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SF 6, CIN 5: Changing of the Guard

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If Bruce Bochy is looking for every excuse not to start Andres Torres in center field and Buster Posey behind the plate, he's running out of excuses. At least Boch has installed Torres in the leadoff spot and dropped Rowand to 8th; an act of monumental personal courage for Boch.

The Torres Show continues; tonight he made his daily spectacular catch to keep the ninth inning quiet for Brian Wilson, plus another hit and walk. Why Nate Schierholtz hasn't taken over right field, with Torres moving to center, is beyond my grasp. Because of Rowand's D? Are you kidding me? Torres/Schierholtz in center/right would be a devastating speed/arm combo.

Posey kept hitting balls hard and in his first start of the year behind the plate nailed Joey Votto stealing with one of the fastest releases I've ever seen. It's a sample size of one, and it was a first baseman running, but it looked good. He and Zito had trouble getting on the same page; a lot of shake-offs in the three innings I watched. Whenever Zito made bad pitches, Cincy batters hit them hard. Perhaps this is the excuse Boch will use: Grumble grmmg needs some work handling a pitching staff.  

My main quibble, other than having to listen to the execrable Thom Brennaman on the highlight clips, was Bruce Bochy letting Zito hit for himself with one out, bases loaded in the top of the sixth, and the Giants up by one. In this ballpark, you go for the throat. Perhaps Boch was worried about tired bullpen arms. Then again, the two guys he used Sunday (Casilla and Wilson) pitched again Monday. Perhaps Bochy was confident Zito could hit another two-run single. Zito struck out, the Giants didn't score.

In the bottom of the sixth, after Zito had walked two to load the bases with two outs, Bochy sticks with him. Zito has pitched himself into a corner and is close to 100 pitches. You've got two RH relievers in the 'pen who have nasty action against righties (Miguel Cairo was the pinch-hitter). Why not summon Casilla, even Romo? Well, he did, but only after Cairo hit a hanging curve into left field for a 6-5 Reds lead. Romo came in and struck out O-Cab.

Oh, and: Gary Brown, this year's first-round pick of the San Francisco Giants. Wake me up when he has a .375 OBP in Double A.   

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