As the 2008 season heads into its penultimate weekend, we get to enjoy one more Giants vs. Dodgers series in Chavez Ravine. Despite the shellacking they received last night at Barry Zito’s hands, the Dodgers showed all the reasons that the Giants wished they were the Boys in Blue.
First of all, no one is mentioning “magic number” in the same sentence as “San Francisco Giants,” unless they’re counting down the days left on Zito’s contract (hint: lots and lots). Even in the loss, the Dodgers could take solace in the fact that the number of LA wins and D-Back losses to clinch the NL West title dropped to six last night.
The black and orange crew can take hope that they might be an interruption in the Dodgers march to the post season, but not much more.
Of greater importance, though, is a position-by-position comparison of the teams.
Take a look at first base. James Loney or Travis Ishikawa? A future gold-glove All Star, or a guy his manager is saying, “he’s starting to look like a major league hitter?"
Or second base, where you can compare two players with comparable minor league experience this year. Only Blake DeWitt has been called “the real deal,” “a hoss,” and “one of those great baseball stories,” while Mike Krukow, the Giants’ own announcer, questions Eugenio Velez’s “baseball instincts.”
I’ll take Casey Blake over the parade of players the G-men have trooped out at third base.
And the Giants are one team with a deeper hole at short than the Dodgers. If Angel Berroa continues to impress, GM Colletti will look like a genius again.
Outfield? Don’t get me started. Manny Ramirez, Matt Kemp, and Andre Ethier. Let’s see, we have the most exciting player in the game in left, the most sought-after in center, and the hottest hitter for the last month in right. Yeah, Aaron Rowand is a gamer, but Nate Schierholtz?
At catcher, the Giants are in good shape with Benji Molina and good prospects in Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey, but Russell Martin is easily a more valuable option right now.
The bullpens don’t compare, even with Takashi Saito rehabbing.
Starting pitching is the closest comparison, at least when comparing one and two. But after Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain (and maybe Zito when he pitches against the Dodgers), there’s a big drop off. I’ll take Chad Billingsly, Derek Lowe, Hiroki Kuroda, Greg Maddux, and Clayton Kershaw.
Ever wonder why we always hear chants of “Beat LA” but never “Beat SF?” Maybe it has something to do with expectations. Maybe our sights are set higher.
Now, I tell folks all the time, I stick by my team in good times and bad, but when it’s good for Blue, and bad for Black, it’s really, really good. See you on the tube tonight.