Friday, September 30, 2011

News and Notes: BA's Cal League Top 20

BA has their Cal League Top 20 Prospects list up 4 SJ Giants made the list, but one of them was Zack Wheeler who, unfortunately, is in the Mets organization now.

# 3 Gary Brown, CF
#4 Wheeler, RHP
#11 Tommy Joseph, C
#17 Chris Dominguez, 3B

I would have put Brown at #2 ahead of Jedd Gyorko. I just think he's a much better all around player. Gyorko's power is inflated by playing in Lake Elsinore and more games in High Desert and Lancaster. Josh Levanthal sounds pretty high on Tommy Joseph. Says he definitely will stick at catcher and should hit at higher levels. Swing can still get long at times. I was a bit surprised to see
Dominguez on this list. Apparently he can field 3B well enough to stick at the position. Crazy power. Hembree was promoted about the same time as Dominguez. No discussion about him in the chat. Seems like he maybe should have made it, although BA doesn't really like minor league relievers. Apparently Jarrett Parker just missed the top 20.

Kind of an empty feeling seeing Wheeler's name at #4, but I supported the trade and stand by it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Game Wrap 9/28/2011: Rockies 6 Giants 3

The Giants lost a meaningless final game of the season. Key Lines:

Justin Christian- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .255. I really like this guy(Can't really call him a kid). He had a terrific minor league campaign and hit .345 over his last 10 games in the majors, raising his BA from .136 to .255 in the process. I wouldn't mind him as a 5'th OF option next year.

Mark DeRosa- 2 for 4. BA= .279. DeRosa might make a pretty good bat off the bench for some team next year. Probably not with the Giants, although if all that's out there are minor league deals, it might be worth a MLB deal with a low base salary and lots of incentives.

Andres Torres- 1 for 2, 2 SB(19). BA= .221. Not sure what to make of Torres. I definitely wouldn't tender him a contract for abitration. Maybe he'll realize that free agency might not be a friendly pool to jump in and he'll accept a deal for $800-1000K.

Jeff Keppinger- 1 for 4. BA- .277. Can't see keeping him around if FSanchez is healthy. Maybe they go ahead and re-up him, then trade him in spring training if he's not needed?

Eric Surkamp- 4.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 5.74. I really think Surkamp has a higher ceiling than this. He just needs to get confident at this level. On the other hand, this shows why scouting reports and velocity matter. You can't just look at stat lines on prospects.

Well folks, that's all she wrote for this season. Wait 'til next year!

Hot Tip: Matt Cain, Destroyer of DIPS

Hey gang! Another installment in the running saga of sabermetric sites scratching their heads over Matt Cain by Josh Weinstock over on Fangraphs. The link is over on the left. Must read for every serious Giants fan!

Game Wrap 9/27/2011: Giants 7 Rockies 0

The kids made a huge statement. Bochy said these last few games would be auditions for next year. If so, the Giants offseason plans may have changed dramatically in this one. Key Lines:

Conor Gillaspie- 2 for 4, HR(1). BA= .278. Well, Conor Gillaspie sure knows a thing or two about getting in good with the manager! A day after Bochy gushed about how he thought Conor was going to make a lot of noise next year, Conor goes out and has a game like this making ol' Melonhead look like a bloomin' genius. The HR was an inside-the-park job but he did drive it to the wall in triples alley. A missed cutoff throw enabled him to circle the bases despite falling down between 3'rd and home.

Brandon Belt- 3 for 3, HR(9), BB. BA= .226. I hope Aubrey Huff and Mark DeRosa were paying attention here. Belt turned on a pitch and pulled it smartly right into McCovey Cove. Belt is hitting .256 with 4 HR's over his last 10 games. He has 9 dingers in 186 AB's on the season. The Giants don't need to look any farther for their starting LF next year. This baby giraffe is about to turn into a monster!

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 3, 2B, 3B, BB. BA= .204. Crawford continues to show excellent plate discipline and is now starting to drive the ball more confidently. He is hitting .280 over his last 10 games and .256/.333/.419 over 16 games in the September. I think we'd all agree that's more than enough offense when you factor in his defense. Again, he costs absolutely nothing for next year.

Madison Bumgarner- 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K's. ERA- 3.21. Talk about a monster in the making. MadBum is already a monster! How much is HE going to command when he's arbitration eligible to say nothing of free agency?

Eric Surkamp lasted less than an inning in his last start, so the Giants are moving him up to give him one more look while giving Matt Cain an early offseason after 2 years of yeoman work. Surkamp faces heralded rookie Drew Pomeranz in the season finale tomorrow in an afternoon game.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Game Wrap 9/26/2011: Giants 3 Rockies 1

Ryan Vogelsong capped off a storybook season for him with another sparkling pitching performance in front of another sellout crowd at AT&T Park. Key Lines:

Mike Fontenot- 2 for 3, 3B, BB. BA= .231. Fonty is hitting .318 in his last 10 games. Is he making a case for himself to be retained for next year over Jeff Keppinger? Is Bochy's suggestion that Gillaspie will be in the mix an ominous sign of drastic cost cutting ahead?

Brett Pill- 2 for 3, SF. BA= .295. Brett Pill continues to make a solid case for remaining in the picture for next season.

Ryan Vogelsong- 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's, GO/AO= 11/4. ERA= 2.71. While the Giants season has been forgettable, Vogelsong's has not. He may have faltered a few times, but never gave in to the gods of regression. He finishes with the best ERA of the Giants starters. With just a bit more run support here and there, he might be in the mix for the Cy Young! Just a wonderful season for a guy who really seems to deserve it, not just him, but his family who has stuck by him all these years. I sincerely hope he gets a nice contract that will give him just a bit of something to lean on the rest of his life. His window to earn money in this game is small. That's the least this game can give back to a guy who gave so much to it, even if it was just for this one season. One more thought, there has to be a book and maybe even a movie deal in this story somewhere. It's that remarkable. Vogelsong seemed to have something very specific in his mind that he wanted to prove to the Giants, the team that traded him for Jason Schmidt almost 10 years ago. On top of that, he seemed to have something he desperately wanted to prove to his family. Most of all, he had something to prove to himself. Man, did he ever! Yeah, in the midst of a very forgettable season for the Giants Vogelsong gave us all something to remember for a long, long time.

2 more games to go. Madison Bumgarner, who has had a pretty good season himself, takes the mound against Alex White tonight at AT&T.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hot Tip: More Ownership Changes

There was an article yesterday in SFGate(, I think in the financial section about more changes in the Giants ownership situation. Turns out a dude named Charles Johnson recently bought up some of the Burns sisters' shares and is in the process of buying up more, possibly from Bill Neukom himself. He is the head of Franklin Investments and is meg-rich to the tune of about $4 billion. It seems that he is the guy who took the most umbrage at Neuks' demands for a $10 M compensation package and apparently engineered his ouster. I'm sure he had the Burns sisters on his side too. It looks like he's now the Big Johnson of the ownership group and will be effectively Chairman of the Board.

Reading the tea leaves of all this leads to some thoughts about the likely impact this has on how the team is run:

1. I see him as a "buy and hold" type of guy who is in it for the long haul and sees the team and associated entities as a long term investment.

2. He is likely to be a conservative owner who does not like to see red ink. I would expect him to insist that the team pay for itself year to year. If you are the type of fan who wants an owner who is willing to spend whatever it takes to win, like say, a Steinbrenner or Arte Moreno, you will find this disappointing. If so, then consider point #3.

3. I would not expect him to see the team as a "cash cow" like, say, Frank McCourt does with the Dodgers. He will likely allow revenues to be put back into the team to build it's value. I would also expect him to take an extremely dim view of other owners trying to take cash out of the team. That's really what Neuks was apparently trying to do when you get right down to it, and this guy slapped him down big time.

4. I think The Big Johnson(that's his official nickname now), will depend on Larry Baer to make decisions on running the team within the framework of #1-3 above. Baer will be the guy who gets to decide if Sabes keeps his job or not. Since Baer and Sabes have been together now since 1997, I'd say Sabes' job is pretty darn safe. That may be disappointing to some, but is A-OK with me, at least for the time being.

Sorry I don't have the full link. I found it as a link from the comments section in Extra Baggs, I think.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Game Wrap 9/25/2011: D'Backs 5 Giants 2

The Giants are playing out the string now. Too bad they don't really have anyone to step in for a start or two to let Timmy and Cainer hang it up early. Key LInes:

Andres Torres- 2 for 4, HR(4). BA= .224. Andres Torres was as responsible as anyone for the Giants winning it all last year. His regression this year was all the way back to his days kicking around the fringes of baseball. His salary with the leverage of arbitration won't be what Cody Ross would get, but it's also not nothing. Right now, he's barely a replacement player. Big decision. Do the Giants offer him a contract or not?

Carlos Beltran- 2 for 4, HR(22), Assist. BA= .303. Say what you will about Beltran, but right now he and Pablo are about the only legitimate threats in the Giants lineup. If they don't re-sign him or else get another top offensive player in the offseason, next year's offense could be even weaker than this year's.

Dan Runzler- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. ERA= 6.26. Runzler has not allowed an ER in his last 10 appearances, which admittedly include a lot of 1 batter stints. Has he done enough to convince the Giants to jettison Affeldt and his salary?

The Giants now return home to SF for the final 3 games of the season facing 3 meaningless games against the Rockies. Ryan Vogelsong caps off his amazing season against Jhoulys Chacin in the first one tomorrow evening.

