Saturday, July 31, 2010

Down on the Farm: 07-30-2010

AAA Fresno Grizzlies defeated the Tacoma Rainiers 9-3:

Tyler Graham- 3 for 4, 2B. BA= .351.
Jesus Guzman- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .307.
John Bowker- 2 for 4, HR(14). BA= .310.
Matt Downs- 1 for 3, HR(7), BB. BA= .258.
Kevin Pucetas- 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 6.02.

John Bowker's final game in the Giants organization. Maybe I'll do a Prospect Retro on him. I didn't realize that Matt Downs' AAA BA was that low. He's hitting just .140 over his last 10 games.

AA RIchmond Flying Squirrels topped the Altoona Curve 8-4:

Darren Ford- 2 for 4, BB. BA= .251.
Thomas Neal- 1 for 4, 2B, BB. BA= .288.
Brandon Belt- 2 for 4. BA= .351.
Conor Gillaspie- 2 for 3, 3B(7), HR(5), BB. BA= .287.
Dan Turpen- 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 4.09.

Is Conor Gillaspie turning himself into a serious prospect? Along with Belt and Neal, that would make at least 3 serious position prospects in Richmond. I'm guessing there was a Red Sox scout in attendance who liked what he saw of Turpen's performance?

High A San Jose Giants stomped the Inland Empire 66'ers 6-1:

Juan Perez- 2 for 5, 3B(9). BA= .297.
Francisco Peguero- 2 for 5. BA= .317.
Johnny Monell- 2 for 3, HR(14), 2 BB. BA= .263.
Wendell Fairley- 2 for 4. BA= .299.
Jorge Bucardo- 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 1.50.

Monell is red hot! .417/.488/1.000 over his last 10 games. No adjustment period for Bucardo! He keeps pitching like this in the Cal League and he moves WAY up the Giants prospect rankings.

Low A Augusts Greenjackets smothered the Savannah Sand Gnats 15-2:

Tommy Joseph- 2 for 2, HR(13). BA= .228.
Dan Cook- 4 for 4, 2B, 2 BB, SB(7). BA= .291.
Ryan Lollis- 3 for 6, SB(7). BA= .291.
Ydwin Villegas- 2 for 4, 2B, SF. BA= .211.
Jeremy Toole- 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 4.14.
Zack Wheeler- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 4.59.
Jose Valdez- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 4.04.

Short Season Yakima Bears topped the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 7-4:

Carter Jurica- 1 for 4, HR(3). BA= .197.
Brennan Flick- 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 4.24.

Is Jurica showing some signs of life? HR's in consecutive games? .250/.325/.583 over his last 10 games.

Rookie AZL Giants blank the Mariners 2-0:

Carlos WIlloughby- 1 for 3, BB, SB(16). BA= .280.
Armando Paniagua- 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 3.55.

DSL Yankees edged the Giants 3-2(Game 1):

Christian Paulino- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(3), SB(16). BA= .251.
Yeini Martinez- 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 1.91.

Paulino is 18 yo and seems to be a dynamic player with some potential for bigger things in the future.

DSL Giants edged the Yankees(Game 2):

Fernando Pujadas- 2 for 3, HR(2). BA= .316.

Pujadas is another 18 yo with promising numbers.

Game Wrap 07-30-2010: Giants 6 Dodgers 5

Whew! That was anxiety provoking! The Giants methdically built a 6-2 lead behind their improved offense and a good pitching effort by Tim Lincecum only to nearly lose it all to a furious Dodger rally in the top of the 9'th inning that just fell short. Key lines:

Andres Torres- 2 for 4, SB(19). BA= .286. Every run counted in this game and Torres did his job as a leadoff hitter.

Aubrey Huff- 3 for 4, 2B, HR(20). BA= .313. Another strong game by Huff who is the first Giant of the season to 20 dingers. He's in a neck-and-neck with Torres for team MVP.

Juan Uribe- 1 for 3, HR(15). BA= .259. Uribe's bat seems to be coming back to life which bodes really well, if anyone remembers his performance in the last 2 months last year.

Tim Lincecum- 7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 9 K's. ERA= 3.10. In addition to sporting a new windup, Timmy, for the second game in a row, showed a definite determination to establish the fastball and pitch off it. That may have led to some early contact and the two runs by the Dodgers, but in the long run it paid off, like it did his last time out.

Jonathan Sanchez- 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, HBP. With runners at the corners, lefty hitters Ethier and Loney coming up and Brian Wilson obviously unavailable, Bochy turned to Sanchez. Durty gave up a run on a WP, but got the essential out by striking our Ethier. Striking out Loney too would have been preferable to hitting him, but that may have served a purpose too. At least their were two outs making Chris Ray's job of getting the final out a whole lot easier. This situation illustrates why the Giants had to trade for a LOOGY.

Casey Blake- 0 for 3, 2 HBP. Doesn't it seem like ever since Timmy hit Matt Kemp last week in LA, there have been an awful lot of HBP's between these two teams? Heck, while we're at it, how about ever since Padilla hit Gamer? Does anyone think it merely coincidence that Blake was the one who got dinged TWICE in this game? As for Durty hitting Loney, I seriously doubt THAT was on purpose, but at this point, I don't think it matters. It's just real nice to see the Dodgers being the ones who are letting it all get to them. There is definitely a HBP war going on between these two teams. So far, the Giants are the ones who are in control!

With the W, the Giants climbed to 2.5 games out of first place as the NL West leading San Diego Padres lost to the Marlins 4-2. The Dodger remained 7 games out, but fell to 4.5 games behind the Giants. Yeah!!! Colorado Rockies crushed the Cubbies with a 12 run inning and a 17-2 win to stay 8 games off the pace in 4'th place. Last place Arizona out hit the Mets 9-6 to move up to 23 games behind the leaders. Cincinnati lost to ATL 6-4 to fall 2 games behind the Giants in the Wild Card race, while the Phillies and Roy Oswalt lost to the Nats 8-1 to fall 2.5 games off the Wild Card pace.

Barry Zito takes the mound for game 2 of the series against Chad Billingsley who goes on 3 days rest due to Kershaw's start being pushed back because of the suspension for hitting Rowand down in LA. Man, Padilla's beaning of Gamer just keeps coming back to haunt the Hated Ones, doesn't it?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Blogger's Note

I'll be without access to the blog for 24 hours starting this evening. Will catch up Saturday night. Thanks for reading, everybody!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Down on the Farm: 07-29-2010

AAA Fresno Grizzlies beat the Tacoma Rainiers 6-4:

Emmanuel Burriss- 2 for 5. BA= .303.
John Bowker- 2 for 4, HR(13), BB. BA= .306.
Tyler Graham- 2 for 4. BA= .344.
Todd Wellemeyer- 6.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 2.25.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels defeated the Altoona Curve 4-1:

Darren Ford- 2 for 4, SB(29). BA= .248.
Thomas Neal- 1 for 4, HR(10). BA= .288
Ryan Lormand- 2 for 3, 2 2B, SB(4). BA= .240.
Felix Romero- 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 3.45.

High A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes downed the San Jose Giants 5-3:

Wendell Fairley- 2 for 4. BA= .297.
Drew Biery- 1 for 4, HR(13). BA= .265.
Jason Stoffel- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 5.50.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets topped the Savannah Sand Gnats 4-1:

Tommy Joseph- 1 for 4, 3B. BA= .224.
Andy Reichard- 6.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 3.47.

Short Season Yakima Bears edged the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 7-6 in 10 innings:

Ryan Scoma- 3 for 4, 2B. BA= .324.
Jose Medina- 2 for 5. BA= .264.
Carter Jurica- 1 for 5, HR(2). BA= .195.
Devin Harris- 2 for 4, 2B, BB. BA= .227.
Kaohi Downing- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 1.48.
Andrew Romo- 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.38.

Rookie AZL A's topped the Giants 3-2:

Nicholas Nordgren- 1 for 3, 2B, BB. BA= .333.
Waldis Joaquin- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.00.
Dontrelle Willis- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's. ERA= 0.00.
Jake Dunnington- 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 0.54.
Justin Schumer- 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.00.

Schumer and Nordgren are a couple of FA signings. Nordgren is out of Creighton. The last stats I can find on him are from 2008 when he hit .251 with 8 HR's. His Baseball Cube scouting report has Power 93, Batting 34 and Patience 11. Sounds like a good Giants prospect! LOL. No info on Schumer.

DSL Giants beat the Marlins 8-4:

Luis Angeles- 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K's. ERA- 2.10.

0 hits? Hmm... Angeles is a 20 year old RHP with pedestrian secondary stats.

Game Wrap 07-29-2010: Marlins 5 Giants 0

There really isn't much to say about this game except Anibal Sanchez pitched a heckuva game. End of story. Key lines:

GIants offense- 1 for 28, BB.

Anibal Sanchez- 9 IP 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K's. Now THAT is a dominant line! No team is going to win very many games against a pitcher on that kind of level of dominance.

Madison Bumgarner- 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 2.70. Bum pitched a good game too. It's just that his opponent pitched a great game.

Buster Posey- 0 for 3. Buster's hitting streak stopped at 21 games, one game shy of the SF Giants rookie record held by none other then Willie McCovey, who will now hold it for awhile longer.

With the L, the Giants dropped back to a 3.5 game deficit to the San Diego Padres who edged the Dodgers 3-2. That loss dropped the Dodgers 7 games off the lead. Colorado beat the Bucs 9-3 to remain 9 games behind the leaders. Joe Saunders pitched a pretty good game in his first start for the D'Backs but it wasn't enough as they lost to the Phils 3-2 to drop 24 games off the pace. St Louis lost to the Mets 4-0 to exchange places with Cincinnati, which enabled the Giants to remain 1.5 games in front of the Wild Card race. Philadelphia moved into a tie for second place in the WC race with their win over the D'Backs.

The Hated ones come to town for the weekend with the top of the rotation slated to pitch for the Giants. The trade deadline watch will heat up as the weekend progresses too. I won't be devastated if the Giants stand pat.

Down on the Farm: 07-28-2010

AAA Fresno Grizzlies edged the Tacoma Rainiers 2-1:

Emmanuel Burriss- 2 for 3, 2B, HBP, SB(6). BA= .300.
Tyler Graham- 1 for 3, BB, SB(26). BA= .341.
Matt Yourkin- 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K's. BA= 3.56.

Is Burriss positioning himself to be in the mix for the Giants SS gig next year? Right now, Matt Yourkin looks like the Giants best pitcher above Augusta.

AA Reading Phillies clobbered the Richmond Flying Squirrels 15-7, but it took 11 innings!:

Darren Ford- 2 for 6. BA= .245.
Nick Noonan- 2 for 6. BA= .249.
Thomas Neal- 3 for 6, BA= .289.
Brandon Belt- 1 for 4, 3B, 2 BB. BA= .360.

Mitch Lively, Michael Main and Skyler Stromsmoe combined to give up 8 runs in the top of the 11'th. This is the second game in two days that Stromsmoe has pitched. They must be running out of arms back in Richmond. Ford is hitting .359 in his last 10 games.

High A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes topped the San Jose Giants 6-5(I attended this game):

Francisco Peguero- 3 for 5, 2B. BA= .318. Love Peguero's size and athleticism. The 3 basehits were scorched. The first one was a liner all the way to the base of the 401 sign in right-center for a double. There was a scary moment when Peguero from RF and Perez from CF were both racing after a ball hit to the wall in right-center and collided. Perez somehow remained on his feet long enough to catch the ball and throw it back to the IF then went down on his hands and knees. Peguero went down immediately and stayed down for several minutes and the trainers for both teams and the entire Giants team came to help him out. He eventually shook himself off and stayed in the game. I noticed he was sporting a pretty good sized strawberry on the right elbow in subsequent AB's. The injury did not prevent him from getting another single, but he looked slow in a subsequent ball that got past him to the RF wall.

Ehire Adrianza- 0 for 5. BA= .252. Adrianza had a bad game. In addition to the 0'fer, he let a ground ball eat him up in the field and missed second base on a relay of an attempted DP. Good looking ballplayer though!

Johnny Monell- 2 for 4, 2B, 3B. BA= .263. Monell looks much more confident at the plate than when I saw him in Lake Elsinore. The triple was liner to the wall in left-center off a lefty who was throwing 92 MPH. Very nice AB! I think Monell is going to have a strong finish to the season. He has a line of .450/.511/.925 over his last 10 games.

