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SF 6, OAK 2: Huff of the Week

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I'll get to Aubrey Huff in a moment, but first, among the questions we're asking these days: Is Pat Burrell some kind of reverse-karmic sign that it's time to let Fred Lewis go? Fly Fred, be free! If he never comes back to us, he was never ours in the first place.

As you know, the Giants scrap-heaped Freddie in April, and after a nice opening run he's scuffled of late with Toronto. And all of a sudden, here comes the Giants' own dumpster-dive, Pat Burrell, whose work in his first nine games with the Giants has probably just about covered the low, low price of signing him. The team needed power; he has power. The team needed patient, discliplined at-bats; he gives them those almost every time up. He's gone hitless in three of his nine games; in all three he's either driven in a run or walked and scored. There have been no disasters afield, either. Knock on wood.

Then again, I would've choked on my All-Bran if three weeks ago you told me the Giants would be playing such strong D with Burrell in left, Huff in right, Posey at first base, and Juan Uribe at shortstop every day.

Sunday's game will be remembered for Huff's two home runs and the sweep of Oakland, but two other plays stand out: Huff's play of a carom off the right-field wall and strong throw that led to an Oakland runner thrown out at home; and Posey's decisive throw to third on a sac bunt attempt, cutting down the lead runner and probably saving a run (two batters later, Daric Barton singled). Buster went 0-for-4 and has cooled off a bit at the plate, but he's playing first base as if possessed by JT Snow. You have to grudgingly admit the Buster Transition, certainly not how we were drawing it up in March, is making Sabes & Co. look good.

I predict he'll be catching at least two or three games a week by the end of July.

Players of the week: Aubrey Huff. Eight hits, seven for extra bases, four walks, seven ribbies. He sat Friday against Oakland, and this week he still boosted his OBP ten points and his SLG more than fifty. Juan Uribe made it close, however: 10-for-26, a double and two homers, eight RBI and four walks. Among moundsmen, I choose Matt Cain. Wouldn't you? Perhaps you might nominate Brian Wilson for his spectacular Saturday night escape job, but Cain's 16 innings with one earned run, including a complete-game shutout in the Cincy bandbox, trumps three innings and three saves.

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