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Preview/Matchup/Game Thread at Giants 2:35 CST


Brandon Backe   Matt Morris
1 - 0, 1.50    1 - 0, 1.42

Roy Oswalt gets the prime time gig and Brandon gets stuck with the matinee.

When I was just a wee tyke, and started watching football on the little 13" black and white Sanyo my parents had broken down and bought me, a man by the name of George Allen was hired to coach the Washington Redskins. Allen was never one to feel that a younger player might work when there was an older veteran available, and the teams he guided for seven years became known as "The Over The Hill Gangs."

I'm sure you know where I'm going with this by now, because the baseball club that, weather permitting, the Astros will play today sure as hell reminds me of those Redskin teams.

Despite also having the youngest player in the league in today's game two starter Matt Cain, the Giants were the oldest team in the National League last year. Faced with this crisis, they immediately went out and signed Steve Finely and Jose Vizcaino.

Just last week, the Giants fielded the oldest starting outfield in baseball history when they used Bonds-Finley-Alou left to right to start their April 8 victory over the Braves.

No player in that starting lineup was under the age of 30.

Bonds is 41. Finley is 41. Alou is 39. Omar Vizquel is going to be 39 in two weeks. Vizcaino is 38. Even Mark Sweeney is 36, and catcher Mike Matheny actually looks young compared to these guys, at 35.

Yeah, they appear to have made a commitment to Lance Niekro at first, and at least the tentative one to Cain, but this is going to be a very creaky team I think, one that is going to play very poor outfield defense, one that might be injury prone, and won't put very much pressure on the opposing defense.

But, with all that, I'm sure Alou and Sabean are hoping that it will put plenty of pressure on opposing pitchers. Giant fans don't seem to be worrying about Bonds and his .250 SLG, and they just might have the right take. Alou was born to hit, and Steve Finley was a respectable offensive player until last year; perhaps he can at 41 recapture that. Early signs are good, you have to admit.

OPS Astro Pos Giant OPS
x .431 Brad Ausmus C1 Mike Matheny .236
.417 Eric Munson C2 Todd Greene 1.000 x
x 1.349 Lance Berkman 1B Lance Niekro .765
x .692 Craig Biggio 2B Ray Durham .210
.384 Adam Everett SS Omar Vizquel .953 x
x 1.263 Morgan Ensberg 3B Pedro Feliz .455
x 1.108 Preston Wilson OF1 Moises Alou 1.050
.576 Willy Taveras OF2 Steve Finley 1.000 x
x .560 Jason Lane OF3 Randy Winn .524
.000 Orlando Palmeiro OF4 Barry Bonds .417 x
x 1.250 Chris Burke Util/PH Jose Vizcaino .666