Michael Sandoval- 3 for 5, 2B. BA= .328. Man, does Michael look and act a whole lot like his li'l bro? If it had been Panda himself out there, I wouldn't have known the difference.

James Simmons- 1 for 3, 2B, BB, SB(15). Again, Simmons is easily the most athletic looking player on the team. I believe, based on watching him run, that he is also the fastest man on the team. If only he could figure out how to hit consistently!

None of the San Jose pitchers on the night looked impressive at all. Max velocity for Nicholson, 87, 90 for Verdugo.

MIke Trout- 0 for 4, BB, SB(2). BA= .259. It's easy to see why Trout is so highly regarded as a prospect. Big kid with speed to steal bases and play CF. He stands out in a crowd. He'll go as far as his bat takes him.

Gabe Jacobo- 2 for 4, HR(17). I loved what Jacobo did at Sacramento State. I wanted the Giants to draft him. I still wish the Giants had drafted him! Good looking ballplayer!

Low A Augusta Greenjackets were idle.

Short Season Salem-Keizer Volcanoes downed the Yakima Bears 6-4:

Matt Graham- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 6.86.
Jake Dunning- 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 2.36.

Encouraging outing by Graham?

Rookie AZL Giants beat the Reds 6-1:

Brice Cutspec- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .333.
Joe Staley- 3 for 4, HR(3). BA= .224.
Charlie Jones- 0 for 4, 4 K's. BA= .264.
Kendry Flores- 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 4.88.
Brandon Allen- 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K. ERA= 9.00.
Reiner Roibal- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K's ERA= 0.00.

Charlie Jones has cooled off after a hot start. Brandon Allen makes his pro debut. Roibal has a reputation as an elite prospect out of Cuba.

DSL Giants edged the Nationals 4-3:

Leonardo Fuentes- 3 for 4, 2B. BA= .253.
Joan Gregorio- 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 2.12
Marvin Barrios- 1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. ERA= 1.96.

Love Gregorio's size at 6'8", and he's certainly pitched well. I just would like to see more than 24 K's in 51 IP.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Game Wrap 07-28-2010: Giants 10 Marlins 9

If you are looking for clues in the tea leaves about whether this just might be the Giants season, this game probably made your heart beat just a bit faster, in more ways than one! What a wild roller-coaster of a ride! The Giants and Jonathan Sanchez were cruising along with a 9-2 lead when most of that lead evaporated in the blasts of PH Donnie Murphy and the ever annoying Dan Uggla. Brian Wilson had a rare blown save in the 9'th to complete the Marlins comeback. Somehow, the Giants picked themselves off the mat one more time and eeked out a 10-9 win in a game they probably deserved to lose. Key lines:

Andres Torres- 4 for 6, HR(10). BA= .287. Yet another huge game for Torres!

Aubrey Huff- 2 for 3, BB. BA= .310. One thing I love about Huff, it's not just the HR's. This guy gets the basehits and draws the walks too.

Buster Posey- 1 for 4, BB. BA= .363. Buster extends his hitting streak to 21 games, 1 shy of Willie Mac's SF Giants rookie record.

Juan Uribe- 3 for 5, 3B. BA= .260. OOO-Ri-Bay is en fuego and that's a very good thing for the Giants!

Aaron Rowand- 2 for 5. BA= .250. 3 two-hit games in a row for Gamer.

Edgar Renteria- 2 for 5. BA= .293. Everybody in the lineup got at least 1 hit. Everybody but Fred Sanchez and Pablo got more than 1.

Jonathan Sanchez- 6 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 3.55. Sanchez was pitching one of his better games until Murphy hit his PH 3 run dinger. That's the Marlins for you. They are a team built around the HR. It's just that they don't hit enough to make up for a terrible bullpen and even worse defense.

Brian Wilson- 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 2 K's, BS(3). ERA= 2.33. Maybe Brian was just a bit distracted by the orange shoe sideshow. We know you love being a Giant, Brian, but for God's sake, just pitch!!

Chris Ray- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 3.29. Ray got the W. He's had a shaky outing or two but overall has been a godsend.

With the win, the Giants keep pace with the first place Padres 2.5 games behind as they beat the Dodgers 6-1. In losing, the Dodgers slipped to 6 games off the pace and 3.5 behind the second place Giants. The fading Rockies dropped yet another game to the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2 to fall 9 games behind the Pads amid rumors that they are sellers at the trade deadline. The D'Backs lost yet again to the Phillies 7-1 to fall 23 games behind in last place. Cincinnati and St. Louis both won in the NL Central so the Giant maintain their 1.5 game lead over Cincy in the Wild Card race. The Philies trail in the WC by 2.5 games.

Madison Bumgarner tries to close out the 4 game Marlins series with a W tomorrow afternoon against Anibal Sanchez who is having a decent season.

Down on the Farm: 07-27-2010

AAA Tacoma Rainiers blasted the Fresno Grizzlies 9-3:

Jackson Williams- 2 for 4, HR(2). BA= .226.
Henry Sosa- 4 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 3.95.
Craig Whitaker- 1.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 2.45.
Alex Hinshaw- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 4.50.
Tony Pena- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 9.42.

Williams has a line of .294/.351/.529 over his last 10 games. Disheartening line by Sosa. This was Pena's best AAA outing so far.

AA Reading Phillies clubbed the Richmond Flying Squirrels 9-4(completion of suspended game from 7/26):

Conor Gillaspie- 3 for 4, 2B. BA= .281.
Skyler Stromsmoe- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's. ERA= 0.00.

Gillaspie added another single. Maybe Stromsmoe should seriously try pitching. He ain't going anwhere as a hitter!

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels downed the Reading Phillies 6-2(regularly scheduled game):

Nick Noonan- 3 for 5. BA= .247.
Ryan Lormand- 3 for 5. BA= .232.
Thomas Neal- 3 for 4, 2 SB(10). BA= .285.
Brandon Belt- 1 for 4, 3B. BA= .366.
Conor Gillaspie- 2 for 3, SF. BA= .284.
Clayton Tanner- 6.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K's, GO/AO= 11/4. ERA= 3.14.

Noonan had been slumping badly. Neal shows off his speed game. Gillaspie is hitting .417 over his last 10 games. Does Tanner have what it takes to survive at higher levels?

High A Rancho Cucamonga edged the San Jose Giants 4-3:

Johnny Monell- 3 for 4, 2 HR(13). BA= .259.
Kyle Woodruff- 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 2.44.

Second start for the big guy from Cal State Chico. Look for Monell to finish the season strong.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets vs Hickory Crawdads was rained out.

Short Season The NWL was idle.

Rookie AZL Giants defeated the Angels 8-1:

Daniel Burkhart- 2 for 4, 2B, 3B, BB. BA= .500.
Brice Cutspec- 1 for 5, HR(3). BA= .324.
Sundrendy Windster- 3 for 4, 2B, HR(4). BA= .344.
Rafael Rodriguez- 1 for 3, BB. BA= .250.
Waldis Joaquin- 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 0.00.
Reese McCulley- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 0.00.

Nice pro debut for Burkhart, the Giants 10'th round draft pick a C out of Ohio State. Reese McCulley was signed as a free agent. He's a local kid from Salem OR who hooked on as an intern with the S-K Volcanoes then used that position to finagle a series of tryouts. Apparently Treblehorn was impressed enough to recommend the Giants sign him. He pitched for Division III Linfield. Great story and a kid to keep an eye on. Kudos to the Giants for giving a kid like that a second look.

DSL No box score posted for the Giants.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Game Wrap 07-27-2010: Giants 6 Marlins 4

The Giants have done remarkably well against the elite pitchers in the league so far this year. Tonight, they scored 3 runs in 7 innings against a guy came in averaging just a little over 1.5 runs per 9 innings. Not exactly an offensive explosion but enough to stay in the game and get to the Marlins bullpen which reliably blew up in the bottom of the 8'th inning and the Giants pulled off a very big W tonight. Key lines:

Andres Torres- 3 for 4, 2 2B, BB, SB(18). BA= .279. According to fangraphs, Torres is one of the top 2 OF's in the NL this season, and he sure looked the part tonight. I mean, just when you think this guy is cooling off, he turns in a game like this, all season long!! He has truly been a joy to watch this season.

Freddy Sanchez- 2 for 4. BA= .275. Freddy moves back to the 2 hole, Rent's 0 for 5 yesterday probably contributed to that decision! Fred has a good game.

Aubrey Huff- 1 for 2, 2B, 2 BB. BA= .307. Steady as she goes.

Buster Posey- 1 for 4. BA= .366. I might not have included Buster's line except he extended his hitting streak to 20 games, 2 short of Willie Mac's SF Giants rookie record.

Juan Uribe- 1 for 4, HR(14). BA= .255. Hits the go- ahead HR in the 8'th and there was no doubt about it!

Edgar Renteria- 1 for 4, HR(2). Rent was 0 for 5 last night and 0 for 3 tonight before unloading for 2 insurance runs in the 8'th. Turns out the Giants needed 'em.

Aaron Rowand- 2 for 4. BA= .247. Second 2-hit game in a row for Rowand. Is he starting a hot streak? It would be very welcome and Torres, Huff and Posey can't be expected to carry the team forever.

Matt Cain- 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 3.14. Cainer outpitched Josh Johnson except for the 2 dingers he allowed. Uggla's shot in the 7'th took away Matt's chances for a decision.

Brian Wilson- 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. Anybody else go nuts whenever Wilson hangs a slider? Come on, Wilson! It's OK to try to steal strike one with the slide-piece and it's a nice option for a put-away pitch, but it ain't your bread and butter. I don't care if it's Uggla, throw the dang fastball!

With the win, the Giants gain a full game in the NL West on the division leading Padres who lost to the Dodgers 2-0. The Pads lead is down to 2.5 games. With the W, the Dodgers also gain a game on the Padres to 5 games off the pace. Colorado Rockies lost again, this time to the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2, and remained 8 games behind and in 4'th place. There was talk on today about the Rockies seriously thinking about bailing on the season and trading Aaron Cook in a seller's trade. Arizona lost again, this time to the Phils 9-5 to remain 22 games behind and in last place. The Giants stayed 1.5 games ahead of Cincinnati for the Wild Card as Cincy beat the BrewCrew 12-4.

Jonathan Sanchez takes the mound tomorrow against relative newcomer Alex Sanabia, who has pitched well in 3 MLB starts. Should be another interesting game.

Down on the Farm: 07-26-2010

AAA Reno Aces outslugged the Fresno Grizzlies 14-7:

Jesus Guzman- 2 for 5, 2B, HR(14). BA= .307.
Brett Pill- 2 for 3, 2B, BB, HBP. BA= .275.
Jackson Williams- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .204.
Eric Hacker- 4.2 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 4.80.
Brandon Medders- 1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 1 K. ERA= 5.28.
Daryl Maday- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K. ERA= 8.87.

Does it seem like the Grizzlies have played half their games against Reno and Las Vegas? Stick a fork in Medders. He's done.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels game against the Reading Phillies was suspended after 6 innings with the Phils leading 9-2:

Brandon Belt- 1 for 3, 3B. BA= .377.
Conor Gillaspie- 2 for 3, 2B. BA= .279.

Given the score, I'm not sure why this game wasn't just completed early rather than suspended.

HIgh A The Cal League had the day off.

Low A Hickory Crawdads blanked the Augusta Greenjackets 6-0 in a game completed early after 7 innings:

Zack Wheeler- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K's. ERA= 4.73.
Kelvin Marte- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.00.

The Giants must be planning to let Wheeler play out the season 1 inning at a time. Marte moves up from the AZL.

Everett Aquasox topped the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 4-1:

Edwin Escobar- 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 3.41.

Escobar has looked like a nice pickup for Ben Snyder.

Rookie AZL GIants were idle.

DSL Giants defeated the Orioles 3-1:

Leonardo Fuentes- 1 for 4, 2B. BA= .233.
Keurin Feliz- 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 2.06.
Renzo Freite- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 2.49.

Thank God for the DSL Giants who got the only W in the organization last night. Tough night to be a Giants fan!

Game Wrap 07-26-2010: Marlins 4 Giants 3

Ricky Nolasco outpitched Barry Zito who gave up HR's to Dan Uggla and Mike Stanton as the Marlins led from wire to wire and held on for a 4-3 win. Key lines:

Buster Posey- 1 for 4. BA= .368. Buster extends his hitting streak to 19 games, but did not contribute to the scoring in this game.

