Monday, April 30, 2012

Down on the Farm: 4/30/2012

AAA  Fresno Grizzlies defeated the Salt Lake City Bees 9-5:

Justin Christian(CF)- 3 for 5, SB(4).  BA= .402.
Conor Gillaspie(3B)- 3 for 5, 2 2B.  BA= .341.
Francisco Peguero(RF)- 1 for 3, HR(2), BB.  BA= .233.
Charlie Culberson(2B)- 1 for 4, HR(3).  BA= .281.

Peguero was lifted for a PH.  Hope that does not mean an injury.  He's seems to be warming up, 7 game hit streak hitting .370.

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

Gary Brown(CF)- 1 for 3, BB.  BA= .227.
Tommy Joseph(DH)- 3 for 4, 2B, 2 HR(3).  BA= .257.
Chris Heston(RHP)- 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K's.  ERA=1.21.

Gary Brown has been showing up in the highlights more often lately.  Hitting .286 over his last 7 games.  Huge game for Tommy Joseph.  Heston has a 15/1 K/BB over his last 2 starts.  Our old friend Antoan Richardson is leading off for the Baysox and hitting .313.

High A  Cal League was idle.

Low A  Augusta Greenjackets smothered the Hagerstown Suns 7-1:

Kelby Tomlinson(SS)- 2 for 5.  BA= .272.
Shawn Payne(DH)- 1 for 3, 2B, 2 BB, SB(9).  BA= .340.
Joe Staley(C)- 2 for 3, BB.  BA= .171.
Paul Davis(RHP)- 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 2.25.
Steven Neff(LHP)- 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 5.11.

Davis has a 17/2 K/BB over 20 IP.  Neff seems to have really turned a corner.  After putting up an ERA of 29.25 in 4 IP last year in the AZL, and allowing 7 ER in 4.2 IP in his first 3 games this season, he has now pitched 7.2 scoreless frames in his last 4 appearances with 10 K's against just 2 BB's.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Down on the Farm: 4/29/2012

AAA  Fresno Grizzlies edged the Colorado Springs Sky Sox 4-3:

Francisco Peguero(RF)- 2 for 4.  BA= .229.
Roger Kieschnick(LF)- 2 for 3, HR(6), BB.  BA= .358
Nick Noonan(3B)- 2 for 3, BB, SB(2).  BA= .304.
Yusmeiro Petit(RHP)- 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 5.11.
Heath Hembree(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(5).  ERA= 2.00.

Gotta think we're gonna see Hembree in SF before the year is out.

AA  New Britain Rock Cats downed the Richmond Flying Squirrels 5-2:

Gary Brown(CF)- 1 for 4, 2B.  BA= .224.
Juan Perez(RF)- 2 for 4.  BA= .298.
Ehire Adrianza(SS)- 1 for 3, 2B.  BA= .237.

Nice to see  some signs of life from the bats of Brown and Adrianza.

High A  Visalia Rawhide defeated the San Jose Giants 5-1:

Josh Osich(LHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 0.00.
Edward Concepcion(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 9.64.
Seth Rosin(RHP)-  0.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 K's.  ERA= 2.35.

Osich continues to be lights out in very limited exposure.  If you don't think Bauer, Bradley and Skaggs are scary enough, the Giants were dominated this weekend by a trio of D'Backs pitching prospects, Holmberg, Chafin and Anthony Meo.

Low A  Augusta Greenjackets blanked the Hagerstown Suns 2-0:

Ben Thomas(1B)- 2 for 4, SB(1).  BA= .279.
Jose Cuevas(3B)- 2 for 3, 2B, BB. BA= .268.
Kyle Crick(RHP)- 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K's, 2 HBP, WP.  ERA= 2.30.
Derek Law(RHP)- 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.97.
Cody Hall(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, Save(5).  ERA= 3.00.

If you are feeling anxious about the future of Giants pitching, just stare at this line from Kyle Crick for a minute.  That ought to calm your nerves a bit!  Still has a bit of a wild hair up his nose, but you can see the dominance beginning to build.

Game Wrap 4/29/2012: Giants 4 Padres 1

Madison Bumgarner made it look easy against the Pathetic Padres popgun offense and the Giants RH hitting lineup came through with the run support.  Key Lines:

Pablo Sandoval- 1 for 4, HR(4).  BA= .311.  Whether it's the Lasik procedure or a healed shoulder or both, Pablo is clearly seeing the ball better and getting better swings from the right side this year.  This HR was his first XBH from the right side this year though.

Buster Posey- 1 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .353.  Buster plays 1B in the RH lineup configuration.  The double was smoked up the alley in left-center.  Buster was stranded after that, but started the insurance rally with a walk.

Brett Pill- 2 for 3, 2B.  BA= .320.  Not sure why some people think Belt or Nate are better options against LHP's than Brett Pill.  He was smoking the ball today!

Joaquin Arias- 1 for 3, 3B.  BA= .364.  Arias might not be quite as surehanded at SS as Crawford, but he's a huge upgrade on Theriot, Burriss or Tejada/OCab from last year.  Love the bat.  He's still young enough and athletic enough to have a starting career ahead of him too.  I'm thinking Arias is building some serious trade value here if not challenging Crawford's starting job.

Madison Bumgarner- 7.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 2.53.  Just an afternoon at the office for Bumgarner who was in complete command the whole way.

Santiago Casilla- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's, Save(4).  ERA= 1.04.  Casilla always has a moment in his inning where he looks like he's about to come apart at the seems.  The last two outings, he's managed to pull it together.  Today, Hector Sanchez had to come out and talk him down a couple of times.  Gotta be impressed by the way the rookie catcher came out and took charge of the situation and how Casilla responded.

The Merc writers over on Extra Giants are trying to stoke the discontent over Bochy's extreme platooning against LHP's.  I have to say I think the angst and anger are way overblown here.  Look team, Buster is not going to play 150 games behind the plate.  When he's not catching, he's going to either have to play 1B or sit.  Why not use the days they face LHP's to give him a blow from catching duties while taking advantage of his RH bat?  I see absolutely no reason not to play Arias and The Riot in the MI against LHP's.  That leaves the OF where Pagan and Melky are clearly going to play every day.  That leaves 1 OF spot between Nate, Belt and Pill.  With the way Pill is swinging the bat, I see no reason not to give him the nod in LF with Melky moving to RF.  Sorry of that steps on the toes of your personal favorite player, but it makes a lot of sense, especially in light of how the Giants have struggled against LHP's through the spring, and even going back to last year.

The Dodgers blanked the Nats 2-0 to stay 4 games ahead of the Giants in the NL West.  The Giants upped their record to 12-10 two games over .500 for the second time this season.  The D'Backs topped the Marlins 8-4 to remain 5 games back of the Dodgers.  The Rockies lost to the Mets 6-5 to slide 5.5 games off the pace.  Of course the Pathetic Padres lost to the Giants and are now mired 9.5 games behind and in last place.

The Giants get tomorrow off then start a 3 games series against the Miami Marlins who will bring some bad memories for the Giants with them into the series.  Matt Cain starts it off Tuesday night against Ricky Nolasco.

Down on the Farm: 4/28/2012

AAA  Fresno Grizzlies defeated the Colorado Springs Sky Sox 3-1:

Justin Christian(CF)- 2 for 3, HR(3), BB, SB(3).  BA= .409.
Francisco Peguero(RF)- 2 for 4, 3B.  BA= .215.
Andrew Kown(RHP)- 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 2.54.
Dan Otero(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's.  ERA= 0.00.
Heath Hembree(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, Save(4).  ERA= 2.25.

Peguero is warming up a bit.  Christian could help a MLB team right now.  Hembree has just 1 K in his last 5 IP over 5 appearances.  Not sure what that means.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels downed the New Britain Rock Cats 5-3:

Gary Brown(CF)- 2 for 5, 2 SB(6).  BA= .222.
Ehire Adrianza(SS)- 2 for 3, BB.  BA= .233.
Daniel Mayora(3B)- 2 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .342.
Ryan Cavan(2B)- 2 for 4, SB(1).  BA= .320.
Brett Bochy(RHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 0.00.

Brown and Adrianza are warming up a bit.  Brown is 6 for 21 in his last 5 games.  Adrianza is hitting .294 over his last 10 games with a .368 OBP.  Bochy keeps putting up goose eggs.

High A  Visalia Rawhide edged the San Jose Giants 3-2:

Alex Burg(2B)- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(2).  BA= .262.
Ryan Bradley(LHP)- 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 1.98.
Jose Valdez(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 2.19.

Burg is 8 for his last 21 over 6 games.

Low A  Hagerstown Suns topped burned the Augusta Greenjackets 6-1:

Shawn Payne(LF)- 2 for 3, BB, 2 SB(8), Assist(Souza, Home).  BA= .370.
Bryce Bandilla(LHP)- 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 2.45.
Adalberto Mejia(LHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 12.96.

Love what the 9'ers did in the draft.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Game Wrap 4/28/2012: Giants 2 Padres 1

Tim Lincecum and Anthony Bass hooked up in an exciting, nail biting pitching duel tonight at AT&T Park.  For 5.2 innings, it looked like Bass might lay a perfecto on the Giants.  Timmy broke it up himself with a groundball single to deep SS.  Brandon Belt finally came through with a ringing 2 run double to drive in the 2 runs Timmy needed.  Key Lines:

Melky Cabrera- 2 for 4, 2 2B.  BA= .299.  Melky got the first real Giants scoring threat going with a double over the head of Cameron Maybin to the base of the CF wall.

Nate Schierholtz- 1 for 3.  BA= .288.  Nate's grounder into the right side hole was fielded by Hudson in plenty of time to throw him out, but his throw was a bit wide and barely pulled Alonso's foot off the bag to keep the inning alive.

Brandon Belt- 1 for 3, 2B.  BA= .278.  Belt had hit the ball hard enough in his previous AB to get the attention of the Padres TV announcers.  His game winner was a long liner to left-center that split the defenders and easily drove in both runners on base.  Now THAT's what I'm talking about!

Pablo Sandoval- 0 for 4.  BA= .314.  Pablo's hitting streak ends at 20 games.  Now he can go back to just raking.

Tim Lincecum- 8 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 5.74.  Tim's command was still a bit shaky in the early going, but he seemed to get stronger and more confident as the game went on.  In the 8'th inning, after the Giants got the lead, the crowd was roaring with every pitch and he seemed to have his old swagger back.  Great to see.

Santiago Casilla- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(3).  ERA= 1.17.  The leadoff batter, Alonso, hit a dribbler in front of the plate that Casilla couldn't get a handle on.  Hudson advanced the pinch runner, Bartlett, on a grounder to the right side.  I've seen many a 9'th inning come unraveled for the Giants after a start like that, but Casilla bore down, striking out Maybin and getting Kotsay on a weak bouncer back to the mound that he almost booted again.

The Win draws the Giants record back over .500 at 11-10.  The Dodgers' game against the Nationals is headed to extra innings so they will be either 3 games behind the NL West leaders or 4 depending on the outcome.  The Rockies lost to the Mets 7-5 to drop 0.5 games behind the Giants.  The D'Backs lost to the Marlns 3-2 to drop a full game behind the Giants into 4'th place.  Of course, the Pesky Ones lost and dropped 4.5 games behind the Giants in last place.

BTW, Bryce Harper is 1 for 3 with a double in his MLB debut.

