Stop! Hammer Time 

Dreadful loss yesterday. Perhaps the worst of the year, only two games after the Giants notched their most satisfying win of the year. I was hoping for two of three from the mighty Cards, but alas.

Yesterday's carnage has at least one silver lining: the demotion of Scott "I Throw Sinker; It Not Work" Munter all the way down to Double-A ball. Did you know that he's made 19 appearances this year, and in only one has he not allowed a baserunner? And that was because he faced one batter, induced a hard-hit grounder right at an infielder, and escaped with a double play.

Do you know what opponents' on-base percentage is against Munter?

Whatever you're guessing, it's wrong. Higher.



I wondered why the demotion to Double-A. Three possible reasons: 1) Fresno and the Pacific Coast League is a terrible place for a pitcher to get his mind and arm straightened out. 2) Fresno doesn't have any room on its roster. 3) His sinker guru, Bob Stanley, is the pitching coach.

The third seems the best, especially if you hope the Giants want to do their darndest to get Munter's ship righted, and not just stash his warm body somewhere. A hard 92-mph sinker is no trifle. If Munter can throw it for strikes and learn another pitch or two -- a cutter, a slider, a changeup -- he'll still be useful.

Dan Ortmeier was also sent down, just one level to Fresno, where he'll continue to audition for a big-league roster spot in '07. He's looked overmatched in his brief cuppa, which may or may not be an indication of his future. My gut? He won't be ready til '08, at least. Why? I have no idea.

No word yet on who'll be called up. Could be Todd Linden, could be Double-A lefty Jonathan Sanchez (who would require clearing a 40-man roster spot). The moves aren't necessary until Friday evening, so I won't be surprised if Brian Sabean is working the phones trying to swing a deal for, say, a legitimate first-base power threat. How about Eduardo Perez? Craig Wilson?

At least one Giant fan isn't moping around every time the team backslides. It's Hammer, y'all (no, not that Hammer -- and not that one, either), blogging about his boy Barry Bonds for MLB.com: "It's so poetic that he would hit number 714 in the ball park and city that I grew up in."

For counsel of the soul, you could do worse than listen to the Hammer Pants, folks, as we watch Barry in his twilight. You might think you'll sing "U Can't Touch This" forever, but sooner or later everybody has got to pray just to make it today.


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