Saturday, April 30, 2011

Down on the Farm: 4/30/2011

AAA Fresno Grizzlies swept a DH from the SLC Bees by identical scores of 5-3:

Game 1

Conor Gillaspie(3B)- 1 for 2, 2B, BB. BA= .256.
Chris Stewart(C)- 1 for 1, 2 S. BA= .151.
Shane Loux(RHP)- 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.45.
Marc Kroon(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(5). ERA= 2.79.

Game 2

Brandon Belt(LF)- 2 for 3, BB. BA= .400.
Brett Pill(1B)- 1 for 4, HR(4). BA= .358.
Brad Eldred(DH)- 2 for 3, 2B, HR(1). BA= .300.
Matt Yourkin(LHP)- 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 5.81.

Gillaspie does have an OBP of .363, but is hitting just .222 over his last 10 games.

AA Bowie Baysox outlasted the Richmond Flying Squirrels 3-2 in 18 innings:

Johnny Monell(C)- 2 for 5, HR(3), BB. BA= .234.
Juan Perez(CF)- 2 for 6, 2 2B. BA= .229
Jason Christian(LF)- 0 for 4, 3 BB, 2 SB(7). BA= .266.
Joe Koshansky(1B)- 0 for 8, 7 K's. BA= .193.
Ryan Verdugo(LHP)- 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 1.69.
Dan Otero(RHP)- 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 2.81.
Jason Stoffel(RHP)- 2.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 0 K's. ERA= 0.96.
Justin Dowdy(LHP)- 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. ERA= 1.02.
David Quinowski(LHP)- 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 2.00.

Extra inning games are brutal on the old Batting Average, especially low scoring ones. The 7 K's may be a record of some kind for Koshansky, but Flying Squirrel batters struck out a total of 24 times in the game so he wasn't alone in his hitting futility. If you have a hitter in a fantasy league and you see his team played an 18 inning game, your heart just sinks.

A+ Lake Elsinore Storm downed the San Jose Giants 7-5:

Gary Brown(CF)- 1 for 5, 3B. BA= .333.
Nick Liles(DH)- 2 for 5, 2 2B. BA= .381.
Chris Dominguez- 3 for 4. BA= .287.
Wendell Fairley- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .328.

Dominguez had been slumping so nice to see the 3 hits even if they were all singles. Fairley continues his steady pace.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets topped the Lexington Legends 5-1:

Jeff Arnold(C)- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(1). BA= .228.
Rafael Rodriguez(RF)- 1 for 4. BA= .290.
Taylor Rogers(RHP)- 7 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 3.27.
Jacob Dunnington(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 2.40.
Mike Foltynewicz(RHP, Legends)- 5.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 5.86.

Rodriguez is back in the lineup after an absence of several games. Foltynewicz was the 19'th overall selection in last year's draft by Houston.

Game Wrap 4/30/2011: Giants 2 Nationals 1

The Giants overcame some tough things today to win a game they probably shoudn't have won. The day started with the news that Pablo Sandoval has a fractured hamate bone in his right wrist and will undergo surgery to remove the broken of piece on probably on Monday. Jonathan Sanchez battled his demons command and concentration demons and somehow hung on to get his team to the 6'th inning with a chance to win. Lastly, they survived another of Brian Wilson's 9'th inning torture chambers to eke out the W. Key lines:

Eli Whiteside- 1 for 3, HR(1), BB. BA= .214. Whiteside was starting to let Buster Posey give Huff a rest at 1B. As he has done many times in his tenure with the Giants, Eli came up with a big HR in the 3'rd to draw them even and the pitching made it stand up with an added run in the 7'th. Whiteside played a role in that run too. With runners at 2'nd and 3'rd, Nats manager Jim Riggleman intentionally walked Eli with Huff standing on deck to hit for the pitcher. Apparently Whiteside's HR had gotten into his head and he thought he preferred the lefty-lefty matchup of Lannan vs Huff. Huffster hung in there and drew a clutch bases loaded walk to drive in the winning run. Definitely a move by Riggleman that will and should be second guessed. If you are that afraid of Lannan vs Whiteside, bring in Clippard to face him rather than loading them up for Huff, who hits LHP's as well as RHP's and even better this year. If Bochy had made that move, the Giants blogosphere would have exploded, calling for his head!

Jonathan Sanchez- 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 6 BB, 7 K's, 2 HBP's, WP. ERA= 2.73. It didn't look like Sanchez would make it out of the second inning as he used a total of 50 pitches in the first 2 IP. In addition, he blatantly failed to cover 1B and back up home plate and got a verbal kick in the butt from Rags between innings. That seemed to get his attention and he settled down over innings 3 and 4. He allowed a leadoff double to Ankiel in the 5'th and another walk to Ramos but pitched out of it with an inning-ending K against Michael Morse, a dangerous hitter. The bullpen took it home from there with a combined 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K's, HBP. Wilson loaded the bases and went 3-2 on Adam LaRoche, but struck him out to end the game. Ho hum!!!

The Giants are now back to .500 at 13-13. The Giants remained 4.5 games behind the NL West leading Colorado Rockies after last night's loss but dropped to 3'rd place behind the Dodgers who moved to 3.5 games behind with a win over the Padres. Both Colorado and LA play later tonight.

The loss of Pablo Sandoval is a big blow. Ryan Rohlinger gets the callup. He's never been able to hit at the MLB level in mulitple short callups. For the time being, it looks like Tejada will play 3B with Fontenot at SS. I actually like Fontenot at SS. I think he gives the Giants a nice LH bat in the lineup and seems to hit LHP's as well as RHP's. I'm worried Tejada will be a big offensive downgrade at 3B.

Matt Cain takes the mound against Jordan Zimmerman. Zimm has the stuff to break out at any time and lately is seems those times usually come against the Giants. We'll see.

Scouting the Draft: 2011

There is a site that has a 10 round 2011 MLB mock draft up. I thought it would be interesting to take a look and then compare with some other draft sites. The Giants have picks 29, 49, 87, 117, 148 and then ever 30'th pick after 148 through round 50 Here goes:

Round 1 Pick 29: Phil Evans, SS, HS. Evans is at the extreme skills end of the age-old tools vs skills debate. He's 5'10", 180 lbs without any single outstanding tool but he just DOES everything right. The major question seems to be whether he can stick at SS in the pros. There are pretty smart baseball people who think he can. Ceiling is a solid-average fielding SS who hits about .280 with 20 HR's and 20 SB's. Floor? Well, an excellent fielding 3B, or 2B who hits about .280 with 15 HR's and 10 SB's. I don't subscribe to Keith Law's columns but I've heard he loves Evans as does Frankie Pilliere who writes draft stuff for

Round 1S Pick 49: Zach Cone, OF, Georgia. Cone is having a terrible season: .285/.341/380 with 11 SB's. He was one of the more highly touted college hitters coming into the season though. The Giants have a recent track record of grabbing formerly highly ranked prospects whose stock drops in their draft season so this wouldn't be a shock either.

Round 2 Pick 87: Cody Kukuk, LHP, HS(Kansas). Kukuk is a tall LHP, 6'4" who hits 88-90 MPH with the heater. Good projectability. John Klima of likes his arm action. The video I saw shows a very attenuated follow-through. It looks like there's some things Tidrow could iron out fairly quickly that might bump the velocity up to the low-mid 90's.

Round 3 Pick 117: Dante Bichette, Jr, 3B. HS. A pure hitter with MLB pedigree. Finished 2'nd in the 2010 International Power Showcase. Reminds me a lot of Tommy Joseph, but slightly less stocky and maybe a better athlete. He has played SS in HS but projects as a 3B. Seems like a John Barr type hitter.

Round 4 Pick 148: Kyle McMyne, RHP, Villanova. McMyne is Villanova's Friday Starter. So-so record this year: 4-6, 4.74, 62.2 IP, 36 BB, 73 K's. Don't have a scouting report on him.

Round 5 Pick 178: Hawtin Buchanan, RHP, HS. Buchanan is a huge(6'8", 240 lb) HS pitcher from Mississippi. Found a video on this kid and I absolutely love it! Great looking delivery. Hard, tailing fastball with a nice looking power curveball that he can throw for strikes. Not sure why we haven't heard of him before or why he would fall to round 5. The Giants have a recent history of finding high upside HS arms in rounds 5-10, so I could also believe this one. Yeah, if the Giants got him in round 5, looks like a steal!

Round 6 Pick 208: Matt Andriese, RHP, UC Riverside. Andriese has put up so-so numbers this year: 3-3, 2.33, 69.2 IP, 16 BB, 54 K's. He reportedly hits the mid 90's on radar gun readings though. The Giants have a very active scout in the Riverside/Inland Empire area so I this makes some sense. Dan Runzler came from UCR.

Round 7 Pick 238: Andrew McKirhan, LHP, Texas. A reliever for Texas. Seldom used, unimpressive numbers. All I can say is the Giants usually take a few guys like this and they often turn into something good.

Round 8 Pick 268: Brian Billigen, OF, Cornell. .296/.410/.617 with 8 HR's, 10 of 13 SB's. Don't know anything about him. I will say that 8 HR's with the BBCOR bats is pretty good.

Round 9 Pick 298: John Hochstatter, LHP, HS. Big HS lefty with projection. Currently 84-86 on radar guns.

Round 10 Pick 328: Jeff Schaus, OF, Clemson. .299/.411/.409 with 6 of 11 SB's. Nothing that stands out her except maybe plate discipline.

What do you think of this mock draft? Would you be happy with it if that's how it fell? The key is clearly Phil Evans. He could be the steal of the draft. I tend to be a tools guy myself, but a awful lot of those don't pan out. I would also like to see more pitching taken early. This is a pitching heavy draft and the Giants are thin on organizational pitching right now, so it seems like a perfect year to rebalance.

BA has the Giants taking HS RHP Dillon Howard at #29. Howard is a big, hard throwing RHP who pounds the zone with a sinking fastball and reportedly already has an advanced changeup. Most other mock drafts have Howard going 4-5 picks higher than #29 though. has HS Catcher/1B Nick Delmonico at #29. had Trevor Bauer falling to the Giants at #29 with St John's SS Joe Panik in the 1S at #49. I would think I had died and gone to heaven if Bauer fell all the way to the Giants but most experts I've read recently have his stock skyrocketing and him going in the top 10 if not the top 5.

Mock Draft Mania also has Bauer at #29 with Hawaii 2B/OF Kolten Wong at #49. That would be very cool, but not gonna happen. has a mock draft with HS switch hitting OF Josh Bell at #29. I absolutely love what I've seen of Bell. He's the Austin Wilson of this draft as far as I'm concerned. He's a good student from a highly educated family so may not be signable. Committed to Texas.

Deep Leagues mock has UNC SS Levi Michael at #29 with Jason Coats, OF, TCU at #49. Michael has had a good season: .336/.482/.503 with 12/13 SB's. He is thought to be able to stick at SS in the pros. Coats his having a down year so far: .297/.384/.506 with 6 HR's and 7/9 SB's. Coats hit .361 with 13 HR's last year.

Sully Draft has Vandy 3B Jason Esposito at #29. Espo is having a decent season, but no quite up to last year's, at least so far: .344/.429/.541 with 5 HR and 11/19 SB's.

If the Giants want to really go for broke with their first round pick and take the guy who might be the BPA, Brian Goodwin, a 5 tool OF who is playing JUCO ball in Florida this year has been projected at the end of the first round or early supplemental round in a lot of drafts. I would love seeing Goodwin taken by the Giants at #29.

Down on the Farm: 4/29/2011

AAA Fresno's game with Salt Lake City got postponed.

AA Bowie Baysox topped the Richmond Flying Squirrels 8-7:

Justin Christian(DH)- 2 for 4, HR(1), HBP. BA= .280.
Nick Noonan(SS)- 1 for 3, 2B, 2 BB. BA= .265.
Charlie Culberson(2B)- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .306.
Roger Kieschnick(RF)- 1 for 3, BB, 2 SB(3). BA= .224.
Mike McBryde(CF)- 1 for 3, 3B, SF. BA= .243.
Clayton Tanner(LHP)- 5 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 5.85.

Noonan has an OBP of .375 but the double was his first XBH of the season. Tanner's numbers are consistently unexciting.