Madison Bumgarner goes against Clayton Richard in tomorrow afternoon's finale of the 3 game series.

Down on the Farm: 4/27/2012

AAA  Colorado Springs Sky Sox shut out the Fresno Grizzlies 6-0:

Nothing to see here.

AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels edged the New Britain Rock Cats 5-4  in 13 innings:

Gary Brown(CF)- 1 for 5, SB(4).  BA= .211.
Tommy Joseph(C)- 2 for 6, 2B.  BA= .230.
Chris Dominguez(LF)- 2 for 6, 2B.  BA= .299.
Juan Perez(RF)- 2 for 6, HR(2).  BA= .289.
Ehire Adrianza(SS)- 3 for 4, BB.  BA= .214.
Ryan Cavan(2B)- 3 for 5, 2B.  BA= .310.
Justin Fitzgerald(RHP)- 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 3.76.

Some bats showing signs of life here.  Perez and Cavan are doing surprisingly well in the early going.  Brown continues to scuffle.

High A  Visalia Rawhide downed the San Jose Giants 7-1:

Andrew Susac(C)- 1 for 4, HR(1).  BA= .246.
Ricky Oropesa(1B)- 2 for 4.  BA= .269.
Taylor Rogers(RHP)- 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 7 K's.
David Holmberg(LHP, D'Backs)- 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 8 K's.  ERA= 2.67.

Not much to get excited about here.  Rogers had good peripherals in this one.  Rawhide SP Holmberg is another of the D'Backs seemingly endless supply of pitching prospects.

Low A  Kannapolis Intimidators pounded the Augusta Greenjackets 9-5:

Shawn Payne(LF)- 3 for 4, 2B, BB.  BA= .349.
Jose Cuevas(2B)- 2 for 4, HR(4), BB.  BA= .260.
Ben Thomas(1B)- 2 for 4.  BA= .266.
Chris Marlowe(RHP)- 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 4 K's, HBP, 2 WP.  ERA= 3.63.
Andrew Berger(RHP)- 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 6.75.
Keith Bilodeau(RHP)- 2 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 8.44.

Payne and Cuevas are a bit old for the league.  Adventuresome start for Marlowe.  Bilodeau's performance has been disappointing so far, to say the least.

Game Wrap 4/27/2012: Padres 5 Giants 3

The Padres are Pathetic against all other teams, but alway, always, Pesky against the Giants.  Emergency starter Eric Hacker produced a Quality Start, but the Giants failed to capitalize on some opportunities and the bullpen was shaky once again.  The result was an all too familiar Padres win that felt like it shouldn't have been.  Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 2 for 5, HR(4).  BA= .250.  Love what Pagan is doing at the plate.  He just seems to have more of the mentality of a #3 hitter as opposed to leadoff.  He might have cost the Giants the game with a very ill-advised steal attempt of 3B in the 3'rd inning with one  out and Pablo Sandoval at the plate.  Maybe he figured stealing 3B would give Pablo a SF opportunity, but with Pablo at the plate and Buster Posey in the hole, you're not playing for a 1 run inning there.  Anyway, going on first movement is always a risk and that's a risk he didn't need to take there.  Of course Pablo promptly hit a long single to LF which might well have scored a fast runner like Pagan from 2B.

Pablo Sandoval- 1 for 4.  BA= .329.  Pablo ran his hit streak to 20.  The modern record to start the season is 23.  I'm not necessarily a fan of long hit streaks.  Maybe it's just me, but after they go over 20 games, it seems like it's more about getting that one hit to keep the streak alive than going up there looking to drive the ball and do some damage.  In fairness to Pablo, I haven't seen any of that from him in this streak yet.

Buster Posey- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(4).  BA= .371.  The HR was most impressive.  He turned around a 98 MPH Andrew Cashner FB that was down in the zone and elevated it over the left-CF fence.  Now THAT is a quick swing!

Brett Pill- 0 for 4.  BA= .273.  Everybody in the lineup got at least 1 hit except Pill, but even he reached base twice on hard grounders that caused bobbles by the Padres infielders.  The first one, in particular, probably should have been scored a hit.  In a frustratingly familiar scenario, they just couldn't seem to bunch enough of their hits together to score the runs they should have.  The 2 dingers were relatively harmless solo jobs.

Eric Hacker- 6 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 7 K'S.  ERA= 4.50.  Quality Start.  Hacker featured an effective sinker and a tight curveball that he could drop in for strikes early in the count or throw at a LH hitter's back foot for a K.  The problem for Hacker and most AAAA pitchers is he has no margin for error.  He can throw 90 great pitches, but the 10 that aren't so good get whacked pretty hard.  Still, it was a very nice performance.  With Otero forced to stay in Fresno at least 12 days or whatever it is, maybe they'll keep Hacker around awhile in case some innings need to be eaten.

Jeremy Affeldt- 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 4.09.  Affeldt got BABIP'd a bit here, but needs to stop uncorking wild pitches.  He settled down and dominated his second inning of work, but with Gregerson, Cashner and Street lined up for the Padres, it was too late by then.

The Giants loss dropped them 4 games behind the NL West leading Dodgers who edged the Nationals 3-2 with Kenley Jansen getting the Save in relief of Clayton Kershaw.  So much for managers votes of confidence in their closers!  The Rockies blasted the Mets 18-9 to move into sole possession of 2'nd place, 3.5 games back.  The D'Backs blanked the Marlins behind Joe Saunders 5-0 to hold their place 4 games back and now tied with the Giants for 3'rd place.  Of course, the Pesky Ones remained in last place 7.5 games out despite their win.

Tim Lincecum tries once again to get his season on track facing Anthony Bass, a pitcher who impressed me when I saw him a couple of years ago in Lake Elsinore and is now starting at the MLB level and doing quite well with a sub 3 ERA.

PS:  Looks like Hacker is going back down, thank you very much, and Edlefsen will get called up to take Otero's place in the bullpen.

PS:  Javy Guerra was not available for the Dodgers due to a foot injury.  He's available tonight and is apparently still their closer.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Down on the Farm: 4/26/2012

AAA  Fresno Grizzlies blanked the Colorado Springs Sky Sox 3-0:

Justin Christian(CF)- 2 for 4, SB(3).  BA= .420.
Francisco Peguero(RF)- 1 for 3, 2B.  BA= .197.
Charlie Culberson(2B)- 2 for 3, HR(2), SB(1).  BA= .313.
Travis Blackley(LHP)- 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 0.39.
Heath Hembree(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, Save(3).  ERA= 2.57.

Frankie Pegs hitting .243 over his last 10 games.  Wonder what Blackley is doing different?

AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels edged the Reading Phillies 2-1:

Wendell Fairley(RF-LF)- 2 for 4, 2B, BB.  BA= .130.
Gary Brown(CF)- 1 for 4, 2B, BB.  BA= .211.
Ryan Cavan(2B)- 1 for 2, HR(2).  BA= .288.
Mike Kickham(LHP)- 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 2.55.
Brett Bochy(RHP)- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 0.00.

Fairley has been invisible this year before today.  Baby steps for Brown.  Kickham had 2 WP's in addition to his 2 walks.  Bochy was credited with a Blown Save after Kickham gave up a leadoff double.  Bochy got 2 flyball outs, but the runner got to 3B with the first and scored on the SF with the second.  Bochy has now pitched 10.1 IP without being charged with an ER.  He's allowed just 7 baserunners, so he's pitching good.

High A
Game 1  San Jose Giants blanked the High Desert Mavericks 3-0:

Carter Jurica(2B)- 2 for 3.  BA= .345.
Devin Harris(RF)- 1 for 2, HR(2).  BA= .147.
Freddy Sanchez(DH)- 1 for 3.  BA= .400.
Jack Snodgrass(LHP)- 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's, GO/AO= 11/2.  ERA= 1.61.
Josh Osich(LHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, O R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(1).  ERA= 0.00.

While not exactly a surprise, Snodrgrass has certainly been a pleasant development so far this year.  Osich is used in a soft Save situation and gets credit for his first.

Game 2  High Desert Mavericks stampeded the San Jose Giants 6-0:

Giants managed just 2 hits.  Nothing to see in the pitching ledger.

Low A  Augusta Greenjackets downed the Kannapolis Intimidators 7-2:

Kelby Tomlinson(SS)- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .280.
Elliott Blair(CF)- 3 for 3, 2B, HR(1).  BA= .240.
Joe Staley(C)- 1 for 2, HR(1), SF, Sac.  BA= .143.
Clayton Blackburn(RHP)- 4 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K's, GO/AO= 5/1.  ERA= 2.95.
Derek Law(RHP)- 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 5.40.
Adalberto Mejia(LHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 14.73.
Steven Neff(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 8.22.

I think Elliott Blair is a sleeper.  Didn't play much in college, but the Giants scouts obviously saw something.  Love the K's from Blackburn.  One question about him is if he has swing and miss stuff.  Baby steps for Mejia.

Game Wrap 4/26/2012: Giants 6 Reds 5

3 run HR's are very good things when your team hits them, especially when they come in the 9'th inning of a game your team is trailing by 2 runs.  The Giants had a bit of a role reversal today with the hitters picking up the pitchers.  They now head home with a winning record for the road trip. They also got a monkey off their back in the form of a 7 game losing streak at Great American Ballpark.  Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 2 for 5, HR(3).  BA= .241.  Pagan is hitting .292 over his last 10 games.  He is on a pace to hit about 20 dingers on the year. His previous high being 11 in his great 2010 season.  Could be another great trade for Sabes with the worst case scenario being a $12 M+ 1 year offer at the end of the season with draft pick compensation.

Brandon Belt- 2 for 4.  BA= .273.  Belt is hitting .364 in his last 22 AB's over a 10 game span.  With Huff on the DL, Belt should have couple of weeks of daily starts.  Well, he should anyway, but Huff being out virtually guarantees it, right?

Joaquin Arias- 2 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .500.  Could Arias threaten Brandon Crawford's starting job if he keeps hitting?

Ryan Theriot- 2 for 3. SF.  BA= .231.  Nice game for The Riot.

Ryan Vogelsong- 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 4.19.  This should maybe count as a QS in this ballpark.

Santiago Casilla- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's, Save(2).  ERA= 1.35.

The Giants have now played 13 of their 19 games on the road and have a 10-9 record.  The win today inched them a half game closer to the idle NL West leading Dodgers, 3 games behind.  Colorado at 3.5 games back and the D'Backs at 4 games back were also idle.  The Pathetic Padres are 8 games behind going into tonight's contest against the Nationals.

The Giants return home for a weekend series against the Pesky Padres with Eric Hacker coming up from Fresno to make the emergency start due to the weather forced doubleheader in NY on Sunday.

Down on the Farm: 4/25/2012

AAA  The PCL was idle yesterday.

AA  Reading Phillies won a pitching duel over the Richmond Flying Squirrels 1-0:

Squirrels offense managed just one hit in this one.
Chris Heston(RHP)- 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K's, GO/AO= 8/0.  ERA= 1.13.
Trevor May(RHP, Reading)- 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 2.35.

Dominant start for Heston in a losing cause.  He just seems to be getting better and better.  Ceiling is probably as a #4 or #5 starter at MLB level.  Trevor May is a highly rated prospect for the Phillies, so no surprise he would dominate the Squirrels lineup.

High A  San Jose vs High Desert postponed.