Aaron Rowand- 2 for 2, HR(9). BA= .243. Rowand entered the game as a PH in the 7'th and hit a 2 run HR that was disputed by the Marlins OF's who claimed a fan caught it on the field side of the fence. After review, the umps let the HR stand saying the fan touched it, but it looked like it was over the fence. Rowand also scored the third run in the 9'th.

Barry Zito- 6.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 3.49. Zito was a gamer last night hanging in there without his best stuff, but Nolasco was better and the Marlins bullpen was able to outlast the Giants comeback.

With the loss, the Giants fall to 3.5 games behind the division leading Padres. The Dodgers were idle so remained 6 games behind in 3'rd place. Colorado lost to the Phillies 5-4 to fall a full 7 games behind in 4'th place while the last place D'Backs were idle. The Cincinnati Reds lost to the BrewCrew 3-2 so the Giants remain in the Wild Card lead by 1.5 games.

Matt Cain has a very tough assignment tonight going up against the current front-runner for the NL Cy Young award, Josh Johnson. Strangely, the Giants haven't done that bad against elite pitchers this year, so you never know, but with Cain's history of poor run support, you have to go into the is game without a lot of confidence as a Giants fan.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Down on the Farm: 07-25-2010

AAA Reno Aces pounded the Fresno Grizzlies 10-5:

Emmanuel Burriss- 3 for 5. BA= .307.
Brock Bond- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .289.
Tyler Graham- 1 for 1, 2B, BB. BA= .345.
Craig Whitaker- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.00.

Burriss has 4 3-hit games in his last 10, batting .356 over that span. Whitaker has now pitched at 4 levels on the season. Humm Baby!! 50 K's in 47.1 IP, but 31 BB's.

AA Bowie Baysox held on to beat the Richmond Flying Squirrels 4-3:

Darren Ford- 2 for 3, 2 BB. BA= .245.
Brandon Belt- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .378.
Conor Gillaspie- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .275.
Dan Turpen- 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 4.24.
Rafael Cova- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 2.15.

Ford is hitting .350 over his last 10 games.

High A High Desert defeated the San Jose Giants 8-3:

Francisco Peguero- 3 for 4, HR(7). BA= .318.

Peguero is Buster Posey hot!

Low A Hickory Crawdads topped the Augusta Greenjackets 6-4:

Chris Dominguez- 3 for 5, 2B. BA= .270.
Evan Crawford- 3 for 4, 2B, HR(4). BA= .265.
Chris Gloor- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 2.57.
Jose Casilla- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 0.89.

Dominguez is hitting .310/.356/.524 over his last 10 games and has 3 multi-hit games in a row. Crawford is hitting .361/.439/.556 over his last 10 games.

Short Season Everett Aqusox bested the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 7-5:

Julio Izturis- 2 for 4, SB(5). BA= .313.
Dan Brock- 2 for 4. BA= .279.

Rookie AZL Angels downed the Giants 8-3:

Carlos Willoughby- 2 for 5. BA= .310.
Brice Cutspec- 2 for 4, BB. BA= .333.
Rafael Rodriguez- 2 for 5. BA= .241.
Michael Murray- 3 for 5. BA= .400.

DSL Giants were idle.

Game Wrap 07-25-2010: Giants 3 D'Backs 2

It was the Tim and Buster show for the Giants this afternoon down in Arizona land. Hey, Tim and Buster has to be at least as good a name for a movie as Ramona and Beezus or whatever that kidflick out there right now is called, huh? This one was a bit tougher then the first 3, but the Giants hung on to complete the sweep. There were a couple of questionable managing decisions by Bruce Bochy and possibly a third. Since the Giants won the game anyway, it's academic, but we'll break them down. Key lines:

Aubrey Huff- 1 for 3, 2 BB. Huff seemed a bit frustated by the 4 pitch arsenal of Barry Enright, but managed to contribute an RBI and a run scored in the game.

Buster Posey- 4 for 5, 2 2B. BA= .371. Wow! Does this kid have it all going on, or what? 4 basehits, left-center, RF, LF, right-center. There was no place they could pitch him that was safe! Here's the second and possibly third of Bochy's questionable decisions. Buster led off the 10'th inning with a double to right-center. Bochy reprised a much criticized move he made a few weeks ago when in Colorado when he took him out and used Eli Whiteside as a pinch runner. Bochy is apparently convinced that Whiteside is a faster runner than Buster Posey. That's a debate that will likely never be settled, but it's obviously settled in Bochy's mind. He also apparently thought he had to go for the W right there, although if that factored into the decision, he still had Aaron Rowand on the bench who is almost certainly a faster runner than Whiteside. Here's how it played out: Uribe grounded out to the right side with Whiteside advancing to 3B. Nate Schierholtz then was walked intentionally after the D'Backs tried to get him to chase a couple of pitches that were way outside strike zone. Here's where things got really strange. Travis Ishikawa came to the plate and on a 2-1 pitch, Nate took off for 2B. The pitch was so far outside it could have been a pitchout and Nate was out by a foot with Whiteside glued to 3B. I don't know if it was supposed to be a hit-and-run or if Nate was sent on a straight steal or if he was running on his own. In any event, it was an incredibly stupid play. Yeah, it took away the DP, but it also took away the Sac Fly. Whoever made the blunder, Travis picked them up with a sharp ground ball single through the right side to drive in the winning run.

Travis Ishikawa- 2 for 5. BA= .333. As Kruk said on the TV broadcast, Travis just became Bochy's favorite hitter for awhile. Hopefully he earned himself some more PT here.

Tim Lincecum- 8 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 3.12. Timmy came out with a strong 92 MPH heater that he was throwing for strikes. It appeared that he and Buster had a game plan to establish the fastball and use it to pitch to contact early and only go to the breaking ball in key strikeout situations. The plan was successful in limiting the D'Backs to just the 2 runs. It did result in quite a few basehits/baserunners, but Timmy was able to break out the secondary stuff for the K when he needed it to get out of tough situations when he needed it. Timmy also showed his stamina as his most dominant ininng was the 7'th despite a warm, humid environment in which both pitchers soaked their uniforms clear through with sweat. That brings us to the first of Bochy's questionable decisions. Timmy came to the plate in the top of the 8'th with 2 outs and runners on first and 3'rd. Rowand was in the on-deck circle but it turned out he as only a decoy to get the D'Backs to pitch to Freddy Sanchez, but they didn't bite. Timmy was a gamer and worked the count to 3-2, but ended up swinging at strike 3. The argument for letting Rowand bat here is you have a chance to take the lead late in a tight game and you might not get another chance. The counter is that Rowand himself is no sure thing in that situation, but bullpen has been a bit shaky and Timmy was coming off his most dominant inning. Timmy went out for the bottom of the 8'th an promptly gave up a leadoff double to Kelly Johnson making the bullpen option look might attractive at that point. Fortunately for the Giants, Timmy pitched his way out of it helped by a lucky stab of a liner by Juan Uribe off the bat of Miguel Montero. Justin Upton had taken off with the crack of the bat at first base and was easily doubled off in just one of manuy fundamental blunders by Upton and the D'Backs this series. Sergio Romo went on to show why Bochy might not have had a lot of faith in his bullpen by getting into trouble and pitching out of it in the bottom of the 9'th.

All in all, I think letting Timmy bat in the 8'th was an entirely defensible move that could be argued either way. The pinch running for Buster is something I personally don't agree with and I'm sure most fans feel the same way, but it's something Bochy obviously feels strongly about and has thought out ahead of time rather than a spur of the moment blunder. Another factor that may have come into play is that Buster had been squatting behind the plate for 9 innings and had been on base 4 times. Bochy may have thought his legs were tiring. We don't know who made the decision to run Nate with 1 out and a runner at 3B, so we'll give Boch the benefit of the doubt there. It all had a happy ending as the Giants swept their second 4 game road series of the season. They completed a stretch of 22 games with 18 on the road with a 16-6 record. Pretty darn impressive if you ask me!

Once again, the Giants could only keep pace with the NL West leading San Diego Padres by a 3 game deficit. The Dodgers took a 1-0 game from the Mets to remain 6 games behind the leaders and 3 games behind the second place Giants. Colorado dropped another one to the Phillies 4-3 and fell to 7.5 games off the pace while the hapless D'Backs dropped to 22 games behind. Cincinnati dropped a 4-0 decision to ATL, so the Giants will be no worse than 1.5 games ahead in the Wild Card race after the Cards play the Cubbies. If the Cards win, Cincy will be in second place in the NL Central 1.5 games behind the Giants in the Wild Card. If St Louis loses, they will be the second place team and be a full 2 games off the Giants Wild Card pace.

The Giants now come home to a 4 game set with the Florida Marlins before taking on their NL West rivals in August. They get no days off this week as Barry Zito starts off the homestand facing Ricky Nolasco who can run hot and cold then Matt Cain takes on the currrent Cy Young front runner Josh Johnson in game 2. Should be a couple of great games and an exciting series. Go Giants!!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Down on the Farm: 07-24-2010

AAA Fresno beat the Reno Aces 6-3:

Emmanuel Burriss- 3 for 5. BA= .295.
Matt Downs- 2 for 4, 2B, BB. BA= .280.
Ryan Rohlinger- 0 for 1. BA= .308.
Brock Bond-1 for 3. BA= .287.
Todd Wellemeyer- 4.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 6 BB, 4 K's. ERA=0.96.
Joe Paterson- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.44.

Neither Rent nor Uribe are signed for next season. Where does Burriss fit into the SS picture for next season? Beyond? Rohlinger was pulled from the game, presumably to take Velez' roster spot if he goes on the DL, which seems likely. Bond finished the game at 3B. Yikes! Those 6 BB's in Wellemeyer's line don't look so good, do they? If the Giants really need a LOOGY, should Paterson get the next opportunity? Speaking of LOOGYs. Did anyone else see Special Agent Jack Taschner try to lose the game for the Dodgers today? Had to get that in somewhere!

AA Bowie Baysox crushed the Richmond Flying Squirrels 10-0:

Thomas Neal- 0 for 1, 3 BB. BA= .285.
Conor Gillaspie- 2 for 4. BA= .273.
Michael Main- 3 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 6 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 10.80.

Main's struggles have to be concerning, especially in such a pitching friendly environment. Maybe he needs a session or two with Dick Tidrow. Maybe Tidrow should just set up a permanent camp down in Arizona! GAme temp was 100 degrees with the wind blowing out at 10 MPH, but that didn't seem to bother the BaySox pitchers.

High A San Jose Giants edged the High Desert Mavericks 3-2:

Johnny Monell- 1 for 4, HR(11). BA= .256.
Michael Sandoval- 1 for 1, HR(2), 2 BB. BA= .306.
James Simmons- 2 for 3. BA= .239.
Justin Fitzgerald- 8 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 8 K's. ERA= 3.42.

This was Fitz' best start in over 10 games.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets downed the Hickory Crawdads 13-7:

Ryan Cavan- 3 for 4, BB. BA= .283.
Chris Dominguez- 3 for 4, HR(15), BB. BA= .266.
Tommy Joseph- 1 for 3, BB. BA= .228.
Evan Crawford- 2 for 5, SB(19). BA= .260.
Ydwin Villegas- 2 for 4, SB(1). BA= .201.
Jose Valdez- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 4.14.

Great looking line by Dominguez who even drew a walk! Would it hurt anything to move him up to San Jose now that Belt has moved up?

Short Season Everett Aquasox blanked the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 2-0:

Taylor Rogers- 5 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 3.57.
Matt Graham- 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K's, GO/AO= 5/1. ERA= 7.46.

Rookie AZL Giants defeated the Indians 5-1:

Carlos Willoughby- 1 for 4, HR(1). BA= .305.
Brice Cutspec- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .322.
Michael Murray- 1 for 3, 2B. BA= .360.
Johnathan DeBerry- 1 for 2, 2B, SB(4). BA= .182.
Waldis Joaquin- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's, GO/AO= 3/0.
Armando Paniagua= 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 4.03.
Jacob Dunnington- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 0.63.

Paniagua is listed as 5'11", 155 lbs. He has 23 K's in 22.1 IP. Dunnington has 21 K's in 14.1 IP.