A+ San Jose Giants stomped the Lake Elsinore Storm 9-3:

Gary Brown(CF)- 2 for 2, 2B, 3 BB. BA= .341.
Nick Liles(3B)- 3 for 5. BA= .379.
Tommy Joseph(1B)- 2 for 5. BA= .271.
Chris Dominguez(DH)- 0 for 4, 4 K's. BA= .267.
James Simmons(RF)- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .364.
Wendell Fairley(LF)- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .317.
Jake Dunning(RHP)- 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 4.71.
Ari Ronick(LHP)- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 0.00.
Rico Noel(LF-CF, Storm)- 1 for 4, 3B. BA= .215.

Brown's OBP is .429. Dominguez has gone into one of his epic slumps. Ciriaco pinch-hit for him in this one which tells you how bad he must have looked out there. Ari Ronick makes his first appearance after a layoff of almost exactly 1 year. Presumabley TJ surgery? I was a big fan of Rico Noel before last year's draft and wondered if the Padres got pretty much the same player as Gary Brown only in the 5'th round. Apparently not! Kudos to the Giants scouting department once again!

Low A Hickory Crawdads downed the Augusta Greenjackets 8-3:

Dan Burkhart(C)- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .242.
Chris Lofton(CF)- 1 for 2, 2B, S. BA= .179.
Shawn Sanford(RHP)- 4.2 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 2 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 4.29.
Edward Concepcion(RHP)- 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 2.31.

Concepcion continues to pitch much better out of the bullpen than he did as a starter. Sanford had been pitching well, but got torched in this one.

There's an awesome video of Richmond Flying Squirrels manager Dave Machemer getting tossed from a game and completely losing it. Baggs has the link at the bottom of his Extra Baggs column from last night. You can link to Extra Baggs over on the lefthand side of this blog.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Game Wrap 4/29/2011: Nationals 3 Giants 0

The Giants were dominated by a journeyman pitcher in a game that should have been an embarrassment for the entire team. Key lines:

Aaron Rowand- 2 for 4. BA= .296. Gamer is about the only player in the lineup hitting right now.

Cody Ross- 1 for 3. BA= .207. Ross had a really bad game running into Aaron Rowand on a ball Rowand had caught in the gap, knocking it out of Rowand's glove giving Wilson Ramos a double and setting up a 2 run HR by Laynce Nix. Later, Ross hit a ball down the 3b line that took a perfect carom to Nix in LF who calmly threw him out by a mile at 2B. That one was probably just bad luck of the bounce. Gotta assume you can take 2B on a ball like that.

Tim Lincecum- 7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 2.90. Timmy's FB ranged from 93-97 MPH, but his secondary stuff was not sharp. The Nats got some breaks and, well, I guess velocity isn't everything. Still, gotta think Timmy's going to put it all together and have an epic season with that kind of velocity.

Jason Marquis(Nats)- 9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 2.62. Marquis is the type of pitcher who tends to give the Giants fits. Tonight, he had the sinker going and had great movement on it. Still, the Giants should be able to put together a better offense than that against a guy who is just trying to pitch to contact. Embarrassing!

The Giants fall below .500 again at 12-13. Will update the standings after the Rockies and Dodgers games come in, but not sure it matters at this point. The Giants have to put together some wins!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Down on the Farm: 4/28/2011

AAA Fresno Grizzlies topped the Salt Lake Bees 5-4:

Brandon Belt(LF)- 3 for 4, 2B, HR(2), BB, SB(1). BA= .429.
Edgar Gonzalez(2B)- 3 for 5, 2B. BA= .333.
Steve Edlefsen(RHP)- 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.82.
Marc Kroon(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 2.08.

How long are they going to be able to keep Belt down on the Farm? Edlefsen and Kroon look ready to help the big club if needed.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels defeated the Trenton Thunder 7-2:

Charlie Culberson(2B)- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(1), SF. BA= .300.
Justin Christian(DH)- 2 for 3, 2 BB, SB(5). BA= .268.
Justin Fitzgerald(RHP)- 4.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 1.45.
Justin Dowdy(LHP)- 2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 1.23.
Ronnie Ray(RHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 1.93.

Richmond and the Eastern League is the big test for Giants hitting prospects and Charlie Culberson is passing with flying colors so far.

A+ San Jose Giants topped the Modesto Nuts 4-3:

Ryan Cavan(2B)- 1 for 2, 2 BB. BA= .250.
Chris Dominguez(3B)- 2 for 4, 2 Errors(5). BA= .279.
Luke Anders(1B)- 2 for 4. 2B. BA= .321.
Zack Wheeler(RHP)- 5.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K's, GO/AO= 7/1. ERA= 3.38.
Jose Valdez(RHP)- 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 0.96.
Heath Hembree(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(5). ERA= 1.13.

Gotta be excited about Wheels. He continues to flash K/9 well above 9 with a BB/9<3 and an impressive groundball tendency. That's a premium combination for a young pitching prospect. Valdez is very much a guy to keep an eye on with an massive physical presence on the mound. He's going to be a very good MLB setup man someday. Hembree continues to impress on the closer track.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets crushed the Hickory Crawdads 10-1:

Carlos Willoughby(2B)- 3 for 5, BB. BA= .313.
Raynor Campbell(DH)- 2 for 5, 2B, HR(3), SF. BA= .261.
Ryan Scoma(RF)- 2 for 5, 2B, HR(1), SB(2). BA= .266.
Devin Harris(LF)- 1 for 3. 2B, 2 BB. BA= .250.
Austin Fleet(RHP)- 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 5.49.

Harris has a line of .324/.390/.649 over his last 10 games. Campbell's line for his last 10 games is .349/.408/.721! Willoughby is hitting .385 with an OBP of .560 over his last 10 games. Rafael Rodriguez seems to have disappeared from the Greenjackets lineup although he is still listed on the active roster.

Game Wrap 4/28/2011: Giants 5 Pirates 2

Ryan Vogelsong won his first start as a San Francisco Giant 13 years after he was drafted by the organization. What a long strange trip it's been for Ryan who was traded to these same Pirates for Jason Schmidt just as he appeared to be on the verge of breaking into the major leagues in 2002. Key lines:

Aaron Rowand- 2 for 5, 2B, SB(1, Home). BA= .286. I have to say, Gamer has hung in there on offense a lot longer and better than I ever though possible. He's creating a very tough situation for Sabean and Bochy to chew on when Torres gets back from his injury.

Nate Schierholtz- 2 for 2, SB(1). Speaking of tough decisions. The Giants are reportedly shopping Nate. Why do I have this feeling he's going to be a star for some other team?

Ryan Vogelsong- 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 8 K's, GO/AO= 7/2. I didn't see the game, but that line looks like Vogelsong was throwing some premium stuff. I've seen the fastball in relief appearances and it's mighty impressive. He reportedly has a very good changeup he perfected over in Japan. What a triumph for Vogelsong! He obviously had some things he needed to prove, not just to himself, but to the Giants. I'm pretty sure if he never pitches in another MLB game, he will always find a measure of satisfaction in this game. He started and won a game for the organization that drafted and developed him. He validated all the hard work he put into refining his game in Japan. He proved he has overcome whatever it was that was holding him back in the past. Somehow, I think this will not be his last MLB start for the Giants. If he keeps this up, the Giants will have yet another tough, tough decision to make when Zito comes back.

Brian Wilson- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's, Save(7), ERA= 7.71. Wilson made 27 pitches in the inning without the Pirates putting the ball in play.

The win moved the Giants record back to .500 at 12-12. They are tied with the Dodgers 4.5 games behind the NL West leading Colorado Rockies.

Tim Lincecum takes the mound tomorrow night to kick off a 3 game weekend series against the Washington Nationals.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Down on the Farm: 4/27/2011

AAA There were no games scheduled in the PCL today.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels outlasted the Trenton Thunder 1-0 in 11 innings:

Charlie Culberson(2B)- 1 for 2, 3 BB. BA= .289.
Mike McBryde(RF)- 3 for 5, SB(3), Assist. BA= .250.
Eric Surkamp(LHP)- 7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K's. ERA= 2.21
Dan Otero(RHP)- 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 3.29.
Jason Stoffel(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.00.

McBryde showed off his tools. He just doesn't hit consistently enough to be taken seriously as a prospect. Maybe he should think about pitching? Surkamp seems to be the real deal, at least in his ability to miss bats. He has 31 K's in 20.1 IP, so far this season. Dominant effort by Otero and Stoffel continues to be lights out.

A+ San Jose Giants made 2 first inning runs stand up for a 2-0 win over the Modesto Nuts:

Jarrett Parker(CF)- 1 for 3, HR(2). BA= .221.
Craig Westcott(RHP)- 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 2.38.
Hector Correa(RHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 2.51.

Parker has 2 HR's in as many games. He played CF in this one with Brown getting a breather by DH'ing.

Low A Hickory Crawdads edged the Augusta Greenjackets 3-2 in 11 innings:

Seth Rosin- 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K's, GO/AO- 7/3. ERA= 3.63.
Jacob Dunnington(RHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K. ERA= 2.57.

Nice start by Rosin who had gotten off to a slow start but seemed to be improving with each game.

Game Wrap 4/27/2011: Pirates 2 Giants 0

Madison Bumgarner pitched a solid game, but the Giants offense didn't show up. Not much else to see here. Key lines:

Madison Bumgarner- 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K's, GO/AO= 7/3. ERA= 6.17. It seemed like just a matter of time until Bumgarner turned it around. His velocity has been excellent all season. He's had balls find gaps and umps who squeezed him and he didn't have the pinpoint command from late last season, but all the signs were there of a huge element of bad luck and positive regression. Well, he got the positive regresssion tonight, but the luck stayed bad as he got no run support.

The loss dropped the Giants below .500 once again. The Rockies game against the Cubs was rained out so the Giants are 5 games behind the NL West leaders. The Dodgers won in Florida to move 0.5 games ahead of the Giants into 2'nd place.

Mark DeRosa is still having wrist issues and goes on the DL starting tomorrow. Emmanuel Burriss gets the callup and indications are he will get some chances to play. If the Giants big bats aren't getting it done, might was well try a "speed" lineup of Ford, Burriss and Nate for a game or two and see if they can win on the basepaths.

Ryan Vogelsong gets the rubber match of the 3 game series against the Pirates. He has been solid in relief roles since his callup to sub for Barry Zito.

Down on the Farm: 4/26/2011

AAA Reno Aces edged the Fresno Grizzlies 6-5:

Brett Pill(1B)- 3 for 5, HR(3). BA= .390.
Conor Gillaspie(3B)- 2 for 3, 2B, 2 BB. BA= .260
Emmanuel Burriss(SS)- 2 for 5. BA= .344.
Henry Sosa(RHP)- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 7.84
Steve Edelfsen(RHP)- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.96.

Not much to comment on here.

AA Trenton Thunder topped the Richmond Flying Squirrels 3-2:

Johnny Monell(C)- 2 for 3, HR(2). BA= .255.
Jason Stoffel(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.00.

2 HR's in 2 days for Monell. Stoffel has been dominent out of the bullpen, but still only 1 inning stints.

A+ San Jose Giants downed the Modesto Nuts 4-3:

Gary Brown(CF)- 2 for 4, SB(16). BA= .346.
Jarrett Parker(RF)- 2 for 4, HR(1). BA= .215. OBP= .346.
Hector Sanchez(DH)- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(1). BA= .318.
Heath Hembree(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's, Save(4). ERA= 1.29.

Dominguez and Joseph have cooled way off. Sanchez is the hottest hitter on the team hitting .350 over his last 10 games. His overall line ain't too shabby either at .318/.340/.500! Hembree now has 13 K's in 7 IP.

Low A Hickory Crawdads crushed the Augusta Greenjackets 9-1:

Carlos Willoughby(2B)- 2 for 4. BA= .301.

Nothing else to see here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Game Wrap 4/26/2011: Giants 3 Pirates 2

Darren Ford used his game-changing speed to atone for a blown sacrifice bunt as he scampered home with the winning run against the Pirates to break the Giants 4 game losing streak. Key lines:

Aaron Rowand- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .290.