Low A  Kannapolis Intimidators defeated the Augusta Greenjackets 4-2:

Shawn Payne(LF)- 1 for 2, 2 BB, 2 SB(6).  BA= .343.
Edwin Escobar(LHP)- 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 1.88.

Payne should probably be in San Jose.  Escobar is still one of the Giants younger pitching prospects.

Looks like Eric Hacker is getting the call for Friday's start.  I'm a bit surprised.  I thought it would be Burres.  Bochy is apparently keeping tabs on things down in Fresno and mentioned that Hacker is throwing well.  Emergency starters can be either inspiring or disastrous.  We'll see on Hacker.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Game Wrap 4/25/2012: Reds 4 Giants 2

A wretched sloppy 7'th inning negated another solid start by Barry Zito as the Giants dropped a disappointing game to the Reds.  Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 1 for 5, HR(2).  BA= .230.  The Giants got 10 hits in the game, but only 2 were for extra bases.  Pagan's HR was one of them.  Still, you'd like to see the leadoff hitter get on base more often.

Melky Cabrera(.301), Buster Posey(.382), Hector Sanchez(.321) had two hits each.

Nate went 0 for 4 again and was a big part of why the 12 baserunners only produced 2 runs.

Joaquin Arias- 0 for 1.  BA= .000.  Arias gave Aroldis Chapman all he could handle ultimately smoking one up the middle that Chapman caught while putting up his glove to protect himself.

Barry Zito- 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 1.67. The single run was a dinger to Rolen leading off the 7'th. Bochy might want to think about not trying to squeeze those last 10-15 pitches out of Zito.  I believe relievers generally do better if they can start an inning with a clean slate.

Clay Hensley/Jeremy Affeldt-  Hensley came in after the HR by Rolen.  He promptly gave up a single to Ryan Ludwick.  Hanigan laid down a sac bunt that could have been a DP, but Hensley slipped fielding it.  He recovered his footing, but then sailed the throw about 3 feet over Burriss covering first base which put runners at 2'nd and 3'rd with nobody out.  PH Willie Harris popped out, but Drew Stubbs walked to load the bases.  Wilson Valdez hit a flyball to short-medium RF.  Nate's throw skipped by Sanchez scoring the tying run with runners on 2'nd and 3'rd again.  Affeldt came in to face Joey Votto and promptly uncorked a wild pitch that scored the go-ahead run.  Votto followed with a hard double past Pagan in CF to complete the scoring.  You knew the game was over at that point.

Aubrey Huff was placed on the 15 day DL due to an anxiety disorder.  No word on what it's all about, but Huff has taken a tremendous amount of heat on the internet and Twitter lately.  Gotta think that has something to do with it.  Performance on the field, obviously, has to be fair game for fans to comment on.  Personal attacks and speculation not so much.  Remember, these players are people too!   I can tell you from personal experience, the internet and social media has the potential to destroy people emotionally.  How to deal with that reality is one of the great social challenges of the 21'st century.

Ryan Vogelsong takes the mound in an early game tomorrow against Homer Bailey trying to bring the Giants home from the road trip with a wining record.

Down on the Farm: 4/24/2012

AAA  Fresno Grizzlies pounded the Tacoma Rainiers 11-5:

Francisco Peguero(RF)- 2 for 6, 3B.  BA= .191.
Joaquin Arias(SS)- 3 for 3, 2 2B.  BA= .400.
Christian(.416), Gillaspie(.333), Culberson(.300)- 2 hits each.  Culby had a double.  Christian had a SB(2).

AA  Reading Phillies blanked the Richmond Flying Squirrels 6-0:

Brown(.219), Cavan(.290) and Mayora(.393) had 2 hits each.

High A:  San Jose Giants defeated the High Desert Mavericks 9-5:

Ryan Lollis(RF)- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .353.
Freddy Sanchez(DH)- 2 for 4.  BA= .429.
Ricky Oropesa(1B)- 3 for 4.  BA= .267.
Carter Jurica(2B)- 3 for 4.  BA= .327.
Joe Panik(.230) and Adam Duvall(.260)- 2 hits each.
Jose Valdez(RHP)- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 2.38.
Seth Rosin(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 1.23.

Lollis is quietly having a strong season.  Freddy didn't sound too conident in his shoulder the last comments I read.  Still DH'ing in SJ.

Low A  Augusta Greenjackets downed the Kannapolis Intimidators 9-4:

Jose Cuevas(3B)- 3 for 5, 2 HR(3).  BA= .258.
Joe Biagini(RHP)- 3.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 8.38.
Paul Davis(RHP)- 3.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 3.00.
Scotty Walker(LHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA=0.00.

Scotty Walker is an undrafted FA who pitched at UC Davis.  Has a FB that gets up to 95.  Sleeper!

Shankbone takes a look at possible Giants 2'nd round draft picks in Fanpost over at MCC.  Check it out!

Minor League Ball has a new mock draft up.  They have the Giants taking Victor Roache at #20.  I'd be OK with that, but there's just something about it that doesn't fit the Giants MO.  Right now I'm getting strong vibes it will be a HS pitcher. Leaning Ty Hensley, but there are several other possibilities.  At the other end of the spectrum, I could really see them going for Tyler Naquin or Travis Jankowski, both college OF's who are the types of players they like to draft.  Crossing my fingers for Ron Miller in round 2.  I would be ecstatic with him in that spot.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Game Wrap 2/24/2012: Reds 9 Giants 2

Matt Cain's streak of scoreless innings ended quickly as he gave up 2 runs in the first inning.  Another streak, 14.1 innings of no run support is still very much alive.  This one was never much in doubt.  Key Lines:

Pablo Sandoval- 1 for 3, BB.  BA= .333.  Pablo set a new Giants record for consecutive game hitting streak to start a season at 17 passing Willie Mays who was the previous record holder at 16.

Buster Posey- 1 for 3, HR(3), BB.  BA= .373.  Nice to see Buster hitting for power again.  Too little to late for this game, though.

Matt Cain- 6.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 7 K's, 2 HR.  ERA- 2.37.  Actually a Quality Start, but not his best effort  and the no run support thing is getting ridiculous again.

Dan Otero- 1.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 8.64.  Otero might have punched his ticket out of town to make room for an emergency Friday starter.

There was a very strange article on Fangraphs today about Matt Cain pinch hitting the other day and whether that means the Giants have too many LH batters on their roster.  There was passing mention that Theriot was out sick and passing mention of the Giants switch-hitters.  Bacci, AKA Walt Kovacs had a priceless comment that literally had me rolling on the floor.  The article is worth checking out just to read his comment.

Barry Zito goes tomorrow against Bronson Arroyo.

Down on the Farm: 4/23/2012

AAA  Tacoma Rainiers came from behind to top the Fresno Grizzlies 6-5:

Conor Gillaspie(1B)- 2 for 5.  BA= .329.
Roger Kieschnick(LF)- 1 for 4, HR(5), BB.  BA= .368.
Joaquin Arias(SS)- 2 for 4.  BA= .373.

These are the same names we've become accustomed to seeing in the Fresno highlights.

AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels were idle.

High A  High Desert Mavericks stomped the San Jose Giants 7-1:

Alex Burg- 3 for 4.  BA= .257.
Josh Osich- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 0.00.

Giants are being very cautious with Osich as he's only pitched in 1 inning stints in non-closing situations.

Low A  The SAL had the day off.

Shankbone posted a nice rundown of Giants draft possibilities over on  It's in the Fanpost section.  Check it out!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Game Wrap 4/23/2012(Game 2): Giants 7 Mets 2

The Giants took the second game of today's doubleheader behind the excellent pitching of Madison Bumgarner and home runs by Pablo Sandoval and Hector Sanchez as  well as another 3 hit game from Nate Schierholtz.  Key Lines:

Gregor Blanco- 2 for 5, 2B, SB(1).  BA= .200.  Blanco gets a start and gives a solid performance.

Pablo Sandoval- 2 for 4, HR(3), BB.  BA= .333.  Sandoval ties a record held by none other than Willie Mays with a 16 game hit streak to start a season.

Nate Schierholtz- 3 for 5, 3B.  BA= .372.  Nate was 6 for 10 in both games combined.  He's had multiple hits in 5 of his last 10 games.  He's driving the ball instead of just protecting the plate too.

Hector Sanchez- 1 for 4, HR(1), SF.  BA= .280.  Great to have a backup catcher who is an asset in the lineup.

Madison Bumgarner- 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 2.96.  Still not as many K's as you'd like to see, but who's quibbling.  Great game and great day for the Giants!

The doubleheader sweep gave the Giants their fourth consecutive series win after being swept in their opening series.  Their record now stands at 9-7 two games above .500 for the first time this season.  The Dodgers are leading their game 5-1.  If they go on to win it, they will hold a 3.5 game lead on the Giants who take over sole possession of second place in the NL West.  Colorado's game against Pittsburgh was rained out, so they will likely drop 4 games behind the Dodgers.  Arizona leads their game against the Phillies 9-0, yeah that's right, the Phillies so they will keep pace with the Dodgers at 4 games behind.  The Pathetic Padres are idle so will probably end up a full 8 games back in last place.

The Giants will move on to Cincinnati for a 3 game series with Matt Cain taking the mound for game one tomorrow evening.

Game Wrap 4/23/2012(Game 1): Giants 6 Mets 1

Tim Lincecum had another shaky start, but managed to get through 5 innings with just one run allowed. The offense, led by Buster Posey and Nate Schierholtz scored early and often as the Giants breezed to a win in the first game of their twinbill in New York.  Key Lines:

Melky Cabrera- 0 for 2, 2 BB, SB(3).  BA= .305.  Melky is adding another dimension as his 2 walks puts his OBP at .418 even as his BA dropped to .305.  That ought to quiet the regression theorists just a bit.

Buster Posey- 1 for 4, HR(2), BB.  BA= .375.  Buster starting to hit the ball with more authority.

Nate Schierholtz- 3 for 5, 3B, HR(3), SB(2).  BA= .342.  Hate to say it because Nate has teased us hit hot spells in the past, but he's really looking like he could be breaking out this year.  He just needs to stay healthy.  What a great game today!

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .196.  Crawford has been getting good AB's and making solid contact.  Today the balls found openings.

Tim Lincecum- 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 8 K's.  ERA= 8.20.  Dominant K numbers but also a ton of walks.  108 Pitches in 5 innings.  Baby steps!

Mota, Affeldt, Otero- 4 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.  Another shut down performance by the bullpen.  Affeldt, in particular, has been extremely sharp since his first couple of apperaances.

Madison Bumgarner now takes on Dillon Gee in game 2 as the Giants go for a win in the 4 game series.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Fantasy Focus: Savvy Vets Update

Since it's a rain day, I thought I would give everybody an update on how my Savvy Vets fantasy baseball team is doing.  Well, the answer is it is doing just fine, thank you.  We have now completed 3 weeks of Head-to Head(H2H) competition:

Week 1:  7-1-2

Week 2:  6-3-1

Week 3:  8-1-1

Overall Record:  21-5-4.  That's good for first place in the league!

I pretty much have the same team I drafted.  The only changes being Kyle Farnsworth to the DL to start the season replacing him on the active roster with Bartolo Colon who has proven to be a great pickup, and dropping Brian Wilson when it was announced he was done for the season.  I grabbed Santiago Casilla to replace him.  It remains to be seen how that works out.  Then there's the big trade of Ricky Romero for Jordan Walden which was finalized about 1 day before it was announced Brian Wilson was out for the season.