Game Wrap 9/24/2011: D'Backs 15 Giants 2

Sorry for the late Game Wrap. I've been on an R&R weekend trip up the coast with the Mrs. We took in a concert by Don Henley and Emmylou Harris Saturday night at the Santa Barbara Bowl. From the appearance of the performers and the people in the crowd, I'd say we were about the youngest people there!(cough, cough). Anyway, as unpleasant as it is, back to baseball. The Giants had a complete meltdown in this one as the offense remained comatose and the pitching crashed and burned in spectacular fashion. The result was one of the worse blowout losses in recent memory. In the process, the Giants were eliminated from postseason play, at least I think they were. I've honestly stopped really tracking it as they were eliminated in my mind a long time ago. Key Lines:

Pablo Sandoval- 2 for 3, 2B. BA= .315. Talk about gamers! Pablo is a guy who easily could have given up on the season a long time ago, but he just seems to be getting better through injury and dispiriting play from his teammates around him. He would have been my pick for the Willie Mac Award had Vogey not done his remarkable thing this year.

Eric Surkamp- 0.2 IP, 3 H, 6 R, 4 BB, 0 K's. ERA= 5.32. I didn't see the game. Bacci says he was getting squeezed by the ump. Baggs seems to think he just couldn't get the ball over the plate. He as also very slow to the plate with runners on base and the D'Backs ran wild with 3 SB's in his 0.2 IP. All in all, it does not look like Surkamp can be penciled into the rotation for next season meaning the Giants probably have to tender Jonathan Sanchez a contract and hope he figures out what went wrong this year.

Guillermo Mota- 3.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 3.65. Mota has done this time and again this year. This game was already well out of reach by the time he entered it.

Like I said earlier. I think this loss eliminates the Giants from postseason competition although I've honestly stopped keeping track that closely.

Tim Lincecum takes the mound for the series finale facing Tomahawk Boy. Hope they don't leave Timmy out there too long. He and Cainer deserve a rest, and probably need it too.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

News and Notes

BA has their NWL Top 20 Prospects list out. Joe Panik was #4 and Jesus Galindo was #9. I was pleasantly surprised Galindo was that high. BA loves his speed. Compares him to Rickey Henderson. His bat from the left side made a lot of progress too. The scouts seem to think Panik can stay at SS where his bat would be a plus. It would be average at 2B.

Some love for Kendry Flores and Shawn Payne in the chat. They were both near misses. A bit of a downer on Chuckie Jones re. pitch recognition and catching up to good FB's.

No mention of the catching trio of Murray, Staley and Burkhart. They are old for the level, but I think they have hope of becoming reserves in MLB in the future.

Baggs is reporting that Buster Posey is starting to catch balls from the pitching machine in a crouch. That's great news! The plan is for Buster to be the starting catcher next season.

Game Wrap 9/23/2011: D'Backs 3 Giants 1

Matt Cain took a 1-0 lead into the 7'th inning against the Dangerous D'Backs, but even the Mighty Matt Cain could not hold back the forces of evil forever. In a typical Matt Cain game, a QS wasn't enough for the W. I've called them the Dangerous D'Backs all year and they showed why in this one as they clinched the NL West championship by beating the defending champs. Key Lines:

Orlando Cabrera- 2 for 3, HR(5). BA= .238. Not that OCab isn't capable of some good things, but I hope he's not the starting SS next year.

Brandon Belt- 2 for 3. BA= .221. Encouraging that Belt got the start against a crafty lefty and got a couple of hits.

Matt Cain- 7.1 IP, 5 H, 3 H, 3 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 2.88. Once again, Cainer deserves a better record than he ends up with. He and Timmy should not pitch again this season.

The Loss officially eliminates the Giants from the NL West race. The D'Backs are a deserving champion. I hope they do well in the playoffs. Kirk Gibson has done a remarkable job as manager. Congrats to the new NL West champions. The Loss also leaves the Giants 5 games behind the Braves in the Wild Card race and 3 games behind the Cardinals.

Eric Surkamp goes this evening against Cy Young candidate Ian Kennedy.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Game Wrap 9/22/2011: Dodgers 8 Giants 2

This was one of those games the Giants were never really in from the beginning. Bumgarner gave up a 1 run lead in the first inning and the Dodgers never looked back as Matt Kemp put on an MVP performance. Key Lines:

Carlos Beltran- 1 for 4, HR(21). BA= .303. Beltran's HR came in the top of the first giving the Giants a brief lead.

Pablo Sandoval- 3 for 3, HR(23). BA= .313. Sandoval had 3 of the Giants 6 hits in the game. Had it not been for the fractured hamate that cost him 6 weeks of the season, he might be in the discussion for MVP. He's got a bum shoulder to boot. I hope if he needs surgery in the offseason he finds a way to keep up his diet and conditioning. He has a legitimate shot at MVP if he can keep up this type of play.

Hector Sanchez- 1 for 2. BA= .238. I mention Sanchez because he had a heckuva great AB as a PH in the 8'th. He worked it to a 3-2 count. Fouled off several pitches. Saw 10 pitches in the AB and ended it with a lined single over the head of the second baseman. Man, that was impressive! One think that is encouraging about the young hitters the Giants have called up lately: They all have shown a much better approach at the plate than in previous years.

Madison Bumgarner- 4 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 3.32. Bummy just didn't have it today, but he's had a terrific season.

Steve Edlefsen- 0.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 0 K's. ERA= 7.71. Edlefsen doesn't look like someone to count on for the bullpen next year.

Waldis Joaquin- 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K's, GO/AO= 4/0. ERA= 0.00. Joaquin might just have the hardest sinker I've ever seen. He's a veritable ground ball machine! The double Matt Kemp hit off him showed just how strong Kemp is. He went down and was able to elevate one of those bad boys enough to line it into the gap. Pablo Sandoval might the be the only other player who was on the field who could have handled that pitch. If the Giants need to trim expenses in the bullpen next year, I say yes to Waldis Joaquin!

Dan Runzler- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 6.58. Runzler is pitching better of late. With each successful outing he has, Affeldt probably becomes less likely to be a Giant next year.

Barry Zito- 1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K. ERA= 5.75. I guess there is no shame in getting taken deep by Matt Kemp, but really Zito? Does anyone see him having any place on next year's team?

Matt Kemp(Dodgers)- 4 for 5, 3 2B, HR(36). BA= .326. When we were at the game Tuesday night, my daughter turned to me and said, "I hate Matt Kemp." My reply: "I like Matt Kemp as a player. I hate that he is a Dodger. I'd love to have a player like him on our team." I've always been a huge Matt Kemp admirer and have been afraid the day would come when he is the best player in the league. Well, that day has arrived! A couple of years ago, I got into a discussion with a Dodger fan in my fantasy league about who we'd rather have on our team, Andre Ethier or Matt Kemp. He liked Ethier. I'm going to ask him what he thinks now. One of the very few true 5 tool players in baseball. Yeah, Matt Kemp is legit, and I hate that he's a Dodger!

This loss was really a crusher for the Giants already slim hopes of making the playoffs. Their elimination number in the NL West is down to just 1 with 6 games left, 3 against the D'Backs who lead them by 6 games. They trail ATL by 4 and the Cards by 2 in the Wild Card race. BTW, the Cards suffered a crushing blow to their playoff hopes as the Mets scored 7 runs in the last 2 innings including 6 in the 9'th to beat them 8-6.

The Giants will now go to Arizona and try to stave off elimination with Matt Cain taking the mound in game 1 of the 3 game series against Joe Saunders.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Game Wrap 9/21/2011: Giants 8 Dodgers 5

There is no way the Giants could have won a game like this earlier in the season. Justin Christian and Brett Pill led the Giants offense to overcome 3 double plays in the first 3 innings. The 8 runs was enough to overcome a 3 run bomb by Matt Kemp. Ryan Vogelsong was the beneficiary of this newfound offensive juggernaut to take away the W despite allowing 4 runs in 5 IP. Key LInes:

Justin Christian- 3 for 5, 2B. BA= .258. Christian is 5 for 8 last 2 games. His BA was south of the Mendoza Line coming into this series. Is he earning himself a look as a reserve OF in spring training?

Brett Pill- 3 for 5, 2B. BA= .333. Well, Brett Pill is looking like a seasoned veteran out there! He's becoming a poster boy for being patient with hitting prospects and letting them learn the game down in the minors before rushing them only to find out they have massive holes in their swings. Or, is he just another John Bowker/Lance Niekro?

Mark DeRosa- 2 for 3, BB, SF. BA= .260. DeRosa is finally playing like the guy the Giants thought they were signing 2 years ago. Is he earning himself an incentive laden MLB deal with his late-season surge?

Brandon Belt- 0 for 3, 2 BB. BA= .212. Belt lengthens the lineup just with his ability to draw a walk. One of these was a IBB.

Ryan Vogelsong- 5 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 2.81. The Giants offense owes their starting pitchers a few games like this. Vogey steals the W despite a subpar start. All the damage came in the 5'th inning, most of it by Matt Kemp. No shame in that. He just might be the MVP, much as I hate to say it.

Brian Wilson- 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's, Save(36). ERA= 3.11. Casilla started the 9'th, but he gave up a 2 out single to Matt Kemp then a walk to Juan Rivera. Wilson came in and gave up a single to Loney but then got Aaron Miles on a flyout.

The D'Backs topped the Bucs 8-5 so the Giants remain 5.5 games behind in the NL West race with an elimination number of 2. In the Wild Card race, the Braves lost to Florida 4-0. The Giants stand in 3'rd place in the Wild Card race 3.5 games behind the Braves and 2 games behind the Cards who edged the Mets 6-5.

