Friday, April 24, 2015

Game Wrap 4/24/2015: Rockies 6 Giants 4

The Giants momentum from the Dodgers series did not carry over into Coors Field as Chris Heston's BABIP luck ran out and the Giants had a relapse of LOBitis.   Key Lines:

Gregor Blanco- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .239.  Aoki gets the day off with Blanco getting the start in LF.

Joe Panik- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .303.  Panik has raised his BA from a nadir of .176 on 4/15 to .303 in just 8 games.  He is 14 for 32 in that span.

Angel Pagan- 2 for 4.  BA= .329.  Pagan has certainly seemed to fully recover from an early season back scare and has been one of the Giants steadiest performers.

Brandon Belt- 3 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .238.  Belt has a 5 game hit streak since his BA hit .077.  He is 8 for 16 in that stretch.

Justin Maxwell- 2 for 3, HR(2), BB.  BA= .333.  I think it's safe to say Maxwell is going to be in the lineup until he cools off or Pence comes back. He might stay longer if he keeps hitting like this.

Chris Heston- 5.1 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 4 K's, GO/AO= 7/0.  ERA= 2.77.  Heston was due for a BABIP fueled regression.  His BB's, K's, and GO/AO all look pretty much the same as his first 3 starts.  He gave up a HR, but it was a solo job.  So, BABIP it is.  Coors Field has a way of doing that to a pitcher who depends on a lot of ball movement to succeed.

Tim Hudson, another guy who has trouble in Coors Field for obvious reasons, faces Jorge De La Rosa in Game 2 tomorrow evening.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Down on the Farm: 4/23/2015

AAA  El Paso Chihuahuas defeated the Sacramento River Cats 7-3:

Brett Jackson(CF)- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .293.
Adam Duvall(LF)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .419.
Austin Fleet(RHP)- 4 IP 9 H, 7 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 7.88.
Juan Gutierrez(RHP)- 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 5.59.
Steven Okert(LHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 1.04.

Brett Jackson is having a surprisingly strong start to his season.  He's got the tools if he can ever put it all together.

AA  New Britain Rock Cats topped the Richmond Flying Squirrels 6-2:

Mitch Delfino(3B)- 2 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .262.
Jack Snodgrass(LHP)- 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 3 K's, GO/AO- 6/2.  BA= 6.08.

Not much to comment on here. Delfino his holding his own in the EL so far.

High A  Bakersfield Blaze edged the San Jose Giants 3-2:

Keury Mella(RHP)- 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 5 K's, GO/AO= 10/5.  ERA= 3.60.
Martin Agosta(RHP)- 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 8.71.

Fairly dominant start for Mella.   Great to see him stretch it out to 7 IP.  Probably too soon to be putting Agosta in high leverage situations.  Baby steps!

Low A  Augusta Greenjackets beat the Rome Braves 5-3:

Johneshwy Fargas(CF)- 1 for 3, 2 BB, CS(5).  BA= .357.
Jeremy Sy(SS)- 2 for 3, 2 BB.  BA= .327.
Aramis Garcia(C)- 1 for 4, HR(1).  BA= .194.
Skyler Ewing(1B)- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .250.
Jonah Arenado(3B)- 2 for 5.  BA= .265.
Randy Ortiz(RF)- 1 for 3, BB, SF, 3 SB(5).  BA= .220.
Matthew Gage(LHP)- 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 4.32.
Dusten Knight(RHP)- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 0.00.

Augusta was the only winner of the Giants full season affiliates today.

Game Wrap 4/23/2015: Giants 3 Dodgers 2

The amazing Dodgers bullpen, brilliantly constructed by their new new genius GM stifled the Giants hitters to preserve a 2-1 lead for the second game in a row......wait, what?  Oh, that's the Fangraphs version of the last two games because you know, actual runs scored and allowed don't count.  You have to look at what what happened after you corrected for ballpark factors and normalized HR/FB ratios and BABIP's.  OK, enough of that.  I think you get the picture.  After no fewer than 4 separate Fangraphs articles in 2 days extolling the wonders of the Dodgers  bullpen, the Giants went out and won 2 ballgames for no other reason than their bullpen outpitched the Dodgers bullpen.  Simple as that!  Key Lines:

Joe Panik- 2 for 4, BB. BA= .295.  After a rough first week or so, Panik has really turned it on and picked up where he left off last year.

Brandon Belt- 1 for 3, 2 BB.  BA= .179.  Belt got a clutch basehit to drive in the Giants first run.

Justin Maxwell- 2 for 5.  BA= .300.  Maxwell was definitely the hitting hero of this series driving in or scoring key runs in all 3 games.  Not sure what's going to happen when Pence comes back, but Maxwell should be out there everyday at least until then.

