Posted By Jeff Fletcher on April 8, 2011 6:58 pm
Quite a day at the old ballpark. It was nice to get back and see so many folks and get a chance to participate, just a little, in the pregame ceremony. (A little video at the end of this post.)
I was on the field to present Tim Lincecum with the Babe Ruth Award, which I’d actually never heard of. Given by the New York chapter of the BBWAA, it goes to the player who is the most outstanding performer during the the postseason. (The plaque actually said “World Series” so I don’t know the deal with that.) Anyway, I’m an officer of the local chapter of the BBWAA, so I gave him the award. While we were standing on the field watching the little video of Cody Ross’ two homers against Roy Halladay — Ross got his NLCS MVP award — I noticed Lincecum in the on-deck circle, so I said to him: “Doc didn’t want to walk Ross because you were on deck.” He laughed. Here’s the official video showing my part.
But enough about me. That was quite an interesting ballgame. Let’s dig into it a little.
Aaron Rowand went and made it a moot point by getting not one, but two, big hits, but I still think there is a point to be made that Bruce Bochy ought to consider doing something a little different when he puts in his defensive replacements. I mentioned last week that I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Giants to put Aubrey Huff at first instead of taking him out of the game when they put their defensive players in the outfield. I tweeted again before the fact that I thought this may have been the play in the ninth. I don’t begrudge Bochy the decision, because you do want to go with your best defense with a lead, rather than planning for what might happen if you blow it, but it’s something to think about. A one-run lead is tenuous, and Huff’s spot was due third in the bottom of the inning. I don’t think Huff at first is a huge liability. (Last year the Giants didn’t often pull him for Travis Ishikawa.) And it’s nice to keep his bat in the lineup, in case the game gets tied. Didn’t matter this time, because of Rowand’s heroics, but still…
Another interesting thing to watch will be how the Giants deal with a little different Brian Wilson. Albert Pujols came up with two out in the eighth, a runner on, and the Giants up 3-1. Last year that would have been a no-brainer four-out save opportunity for Wilson. This year, with his oblique, the Giants aren’t going to use him for multiple innings, for a while at least, so Sergio Romo got to face Pujols. Pujols got an RBI single. How long will it be before Wilson is OK for 4- and 5-out saves? Will they abandon that altogether, to keep him healthy? All questions worth following.
After the game, Bochy said it’s too early for them to use Wilson that way. I asked Wilson and he said he’s ready to pitch multiple innings now, but “I don’t make the rules.” I would not expect Wilson to say anything else. Wilson also said he didn’t think he’d be available on Saturday, but he’d prepare to pitch anyway.
Finally, way back int he second inning, when the Cardinals got the first run of the game, Jonathan Sanchez gave up a two-out RBI hit to the No. 8 hitter with first base open. That’s fairly awful. I’m sure that Sanchez was trying to pitch around Tyler Greene, but he just missed his spot. You can make a good case that Bruce Bochy should probably have just put up four fingers, since Sanchez doesn’t have the greatest command. All in all, I think Sanchez did pretty well for himself, giving up one run in five innnings, considering the way he looked. A little shaky.
By the way, neither Wilson nor Buster Posey wanted to say anything about plate ump Bruce Deckman. Wilson was pretty ticked at Dreckman as he walked off the field. Apparently he was unhappy with the strike zone, but after the game he seemed to be over it and didn’t want to rip the ump.
My live blog was pretty entertaining. To me. Since none of you showed up, you’ll never know.
And here’s my little video from being in the dugout before the game: