Losing sucks. But winning is like an orgy of happiness.
Take today, for example. After Noah Lowry allowed a couple of runs to give the Cards a 2-0 lead, the rational reaction for any Giants fan was to get depressed. But that was before Richie Aurilia saved the day with another clutch hit (he's making a habit of that), allowing the Giants to "sweep" the two-game series with St. Louis.
Depsite the team's glaring flaws, I'm starting to think this team has an outside chance in the NL West. The primary reason for optimism is the success of the starting rotation. The West is stacked with starting pitching, but the Giants may have the best 1-5 rotation in the division.
Lowry pitched another gem today, looking a lot like the Lowry from 2005. We all know that the bullpen is a weakness, but it could be a much bigger problem if not for the ability of the starters to pitch deep into games. Here are some numbers:
Matt Cain: 20 innings (6.2 per start) - leads the league with a .125 BAA. 2nd with 0.85 WHIP
Noah Lowry: 20 innings (6.2 per start) - .211 BAA. 1.15 WHIP
Matt Morris: 18 innings (6 per start) - living on the edge a bit with a 1.56 WHIP
Barry Zito: 17 innings (5.2 per start) - he makes a butt-load of money. Have you heard this?
Russ Ortiz: 13.2 innings (6.1 per start) - he makes a butt-load of money too... from Arizona.
Tim Lincecum: Um, wait...
The shortest outing by a starter has been 5 innings -- Zito on Opening day and Ortiz in his first start.
-- DMo was at both games against St. Louis (BH was there on Wednesday night), seated two rows from the bullpen. Hopefully we will get a scouting report from one of those guys in the near future. Hopefully they heckled Armondo Benitez.
-- Ortiz pitches against Arizona on Friday night. If he beats them, I will laugh. The Diamondbacks are paying Ortiz $11+ million dollars this year for him to NOT pitch for them.
-- Ortiz, Zito and Cain are lined up for the weekend series against the D'Backs. Arizona counters with the bottom portion of their rotation: Doug Davis (3), Edgar Gonzalez (4) and Micah Owings (5)... I have never heard of Micah Owings. Seriously. In the immortal words of Major League, "Who's this fucking guy?"