DSL Giants topped the Phillies 5-2:

Alberto Robles- 2 for 4, SB. BA= .265.
Leonardo Fuentes- 2 for 3, SF. BA= .232.

Robles is hitting .343 over his last 10 games.

Game Wrap 07-24-2010: Giants 10 D'Backs 4

The Giants backed up another strong pitching performance by Madison Bumgarner with an offensive outburst punctuated by a Grand Slam HR by Juan Uribe for a blowout W in Arizona land. The joy was tempered by scary incident in which Eugenio Velez was struck on the head by an errant liner off the bat of Pat Burrell while watching the game from the dugout. Fortunately, reports sound encouraging that Pharoah is going to be OK. Key lines:

Andres Torres- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .275. The double was scorched past Adam Laroche who could have easily caught it, but simply couldn't get his glove up in time. It looked like he might have not seen the ball immediately off the bat, but that ball was smoked! BTW, looks like I was right about the ball that went over Upton's head last night. The official scorer changed it to a double, a well deserved one for Andres. He absolutely scorched that ball too, as he has done to so many balls this year. Man, he is hitting the ball HARD!

Edgar Renteria- 2 for 4, 2B, BB. BA= .301. Quality AB's from Rent! He needs to stay in the 2-hole when Freddy is back in the lineup.

Aubrey Huff- 3 for 5. BA= .309. Good day to pad the offensive stat line.

Buster Posey- 2 for 3, 2 BB. BA= .358. Posey was, once again, right in the middle of the Giants offense. He extended his hitting streak to 17 games tying him with Orlando Cepeda for #2 on the SF Giants all time rookie list. He's still chasing Willie Mac at 22.

Juan Uribe- 1 for 4, HR(13), BB. #13 was a long time coming, but worth the wait. The Salami put the game out of reach at 7-1.

Madison Bumgarner- 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 2.43. Bum has come a long, long ways in such a short period of time. He really showed me something today with a full array of MLB quality secondary pitches to go with his signature darting fastball which sat at 90-92 MPH on the TV gun clear into the 5'th and 6'th innings. In addition to the FB and cutter, the curveball was Kershawesque and I even saw a couple of nasty changeups that had the D'Backs hitters lunging. Forget sending this kid to the bullpen. Heck, the Angels won a World Series without any lefies in the bullpen. Bochy managed one of the best bullpens in baseball in San Diego for several year with no lefties. Who needs lefties in the bullpen? Bumgarner just might be our second best starter right now. How huge is that? Can you tell I'm stoked?

The Giants were, once again, only able to keep pace with the NL West leading San Diego Padres who blew out Pittsburgh 9-2. The Giants trail the leaders by 3 games. They were, however able to put some more distance between themselves and the rest of the division as Colorado and Ubaldo Jimenez got blasted by the Phillies 10-2 to drop into 4'th place 0.5 games behind the Dodgers and 6.5 games behind the leaders. The Dodgers hung on to beat the Mets 3-2 in extra innings to remain 6 games behind the lead. Arizona drops to 21 games behind. The Giants also gained 0.5 games in the Wild Card race. Cincinnati won to vault over the Card into first place in the NL Central. The Giants now lead the Cards by a full game in the Wild Card race.

If anyone doubts the wisdom of building a team around pitching and defense, just take a look at the D'Back who waste a very good lineup on terrible pitching and even worse defense on almost a daily basis.

The Giants close out the series as well as the road trip with Tim Lincecum taking the mound hoping to get his game back on track after his last wild outing against the Dodgers in LA. Come on Timmy, bring the broom with you!

We'll close the post by sending a thought up to the Big Guy for Eugenio Velez and his family, Pat Burrell who appeared to be just stricken over what happened, and the rest of the Giants who must be concerned about their teammate. There are some things in life more important than baseball!

Down on the Farm: 07-23-2010

AAA Reno Aces defeated the Fresno Giants 9-5:

Brock Bond- 0 for 3, 2 BB. BA= .287. OBP= .405.
John Bowker- 3 for 4. BA= .327.
Jesus Guzman- 1 for 2, HR(13), 2 BB. BA= .309.

The GIants don't appear to need either Bowk or Guzman right now. They need to bide their time and be ready the next time an opportunity arises. Bond's OBP skills may be too one dimensional for an MLB gig. The Giants could use those skills at the top of their order though.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels pounded the Bowie Baysox 14-4:

Darren Ford- 1 for 2, 3B(7), 3 BB, HBP. BA= .243.
Thomas Neal- 3 for 5, HR(9), HBP. BA= .286.
Brandon Belt- 3 for 5, 2 2B. BA= .371.
Brad Boyer- 3 for 4, HR(1), BB. BA= .265.
Sharlon Schoop- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .275.
Craig Westcott- 6 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 2.63.
Andy Sisco- 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 4.29.

Neal and Belt get it going again. Is Sharlon Schoop closer to the majors than Brandon Crawford right now? Nice line by the big fella, Sisco. Ford seems to be putting up better looking lines since his arrest. Maybe he was carrying a mental load that was lifted? I support the Giants supporting him and letting him play. Hopefully he gets probation or something and learned a hard lesson in life.

High A High Desert topped the San Jose Giants 5-3:

Francisco Peguero- 3 for 4, 3B(14), SB(36). BA= .317.
Johnny Monell- 1 for 4, HR(10). BA= .257.
Charlie Culberson- 2 for 4. BA= .328.
Wendell Fairley- 1 for 3, BB, SB(7), Assist(at home). BA= .295.
Ryan Verdugo- 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 2.02.
Craig Whitaker- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 1.86.

Peguero has 4 games in a row with at least 3 hits. His performance of late landed him at #7 on BA's Prospect Hot Sheet. In the Q/A, Matt Eddy made the comparison with Giants first round draft pick Gary Brown, noting that he and Peguero are very similar players. Should make for some interesting discussions down the road. Culberson was back in the lineup for those of you who were concerned. Verdugo started the game. Are the Giants going to try him at starter now? Whitaker has shuttled between 3 levels in a strange season for him.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets beat the Greensboro Grasshoppers 6-1:

Nick Liles- 3 for 4, BB, SB(20). BA= .321.
Ryan Cavan- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .278.
Chris Dominguez- 2 for 4, SB(10). BA= .261.
Ryan Lollis- 2 for 4, HR(2). BA= .289.
Jorge Bucardo- 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K's, GO/AO= 15/2. ERA= 2.21.
Zack Wheeler- 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K's. ERA= 4.88.

Another dominant start for Bucardo. I like seeing multi-hit games for Chris Dominguez. It looks like Wheeler is being confined to 1 inning appearances for the time being. Hope it's just a precaution and not a permanent move.

Short Season Salem-Keizer Volcanoes topped the Everett Aquasox 6-4:

Chris Lofton- 2 for 4, BB. BA= .293.
Dan Brock- 1 for 3, BB, SB(3). BA= .281.
Ryan Scoma- 2 for 2, 2B, 3B, 2 BB. BA= .328.
Jake Dunning- 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 2.28.
Stephen Harrold- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's, Save(2). ERA= 7.11.

Greg Brock's kid has some speed? Dunning has 31 K's in 23.2 IP.

Rookie AZL Giants bested the Cubs 5-1:

Carlos Willoughby- 2 for 4, 3B. BA= .308.
Brice Cutspec- 2 for 4. BA= .309.
Charlie Jones- 1 for 3, BB, SB(1). BA= .306.
Rafael Rodriguez- 2 for 3, BB, SB(1). BA= .250.
Reiner Roibal- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.00.

The Giants used 7 pitchers with none going more than 2 innings. Roibal seems like the top prospect of the bunch, so I posted his line.

DSL The entire DSL was, once again, postponed, presumably due to weather.

Game Wrap 07-23-2010: Giants 7 D'Backs 4

The Giants offense, led by Aubrey Huff, picked up a Santiago Casilla after a blown save and ovecame Kelly Johnson hitting for the cycle down in Arizona land. Key lines:

Andres Torres- 1 for 5, 3B. BA= .273. In the 7'th inning, Torres hit the game winning triple to CF after a couple of throwing errors by opposing pitcher Edwin Jackson had put runners on 2'nd and 3'rd with a run in. He also hit a rocket over the head of Justin Upton in the 9'th inning that was counted as an error. Yes, it was misplayed by Upton, but credit Torres with absolutely crushing the ball which made it take off like a rising fastball over Upton's head. Upton actually rightly judged that the normal path of the ball would take it right to him, but the ball just kept carrying. I think it could have been scored a double.

Aubrey Huff- 3 for 5, 2 HR(19). BA=.305. Huff had been a somewhat of a HR drought. Man, he sure came out of it in this game!

Travis Ishikawa- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .329. He did leave 5 runners on base, though. Nate left 6.

Edgar Renteria- 1 for 3, 2 BB. BA= .296. Not sure where all the Rent hate comes from on some other sites. He's been a steady performer this year when healthy.

Freddy Sanchez- 0 for 4, BB. BA= .267. Freddy is slumping badly after a hot start coming back from the DL. Time to snap out of it, Freddy, or Uribe should start getting some PT at 2'nd.

Jonathan Sanchez- 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 10 K's. ERA= 3.35. Typical start for Durty. Lots of K's, lots of BB's, lots of pitches. 109 in 5 innings to be exact. Sanchez needs to keep his pitch count down enough to get through the 6'th or 7'th innings more often. Still, if he did this every time and other starters went deeper into games, I think we'd all take it. Still, the Giants have a lot of starters who tend to throw a lot of pitches and it's eventually going to tax the bullpen.

Sergio Romo- 1.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 2.08. Romo man was not quite able to get to the 9'th inning. Still, eating up those outs and getting the ball to Wilson went a long ways toward winning this game.

Brian Wilson- 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(28). ERA= 1.87. Despite all the heart attacks he's given Giants fans this year, Wilson has to be considered one of the elite closers in baseball. Maybe his greatest strength is the ability to go more than 1 inning. This was the 11'th time this season he pitched more than 1 inning in a game. What a horse!

The Giants solidified their position in second place, 3 games behind the NL West leading Padres who defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3. Colorado got blanked by the Phillies 6-0 to drop 2.5 games behind the Giants in 3'rd place, 5.5 games behind the Pads. The Dodgers continued to struggle losing to Johan Santana and the Mets 6-1 to fall 6 games off the pace in 4'th place. Arizona brings up the rear with a 20 game deficit. The Giants maintained a 0.5 game lead over the Cincinnati Reds in the Wild Card race.

Madison Bumgarner takes the mound this evening against Ian Kennedy who has been tough on the Giants this season. It will be another test for the young Giants pitcher. Watch his velocity and stamina closely.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Down on the Farm: 07-22-2010

AAA Salt Lake City Bees stung the Fresno Grizzlies 11-3:

John Bowker- 2 for 4, HR(12). BA= .317.
Jesus Guzman- 3 for 4, 2B. BA= .308.
Ryan Rohlinger- 2 for 3, HR(5), BB. BA= .316.
Ben Copeland- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .261.

Did getting picked in the Rule 5 draft harm Copeland's career or is this where he would be anyway?

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels topped the Bowie Baysox 3-2:

Nick Noonan- 1 for 5, 3B. BA= .245.
Thomas Neal- 1 for 3, 2B, BB. BA= .281.
Clayton Tanner- 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 3.17.

Tanner's ERA is 2.73 over his last 10 starts, but his K/BB is still a pretty poor 33/25 in 66 IP. He partially compensates by keeping the ball on the ground with a GO/AO= 1.81, but he well need to miss more bats to make it in the majors.

High A Stockton Ports defeated the San Jose Giants 6-2:

Francisco Peguero- 3 for 5,, 3B, HR(6). BA= .312.
Ehire Adrianza- 2 for 4, BB. BA= .261.
Johnny Monell- 2 for 3, BB. BA= .257.
Michael Sandoval- 3 for 4. BA= .318.
Drew Biery- 1 for 4, HR(12). BA= .273.

Peguero is en fuego with 10 hits in 16 ABs over his last 3 games including 2 dingers. He has 6 multihit games in his last 10 for a .409/.458/.659 line. Pablo Sandoval reportedly talked hitting with his brother Michael over the All-Star break. Maybe MIchael has a future as a hitting coach?

Low A Greensboro Grasshoppers chewed up the Augusta Greenjackets 8-1:

Chris Gloor- 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 2.68.