Brandon Crawford- 1 for 3, 3B(1), BB.  BA= .222.  Crawford drove in the tying run with a huge triple to the wall in right-CF with nobody out.  Unfortunately he got stranded there.

Ryan Vogelsong- 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 5 K's, GO/AO= 8/1.  ERA= 7.71.  I think if you had polled most of us who come to this site, we would have chosen Yusmeiro Petit to start this game.  Bochy stuck with Vogey and Vogey dug down about as deep as I've ever seen him, and that's saying a lot!  After giving up 2 solo HR's in the first 3 innings, he clamped down and retired the final 10 batters he faced.

Giants Bullpen- 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.

Dodgers Bullpen- 3.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 4 K's.   Read it and weep, Fangraphs!

With the Win, the Giants sweep the first place Dodgers and their deficit in the NL West shrinks to 3 games behind the Dodgers and Padres who both lost.  The Rockies topped the Padres 2-1 and trail by 0.5 games.  The D'Backs beat the Texas Rangers 8-5 and trail by 1 game.  The Giants remain in last place, but are just 3 games behind as opposed to 6 when this series started.

The Giants now travel to Colorado where Chris Heston will start the first game of the series facing Eddie Butler.

Down on the Farm: 4/22/2015

AAA  El Paso Chihuahuas mauled the Sacramento River Cats 13-5:

Jake Dunning(RHP)- 3.2 IP, 9 H, 11 R, 3 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 9.82.
Brett Bochy(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 3.24.

El Paso is a tough place to pitch and the wind was blowing out to LF at 15 MPH, but…..Yikes!  Dunning absorbed quite the shelling there!  He had 3 HBP's, a WP and 2 E's to boot.  Very rough day for Jake Dunning!

AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels were idle.

High A:  San Jose Giants blanked the Inland Empire 66'ers 7-0:

Rafael Rodriguez(LF)- 2 for 5.  BA= .383.
Ben Turner(Catcher)- 2 for 3, BB.  BA= .304.
Hunter Cole(PH-DH)- 1 for 2, 2B.  BA= .500.
John Polonius(SS)- 2 for 4, SB(3).  BA= .286.
Chase Johnson(RHP)- 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K's, GO/AO= 9/3.  ERA= 1.93.
Jake Smith(RHP)- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 1.80.

Boy, there is definitely an emerging pattern of the Giants high velocity SP's in the minors pitching to contact and for the ground ball.  Can that stuff work in the major leagues?  Current MLB pitchers with FB's averaging over 90 MPH, K/9's less than 7 and high GB% would be Henderson Alvarez, Kyle Gibson, Jared Cosart and Rick Porcello.  None of those pitchers would be considered aces by any stretch, but are all useful MLB SP's.

Low A  Augusta Greenjackets topped the Charleston River Dogs 5-2:

Johneshwy Fargas(CF)- 2 for 4, 2B, CS(4).  BA= .358.
Jeremy Sy(SS)- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(2).  BA= .304.
Will Calloway(3B)- 3 for 4, 2 2B.  BA= .750.
Cristian Paulino(LF)- 2 for 3, 2B.  BA= .286.
Randy Ortiz(RF)- 1 for 3, 3B.  BA= .211.
Jose Reyes(RHP)- 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 0.00.
EJ Encinosa(RHP)- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's  ERA= 10.13.
Raymundo Montero(RHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's, Save(3).  ERA= 2.08.

Calloway replaces Hunter Cole on the Greenjackets roster with Cole moving up to San Jose to replace Austin Slater.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Game Wrap 4/22/2015: Giants 3 Dodgers 2

Pitching duels between aces sometimes don't live up to the hype.  This one sort of did as the Giants took an early lead of Clayton Kershaw by scratching out 2 runs in the 3'rd inning.  Madison Bumgarner looked like he might make those 2 runs stand up until the 7'th inning when he gave up a 2 run dinger to tie the score.  Neither starter was around for the finish with the Giants bullpen outpitching the Dodgers bullpen that Dave Cameron thinks is so great with Joe Panik driving in the game winner with a walk-off, bases-loaded Sac Fly.  Key Lines:

Madison Bumgarner- 6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 4.63.

Giants Bullpen- 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's, Win(Santiago Casilla).

Clayton Kershaw(Dodgers)-  6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 9 K's.  ERA= 4.07.

Dodgers Bullpen- 2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K's, HBP, Loss(Chris Hatcher).

As you can see, neither "ace" pitcher has pitched like an ace so far.  They were both better in this game and more or less pitched to a draw with the Giants bullpen winning over the Dodgers bullpen.  Take THAT Dave Cameron!