I've been lagging a bit in HR's due to slow starts by Jose Bautista and Prince Fielder.  It's been partially made up for by hot starts from Matt Wieters and Freddie Freeman.  One thing I noticed in past years is that just a couple of low batting averages can kill your BA category, so I stayed away from low BA guys like Justin Upton and Mark Reynolds in my draft.  As a result, I have won my BA category quite handily each week.

I always try for high strikeout pitchers, but in past years, I've suffered in ERA and WHIP.  This year I really scoured the draft board for pitchers who would give me K's but also keep their WHIP's down.  I figured that with a high K and low WHIP, ERA would take care of itself.  W's are a crapshoot, but I try to win as many of those as I can by filling my bench with starters who I shuttle in and out of the rotation on a daily basis.  So far, some of my K pitchers have not been getting that many K's so I've struggled with K's each week, barely winning the first two weeks and losing this week, but the WHIP's have been good.

Anyway, I thought I would post my roster once again along with stat lines to give you an idea of what kind of team the Savvy Vets is"

C    Matt Wieters-             .283, 5 HR, 6 R, 12 RBI, 0 SB.
1B  Prince Fielder-           .327, 2 HR, 10 R, 8 RBI, 1 SB!
2B  Dustin Ackley-           .246,  0 HR, 6 R, 3 RBI, 0 SB.
3B  Jose Bautista-             .200, 2 HR, 6 R, 6 RBI, 1 SB.
SS  Dee Gordon-              .235, 0 HR, 9 R, 2 RBI, 8 SB.
IF   Pablo Sandoval-         .333, 2 HR, 9 R, 10 RBI, 0 SB.
OF  Andrew McCutchen-  .337, 0 HR, 9 R, 2 RBI, 3 SB.
OF  Melky Cabrera-         .316, 1 HR, 11 R, 7 RBI, 2 SB.
OF  Alejandro De Aza-     .268, 3 HR, 13 R, 7 RBI, 2 SB.
UT  Freddie Freeman-       .276, 3 HR, 12 R, 13 RBI, 0 SB.
UT  David Ortiz-              .436, 2 HR, 9 R, 12 RBI, 0 SB.
SP  Zach Grienke-             1-1, 5.09 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 19 K's in 17.2 IP,
SP  Madison Bumgarner     2-1, 3.63 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 7 K's in 17.1 IP.
SP  Bartolo Colon              3-1, 2.63 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 19 K's in 27.1 IP,
SP  Cory Luebke                2-1, 2.52 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 20 K's, in 25 IP,
SP  Brandon Beachy           2-1, 0.47 ERA,  0.88 WHIP, 14 K's in  19.1 IP.
RP  Joe Nathan                   0-2, 5.14 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 9 K's in 7 IP, 3 Saves.
RP  Grant Balfour               0-0, 1.00 ERA, 0.56 WHIP, 5 K's in 9 IP, 4 Saves.
RP  Santiago Casilla            0-0, 1.93 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 2 K's in 4.2 IP, 1 Save.
P    Jordan Walden              0-0, 4.91 ERA,  1.64 WHIP, 6 K's in 3.2 IP, 1 Save.
P    Vinnie Pestano              0-0, 2.35 ERA,  0.78 WHIP, 10 K's in 7.2 IP, 0 Saves.
BN Matt Harrison                3-0, 1.66 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 13 K's in 21.2 IP.
BN Chris Capuano               3-1, 4.50 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 15 K's, in 16 IP.
BN Jordan Zimmerman        0-1, 1.29 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 10 K's in 21 IP
BN Brandon Morrow           0-1,  4.50 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 9 K's in 20 IP.
BN  Ervin Santana               0-3, 6.75 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 12 K's in 18.2 IP.
DL  Kyle Farnsworth

Santana and Morrow have been disappointing so far.  Matt Harrison, who I picked up as a FA after the draft, has been a real revelation.  Beachy and Luebke have been solid.  I caught Luebke pitching against the Phillies in TV and he is the real deal.  FB 92-95 MPH with a very nice changeup and breaking ball to go with it.

I'm worried about Dee Gordon.  He's helped me win SB's each week, which is really the only reason why I drafted him, but he's finding out you cant steal 1B and has been losing PT to Jeff Sellers. I am confident Bautista will come around, but that's what I thought about Adam Dunn last year.  I saw Big Papi on TV and he's not such a big papi anymore.  He's lost a lot of weight and seems to be happy poking the ball where it's pitched for a high BA.  He looks downright frisky out there!

Down on the Farm: 4/22/2012

AAA  Fresno Grizzlies trounced the Tacoma Rainiers 10-3:

Conor Gillaspie(3B)- 2 for 4, HR(2), BB.  BA= .323.
Charlie Culberson(2B)- 2 for 3, 3B.  BA= .300.
Todd Linden(1B)- 1 for 4, HR(2).  BA= .297.
Eli Whiteside(C)- 2 for 4, 2 2B.  BA= .241.
Eric Hacker(RHP)- 6.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 2.19.
Steve Edlefsen(RHP)- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 1.69.
Heath Hembree(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 3.00.

Conor Gillaspie is having a strong year and yes, the Giants will have to make a decision about him soon as he is out of options next spring.

AA Altoona Curve scored 5 runs in the 8'th inning to break a 3-3 tie and defeat the Richmond Flying Squirrels 8-3:

Gary Brown(CF)- 0 for 2, 2 BB, 2 SB(3).  BA= .200.
Daniel Mayora(3B)- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .386.
Austin Fleet(RHP)- 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K.  ERA= 2.45.

Brown's struggles may be beneficial long term as he has gone into a "get on base any way I can" mode.  His OBP is .324 against his .200 BA.  His birthdate says Mayora is 28 yo but his picture looks a lot older than that.

Bakersfield Blaze topped the San Jose Giants 8-6:

6 different Giants got 1 hit apiece.  Ricky Oropesa hit his first professional HR while Adam Duvall added his 3'rd of the season and Chris Lofton hit his first, all solo shots.

Low A  Augusta Greenjackets vs Greenville Drive rained out.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Down on the Farm: 4/21/2012

AAA  Fresno Grizzlies crushed the Tacoma Rainiers 12-0:

Conor Gillaspie(1B)- 5 for 6, 2B.  BA= .311.
Joaquin Arias(SS)- 3 for 4, BB, HBP.  BA= .373.
Roger Kieschnick(LF)- 1 for 5, HR(4), BB.  BA= .388.
Charlie Culberson(2B)- 2 for 5, 2 2B, BB.  BA= .284.
Nick Noonan(3B)- 2 for 5, BB, SB(1).  BA= .333.
Todd Linden- 4 for 5, HR(1).  BA= .300.
Brian Burres(LHP)- 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K's, GO/AO= 10/3.  ERA= 3.38.

Lots of good stuff here.  I'll let you decide what's the most interesting.

AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels were rained out in Altoona, PA.  Same weather front that threatens the Giants game tomorrow.

High A  Bakersfield Blaze defeated the San Jose Giants 4-1:

Not much to see here.  The Giants managed just 3 hits.  Seth Rosin struck out the side on one inning of work, but allowed a run.

Low A  Greenville Drive edged the Augusta Greenjackets 4-3:

Shawn Payne(LF)- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(1).  BA= .357.
Kyle Crick(RHP)- 4.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 5 K's, GO/AO= 7/0.  ERA= 3.09.

Payne probably needs to be playing in San Jose.  Crick has good looking numbers except the walks.  Plenty of time to work on that.

Game Wrap 4/21/2012: Mets 5 Giants 4

A game that started out as a tight terrific pitcher's duel between Ryan Vogelsong and Mike Pelfrey had such a strange, chaotic ending it's hard to know where to start writing about it.  Let's just go to the Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .233.  Pagan has a 7 game hit streak going in which he has hit .333.

Buster Posey- 2 for 4.  BA= .386.  Buster hit the ball on the nose 4 times. Buster was also charged with a throwing error on the play in which the winning run scored, but that was because Scott Hairston(yes, THAT guy!), went way inside the baseline on the force out at home to hook Busters right ankle which knocked him off balance on the relay to first for the attempted DP.

Emmanuel Burriss- 2 for 4.  BA= .303.  Burriss has 2 more hits and is off the a nice start to the season.

Brandon Belt- 1 for 1, 2B.  BA= .238.  Belt came in as a pinch hitter with 2 outs and 2 runners on and the Giants trailing 4-2 in the top of the 9'th.  He skied one to shallow CF that the wind blew past a charging Kirk Nieuwnhuis for a Candlestick Park double and 2 game tying RBI's.  Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.  More on Belt in a minute....

Aubrey Huff- 0 for 4.  BA= .182.  Huff had already had a very tough day before the bottom of the 9'th inning, both at the plate and in the field at 1B whiffing on at least 2 grounders that I think Belt probably would have fielded plus 4 very weak AB's.  With The Riot still unavailable due to illness, the Giants burned Brett Pill, a guy who played a little 2b last year in Fresno, by pulling him back for Belt after announcing him as a pinch-hitter for Brandon Crawford against lefty Tim Byrdek.  Belt got the call when Terry Collins countered by bringing in Jon Rauch. That left Huff to play 2B with Burriss moving to SS.  Sure enough, with runners on first and third, Huff instinctively broke toward 1B on a potential DP grounder to SS.  Burriss hesitated and got the throw to first too late. Everybody safe, setting up the game winner on the Hairston/Posey incident.  Hector Sanchez was in the game going to the bottom of the ninth as he has also pinch hit.  Buster Posey played some 2B in college, but 2B is an injury risk position, so I doubt Bochy would consider playing him there.  Sandoval could move to SS with Burriss staying at 2B with Posey moving to 3B.  No really good options.  Just a very weird ending to the game.  Gotta think with the way Huff is playing it might be time to give Brandon Belt another serious look at 1B.  At least he's a better fielding option.  Gotta also think the bat would eventually come around too.

Ryan Vogelsong- 7 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 8 K's, GO/AO= 8/2.  Very well pitched game by Vogelsong.  He deserved to win and deserved a  better final line.  Bochy let him hit in the top of the 7'th with 2 outs and a runner on 2B.  He struck out.  Bochy did get another inning out of him, but at the cost of 2 more runs allowed.  The bullpen has been used a lot, though.

Javier Lopez- 0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 0.00.  Second game in a row Lopez fails to retire a batter. Still has a 0 ERA.  Yikes!

Tim Lincecum tries to get his season back on line tomorrow afternoon facing Dillon Gee.

Down on the Farm: 4/20/2012

AAA  Fresno Grizzlies defeated the Reno Aces 5-2:

Justin Christian(CF)- 2 for 4, 2 2B.  BA= .475.
Conor Gillaspie(3B)- 2 for 4.  BA= .255.
Charlie Culberson(2B)- 1 for 4, HR(1).  BA= .274.
Todd Linden(1B)- 2 for 3, 3B, BB.  BA= .255.
Travis Blackley(LHP)- 7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's, GO/AO= 12/3.