Not much else to see here.

Short Season Everett Aquasox outlasted the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 5-4 in 14 innings:

Chris Lofton- 2 for 5, 2B, 2 BB. BA= .284.
Julio Izturis- 3 for 6, S. BA= .304.
Ryan Scoma- 2 for 7, HR(2). BA= .317.
Shane Kaufman- 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 3.09.
Shawn Sanford- 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 2.35
Andrew Romo- 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 2.79.

As per Extra Baggs, Dan Brock is the son of former Dodger phenom and Milwaukee Brewer Greg Brock. Sanford now has 18 K's in 15.1 IP.

Rookie AZL Giants vs Padres postponed.

DSL The entire league was postponed.

Props to fla-giant over on who broke the story of the Giants signing their 18'th round draft pick Brandon Allen out of a Florida HS. The Giants reportedly got it done by kicking in extra $$$ for school and 2 plane tickets to Arizona for his parents. BTW, Brandon's dad, Randy, is a former NBA player for the Sacramento Kings. Brandon is a 6'6" RHP with a very projectable frame.

Also, word that the Giants have an above-slot agreement in place with 19'th round pick Austin Southall, a bat-first OF who has a commitment to LSU, but has apparently agreed to forgo that.

Assuming the Giants will get Brown, Parker and Kickham all signed, that would leave only Andrew Barbosa from the top 20 picks not signed. Dang! I'd like to get that guy into the organization and see what he can do. Barbosa seems like he might be just a bit ambivalent about a baseball career, though.

Game Wrap 07-22-2010: Giants 3 D'Backs 0

Matt Cain was masterful and got just enough run support as the Giants continued their winning ways out in the desert. Key lines:

Andres Torres- 1 for 4, HR(9). BA= .274. Torres got all of the HR ball and it went out in the deepest part of the ballpark. For a comparison, Chris Young, who is no weakling, crushed one to straightaway LF and it died at the wall and was hauled in by...Torres! A very impressive jack by Andres!

Buster Posey- 2 for 4. BA= .353. Buster extended his hitting streak to 16 games trailing only Orlando Cepeda(17) and Willie McCovey(22) in SF Giants history. Chili Davis, Dan Gladden and Tom O'Malley all are tied at 15 games.

Matt Cain- 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 9 K's. ERA= 3.10. Cainer labored through the first inning managing to not allow a run and then just turned on the afterburners dominating the D'Backs lineup for the next 7 innings. I knew he was going to be OK when he blew 94 MPH fastballs by Mark Reynolds when Reynolds knew they were coming.

Brian Wilson- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(27). ERA= 1.93.

The W gets the Giants back to 3 games behind the Padres, who lost to the Braves 8-0. It also gets them 0.5 games up in the Wild Card race over the Cincinnati Reds. The Giants also put a crack of daylight between themselves and the 3'rd place Rockes who lost to the Marlins 3-2 and remained 4.5 games behind the Pads but 1.5 games behind the Giants. The Dodgers got their second 2-0 shutout in a row, this time by Hiroki Kuroda over the Mets, to move up to 5 games behind the Padres. The loss drops the last place D'Backs to 19 games off the lead.

Jonathan Sanchez takes the mound tomorrow night matching up againsts Edwin Jackson who also tends to run hot and cold. If Jackson is on, it will be a tough one to win.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Down on the Farm: 07-21-2010

AAA Fresno blanked the Salt Lake City Bees 4-0:

Ryan Rohlinger- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .309.
Eric Hacker- 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K's. ERA= 4.51.

Hacker's W-L record is 11-5.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels topped the Trenton Thunder 4-2:

Darren Ford- 3 for 4, 3B. BA= .241.
Brandon Belt- 2 for 4, 3B, SB(1). BA= .371.
David Mixon- 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 3.31.

Ford is hitting .324 over his last 10 games.

High A San Jose Giants crushed the Stockton Ports 17-1:

Francisco Peguero- 4 for 6, 2 2B, 3B, SB(35). BA= .307.
Juan Perez- 3 for 6, 2B. BA= .303.
Johnny Monell- 4 for 5, HR(9). BA= .253.
Jose Flores- 3 for 4. BA= .332.
Drew Biery- 2 for 4, 2 HR(11). BA= .273.
Joel Weeks- 3 for 5, 2B. BA= .243.
Kyle Woodruff- 4.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 3 K's.

Peguero is red hot.

Low A Augusta edged the Greensboro Grasshoppers 6-5:

Nick Liles- 2 for 3, 2 BB. BA= .318.
Luke Anders- 2 for 4, 2B, BB. BA= .298.
Evan Crawford- 3 for 4, BB, SB(18). BA= .257.
Andy Reichard- 6.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K's.

Short Season Salem-Keizer Volcanoes defeated the Everett Aquasox 11-6:

Raynor Campbell- 2 for 4, BB. BA= .280.
Carter Jurica- 4 for 5, 2 3B, SB(7). BA= .210.
Kyle Mach- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .219.
Edwin Escobar- 3.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 3.82.

It's about time Jurica's bat came alive. Let's see if he can keep it going!

Rookie AZL Giants were idle.

DSL Giants dropped the Marlins 7-5:

Luis Vasquez- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(2). BA= .306.
Fernando Pujadas- 2 for 3. BA= .286.
Victor Feliz- 1 for 3, 2B, BB. BA= .221.
Jesus Galindo- 1 for 3, BB, 2 SB(30). BA= .216.

Sorry if this was a bit perfunctory but I am dead tired and have a very bad headache. Gotta get to bed!

Game Wrap 07-21-2010: Dodgers 2 Giants 0

For those of you who might have been disappointed that last night's game was not a crackling pitcher's duel, you might have liked tonight's game a bit better. Barry Zito and Chad Billingsley hooked up in an old fashioned one with Billz coming out on top. It was hard to tell if Billz actually outpitched Zito or if the Giants hitters were just worse than the Dodgers. Key lines:

Barry Zito- 7.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 3.45. Zeets gave up a dinger to the hated Casey Blake, but nothing more until clearly tiring in the 8'th inning. I know he's been doing it awhile, but I'll give a shout out to the way Zito talks to himself out on the mound after doing something he doesn't like. I think it gives him a sense of intensity and determination that maybe hasn't always been there in his Giants career.

Chad Billingsley- 9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K's, GO/AO= 16/6. Billz might not have been dominating tonight. It almost seemed like the Giants hitters could have made him work a bit harder, but he certainly was good enough to keep the Giants from getting on the scoreboard. As is common with opposing pitchers, the Giants didn't force Billz to throw enough pitches to get to a very shaky bullpen.

That's it. No hitting lines worth mentioning for the Giants although Huff and Nate had a double each. The Giants couldn't sustain a rally long enough to get any of their baserunners home.

The Padres beat the Braves in extra innings 6-4 to drop the Giants 4 games off the pace. Colorado lost to Florida 5-2 to drop 4.5 gmaes behind while the winning Dodgers remained 6 games behind. The last place D'Backs are tied with the Mets and going to extra innings.

The Giants continue their road trip with a 4 game series in Arizona. Matt Cain gets things started with a matchup vs Rodrigo Lopez in a game the Giants should be expected to win.

Down on the Farm: 07-20-2010

AAA Salt Lake City Bees outlasted the Fresno Grizzlies 9-8 in 13 innings:

John Bowker- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(11), 2 BB. BA= .314.
Tyler Graham- 2 for 3, SB(24). BA= .342.
Ben Copeland- 2 for 5, HR(3). BA= .255.

I wonder when Johnny B will get his next chance? Doesn't seem like there are any openings in SF right now.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels topped the Trenton Thunder 8-3:

Sharlon Schoop- 3 for 3, HR(1), BB. BA= .286.
Felix Romero- 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 3.67.

Schoop is the forgotten man this year. He was out from 4/8-7/8 and has played just 6 games since. Great game last night to lead the Squirrels though.

High A Stockton Ports downed the San Jose Giants 8-6:

Francisco Peguero- 3 for 5, HR(5), SB(34). BA= .301.
Ehire Adrianza- 1 for 3, 2 BB, SB(24). BA= .260.
Monell, Fairley, Flores- 2 hits each.

Peguero played CF in this game.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets edged the Greensboro Grasshoppers 2-1:

Ryan Cavan- 1 for 4, HR(10). BA= .277.
Ryan Lollis- 2 for 3. BA= .290.
Craig Clark- 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 3.09.
Zack Wheeler- 0.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K. ERA= 4.75.
Jose Valdez- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 4.35.

More curious use of Zack Wheeler.

Short Season Salem-Keizer Volcanoes defeated Vancouver Canadians 5-2:

Julio Izturis- 2 for 5. BA= .291
Raynor Campbell- 3 for 4, 2B, S. BA= .270.
Jesse Shriner- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .247.
Carlos Quintana- 2 for 3, 2 2B, BB. BA= .303.
Edward Concepcion- 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 4.68.
Addison Proszek- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.00.

After a rough start, Concepcion has a line of 3-1, 2.25, 28 IP, 12 BB, 23 K's in his last 6 starts. 1.89 ERA over his last 5 starts. Proszek makes his second appearance after moving up from AZL. I missed the first one. Proszek is a big boy listed at 6'5", 260 lbs.

Rookie AZL Giants top the A's 3-2:

Austin Fleet- 4.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 2.33.
Stephen Shackleford- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 2.30.

Shack's season line stands at 1-1, 2.30, 15.2 IP, 3 BB, 20 K's, GO/AO= 3.17.

DSL Giants game was postponed.

Game Wrap 07-20-2010: Giants 7 Dodgers 5

It seems like more often than not, marquee pitching matchups are a lot more about anticipation than reality. Last night was no exception as one of the more memorable Giants-Dodgers games will not be remembered as a pitching duel. TIm Lincecum was off his game from the very first pitch. Clayton Kershaw was on his. As the game went on, it looked like an easy W for the Dodgers. Then Tim Lincecum, who must have known he was about finished for the night, decided to take out his frustrations on Matt Kemp, first dusting him under the chin, then drilling him in the ribs with then next pitch. The home plate umpire warned both benches. That was clearly a turning point in the game as the Dodger bench came unglued. What ensued was the Dodgers becoming unfocused and making mistake after mistake while the Giants appeared to stay in complete control. Here is a partial timeline for the rest of the game with my best attempt at commentary:

Bottom of the 5'th: Trailing 5-1, Timmy first dusts Kemp then drills him in the ribs. Ump gets between Kemp and Timmy as Kemp walks to first and issues a warning to both benches. The Dodgers bench goes nuts led by their bench coach Bob Schaefer who was screaming his head off at the ump. The next batter, Blake DeWitt singles softly to RF. Kemp gets thrown out at 3B trying to take the extra base, perhaps in retaliation for the HBP. He actually beat the throw, but overslid the bag. Bochy takes out Tim and brings in Bautista who is not exactly a control pitcher. Casey Blake flies out.

Top of 6'th: Sanchez and Posey lead off the inning with singles putting runners at first and third. These hits were only the 2'nd and third allowed by Kershaw on the night. Pat Burrell hits a long drive to the wall in LF which had HR written all over it, but it died in the marine air and Dodgers Stadium downdraft setting up an easy catch for Xavier Paul, but the ball just popped out of his glove. Sanchez scored on the play while Posey and Burrell ended up at 3'rd and 2'nd. Burrell was credited with a SF and Paul a 2 base error. Pablo Sandoval blistered one down the LF line for a double and the score was 5-4.

Bottom of the 6'th: Denny Bautista dusts Russell Martin(I have to admit I didn't see it as I had to run out for a quick trip to the gas station and store). Not sure why Bautista and Bochy weren't ejected at that point. Apparently Bob Schaefer wondered the same thing and got himself tossed. As the Bench Coach, would Schaefer have been managing in the ninth inning instead of Mattingly? If so, nice!!

Top of the 7'th: Kershaw, apparently knowing this was his last inning drills Aaron Rowand(remember Vicente Padilla beaning Gamer in the face back in SF early in the season? That's likely where this all started in the first place). Kershaw gets ejected. No big deal, Kershaw is coming out anyway, right? Well, Torre gets tossed along with him due to the prior warning. Hong Chi Kuo comes in and breezes through the 7'th and 8'th innings.

