Wet Weekend 

The Giants' road trip went about as well as one could have asked for, and I'm including Sunday's rainout. With Snow, Durham and probably Bonds not able to play in wet conditions, the Giants would have been seriously shorthanded at the end of an exhausting trip. Plus, Jason Schmidt got a couple extra days of rest after his epic 1-hitter in Chicago. Despite the break in momentum, the rainout was good news.

So is this the big tease? With the Dodgers' bellyflop the past two weeks, the Giants are now 4.5 games back as they head into the middle two months of the season. On the upcoming homestand, the Giants play Arizona three times without facing Randy Johnson or Brandon Webb. Instead they see Casey Fossum (0-1, 8.00 ERA in only 9 IP), Casey Daigle (2-2, 7.98 ERA, 1.005 OPS against) and Steve Sparks (2-4. 6.65 ERA, .800 OPS against). Richie Sexson has gone back on the DL.

Then the Giants host the Rockies who are missing Larry Walker and Preston Wilson and as usual are terrible hitters on the road. Overall the team is .274/.346/.476. Away from Coors Field they're hitting .239/.301/.411, which when compared to overall team OPS would put the Rockies (.712) ahead of only Seattle (.694), Tampa Bay (.682) and Montreal (a stunning .614). (And just behind the Giants, who clock in at .724.)

Meanwhile, the Dodgers visit the surprisingly good Brewers for three then host Arizona (and Johnson and Webb) for three. The Padres play in the horror show of Coors Field for three then visit the Brewers over the weekend. Schedule advantage: Giants.

Now is the time to show no mercy. If the G's can gain just more game, let alone two or three, in the standings by June, they'll be decently poised to make a couple trades and make a run.

However, the Giants may have to be merciless with Brian Dallimore and Tony Torcato in their lineup, as Snow and Durham look destined for the DL yet again. (R is for Ray, as in Durham on DL...)

I'm sure we'll find out tomorrow. This report explains more about the extent of Snow's knee injury, which I read with interest (something I usually don't do when it comes to the Giants in-house propaganda). I also injured my left knee recently, not enough to keep me from running in a straight line, but whatever's going on in there prevents me from getting any hip and legs into my swing. It's the first time I've realized how much torque goes into the back knee on every swing (I hit left handed), and after two at-bats yesterday that produced an easy grounder to second on a fastball down the middle and a check-swing liner to second on a fat hanging slider, I took myself out of our dismal game.

All this is to say that I can see how a knee injury, especially a little cartilage tear (which I'm praying I don't have) can be enough to force surgery. Snow with healthy knees has little power to begin with; with a bad left knee, he'll have a hard time getting the ball out of the infield.


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