I'm kinda getting tired of listing Christian every day.  Dude needs to find MLB team to hook on with.  He would definitely be an asset to somebody.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels smashed the Altoona Curve 15-7:

Gary Brown(CF)- 1 for 5, 3B, SF.  BA= .207.
Tommy Joseph(1B)- 2 for 5, HR(1).  BA= .250.
Daniel Mayora(3B)- 3 for 6, 2B.  BA= .377.
Juan Perez(RF)- 5 for 5, 2B, BB, 2 SB(3). BA= .317.
Ehire Adrianza(SS)- 2 for 4, 2 BB.  BA= .200.
Eliezer Zambrano(C)- 3 for 5, BB.  BA= .600.
Brett Bochy(RHP)- 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 0.00.

I haven't been that impressed by Juan Perez in the past, but he is doing surprisingly well in the EL.  Could be playing himself into a future MLB role.  Bochy allowed an inherited runner to score to blow the Save, but ended up with the W.  In the immortal words of Brian Wilson, "I want HIS job!"

High A  Bakersfield Blaze edged the San Jose Giants 1-0:

Jack Snodgrass(LHP)- 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's, GO/AO= 11/3.
Josh Osich(LHP)- 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 0.00.

Low A  Augusta Greenjackets topped the Greenville Drive 3-2:

Kelby Tomlinson(SS)- 2 for 4.  BA= .304.
Brett Krill(DH)- 2 for 4, 3B.  BA= .224.
Ben Thomas(1B)- 2 for 3.  BA= .241.
Bryce Bandilla(LHP)- 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 1.29.
Demondre Arnold(RHP)- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 1 K. ERA= 2.45.

Fla-Giant is reporting that Bandilla hit 100 mph on the gun and ranged from 98-100.  He pitched exclusively out of the stretch, probably in an effort to give him better control.  He threw almost all fastballs.  It appears that he may have taken Mejia's place in the starting rotation.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Game Wrap 4/20/2012: Giants 4 Mets 3

Road trips to New York have sometimes been disastrous for the Giants. They tried to lose the opener of this on in a myriad different ways, but somehow managed to muddle through some shaky performances and head-scratching managerial decisions to pull off the win in extra innings. Key Lines: 

Angel Pagan- 1 for 5, HR1). BA= .218. Pagan got the scoring started with a HR hit RH. He also hit the ball fairly hard in his first AB that was caught in right-center.

 Melky Cabrera- 2 for 3, 2 BB, SB(2). BA= .333. What can I say? Melky leads the way again! Pablo Sandoval- 2 for 5. BA= .340.

 Buster Posey- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .375. Buster hit the ball with authority in his first 2 AB's. He was strangely lifted when Brandon Belt stayed in the game after pinch hitting for Affledt in the top of the 9'th presumably because Belt is a better defensive 1B? Belt did make a possible game saving play ranging to his right on a ball Buster would have had to backhand. Belt whirled and threw out the lead runner at the plate. Buster could have moved behind the plate replacing Sanchez, but then Sanchez ended up hitting the game winner.

 Hector Sanchez- 2 for 5. BA= .300. Sanchez had a bit of a rough time handling pitches in the dirt but was the hero with the game winning RBI in the top of the 10'th inning.

 Barry Zito- 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 1.71. After walking two batters in the first inning, Zito settled down and retired something like 11 in a row before giving up 2 solo longballs. He threw 100 pitches in 5 innings. Still, I think we would all happily take starts like this from Zito as the season moves along.

 Jeremy Affeldt- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 3.86. Affeldt showed his versatility by going 2 full innings which ended up being needed as the pen was shorthanded.

Santiago Casilla- 0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K. ERA= 1.93. The hit Casilla gave up was a BABIP job as Bay hit a grounder into the hole at SS. A true closer would have stayed in the game, but Bochy said it was a committee and he would change things up according to matchups. With a string of LH batters coming up, he went with the lefty specialist, Lopez.

 Javy Lopez- 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K's, BS(2). ERA= 0.00. I love the idea of bringing in Lopez to face the lefties here, but he just didn't get the job done.

 Sergio Romo- 0.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 0.00. Romo got out of the 9'th, but then gave up consecutive singles to open the 10'th and was lifted for Hensley.

 Clay Hensley- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(1). ERA- 0.00. Hensley finally came in and slammed the door. With his starters assortment of pitches, he may be better suited to face both LH and RH batters. Wouldn't shock me if he ends up with the closer role before Bochy is done sorting through his committee.

 Bruce Bochy- We've already talked about bringing Posey out and the bullpen management. What about lifting Brett Pill for Nate in the 5'th with the LH Niese still in the game? THAT was a bit strange! I got the feeling Bochy wasn't too thrilled by Pill's last 2 AB's. Any other moves make you scratch your head? I guess all's well that ends well, huh? BTW, it's quite OK to question good managers, which I believe Bochy is.

 The NL West leading Dodgers maintained their 3.5 game lead over the Giants with a 3-1 win over the 'Stros. The Rockies edged the BrewCrew 4-3 to stay even with the Giants in second place. The D'Backs got smushed by the Braves 9-1 to fall 4 games off the pace while the Pathetic Padres trail the Phillies 4-1 in the 9'th. A loss will drop them 8.5 games behind the Dodgers in last place.

 Ryan Vogelsong takes on the Mets and Mike Pelfrey in an afternoon game tomorrow.

Down on the Farm: 4/19/2012

AAA Fresno Grizzlies out hit the Reno Aces 10-8:

Justin Christian(CF)- 1 for 4, HR(2), OF Assist( Elmore at 2B). BA= .473.
Roger Kieschnick(LF)- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .424.
Joaquin Arias(PH)- 1 for 1, 2B. BA= .373.
Yusmeiro Petit(RHP)- 4.2 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 5.65.
Wilmin Rodriguez(LHP)-2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 8.59.

6 other Grizzlies hitters had 1 hit each. Grizzlies pitchers have some pretty horrific looking ERA's there.

AA Altoona Curve edged the Richmond Flying Squirrels 4-3:

Cavan(.306), Joseph(.231), Hodges(.283), Mayora(.362) had 2 hits each.
Mike Kickham(LHP)- 3 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 K's. ERA= 2.84.
Jake Dunning(RHP)- 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 4.66.

Kickham has a tough start. Dunning is definitely in the mix for a MLB bullpen role in in the next 2 years.

High A Bakersfield Blaze topped the San Jose Giants 8-7:

Adam Duvall(3B)- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .271.
Luke Anders(DH)- 3 for 4. BA= .311.
Ricky Oropesa(1B)- 1 for 4, 2B. BA= .273.
Alex Burg(C)- 1 for 4, HR(1). BA= .160.

Ricky has a .353 OBP to go with the .273 BA, but is only slugging .341. I really thought Burg was going to tear it up this year. Shows you how much I know. Season still very young though.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets downed the Greenville Drive 9-8:

Kelby Tomlinson(SS)- 1 for 3, HR(1), 2 BB, 2 SB(6). BA= .288.
Ben Thomas(1B)- 2 for 5, 2B, 3B. BA= .218.
Eric Sim(C)- 1 for 3, HR(1), 2 BB. BA= .160.
Garrett Buechele(DH)- 5 for 5. BA= .500.
Chris Marlowe(RHP)- 4.1 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 3.38.
Paul Davis(RHP)- 2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.86.
Adalberto Mejia(LHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's. ERA= 16.50.

All the hitters listed are older for the league. Tomlinson seems promising. Buechele may be rehabbing an injury and is blocked by Duvall in San Jose. Baby steps for Mejia who pitched out of the pen.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Odds and Ends

The travel day gives us a chance to reflect and revel in the great pitching duel from last night. In thinking about Matt Cain's last 2 starts, I became convinced that he might have broken a record, or at least come very close to breaking one for fewest baserunners in 2 consecutive 9 inning starts. I asked the question several times in various websites. Finally got a response from another commenter on Fangraphs: Cain missed the record by 1 baserunner. Cain allowed 4 baserunners in 2 consecutive 9 inning starts. There are 3 record holders with 3 baserunners allowed and they were pretty good pitchers and not at all recent: Billy Pierce, Howard Ehmke and the Big Train himself, Walter Johnson! Matt Cain's last 2 starts are right there with the two consecutive best in the entire history of baseball and we all got to witness it in one way or another! How great is that?

Dave Cameron wrote a nice piece for Fangraphs on the pitching duel, Cliff Lee and Matt Cain Pitch Into History. Sure enough, some idiot(not Dave) had to post a comment about how he thought Cain's xFIP went UP in last night's game. Just like I predicted. At least it wasn't a Fangraphs writer! I actually think the guy who wrote might have meant it as satire, but when I played along with the gag by saying "He's gonna regress any game now," someone else jumped down my throat acting like I was a stupid idiot who didn't understand the Cain is not going to continue pitching shutouts every game.

Eno Sarris wrote a post on Fangraphs, Brandon Belt Singles Past Straw Men, in which he erects a forest of straw men to theorize that Belt's one AB last night, that's right, one AB, is a microcosm of why the FreeBelt crowd is right and Giants management is wrong. A popular sentiment out there is that the Giants have to play Belt every day, either in the majors or in Fresno. I have subscribed to that theory myself at times, but have come to believe the Giants may be handling him just right. Belt is not going to develop by playing every day mired in a deep slump, becoming more frustrated with every game. He also is not going to develop by hitting .400 against vastly inferior pitching in Fresno. Baseball is full of players who started their careers in reserve roles and played their way into starting gigs. Bochy is good at putting players into positions where they are more likely to succeed. Give Belt his chances. When he does good, reinforce it. When he messes up, use it as a teaching moment, but let him continue to soak up the MLB atmosphere and rub shoulders with and learn from other MLB players and coaches. Just calm down everybody! Brandon Belt is going to be fine and so are the Giants.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Down on the Farm: 4/18/2012

AAA Reno Aces edged the Fresno Grizzlies 7-6:

Justin Christian(CF)- 2 for 5, 3B, BB. BA= .490.
Joaquin Arias(SS)- 3 for 6. BA= .360.
Roger Kieschnick(LF)- 2 for 3, 2B, BB. BA= .418.
Heath Hembree(RHP)- 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 0 K's. ERA= 1.80.

Christian and Arias can help a MLB team right now.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels downed the Reading Phillies 2-1:

Ryan Cavan(2B)- 1 for 3, HR(1), Sac. BA= .295.
Chris Heston(RHP)- 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 1.59.
Brett Bochy(RHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 0.00.

With Hembree, Bochy and Rosin, the bullpen depth is well stocked for the future.

High A San Jose Giants topped the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 8-5:

Andrew Susac(C)- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .268.
Adam Duvall(3B)- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(2), BB. BA= .255.
Carter Jurica(2B)- 2 for 3, HR(1), BB. BA= .364.
Ryan Bradley(LHP)- 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 1.13.

Susac's BA is on the rise. Jurica is off to a great start, albeit not at SS. Bradley has been excellent so far.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets rained out.

Game Wrap 4/18/2012: Giants 1 Phillies 0

The Matt Cain/Cliff Lee matchup in the rubber game of the Giants 3 game series with the Phillies promised to be a pitching duel and it certainly lived up to its billing as the scoreless frames extended into extra innings. Melky Cabrera finally sent the fans away happy with a walkoff RBI single in the bottom of the 11'th inning. Key Lines:

Melky Cabrera- 3 for 5. BA= .314. Melky leads the way again. Walk off single for the win!

Brandon Belt- 1 for 1. BA= .211. Belt started with winning rally with a 1 out single up the middle.