Madison Bumgarner tries to keep hope alive tonight facing Hiroki Kuroda in Dodger Stadium.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Down on the Farm: BA's AZL Top 20 Prospects

As mentioned in the comments from the last Game Wrap, the Giants placed two pitchers, Clayton Blackburn(4) and Joan Gregorio(18) on the list. I'm happy to see them both included and I think the placings are about right. I'm a bit surprised, pleasantly, to see Blackburn ranked that high.

A couple of comments:

1. College draftees have no chance of making the list, no matter how well they perform. BA puts a huge amount of weight on age vs level.

2. I personally think Leonardo Fuentes should be on the list, but what do I know?

BTW, John Sickels did a series on 2011 draft sleepers for each team. His choice for the Giants was RHP Derek Law. He said the Giants had several good candidates and mentioned Mike Merganthaler and Shawn Payne specifically.

Game Wrap 9/20/2011: Dodgers 2 Giants 1

I attended this game. You can't afford to fall behind in a game Clayton Kershaw is pitching, ever. Tim Lincecum gave up some hard hits early, fell behind 2-0 after two innings and the Giants blew and opportunity to come from behind in the 8'th inning. They had a run in on CStew's home run. Kershaw had walked two batters and was out of the game with just 1 out. Pablo pinch hit for Kepp and struck out swinging. Beltran then came up and struck out looking. More on that later. That sequence was a killer and very painful to watch. Key Lines:

Carlos Beltran- 2 for 4. BA= .303. Beltran was the one an only hitter in the lineup that Kershaw might have had a slight worry about. Although the line looks OK, Carlos did not have a good game. He was picked off 1B and CS after a single in the first inning, the second CS of the inning, BTW. He also came up in the 8'th with two outs and 2 runners on base against Kenley Jansen and looked at 4 pitches, 3 for strikes. Ball game! Not sure how a professional hitter doesn't get the bat off his shoulder in that situation, but man, that was a killer!

Brett Pill- 0 for 4. BA= .280. Pill actually looked the most comfortable of any Giants batter against Kershaw and took some strong hacks. He hit one to RF that I thought had a chance to go out, but the RF tracked it down with an overhead catch going away. Give the kid credit for not being intimidated up there.

Justin Christian- 2 for 3, 2B, SB(3). BA= .192. Personally, I would have preferred Brandon Belt's chances against Kershaw, even though Belt hits lefthanded. Doubtful he would have done better than Christianson though. He made it to 3B after the double by stealing it, but was left stranded. Later, he became one of 3 CS in the game for the Giants.

Chris Stewart- 2 for 3, HR(2). BA= .213. Perhaps the other Giants hitters should ask CStew what he's figured out about Kershaw. He hit the ball hard twice with the HR being a long line drive that skipped off the top of the left-centerfield wall.

Tim Lincecum- 7 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 2.59. Timmy had to hang tough to stay in this one. He was getting banged around pretty good. A lot of the outs were long flyballs too. Obviously not his best stuff, but maybe his best effort. In the end, his team had a chance to win.

The D'Backs lost to Pittburgh 5-3 so the Giants remain 4.5 games behind in the NL West with 8 to play. Arizona's magic number counted down to 3. ATL also won, so the Giants are 4.5 back in the Wild Card race too. Looking pretty grim, folks.

Ryan Vogelsong takes the mound tonight against Dana "Cy" Eveland in Dodger Stadium.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Game Wrap 9/18/2011: Giants 12 Reeling Rockies 5

The Giants broke out the long ball in a big way today clubbing a total of 6 dingers and completing a 4 games series sweep of the Rockies in Coors field, something Giants fans are not used to witnessing on any count. Key Lines:

Andres Torres- 0 for 4, 2 BB. BA= .219. Even though he didn't hit, Torres did his job as a leadoff hitter by drawing walks and scored two runs.

Mike Fontenot- 1 for 4, HR(4), HBP. BA= .221. Fonty got the HR barrage started in the first inning with a drive the hit off the facing of the second deck to drive in Torres ahead of him. The HBP was a pretty obvious purpose pitch from a frustrated Esmail Rogers.

Carlos Beltran- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .301. Beltran has the third highest BA in all of baseball so far in the month of September. Is it all coming too late?

Pablo Sandoval- 3 for 4, 3B, 2 HR(22), BB. BA= .310. Had Pablo not missed weeks of the season with the fractured hamate, we might be seriously discussing whether he should be MVP. Making it all the more remarkable is that it often takes a full season or more for hitters to get their power back after this injury. Pablo's potential arbitration award keeps climbing by the day.

Brandon Belt- 1 for 5, HR(8). BA= .216. Belt got just 3 hits this series, but they all left the park. Kruk and Kuip were making fun of his swing after the dinger, but man, you can really see the potential for this kid to be an impact hitter in this league.

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 5, 2B, HR(3). BA= .200. Crawford has been swinging the bat much better and still has that great approach at the plate. Kid may be coming around. He's 6 for 15 over his last 5 games.

Matt Cain- 2 for 3, HR(1). BA= .127. Giants pitchers have been really helping themselves out at the plate lately. Cainer got into the act today with a prodigious 2 run dinger over the CF fence. He added a single later.

Matt Cain- 5 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 2.86. It's an ugly looking line, but Cain had to battle conditions that made the Coors Field a hitter's paradise and a ridiculously tight strike zone by Cowboy Joe West. West is the same guy who got under Buster Posey's skin last year in San Diego with a ridiculously wide strike zone. That's it, Joe, a huge zone in a pitcher's paradise like Petco and a tiny one in Coors! What, does this guy do this for his own entertainment or something? Let's see how high we can get the score today! Hey, let's see if we can get a double no-hitter today! Cainer and the Giants relievers did a heckuva job keeping the ball in the park today which was the biggest difference in the game.

Brian Wilson- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.13. Wilson was kind of feeling his way out there. He looked cautious, but still in command. He threw several curveballs that looked really good. It's a pitch he hasn't used in at least 2 years. He also did not throw any two seamers, a pitch he had relied on a lot before his injury and had some trouble controlling. Anyway, good to see Willie back and appearing to be in good health.

The Giants failed to gain ground on the D'Backs who topped the Pathetic Padres 5-1 to remain 5 games up on the Giants in the NL West. The D'Backs shaved their magic number to 5. The Giants did gain a game in the Wild Card race as the Braves lost to the Mets 7-5. The Giants now sit 4 games back and are tied with the Cards for second place pending the outcome of this evening's game between the Cards and Phillies.

The Giants have a day off before starting a 3 game series against the Dodgers in LA. TIm Lincecum takes on Clayton "Failbeard" Kershaw in game 1.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Down on the Farm: 9/17/2011 Playoff Edition

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels lost their championship series against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in a close game 4-3:

Francisco Peguero(RF)- 2 for 4. BA= .323.
Johnny Monell(DH)- 2 for 4, 2 2B. BA= .478.
Justin Fitzgerald(RHP)- 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 9 K's. ERA= 2.70.
Hector Correa(RHP)- 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. ERA= 2.08.

I believe the stats are cumulative for the postseason. A very nice season for the Squirrels who went deep into the playoffs with several significant contributions from legit prospects. I would like to see Peguero, Culby, Monell, and Dominguez, Fitz and Hembree in Fresno to start next season. Probably Verdugo too.

Game Wrap 9/17/2011: Giants 6 Reeling Rockies 5

The Giants hung on to win a nail biter at the end taking their 7'th straight win and tightening up the NL West and Wild Card races in the process. Key Lines:

Carlos Beltran- 3 for 5, 2 2B. BA= .300. Beltran continues his hot hitting. When Sabean was asked about Beltran's comments about upgrading the top of the batting order, Sabean was uncharacteristically deferential and complimentary to Beltran's judgement as a baseball mind. Hmm......

Brett Pill- 2 for 4, 2 3B. BA= .333. Pill started the game because the lefthander was pitching , but he hit both his triples against RHP's. Pill has served his time and honed his game in the minors and has to be impressing the management during this cup of coffee.

Eric Surkamp- 4.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 6 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 2.95. Surkamp was wild, but managed to hold the forces of evil at bay into the 5'th inning. He threw 98 pitches in this one.

Waldis Joaquin- 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 0.00. Joaquin is another guy who may be winning himself a spot on next year's team. He's got a nasty 94-96 MPH two seam sinker that must feel like a cannon ball when it makes contact with the bat. His control/command has been much better than in past callups.

Sergio Romo- 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 1.40. I kind of wanted Romo to come back out for the 9'th inning, but Bochy is probably trying to keep everybody available for every game.

Santiago Casilla- 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K, Save(5). ERA= 1.68. It's a good thing Pill was able to beat that throw home on the groundout after driving in the 2 go-ahead runs with his triple. Casilla tried to cough it up, but finally trusted his stuff enough to let it overpower the last 2 rockies hitters. Crawford made a nice play on a deflected ball to get out #2.

The D'Backs lost again to the Pesky Padres 3-1 so the Giants creep up to 5 games behind for the division lead. ATL won a 1-0 game over the Mets to stay 5 games up in the Wild Card, but the Card lost to the Phillies so the Giants trail them for 2'nd place in the WC by just 0.5 games. Dang! Too bad there aren't 2 Wild Card teams like there is some talk of instituting in the next agreement with the Players Association. No matter how it turns out, these September games have been fun to watch.

Matt Cain tries to keep it going tomorrow afternoon against Esmail Rogers.

