Death and the Giants
Nineteen-year-old Giants prospect Angel Villalona, a first baseman who hit .267 for the minor-league San Jose Giants this year, is the prime suspect in a killing last night in his home country of the Dominican Republic, the Associated Press and other news organizations reported today.
Villalona, a 2006 draft pick, turned himself in to police twelve hours after the killing of 25-year-old Mario Felix de Jesus Velete in a bar in the coastal city of La Romana. He could face up to twenty years in prison. Villalona, who had been ranked among the top 50 minor league prospects by MLB.com, had returned to the Dominican Republic to play winter-league baseball.
Meanwhile, the big club’s prospects for the postseason continued to fade as they dropped two out of three games in Los Angeles this weekend even as the team they’re chasing in the Wild Card standings, the Colorado Rockies, won two out of three. The Giants’ 6-2 loss to the Dodgers today (scoring summary) was painful for many reasons, but I think a new low for the season was reached when the Giants batted in the top of the fifth inning.
Trailing by a score of 4-1 on a hot day, 2008 Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum was clearly already exhausted. He had just suffered a long fourth inning in which the Dodgers had scored twice, and he badly needed a breather. As he was due up third in the inning, it was up to the usually ineffective hitters Ryan Garko and Aaron Rowand to, at the very least, extend their at-bats and give Timmy time to catch his breath. Instead, Lincecum hardly even had time to sit down before Garko popped out and Rowand struck out. Utterly gassed, Lincecum (14-6) grounded out quickly, then in the top of the inning walked the first two batters and was pulled from the game.
The Giants scored only one run the rest of the game, and were left to watch the scoreboard helplessly as the Rockies overcame a one-run deficit and overpowered the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Giants’ loss and the Rockies’ win puts the Giants four and a half games back with just 13 games remaining in the season.