Matt Cain- 9 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 1.88. Take that, Fangraphs! Cainer has entered the realm of elite pitchers, I don't care what his xFIP says! 4 baserunners in 18 innings over 2 games. I don't think you can pitch any better than that!

Cliff Lee(Phillies)- 10 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 1.96. I don't think many Giants fans like Cliff Lee very much, so there is extra satisfaction in knowing that he knows his main accomplishment in this game was to make Cain's game all that much more awesome! You were good, Cliff. Matt Cain was better! Take that, Cliff Lee!! Take that, Phillies!! Take that, Charlie Manuel!! Hey, can you tell I'm pumped?

The NL West leading Dodgers lost another walk-off game to the BrewCrew allowing the Giants to gain another full game to 3 behind the leaders. The Rockies topped the Pathetic Padres 8-4 to also move to 3 games behind the Dodgers. The D'Backs lost for the second game in a row to the Pirates to stay 2 games off the pace while the Pathetic ones remained 6.5 games behind in the division cellar.

The Giants have a travel day tomorrow as they head to the Big Apple to take on the Mets with Barry Zito going against Jonathan Niese in game 1 Friday evening.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Down on the Farm: 4/17/2012

AAA Fresno Grizzlies defeated the Reno Aces 4-2:

Francisco Peguero(RF)- 2 for 4, 3B. BA= .196.
Conor Gillaspie(1B)- 2 for 4. BA- .250.
Roger Kieschnick(LF)- 2 for 4, 2 2B. BA= .404.
Jackson Williams(C)- 2 for 3, HR(1). BA= .167.
Eric Hacker(RHP)- 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 2.00.

Nice game for Frankie Pegs. Can he get it going? Roger K stays hot. Can he stay healthy? Former Giant Joe Martinez pitched well for the Aces.

AA Reading Phillies crushed the Richmond Flying Squirrels 19-6:

Wow! Really nothing to see here!

High A San Jose Giants blanked the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 4-0 for their 8'th win in a row:

Andrew Susac(C)- 3 for 4. BA= .243.
Adam Duvall(3B)- 2 for 4, 3B. BA= .235.
Taylor Rogers(RHP)- 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 1.62.
Seth Rosin(RHP)- 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's, Save(2). ERA= 0.00.

Susac is recovering nicely from a slow start to the season. Rogers is looking better than he did in Augusta last year. Rosin looks like he is on the closer track.

Low A Charleston River Dogs downed the Augusta Greenjackets 7-3 in 11 innings:

Clayton Blackburn(RHP)- 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K's, GO/AO= 10/1. ERA= 3.77.
Cody Hall(RHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.00.

Very solid QS from Blackburn. Hall has been lights out so far.

Game Wrap 4/17/2012: Giants 4 Phillies 2

Madison Bumgarner pitched his first game as a multi-millionaire and gave a Quality Start. The Giants continued to struggle with RISP, but managed to push across enough runs for the W. Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 2 for 5, 3B(3). BA= .222. Pagan is on a pace to hit 40 triples. His BA is still low, but on the rise.

Pablo Sandoval- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .341.

Buster Posey- 3 for 4, SB(1). BA= .375. Buster isn't hitting for much power, but he is hitting 'em where they ain't. His steal of 3B, probably ill-advised but successful when he somehow eluded Polanco's tag, helped the Giants get insurance runs.

Nate Schierholtz- 3 for 3, BB. BA= .360. Nate is forcing his way into a permanent starting role.

Brandon Crawford- 0 for 4. BA= .214. Crawford looked a bit lost at the plate tonight. He left 8 men on base. He also made an error, but made several other plays a lot of SS's don't make. He's still a work in progress, but please ignore the errors. He more than makes up for it with plays others don't make.

Madison Bumgarner- 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K's, GO/AO= 9/2. ERA= 3.63. Fishface got him for a longball. Other than that, he was able to limit the damage by keeping it on the ground.

Santiago Casilla- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's, Save(1). ERA= 0.00. I dropped Wilson from my Savvy Vets fantasy team and added Casilla because I believe Casilla will get most of the Save opps in Bochy's committee. That move looked good tonight.

With the win, the Giants gained a game on the NL West leading Dodgers who lost to the BrewCrew on a 5-4 walkoff in Milwaukee. The Giants are now 4 games off the pace. The D'Backs also lost 5-4 to the Pirates, so they stay 2 games back of the Dodgers in second place. The Colorado Rockies also gained a game on the leaders and are tied with the Giants after beating the Pathetic Padres 5-3. The Pads fell 6.5 games behind the Dodgers.

Matt Cain goes up against Cliff Lee tomorrow night at AT&T Park.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Down on the Farm: 4/16/2012

AAA Fresno Grizzlies edged the Tacoma Rainiers 3-2:

Justin Christian(CF)- 2 for 4. BA= .548.
Brian Burres(LHP)- 7 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 4.76.
Heath Hembree(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's. ERA= 0.00.

The Heath Hembree era is fast approaching!

AA Reading Phillies downed the Richmond Flying Squirrels 5-3:

Gary Brown- 2 for 3, 2B. BA= .214. Finally a multihit game from Brown.
Tommy Joseph- 2 for 4, 2 2B. BA= .188. Good to see Joseph have a good game too.

High A San Jose Giants made a 3 run HR by Devin Harris stand up for a 3-2 win over the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes:

Shawn Sanford(RHP)- 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 4.24.
Luis Rojas(RHP)- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 1.50.
Chris Wilson(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 4.50.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets lost to the Charleston River Dogs 5-1:

Scotty Walker(LHP)- 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 0.00.

Walker was signed as an undrafted FA out of the Northwoods League. He's from Rocklin, CA and went to college at UC Davis. He's a TJ survivor and reportedly throws a 95 MPH heater.

Game Wrap 4/16/2012: Phillies 5 Giants 2

I"m getting sick and tired of watching Barry Zito starts where he gives up 4 runs in the top of the first inning and you know the game is over right there....wait, what? Oh, hi guys! Did I just do a good enough impression of a MCC post? Seriously, maybe the Giants need to shuffle their rotation so Timmy isn't going up against the other teams' ace every time, because it's getting to the point where you feel like they don't have a chance in those games. Roy Halladay looked beatable tonight, but I don't care if your team is the Bronx Bombers, you do not fall behind Roy Halladay 4-0 in the top of the first inning and expect to win. Just ain't gonna happen. Key lines:

Angel Pagan- 2 for 5. BA= .200. Pagan is starting to get a few games with multiple times on base.

Buster Posey- 3 for 4. BA= .321. 3 ground ball singles. I would like to see Buster get the ball up in the air a bit more often.

Brandon Crawford- 1 for 4, 2B, E(4). BA= .237. Despite the errors, Crawford has a strongly positive UZR so far this season. So strong, he has already put up 0.4 WAR, which pro-rated over a full season gets you to 8 WAR! Not that I think he's going to end up with 8 WAR, but he IS only hitting .237.

Tim LIncecum- 6 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 10.54. In Timmy's defense, he might have gotten a bit BABIP'd in this one. He actually settled down and pitched a pretty good game after the first inning, but again, with Roy Halladay on the mound, 4-0 might as well be 20-0. You aren't gonna win the game!

Madison Bumgarner signed a long term contract with the Giants which guarantees him a minimum of $35 M through 2017 and gives the Giants conrol of his contract through 2019 by which time he will be still only 30 years old. If he achieves certain incentives, such as winning the Cy Young Award and if the Giants pick up his options for 2018 and 2019, he can make as much as $70 M out of the deal. While there is some risk to the Giants in this contract, it pales in comparison to the risk they took on with Matt Cain. The probability is that this will end up as a great contract for the team even while it guarantees Madison Bumgarner a lifetime of financial security. Win-win!

I hope this finally, finally puts to rest the internet meme's about Giants ownership and Rainy Day Funds and closing "Windows of Opportunity" and Brian Sabean and Larry Baer and all the other uninformed poppycock that's been thrown around for way too long. Brian Sabean said the team's priority was locking up the core of young pitching and the Giants have done just that. There is a strong pipeline of talent coming along in the minors that will both add to this core and allow the Giants to continue to afford it.

Madison Bumgarner takes on Joe Blanton and the Phillies tomorrow evening at AT&T Park.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Down on the Farm: 4/15/2012

AAA Fresno Grizzlies topped the Tacoma Rainiers 7-1:

Justin Christian(CF)- 3 for 4, 2 2B. BA= .553.
Travis Blackley(LHP)- 5.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 0.96.
George Kontos(RHP)- 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.00.

6 multi-hit games out of 7 for Christian. I would think Kontos is in the mix for a future callup if more injuries strike the bullpen.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels topped the Altoona Curve 3-1:

Justin Fitzgerald(RHP)- 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 3.68.
Brett Bochy(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(1). ERA= 0.00.

High A

Game 1 San Jose Giants edged the Bakersfield Blaze 2-1:

Andrew Susac(C)- 2 for 3. BA= .200.
Jack Snodgrass(LHP)- 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K's, GO/AO= 8/3. ERA= 3.48.
Seth Rosin(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K's. ERA= 0.00.

Game 2 San Jose Giants defeated the Bakersfield Blaze 2-1 in 8 innings:

Ryan Lollis(LF)- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .375.
Adam Duvall(3B)- 1 for 4, HR(1). BA= .233.
Edward Concepcion(RHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 3 K's, 2 WP. ERA= 5.40.
Jose Valdez(RHP)- 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K. ERA= 2.70.

Concepcion had some success last year as a reliever in Augusta. The wildness returned in this starting assignment.

Low A Savannah Sand Gnats downed the Augusta Greenjackets 6-1:

Kelby Tomlinson(SS)- 3 for 4, SB(4). BA= .341.
Joseph Biagini(RHP)- 4 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 3 K's, GO/AO= 9/0, 3 HR. ERA= 7.50.
Demondre Arnold(RHP)- 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 3.00.

I guess when Biagini elevates a pitch, it goes a long ways. Some sabermetricians would look at that line and say he was unlucky. I'm not so sure.

Game Wrap 4/15/2012: Pirates 4 Giants 1

Ryan Vogelsong pitched a QS in his 2012 debut, but the old RISP bug started biting the Giants hitters again. Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 1 for 4, 3B(2), BB. BA= .171. Triples Alley looks like it was tailor made for Angel Pagan. He might hit 15 or so this year!

Brandon Belt- 1 for 3, 2B, BB, SB(1). BA= .143. Nice little game for Belt, although the ump blew it calling him safe at 2B on the double.

Emmanuel Burriss- 1 for 3, BB. One of his outs was a great AB where he grounded out to SS, but drove in Belt from 3B with the only run. I'm not sure how much of an upgrade Freddy is going to be at 2B.

Ryan Vogelsong- 6.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 2.84. Vogey looked a bit shaky in the 2'nd inning, but recovered nicely to retire 11 batters in a row at one point. He looks ready to pick up where he left off last year.

The Giants record fell to 4-5 as their 3 game winning streak was snapped. They now trail the NL West leading Dodgers who are 9-1 by 4.5 games. The Dodgers squeaked by the San Diego Padres 5-4. The Padres are the NL West cellar dwellers at 2-8, 7 games off the pace. The Arizona D'Backs topped the Colorado Rockies 5-2 to improve to 6-3,2.5 games behind the Dodgers while Colorado is tied with the Giants at 4-5. The Dodgers have played 7 of their 10 games against the Pathetic Padres, which may explain part of their fast start.

