineup:

  • Angel Villalona will be good someday, but the guy needs to take a pitch. Until he does, Klesko for one more year isn’t the worst idea. He’s 39, and he’s a little fragile, but he’s the best the Giants have. And that’s the problem. The team hasn’t been able to scare up a better first baseman for four years, making do with Klesko, when other teams are getting middle-of-the-order production from their first basemen.
  • Kevin Frandsen has more speed than you think, so he can stick near the top of the lineup. He’s probably the second-best hitter on the team after Martinez-Esteve
  • Adam Everett is not. Guy can pick it, but he’s getting older, and even his defense is slipping. There was no reason to sign him to a four-year deal, and now he’s blocking Marcus Sanders.
  • Nate Schierholtz is not a third baseman. Sorry. I’m not sure who in the organization thought it was a good idea to move him back there, but it’s a mess. It’d almost be acceptable if he could do more with the bat than hit for an empty batting average.
  • Eddy Martinez-Esteve is cool. He fields like he’s riding a burro that’s trying to go in a different direction from wherever he’s trying to go, but he can at least work the count. Still waiting for that power to come, but it will one of these days.
  • Aaron Rowand is terrible. I can’t believe that Sabean was fooled by his 2007 season enough to sign him for four years, $40M. What a nightmare.
  • Rajai Davis should be the center fielder, of course, but for some reason, Bochy thinks Rowand will melt or pout or fall into a hole if he plays anywhere but center. So now the Giants have a .240 hitter without power playing right field. Great.

It hurts to compare that bunch to the Dodgers, who have the archetypal player at every freaking position. Need power from your corner infielders? Andy LaRoche and James Loney are monsters of power, average, and patience. Need middle infielders who can field and hit? Chin-lung Hu and Ivan DeJesus are two of the best dual-threats in the game. Russell Martin is the face of the franchise, and Matt Kemp’s not too far behind now that he’s raking since he returned from his syphilis-related DL stay. Andre Ethier isn’t special, but at least he’s close to league-average, which is more than the Giants can say about their right fielder.

Then there’s the rotation. Jason Schmidt is one of Brian Sabean’s greatest mistakes, a horse who is going to pitch until he’s 40. Scott Elbert and Clayton Kershaw might walk a combined 200 this season, but they’ll strike out 400 while doing it. I laughed at the Dodgers when they signed Carlos Silva for four years, $50M, so of course he’s been awesome.

If Lowry could ever get healthy, he’d pair nicely with Cain at the top of the rotation, but that’s a pipe dream. Until then, is there anyone in this rotation you can picture with an ERA under 5.00? Pat Misch? Adam Cowart? Russ Ortiz? It’s not like there are even any prospects waiting in the wings other than Idelfonso Bohorquez, but he’s still a year out, at least.

It’s depressing. Every single Giants/Dodgers series is depressing. Oh, and then there’s the fact that they can spend all sorts of money while the Giants pretend they have a budget.

So nuts to this series. I’m not even going to watch. I’m just going to kick back, play Call of Duty 7, and not turn the game on.


Oh, who am I kidding? The Dodgers as a franchise are everything I wish the Giants were, but I’ll still watch. Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.? Sure. Don’t see why not.

Thanks to Grant from May 2007 for contributing this guest post, and let us be glad that his horrific vision of the future was as wrong as ever.