Rowand’s unruffled; take the Big Unit test
MIAMI — Giants center fielder Aaron Rowand remained his jovial self after his personal-best, 17-game hitting streak evaporated in an 0-for-4 performance Monday as San Francisco fell to Florida, 4-0.
“It’s not like it was Ryan Zimmerman’s 30-game hitting streak or anything like that,” said Rowand, whose streak was the longest by a Giant since Randy Winn sustained a 20-gamer from April 29-May 21, 2007. “But it was fun. It was cool. I didn’t feel like it was all that big a deal, honestly. I was just trying to win ballgames, trying to go up and take good at-bats. And with the exception of one today [a sixth-inning strikeout against Sean West], I felt three out of four were good at-bats.”
Rowand hit a robust .411 (30-for-73) with three home runs, 10 doubles, 11 RBIs and 10 multi-hit games during his streak, which lifted his overall average from .246 to .309. Wary of jinxing Rowand, print reporters covering the Giants avoided interviewing him as his streak reached the teens. But the intrepid broadcasting pair of Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper had no trouble quizzing Rowand on the subject during Sunday’s postgame show.
“I told them I don’t really get all that worked up about it because I know someday it’s going to end,” Rowand said.
How well do you know baseball?
If you think you’re an expert, try to identify the most crucial juncture in Randy Johnson’s five-inning performance against the Marlins. A lot of folks probably would cite the 1-1 pitch that Brett Carroll socked for a three-run homer in the second inning, which accounted for all the scoring off Johnson.
But Johnson himself said that his real mistake was walking Ronny Paulino, the batter preceding Carroll. Had Johnson retired Paulino, Carroll would have batted with two outs, which probably would have changed the complexion of the inning.
“Anybody that knows a little bit about baseball would probably assume that,” Johnson said. “At least I felt it was.”
— Chris Haft