Tim LIncecum takes on Roy Halladay tomorrow evening at AT&T. Both pitchers have had velocity issues this spring, but Halladay is 2-0 while Timmy is 0-1.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Down on the Farm: 4/14/2012

AAA Tacoma Rainiers buried the Fresno Grizzlies 11-1:

Justin Christian(CF)- 2 for 3, 2B, 2 BB. BA- .529.
Charlie Culberson(2B)- 3 for 5, 2 2B. BA= .341.
Joaquin Arias(SS)- 2 for 4. BA= .361.
Yusmeiro Petit(RHP)- 3.2 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 2 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 8.38.

5 multihit games out of 6 for Christian as well as 3 or more times on base. Culby stays hot. It looks like the Petit era may be over quite soon.

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

Gary Brown(CF)- 0 for 4. BA= .189.
Johnny Monell(C)- 1 for 3, HR(1). BA= .269.
Daniel Mayora(3B)- 3 for 3. BA= .355.
Michael Kickham(LHP)- 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 0.00.
Austin Fleet(RHP)- 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.38.

Brown is struggling as so many Giants hitting prospects have done in the EL. Look for Kickham to emerge from his sleep this year.

High A San Jose Giants extinguished the Bakerfield Blaze 6-4:

Joe Panik(SS)- 3 for 5, 2 2B. BA= .324.
Luke Anders(DH)- 3 for 4, HR(2). BA= .233.
Jarrett Parker(LF)- 1 for 3, HR(4), BB. BA= .333.
Carter Jurica(2B)- 2 for 2, BB, HBP. BA= .391.
Justin Schumer(RHP)- 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 2.25.
Josh Osich(LHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 0.00.

Parker is showing his power potential in his second try at the Cal League. I would think a mid-season promotion would be in order if he keeps this up.

Low A Savannah Sand Gnats blanked the Augusta Greenjackets 6-0:

Kyle Crick(RHP)- 3.2 IP, 2 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 3 K's, HBP, 2 WP's. ERA= 3.68.
Bryce Bandilla(LHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 2.25.

Another wild start for Crick who pitched 3 shutout innings before the wheels came off in the 4'th.

Game Wrap 4/14/2012: Giants 4 Pirates 3

The GIants got bad news today that Brian Wilson has evidence of damage in his elbow that will likely require surgery. On the field, Barry Zito gave them a Quality Start and the offense scored at least 4 runs for the 7'th consecutive game to open the season winning this one on a walkoff error. Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 2 for 4, 3B, BB, SB(1). BA= .161. Pagan seems to be seeing the ball better and making more solid contact. Think 2010 Andres Torres for his upside.

Hector Sanchez- 1 for 4. BA= .286. Sanchez and Zito teamed up well again as battery mates. The Hector singled to lead off the second inning and scored ahead of Nate's triple. He ran the bases really well until the last 10 feet or so before reaching home plate when he looked like he might collapse before reaching it. Good thing there were no outs at that point which gave him time to recover before having to put the gear back on.

Nate Schierholtz- 2 for 4, 2B, 3B. BA= .353. Nate seems to be close to locking down the starting RF job. That forces Melky to LF which chokes off an outlet for Huff/Belt. I think the writing is on the wall for Giraffe. The missus might want to start apartment hunting in Fresno.

Brandon Crawford- 1 for 4. BA= .233. The one error notwithstanding, Crawford's D won this game as he made several acrobatic, magical plays. I don't think there is anyone better at charging and barehanding the slow roller. Nice baserunning to take the exrra base on Burriss' single to center even though it didn't end up leading to a run.

Emmanuel Burriss- 2 for 4. BA= .333. Burriss' speed was decisive in scoring the walkoff run. With the bases loaded and no outs, Melky hit a sharp grounder to Barmes who was playing in. It should have been an easy force at the plate or even a DP, but Burriss' speed forced Barmes to hurry the throw and he skipped it to the catcher who bobbled it. Game over!

Ryan Theriot- 1 for 1. BA= .176. Brandon Belt was on deck behind Burriss in the 9'th. He would have been the batter had Burriss made an out, but when Burriss singled, Bochy pulled Belt back and sent up Theriot to bunt. Failing twice at that, Theriot worked the count to 3-2. With Burriss running on the 3-2 pitch, Theriot punched one past the first baseman for a perfect hit-and-run setting up the winning play. There were actually people in the Twitter Universe claiming to be Giants fans who were openly rooting for Theriot to make an out just to prove that Bochy made the wrong decision. Look, people! Players do not put themselves above the team. Fans do not put their favorite player above the team! Bruce Bochy made the right call in that situation!

Barry Zito- 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 1.13. Zito looked terrific for the first 2 batters of the game, then gave up 2 runs with 2 out. He looked distracted and lost. He clearly had lost his release point and was wild. He managed to pull it back together in time and settled down to pitch a 7 inning QS. If he keeps pitching like that, the Giants are gonna be alright.

Santiago Casilla- 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 0.00. Casilla had nasty stuff and was hitting 95 MPH on the radar gun. As the game unfolded, there was not going to be a Save situation so I wouldn't read too much into him coming into the game in the 8'th inning. I"m sure Bochy will do some mixing and matching, but Casilla is the obvious choice for the bulk of the Save Opps, at least until Hembree is ready.

As mentioned above, Brian Wilson had an MRI on his elbow that revealed structural damage that the Giants medical staff thinks will need surgery. Presumably we're talking Tommy John here. This injury likely spells the end of Brian Wilson's career as a San Francisco Giant for several reasons. First of all, this would be his second TJ surgery. TJ redos tend to not have as positive results as the first one. Secondly, Wilson is in the second year of a 2 year contract and is eligible for 1 more year of arbitration. No way are the Giants offering arbitration this offseason if he has a second TJ. I suppose they might be able to re-sign him at a lower $$ amount as a FA, but it's more likely some other team will be willing to spend more to take that chance.

Whoever takes over as closer, and I think it will be Casilla, will be a placeholder until the Heath Hembree era begins.

Ryan Vogelsong makes his 2012 debut tomorrow afternoon. Everybody expected Dan Otero to get sent out to make room for Vogey on the 25 man roster, but now he will likely take Brian Wilson's place with BWeezy going on the DL.

Down on the Farm: 4/13/2012

AAA Fresno Grizzlies topped the Tacoma Rainiers 6-1:

Justin Christian(CF)- 3 for 5, 2B. BA= .516.
Joaquin Arias(SS)- 2 for 3, 2B, BB. BA= .344.
Todd Linden(RF)- 2 for 4, 3B. BA= .242.
Andrew Kown(RHP)- 6.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 1.59.

LInden's triple was the big blow driving in 3 runs. Christian has had 3 or more hits in 4 of his last 5 games.

AA Altoona Curve dominated Richmond Flying Squirrels 6-0:

Chris Heston(RHP)- 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 1.64.

HIgh A San Jose Giants rained out.

Low A Savannah Sand Gnats buried the Augusta Greenjackets 10-0:

Adalberto Mejia(LHP)- 2.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 0 K. ERA= 19.80.
Kevin Couture(RHP)- 2.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.00.

Mejia may need to go back to camp and then the AZL for more seasoning. Couture missed last season after being drafted out of USC in 2010. This was already his 5'th appearance this year in which he has pitched 9 shutout innings.

Here's a quote that was put up on the TV broadcast of the Giants home opener:

"Home openers are always exciting whether they are at home or away."

Yogi Berra

I was rolling on the couch laughing at that one!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Game Wrap 4/13/2012: Giants 5 Pirates 0

Matt Cain pitched one of the best games of his already substantial career, if not THE best. The Giants offense kept producing. This game was never in doubt from the bottom of the first on. When you look at the Giants lineup and their pitchers, this is the type of game you envision them cranking out 3 out of every 5 or so. Key lines:

Melky Cabrera- 2 for 3, BB, SB(1). BA= .414. Melky continues to lead the way.

Buster Posey- 1 for 3, 2B, BB. BA= .300. Great moment when Buster got a standing O his first AB then crushed one off the CF wall for a RBI double.

Aubrey Huff- 2 for 3, HR(1), BB. BA= .278. There was a tremendous outpouring of vitriol on the internets when it was announced Huff was starting over Belt. All that looks pretty stupid now, huh? I fully understand the desire to let Belt get MLB experience, but it's not as easy a decision as the internet CW is making it out to be.

Nate Schierholtz- 2 for 4. BA= .308. Wait! Nate is hitting .308? He hit at least one other ball hard.

Matt Cain- 9 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 11 K's. ERA= 3.00. Is that about the prettiest pitching line you'll ever see, or what? Shame that the perfecto was lost on a hit by the opposing pitcher. Cain is looking more and more like a harder throwing version of Greg Maddux all the time.

Barry Zito tries to prove that his last start was not a fluke tomorrow evening.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Down on the Farm: 4/12/2012

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

Justin Christian(CF)- 3 for 4, 2B, BB. BA= .500.
Francisco Peguero(RF)- 2 for 5, HR(1). BA= .172.
Roger Kieschnick(LF)- 2 for 5, HR(3). BA= .500.
Todd Linden(1B)- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .207.
Skyler Stromsmoe(3B)- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(1), BB. BA= .500.
Eric Hacker(RHP)- 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 3.27.
Heath Hembree(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 0.00.

If Roger K can stay healthy, he's setting himself up for a huge year. I have a feeling that once Frankie Pegs gets it going, there'll be no looking back. Todd Linden is now 31 yo and struggling to hit as a first baseman in AAA. Who'd have thunk it? With growing concerns about BWeezy's health, the possibility of seeing Hembree closing out games in SF seems more and more likely.

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

Gary Brown(CF)- 0 for 3, BB, HBP, SB(1). BA= .233.
Chris Dominguez(LF)- 2 for 4. BA= .484.
Juan Perez(RF)- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .355.
Wes Hodges(1B)- 2 for 4, HR(1). BA= .286.
Ryan Cavan(2B)- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .280.
Jason Stevenson(LHP)- 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 4.63.
Brett Bochy(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 0.00.

Brown looks like he's going into just get on base mode. Stevenson is a feel-good story. Hope he eventually gets at least a cup of coffee.

HIgh A San Jose Giants edged the Bakersfield Blaze 1-0 in a game called after 6 innings due to weather:

Ryan Bradley(LHP)- 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 1.80.

Bradley pitched in Low A last year and looks like he's making a successful transition to High A.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets blanked the Savannah Sand Gnats 4-0:

Kelby Tomlinson(SS)- 3 for 4, SB(3). BA= .345.
Elliott Blair(CF)- 2 for 3, SF. BA= .286.
Christopher Marlowe(RHP)- 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 0.00.
Demondre Arnold(RHP)- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. ERA= 2.57.
Andrew Berger(RHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. ERA= 0.00.

Tomlinson is hot. As long as Christopher Marlowe has the swing and miss stuff, he can get away with a walk here and there.

Game Wrap 4/12/2012: Giants 4 Rockies 2

The Giants offense continued to produce runs and Madison Bumgarner put a resounding stop to the horrid SP performances. Key Lines:

Melky Cabrera- 2 for 4, 2B(3), BB. BA= .385. Melky continues to lead the way.

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 4, 2B(3). BA= .261. Crawford has a .522 SLG%. If you go back into spring training games, He's hitting .417 over his last 10 games.