Top of the 9'th: Jonathan Broxton comes in to close out the Giants even though the Dodgers didn't want to use him after his 44 pitch losing effort on Sunday against the Cards. Broxton gives up a single to Juan Uribe on a dribbler to short that Furcal couldn't reach in time. After 4 pitches to Edgar Renteria, Bochy brings in Nate to pinch run for Uribe. Rent then draws a walk putting runners at first and second. Here, I would have brought up Huff or Travis to pinch hit for Gamer, or Matt Cain to execute the sacrifice, but Gamer got the bunt down on a real difficult pitch and advanced the runners to 2'nd and 3'rd. Bochy sent Aubrey Huff up to pinch hit for the pitcher, Casilla and the Dodgers intentionally walked him to load the bases. Here's where things got really weird. Don Mattingly, who was the Dodgers Field Manager with Torre and Schaefer cooling off in the clubhouse, came out to discuss the situation with Broxton and the Dodgers infield. He appeared to conclude the discussion and turned to walk back to the dugout getting both feet off the mound and onto the grass. James Loney called a question out to him and he turned and walked about half way back up the mound, said something to Loney and then walked back to the dugout. Bruce Bochy immediately popped out of the Giants dugout and made an appeal to the home plate ump who conferred with the Crew Chief. They ruled that Mattingly had made two trips to the mound, which the rules clearly state he did, which meant Broxton had to come out of the game. There was a lot of milling around by the Dodgers and Casey Blake, yes, Casey Blake, had a heated discussion with the ump. Mattingly brought in George Sherrill, the Dodgers version of the Human Gas Can, who only got 8 warmup pitches after 2 in the bullpen. Rick Honeycutt had recommended Sherrill to Mattingly because he though having Torres bat from the right side increased their chances of getting a DP. Maybe the Dodgers still think of Torres as a slap hitter, but he's a flyball hitter and he drilled one off the wall in left-center field for a 2 run double giving the Giants a 6-5 lead. That was the ballgame. The Giants would go on to score another run and Affeldt got the Save in the bottom of the ninth giving Brian Wilson the night off.

Key lines:

Andres Torres- 1 for 4, HBP, Assist(Kemp at 3B). Where would the Giants be this year without Torres?

Buster Posey- 2 for 5. Buster had a relatively quiet game, and still was involve in 2 of the Giants 6 runs.

Pablo Sandoval- 1 for 4, 2B, BB. The double was absolutely smoked down the LF line. It hooked, but stayed fair by about 2 inches.

Aaron Rowand- 0 for 1, HBP, S. Gamer took one for the team and got Torre ejected then got a very difficult sac bunt down in the pivotal 9'th that led to Mattingly's fateful conference on the mound.

Tim Lincecum- 4.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.18. Timmy was obviously out of sorts from his first pitch of the game. No control at all. It's very possible that Timmy was just wild when he hit dusted Kemp and then drilled him, but in Torre's mind, he was still carrying a grudge from Padilla beaning Gamer early in the season. Whatever the case, in exiting the game, Timmy planted the seeds of a Dodgers meltdown and a memorable Giants come-from-behind win. Love it!!

With the W, the Giants move to 3 games behind the Padres who lost to ATL 4-1. Colorado crushed Florida 10-0 to keep pace with the Giants and move up to 3.5 games behind the division lead. With the L, the Dodgers remain 6 games behind, and more importantly, allowed some daylight to open up between them and the Giants and Rockies. Arizona edged the Mets 3-2 to get to 19 games behind in last place.

Barry Zito takes the mound tonight against Chad Billingsley and a Dodger team that must be absolutely seething. What's in store tonight? Man, this almost feels like the bad blood from those 60's Giants-Dodgers series! I am pumped!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Game Wrap 07-19-2010: Giants 5 Dodgers 2

With Madison Bumgarner facing James McDonald, this seemed like a game the Giants ought to win. They didn't disappoint, taking the first of a 3 game set against The Hated Ones. Key lines:

Andres Torres- 1 for 4, 2B, BB. Torres scored a run, but could have cost the Giants this game by forgetting how many outs there were running from first on a flyball that was clearly going to be caught with the bases loaded and 1 out. Fortunately, the Giants go credit for the insurance run before Torres was doubled off 1B. Torre tried to argue that he had passed Rent on the basepath, but to no avail. This is the second time in 3 games a Giant has forgotten how many outs there were.

Buster Posey- 1 for 4, BB. Posey drove in the first run in the 3'rd inning after a bitterly disappointing second inning where the Giants had the bases loaded with no outs and came up empty. He then scored the second run ahead of Panda's double. Buster and Panda! Sounds like a pretty good name for a kid's show on TV, huh? Let's hope their show is a long running one for the Giants.

Pablo Sandoval- 2 for 5, 2B. Panda is looking more and more confident at the plate. His double to left-center was a line drive that just kept going and going threading the needle between Kemp and Carroll in CF and LF respectively.

Travis Ishikawa- 1 for 2, 2 BB. Unfortunately, his lone out was a K with the bases loaded and no outs in the 2'nd inning. He partially made up for that by singling ahead of Nate's 2 run dinger in the 4'th.

Nate Schierholtz- 1 for 4, HR(3). Nate hit a weak pop up to 2B with the bases loaded and one out in the second but made up for it with his 2 run dinger in the 4'th.

Madison Bumgarner- 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 2.41. Loved the way Bum handled the Dodgers in this one. No fear! The only concern is he started losing velocity as early as the 4'th inning and by the 6'th it was dropping with each pitch and he was clearly running on fumes. I think Bumgarner has a great future, but I wouldn't count on him finishing out the season as a member of the starting rotation. He might need to work out of the pen as the season wears on. Remember he wore down late last year too. Don't go trading away starting pitchers just yet, Sabes.

Brian Wilson- 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's, Save(26). ERA=1.98. Wilson always has to give me a heart attack before he closes it out, but I have a sneaking suspicion he walked Ethier on purpose just so he could blow Casey Blake away on 3 straight pitches. Grab some pine, meat....and a few other things too!!!

Attendance- 45, 056. This was the official attendance. At no time did there appear to be more than 25,000 people in the stands from the TV pans.

The Padres were idle, so the Giants move to 4 games behind the leaders into second place as the Rockies lost a see-saw battle with the Florida Marlins 9-8 to fall 4.5 games off the pace. With the loss, the Dodgers fell 6 games behind. Arizona trounced the Mets 13-2 and improve their last place standing to 20 games behind the Pads.

Tim Lincecum and Clayton Kershaw provide a marquee matchup tomorrow night.

Down on the Farm: 07-19-2010

AAA Salt Lake City Bees outlasted the Fresno Grizzlies 1-0 in 12 innings:

Brock Bond, John Bowker, Jesus Guzman- 2 hits each.
Todd Wellemeyer- 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 0.00.
Henry Sosa- 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 2.78.
Joe Paterson- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.74.

Wellemeyer had much better results here than in his first rehab appearance with the AZL Giants. You can still see the tendency to walk too many batters here though. Nice extended run by Henry Sosa.

AA Trenton Thunder blanked the Richmond Flying Squirrels 6-0:

Michael Main- 4.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 7.84.

No Squirrels got more than 1 hit on the night.

High A San Jose Giants edged the Lancaster Jethawks 6-5:

Ehire Adrianza- 2 for 3, 2 BB, 2 SB(23). BA= .259.
Wendell Fairley- 2 for 4. BA= .295.
Drew Biery- 2 for 5, 2B, HR(9). BA= .275.
James Simmons- 2 for 4, HR(7). BA= .233.
Jason Stoffel- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, Save(16). ERA= 5.45.

Low A the SAL was idle tonight.

Short Season Salem-Keizer Volcanoes dropped the Vancouver Canadians 6-1:

Jose Medina- 2 for 4, 2 2B, BB. BA= .299.
Alex Burg- 2 for 3, 2B, HR(3), BB. BA= .232.
Taylor Rogers- 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 4.08.
Jake Dunning- 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 2.61.

Rookie AZL Rangers outslugged the Giants 11-10:

Carlos Willoughby- 2 for 5, SB(13). BA= .310.
Charlie Jones- 1 for 3, HR(5), 2 BB. BA= .308.
Brice Cutspec- 2 for 4, 2B, BB. BA= .294.
Jose De La Cruz- 2 for 5. BA= .396.
Rafael Rodriguez- 1 for 4, HR(1). BA= .214.
Robert Haney- 2 for 4. BA= .300.
Ryan Bean- 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.00.

Gotta love what Jonesy is doing! Raffy hits his first professional HR!

DSL Giants edged the Cubs 5-4:

Leonardo Fuentes- 1 for 4, 2B. BA= .228.
Joan Gregorio- 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 2.40.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Down on the Farm: 07-18-2010

AAA Fresno Grizzlies mauled the Las Vegas 51's 12-2:

Emmanuel Burriss- 3 for 5, 2B. BA= .301.
Ryan Rohlinger- 1 for 3, HR(4), 2 BB. BA= .317.
John Bowker- 2 for 5, HR(10). BA= .304.
Jesus Guzman- 3 for 5. BA= .308.
Brett Pill- 2 for 5, HR(11). BA= .282.
Brock Bond- 2 for 5. BA= .295.
Tyler Graham- 3 for 5. BA= .346.
Jackson Williams- 1 for 3, HR(1). BA= .161.
Matt Yourkin- 7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 3.39.

Burriss is hitting .350 over his last 10 games and is 6 for 10 in his last 2. Pill had been slumping badly and is hitting just .118 including tonight's hits. I don't know what kind of stuff Yourkin throws, but he's a big LHP and I really like the lines he's put up lately. He's run off a string of 6 consecutive Quality Starts. His line over that time: 2-1, 1.98, 39.2 IP, 3 BB, 40 K's. He's 29 years old as of July 4, but hey, look at what Andres Torres has done as a late bloomer!

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Bowie Baysox 4-2:

Darren Ford- 3 for 4, 2B. BA= .239.
Thomas Neal- 2 for 4. BA= .287.
Conor Gillaspie- 1 for 2, 3B(6), 2 BB. BA= .273.
Craig Westcott- 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K's. ERA= 2.50.
Rafael Cova- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's, Save(16). ERA= 2.34.

Conor Gillaspie is hitting .424 over his last 10 games. Craig Westcott's stock would seem to have taken a big step up this season pitching successfully as a starter at both High A and AA levels.

High A San Jose Giants stomped the Lancaster Jethawks 7-1:

Juan Perez- 3 for 4, 2B. BA= .301.
Ehire Adrianza- 2 for 5. BA= .259.
Charlie Culberson- 4 for 5, SB(18). BA= .331.
Johnny Monell- 2 for 4, 2B, SB(10). BA= .239.
James Simmons- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .228.
Eric Surkamp- 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.11.
Ryan Verdugo- 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's. ERA- 2.61.
Brian Anderson- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.41.

Surkamp came out after a comebacker or bunt was ruled a basehit. I assume he was shaken up on the play. Maybe it's about time for Charlie Culberson to get his feet wet in AA? Only reason to not do it is it would displace Nick Noonan. Juan Perez has it going again with 4 multi-hit games in his last 5.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets topped the Charleston River Dogs 3-1:

Chris Dominguez- 2 for 4, HR(14). BA= .264.
Chris Heston- 5 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 4.52.
Wilmin Rodriguez- 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.86
Jose Casilla- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(7). ERA= 0.94.

Short Season Vancouver Canadians smacked the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 7-4:

Chris Lofton- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .284.
Jose Medina- 2 for 4, SB(2), OF Assist. BA= .291.
Kevin Couture- 5 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 3.47.
Matt Graham- 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 8.04

At least Graham's K's are encouraging. He's 20 years old, but gotta remember this is his first pro experience out of HS against mostly college draftees, some from last year!

Rookie AZL Giants shut out the Rangers 3-0:

Jose De La Cruz- 2 for 4, OF Assist. BA= .396.
Rafael Rodriguez- 1 for 3. BA= .200.
Kendry Flores- 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 6.04.
Kelvin Marte- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 4.05.

