A Call for Arms

Four games into the season, and already the Giants bullpen is exhausted. Matt Herges ran out of gas last night, couldn't get his breaking pitches down, and still Felipe ran him out there for a second inning. It soon became obvious Herges couldn't continue. Instead of bringing in Estrella or Franklin whom Sabean acquired because they had major league experience, Felipe went with the barely post-pubescent David Aardsma in an extremely high pressure situation. I liked that move, to be honest. Let's see what the kid can do.

But the move was a sharp rebuke to Sabean's insistence on mediocre "veterans," if we can generously call the ex-Brewers by that name, as roster fillers. These turkeys inspire such little confidence even when rested (Franklin has only pitched 1/3 of an inning so far), Felipe would rather throw the single-A kid into the extra-innings fire.

So far, no Giants starter has thrown more than 6 innings. At this rate, Herges is going to throw 162 innings this year. If Nen is out until at least May, which seems probable, the Giants are going to need a lot more than a healthy Scott Eyre in the bullpen to staunch the bleeding.

Look for Alou to give Estrella one or two more chances to show he can do something other than serve flat sliders on a dish. If not, then Veres and Crudale if healthy enough will be next up for their auditions.

Other notes:

* Grissom's HR off hard-throwing rightie Antonio Osuna last night was a nice sign. Grip's struggles off RHP are well-documented, and such heroics won't happen much. Too bad the G's couldn't capitalize last night.

* Same goes for Pedro Feliz, who pinch hit in the 9th last night and singled off Trevor Hoffman. Jon Miller said it was a first-pitch fastball, which you should never, ever throw to Pedro Feliz. The Astros had the scouting report, as I mentioned in my Opening Day recap post, so why didn't the Pods? Hoffman's got the world's best changeup. Strange.

* Khalil Greene: looking good. When was the last time the Giants drafted a top position player, and he couldn't get to the bigs fast enough? Not in a long, long time.


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