Down on the Farm: 9/16/2011 Playoff Edition

AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats scored all 5 of their runs in the 6'th inning to top the Richmond Flying Squirrels 5-3:

Charlie Culberson(2B)-2 for 5, 3B.
Johnny Monell(C)- 2 for 4, 2B, SB.
Wendell Fairley(DH)- 2 for 4, 3B.
Juan Perez(CF)- 2 for 4, SB.
Jason Stevenson(LHP)- 5.2 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 5 K's.
Austin Fleet- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's

The Fisher Cats take a 2-1 game lead in the series.

Game Wrap 9/16/2011: Giants 9 Reeling Rockies 1

The Giants extended their winning streak to 6 games. They are playing well in all facets of the game, bringing back memories of what many of us thought this team could be back in spring training. Key Lines:

Cody Ross- 2 for 4, HR(14). BA= .240. Is this the real Cody Ross or is the real Cody Ross they guy who stunk it up in July and August? That's a decision Brian Sabean will have to make this offseason. The truth is that the real Cody Ross is both guys. He runs hot and cold as much as anybody in baseball. He's hitting .302 over his last 10 games and .357 over his last 6. Unfortunately, and this has also been a problem for him over the years, he pulled a hammy in this one and is likely out for at least a week.

Aubrey Huff- 3 for 4, 2B. BA= .248. Huff is another guy who runs hot and cold, but sometimes for a whole year at a time either way. He's hitting .375 over his last 10 games. He's under contract for next year. The Giants probably need to plan on starting him at first to begin next season and hope the sawtooth pattern to his career continues. Is it possible his .750 OPS post-All-Star break would interest another team in a trade?

Brandon Belt- 1 for 5, HR(7). BA= .217. Belt hits his second dinger in as many days, but does not raise his Mendoza-Iike BA. Do the Giants dare pencil him in as their starting LF for next season? Here's the argument for: His Iso's are good and his BA can't get much worse and will likely get much better. His HR rate projects to 26-28 over a full season of AB's.

Brandon Crawford- 1 for 4, BB. BA= .194. Baby steps for Crawford, but this is his second game in a row getting on base more than once. I like his approach at the plate. I think a lot of his problem is mechanical and can be fixed. With his D, I wouldn't throw myself down the stairs if an austerity budget forced him to be the starting SS next year. I guess Sabes said something on KNBR that sounded like he is thinking of something else?

Chris Stewart- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(2), HBP. BA= .207. Love the way CStew plays the game, especially behind the plate. I wish he would have a few more games like this. I still think I would prefer him to Whiteside as next year's backup.

Madison Bumgarner- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .127. The Giants pitcher helps himself at the plate for the second game in a row.

Madison Bumgarner- 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K's, GO/AO= 11/5. ERA= 3.21. Bum is the #3 starter, but what a heckuva #3!

Waldis Joaquin- 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 0.00. I could see Waldis being the last guy in the bullpen next year if some of the veteran relievers are getting too expensive.

Barry Zito- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 5.51. I didn't see it, so can't comment. Good to see he made it through an inning without allowing a run.

With the Win, the Giants gained a game on the D'Backs who were shut out by the Pesky Padres 2-0. The Giants are now 6 games back and the D'Backs magic number remains at 6. The Braves were crushed by the Mets 12-2, while the Cards topped the Phillies 4-2 in extra innings. The Giants now trail the Braves by 5 games for the Wild Card and the Cards by 1.5 games.

Eric Surkamp takes the mound this evening against highly touted rookie LHP Drew Pomeranz.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Game Wrap 9/15/2011: Giants 8 Reeling Rockies 5

Lots of good things to talk about in this one starting with Pablo Sandoval hitting for the cycle Key Lines:

Cody Ross- 2 for 6, 2B. BA= .237. Cody Ross is putting on a bit of a surge here at the end of the season. He seems a lot more relaxed and like he is having fun knowing he's going to be out there every day. If this was the guy you knew you would get all year, it'd be pretty easy to want him back next year and maybe beyond. The problem with Ross is his numbers can absolutely crater for a month or more at a time like they did in July and August of this year.

Pablo Sandoval- 4 for 4, 2B, 3B, HR(20), BB. BA= .308. Kruk and Kuip were openly rooting for a triple when Pablo came up in the 6'th inning needing one to complete the cycle, and then he did it! Way too much fun! I've said it a couple of times, I'll say it again. Pablo has lost weight since coming off he DL. He is looking good out there. When he kicked it into another gear going around 2B trying for the triple, he actually looked fast. He's been making acrobatic plays. Very encouraging that the changes he made in his diet and lifestyle are for the long haul. The guy is just so happy too. The enthusiasm is contagious. Ricky Oropesa and his family were guests of the Giants during the San Diego series. Ricky's mom showed me a bunch of pictures. Everybody treated them great, but Pablo was the most outgoing and friendly of the bunch. He jokingly handed Ricky his batting practice bat and told him to hit one into the cove!

Brandon Belt- 1 for 5, HR(6). BA= .217. Brandon was having a tough night until he launched an opposite field HR for an insurance run in the 9'th.

Hector Sanchez- 1 for 4, 2B, BB. BA= .176. Sanchez is impressing everybody with his work behind the plate and is showing flashes of a plus offense from both sides of the plate.

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 4, BB. BA= .193. This was Crawford's first multi-hit game in how long? Maybe I'm hallucinating but it seemed like he was holding his bat a bit higher and starting his swing a bit quicker in this one.

Ryan Vogelsong- 2 for 3. BA= .220. Hey, that's a competitive BA for a position player on this team! Maybe the Giants need to find a place for him to play between starts?

Ryan Vogelsong- 5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 8 K's. ERA= 2.68. The stuff was obviously there, but the walks ran up the pitch counts. I'm sure he is happy with the W though.

Santiago Casilla- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 1.33. Casilla looks like a keeper for next year. Imagine a 3 headed monster of Romo, Casilla and Wilson for the last 3 innings. Plus, in Romo and Casilla, they have at least 2 backup options for closer if Willie has more injury troubles.

The Win left the Giants 7 games behind the D'Backs in the NL West and 6 games behind the Braves for the Wild Card for those still keeping track.

Madison Bumgarner goes tonight against Rookie Alex White who has struggled so far.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Down on the Farm: 9/14/2011 Playoff Edition

AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats evened the EL championship series with the Richmond Flying Squirrels at 1-1 with a 7-5 win:

Francisco Peguero- 3 for 4, HBP.
Charlie Culberson- 3 for 5
Wendell Fairley- 2 for 3, HBP.

Peguero has continued to hit at his usual pace in the playoffs. Culberson is red hot and hitting .400 in the postseason.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Game Wrap 9/14/2011: Giants 3 Padres 1

Timmy pitched a typically fine game while Carlos Beltran supplied the offense as the Giants ran their winning streak to 4 games. Key Lines:

Carlos Beltran- 2 for 3, 2 HR(20), BB. BA= .298. Beltran showed just how valuable a guy like him is to a lineup. He probably deserves to be credited with at least 0.5 WAR for just this one game alone!

Mark DeRosa- 1 for 1. BA= .269. DeRosa now has a 4 game hitting streak going with 4 RBI's to show for it in just 6 AB's. He's hitting .471 over his last 10 games.

Brandon Belt- 1 for 3, 2B. BA= .218. Belt continues to give reason to think he's going to be a good one if the Giants are just patient with him.

Tim Lincecum- 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 2.59. Just another great game from Timmy.

For what it's worth, the Giants gained a game on the NL West leading D'Backs who lost to the Dodgers 3-2 and are now 7.5 games behind, not that it matters in the big picture.

The Giants now hit the road and take on the Reeling Rockies in Coors Field. Ryan Vogelsong gets the first start tomorrow evening against Jhoulys Chacin.

Some pretty big news today in Giants Land. Managing Partner and CEO Bill Neukom is being forced to retire by the Executive Board of the team effective December 31 of this year. He will assume the title of Emeritus something or other. COO Larry Baer will assume CEO duties, at least temporarily. Some of the details of the news reports reveal some things about ownership I did not know. There are 32 Principle Owners including some very well-heeled individuals with impressive corporate pedigrees. The real power behind the team lies with an 11 member Executive Committee that makes all the important decisions and there's the rub. It seems that Daddy Neuks didn't always ask permission of the Executive Committee when he decided to spend some fairly large amounts of money. Although the Chronicle is reporting that the issue was control and communication rather than the $$$$ themselves, there was also mention of some discomfort over raising payroll and talk of putting some of the WS windfall away for a "rainy day fund."

While I am far from an expert on the ins and outs of baseball ownership, it would seem that the new regime might be a bit more tight-fisted than Daddy Neuks. What that means for the short and long term future of the team remains to be seen. If they are going to cut costs, I would hope they don't go back to skimping on scouting, player development and the draft as that is a far less expensive way to acquire talent than trying to build with FA's. On the other hand, if they are mad because Neuks approved the trade of Wheeler for Beltran and now has nothing to show for it, well, that's not altogether terrible as I wouldn't mind having Wheeler back myself, even though I have defended and continue to defend the trade as the only way for the Giants to try to make a serious run. I would assume that Baer will be making all of next year's payroll decisionst this fall, obviously in consultation with the Executive Committee. It will be interesting to see the offseason unfold and start to read the tea leaves.

Down on the Farm: 9/13/2011 Playoff Edition

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels won a see-saw battle with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats 10-9:

Charlie Culberson(2B)- 3 for 6, HR, SB.
Johnny Monell(DH-C)- 2 for 4, BB.
Wendell Fairley(LF)- 3 for 4, SB.
Jackson Williams(C)- 4 for 4, 2B, BB.
Skyler Stromsmoe(SS)- 4 for 4, HR, Sac.

