01 May 2007

13 and 11

The Giants finish April at 13 wins and 11 losses (with 3 rain-outs), 1-1/2 games behind the 16-11 AZ 'Snakes. When you go to AZ and lose all three games, you have to figure it is going to hurt you in the standings. I can remember many, many losing Aprils over the years so I suppose I am happy we are over .500. Barry Bonds got zero hits last night but walked 3 times and scored twice. What Bonds does is make the fewest outs. This keeps innings alive and creates scoring opportunities. He "turns the lineup over" is another way to think about it. Outs are the most important thing. Like three strikes, outs are a limit. Each team only gets 27. So making outs is the cardinal sin of baseball, once they are gone the chance to win is gone, too. HRs and RBIs are wonderful of course, but they don't always reflect the relative importance of an individual's contribution to a game. Rickey Henderson and Tim "Rock" Raines were two of the greatest players ever, but they never led the league in slugging. But they did make the fewest outs on their respective teams even though they typically led that team in plate appearances. Their ability to get on base combined with their legendary speed made them invaluable. Someone has to score all those runs your sluggers drive in. Bonds is not just the best slugger, he can do what Raines and Henderson can do as well, get on base and make the offense go. Two players in one! Now if only the Giants could come up with another hitter . . .

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