The Win pulled the NL West trailing Giants to 4 games behind the division leading Dodgers.  The Padres lost to the Rockies 5-4 to remain tied with the Dodgers in games, but trailing in percentage points.  The Dodgers are 9-5 while the Padres are 10-6.  The D'Backs topped the Texas Rangers 8-5 to remain tied with the Rockies at 8-7, 1.5 games behind the Dodgers and 2.5 games ahead of the Giants who are 6-10.

Ryan Vogelsong tries for a series sweep facing callup Mike Bolsinger, who has given the Giants fits as a member of the Arizona D'Backs if I remember correctly, in the series finale tomorrow afternoon at AT&T Park.

Down on the Farm: 4/21/2015

AAA  El Paso Chihuahuas pounded the Sacramento River Cats 7-1:

Juan Perez(LF)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .180.
Adam Duvall(1B)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .436.
Ty Blach(LHP)- 4 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 0 BB, 4 K's, GO/AO= 6/1.  ERA= 5.60.
Hunter Strickland(RHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 1.17.

Blach's peripherals look good, but he was hittable.  Many PCL parks are not friendly to Blach's type of stuff.

AA  Bowie Baysox smacked the Richmond Flying Squirrels 10-4:

Kelby Tomlinson(SS)- 2 for 4, 2B, BB.  BA= .326.
Mitch Delfino(3B)- 2 for 3, 2 BB.  BA= .231.
Mac Williamson(RF)- 1 for 5, HR(1).  BA= .283.
Jackson Williams(Catcher)- 2 for 3, 2 2B, BB.  BA= .148.
Chris Stratton(RHP)- 3 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 5.79.
Josh Osich(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 0.00.

In addition to his first HR of the season, I understand Mac Williamson has been putting up a one man highlight real on defense for the Squirrels.  A discouraging start for Stratton, but Osich seems to have found something.

High A  San Jose Giants topped the Inland Empire 66'ers 4-1:

Rafael Rodriguez(LF)- 1 for 2, 2B, BB, HBP.  BA= .381.
John Polonius(2B)- 2 for 2, 2B, HBP.  BA= .235.
Tyler Beede(RHP)- 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K, GO/AO= 12/2.  ERA= 2.93.
Erik Cordier(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 0.00.
Dan Slania(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's, Save(1).  ERA= 0.00.

The Little Giants have been hit hard by injuries, so some interesting names missing from the box scores.  RafRod keeps hitting, albeit without any significant power.  Baby steps?  Young Beedah is pounding the earthworms, but not getting any K's.  Will that stuff work at higher levels or are we seeing Chris Stratton Part Deux?  Cordier obviously had a WP or PB in his inning of work.

Low A Charleston River Dogs edged the Augusta Greenjackets 5-4:

Johneshwy Fargas(CF)- 3 for 5, 2 CS.  BA= .347.
Jeremy Sy(SS)- 3 for 5, 2B, SB(3).  BA= .286.
Randy Ortiz(RF)- 1 for 3, BB, 2 SB(2).  BA= .200.
Nick Gonzalez(LHP)- 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 4.20.
Nathanael Santiago(RHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 2.45.

Fargas is the big newsmaker out of Augusta in the early season.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Game Wrap 4/21/2015: Giants 6 Dodgers 2

The Giants combined a strong start for Tim Lincecum with a sustained hitting attack and made this an easy win, except for some mild torture in the 9'th inning.  Key Lines:

Norichika Aoki- 2 for 5, SB(4).  BA= .346.  Aoki's magic show rolls on.

Buster Posey- 2 for 4.  BA= .250.  Buster took some extra BP before the game, something he rarely does.

Andrew Susac- 2 for 3, BB.  BA= .429.  Play Susac until he cools off!

Justin Maxwell- 2 for 3, 3B, HR(1), BB.  BA= .318.  Um….and where has Maxwell been all this time?  I have been as big a Blanco supporter as anyone, maybe more, but on a team this power challenged and with as little to lose at this point, I think you've gotta try to catch the kind of lightning in a bottle Maxwell can give you.  Blanco just can't give you the dinger potential!

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .224.  I don't know if it was a called play or if Crawford was on his own, but the bunt single with a runner on 3B and 2 outs was about as gutsy as they come, and Crawford beat it out to drive in the first run of the game.

Tim Lincecum- 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 2.00.  Boy, the Giants needed a strong start from Lincecum and Timmy delivered.  Now the Giants can't get swept and they had to avoid that to keep their season alive, IMO.

The Giants record improved to 5-10.  They now trail the NL West leading Dodgers, with a record of 9-4, by 5 games.  The Padres pulled into a first place tie with the Dodgers with a come-from-behind win over the Rockies.  The Rockies and D'Backs both fell to 7-7 and a 3'rd place tie with losses.

Tomorrow night, Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw face off in a battle of aces with both pitchers still trying to find their stride this season.