I looked up the score last night and went to bed thinking the Squirrels had lost 9-8. What a pleasant surprise this morning! They take a 1-0 lead in the EL Championship series.

High A Stockton Ports eliminated the San Jose Giants from postseason play with a 4-2 win:

Gary Brown(CF)- 1 for 4, 2B. BA= .375.
Jarrett Parker(RF)- 2 for 4, HR(4). BA= .462.
Andy Reichard(RHP)- 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 6 K's.

Listed stats are cumulative for the postseason. Even though they were eliminated in this one, it's been a great season for the Little Giants. Gary Brown had strong first full season. Tommy Joseph came on like gangbusters in the second half. Jarrett Parker had a huge postseason. Chris Dominguez and Heath Hembree moved up to bigger and better things in AA. Next year is already shaping up to be a good one for San Jose too!

Game Wrap 9/13/2011: Giants 3 Padres 2

Matt Cain once again pitched a solid game and once again got little run support. This time, the bullpen did a remarkable job of holding the Pesky Ones at bay into extra innings. Mark DeRosa came up with another big hit off the bench and the Giants went home winners for the 3'rd game in a row. Key Lines:

Cody Ross- 2 for 6. BA= .238.

Carlos Beltran- 3 for 6, 2B BB. BA= .296. Hard to believe Beltran had no Runs and no RBI's with a line like this.

Pablo Sandoval- 3 for 6. BA= .304.

Eli Whiteside- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .212. No Runs or RBI's here either. Giants were 3 for 15 with RISP.

Matt Cain- 6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 2.79. Very typical Matt Cain start and typical outcome. No Decision!

Bullpen- 5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 11 K's. Cain walked the second batter of the 7'th inning. Lopez gave up a double then Mota came in and gave up another double. After that, it was lights out! Incredible performance!

With the Win, the Giants stayed 8.5 games behind the NL West leading D'Backs, but solidified their hold on second place as the Dodger lost to the Snakes 5-4 in 10 innings. The Braves won their game, so no chance to move up in the Wild Card race.

Tim Lincecum squares off against the despised Mat Latos this afternoon.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Down on the Farm: 9/12/2011 Playoff Edition

High A Stockton Ports blanked the San Jose Giants 7-0:

Gary Brown(CF)- 1 for 3, 2B, BB, Assist(home).
AJ Griffin(RHP, Ports)- 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 11 K's.

Brown continues to impress on defense as well as at the plate. Again, his arm was viewed as his weakest tool when he was drafted, but he's had a lot of assists this year. Griffin was Univ. of San Diego's Friday starter in 2009. Drafted in the 13'th round by Oakland and has put up good numbers this year in the Cal League with 156 K's against 32 BB's in 160.2 IP.

San Jose now trails this best of 5 series 2-1.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels begin their championship series today against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

Game Wrap 9/12/2011: Giants 8 Padres 3

The Giants put together an offense for the second game in a row while Eric Surkamp and the bullpen held the Pesky Ones at bay. The result was a very entertaining game out at AT&T Park. Key Lines:

3 for 4, 2B, HR(13), BB. BA= .236. Ross is in one of his hot streaks(.289 over his last 10 games with 3 HR's) and looks a lot more relaxed since Rowand got the ax.

Carlos Beltran- 2 for 4, HR(18). BA= .292. Baggs seems to think SF is one of the last places Beltran want's to be next season. Hopefully he's noticing what this lineup and team might become with Posey back in there and the continued great pitching. This team isn't that far away from being the class of the NL West.

Pablo Sandoval- 1 for 4, HR(19). BA= 301. Baggs mentioned that Panda is a few lbs heavier than coming out of ST. I've been watching him and he might be, but he's also a few lbs lighter than when he came off the DL. Pablo is looking good out there! He scoots down the line on potential DP grounders pretty well too!

Brandon Crawford- 0 for 4. BA= .184. I'm going to play hitting coach and take a shot at what I think Crawford's problem at the plate is: 1. He holds his hands too low in his stance. He then brings them up into hitting position as the pitcher is delivering the ball. 2. He is watching the ball longer than most hitters, which allows him longer to decide whether it is a good pitch to swing at or not, thus the "good approach." 3. #1 +#2 is forcing him to rush his swings so that he's sort of stabbing or punching at the ball producing a lot of foul balls(long AB's) but also a lot of weak contact on balls in play. What he needs to do is either alter his stance to get his hands up higher or he needs to get them up earlier in the pitcher's delivery sequence.

Hector Sanchez- 1 for 4, 2B. BA= .200. Sanchez threw out both Maybin and Bartlett on SB attempts. I think it was on Bartlett that he made an absolutely perfect throw just to the left of the bag. The fielder's glove didn't have to move as the runner slid right into it. A thing of beauty!

Eric Surkamp- 5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K's. Surkamp pitched his way out of a jam in the 4'th while allowing just 1 run. He allowed just the one run through 5 IP. Bochy came and got him when he ran into trouble again in the 6'th. Unfortunately, Edlefsen brought out his gas can, but it did set up Surkamp to get the W and take a positive experience away from the game. The 0 K's is not what we saw from him in the minors.

Despite the Win, the Giants were unable to gain ground on the Dangerous D'Backs who beat the Dodgers 7-2, but they did put another game between themselves and the 3'rd place Dodgers who are now 4.5 games behind the Giants. The Braves are stumbling, but way too early to be thinking Wild Card. If Bochy starts thinking the Giants have a chance, he might be tempted to sit the kids again!

Matt Cain takes the mound tonight against LHP Cory Luebke.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Down on the Farm: 9/11/2011 Playoff Edition

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels completed a sweep of their best of 5 series against the Harrisburg Senators by winning today's game 2-1:

Francisco Peguero(RF)- 2 for 4. BA= .333.
Charlie Culberson(2B)- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .286.
Chris Dominguez(3B)- 1 for 3, HR(2). BA= .385.
Justin Fitzgerald(RHP)- 7.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.
Hector Correa(RHP)- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's, Save.

Stats listed are for this playoff series, not cumulative for the season. Man, Chris Dominguez sure picked a good time to get hot, huh? Fitz may be getting himself into position for a callup sometime next year if the need arises. He's had an impressive season. Ditto Correa in a bullpen role. The Squirrels advance to the finals against the winner of the winner of the New Hampshire-Reading Series. Wow! This is so cool! When was the last time the Giants AA team made their playoffs, let alone won a playoff series? They are doing it with mostly legitimate prospects too as opposed to organizational players.

High A San Jose Giants pounded the Stockton Ports 13-1:

Gary Brown(CF)- 2 for 5, 2 2B, Assist(home).
Ehire Adrianza(SS)- 2 for 5.
Nick Noonan(3B)- 3 for 4, SF.
Tommy Joseph(C)- 4 for 5, 2 2B, 2 HR.
Jarrett Parker(RF)- 2 for 3, 2 HR, BB.
Chris Heston(RHP)- 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K's.

Where to start? Enormous game from Tommy Joseph! Parker now has 3 dingers in 2 playoff games. Gary Brown just keeps on doing good things. I've been most surprised by how many assists he's gotten from CF this season. Chris Heston has had an impressive season. I think he may be a sleeper SP prospect He's shown the ability to get both K's and GB's. Over his last 10 regular season games, his line was: 5-0, 1.78, 65.2 IP, 19 BB's, 59 K's, GO/AO= 2.40. The Giants playoff series with the Ports is now tied at 1-1.

Game Wrap 9/11/2011: Giants 8 Dodgers 1

The Giants were able to mount a sustained offensive attack for a change while Madison Bumgarner and the bullpen pitched a strong game as the Giants salvaged a game out of the weekend series against the Dodgers. Key Lines:

Jeff Keppinger- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .294. With runners on 2'nd and 3'rd with one out in the 6'th inning, Mattingly, for some reason, elected to intentionally walk Cody Ross and pitch to Kepp with the bases loaded. I KNEW what would happen next. Kepp hit a double into the gap in right-center to drive in a pair. The Dodgers were already trailing 3-1. Wouldn't it make more sense to just tell the pitcher not to give Ross anything to hit? I mean, Cody Ross is hitting .230 and Kepp is hitting over .290! Not that it affected the outcome of the game, but wow, Giants fans should be thankful for Bochy!

Pablo Sandoval- 3 for 4, 3 2B. BA= .301. Maybe I'm imagining things, but I thing Pablo has dropped some weight since he came off the DL. You can almost start to see some muscle definition through the uniform! Huge game for Pablo. He has certainly played his heart out this year.

Aubrey Huff- 2 for 4, 2B, BB. BA= .244. Huff looks younger and hungrier with out the beard. Maybe the sawtooth pattern his career stats have taken with alternating good an horrible years will hold true next year?

Mark DeRosa- 1 for 1. BA= .254. DeRosa had 3 pinch hits this series. He's looking at possibly signing a minor league deal this offseason and looking to get closer to his home in ATL. Could he be of enough use to the Giants to offer him, say, a $500 K MLB deal with incentives?

Brandon Belt- 1 for 2, 2B, BB. Belt has not looked lost at the plate the last 2 games. The double today was a ringing drive off the wall in RF. The BB was a good AB too.

Brandon Crawford- 0 for 3, BB. I like Crawford's approach at the plate. His swings look tentative and his bat a wee bit slow though.

Madison Bumgarner- 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 8 K's. ERA= 3.33. Bumgarner struck out the first 4 batters he faced then ran into some trouble in the 2'nd. He pitched his way out of a bases loaded jam with just the one run allowed. He came out after 5 because his pitch count was up to 104.