Darren Ford- 0 for 1. BA= .000. Ford entered the game as a pinch runner for Rowand and scored the tying run in the 8'th inning. In the top of the 10'th, Nate led off with a pinch-hit double. Ford followed with instructions to sacrifice Nate to 3B. Instead of bunting the ball to the left side and forcing the 3B to field it, he bunted it to the right side and the first baseman threw Nate out at 3B. Pirates' reliever Joel Hanrahan then threw away a pickoff attempt and Ford took off making it safely all the way to 3B. He then scored on a ground out. Game changing speed!

Freddy Sanchez- 2 for 5. BA= .295.

Matt Cain- 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 3.34. Cain was back to his old self tonight after a poor start his last outing. He was also back to inducing more flyouts than groundouts. He did allow a HR though.

Sergio Romo- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 1.04. Romo was back on track after giving up the game tying bomb to Dan Uggla in his last outing.

Brian Wilson- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K's, SAVE(6). ERA= 8.64. Closers have to have short memories and Wilson forgot about Sunday's game to save this one.

The W brought the Giants record back to .500 remaining 4.5 games behind the Colorado Rockies who edged the Cubs 4-3 in Chicago. The Dodgers lost to the Florida Marlins 4-2 to fall 5 games off the pace and into 3'rd place behind the Giants in the NL West.

Madison Bumgarner tries to right his ship against the Pirates and James McDonald tomorrow evening.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Down on the Farm: 4/25/2011

AAA Reno Aces downed the Fresno Grizzlies 6-2(man, do the Grizzlies play anyone else besides the Nevada teams?):

Brandon Belt(RF)- 0 for 2, 2 BB. BA= .333.
Tyler Graham(CF)- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .278.
Doug Mathis(LHP)- 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 3.43.
Marc Kroon- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 2.35.

Is it possible Belt is just too selective?

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels defeated the Trenton Thunder 9-5:

Charlie Culberson(2B)- 2 for 4, 3B, BB. BA= .286.
Roger Kieschnick(RF)- 3 for 5, 2B. BA= .213.
Johnny Monell(C)- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(1). BA= .229.
David Quinowski(LHP)- 4.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 1.93.

Big games for guys who the Giants need to be prospects. 4.1 perfect innings for The Q.

A+ San Jose Giants cracked the Modesto Nuts 6-4:

Chris Dominguez(3B)- 1 for 4, HR(5), BB. BA= .293.
Hector Sanchez(C)- 2 for 3, BB. BA= .300.
Kelvin Marte(LHP)- 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, GO/AO= 9/2.
Heath Hembree(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's, Save(3). ERA= 1.50.
Tyler Matzek(LHP, Nuts)- 2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 8 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 10.22.

I think Luke Anders is on the DL. Joseph has been playing 1B since Anders went out opening up catcher for Sanchez. Matzek is a former first round draft pick of the Colorado Rockies who has struggled with his control. Looks like he's stlll struggling with it. Can't say I'm sad about that!

Low A Augusta Greenjackets trounced the Hickory Crawdads 9-3:

Carlos Willoughby(2B)- 1 for 4, BB, SB(10). BA= .290.
Devin Harris(DH)- 4 for 5, 2 2B, 2 HR(5). BA= .279.

Huge game for Harris who I think is a sleeper. Old for the league, but it's his first full pro season. Loved him as a sleeper draft pick in college. May be limited defensively, but can flat out hit.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Down on the Farm: 4/24/2011

AAA Fresno Grizzlies outslugged the Reno Aces 12-5:

Ryan Rohlinger(SS)- 2 for 6, HR(4). BA= .203.
Conor Gillaspie(3B)- 2 for 3, 2 BB. BA= .258.
Brandon Belt(LF)- 2 for 4, 2B, BB. BA= .429.
Travis Ishikawaz(RF)- 2 for 5, 2B, HR(1). BA= .236.
Thomas NealCF)- 3 for 5, 2B. BA= .342.
Edgar Gonzalez(2B)- 3 for 5, SB(1). BA= .310.
Steve Edlefsen- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's. ERA= 1.23.

Interesting positioning going on in Fresno. Sabes and Bochy love that flexibility!

Richmond, San Jose and Augusta were all idle on Easter Sunday.

Game Wrap 4/23/2011: Braves 9 Giants 3

The Giants played an entertaining, exciting game today out at AT&T Park. Unfortunately the story didn't end well as the Braves went to extra innings of a see-saw battle to complete a 3 game sweep of the Giants. Wow! Can't say I saw THAT coming! Oh, and Dan Uggla is one Uggly SOB! Key lines:

Aubrey Huff- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .225. Maybe this will be the start of a hot streak for Huffy?

Buster Posey- 1 for 5, HR(4). BA= .280. Buster hasn't seemed to be quite himself at the plate lately, but he is 8'th in MLB in RBI's on a pace for 128!

Pablo Sandoval- 2 for 4. BA= .319. Pablo is #20 in MLB in BA.

Pat Burrell- 2 for 3. BA= .270. Pat the Bat has been going the other way a few times lately to raise his BA into the upper .200's.

Jonathan Sanchez- 5 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 3.21. Sanchez had been ill with a virus. He required IV's yesterday. Had it not been for that, I would have been critical of Bochy's decision to lift him for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 5'th. As it was, Sanchez had a gutty performance to keep the game close after giving up 2 quick runs in the first inning.

Jeremy Affeldt- 1 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 1 K. ERA= 4.82. Affeldt walked two batters and then hung a curveball to Jason Heyward who hit it out near the deepest part of AT&T Park, a truly prodigious blast!

Sergio Romo- 0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K. ERA= 1.17. I'm not sure what the purpose of advance scouting is if you don't know that you should never, ever try to throw a pitch for a strike on the inside half of the plate to Dan Uggla. Oh, and Uggla has to be the most grotesquely misshapen human being I've seen in awhile. Are we sure they are randomly testing everybody in baseball for PED's?

Brian Wilson- 1.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 9.82. Wilson was lights out in the 9'th, but he quickly dug himself a hole in the 10'th giving up a couple of quick ground ball singles to Heyward and Chipper Jones to start off the inning. Both balls were hit hard, but they also both found holes in the infield so Wilson was a bit unlucky. Bochy obviously wanted no part of Dan Uggla in that situation which loaded the bases. Wilson actually came within 1 strike of getting out of it, but he got behind 3-0 to Nate McLouth, something that never should have happened, forcing him to throw 3 consective strikes. His luck ran out on the 3'rd one as McLouth laced it to CF to break the tie and effectively win the game.

Jason Heyward(ATL)- 3 for 5, 2B, HR(5). BA= .250. I got into a pretty savage debate leading up to the 2007 draft with someone over in who was saying they had some inside information from some scout who said that Heyward had a fatal flaw in his swing and would never hit in the majors. I said his swing reminded me a lot of Willie McCovey's swing and a more athletic version of Willie Mac would be just fine with me. Not saying I'm not happy with Madison Bumgarner, although I threw myself down the stairs when they drafted him ahead of Heyward, but I sure wouldn't mind having Jason Heyward as our starting RF and batting 3'rd in front of Buster Posey for the next 5 years either.

Dan Uggla(ATL)- 1 for 3, HR(5), 2 BB. BA= .182. I really, really don't like Dan Uggla. He's got a bloated face and short, Bob's Big Boy arms that telescope up to his shoulders from his wrists. After what we went through with Barry Bonds, I hate to accuse anyone based on their appearance, but are we sure they're testing everybody for PED's these days? My goodness! That man just might be the most mishapen human being I've ever seen! Oh, and pitchers should never, ever throw him anything within the inside half of the strike zone!

The loss dropped the Giants season record below .500 to 10-11. They remained 4 games behind the Colorado Rockies who lost to the Florida Marlins, but the Dodgers moved ahead of the Giants into sole possession of 3'rd place with a win over the Cubs in Chicago.

The Giants get yet another off day tomorrow before opening a 10 game road trip back east. Matt Cain opens it up with a start Tuesday night against the Pirates.

Down on the Farm: 4/23/2011

AAA Reno Aces downed the Fresno Grizzlies 9-2:

Brandon Belt(LF)- 1 for 3, HR(1), BB. BA= .333.
Shane Loux(RHP)- 7 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.76.
Cody Ransom(3B, Aces)- 1 for 4, 2B. BA= .294.

Yeah, THAT Cody Ransom! Brandon Belt hit a dinger in his first AAA appearance after being sent down. He also played LF, so he's apparently working on more than just handling he inside slider or cutter.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels outlasted the Altoona Curve 3-2 in 11 innings:

Justin Christian(LF)- 3 for 5, SB(3). BA= .291.
Ryan Verdugo(LHP)- 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 1.65.

Verdugo has probably passed Clayton Tanner on the organization depth chart.

A+: San Jose Giants pounded the Visalia Rawhide 10-3:

Gary Brown(CF)- 3 for 5, HR(1), HBP. BA= .361.
Nick Liles(DH)- 3 for 6, 2 2B. BA= .375.
Hector Sanchez(C)- 2 for 5, 2 2B. BA= .270.
Tommy Joseph(1B)- 2 for 5. BA= .292.
James Simmons(RF)- 1 for 3, HR(1). BA= .333.
Jake Dunning(RHP)- 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 5.63.
Jose Valdez(RHP)- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 1.29.

Brown is red hot. Dominguez and Joseph have cooled off a bit. Dunning gave up 3 runs in the first inning then really settled down.

Low A Delmarva Shorebirds defeated the Augusta Greenjackets 6-1:

Carlos Willoughby(2B)- 0 for 2, 2 BB. BA= .292, OBP= .410.
Rafael Rodriguez(RF)- 1 for 3, BB. BA= .293.
Taylor Rogers(RHP)- 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 8 K's, GO/AO= 9/2. ERA= 4.20.
Jacob Dunnington(RHP)- 2 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.00.
Edward Concepcion(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. ERA= 1.00.

Not much to comment on here. Would love to have a high OBP guy with SB capabilities at the top of the Giants lineup. Actually, I'd like to have 2 or 3 of those at the top of the Giants lineup! Maybe a future top 3 of Brown, Willoughby and Belt might meet that need?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Game Wrap 4/23/2011: Braves 5 Giants 2

Well, that was a dispiriting loss, not in the way a 1-0 loss or an extra-inning loss or a Blown Save loss is dispiriting, but rather the quietness of it, the lack of spirit. The Giants were flat in every facet of the game today and the result was a very quiet 3'rd loss in a row. That bothers me and does not bode well, IMO. Key lines:

Pat Burrell- 3 for 4, 2 2B. BA= .250. Burrell now has an .881 OPS.

Cody Ross- 2 for 4. BA= .182.

Tim Lincecum- 6.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 6 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 2.70. Timmy didn't have his command today. He hung tough for 6 innings but if finally caught up with him in the 7'th with help from Javier Lopez. I'll chalk this one up to a bad game for Timmy. He'll be better the next time out.

Tim Hudson(Braves)- 8.2 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 4 K's. I hate watching games that Tim Hudson pitches against the Giants. It looks like he should be hittable, but they just can't break through. Frustrating!

The loss dropped the Giants to .500 at 10-10. They also dropped 4 games behind the Rockies who topped the Florida Marlins 3-1. The Dodgers stayed tied with the Giants for second place by dropping a 10-8 decision to the Cubs.

Jonathan Sanchez will try to keep the losing streak from going to 4 tomorrow against Brandon Beachy.

Down on the Farm: 4/22/2011

AAA Fresno Grizzlies edged the Tucson Padres 9-8:

Thomas Neal(LF)- 3 for 4. BA= .333.
Henry Sosa(RHP)- 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 8.22.
Anthony Rizzo(Padres, 1B)- 1 for 3, HR(6), 2 BB. BA= .452.

Surprisingly little to see here for a team that scored 9 runs. Rizzo came to the Padres as part of the Adrian Gonzalez trade to Boston. He's off to a red hot start. Hitting in Tucson is a bit different than hitting in Petco Park though.

AA Altoona Curve outlasted the Richmond Flying Squirrels 11-5 in 15 innings:

Nick Noonan(SS)- 2 for 5, BB, HBP. BA= .333.
Charlie Culberson(2B)- 2 for 6, 2B, S. BA= .290.
Roger Kieschnick(LF)- 0 for 7. BA= .173.
Clayton Tanner(LHP)- 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 5.40.

Noonan has played SS since coming off the DL. Kieschnick is in a dreadful slump. Tanner has to cut down on the free passes.

