They finally got Moises Alou back last week. But they might not get Armando Benitez back at all. And then there is the when-will-Barry-Bonds-return pool.
Next month? Midseason? Next season? Don’t ask San Francisco Giants manager Felipe Alou when the assault on Hank Aaron’s home run record will resume — only Bonds’ hairdresser and Web site coordinator know for sure.
But even with all the adversity and uncertainty in its midst, baseball’s oldest team — with a little duct tape and bond-o — is right where it wants to be a month into this very strange season. Right in the thick of it.
After losing nine of 11 games and looking like a team that might join Colorado in the depths of the National League West standings, the Giants have won six in a row after outlasting the Diamondbacks 9-8 in 10 innings Monday at Bank One Ballpark.
Despite blowing a 7-2 lead with ace Jason Schmidt on the mound, the Giants just kept coming, just kept answering. And it was Moises Alou who wound up with the key hit, a 10th-inning double that chased home Edgardo Alfonzo with the winning run.
Two more players went down with injuries during the game — Ray Durham aggravated a groin injury and Marquis Grissom was forced out with a high hamstring problem. But when it was over, San Francisco sat three games over .500 for the first time this season and just two games behind the first-place Dodgers in an up-for-grabs NL West.
"We have to worry about the guys who can play that day and let the rest of it go,’’ said first baseman J.T. Snow, who had the 14th four-hit game of his career — and the second in the last seven days — to push his average near the .340 mark. "We’re over the Bonds thing, and we don’t have a closer now, but there is nothing we can do about it now but kept fighting like we did tonight.’’
The Giants, who own a National League-best .300 batting average on the road, banged out 16 more hits Monday and have now piled up 65 runs in 11 games away from home. But with Benitez out at least four months with a nasty hamstring injury, the offense will need to keep producing while Felipe Alou tries to shuffle his overworked bullpen with no proven closer.
The bullpen was taxed again Monday, as for the second time in three games Alou used seven relief pitchers to nail down a win.
"We have to develop a closer now; we can’t wait until August,’’ Felipe Alou said. "If we try to play the matchups with guys, we’ll be using four or five guys a day.’’