Look over on my list of links to the left and click on Joe Pun has some great pics up from a recent game between the AZL Giants and the Royals. The thing I'd like to point out is the athleticism of several of the players, RafRod, De La Cruz, Charlie Jones and Windster stand out for me. Put those with the Brandon Belts, Thomas Neal's and Charlie Culberson's in the higher levels and compare it with the days when Nate Schierholtz, Fred Lewis and Dan Ortmeier were the most athletic looking players in the system. It looks to me like the Giants are doing a much better job of scouting, drafting and signing good athletes who can also play. They may be a bit more raw and take longer to develop, but the ones who make it all the way will be much better MLB players than more polished guys without to tools. Assuming we sign Jarrett Parker, I'd include him in the type of player I'm talking about here. Although Gary Brown has a ton of speed and is obviously very athletic, I don't see him in the same light because I don't think he projects for a lot more power in the future.

DSL AL All-Stars scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 9'th inning for a come from behind win over the NL All-Stars 4-3:

Christian Paulino- 0 for 2.
Leonardo Fuentes- 1 for 1, 2B, BB.

Game Wrap 07-18-2010: Mets 4 Giants 3

This was a game I had mentally checked off in the loss column, but gotta give credit to Jonathan Sanchez and the Giants for battling it out to the end. The game was blacked out on MLB package, so I followed it on Gameday. I didn't see Ishikawa's play at the plate in the bottom of the 9'th, but it sounds like the Giants had it won except for some very bad umpiring. Maybe someone who saw it can clear that up. Anyway, one thing I like about this team is that even when they lose, they go down fighting. Key lines:

Andres Torres- 2 for 5, 2 2B. BA= .278. He didn't figure in the scoring, but a .400/.400/.800 line for the day ain't bad at all.

Freddy Sanchez- 2 for 5. BA= .275. Freddy seems to be getting his legs back under him after a bout with a virus.

Aubrey Huff- 2 for 5. BA= .302. How can the top 3 batters in the lineup all get 2 hits including 2 doubles and contribute to just 1 run scored?

Pablo Sandoval- 1 for 2, 2B, 2 BB. BA= .271. Good to see Panda taking a few walks.

Travis Ishikawa- 1 for 1. BA= .338. Drove in the tying runs. Sounds like he was robbed of scoring the winning run. Where would this team be without Travis' contributions?

Jonathan Sanchez- 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 3.42. Give credit to Sanchez for actually outpitching his idol for 7 innings. Compare his line with Santana's: 8 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K's. This is a game where it would have been easy for Sanchez to lose focus. He didn't, and kept his team in the game long enough to give it a chance to win.

Unfortunately, the loss was a costly one for the Giants as the Padres beat the hapless D'Backs 6-4 to drop the Giants 4.5 games off their division leading pace. I guess AJ Hinch wasn't the problem in AZ Land? Colorado outpitched the Cincinnati Reds 1-0 to move a half game up on the Giants into 2'nd place at 4 games behind the Pads. Jonathan Broxton blew another Save and the Dodgers fell 5.5 games behind while getting swept by the Cards in a 5-4 final game of their 4 game series. The D'Backs dropped to 20.5 games off the pace in the NL West cellar. With our luck as Giants fans, they will probably rise up and bit us next weekend out in the blistering heat of the desert.

The Giants have no break as they head back out on the road for 3 against The Hated Ones and then 4 against the Hapless D'Backs. MadBum tries to get the trip off on the right foot on Monday night in The Ravine.

Down on the Farm: 07-17-2010

AAA Las Vegas 51's downed the Fresno Grizzlies 7-4:

Emmanuel Burriss- 3 for 5. BA= .286.
Jesus Guzman- 2 for 3, 2 HR(12), BB. BA= .302.
Daryl Maday- 6 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 10.06.
Tony Pena- 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 13.50.
Jeremy Accardo- 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(16). ERA= 2.83.

Is Burriss the Giants starting SS in 2011? Maday and Pena are finding life much rougher in the PCL than the EL. Our old friend Jeremy Accardo is doing well in a very tough place to pitch. I wonder when/if he'll get another shot at the show?

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels topped the Bowie Baysox 5-2:

Brandon Belt- 2 for 4. BA= .417.
Conor Gillaspie- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .272.
Clay Timpner- 2 for 4, 3B. BA= .290.
Clayton Tanner- 7.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 3.30.

The Brandon Belt watch continues with him raising his BA a tick in this game. Tanner pitched shutout ball for the first 6 innings. I just noticed that Roger Kieschnick's name has been missing from the Squirrels lineups for awhile. He has not appeared since July 3. This is turning into a completely lost season for Roger, probably form nagging injuries. I think I read somewhere that his back is bothering him.

High A San Jose Giants defeated the Lancaster Jethawks 7-5:

Juan Perez- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .296.
Francisco Peguero- 3 for 4, BB, SB(33). BA= .304.
Charlie Culberson- 3 for 4, HR(14), BB, SB(17). BA= .325.
James Simmons- 1 for 4, HR(6). BA= .223.
Jason Stoffel- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. ERA= 5.61.

Peguero has really turned his season around. He's drawn 5 BB's in his last 10 games out of 12 for the entire season. Interestingly, the Giants have Juan Perez playing CF every day while Peguero plays RF or DH's most of the time, even though Peguero seems to have the superior speed. Culberson had another busy line. I like busy lines!

Low A Charleston River Dogs edged out the Augusta Greenjackets 3-2:

Dan Cook- 2 for 3. BA= .288.
Hector Sanchez- 1 for 3, 2B. BA= .283.
Brian Irving- 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 4.18.
Kyle Vazquez- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 4.68.
Zack Wheeler- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 4.85.

I agree, it's strange the Wheeler is still showing up for 1 inning stints about every other game. Is he going to be pitching out of the bullpen the rest of the way? I can't be that he's thrown too many innings! I wonder if there's more to the story of his injury than a torn fingernail? At least it was a dominant 1 inning!

Short Season Boise Hawks tore up the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 10-3:

Chris Lofton- 2 for 3, SB(7). BA= .271.
Carlos Quintana- 2 for 3, BB. BA= .293.
Dan Brock- 1 for 2, 2B, 2 BB. BA= .306.

Izturis ran for Lofton. Gotta think Chris must have been hurting to come out for a pinch runner.

Rookie AZL Reds beat the Giants 7-5:

Jose De La Cruz- 4 for 4, 2B, HR(1), SB(1). BA= .386.
Rafael Rodriguez- 1 for 4, 2B. BA= .143.
Chris Wilson- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 0.00.
Reiner Roibal- 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K. ERA= 0.00.

I am really digging what this kid De La Cruz is doing. Great size at 6'3", 190 lbs. This is his 19 yo season. As a 17 yo in 2008, he went .266/.314/.369. Last year, he stayed in the DSL at age 18 and improved his line to .301/.353/.404. Coming to the States this season he's gone .386/.426/.568 in a small 12 game sample size. I liked what I saw following his box scores in the DSL last year and he's definitely on my radar screen now. This was RafRod's 2'nd game back from a stint on the DL. I hadn't noticed that he went 0 for 3 on 7/15. Since Chris Wilson hadn't appeared before 7/14, I assume he's rehabbing an injury. Reiner Roibal makes his pro debut in the USA!

DSL The entire DSL was idle for their All-Star game which will be played today.

Game Wrap 07-17-2010: Giants 8 Mets 4

Matt Cain didn't quite pitch up to the level of Timmy and Zito in the prior 2 games, but I'm sure he is happy with the run support the the W. Buster Posey once again ignited the Giants offense against a hapless Hisanori Takahashi as the Giants won for the 9'th time in their last 10 games and moved into sole possession of 2'nd place in the NL West and into a tie with St. Louis in the Wild Card race. Key lines:

Andres Torres- 1 for 5, HR(8). BA= .276. The first two hitters in the lineup went a combined 1 for 10, but Torres more than made up for it when he capped off the big second inning with a 3 run blast hitting right-handed against the LHP Takahashi.

Buster Posey- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(8). BA= .356. Oh my! I know Panda made quite an impact in 2008 and last year, but not since Will Clark came up have I seen a player come up from the minors and just take over a team the way Buster has. It's not just the stat lines. The way he carries himsel and goes about his business on the field and in the dugout. This is Buster's team now! The leadoff double in the second started the 5 run rally and his opposite field HR with one out in the 3'rd all but sealed the win for the Giants providing Matt Cain with that much welcome cushion of runs.

Juan Uribe- 3 for 3, 2B, HBP. BA= .253. 3 hit game for Uribe, who had been slumping badly for over a month. He did cost the Giants another run in the 3'rd when, after doubling, he forgot there were two outs and initially retreated on Pablo's hard smash that kicked off the glove of the Mets SS and caromed into LF. Uribe was only able to advance to 3B where he was stranded when he should have scored easily had he been running with the crack of the bat.

Pablo Sandoval- 3 for 4, 2B. BA= .270. Panda still doesn't quite have the HR swing, but he's looking a lot more comfortable and confident at the plate. His first two hits came hitting RH too!

Matt Cain- 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 3.30. Cainer was cruising along on a 2 hit shutout through 6 before giving up a 2 run dinger to Ike Davis in the 7'th. The final line isn't as gaudy as his team mates the prior 2 nights, but I'm sure he is delighted with the run support and the W.

Hisanori Takahashi- 2.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 4.69. This guy really had a very poor outing here. I had read that he had a screwball in his arsenal which, if it can be controlled, is a very effective pitch for neutralizing RH batters. I don't know if those reports were false, or if the Mets don't want him to throw it, or if it's really a circle change, a pitch with similar characteristics, but I didn't see one pitch from him that had any sort of fade from a RH batter. He couldn't get any of his pitches to stay down in the zone and the Giants just teed him up, starting with Buster Posey, of course.

The W only allowed the Giants to keep pace with the stubborn division leading San Diego Padres who cranked up their offense to down the hapless D'Backs 8-5. The Giants 3.5 game deficit is now enough for sole possession of 2'nd place as the Mannyless Dodgers lost once again to the Cardinals 2-0, and the Colorado Rockies went down the the surprising Cincinnati Reds 8-1 to put the Rockies 4 games behind and the Dodgers 4.5. The D'Backs fell to 19.5 games off the pace and are 2-8 over their last 10 games. Changing management sure did wonders for the Snakes, huh?

There are some games that you just mentally chalk up as a likely loss. Today's game against the Mets and Johan Santana is one of those. Not that Jonathan Sanchez isn't capable of throwing a gem of his own. We know that he is. A betting man would have to feel pretty good about putting his $$$ on the Mets this afternoon though.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Down on the Farm: 07-16-2010

AAA Fresno Grizzlies defeated the Las Vegas 51's 5-2:

Eugenio Velez- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .319.
Ryan Rohlinger- 2 for 4. BA= .321.
Emmanuel Burriss- 0 for 2, 2 BB, SB(4). BA= .269
Joe Borchard- 2 for 4, 3B. BA= .290.
Henry Sosa- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's. ERA= 2.97.

Any of these names look like trade bait?

AA Bowie Baysox slipped past the Richmond Flying Squirrels 5-4 in 10 innings:

Darren Ford- 2 for 5. BA- .233.
Thomas Neal- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .287.
Brandon Belt- 2 for 5. BA= .409.
David Mixon- 7 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 10 K's. ERA= 3.33.
Dan Turpen- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 4.46.

Belt is so hot, he gets 2 hits and his BA goes down!

High A High Desert Mavericks trampled the San Jose Giants 8-1:

Juan Perez- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .295.
Francisco Peguero- 2 for 5. BA= .299.
Drew Biery- 2 for 4. BA= .282.

Peguero has heated up of late.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets clobbered the Charleston River Dogs 9-1:

Evan Crawford- 1 for 4, 2B, 2 BB. BA= .255.
Ryan Cavan- 2 for 5. BA= .282.
Luke Anders- 4 for 5, 2B. BA= .299.
Ydwin Villegas- 2 for 3. BA= .198.
Jeremy Toole- 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 3.86.
Chris Gloor- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 2.86.
Jose Valdez- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 4.46.

Short Season Salem-Keizer Volcanoes edged the Boise Hawks 3-2 in 11 innings:

Chris Lofton- 1 for 5, 3B, SB(6). BA= .254.
Dan Brock- 1 for 2, HR(2), 2 BB. BA= .300.
Ryan Scoma- 2 for 4, HR(1). BA= .330.
Edwin Escobar- 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 3.94.
Kaohi Downing- 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 1.04.

Escobar has 32 K's in 29.3 IP. Looks like we got a good one in the swap for Ben Snyder. Downing is a sleeper who throws in the low-mid 90's.

Rookie AZL- Giants were idle.

