LHP David Wells (0-1, 6.55) and RHP Jerome Williams (1.1, 6.00)
When Kazuhisa Ishii gets a hit off you with a two strike count, you aren’t pitching very well. After getting touched up for 8 ER in 4 IP, fans should look for Wells to redeem himself. Boomer pitched 7 innings of shutout ball in the home opener against these same Giants, a game that included a spectacular catch of a Barry Bonds’ liner at the wall by Jay Payton.
Williams, at 22 years old, is considered by many as a top end rotation guy for the Giants for years to come. Reportedly he can throw in the mid 90s, but what we saw last season is mostly low 90s and a nice slider. Williams has struggled at the beginning of this season, but has had success against the Padres, going 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA.
RHP Brian Lawrence (1-1, 5.51) and RHP Dustin Hermanson (1-0, 1.54)
BLaw is blah right now. He has nearly as many walks (9) as strikeouts (10) in 16.1 IP. His groundball to flyball ratio, which is BLaw’s bread and butter, is down. All of that points to the lack of command that he is going through right now. This how he pitched at the beginning of last season, but he was phenomenal in August and September, posting an ERA well below 3. KT and Bochy can’t wait until August again.
Hermanson has pitched well since returning to the starting rotation this season. The only problem so far is he hasn’t been able to work deep into games. This could be for a couple of reasons, they Giants could be allowing him to build his stamina or he is lifted for a pinch hitter in a close game. Whatever the reason, he hasn’t topped 90 pitches or 6 IP.
RHP Jake Peavy (0-1, 2.08) and RHP Jason Schmidt (0-1, 2.57)
2 blown leads and Randy Johnson are the reason Peavy is 0-1 right now. Jake has pitched quite well, but his last outing was the worst of the 3 in terms of command. His stuff is still impressive, as he K’d six batters and allowed 4 hits in 5 IP. His 4 walks came back to haunt him as both runs scored off lead off walks.
Schmidt opened the season on the shelf following elbow surgery, but he didn’t appear to collect dust there as he opened the season with a strong performance in a loss to the Dodgers where he went 7 innings and allowed only 2 runs on 3 hits. By all accounts Schmidt didn’t have his good command, so watch out.
RHP Ismael Valdez (1-0, 4.15) and LHP Kirk Reuter (0-1, 4.15)
Valdez was surprisingly sharp against the D’backs in his first start of the season. How sharp? He gave up the same number of hits as a starter (5) as he gave up as a reliever in 2.2 IP, not to mention the same amount of runs (2). He left a fastball up and Sexson made him pay, otherwise he could have had 6 shutout innings. Let’s just hope he can continue winning as a starter, as Sterling Hitchcock is on the shelf for a month with a stress fracture in his rib cage.
Reuter usually has his way with us but Padres’ hitters were able to exact a bit of revenge by touching him up for 4 runs in 5 IP. Reuter is not a hard thrower, so the hitters have to be patient and wait for their pitch.
Hitters to Watch
3-4-5, Giles, Nevin, and Klesko have had their share of struggles this season (Giles, most notably). This team needs to right the ship and get their bats going, they don’t all need to be hot, but one of them needs to step up if the team is going to do anything this season. Burroughs and Loretta are doing their part by getting on base, 3-4-5 need to drive them in.
Ho-hum, Bonds, what else is new? Well, at least the Padres don’t have the distinction of giving up 660 or 661 to him.
Jered Weaver of Long Beach State pitched a complete game shutout against 14th ranked UC Irvine on Friday. He allowed only 4 hits, with no walks, while striking out 12. He has further solidified himself as the #1 overall pick. Both Burroughs and Loretta had their hitting streaks broken by Randy Johnson, but both have started new streaks by having hits in the last 2 games. 748 runs to 800.
Kim Lewis can be reached at email@example.com