Giants playoff pre-game thoughts

-Postseason roster includes Aaron Rowand but not Zito. I disagree with this Rowand thing. He was terrible this year. He’s been a below average hitter as a Giant. Maybe he’s there for his defense, though that’s also pretty overrated (wait, he runs really hard into walls? Look at all that hustle and grit, he must be a good defensive player blah, blah blah). The point that someone is going to throw out there, a point that makes them deserve a slap across the face with a frying pan, is that Rowand brings “playoff experience.” This magical intangible supposedly transfers from mediocre vets to young players with, you know, actual talent. Nevermind that Rowand has exactly ONE postseason series with and OPS over .721. The numbers don’t say a lot of good things about Jose Guillen either, but his power and more competent bat make him mildly more appealing (avoiding his outfield work is a bit of a relief, I’ll admit). Keeping Zito away form this team was brilliant. He clearly won’t start and struggles out of the pen. Bochy goes 1 for 2 in this spot.

 

-Meeting an old friend. So Derek Lowe starts Game 1 against SF and this isn’t exactly a good thing (for the Giants anyway). He pitched in the NL West for four seasons as a Dodger and in the last four years, two with Atlanta and two in LA, has been a real mystery for the Giants. Lowe has owned them to the extent that in the worst of those four years Lowe still has a 2.57 ERA against the Orange and Black (that number fell to 2.38 in 2010 for what it’s worth). Throw in the whole super aggressive hitters against a sinkerballer and the SF bats may be pretty quiet tonight.

-Is this your first day? Coming down the stretch we’ve seen Tim Lincecum at times struggle to be his truly dominant self. He’d give up a couple runs in the opening innings, laboring early before finally locking down. And today that could be a problem. Look at yesterday’s slate of games. David Price gets jumped early, Edinson Volquez (often hurt but sill pretty solid) can’t get out of the second, Francisco Liriano cruses through five and chokes out in the sixth. That’s 3-for-3 in asskickings handed to young talented pitchers making their first postseason starts. With Timmy’s habitual early struggles, the opening innings will be a strong indicator of where his mind is at in dealing with the postseason.

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