Thursday, March 31, 2011

2011 Opening Day Impressions

Logic seems to say that it's wise not to think much of anything that happens on Opening Day. Here are just a few observations, without many conclusions, from today's loss against the Dodgers:

There were some disappointing moments in today's game, and only a few encouraging ones, but that will happen when you face Clayton Kershaw at his best. Remember this? Brandon Belt's placement on the big league roster was the big story yesterday, and in my mind he was the most impressive Giants position player today. We finally got to see him in a big league game of meaning, and he didn't look overwhelmed at all. He had some of the best at bats against an extremely difficult left handed pitcher. His first hit wasn't conventional, but he showed his characteristic patience at the plate, drawing a walk and making LA pitchers throw a total of 27 pitches, the most of an Giant (Andres Torres 2nd with 24, no one else above 17). I don't know what the ESPN guys were talking about in his final at bat. Something about a slow minor league bat? Huh? I agree with Dave Cameron that Orel Hershiser offered some good inside baseball knowledge, but there were strange moments during the broadcast. Why the announcers became obsessed with Andres Torres swinging on 2-0 is beyond me. Also, I saw more behind the backstop camera views in this game then I've ever seen, when it was completely unnecessary.

Lincecum wasn't his fully dominant self, but he was quite strong, and fell victim to bloop singles and poor defense. Burrell and Huff at the corner outfield spots is...interesting. Tejada looked okay on some routine plays, and then tried to do too much, something that shouldn't happen. Just make the easy plays. We warned you about Tejada. But we'll revisit that in a month or so if the shortstop position shows itself to actually be a problem. I hope it works out. Posey and Sandoval also tried to do too much, and it led to the first run of the game. This game may have been very different if the Giants had been smarter in that inning. But I also don't mind the aggressiveness and will to make a play.

For a moment I was sad that Lincecum got a loss, that he was 0-1 after tonight, and then I realized I was thinking about wins and losses.

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