For most of the 2011 season, San Francisco Giant fans have reveled in their World Champion status. The “torture” that was the 2010 season was well worth the agony, and nothing could take away the euphoric feeling that fans felt at the ballpark…….until now.
A few fans began pushing the panic button in late July; other fans tried to be patient and trust that Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy had a bigger plan, one that resembled last year’s blueprint. Well, after the last 10 games, where the Giants have gone 3-7, including four losses to teams that are a combined 56 games under .500, most fans are in full panic mode, and that has started to include members of the Giant organization. If you listen to Jon Miller and Dave Fleming on a regular basis, over the last month, you have noticed a significant change in their attitude. Always mindful of keeping it professional, both commentators have had a hard time not making cynical comments during Giants at bats, especially in failed situations with runners in scoring position.
Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow, who mostly handle the television broadcast on Comcast, have pretty much stayed positive, especially Krukow, who is known as a big time “homer” among fellow broadcasters. Usually, in the face of all negative situations, Krukow will have something positive to say, and almost always has the manager's and players' backs.
That was, until last night’s game, the third loss in last week to the worst team in baseball, the Houston Astros. Krukow, speaking about a select few in the Giants lineup, called for Bochy to “change it up.” He detailed how over the past 25 games, with the offense struggling, it has leaked into the defense, and that can’t happen.
Krukow also alluded to guys who seemed to have been “que sera-ing it,” essentially having a whatever will be, will be attitude, claiming that they need to sit. Huff, who hasn’t been himself all year, is hitting .189 over his last 10 games with only two RBI’s and nine strikeouts. Ross, who’s had a miserable year, is hitting .158 over his last 10 games, and the at bats get worse and worse. Whether it’s “que sera-ing it,” as Krukow claims, or just a horrible slump that has completely eroded any sense of pride or confidence, continuing to run Huff and Ross out there on a nightly basis, is not helping them or the Giants.
Krukow’s comments came after the Giants managed to score only one run against Henry Sosa, essentially a minor league pitcher who used to be in their farm system and was pitching on three days rest. Sosa, who, after six innings of one run ball, still had an era north of 5, took advantage of more uninspired at bats with runners in scoring position. The Giants 3-6 hitters left nine guys on base, and while Carlos Beltran also needs to start performing now that he is off of the DL, Huff and Ross have left a village on base all year.
As Krukow states, it IS time to change it up, and no, Aaron Rowand is not the answer; we’ve exhausted that pony as well. It seems to me like Bochy is not only being incredibly stubborn, continuing to run his same horses out there with the same awful results. But he is now using the injury bug as a crutch, claiming that he doesn’t have a lot of options right now and that will change on September 1.
My question is, and what I believe Krukow was alluding to, why wait another week when you could be five or six games out? Bochy and Sabean need to make the call now, bring up Brandon Crawford, give Hector Sanchez a shot, put Brandon Belt at first base and bring Darren Ford up and see if he can ignite the offense. What the Giants need right now is energy and new life, not the same old negative and futile at bats from guys who have seemingly mailed in their year, and I’m glad someone like Krukow decided to say it.