Dan Runzler- 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 7.54. It looks like the Giants have reversed course on the SP/long relief idea and are now auditioning Runzler for a LOOGY role. With Lopez a FA and Affeldt's option unlikely to be picked up, Runzler may be needed for that role next year.

Steve Edlefsen- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K. Edlefsen had his sinker going today.

Waldis Joaquin- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, GO/AO= 4/1. Joaquin was throwing a 94 MPH heavy, hard two-seam sinker and the Dodgers were beating it into the ground. Again, with the current Giants bullpen starting to become expensive, are Edlefsen and Joaquin options for next year?

The Dangerous D'Backs staged a late rally that came up short against the Pesky Padres who won 7-6, so the Giants are now 8.5 games behind first place in the NL West. More importantly, they gained a game of the 3'rd place Dodgers and are now 3.5 games ahead in the race for 2'nd place.

The Padres come to town and start a 3 game set tomorrow evening with Aaron Harang going against Rookie Eric Surkamp.

Down on the Farm: 9/10/2011 Playoff Edition

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels defeated the Harrisburg Senators 4-2 in 11 innings:

Francisco Peguero(RF)- 1 for 4, 2B, BB.
Johnny Monell(C)- 2 for 3, 2 BB.
Jason Stevenson(LHP)- 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 8 K's.
Mitch Lively(RHP)- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.
Heath Hembree(RHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 K.
Sharon Martis(RHP, Senators)- 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 9 K's.

Peguero takes another walk! Another impressive start for Stevenson. Remember when Martis pitched a no-hitter for the Netherlands in international competition? Remember when the Giants traded him to the Nationals for Mike Stanton? (I think it was Mike Stanton). Well, this was his age 24 season. He put up a pretty good line for AA Harrisburg: 8-6, 3.05, 133 IP, 39 BB, 146 K's. The Squirrels lead this series 2-0.

High A Stockton Ports edged the San Jose Giants 7-6:

Gary Brown(CF)- 2 for 4, 2B, BB.
Nick Noonan(3B)- 1 for 3, 2 BB.
Tommy Joseph(C)- 2 for 4, BB.
Jarrett Parker(RF)- 1 for 3, HR, BB, SB.
Craig Westcott(RHP)- 6 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 3 BB, 6 K's.

An uncharacteristically poor start for Wescott. The GIants now trail in the series 1-0.

Low A Savannah Sand Gnats topped the Augusta Greenjackets 3-1:

Taylor Rogers(RHP)- 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K.

With the loss, the Greenjackets lose the 3 game series 2-1 and their season is finished.

Game Wrap 9/10/2011: Dodgers 3 Giants 0

It's one thing to get shut down by Clayton Kershaw, who might the be best pitcher in the NL right now. It's quite another to get blanked by Dana Eveland, a tub of lard who has bounced around many organizations and seems to surface with a different one every year, maybe more than every year. It was a frustrating night for Ryan Vogelsong who was not only victimized by a total lack of run support but by a seemingly endless string of infield dribblers and a ticky-tack balk call. I will add that the Giants, Brandon Belt in particular, did hit several balls hard that found their way to gloves. Another microcosm of the season, and there have been many of those. Key Lines:

Brandon Belt- 1 for 4. BA= .216. Not an impressive line, but the single was smoked and he was robbed of an extra base hit in the 4'th when third baseman Jeff Sellers made a leaping grab of a liner that was headed down the line. Later he crushed a ball that Matt Kemp caught up against the CF wall 400+ feet away. Everybody from Vin Scully to Brandon though the ball was gone when his left his bat. Anyway, don't let it get you down, Brandon. Keep swinging the lumber!

Brett Pill- 1 for 4, 2B. BA= .286. Pill earned some more looks with another XBH.

Ryan Vogelsong- 8 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 6 K's, GO/AO= 12/2, Balk. ERA= 2.66. Talk about getting BABIP'ed! The Dodgers have to be setting some kind of record for infield dribblers the series. The balk was a balk, but it was not a deceptive move designed to freeze a runner. Vin Scully had some interesting commentary on how he thinks the balk rule needs to be revised after this one.

The Dangerous D'Backs came from behind once again to edged the Pathetic Padres 6-5 in 10 innings to drop the Giants 9.5 games behind in the NL West. The Dodgers are now looming just 2.5 games behind the Giants in 3'rd place. Not that it really matters, but as a Giants fan, I don't want them to finish behind the Dodgers, of all teams!

Madison Bumgarner takes the mound facing Hiroki Kuroda in the series finale in an afternoon game. Oh, and Bacci! I agree with you that all Saturday and Sunday games in SF should be in the afternoon.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Down on the Farm: 9/9/2011 Playoff Edition

AA Richmond Flying Squrrels blanked the Harrisburg Senators 6-0:

Francisco Peguero(RF)- 1 for 4, 2B, BB.
Charlie Culberson(2B)- 2 for 5.
Johnny Monell(C)- 2 for 4, 2B, BB.
Chris Dominguez(3B)- 3 for 5, HR.
Daryl Maday(RHP)- 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K's.
Hector Correa(RHP)- 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.

The Squirrels take a 1-0 series lead.

Low A Savannah Sand Gnats edged the Augusta Greenjackets 3-2:

Adam Duvall(DH)- 2 for 4, 2B.
Shawn Sanford(RHP)- 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K.
Johan Santana(Sand Gnats)- 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K.

Yes, THAT Johan Santana! The series is now tied at 1 game apiece.

The Cal League playoffs are still in the first round and San Jose has a bye.

Game Wrap 9/9/2011: Dodgers 2 Giants 1

In what has become a familiar story line, Tim Lincecum and the Giants were unable to make a 1-0 lead hold up wasting another excellent pitching effort by a Giants starting pitcher. Key Lines:

Justin Christian- 0 for 4, SB(1). BA= .100. Christian got on base to lead off the game on a GB to the hole that Dee Gordon double clutched and then drew Loney off the bag. Christian probably would have been out on a clean play, but just barely. Dude is fast! He then stole 2B and eventually scored on Sandoval's single to center. The Giants only got 2 more hits the rest of the night, one on a bunt single by CStew. Overall, I thought he had as good AB's as anybody against Failbeard.

Tim Lincecum- 8 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 2.68. Timmy still had his 1-0 lead with 2 outs in the 8'th and an 0-2 count on Matt Kemp. Kemp then beat out a dribbler, stole 2B and came home on a blooper down the 3B line that fell in no-man's land. Talk about pitching in bad luck!

Clayton "Failbeard" Kershaw- 8 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K's. ERA= 2.36. Hate to say it, but Kershaw might be the best pitcher in the NL right now, his failed beard notwithstanding.

With the Loss, the Giants fell even further off the pace in the NL West as the D'Backs came from behind to top the Pathetic Padres 3-2.

A very deserving Ryan Vogelsong was presented with the Willie Mac Award before the game. No matter what happens the rest of his career or life, I am sure he will treasure this season as will his family and friends.

Ryan Vogelsong takes the mound tonight against LHP Dana Eveland in a game that starts at 6 PM PDT.

Jeremy Affeldt suffered a season ending injury to his right hand(non-throwing) while trying to pry loose frozen hamburger patties while barbecuing. Sounds like there may have been some nerve damage. Affeldt has a $5 M option for next year that the Giants are likely to decline. Word is they are planning to try to sign him for less $$ via free agency.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


It's an off day for the Giants and no minor league games tonight either. I thought I'd try something I've been toying with in my mind for awhile. Q/A's seem to be popular on other blogs. Let's try it here. Might be great or it might bomb.

I'l try to answer any baseball related question, Giants, MLB, Prospects, draft, fantasy, whatever is on your mind, baseball related of course.

Fire away. Feel free to join in the discussion at any time.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Down on the Farm: 9/7/2011 Playoff Edition

AA Richmond vs Harrisburg postponed.

High A SJ Giants have a bye in the first round.

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

Robert Haney(SS)- 1 for 3, 2 BB.
Adam Duvall(3B)- 2 for 4, HR.
Mike Kickham(LHP)-6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K's, GO/AO= 10/3.
Brett Bochy(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save.

Duvall continues his power hitting ways into the post-season. Very solid start for Kickham. Melonhead Jr. gets the Save.

Crawford, Brown and Panik are going to the Arizona Fall League. The Giants have not named their 3 pitching representatives. They will all have to have played in AA or above as Brown and Panik fill the quota of 2 players allowed from below AA.

BTW, I wish I had the $$$ and the contacts to start a fall league here in the Inland Empire. Perfect baseball weather here in the fall. It'd be for players below AA.

Jake Dunning sprained an ankle rolling it on a bat while backing up a play at the plate so SJ may be without their closer for the playoffs.

Game Wrap 9/7/2011: Padres 3 Giants 1

The Giants offense fell back into their old, bad habits as Matt got Cained once again. Key Lines:

Brett Pill- 2 for 4, HR(2). BA= .429. Brett Pill picks up right where he left off in AAA hitting his second HR in as many big league games in his fledgling career. The last guy to do that? John Bowker. Let's hope for Pill's sake his career turns out better. I do think there is something to be said for a guy who grinds through all the minor league levels and gets enough professional AB's to have almost seen it all. I would venture to say that Pill learned more playing all year at AAA with no expectations other than being the best he can be than Belt did yo-yoing up and down. Hey, if Bochy believes in playing the hot hand.....

Matt Cain- 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 2.84. The first batter of the game, Will Venable took him deep. Cain then settled down and allowed just 2 walks and no hits until the 6'th inning when he gave up another run.

The Giants fell back to a 7 game deficit in the NL West as the D'Backs topped the Rockies 5-3.

