Giant Struggles Continue for San Francisco

Brian BodenContributor IApril 16, 2009

On Wednesday evening, the San Francisco Giants were back in action after a day off against their arch rival Los Angeles Dodgers. Coming into this game, I had a good feeling that the Giants were going to break out of their skid and get back in the win column with their best pitcher thus far on the mound, Matt Cain.

However, this once again didn't happen so before I rant about how pathetic the Giants played today let me give you a little summary of how the season has gone so far for this 2009 club.

The Giants left San Francisco after their first series with a solid 2-1 record and an offensive explosion for 19 runs. Unfortunately, after this everything went up into flames because since leaving the bay they are winless and have only scored 12 runs.

Going into their series against the San Diego Padres, no one thought the Giants would walk out of there being swept. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened because the Giants got embarrassed by the Padres only scoring seven runs in the three games.

In the Los Angeles Dodgers' home opener, the Giants had yet another very poor game, where Randy Johnson got shelled in a 11-1 loss. The next day, Tuesday, there was a fortunate day off for both teams so now on Wednesday they were back in action with Matt Cain and Clayton Kershaw on the mound. 

Ok, now that the table is set and everyone is caught up with how the Giants season has gone so far lets talk about how painful today's game was.

After the first inning things weren't looking good for the Giants. Clayton Kershaw retired the side in order striking out two batters to where on the other side Matt Cain struggled with his command walking three, giving up two hits, and a run.    

In the second, Bengie Molina was able to take Kershaw deep to tie the game but this was pretty much the only positive the offense was able to put together against the young lefty. 

Kershaw finished with a no decision where he went seven innings, gave up one hit, one run, and struck out 13 batters. Although these numbers are great, this performance was so frustrating for me to watch because it seemed like Kershaw was only throwing the Giants a mid-90s fastball and an occasional curveball that he rarely through for a strike.

I mean, the Giants hitters looked pathetic against him tonight. Three hitter, Fred Lewis, struck out three times against Kershaw and Bengie Molina struck out three more times after hitting a home run against him in the second inning. 

Juan Uribe also looked bad because he was constantly getting blown away by fastballs all night where his was front foot was closer to the the third base dugout than the pitchers mound on every swing he had. 

After all of this the Giants actually had a lead in this game. In the eighth inning, the Giants were able to put a rally together and took a 4-2 lead with a three run homer by Aaron Rowand.

Unfortunately, this lead would not last for long because Bob Howry would struggle on the mound in the bottom of the eighth giving up two runs so the game was tied going into the ninth.

Howry would continue his struggles in th ninth inning where he gave up two two strike hits to the Dodger hitters which eventually helped the Dodgers win the game.  

This inning was probably the hardest for me to watch because Howry left an 0-2 meatball slider to Orlando Hudson who lead off with a single. To the next batter, Howry did the same thing to Manny Ramirez who took another weak slider up the middle for another single giving the Dodgers first and third and no outs. 

Howry eventually got pulled for Brian Wilson who had trouble finding the strike zone where he walked in the winning run after he got a force out at home from the previous batter. 

I thought watching Howry was painful, but when Wilson had three balls on James Loney I put my head down because I knew hew was going to walk in the winning run.

I understand that it is easy to critique every little thing these players do on the field from my couch at home but there is no reason why Wilson walked in the winning run.  His one job as the Giants All-Star closer in tonight's game was to throw strikes and make the Dodger hitters come up with a clutch hit. Wilson didn't even give Loney a chance to do this because his last two pitches were way out of the zone.

I just hope that the Giants can get back on track fast because if they continue to play this poorly this will be a long 2009 season. So tomorrow, Barry Zito, please throw one heck of a game and prove to Giants fans that you are worth $126 million!