Basically: don't walk anyone, don't make any errors, manufacture runs, and you'll be successful.
All of our teams had two real hitters, a couple top-rate pitchers, and solid defenders at every position. We would score around three runs a game, and that always seemed to be enough. If you walked anyone, or made a sloppy play in the field or failed to execute, you got pulled.
When it came down to it, the Giants just made too many mistakes to win last night. Walks and errors will bury you. The Giants had zero games last year where they made three errors. They only had four games with two errors. You could have a lineup full of homerun hitting Pat Burrells, but if they all make fielding errors, that crazy team will lose.
Running the numbers, Tim Lincecum is on pace to have an ERA of 0.00 but still have an 0-32 season, the Giants won't win a game, and Pat Burrell will have 162 homeruns. And the Giants will make 468 errors (they had 44 last year).
|Pretty sure there's an excuse for that throw in the glove somewhere...|
Buster Posey made a mistake today. Not even a rookie mistake. It was worse than a rookie mistake. As in, possibly a Little League mistake. The runner was clearly on the bag, and Sandoval was not exactly hollering for the ball. But Posey threw it anyway, and the ball squirted down the left-field line. Ugly.
Miguel Tejada had zero plate discipline and was certainly pressing in the field on the Opening Day stage. Santiago Casilla walked James Loney, who came around to score. There's no defense for walks.
On the other hand, Pat Burrell sure knows how to keep the Giants in the game. That's been his MO since he came to the Giants, and right when they needed some late-inning heroics, he sure tried his best. He just didn't wait until there were people on base in front of him.
Tim Lincecum and Brandon Belt certainly impressed too. A lot was made out of Buster Posey's ability to work a count when he came up last year, and Belt is showing that he can do the exact same thing. He saw more pitches than anyone, and he's really got an eye for the strike zone, which was especially impressive against Clayton Kershaw (who is severely underappreciated as an elite pitcher).
But the Giants didn't execute. And it cost them.
Yes, it's only one game. And yes, it can be fully attributed to the fact that, after winning the World Series, the Giants plan was to lose the first game, and look badly doing it, just to make everyone feel like they have a fighting chance. Let's face it. After winning the World Series AND the Cactus League championship, the Giants have pretty much established themselves as unstoppable.
We all knew they'd have to lose sometime. Better to get it out of their system early though, and save up for September. One down, 161 to go.
Execute, Giants, and you will win.