DSL Giants defeated the Orioles 10-2:

Leonardo Fuentes- 1 for 4, HR(3), BB. BA= .227.
Jesus Galindo- 1 for 2, 3 BB, SB(27). BA= .207.
Ariel Hernandez- 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 1.37.

Fuentes had been in a bit of a slump. Despite his pathetic looking BA, Galindo has an OBP of .390. Apparently he is trying to walk, and run off the island. This seems to be a different Ariel Hernandez than the one who played in the States the last 2 years and was released. This one is 18 years old.

Game Wrap 07-16-2010: Giants 1 Mets 0

Oh my! When Brian Sabean called out the pitching staff before the break, man, they must have taken it to heart. Barry Zito followed up Tim Lincecum's complete game gem from yesterday with an 8 inning one of his own backed up by a dominating 9'th inning from Brian Wilson for the Save. What a way to start the second half! Key lines:

Aubrey Huff- 3 for 3, BB. BA= .302. The Giants faced a hot knuckleballer last night and a hot lefty tonight. Both types of pitchers would be expected to give the Giants fits. Huff didn't flinch tonight though.

Buster Posey- 1 for 4, 2B. BA= .352. The Giants offense has scored 3 runs in the last two games. Posey has played a part in all 3. Tonight he doubled with Huff on 1B setting up a run scoring Fielder's Choice by Pat Burrell.

Barry Zito- 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K's. ERA= 3.51. Zito had been struggling lately. He has always been terrific after the All-Star Break though and he sure turned in a gem to get the second half started tonight, didn't he? He was masterful at mixing pitches, speeds and locations. Having Buster Posey as his catcher didn't seem to bother him one bit.

Brian Wilson- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's, Save(24). ERA- 1.86. Wilson fell in love with his slider a bit too much in the middle of the inning and hung one to David Wright for the single to center. He threw a couple more to Carlos Beltran but finally blew him away with a 97 MPH heater.

With the Win, the Giants kept pace with the Padres who trounced the D'Backs 12-1. The Dodgers lost to the Cards 8-4, so the Giants move into a tie for 3'rd place with them 3.5 games behind the Pads. Colorado also lost, 3-2, to the Cincinnati Reds to fall 2.5 games behind the Padres. In losing, Arizona falls to 17.5 games behind the division leaders.

Timmy and Zeets have laid down a mighty high standard for Matt Cain to live up to tomorrow. Don't underestimate the power of friendly competition, though. Cain was supposed to go against Mike Pelfrey who has struggled of late, but Pelfrey came up with a sore neck after the cross-country flight. Hisanori Takahashi will go in his place which is not necessarily a good thing. Takahashi is a lefty with a screwball who has a K/9 of nearly 9. He has had problems with walking too many batters at 3.51/9. I expect the Giants hitters to continue to struggle against Takahashi, so Cainer has his work cut out for him.

Around the League: Bengie Molina hit for the cycle tonight in Boston with the triple caroming off the wall in deepest right-center field and Bengie steaming into 3B with a standup triple. Awesome!! Bengie had to go because it's Posey time, but he was a good Giant and I wish him the best in his new home.

Is Manny Ramirez up to his old tricks? He came out of tonight's game with what is being described as right calf tightness. It's a bit confusing to sort out all of his injuries this year, but the Dodgers website says he just came off the DL after a right hammy. The DL stint in April was for a right calf strain, the same area affected tonight. He's day-to-day now. BTW, the picture of him coming out of the game shows him without the dreadlocks/braids or whatever those things on his head were. What do you think, is Manny really hurt or is he being Manny again?

Scouting the Trade Market

With just about 2 weeks left until the trade deadline, I thought it might be fun to take a look at potential trades that might be available to the Giants as we get closer. First, we need to look at some basic parameters to narrow down our choices: 1. Will the Giants be "buyers" or "sellers"? 2. What types of players would the Giants be looking for? 3. What players would the Giants be willing to give up? I'll address each of these questions:

1. Although it could change over the next two weeks, as of today, the Giants look like definite "buyers". By "buyers", I mean that they are looking to acquire established major league talent that will upgrade the team for THIS season. Generally that means they are also willing to sacrifice FUTURE talent in order to "BUY" present talent.

2. The Giants biggest need is to to further upgrade the offense, although with the addition of Buster Posey playing mainly at catcher, they are a lot closer to where they need to be than they were a month ago. In order for a "buy" trade to work, the player you acquire has to be a significant upgrade on what you already have. Looking over the Giants roster, one place where that would be easiest to accomplish would be either in the OF where Huff and Sanchez look solid, but Nate, Gamer and Burrell could be rather easily upgraded. The other would be first base, although Travis has made a case for the Giants putting their faith in him. Their experience last year with Ryan Garko may have taught them that they could do worse than Travis at the first sack. The Giants also have protection at first because Huff can easily move back there plus Posey is going to get some starts there when he his legs need a rest from behind the plate. So it looks like the best position to try to upgrade is OF. Sabean has said he wants a lefty hitter, so that narrows it considerably, although the talk of Corey Hart would seem to indicate that Sabes isn't wedded to the idea of a LH bat exclusively.

3. Just my opinion, but the Giants absolutely should not sacrifice a starter from the current 25 man roster because that just creates another hole, and no, Dontrelle Willis is not a replacement in waiting. That means they will have to put together a package from the farm system that would appeal to another team. With the graduations of Posey and Bumgarner, the Giants system is temporarily weakened as most of their high ceiling prospects are in the lower minors and still a bit on the raw side. Do the Giants have any "untouchable" players left in their system? There are some who I would hate to see traded, but no, I don't see anyone as being untouchable depending on who they get in return. A few names that might attract the attention of a "selling" team include Zack Wheeler, Tommy Joseph, Thomas Neal, Brandon Belt(ducks and runs), Eric Surkamp, Clayton Tanner, Henry Sosa, Charlie Culberson, Francisco Peguero and Ehire Adrianza. I would think that a trade bringing in a significant upgrade would have to involve at least 3 of those names. Nate Schierholtz, John Bowker, Eugenio Velez, Ryan Rohlinger, Emmanuel Burriss or Matt Downs might be considered as sweeteners in a deal.

Now, let's take a look at what teams might be "sellers" and what players they might be willing to sell. I count 13 teams as being essentially out of playoff contention and thus potential sellers:

1. Toronto Blue Jays: Lyle Overbay only plays 1B, and is not a clear upgrade on Ishikawa, let alone Aubrey Huff. Jose Bautista has hit 24 HR's, but has a low BA and tends to be very streaky. The Blue Jays have a nice looking young lefthanded hitting LF named Fred Lewis....oh, nevermind!

2. Baltimore Orioles: Miguel Tejada could play 3B with Panda sliding over to first, but Tejada's OPS is under .700 and he's aging fast. Ty Wigginton and play multiple positions and has some power, but hits RH and with an OPS under .800. Would you give up multiple prospects for Wiggy? I would not!

3. Kansas City Royals: Here's where it starts to get interesting. David DeJesus is a plus defender in the OF, is a LH bat, and has an OPS of .855 in a relatively pitching friendly park. He's still fairly young and is signed to a favorable contract for next season. The problem with DeJesus is putting together a package that the Royals would accept, as they are not in a position of having to make a trade now. It would probably reguire a package headed by Jon Sanchez or MadBum to get this one done. Sabean has indicated that idea doesn't sit well with him and I'm not sure it does with me either, although DeJesus seems taylor made for AT&T Park. Remember that DeJesus only adds doubles power without much compensatory speed though. Chris Haft has suggested Jose Guillen. Guillen would be strictly a 2 month rental, and he has a very checkered past in terms of health and behavior. I'm not against a rental as much as Sabean seems to be, but I'm not sold on Guillen being enough of a sure thing to take that plunge. I could easily see him getting hurt or landing in Bochy's doghouse right off the bat and then they are back to square one except with a weaker farm system.

4. Cleveland Indians: I'm not sure the Giants are interested in dealing with the Indians after last year's Garko debacle, and Cleveland doesn't seem to match up very well. Austin Kearns had a big first half, but has cooled off considerably. He has bust written all over him. Travis Hafner is strictly an AL player confined to DH'ing at this point in his career. That's it for Cleveland!

5. Oakland A's: Coco Crisp can switch-hit, pick it in the OF, and is signed to a reasonable contract through next year. He's been hurt more than healthy for at least 3 years now. Not sure Billy Beane is looking to trade him although Billy seems to be able to pull the trigger on just about any trade these days. Crisp is sort of a poor man's David DeJesus but with more speed. In some ways I like him better that DeJesus, especially if the Giants could get him for a couple of second tier prospects. The injury bug scares me though. Jack Cust could play LF in the NL, just not very well. He'd be a very nice LH bat though. I seriously doubt Cust is the type of player Sabean would even consider though.

6. Seattle Mariners: Russ Branyan is a nice bat, but very streaky and is pretty much a DH. Jose Lopez is having a down season. That's just about it. What was Dave Cameron drinking when he named the Mariners the 6'th best organization in baseball over at, anyway?

7. Florida Marlins: There is the perennially shopped Dan Uggla, but his power upgrade would be largely offset by a huge downgrade from Freddy's D at 2B. The Giants aren't going to go there! Jorge Cantu can play 1B, but is having a down season. Still he might be in line for a big August and September and coming to a contender might just light a spark. I'd consider it for the right price. Cody Ross is a name the Giants should look at closely. He's a RH hitter, but a solid bat with some speed. He might not cost an arm and a leg to acquire.

8. Washington Nationals: Adam Dunn is probably not available, and the Giants have passed on him too many times. He's openly said he hates AT&T. I just don't see this happening, although the idea is intriguing to say the least. He would certainly transform the Giants lineup immediately. Josh Willingham might be more available, but is a RH batter and a huge liability in the field. He's not a Brian Sabean type player, for better or worse. Mike Morse might be available on the cheap, but would probably just clutter up and already cluttered Giants roster.

9. Chicago Cubs: Derrick Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano, Kosuke Fukudome, and Xavier Nady are all likely available, but all having terrible seasons, except Soriano and he has that contract. Probably not a match here. Theriot might be a consideration if either Rent or Uribe went down in the next two weeks. Zambrano is certainly available on the pitching side, but is a huge risk and has a terrible contract.

10. Milwaukee Brewers: The BrewCrew has some serious talent to sell off. Corey Hart has been analyzed to death. He seems to be on the backburner for now. He's a great candidate to regress in the second half, especially playing in AT&T and the NL West. It does not appear that Sabes is willing to part with what it would likely take to get him, a major league starting pitcher. There have been rumblings that the BrewCrew might even be willing to part with Ryan Braun or Prince Fielder. Much as I salivate at the thought of either of those guys in the Giants lineup, I don't see the Giants being able to put together a package that doesn't create a bigger hole on the pitching side. What about Jim Edmonds on the cheap?

11. Houston Astros: Carlos Lee has a bad contract and doesn't want to come to SF. Lance Berkman might well retire rather than accept a trade. I would take him at first base for the right price though. There is some talk that Hunter Pence might be available. He's having an off season but is a good young talent with 5 tools. I would think it would take either Sanchez or MadBum to get that deal started.

12. Pittburgh Pirates: The Pirates are clearly rebuilding. One guy who might be available for a package of prospects only is Garret Jones. I really thought Jones would crash and burn this year after a breakout last year, but like Andres Torres has taught us, there are always a few late bloomers in this game. He's not much of a fielder, but he's a lefthanded bat that's a clear upgrade on any of our OF's not named Aubrey Huff or Andres Torres. Ryan Doumit is a catcher who could move to 1B and switch hits, so is effectively a LH bat.

13. Arizona D'Backs: Trading within the division is always a longshot. Despite some Stephen Drew talk, I don't find that too realistic. Adam LaRoche and Mark Reynolds would seem to fit the general description of what the Giants are looking for. Reynolds brings an atrocious batting average which I'm sure Sabes counts against him more than most sabermetric oriented fans. Adam LaRoche always seems to come alive after the All-Star break, but has already pretty much stated that he is afraid of AT&T Park.

That's my list. The Giants might be in the market for another reliever, but those possibiliities are almost too numerous to count. Who do you like on this list? Have I left anybody out?

If the Giants seriously want to acquire a LH bat upgrade that doesn't cost them Sanchez or Bumgarner, I think they need to be talking to the Pittsburgh Pirates about Jones or Doumit.