A+ Visalia Rawhide downed the San Jose Giants 6-5:

Gary Brown(CF)- 1 for 5, 2 SB(15). BA= .343.
Ryan Cavan(2B)- 2 for 3, 2B, 3B, 2 BB. BA= .254.
Carter Jurica(SS)- 1 for 4, HR(1). BA= .204.
Wendell Fairley(LF)- 2 for 3. BA= .354.
Zack Wheeler(RHP)- 5 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 0 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 4.02.
Hector Correa(RHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= .292.

Wheeler had a stellar K/BB, but gave up some hits. Luck?

Low A Delmarva Shorebirds topped the Augusta Greenjackets 6-5:

Carlos Willoughby(2B)- 1 for 3, 2 BB, 2 SB(9). BA= .302.
Adam Duvall(3B)- 2 for 4, BB. BA= .284.
Rafael Rodriguez(RF)- 3 for 4, 2B. BA= .291.
Shawn Sanford(RHP)- 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K's, GO/AO= 9/2. ERA= 1.65

Duvall's value goes up if he can handle 3B. Willoughby continues to get on base and steal bases. Rodriguez seems to be handling Low A so far. Sanford put up nice numbers in Salem-Keizer last year. He was drafted in the 13'th round in 2009 out of South Florida.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Game Wrap 4/22/2011: Braves 4 Giants 1

Tommy Hanson, a graduate of Redlands East Valley High School, dominated the Giants through 7 innings while Madison Bumgarner continued a pattern of becoming hittable after getting squeezed by the home plate umpire. The Braves scored 4 runs while chasing Bumgarner in the 3'rd inning and Hanson cruised the rest of the way to the 4-1 win. Key lines:

Madison Bumgarner- 2.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 7.79. Last year, the concern was about Bumgarner's mysterious loss of velocity. That was definitely not the problem tonight as Bum was smoking it past Braves hitters in the first 2 innings at 94-96 MPH. The ump had a tight strike zone that was none too consistent and seemed to favor Hanson a bit. Bumgarner walked a couple of batters in the 3'rd and the route was on with Chipper Jones driving in the last two with a double off the right centerfield wall. At times, especially in the 3'rd, Bumgarner looked like he was trying to throw the ball right through the strike zone, Buster Posey and the ump, a common reaction by young pitchers to adversity. He needs to get back to what brought him success last season, great fastball command and location backed by effective off speed stuff.

Ryan Vogelsong- 3.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, GO/AO= 5/1. ERA= 0.00. Vogelsong has been nothing but impressive in his two relief appearances. Maybe the Giants would have been better off if he had taken Zito's regular place in the rotation tonight?

Tommy Hanson(Braves)- 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 3.21. Not to take anything away from Hanson. He pitched a great game, and the ump was fairly tight and inconsistent with both pitchers. I guess the one pitch that really stuck in my craw was a called third strike to Posey that was clear out on the chalk of the opposite batter's box! The whole idea that catchers can get called strikes out of the zone by moving two feet either way so the pitcher "hits the target" and therefore it must be a strike is BS. It's the ump's job to figure out what the catcher is doing and not let it distract his eye from the true strike zone. In this case, McCann was set up so far outside, you could see the entire ump behind home plate. There was no part of him being blocked from the line of vision by McCann.

The loss dropped the Giants record to 10-9. They remained 3 games behind the Colorado Rockies who were the victims of a 1 hitter by Anibel Sanchez of the Florida Marlins. Meanwhile, the Dodgers moved into a second place tie with the Giants with a 12-2 romp over the Cubs in a day game.

Tim Lincecum tries to be the stopper tomorrow afternoon taking on Tim Hudson who is always tough on the Giants.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Down on the Farm: 4/21/2011

AAA Fresno Grizzlies edged the Tucson Padres 5-4:

Emmanuel Burriss(SS)- 1 for 4, BB. BA= .339.
Ryan Rohlinger(2B)- 2 for 4, 2B, BB. BA= .200.
Conor Gillaspie(3B)- 1 for 3, HR(2), BB. BA= .259.
Thomas Neal(CF)- 2 for 4. BA= .269.
Steve Edlefsen(RHP)- 1 for 1, HR(1). BA= 1.000!
Andrew KownLHP)- 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 3.18.
Steve Edelfsen(RHP)- 2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 1.42.
Marc Kroon(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(2). ERA= 2.84.

Edelfsen made the most of a rare AB for a reliever. He was an infielder in college albeit with no stick. Interesting that Neal played CF.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels downed the Altoona Curve 7-3:

Nick Noonan(SS)- 1 for 4, BB. BA= .250.
Charlie Culberson(2B)- 1 for 3, BB. BA= .286.
Jose Flores(3B)- 2 for 4, SB(2). BA= .212.
Justin Fitzgerald(RHP)- 4.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 1.88.
Ronnie Ray(RHP)- 3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 0.93.
Jason Stoffel(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 0.00.

Nick Noonan is off the DL and played SS.

A+ San Jose Giants topped the Visalia Rawhide 5-4:

Gary Brown(CF)- 3 for 5, SB(13). BA= .355.
Jarrett Parker(RF-CF)- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .182.
Ryan Cavan(2B)- 2 for 5, HR(4). BA= .233.
Hector Sanchez(C)- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .286.
Craig Westcott(RHP)- 7 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 3.24.
Chris Wilson(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.00.
Heath Hembree(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 1.80.

Brown's numbers are starting to look a bit like his college numbers except for more BB's. That's a very good thing!

Low A Delmarva Shorebirds edged the Augusta Greenjackets 8-7:

Carlos Willoughby(2B)- 0 for 2, 4 BB's. BA= .300. OBP= .391.
Devin Harris(LF)- 3 for 5, 2B. BA= .235.
Rafael Rodriguez(RF)- 2 for 3, 2B, BB. BA= .255.
Austin Fleet(RHP)- 4.1 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 7.24.
Edward Concepcion(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 1.13.
Matt Graham(RHP)- 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.21.

Willoughby has shown impressive on-base skills at every level. Rafael Rodriguez does not need to have a breakout year, but he does need to show he can play at this level. So far his is doing that. At age 18, he can afford to repeat the level and still be ahead of the curve. Concepcion continues to have success pitching out of the bullpen.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Down on the Farm: 4/20/2011

AAA Tucson Padres topped the Fresno Grizzlies 6-4:

Emmanuel Burriss(LF)- 1 for 3, 2B, BB, SF. BA= .346.
Jackson Williams(C)- 2 for 4, 2 2B. BA= .222.

Burriss continues to prep for a super-utility role as he plays LF in this one. Williams is a superior defensive catcher. Will he ever hit enough to be a backup in MLB?

AA Trenton Thunder beat back a 9'th inning rally by the Richmond Flying Squirrels for a 6-3 win:

Justin Christian(LF)- 3 for 4. BA= .250.
Charlie Culberson(2B)- 3 for 4. BA= .283.
Eric Surkamp(LHP)- 4.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 5 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 3.38.
Austin Romine(NYY)- 3 for 4, 2 HR(2). BA= .310

Surkamp was uncharacteristically wild in this one. Culberson is hanging in there so far in a very tough environment for hitters. The Yankees have catchers coming out their ears what with Romine, Jesus Montero and Gary Sanchez.

A+ San Jose Giants crushed the Inland Empire 66'ers 10-0:

Gary Brown(CF)- 3 for 4, 2B, HBP, 2 SB(12), CS(5). BA= .333.
Ryan Cavan(2B)- 1 for 3, HR(3), BB. BA= .218.
Chris Dominguez(3B)- 3 for 4, SB(3). BA= .345.
Jarrett Parker(RF)- 1 for 3, 3B, BB. BA= .160.
Luke Anders(1B)- 2 for 3, HR(3), BB. BA= .341.
Chris Heston(RHP)- 6.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 1 K, GO/AO= 10/4. ERA= 2.20.

Brown seems to be heating up. He could probably be a more efficient basestealer but he's getting on base, which is the first priority for a leadoff batter. Dominguez continues to hit for a surprising average. Anders has been a bit lost in all the star power at SJ, but is quietly off to a terrific start to the season.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets edged the Delmarva Shorebirds 11-10 in 10 innings:

Carlos Willoughby(2B)- 3 for 5, BB, 4 SB(7). BA= .310.
Raynor Campbell(CF-LF)- 3 for 6, 2 2B. BA= .250.
Adam Duvall(3B)- 2 for 6, HR((3). BA= .271.
Devin Harris(LF)- 2 for 3, 2B, BB. BA= .196.
Rafael Rodriguez(RF)- 1 for 5, Assist(Machado at home). BA= .229.
Seth Rosin(RHP)- 5 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 5.23.
Jacob Dunnington(RHP)- 2 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K's, HBP. ERA= 0.90.
Manny Machado(SS, Delmarva)- 1 for 6, 3B. BA= .280.

Willoughby is hitting .366 over his last 9 games. Campbell is 8 for 15 with 3 doubles and 2 HR's in his last 3 games. Duvall slides over to 3B, but made 2 errors. Tough to judge pitching performances when they are marred by so many errors. Rosin's WHIP of 2 doesn't look good but the errors give the other team chances that they tend to take advantage of. Like the 6 K's in 5 IP. Manny Machado was the Orioles #2 overall pick in last year's draft.

Game Wrap 4/20/2011: Rockies 10 Giants 2

After the way the Giants went after the Rampaging Rockies in the first two games of the series, you had to wonder if they might come out flat in game 3, day game after night game getaway day at the end of a road trip. Matt Cain had an uncharacteristically bad game and the offense was mostly quiet. Hey! It's just one game. Doesn't matter if you lose 10-2 or 1-0, it's still just 1 loss in the standings. The Giants leave the House of Horrors better off than coming in. Key lines:

Freddy Sanchez= 2 for 3, BB. BA= .329 Freddy's BA just keeps rising.

Buster Posey- 2 for 3, SB(3). BA= .308. I thought Posey needed and deserved a day off. With the off day tomorrow, would have given the legs a 2 day rest. Not that Posey would have it, but it is a 162 game season. Gonna need those legs in August and September. At least he came out early and Whiteside finished up for the second time in 3 games.

Matt Cain- 4.2 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 6 K's, HBP. ERA= 3.42. Cainer fell victim to the longball as Wiggy took him deep for 3 runs in the 4 run 2'nd inning. Cain has been the subject of almost endless discussion about whether his relatively low HR's Allowed totals represent luck or a skill or if it's all due to park effects and weak opponents. This game will undoubtedly bolster the case for the "luck" crowd. Still, it's only the second dinger Cainer has given up in 4 games. If he starts 32 games on the season, that projects to 16 which would be the second fewest he's given up in his career so far. Chalk this one up to one of those games and a little BAD luck thrown in. I expect him to bounce back with a great start next time.

The L dropped the Giants to 3 games back of the NL West leading Rockies, still one game better than coming into the series. They have now won their last 4 series but haven't been able to use the brooms yet. The Rampaging Rockies were the hottest team in baseball and had a chance to bury the Giants almost before the season started. Instead, the Giants gained a game and sent a message that they aren't going to let this be a cakewalk for the Rocks.

The Giants get tomorrow off then start a 3 game series and homestand against their NLDS rivals, the Atlanta Braves. The off days on both ends of the series allows the Giants to go with a 4 man rotation for the time being so the pitchers for the series will be Bumgarner, Lincecum and Sanchez.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Down on the Farm: 4/19/2011

AAA Tucson Padres defeated the Fresno Grizzlies 6-1:

Emmanuel Burriss(SS)- 2 for 4, CS(3). BA= .347.
Brock Bond(2B)- 2 for 3, BB, CS. BA= .241.
Thomas Neal(LF-CF)- 1 for 4, 2B. BA= .278.
Matt Yourkin(LHP)- 6 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 6.19.

The Grizzlies had 0 SB's against the 2 CS's. Yourkin's K/BB looked better than his results. IMO, Burriss needs to be playing SS everyday in case the Giants need a shortstop mid-season.

AA Trenton Thunder edged the Richmond Flying Squirrels 2-1 in 10 innings:

Daryl Maday(RHP)- 5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 3.31.
Manny Banuelos(NYY, LHP)- 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K's.

