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Matchup/Diary Game # 111 at Giants

prə-'nounst Rō-hâr


Rogér Clemens   Brian Cooper
10 - 4, 1.45   0 - 0, 0.00

Congratulations, Brian Cooper! You've earned the callup! Promoted from the minors for your first major league start of the year, your reward for the so-so season (6 - 7, 4.40) you were having at AAA Fresno is facing the man who has accumulated more major league wins than anyone alive, a man who is merely on pace to have the best season by ERA for a pitcher in 37 years.

'Course, I'm sure Mr. Cooper, despite his lifetime 5 - 13 major league record, despite his career 6.12 major-league ERA, is not shitting his pants over the prospects, and I'm not at all discounting the possibility that the Giants could in fact wrap up the sweep this afternoon. After all, Clemens has already lost to Aaron Harang this year, and Brad Halsey, too, so you know that when the Astros are slumping--as they assuredly are right now--any kind of horror is possible.

Not sure what Cooper throws, but I hope it ain't a changeup. Our batters are so out-of-sorts after Schmidt on Friday and Lowry yesterday that the Chronicle was reporting that Biggio swung at a Lowry pitch ten minutes after Walker got the final out yesterday. . . .

I'm not a Garner basher. I disliked Williams and loved Dierker, and Garner I'll give credit to for staying out of the way and not f&*(ing things up. Sorta like Bill Clinton in the nineties.

But if you are a Garner-basher, here's your chance to carefully scrutinize him. Because something proactive is required. Not sure what it might be--a well-timed ejection, lineup wizardry, aggressive playcalling, I dunno--but Garner needs to keep the current slump from becoming protracted, and a good start would be making sure Clemens gets that 1- 0 or 2 - 1 win today.

Check out the stats over the last week, since the clock ran down on a bat that didn't have to pass through waivers:

Key Offensive Statistics Since the Trading Deadline
Ensberg 24 3 9 4 .375 16
Everett 24 1 5 2 .208 8
Lamb 13 3 4 1 .308 7
Bruntlett 6 1 3 3 .500 6
Biggio 23 2 4 1 .174 6
Lane 17 1 5 0 .294 5
Taveras 22 0 5 1 .227 5
Palmeiro 9 1 3 2 .333 4
Berkman 18 1 3 0 .167 4
Vizcaino 2 0 2 1 1.000 3
Ausmus 17 2 3 0 .176 3
Burke 15 3 1 1 .067 3
Quintero 3 0 1 1 .333 1

So what do you do? Sit Biggio and start Bruntlett at second maybe? Get Lamb and Palmeiro starts? Switch Lane and Berkman in the order? Sit Taveras? Start Vizcaino, for God's sakes?

Shit, I dunno.

Unlike a lot of bloggers and sportswriters out there, I rarely pretend to have the answers. For me to act as if I know better than even a midline baseball guy like Phil Garner is laughable. But it is apparent that some kind of action on the skipper's part before things get out of hand is required. Things can turn sour quickly. Just ask Lee Mazzili.