Munter Up, 'Mando Down 

Just as Benitez was really hitting a groove...uh, scratch that. Just as the groove was hitting Benitez, or more accurately, hitting his hanging slider into the bleachers, the big guy pulls a redwood-sized hammy and lands on the 15-day DL. That means at least two weeks of closer by committee and an audition for spring phenom Scott Munter.

Just turned 25, Munter was unhittable in Arizona but has reinhabited his mortal flesh in Fresno: 8 IP, 10 H, only 1 BB but only 1 K. That's roughly in line with his '04 season, which he spent mostly at AA Norwich with a late call-up to AAA.

Speaking of only 1 K in 8 IP, Kirk Rueter is about to take the mound, and I'm about to take my lunch break. Keep your fingers crossed, o ye French Vanilla Faithful.


When an irresistible force such as Tim Redding's horribleness meets an old immovable object like, well, most of the Giants, you can bet as sure as you live, the Giants are gonna win 10-3. The Padres cut their own throats the past two games with atrocious defense. Mark Sweeney single-handedly lost the game for his team last night. It was Redding's turn today, falling behind batters, walking them, grooving a fastball to Feliz, and throwing bunts away. The Giants six-run inning was entirely his fault. To their credit, the Giants received these gifts with open arms and took a refreshing two of three against the team that of late has been their worst matchup.

At least for one rainy day, the Giants' fifth starter was better than someone else's fifth starter. Woody set his own long-relief doomsday clock back a few ticks today, staving off the inevitable Cainageddon, or Foppert End Times, or even Hennestruction, that would reign o'er his career if he continued to pitch like a man with Coors Field in his back pocket.

But, lo, Sweet Woody saw the light today, even though he didn't get a single batter to swing and miss, let alone strike out. (According to Jon Miller.)

Did anyone notice that Tony Torcato didn't quite catch on the starting DH of the Anaheim Angels, grab the 25th roster spot with the Devil Rays, or even attract enough attention to get plucked from waivers and stashed on a triple-A team for later use? No, T.T. has been forced to break his sacred vow and return to Fresno. I know it might sound strange, Tony, but I believed you'd bew going back before too long.

The past two days, Jason Ellison has stolen a critical base when everyone knew he was going (last night in the 8th); he has beat out a fairly routine grounder to shortstop; he has walked and stolen third; he has tripled without hitting the ball to the wall. Think Felipe might start giving him more playing time? With Grissom's bat the past two weeks looking like it's filled with liquid cement, there's little downside to it, especially if Vizquel and Snow continue to get on base with ease, Feliz continues to provide power and Alou fils shakes off the considerable rust. I say a platoon, with Grissom only starting against lefties and Ellison and Tucker sharing duties against righties, might be optimal for a while.


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