Not much else to see here. Banuelos is a highly touted Yankee prospect, at least to hear Yankee fans tell of it.

A+ Inland Empire 66'ers blanked the San Jose Giants 1-0:

Kelvin Marte(LHP)- 6.1 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K's, GO/AO= 12/2. ERA= 1.02.
Andy ReichardRHP)- 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 2.08.

SJ managed just 3 hits by Brown, Joseph and Fairley. Marte has pitched very well showing a strong GB tendency.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets topped the Delmarva Shorbirds 6-5:

Carlos Willoughby(2B)- 2 for 4, BB. BA= .283.
Raynor Campbell(SS)- 2 for 5, HR(2). BA= .211.
Adam Duvall(1B)- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .264.
Jeff Arnold(C)- 1 for 2, 2B, 3 BB, SB(1). BA= .250
Rafael Rodriguez(RF)- 1 for 4, BB. BA= .233.
Mario Rodriguez(LHP)- 6.2 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 4.34.
Stephen Harrold(RHP)- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 1.69.

Game Wrap 4/19/2011: Giants 6 Rockies 3

Once again, the Giants used early HR power backed by shutdown pitching to dominate a Rockies' team in Coors Field that was the hottest team in baseball coming into the series. Key LInes:

Darren Ford- 0 for 2, BB, SB(1). Although the SB itself did not directly contribute to the run Ford scored, it did seem to distract Franklin Morales who threw a mistake pitch that Aubrey Huff smacked off the front of the second deck in RF for a 2 run HR.

Aubrey Huff- 1 for 4, HR(2). BA= .254. Huff is heating up. Fangraphs had a post today about how Huff is having a bad season and the Giants will have a problem on their hands with his 2 year $22 M contract. Really? For a site that supposedly prides itself in statistical analysis, including the concept of sample size, that's a pretty ridiculous stance to take! Huff is obviously more comfortable at 1B and that carries over into his comfort at the plate. Huff will get hot soon enough, mark it down!

Pablo Sandoval- 1 for 4, HR(5). BA= .328. Pablos took Ubaldo Jimenez deep in the first inning with 2 runners on base. The Giants had the right idea to get to Jimenez early. Coming off the DL, he figured to be a bit rusty but if he could get through the first inning or two would likely settle down and pitch more like an ace. The Giants didn't let that happen and Pablo was a huge part of it. He is now tied with Burrell for the team lead in HR's.

Jonathan Sanchez- 6.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 3.13. Not a typical high K game from Sanchez, but he kept a very potent Rockies lineup at bay for 6 innings and didn't let himself get ruffled when frustrating things happened. Giants starting pitchers have now allowed just 5 hits in 14 IP, against the Rockies.

Javier Lopez- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 1.50. Lopez faced the heart of the Rockies lineup. It feature two LH hitters, Gonzalez and Helton, but Tulowitzki was sandwiched between them. No problem, Lopez got Tulo on a groundout to Pablo. 3 up 3 down.

Brian Wilson- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K's, Save(5). ERA= 7.94. Wilson's doesn't mess around this year. He's been lights out since his first two games off the DL. He's not throwing quite as hard as last year, but that 3 fastball combo(4 seam, 2 seam, cutter) has hitters pretty much helpless up there. They have no idea if the ball is going to rise or sink, run or tail and they have no time to adjust.

With the W, the Giants move to 2 games behind the NL West leading Rockies who are at 12-5 to the Giants 10-7. The Giants have now guaranteed their 4'th series win in a row. They have won 6 of 7 and have gone 9-3 since opening the season 1-4.

Matt Cain goes tomorrow against Jorge De La Rosa. De La Rosa can be tough, but so is Matt Cain. Should be a good game with the Giants having a better than decent chance at a sweep. Go Giants!

Aaron Rowand came out of the game after taking a HBP in the inside of the right forearm in the first inning. It may not warrent a DL stint, but if it did, Belt could stay on the team with Cody Ross taking CF and Nate getting a longer look as the starting RF. On the other hand, if Belt is not going to play, he would be better off going down to Fresno.

Hot Tip!

This is so great, I decided to make it a separate post. Gotta read Extra Baggs account of Nate's little bro Vai not only getting to see his monster HR last night, but he was sitting about 10 ft away in the RF upper deck. He paid the fan who caught it $25 and gave it to Nate. Also, great story about Vai's academic success at the Air Force Academy.

You can link to Extra Baggs by looking for it in the column of links to the left.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Down on the Farm: 4/18/2011

AAA Las Vegas 51's edged the Fresno Grizzlies 9-8 in 10 innings:

Emmanuel Burriss- 3 for 6, 2B, 2 SB(15). BA= .333.
Cody Ross- 1 for 3, 2B, 2 BB, Assist. BA= .500.
Travis Ishikawa- 4 for 5, 2B, SB(2). BA= .250.
Thomas Neal- 2 for 5, 3B, Assist. BA- .286.
Mark Kroon- 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 1.69.

Burriss continues to look good at the plate and on the bases. He also continues to play multiple positions, 2B tonight. Ross will be called up to the Giants and Belt sent down today. Neal is off the DL and healthy enough to leg out a triple and throw out a runner.

AA Trenton Thunder came from behind to beat the Richmond Flying Squirrels 4-2:

Jose Flores- 1 for 4, HR(2). BA= .200.
Roger Kieschnick- 1 for 3, BB, SB(1). BA= .257.
Juan Perez- 2 for 4, 3B. BA= .225.
Ryan Verdugo- 5.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 1.74.

Richmond hitters are finding the Eastern League to be as challenging as ever. Solid start by Verdugo who now has a 12/2 K/BB in two starts.

A+ Inland Empire 66'ers topped the San Jose Giants 5-3:

Ryan Cavan 2 for 4, HR(2). BA= .229.
Wendell Fairley- 1 for 2, 2 BB. BA= .359.
Michael Main- 5.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 4.50.

Not much to see here. Main's K/BB looked better than his results.

Low A West Virginia Power edged the Augusta Greenjackets 6-5:

Carlos Willoughby- 2 for 5, SB(3). BA= .265.
Raynor Campbell- 3 for 4, 2B, HR(1). BA= .182.
Adam Duvall- 2 for 4, 2 2B. BA= .250.
Jake Dunnington- 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 1.13.

Not much to say about this one. The hitters are struggling with Willoughby's .265 the highest BA in the lineup.

Game Wrap 4/18/2011: Giants 8 Rockies 1

The Giants took on the hottest team in baseball in their own crib and dominated every phase of the game for an easy win to start off the 3 game series. Key lines:

Freddy Sanchez- 2 for 5, 2B, HR(2). BA= .306. Freddy has been peppering baseball fields with basehits. He muscled up and got one of the Giants 3 dingers in this one. Freddy has been trending toward more power starting with the second half of last season.

Aubrey Huff- 1 for 3, BB. BA- .254. Huff just missed getting the 4'th HR of the night for the Giants.

Pablo Sandoval- 0 for 1, 3 BB. BA= .333. Pablo is showing more selectivity at the plate and it's paying off. Maybe some of those conversations with Barry Bonds in the offseason resulted in a change in approach on the field?

Pat Burrell- 1 for 3, HBP. .200/.333/.533. Yeah, you can pretty much forget about BA when it comes to evaluating Burrell's offensive production. OPS= .866? Yeah, I'll take that! No way should Burrell go to the bench when Ross and Torres get back.

Nate Schierholtz- 3 for 4, HR(1). BA= .292. OMG! The HR Nate hit just might be the longest I've ever seen. I'm sure Barry Bonds hit some that went farther in his career, but I don't think I saw them. This one landed 2-3 rows into the upper deck in RF, which is the 3'rd deck in Coors Field WAY up high! It's games like this that make people wonder what Nate could do with a steady starting gig while completely healthy.

Tim Lincecum- 7.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 10 K's. ERA= 1.67. Timmy did not allow a baserunner until the 4'th inning and did not allow a hit until the 7'th. He was hitting 95 MPH on the gun late in the game. I thought he had started laboring a bit before he gave up the hits and run in the 7'th, but he recovered enough to end the inning with a flourish. He gave away to Vogelsong after allowing a runner in the 8'th.

Ryan Vogelsong- 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. I'm sure this counts and Ryan's throwing day and he's still on track to make his start in Zito's slot on Friday night at home against the Braves. In this one, Vogelsong flashed a 92 MPH heater that had late movement and a "second stage" that made it look like it was jumping past hitters. He has a changeup that he developed in Japan that he is proud of, but he didn't throw it much tonight as the Rockies couldn't handle his fastball. Between Timmy and Ryan Vogelsong, the bullpen got a full day off tonight.

The W moves the Giants' record to 9-7 and to 3 games behind the NL West leading Rockies. This was a much needed win for the Giants who needed to slam the brakes on the Rockies runaway train. The one thing the Giants couldn't afford was to come into Coors and get swept, something that was not out of the question given the Giants history with this place and how hot Colorado has been. They took care of that tonight with the easy victory. I'm sure the Giants have every intention of sweeping the series. I'll be ecstatic if they can win one more and take their 4'th series in a row.

Jonathan Sanchez takes the mound tomorrow night against Ubaldo Jimenez who is coming back from a nail or blister issue. Ubaldo's velocity was down in his only start of the season. Whether that was due to the finger issue or if there are other issues at work, Ubaldo is a guy who could very easily turn the tables and dominate tomorrow.

Cody Ross comes off the DL tomorrow and it looks like Brandon Belt will be the one to go as the Giants will use their first option out of 3 on him. He needs to work on getting the bat started on the fastball a bit quicker and getting around on pitches on the inside corner.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Down on the Farm: 4/17/2011

AAA Las Vegas 51's edged the Fresno Grizzlies 4-3:

Emmanuel Burriss(SS)- 2 for 4, 2B, CS(2). BA= .308.
Cody Ross(RF)- 2 for 3. BA= .667.
Brett Pill(1B)- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .455.

Burriss has been impressive at the plate. Looks like PCL teams are getting wise to the Run and Gun. Cody Ross makes his rehab debut.

AA Altoona Curve topped the Richmond Flying Squirrels 5-1:

Clayton Tanner(LHP)- 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K's, 2 WP, HBP,GO/AO= 6-1. ERA= 7.00.

Not much to see here. Tanner's soft-tossing groundball game won't work as long has he has control issues and he's had plenty of time to address them. Gotta wonder if it's ever going to happen for him now. He's repeating AA after spending 2 years at High A.

A+ San Jose Giants defeated the Inland Empire 66'ers 7-3:

Gary Brown(CF)- 1 for 3, BB, HBP, CS(4). BA= .318 OBP= .434.
Ryan Cavan(2B)- 3 for 5, 2 2B, SB(4). BA= .205.
Tommy Joseph(1B)- 1 for 3, BB, SB(1). BA= .340.
Chris Dominguez(DH)- 1 for 4, 2B. BA= .362.
Nick Liles(3B)- 2 for 4, 3B, SB(2). BA= .467.
Jake Dunning(RHP)- 5 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 6.30.
Heath Hembree- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 2.25.

One of the better early stories Down on the Farm is Brown drawing walks and getting on base, a lot. Tommy Joseph stealing must have been a site, somewhat akin to the triple he hit the other day. Man, that kid is BIG! NIck Liles seems to be prepping for a super-utility role. That ought to win him some love from Bruce Bochy. Dunning had a much better result than his first start. Hembree has huge velocity.

Low A West Virginia Power blanked the Augusta Greenjackets 7-0:

Carlos Willoughby(2B)- 1 for 4, 2B. BA= .250
Taylor Rogers(RHP)- 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 5.00.
Edward Concepcion(RHP)- 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 1.50.
Colton Cain(LHP, WV)- 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 0.00.

Colton Cain is a guy really liked in the 2009 draft. At 6'3", 225 lbs, he's built and looks a lot like a lefthanded version of Matt Cain. He was drafted in the 8'th round by Pittsburgh and is looking good so far.

Game Wrap 4/17/2011: D'Backs 6 Giants 5

The Giants got a gutsy performance from Madison Bumgarner and broke out the long ball, but in the end it wasn't enough as they dropped a tough one to the D'Backs in extra innings. Key lines:

Aaron Rowand- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .364. Rowand continued his hot hitting at the top of the order.