After an off day tomorrow, the Giants return home to face the Dodgers in a weekend series with Tim Lincecum pitching the first game Friday night.

BTW, it's time to DFA Orlando Cabrera. He ain't helping the Giants win now and he ain't gonna be around next year, at least I hope not! OK, use his spot for Marc Kroon, anybody, don't care, doesn't matter. It's just time to for OCab to be moving on.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Game Wrap 9/6/2011: Giants 6 Pesky Padres 4

The Padres, as always, were quite Pesky tonight threatening to ruin terrific games from 3 Giants rookies with a bases-loaded threat in the 9'th inning before Ramon Ramirez struck out a Pesky Jesus Guzman to end the game. Key Lines:

Justin Christian- 1 for 4, 2B, Sac. BA= .250. In his first MLB game since 2008, Christian showed a nice quick stroke that produced a double down the LF line that turned into the go-ahead run when Beltran doubled him in. Later he made a nice sacrifice bunt that he almost beat out for a hit that led to an insurance run the Giants needed.

Carlos Beltran- 3 for 4, 2B, BB. BA= .299. Beltran is 20 for 47 since coming off the DL.

Brett Pill- 1 for 3, HR(1). BA= .333. Pill hit a long HR off a 3'rd story deck fence of the Western Metal Supply building in his first MLB AB joining Will Clark and Jonnie Lemaster as the only Giants to hit a dinger in their first AB. Let's hope for Pill's sake his career is more like Clark's than Lemaster's! Although, I guess Johnnie Lemaster did have a pretty long career.

Eric Surkamp- 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.27. Surkamp wasn't locating his curveball but made do with the fastball and changeup and ended up with his first MLB Win. Nice pitching there without his best pitch.

The Win enabled the Giants to gain ground in the NL West as the D'Backs lost to the Rockies. The Giants are now 6 games back.

Matt Cain takes the mound tomorrow afternoon against Aaron Harang who always seems to give the Giants a hard time.

Thank You!

Hey, I just wanted to let everybody know how much I appreciate the people who come here and read my thoughts about San Francisco Giants baseball. We are averaging right about 700 Pageviews per day. Yesterday, a holiday, we had over 600. We already have over 400 today. We have readers from all over the world: 16 views from Ukraine, 14 from Taiwan. We have regular views from Brazil, Argentina and even Latvia!

Anyway, thanks to everybody for reading and to those of you who comment.

As you can see, we aren't advertising anything on the site nor charging subscriptions. It's a labor of love and we intend to keep it that way.

Dr B

Monday, September 5, 2011

Down on the Farm: 9/5/2011

AAA Fresno Grizzlies outslugged the Tacoma Rainiers 12-9:

Justin Christian(RF)- 1 for 3, HR(10). BA= .338.
Brad Eldred(1B)- 3 for 5, HR(23). BA= .278.
Max Ramirez(DH)- 3 for 5, 2 HR(13). BA= .278.
Marc Kroon(RHP)- 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 0 K's. ERA= 5.11.

A mighty fine season for Christian. Will he get an opportunity a la Andres Torres? Eldred was a Mr Do-It-All for the Grizzlies. Max Ramirez can obviously hit. He doesn't seem to be able to play catcher, or any other position and there's no DH in the NL. He's probably a MILB lifer or else needs to be in an AL organization.

Richmond Flying Squirrels edged the Altoona Curve 2-1 in a game completed early, presumably due to the weather:

Francisco Peguero(RF)- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .309.
Jason Stevenson(LHP)- 7 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 1.29.

Stevenson gets sent to Richmond after two starts for Fresno.

High A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes scored 6 runs in the top of the 9'th inning to down the San Jose Giants 7-5:

Gary Brown(CF)- 1 for 3, HBP, 2 SB(53). BA= .336.
James Simmons(LF-RF)- 2 for 4, HR(10). BA= .270.
Chris Heston(RHP)- 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 3.16.

These two teams may well meet again in the Cal League Championship series. Jurica, Joseph and Burg also had 2 hits each.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets edged the Rome Braves 3-2:

Kelby Tomlinson(SS)- 2 for 4. BA= .333.
Joel Weeks(1B)- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .295.
Taylor Rogers(RHP)- 7 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 1 K, GO/AO= 10/4. ERA= 2.91.

Thanks to Bacci, who keeps track of these things for letting us know the 'Jackets made the SAL playoffs giving the Giants 4 playoff teams out of 7 in their minor league system.

Game Wrap 9/5/2011: Giants 7 Pesky Padres 2

The Giants seemed a lot looser and happier today as they came down to tropical San Diego to kick off a 3 game series against the Pesky Ones. This team had a lot to live up to. They gave it a great run, but in the end, injuries and underperformance of some offensive players proved to be too much. Now that the burden of those expectations has been lifted, they might find they actually enjoy playing the rest of the season, and might play a whole lot better too! The Giants got another scintillating performance from Madison Bumgarner and an offense led by two dingers from Pablo Sandoval to trounce the Pesky Padres. Key LInes:

Pablo Sandoval- 2 for 4, 2 HR(18), BB. BA= .296. On the TV broadcast, they showed a clip of Pablo giving his bat a rather animated lecture in the dugout before the game. Well, it seems like the bat must have been listening because in his first two AB's, Pablo hit two of the more impressive HR's you will see at Petco Park, especially from the left side of the plate. Gotta love Pablo and his attitude. If Vogelsong didn't have such a compelling story, I'd vote for Pablo for the Willie Mac Award.

Cody Ross- 3 for 4, 2 2B. BA= .238. Ross is in one of his hot streaks with 7 hits in 16 AB's over his last 4 games.

Brandon Belt- 1 for 3, BB. BA= .215.
Brandon Crawford- 1 for 3. BA= .192. The Brandons both got starts today with mixed results. They should both get as many AB's as possible the rest of the way regardless of results.

Madison Bumgarner- 8.1 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 13 K's. ERA= 3.37. Bumgarner gave up a couple of hard hits early, but then setteled down and was sensational until the 9'th. He was lifted after giving up a 1 out HR to Nick Hundley.

Not that it matters, but the Giants were once again unable to gain ground on the Dangerous D'Backs who outslugged the Reeling Rockies in Coors Field, 10-7 to remain 7 games ahead in the NL West.

We get another chance to look at Eric Surkamp tomorrow evening as he takes on the Pesky Ones in Petco against another soft tossing lefty, Wade LeBlanc.

Strange story out of the OC Register about the Giants mispronouncing Jerome Williams' name for 2 years. Now, I can believe that Felipe Alou might have been so out of touch he had no idea what Jerome's name was. I'm sorry, but the rest of the story just doesn't ring true. The clincher was the claim that Rags slapped him when he found out the true pronounciation. Somehow, that just doesn't seem like anything else I've ever read about Rags. I know the Giants announcers always called him Jerome, not Jeremy, and the announcers are usually pretty in tune with the rest of the team. I have to believe they would have picked up on the mistake and mentioned it to Rags or other players before 2 years went by. Sounds more like a running joke that maybe Jerome took too seriously or something, or else maybe he's still smoking the stuff the gave him the munchies when he was in SF.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Down on the Farm: 9/4/2011

AAA Tacoma Rainiers defeated the Fresno Grizzlies 7-5:

Justin Christian(CF)- 3 for 4, 2B, BB. BA= .338.
Tyler Graham(RF)- 2 for 4, SF, SB(60). BA= .273.

AA Altoona Curve edged the Richmond Flying Squirrels 1-0:

Chuck Lofgren(LHP)- 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 4.02.
Austin Fleet(RHP)- 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 2.77.

High A Ranch Cucamonga beat the San Jose Giants 7-4:

Gary Brown(CF)- 1 for 5, HR(14). BA= .336.
Nick Noonan(3B)- 2 for 4, 2B, BB. BA= .246.

Low A Rome Braves downed the Augusta Greenjackets 6-1:

Nothing to see here.

Short Season The NWL season ended yesterday. The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes came up short and will not be in the playoffs which begin tomorrow.

Game Wrap 9/4/2011: D'Backs 4 Giants 1

What looked like, for 7 innings like another triumphant pitching performance by Ryan Vogelsong crumbled into dust along with the Giants hopes of repeating as World Series Champions in a 4 run 8'th inning by the Dangerous D'Backs. Key Lines:

Cody Ross- 1 for 4, HR(12). BA= .232. Ross led off the bottom of the first with a dinger. The Giants managed just 2 hits the entire rest of the game.

Ryan Vogelsong- 7.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 2.62. Vogelsong was magical for 7 innings. He was getting a sharp curveball over for strikes and that made his excellent fastball all the more deadly. He started elevating his pitches and hanging the breaking stuff in the 8'th inning and the D'Backs struck, and struck hard. Still, a nice performance by Vogelsong. It's not his fault the offense can't hit its way out of a paper bag. He got a well deserved standing O as he came off the field after being lifted in the 8'th.

The Loss dropped the Giants 7 games behind the D'Backs. I can't believe there is anybody out there who still thinks the Giants are in this thing. It's over! Wait 'till next year!

If anybody cares, the Giants travel to San Diego to take on the Pesky Padres with Madison Bumgarner facing Tim Stauffer in game 1.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Down on the Farm: 9/3/2011

AAA Fresno Grizzlies defeated the Tacoma Rainiers 4-2:

Justin Christian(CF)- 1 for 4, BB, SB(36). BA= .330.
Tyler Graham(RF)- 1 for 3, Sac, SB(59). BA= .271.
Nick Liles(LF)- 2 for 3, 2B, BB. BA= .571.
Dan Runzler(LHP)- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.98.

