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Up next: Giants

By MARC TOPKIN
Published June 8, 2004

SCOUTING REPORT: The Giants like to think there is more to their team than Barry Bonds, but they haven't done much to prove it this season.

They showed some signs of life after a slow start by winning 10 straight to get back in the West race. But they have cooled since and lost four of their past seven and are 29-28 overall. After Bonds their next most productive players are utility infielder Pedro Feliz and veteran outfielders Marquis Grissom and Michael Tucker. Among the big names with small numbers are Edgardo Alfonzo, A.J. Pierzynski, Neifi Perez and J.T. Snow.

Despite Bonds' amazing production the Giants rank in the bottom half of the NL in batting average, runs and homers. Plus they're slow and don't catch the ball all that well.

But the biggest problem for manager Felipe Alou has been a pitching staff that ranks near the bottom of the league. When you take ace Jason Schmidt (who starts Wednesday) and his 7-2 record and 2.61 ERA out of the equation, the rest of the rotation is 9-17, 5.25. Closer Matt Herges ranks third in the NL with 16 saves in 19 opportunities but has a 5.91 ERA, and the bullpen ranks 15th overall in the league.

The Giants, who won Monday in Colorado, are in the third stop of a 14-game, four-city road trip (Arizona, Colorado, Tampa Bay, Baltimore), their longest since 1989.

CONNECTIONS: Giants general manager Brian Sabean played and coached baseball at Eckerd College and coached at Saint Leo and Tampa. Coach Joe Lefebvre was a Div. II All-American player at Eckerd. Catcher Pierzynski grew up in Brooksville and attended Hernando High as a freshman. Reserve infielder Deivi Cruz was in spring training with the Rays. Administrative coach Carlos Alfonso attended USF. ... Rays rightfielder Jose Cruz won a Gold Glove for the Giants last season. Infielder Rey Sanchez played there in 1998. Senior adviser Don Zimmer was a Giants coach in 1987.

SEASON SERIES: The Giants won two of three during the teams' only meeting in June 2002.

[Last modified June 8, 2004, 01:00:38]

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