Aubrey Huff- 1 for 3, HR(1), SF. BA= .250. Huff laid into one in the 4'th inning and pulled a line drive into the RF bleachers for the Giants first run, hit and baserunner of the game.

Buster Posey- 1 for 5, HR(3). BA= .296. His other AB's didn't look so great, but Buster pulled this one smartly into the D'Backs bullpen down the LF line for a 2 run dinger to drive Enright from the game in the 6'th inning.

Pablo Sandoval- 1 for 4, HR(4). BA= .340. Pablo went back-to-back with Buster to put the Giants up 5-4 off a new pitcher. Things were looking good at this point. Enright was out and the D'Backs bullpen has been a collective gas can. Alas, the Giants would muster just one hit and baserunner the rest of way over 6 innings. Liberal use of defensive subs has worked well for Bochy, but it came back to bite him today when the Rockies tied the game. Sorry, but Nate and Darren Ford in for Burrell and Huff is a major offensive downgrade.

Madison Bumgarner- 6.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 2 K's, GO/AO= 10/4. ERA= 7.36. An uneven game from Bumgarner, but some things to be encouraged about: 1. Velocity sat at 93 MPH and registered all the way up to 96 on at least one pitch. 2. He recovered when it looked like he was on the ropes in the 3'rd inning and only allowed 1 more run, a solo HR to Justin Upton, into the 7'th. 3. The ground ball tendency which combined with the velocity should produce a lot more good games than bad ones.

Jeremy Affeldt- 0.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. BS(2). ERA= 2.84. Affeldt went 1.1 IP yesterday, so I wonder if a rested Javier Lopez might have been a better choice to face Montero. They just needed the one out. Leaving him in against Roberts who hit the game tyer was questionable too. The rationale was the Romo was the RH option warmed up in the bullpen and LH batter Juan Miranda would have pinch hit for Roberts. I understand the reasoning, but if Affeldt couldn't get the lefty out, what makes you think he's a better matchup against the righty than Romo against Miranda? It's pretty obvious that Bochy doesn't trust Romo against LH batters yet. Anyway, both points are debateable and the way it turned out does NOT make Bochy a bad manager nor does it make him responsible for the loss.

Dan Runzler- 2.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K, Loss. ERA= 5.87. Runzler was lights out for 2 innings, but lost control of the strike zone with 1 out in the 12'th. Lopez didn't fare any better against the LH batter than Affeldt and that was the ballgame.

Tough loss. Credit is due the D'Backs bullpen and blame to the Giants inability to mount any semblance of a rally after the 6'th inning outburst.

The loss breaks the Giants win streak of 4 games and drops the them to 8-7 and once again 4 games back of the Rampagin' Rockies who battered the Cubs 9-5. The Giants have now won 3 series in a row though. They now move on to Colorado for the first big showdown of the season. The Rockies are red hot and Coors Field is a very tough place for the Giants to win. Tim Lincecum takes the mound tomorrow night against Esmil Rogers who has a couple of great games under his belt already this yearn and electric stuff. Tough series. They can probably survive if they win at least one of the games. It would be very tough to overcome a sweep which would drop them 8 games off the pace in the NL West.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Down on the Farm: 4/16/2011

AAA Las Vegas 51's blanked the Fresno Grizzlies 7-0:

Andrew Kown(LHP)- 6 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 3.27.
Mike MacDonald(RHP, Las Vegas)- 9 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K's.

If MacDonald's name seems familiar, maybe it's because he pitched for the Richmond Flying Squirrels last year. He's a 29 year old minor league veteran, but seems to be thriving in a tough place/league to pitch.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels vs Akron Aeros postponed due to rain.

A+ San Jose Giants defeated the Visalia Rawhide 5-2:

Carter Jurica(SS)- 1 for 3, 2B, BB, HBP. BA= .226
Tommy Joseph(C)- 2 for 4. BA= .341.
Chris Dominguez(3B)- 3 for 4, SB(2). BA= .372.
Nick Liles(1B-RF)- 2 for 4. BA= .462.
Wendell Fairley(DH)- 2 for 4. BA= .353.
Zack Wheeler(RHP)- 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 8 K's, GO/AO= 6-2. ERA= 1.69.
Chris Wilson(RHP)- 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.00.
Heath Hembree(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(1). ERA= 3.00.

Jurica's bat seems to have come alive with the move up in the order to #2. Gary Brown came out of this game early, not sure why. Love that Chris Dominguez keeps showing he is more than an all-or-nothing power hitter. Zack Wheeler once again demonstrated the ability to get both K's and GB's, a special combination for a pitcher this young.

Low A Augusta Grizzlies lost to the West Virginia Power 8-5:

Carlos Willoughby(2B)- 2 for 5, 3B, SB(2). BA= .250.
Devin Harris(LF)- 1 for 3, HR(3), BB. BA= .171.
Jeff Arnold(C)- 3 for 4, 2B. BA= .269.
Edwin Escobar(LHP)- 3 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 2 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 22.50.
Matt Graham(RHP)- 4 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, GO/AO= 8/3. ERA= 3.00.
Jacob Dunnington(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.00.

As bad as Escobar's outing was, the silver lining is another pretty darn good performance by Matt Graham who has been pounding the strike zone and getting the GB outs.

Addendum: Gary Brown was ejected for arguing balls and strikes at home plate. OMG! Go to and look at Wheeler's pic on the game story. He looks so much like Matt Cain I thought it WAS Matt Cain in the picture at first!

Game Wrap 4/16/2011: Giants 5 D'Backs 3

The Giants played a game that was both frustrating and very entertaining. They ended up winning it due mostly to an exceptional effort by Guillermo Mota and the bullpen, and they overcame 5 GIDP's! Key lines:

Aaron Rowand- 3 for 4, 2B, BB. BA= .359. Gamer was as good this game as he was bad yesterday. The first hit to lead off the game was a thing of beauty, a long, low line drive up the left-center alley that Chris Young could not get to.

Freddy Sanchez- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .308. Freddy drove in 3 runs with his 2 hits. He's smacking the ball pretty good right now.

Buster Posey- 1 for 3, HR(2), BB. BA= .306. My wife was watching the game with me and had just commented on how nice Buster's swing looked....Bam! She looked at me and said, "see, I told you!"

Mark DeRosa- 2 for 3. BA= .429. DeRosa has no place to play. He got the call at 1B against the LHP today. He has a very reasonable contract and may have some trade value.

Darren Ford- 0 for 1, PO/CS. Ford entered the game as a pinch runner, got picked off first base running on first move and almost beat the relay from the first baseman. Later, he struck out in his first career MLB AB.

Barry Zito- 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 0 K's. ERA= 6.23. It was pretty obvious that Zito didn't have it before he sprained his foot fielding a bunted ball on the fly. The first two outs of the first inning were smoked, and he certainly wasn't fooling anyone in the second inning. Hate to say it, but I doubt the Giants win this game if Zito hadn't gotten hurt.

Guillermo Mota- 4.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 2.19. Mota exceeded his previous career high IP total, I think by a full inning. He actually seemed to get stronger and more unhittable as the appearance progressed. My goodness! He as throwing some nasty breaking pitches in the 5'th and 6'th innings! An exceptional effort! Maybe he can be the emergency starter if Zito goes on the DL?

Jeremy Affeldt- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 3.00. A nice effort by Affeldt to back up Mota's performance.

Sergio Romo- 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K. ERA= 0.00. Romo's slider seemed to have almost supernatural qualities tonight. After getting the last out, he let out a yell and jabbed his finger at the sky as he always does. Ryan Roberts took exception, started yelling at Romo and seemed to be looking for a fight until the ump and a coach got in his line of vision to Romo.

Brian Wilson- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 9.64. Wilson is making it look too easy. I kind of miss the torture. He now has what I consider the holy grail of fastballs, 4 seamer, 2 seamer and cutter. Add in a slider to the mix and he is truly unhittable.

The W moved the Giants record to 8-6 and to 3 games behind NL West leading Colorado Rockies who finally lost a game to the Cubs 8-3. Meanwhile the Dodger are getting pounded by the Cardinals again, 9-2 in the 9'th inning. Kershaw lasted less than 5 IP. Don Mattingly is already second guessing himself and being second guessed about how many pitches he lets his starters throw. Kershaw threw 111 in his 4.2 IP after throwing 117 in his last start. This on the heels of Hiroki Kuroda getting shelled in his last start after throwing 117 in his prior start. Not sure I blame Mattingly given how lousy the Dodgers bullpen is. Kuo is now on the DL again. This time with a bad back. Now there is talk that if Frank McCourt cannot get some type of financial rescue package put together, the Dodgers might not make their next payroll. Oh, and the LA Times reported today that the Dodgers made deep cuts in their security budget in 2009. Man, what an embarrassment for one of the sport's historical flagship franchises!

Madison Bumgarner tries for the sweep tomorrow against Barry Enright. Bumgarner has had success against the D'Backs. Enright kind of baffled the Giants in an early start last year but he has poor K/BB numbers and the Giants seemed to figure him out in a subsequent game.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Down on the Farm: 4/15/2011

A great night down on the farm for the Giants organization.

AAA Fresno Grizzlies came storming back in the last two innings to defeat the Las Vegas 51's 11-7:

Emmanuel Burriss- 2 for 3, 2 BB, PO, CS. BA= .323.
Conor Gillaspie- 2 for 5. BA= .316.
Brett Pill- 3 for 4, BB. BA= .486.
Ryan Rohlinger- 2 for 4, 2 HR(3). BA= .176.
Doug Mathis- 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 3.60.
Henry Sosa- 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 11.57.

Burriss had a nice night at the plate, but a bit of a rough one on the bases, negating 2 of his 4 successful PA's. Sosa had a nice outing after a couple of terrible ones.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Altoona Curve 5-2:

Roger Kieschnick- 2 for 3, 2B, BB. BA= .250.
Johnny Monell- 2 for 3, SF. BA= .261.
Justin Fitzgerald- 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 0.90.
Justin Dowdy- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.00.
Jason Stoffel- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(3). ERA- 0.00.

Two solid starts for Fitz. Stoffel has been lights out as the closer so far.

A+ San Jose Giants crushed the Visalia Rawhide 16-0:

Gary Brown- 2 for 6, 3B, BB. BA= .282.
Carter Jurica- 2 for 3, 2 BB, HBP. BA= .214.
Jarrett Parker- 2 for 5, 2B, BB. BA= .188.
Chris Dominguez- 2 for 5, 2 HR(4). BA= .333.
Nick Liles- 5 for 5, 2B. BA= .455.
Ryan Lollis- 4 for 6. BA= .429.
Wendell Fairley- 3 for 6, 2B. BA= .323.
Craig Westcott- 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 2.79.

Obviously a chance for several players to pad the old stat line. Dominguez' 2 HR's were particularly exciting to see. I'm tellin' ya, this San Jose team is scary good. A bunch of players who appear to belong at a higher level.

Augusta Greenjackets downed the West Virginia Power 5-3:

Ryan Scoma- 1 for 3, 3B. BA= .265.
Austin Fleet- 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 6.75.

Fleet had a much better game than his first start.

Game Wrap 4/15/2011: Giants 5 D'Backs 2

Pablo Sandoval hit a 3 run dinger in the first inning to stake Matt Cain to 3 run lead. It was a easy win from there on out except for a mild bit of anxiety in the 9'th. The Giants need to win some games like this. Key lines:

Aaron Rowand- 0 for 5, 3 K's. BA= .314. Probably early to be getting on the gamer, but my gosh! Did he look terrible at the plate? Made a couple of nice catches though.

Buster Posey- 2 for 4, SB(2). BA= .304. Buster seems to be stroking the ball better as he recovers from a respiratory virus to start the season.

Pablo Sandoval- 1 for 3, HR(3), BB. BA= .356. Pablo seems to be seeing the ball better and laying off some pitches he might have swung at last year.

Miguel Tejada- 2 for 4, 2 2B. BA= .265. Miggy made a couple of nifty plays out at SS too. I liked the signing even though it got ridiculed in some circles. Working out OK so far.

Mat Cain- 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K's, HBP, GO/AO= 7/5. ERA= 1.42. Another game by Cainer to drive the sabermetricians crazy. He does seem to be gradually transforming himself into more of a GB pitcher as the K's decline though. Tonight's game was a textbook case of how a pitcher can dominate without a lot of K's. Cain might have been able to get through the 7'th without giving up a run, but Huff's range in RF was an issue again. He was protecting the gap, not sure why with a 5 run lead, and Drew hit a long high fly the fell just inside the RF line with Huff about 3 feet away.