Nick Liles is not intimidated by AAA.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels outlasted the Altoona Curve 6-3 in 14 innings:

Charlie Culberson(2B)- 3 for 7, 2 2B. BA= .261.
Francisco Peguero(RF)- 2 for 7, 2B. BA= .312.
Juan Perez(CF)- 4 for 6, 3B, Assist(home). BA= .254.
Johnny Monell(C)- 3 for 6, 2 2B, 3B. BA= .249.

Culby is hitting .349 with a .535 SLG% over his last 10 games. I hope Johnny Monell gets a chance to move up to Fresno next year. I think he will put up some impressive numbers there.

High A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes rocked the San Jose Giants 22-8:

Tommy Joseph(DH)- 2 for 4, 2 HR(22). BA= .269.
Alex Burg(1B-C)- 3 for 4, 2B, HR(14). BA= .295.

Burg is on a slugging tear with 5 dingers and 5 doubles in his last 10 games. Gotta be excited about Joseph.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets outlasted the Rome Braves 9-8 in 16 innings:

Rafael Rodriguez(LF)- 2 for 6, 2B, 2 BB. BA= .238.
Joel Weeks(3B-LF)- 3 for 7, 2B, BB. BA= .296.
Jose Valdez(RHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 0.00.
Seth Rosin(RHP)- 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 3.34.
Edward Concepcion(RHP)- 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 3.61.

There were no runs scored in this game between the 5'th and the 16'th innings. Valdez, Rosin and Concepcion were dominant. Don't forget that RafRod just turned 19 late this season. He can repeat Augusta and still be young for the level.

Short Season Tri-City Dust Devils topped the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 3-1:

Dan Burkhart(DH)- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .285.]
Kendry Flores(RHP)- 3.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 5.06.
Matt Graham(RHP)- 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA- 8.35.
Chris Gloor(LHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 2.45.

Game Wrap 9/3/2011: D'Backs 7 Giants 2

The Giants had their ace on mound in a must-win game, but he did not have his best stuff going and a very good Dangerous D'Backs team took full advantage and ran away with the Win, probably knocking the Giants out of the race for the NL West Championship. They may not be mathematically eliminated, but it seems like only a matter of time at this point. Key Lines:

Carlos Beltran- 3 for 3, 2B, BB, Assist(Young at 3B). BA= .295. Beltran is now 7 for 7 and has reached base 8 straight times over the last 2 games. Alas, the lineup support just wasn't there tonight.

Pablo Sandoval- 0 for 2, 2 SF. BA= .296. Pablo drove in the only 2 runs for the Giants with the 2 SF's. Not nearly enough!

Pat Burrell(LF)- 0 for 1, BB. BA= .234. Pat the Bat aggravated his sore foot. His Giants and MLB career might be over as of tonight.

Tim Lincecum- 5 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 2.75. Timmy threw some good pitches as evidenced by the 7 K's, but he was very inconsistent. You could see early on that he was getting a lot of pitches up in the zone and a lot of pitches in the fat part of the plate. He got away with it for a couple of innings but then the roof caved in.

Ian Kennedy(D'Backs)- 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K's, Win(18-4). ERA- 2.96. Kennedy has really had a remarkable season. The Giants had a good approach in the first few innings forcing him to throw over 60 pitches in 3 innings. As has been the case so often this year, the offense was just too weak to take advantage. I would think Kennedy deserves some consideration for the Cy Young Award. The ERA is competitive and the Wins and Win% are impressive.

The Loss dropped the Giants back to a 6 game deficit in the NL West trailing these Dangerous D'Backs. Again, it ain't over until it's over..... but it's over!

Ryan Vogelsong goes against Daniel Hudson in the series finale tomorrow.

BTW, if the Cubs are looking for a good GM who might not be on a lot of radar, they might consider Jerry DiPoto who did an admirable job as an interim GM and made several trades that really laid the groundwork for this season's run by the Dangerous Ones.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Down on the Farm: 9/2/2011

AAA Fresno Grizzlies defeate the Tacoma Rainiers 7-2:

Justin Christian(RF)- 1 for 4, 2B, BB, SB(35). BA= .332.
Tyler Graham(CF)- 1 for 3, 2 BB, 2 SB(58). BA= .270.
Edgar Gonzalez(SS)- 3 for 5. BA= .319.
Nick Liles(LF)- 2 for 4, SB()1). BA= .500.

Liles gets the callup. It may be just an organizational move though.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Altoona Curve 8-4:

Wendell Fairley(LF)- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .275.
Charlie Culberson(2B)- 1 for 5, HR(10). BA= .258.

Perez and Stromsmoe had 2 hits each with a SB for Perez.

HIgh A San Jose Giants downed the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 9-7:

Gary Brown(CF)- 2 for 5, HR(13), BB. BA= .338.
Hector Sanchez(DH)- 2 for 4, BB. BA= .303.
Tommy Joseph(C)- 2 for 2, BB, 2 HBP. BA= .267.
Ryan Cavan(2B)- 3 for 4, 2B, HBP. BA= .271.
Kelvin Marte(LHP)- 5 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 3.47.
Ari Ronick(LHP)- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 2.90.
Jake Dunning(RHP)- 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 4.20.

I have this mental picture of Tommy Joseph HBP and the ball just drops to the ground lopsided. He looks that solid.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets stung the Rome Braves 7-4:

Robert Haney(SS)- 2 for 3, 2 BB, SB(1). BA= .247.
Ryan Scoma(1B)- 4 for 5, 2B, HR(6). BA= .254.
Devin Harris(RF)- 2 for 5, 2B, SB(6). BA= .233.

Valdez, Rosin and Bochy pitched a scoreless inning each with Rosin and Bochy getting 2 K's and Bochy getting the Save(10).

Short Season Tri-City Dust Devils topped the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 3-1:

Paul Davis(RHP)- 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 1.50.

Davis has 9 K's against 3 BB's in 11 IP in 2 starts for S-K.

As I mentioned in the comments of the previous post, Clayton Tanner was signed by the Cincinnati Reds.

The Giants are reportedly on the verge of settling their financial dispute with Angel Villalona, paving the way for him to rejoin the organization. He will initially report to the Dominican Academy while awaiting a visa to come to the States.

The Giants called up 5 minor leaguers as active rosters were allowed to expand to 40: Emmanuel Burriss, Brandon Crawford, Conor Gillaspie, Darren Ford and Waldis Joaquin. Eric Surkamp, Dan Runzler and Hector Sanchez are due to follow soon.

Game Wrap 9/2/2011: Giants 6 D'Backs 2

The Giants got a typically solid game from Matt Cain and this time, the offense gave him the runs to get the Win. The Carlos Beltran the Giants thought they traded for showed up and put on an offensive show supported by Cody Ross, Jeff Keppinger and yes, from Matthew Thomas Cain! Key Lines:

Cody Ross- 2 for 3, 2B, HR(11), BB. BA= .232. Ross has done some good things out of the leadoff spot this year. Despite his somewhat anemic BA, his OPB is one of the higher ones on the team.

Jeff Keppinger- 1 for 4, 2B. BA= .303. Kepp has been red hot. He drove in the first run tonight with a double off the LF wall that just missed being a HR. He then rode home on Beltran's blast of left-center.

Carlos Beltran- 4 for 4, 3B, HR(17). BA= .290. This is the Beltran the Giants traded their top pitching prospect for, the kind of player who can put a team on his back and carry them. Stay hot Carlos!

Matt Cain- 1 for 2, BB. BA= .109. Cainer started two rallies to help his own cause. He da man!

Matt Cain- 8 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 2.85. Maybe not as dominant as he can be, but a horse as always. Dude just will not give in!

With the Win, the Giants inched closer to the lead in the NL West now trailing the Dangerous D'Backs by 5 games. Realistically, the Giants need to sweep this series to get back into the race. You can't sweep if you don't win the first one!

Timmy takes the mound tomorrow evening facing 17 game winner Ian Kennedy who always seems to be tough on the Giants.

Down on the Farm: 9/1/2011

AAA Fresno Grizzlies defeated the Reno Aces 4-1:

Justin Christian(RF)- 2 for 4, HR(9), SB(34). BA= .333.
Conor Gillaspie(3B)- 2 for 3, HR(11), BB. BA= .297.
Scott Munter(RHP)- 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's. BA= 5.75.

If the Giants are looking for lightning in a bottle, Justin Christian would be as good a bet as anybody right now.

AA New Britain Rock Cats blanked the Richmond Flying Squirrels 8-0:

As you might imagine from the score, nothing to see here.

High A San Jose Giants beat the Bakersfield Blaze 5-2:

Gary Brown(CF)- 2 for 4, 2B, BB. BA= .338.
Ehire Adrianza(SS)- 2 for 4, 2B, BB. BA= .304.
Hector Sanchez(C)- 1 for 3, HR(11), 2 BB. BA= .300.
Jarrett Parker(RF)- 1 for 3, HR(13), HBP. BA= .261.
Eric Surkamp(LHP)- 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 0.00.
Addison Proszek(RHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 1.00.

This is just a stopover for Surkamp between MLB starts. He was dominant here.

Low A Rome Braves downed the Augusta Greenjackets 6-1:

Devin Harris(RF)-2 for 3, HR(15). BA= .231.
Mike Kickham(LHP)- 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 4.11.

Kickham's K and BB numbers have always been better than his ERA, this game no exception.

Short Season Tri-City Dust Devils topped the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 7-2:

Matt Graham(RHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 8.66.

Panik and Staley had 2 hits each. Galindo stole his 46'th base.