Ramon Ramirez- 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. Ramirez is the guy who should be credited with a Save in this one. Bases loaded, 1 out, he held the damage to 1 run as in got a sac fly and a K to end the threat and keep the lead at 4 runs in the 7'th. He added a scoreless 8'th.

The W moved to Giants into sole possession of 2'nd place in the NL West, 4 games behind the rampaging Colorado Rockies who blanked the Cubs 5-0 behind Jhoulys Chacin. San Diego beat the Houston Astros 4-2 and are now in 3'rd place 5 games back while the Dodgers got pounded by he Cards 11-2 to fall 5.5 games back in 4'th place ahead of the D'Backs on percentage points.

Barry Zito takes the mound tomorrow evening against Joe Saunders. Saunders is not a very good pitcher but seems to give the Giants trouble. Zito pitching in the BOB is a scary thought.

Andres Torres was placed on the 15 day DL retroactive to the 10'th of April. Darren Ford, a member of the Fresno track team, was called up to take his place on the active roster. Ford saw action tonight as late defensive replacement in CF with Rowand moving over the LF, but did not get to bat or pinch run.

Cody Ross played 3 innings of an extended spring training game today and hit a double, apparently with no problems from the calf strain so he should be back soon. The roster shuffle will really start to get interesting then.

Down on the Farm: 4/14/2011

AAA Fresno Grizzlies edged the Tacoma Rainiers 3-2 in 10 innings:

Darren Ford- 2 for 5, 2B, SB(7). BA= .323.
Conor Gillaspie- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .303.
Emmanuel Burriss- 1 for 1, BB, SB(13). BA= .286.
Matt Yourkin- 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 9 K's.
Steve Edlefsen- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, GO/AO= 3/0.
Marc Kroon- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's, W(1-0).

Good chance we'll see both Kroon and Edlefsen in SF this year.

AA Altoona Curve blanked the Richmond Flying Squirrels 2-0:

Eric Surkamp- 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K's ERA= 2.00.

The Squirrels managed just 3 hits.

A+ Visalia Rawhide topped the San Jose Giants 3-2:

Gary Brown- 1 for 4, SB(10), Assist(Home). BA= .273.
Tommy Joseph- 1 for 4, 2B. BA= .343.
Chris Dominguez- 2 for 4. BA= .324.
Chris Heston- 5 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 3.60.
Andy Reichard- 4 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K's.

I am especially encouraged by Chris Dominguez continued ability to get basehits of the non-HR variety. Nice K/BB for Heston.

Low A Rome Braves beat the Augusta Greenjackets 4-2:

Devin Harris- 1 for 4, HR(2). BA= .172.
Seth Rosin- 5.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 0 K's.
Edward Concepcion- 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. ERA= 2.25.
Stephen Harrold- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.00.

Rosin was hittable in his season debut. Concepcion continues to pitch well out of the bullpen.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Down on the Farm: 4/13/2011

AAA Tacoma Rainiers defeated the Fresno Grizzlies 3-1:

Darren Ford, Emmanuel Burriss, Travis Ishikawa- 1 for 4, SB.
Shane Loux- 8 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 2.57.
Blake Beavan(Tacoma)- 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 0.90.

What, Travis is getting in on the SB act too? He gets his first, Ford #6 and Burriss #12. Beavan is a former first round draft pick(#17) by Texas who went to Seattle in the Cliff Lee trade.

AA Bowie Baysox topped the Richmond Flying Squirrels 4-1:

Joe Koshansky- 2 for 3, HR(1). BA= .292.
Daryl Maday- 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 5.06.
David Quinowski- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's. ERA= 0.00.

Koshansky is a MILB veteran.

A+ Lancaster Jethawks outlasted the San Jose Giants 4-3 in 12 innings:

Gary Brown- 1 for 5, S, 2 SB(9). BA= .276.
Ryan Cavan- 1 for 5, 2 SB(2). BA= .143.
Carter Jurica- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .182.
Kelvin Marte- 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.79.
Jose Valdez- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. ERA= 0.00.
Chris Wilson- 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.00.

Wilson and Hembree had blown Saves. Casilla took the loss while getting just 1 out in the 12'th inning.

If you think the SJ game was long, the Rome Braves outlasted the Augusta Greenjackets 6-5 in 14 innings:

Carlos Willoughby- 2 for 6, 2B, BB, SB(1). BA= .222.
Dan Burkhart- 3 for 5, 2B. BA= .400.
Mario Rodriguez- 6 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, GO/AO= 8/3.
Edward Concepcion- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 3.86.
Matt Graham- 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 0 K, GO/AO= 5/2.

Maybe the bullpen is a friendly place for Concepcion? Graham pounding to zone for groundballs. Needs to control the walks.

Game Wrap 4/13/2011: Giants 4 Dodgers 3

If yesterday's game was crackling good, tonight's was absolutely scintillating. If featured good pitching, good hitting and a little old fashioned Giants-Dodgers drama. Key Lines:

Aaron Rowand- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .367. Gamer stays hot.

Buster Posey- 0 for 2, 2 HBP, SB(1). BA= .286 Ted Lilly was apparently retaliating for Uribe getting plunked in both game 1 and game 2. If so, this was more like a couple of love pats on the shoulder for Posey. Lilly doesn't have much of a fastball to begin with and these were both breaking balls the broke in on Posey. Maybe Lilly figured Buster would have too much time to get out of the way of the fastball? Anyway, the ump warned both sides which annoyed Bruce Bochy because that tends to take away the inside pitch from your starting pitcher. Buster also blocked a pitch in the dirt and then picked off Tony Gwynn, Jr. from 2B when Gwynn mistakenly thought he could take 3B on the WP.

Pablo Sandoval- 1 for 4, HR(2). BA= .357. Pablo got a nice RH swing on a Lilly pitch and sent it up the wind tunnel in left-center for a HR.

Brandon Belt- 2 for 3, BB. BA= .195. Belt continues to get impressive AB's and a few hits are starting to fall in.

Mike Fontenot- 2 for 3, 2B, HR(1), BB. BA= .167. Great game for Fontenot, and he wasn't even supposed to be playing. Kind of a funny time for Freddy Sanchez to get a rest against a lefty who he hits well off of, but DeRosa got the call and couldn't answer because the wrist was barking again. Maybe DeRosa can go on the DL when Ross comes back. Of course, that doesn't help decide who plays.

Madison Bumgarner- 0 for 1. Another curious choice as a pinch-hitter. Torres and DeRosa were unavailable. Nate is lefthanded, but hits lefties well. I think Boch wanted to save Nate for defense later in the game at that point. Whiteside is the reserve catcher. Boch apparently wanted to save F Sanchez for later. That left Bumgarner who at least swung the bat with some authority up there.

Jonathan Sanchez- 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 9 K's. A solid effort by Sanchez. I wonder how much the warnings to the benches factored into Barajas' HR?

Sergio Romo- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. Romo had the otherworldly slider going tonight.

Brian Wilson- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(2). Willie apparently has decided he doesn't need to load the bases before getting down to business. 1,2 3 see ya later!

The W evened the Giants record at 6-6 leaving them tied with the Dodgers for second place, 3 games behind the NL West leading Colorado Rockies who scored yet another 1 run victory, this time 5-4 over the NY Mess.

The Giants have another day off tomorrow before hitting the road against the D'Backs in Arizona. Matt Cain starts the series off against Daniel Hudson.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Down on the Farm: 4/12/2011

AAA Fresno Grizzlies trounced the Tacoma Rainiers 10-2:

Emmanuel Burriss- 3 for 6, 2 2B, SB(11). BA= .261.
Tyler Graham- 3 for 5, SB(3). BA= .333.
Tyler Pill- 4 for 4, 2B, HR(2), SF. BA= .560.
Conor Gillaspie- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .280.
Edgar Gonzalez- 2 for 4, HR(1). BA= .375.
Ryan Vogelsong- 5.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 8 K's. ERA= 1.59.
David Mixon- 3.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.68.

Burriss seems to be getting his confidence back. Maybe all the SB's are helping with that? Second strong K start for Vogelsong in a row.

AA Richmond topped the Bowie Baysox 7-2:

Charlie Culberson- 1 for 3, 2B, SF. BA= .333.
Justin Christian- 1 for 3, 2B, SF. BA= .273.
Thomas Vessella- 6 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 3.00.

Nice start to the season for Culberson. Vessella is a big lefty MILB veteran.

A+ Lancaster scored 5 runs in the bottom of the 8'th inning to beat the San Jose Giants 8-5:

Gary Brown- 2 for 3, 2 BB, SB(7). BA= .292.
Nick Liles- 1 for 3, 2 BB. BA= .455.
Tommy Joseph- 1 for 4, HR(2). BA= .423.
Luke Anders- 1 for 3, HR(2), BB. BA= .360.
Michael Main- 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K's
Jose Casilla- 0.2 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 0 K's

Much better game from Brown tonight. He seems to be getting his share of BB's. Joseph's dinger was a grand slam special. Encouraging start from Michael Main. I think Casilla is showing his pitches before he delivers them.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets got the best of the Rome Braves 5-3:

Carlos Willoughby- 1 for 4, BB. BA= .190.
Adam Duvall- 2 for 5, HR(2). BA= .240.
Josh Mazzola- 3 for 4, HR(3), BB. BA= .250.
Justin Schumer- 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, GO/AO= 16/2.
Jacob Dunnington- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.
Drew Bowlin- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's, Save(1).

Wow! The Braves batters killed a lot of worms tonight off Schumer! Like the K's from Dunnington.

Game Wrap 4/12/2011: Giants 5 Dodgers 4

This was a crackling good game that the Giants won. Started off slow, had a rousing middle and some suspense at the end. Key lines:

Aaron Rowand- 2 for 4, 3B. Gamer hit a drive up triples alley in the bottom of the 7'th, which he legged out for a triple, then came home on a wild pitch for the game winner. Is Rowand creating some trade value for himself? Is he winning his old job back? I'd guess we'll be seeing him leading off for at least the next several games.

Buster Posey- 3 for 4. BA= .300. Nice game by Buster who seemed to be seeing the ball better tonight swinging the bat with more authority even though all the hits were singles.

Brandon Belt- 1 for 3, BB, SB(2). BA= .158. Belt reached a low point with his error which helped prolong the Dodgers 3 run 4'th inning, but made a nice comeback at the plate later on. Let's hope this was the start of something good for the kid.

Timmy- 5.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 4 K's. Timmy had good velocity, but didn't seem to have a put away pitch tonight. It caught up with him in the 4'th inning. He was up to 108 pitches by the time he came out.

Brian Wilson- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 19.29. Wilson was at his unhittable best tonight. It will take a few more appearances to get the old ERA down from his first two disastrous outings.

The win brought the Giants record to 5-6 and to 3 games behind the Colorado Rockies who were rained out in NY. San Diego lost to the Reds and dropped past the Giants into last place in the NL West at 4-6.

Jonathan Sanchez takes the mound tomorrow night against Ted Lilly as the Giants try to win the rubber game of the series with LA.

Down on the Farm: 4/11/2011

AAA Fresno Grizzlies edged the Tacoma Rainiers 7-6:

Darren Ford- 1 for 5, SB(5). BA= .318.
Emmanuel Burriss- 1 for 4, BB, 3 SB(10). BA= .176.
Brett Pill- 3 for 4, 2 2B. BA= .476.
Ryan Rohlinger- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(1). BA= .211.
Conor Gillaspie- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .250.
Andrew Kown- 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 6 K's.
Wilmin Rodriguez- 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.
Steve Edlefsen- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K.
Henry Sosa- 0 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 0 K.

I have to admit I like the SB thing better than watching the big boys GIDP game after game. Kown is a big MILB veteran lefty who has had very low K rates throughout his career. Had more than 1 K/IP tonight. Sosa seems to be regressing at an alarming rate. Maybe he's just had an accumulation of too many injuries?

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

Juan Perez- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .200.
Jose Flores- 2 for 3, HR(1). BA= .294.
Ryan Verdugo- 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.

Pretty good start for Verdugo who is looking to make the change to SP this year. If successful, he could pass Clayton Tanner on the organization SP depth chart.

A+ San Jose Giants survived the wind tunnel up in Lancaster with a 14-8 win over the Jethawks:

Gary Brown- 0 for 6. Ouch! BA= .238.
Jarrett Parker- 1 for 4, 2B, 2 BB. BA= .250.
Chris Dominguez- 1 for 4, 2 BB. BA= .364.
Tommy Joseph- 3 for 5, SF. BA= .455.
Hector Sanchez- 2 for 5, BB. BA= .278.
Luke Anders- 3 for 5, 2B, HR(1), BB. BA= .364.
Nick Liles- 3 for 4, 2B, 3B, BB. BA= .500.
Jake Dunning- 4 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 1 K.

I wouldn't pay too much attention to Dunning's line. Lancaster is the most extreme hitter-friendly environment in all of baseball, majors or minors. Nick Liles played shortstop in this one. Now that's interesting!

Low A Rome Braves defeated the Augusta Greenjackets 7-3:

Josh Mazzola- 1 for 4, HR(2). BA= .150.
Ryan Scoma- 3 for 4, 2 2B. BA= .375.
Taylor Rogers- 4 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 0 K's.
Shawn Sanford- 3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.

Sanford was better in relief than the starter, Rogers. I was disappointed to not see Seth Rosin pitch yet. Maybe Augusta is going with a 6 man rotation and we'll see him tonight? I saw Rosin listed as the projected SP in game 3, but he didn't appear. Hope he's not hurt.

Game Wrap 4/11/2011: Dodgers 6 Giants 1

Different opponent, same score. The Giants put on a miserable show to lose badly in a game I think they could have won with some good baseball. Key lines:

Pat Burrell- 2 for 4, HR(4), 2 BB. BA= .222. Right now, Pat the Bat is about the only guy on the team putting up good AB's on a consistent basis and look at his BA! He also threw out Matt Kemp at 3B and also made an error in LF. You've got to take the good with the bad with Pat. He's on a pace to hit 64 HR's though.

Madison Bumgarner- 5 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 9.00. This line doesn't really do him justice. I thought Bum had good stuff and pitched well despite a tough zone from the ump and shoddy fielding behind him until things fell apart in the 5'th.

Clayton Kershaw(Dodgers)- 6.2 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 1.37. Kershaw was not as sharp in this one as he was on Opening Day. Giants hitters failed to sustain any kind of rally despite several opportunities. On the other hand, Kershaw has reached the point where he is an elite starter who will still probably beat you when he's having an off night.

Maybe I'm deluded, but with a little D, a little more evenhandedness from the ump and a timely hit or two and the Giants could have won this in one of their one run nail biters instead of the game being over by the 6'th inning.

The Giants record drops to 4-6 in last place in the NL West, 3.5 games behind the Colorado Rockies who won another 1 run game over the Mess 7-6. The Dodgers improved to 6-4 to remain 1.5 games behind the Rockies. I'll say this: last year you knew the Padres would eventually come back to the pack. This year, if the Rockies build up a lead, they ain't coming back!

Tim Lincecum tries to play Stopper tonight against Chad Billingsley. Hopefully there are no celebrations, ceremonies or appeals planned for tonight or for awhile. Time to focus on baseball!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Down on the Farm: 4/10/2011

Here's the rest of the Giants organizational MILB games. See previous post for the summary of the San Jose Giants game.

Fresno Grizzlies downed the Las Vegas 51's 8-5:

Darren Ford- 2 for 4, BB, 3 SB(4).
Brett Pill- 3 for 5, HR(1), SB(1).
Conor Gillaspie- 2 for 4, HR(1), BB
Terry Evans- 3 for 4, BB, 3 SB(4).
Chris Stewart- 0 for 1, 3 BB.
Doug Mathis- 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 1 K.
Alex Hinshaw- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.
Marc Kroon- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, Save(1).

The Grizzlies had a total of 9 SB's. Yeah, it's great. First of all, you have to have the personnel for it and secondly, you're not going to get away with that kind of stuff in the majors for very long. The big boys will find a way to shut it down real quick. I wouldn't mind having Ford on the team just as a pinch runner though. Lot's of career minor league types on the Fresno pitching staff.

New Britain Rock Cats blanked the Richmond Flying Squirrels 4-0:

Single hits by Culberson, Kieschnick, Christian and Lowenstein. No BB's.
Clayton Tanner- 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.
Dan Otero- 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.
Justin Dowdy- 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.

Tanner's K's and BB's looked better than usual but the results weren't so good. The staff combined for a 12/2 K/BB.

Greenville Drive outhit the Augusta Greenjackets 10-7:

Adam Duvall- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .250.
Dan Burkhart- 1 for 2, 2 BB. BA= .200.
Rafael Rodriguez- 2 for 4. BA= .375.
Devin Harris- 1 for 4, HR(1). BA= .154.
Edwin Escobar- 1 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K.
Matt Graham- 2.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 1 K.
Gaspar Santiago- 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K's.
Jacob Dunnington- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's.
Bryce Brentz(Greenville)- 2 for 5. BA= .500.

Great to see RafRod off to a good start. The Greenjackets committed 5 errors. The pitching wasn't great, but it must be tough to pitch in that kind of environment. Let's tighten up the defense there, boys! Brentz was an intriguing and somewhat controversial draft prospect last year out of Middle Tennessee State. He had a great opening weekend against the Greenjackets with 9 hits in 18 AB' with a double, 2 triples and a HR. Looks like Boston did well in the draft with him and Ranaudo. Neither should stay in low A for very long though.

Down on the Farm: Special Report From Lake Elsinore 4/10/2011

Well, I went to the game in Lake Elsinore today. What a day, what a game! The San Jose Giants players lived up to their promise, and then some, dominating the Lake Elsinore Storm in every phase of the game, 10-0.

It was a bright sunny spring day in Southern California with temperatures hovering right around 70. I arrived about 30 minutes before game time and got in a ticket line. An older lady(she was actually probably about my age, but I like to think she was older) came up to me and asked if I was buying a single ticket. I said yes. She said she was there with her mother and her father was not able to attend and they were looking to give away a single ticket. It was in Section 101, row D Seat 7 directly behind home plate! I offered to pay face value for the ticket but they wouldn't accept. So I got one of the best seats in the house free. On to the game! Key Lines:

Gary Brown- 1 for 3, 2 BB, SB(6), CS(1). BA= .333. Brown did not look as big today as I remember him from Spring Training in Arizona. The walks look good in the box score. I couldn't tell if they reprsented good plate discipline or not as none of the pitches he took were at all close to being strikes. From his stance and approach at the plate, he looks like he will be more of a groundball/line drive hitter with very little power. He is very aggressive on the basepaths. The most significant play scoring easily from 3B on a passed ball that only got a short way away from the catcher, but Brown saw it immediately, got a great jump and was already crossing the plate by the time the catcher got to the ball.

Ryan Cavan- 0 for 4. Cavan is even smaller than Brown. I doubt his power holds up at higher levels.

Chris Dominguez- 3 for 5, 2 HR's(2). BA= .389. We'll see if he can maintain it for a full season, but right now, Dominguez is red hot. He is both huge and athletic looking. He seemed to have a surprisingly good approach at the plate. He struck out swinging the first two AB's, but in his next 3 AB's really found the range. He took an outside pitch on a line to right-center for his first HR. The Diamond has a short RF with a "monster" fence. Dominguez' HR was over the 348 ft sign where the wall is shorter. Would have been a double in most ballparks. It was hit hard enough, and on a line, that I think it would have gone through the gap though. Later he shot a grounder down the RF line and then purposely stopped between first and second to try to get into a rundown to allow a runner ahead of him to score. LE foiled that plan by picking off the runner trying to come home for out #3. Wierd play! The last AB Chris crushed one to dead LF, which is about 390 ft away in that park. No doubter, that one is out in any park! Chris looked surprisingly nimble around 3B too with a strong throwing arm. I know he has his warts, but based on what I saw today, I would say Chris Dominguez might be one of the most underrated prospects in all of baseball! The upside is enormous! He may not have more than a 10 year MLB career because he has developed so slowly, but those 10 years could be jaw dropping!

Tommy Joseph- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(1), BB. BA= .412. Tommy Joseph has a massively compact body. He also has a very compact, powerful swing! He also struck out his first time up, but later in the game put on a show! The HR was back-to-back with Chris Dominguez' first shot. Tommy's was a line drive down the LF line that got out in a hurry and was a no-doubter. Gone in any ballpark. The double was probably hit harder but farther right to straightaway LF and it clanged off the LF fence that is at least 390 ft away at that point. That ball is out of most ballparks! Man, what a powerful righthanded power duo in the middle of the San Jose lineup! Joseph played catcher and I thought he handled himself well catching some pitchers with premium stuff. He may need some work on the mechanics of getting off a throw but his arm looked strong. He's no speed merchant on the basepaths but seemed to run OK when he came home on a hit after his double.

Jarrett Parker- 2 for 5. Parker is kind of tall and lean. He doesn't appear to have much power. He had one nice hard-hit grounder up the middle for one hit and easily beat out a broken bat slow grounder to 2B later in the game. He looks like he can cover some ground in RF.

Carter Jurica- 0 for 2, 2 BB. Jurica is big for a SS. He was not particularly impressive at the plate. He made a nice charge on a slow roller in the first inning and gunned it to first in time after kind of hesitating on the throw. He also went back nicely on a booper over his head that he ended up catching easily in short LF. I did not see any difficult lateral plays so can't really say if he has the range to play SS at higher levels. I would say he has the arm, though. Now we'll have to see if the size translates into hitting.

Zack Wheeler- 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K's. I was a bit worried when Zack walked leadoff batter Rico Noel on 4 pitches in the first and then went to 2 balls on the #2 hitter. He really settled down after that, though. The stadium gun was not working at first. A couple of stadium employees fiddled with it for an inning or two and finallly got it working with numbers that were believable. Zack was throwing mostly fastballs in the 92-95 MPH range. The most frequent number I saw was 93. His secondary stuff looks to to be rather primitive at this point and he seldom threw it. He was able to just blow the FB by the LE hitters. It must have had late sink because they mostly beat it into the ground, although he did get 3 pop fly outs. There were no balls hit hard off him in the 5 innings he pitched. Zack looks like an ever so slightly slimmer version of Matt Cain. He holds his glove in front of him with the ball in it and his arm at his side while he's getting the sign, just like Cainer. The delivery is also similar with a deliberate start and then exploding directly to home plate. Maybe Cainer maintains his leg kick a bit longer into the delivery, but other than that, Zack could be Matt's mini-me out there, though not so mini! I've seen Cain, Merkin Valdez and Tim Lincecum pitch in the Cal League, and Zack certainly held his own with that group and more. Very impressive performance.

Jose Valdez- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. I really wanted to see Valdez pitch and wasn't disappointed. He is huge out on the mound. Some of the LE fans were commenting on his size. He featured a sinking, running fastball that was 90-94 MPH, mostly at 92. He complemented that with a very nice sharp slider that he used to keep hitters off balance and as a put away pitch. While the velocity readings were not eye popping, he is so long he delivers the ball closer to home plate so the FB is effectively faster. Some of his pitches looked like they were being released halfway to home plate!

Jose Casilla- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's. Jose again had a sinking fastball at 89-92 MPH. Ironically he had more FB outs that GB's in this one. A couple of balls were hit hard but at fielders. One thing I noticed is he brings the ball back and extends his arm behind him, then hesitates with it out where the hitter can see it. I wonder if he loses deception and hitters can track his pitches longer making him more hittable? Just an observation.

Heath Hembree- 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. This was really the treat of the day and I would have missed it if I had left early. Hembree gave up a ground ball hit and a bloop hit to open the bottom of the ninth inning, but then really settled down. Hembree featured a hard, overpowering fastball that ran 93-95 MPH. The last pitch of the game was a 96 mph seed that was called strike 3 by the ump. The batter looked helpless! If you ask me right now who the Giants closer of the future is, I would say Hembree without very much hesitation at all!

All in all, from a purely scouting/future potential standpoint, I would rate this San Jose team the most impressive I have seen, and that's saying something when you think of some of the names that have come through there in recent years.