Madison Bumgarner- 7.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K's, GO/AO- 13/1. Bumgarner took a no-hitter into the 6'th inning.

Brian Wilson- 1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, Save(1). ERA= 9.00. Exhibit A of why the Save is a ridiculous stat. BWeez isn't right, I think that's pretty obvious.

The Giants now return to SF for their home opener on an up note. 2-4 on a 6 game road trip is not what you hope for, but it's not terrible either. Maybe home cooking can get the Giants starting rotation back humming on all 5 cylinders. Matt Cain takes the mound tomorrow afternoon against the Pittsburgh Pirates who always seem to give the Giants fits.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Down on the Farm: 4/11/2012

AAA Las Vegas 51's defeated the Fresno Grizzlies 14-4:

Roger Kieschnick(LF)- 2 for 3, 3B, HR(2), BB. BA= .517.
Charlie Culberson(2B)- 1 for 4, 2B, SB(1). BA= .357.
Nick Noonan(3B)- 2 for 4. BA= .412.
Francisco Peguero(RF)- 0 for 4. BA= .125.

Frankie Pegs is off the a tough start. Roger K, Culby and Noonan are all hot. The pitching in this one was as wretched as it was for the Giants today.

AA Bowie Baysox out hit the Richmond Flying Squirrels 11-6:

Chris Dominguez(LF)- 2 for 5, OF Assist(Widlansky at 3B). BA= .481.
Daniel Mayora(3B)- 2 for 5. BA= .364.
Bobby Bundy(RHP, Baysox)- 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.27.

Good game by Dylan Bundy's big bro. Dominguez continues to impress with the bat and OF arm.

High A San Jose Giants topped the High Desert Mavericks 10-6:

Joe Panik(SS)- 1 for 3, 2B, 2 BB. BA= .296.
Ricky Oropesa(1B)- 3 for 5, 2B. BA= .348.
Jarrett Parker(LF)- 1 for 4, 3B, BB, OF Assist(Proscia at 3B). BA= .357.
Jeff Arnold(C)- 3 for 4, SF. BA= .667.
Taylor Rogers(RHP)- 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 2.53.

Very nice game by Ricky to raise his BA to .348. I could be wrong, but I think the people who have Ricky pegged as all power with a low BA are mistaken. I think he will hit for average and power with good plate discipline. Andrew Susac hurt his pinky finger and had been struggling at the plate. Arnold had a nice game at the plate, but had 2 throwing errors.

Low A Charleston River Dogs pounded the Augusta Greenjackets 11-5:

Kelby Tomlinson(SS)- 2 for 4, 2 2B, BB. BA= .280.
Elliott Blair(DH)- 2 for 3, 2B, BB, SB(1). BA- .222.
Michael Merganthaler(RF)- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .167.
Clayton Blackburn(RHP)- 3.2 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, GO/AO= 8/3.

A few struggling hitters got off the beam today. Blackburn didn't pitch great, but it looks like his D failed him too.

Game Wrap 4/11/2012: Rockies 16 Giants 8

I missed the beginning of this game, but judging from the numbers, Tim Lincecum put on a pitching performance every bit as wretched as anything Barry Zito has produced. The hitters tried valiantly to fight back, but the bullpen was no better than LIncecum and the Giants ended up losing a lopsided slugfest in Coors Field. Key Lines:

Melky Cabrera- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .364. Melky stays hot.

Pablo Sandoval- 2 for 5, 2 2B. BA= .381. Pablo stays hot. I have both Melky and Pablo on my Savvy Vets fantasy team.

Nate Schierholtz- 2 for 4, 2 HR(2), SF. BA= .400. Nate gets a chance to play and makes the most of it.

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 4, HR(1). BA= .211. Crawford has made major contributions to the offense despite the low BA.

Emmanuel Burriss- 3 for 4, SB(1). BA= .375. Nice game by Burriss.

Buster Posey- 0 for 1. BA= .308. I was busy at work all day and missed the start of the game. I knew something was up with Buster because there was no reason why he would not be in the starting lineup. Turns out he has Herpes Zoster AKA "shingles". Herpes Zoster is an outbreak of the chicken pox virus, Varicella Zoster, along a nerve root. It is usually a self limited condition, especially in younger patients, but in about 20% of cases can cause an extremely severe pain that lasts longer than 6 months. Hope that's not the case with Buster. I've never had it, but have treated many patients with it. The pain, when it is bad, can be excruciating. I believe I have seen it shorten people's lives. There is some evidence that antiviral therapy, which Buster is taking, can reduce the risk of the severe pain reaction. Get well soon, Buster!

Hector Sanchez- 1 for 5. BA= .300. I didn't see the interaction between Hector and Timmy. It appeared Affeldt showed some frustration with him during Affeldt's disastrous stint on the mound. I hope the pitchers aren't blaming Sanchez. They are veteran big leaguers and need to grow up if that's the case.

Madison Bumgarner takes the mound tomorrow afternoon facing Jamie Moyer who gave the Giants fits in spring training.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Down on the Farm: 4/10/2012

AAA Fresno Grizzlies out hit the Las Vegas 51's 10-5:

Justin Christian(LF)- 3 for 5, 2B. BA= .500.
Roger Kieschnick(DH)- 3 for 5, 3B. BA= .500.
Conor Gillaspie(1B)- 3 for 5, 2B. BA= .308.
Nick Noonan(3B)- 3 for 5. BA= .385.
Arias(.409) and Whiteside(.400) had 2 hits each.
Ryan Vogelsong(RHP)- 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 1.80.
George Kontos(RHP)- 1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. ERA= 0.00.
Heath Hembree(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. ERA= 0.00.

4 players with 3 hits each. It's still very early, but is Nick Noonan resurrecting his prospect status? Vogey looks ready to pitch for the Giants.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels topped the Bowie Baysox 5-4:

Gary Brown(CF)- 0 for 5. BA= .261.
Juan Perez(RF)- 2 for 4, HR(1). BA=.348
Wes Hodges(1B)- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .227.
Daniel Mayora(3B)- 2 for 3, SF. BA= .353.
Chris Gloor(LHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.00.
Austin Fleet(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 5.40.

Brown is 0 for 10 over his last 2 games. Ouch!

High A San Jose Giants outscored the High Desert Mavericks by a touchdown and 2 point conversion:

Jarrett Parker(LF)- 4 for 6, 3B, HR(3). BA= .375.
Duvall(.308), Lofton(.273) and Jurica(.368) had 4 hits each.
Seth Rosin(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 0.00.

Ricky DNP. I was going to go to this game but got a heads up that Ricky was not in the lineup. Apparently just part of the rotation of players. Giants banged out 25 hits. There was a weather front moving in last evening so I'm guessing it was pretty windy up in Adelanto(Just read it was a 30 MPH wind blowing R-L).

Low A Augusta Greenjackets smothered the Charleston River Dogs 2-0:

Shawn Payne(LF)- 3 for 4, 2B. BA= .421.
Ben Thomas(1B)- 2 for 4. BA= .304.
Chuckie Jones(CF)- 1 for 3, 2B, BB. BA= .120.
Edwin Escobar(LHP)- 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 0.00.
Paul Davis(RHP)- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 0.00.
Cody Hall(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.00.

I was surprised that Payne did not get assigned to SJ. He's tearing up the SAL so far. Escobar has a Zitoesque pitching line. He seems like he's been around forever, but does not turn 20 yo for a few more days.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Down on the Farm: 4/9/2012

AAA Fresno Grizzlies mauled the Las Vegas 51's 9-3:

Justin Christian(LF)- 4 for 5, HR(1). BA= .462.
Charlie Culberson(2B)- 3 for 4. BA= .421.
Joaquin Arias(SS)- 3 for 4, 2 HR(2). BA= .412.
Yusmeiro Petit(RHP)- 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 3.00.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels staved off the Bowie Baysox 5-4:

Chris Dominguez(LF)- 4 for 4, 2B, HR(1), SB(1). BA= .556.
Juan Perez(RF)- 2 for 4, SB(1). BA= .316.
Johnny Monell(C)- 2 for 3, 2B, SB(1). BA= .333.
Mike Kickham(LHP)- 3.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 0.00.
Daryl Maday(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's, Save(2). ERA= 0.00.

Dominguez is red hot. Is Monell going to force someone to notice him this year? Kickham had a Durtyesque start. Looks like Maday is the closer in Richmond.

High A High Desert Mavericks held off the San Jose Giants 6-5:

Adam Duvall(DH)- 3 for 4, 2B. BA= .200.
Jack Snodgrass(LHP)- 4.1 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K's, GO/AO= 6/0.
Josh Osich- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K. ERA= 0.00.

Duvall's bat has been quiet. Hopefully this game gets it going.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets defeated the Charleston River Dogs:

Kelby Tomlinson(SS)- 3 for 4, 3B, BB, SB(2). BA= .238.
Chuckie Jones(CF)- 1 for 4, HR(1). BA= .091.
Brett Krill(RF)- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .250.
Joseph Biagini(RHP)- 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 4.50.
Demondre Arnold(RHP)- 3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 3.60.

Chuckie Jones got just his 2'nd hit of the season, but it was a longball. He is playing CF in Augusta in preference to Shawn Payne. Biagini is a local kid from the Bay Area who went to college at UC Davis. Obviously a bit on the raw side. Love the K's, hate the walks for Arnold.

Game Wrap 4/9/2012: Giants 7 Rockies 0

Statistics are an integral part of baseball. There are things you can understand about the game from studying statistics that you would never guess from just watching the game. On the other hand, there is a reason why they play the games! Barry Zito has been maligned about as much as any ballplayer who has played the game. His performances have truly been wretched at times. There is something about his demeaner that makes you wonder how much he really cares or really even wants to be a ballplayer. On the other hand, Barry Zito has never publicly complained about some humiliating decisions made by Giants management that many, if not most, other players making his kind of jack would have never tolerated. When he stayed back in Arizona to "work on some things", it was easy to write it off as yet another futile way for the Giants to just forget about him for a few days. Gotta hand it to the guy. Whether this resurgence is good for just one game or a few or for the rest of his Giants career, dude stepped up and stepped up big today. I don't think I've ever seen an emotional turnaround quite like this in a long time, if ever. Key Lines:

Melky Cabrera- 2 for 4, BB. BA= .333. Melky stays hot.

Pablo Sandoval- 1 for 4, HR(2), BB. BA= .375. Pablo has come out smokin' at the plate this year. 40 HR's anyone?

Aubrey Huff- 1 for 3, 2B, 2 BB. BA= .214. Maybe the way back for Aubrey Huff is a game like this. He does better when he's more selective and drawing BB's.

Hector Sanchez- 2 for 5. BA= .400. Gotta find more ways of getting Sanchez into games, even if they have to bring back a 3'rd catcher.

Brandon Crawford- 1 for 4, 2B, BB. BA= .133. Crawford's second big double in as many days.

Barry Zito- 9 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 0.00. I didn't see the game. I didn't want to see the game. I have no idea what kind of slop he was throwing up there today. I have no confidence in Zito being able to sustain this, but for one day, I take back everything I've said about him being done. Man, what a psychological lift this has to be for the whole Giants team, including management, maybe especially management!

The Giants have the day off tomorrow then Tim LIncecum tries to get back on track on Wednesday evening against Jeremy Guthrie.

Fantasy Focus: Savvy Vets Makes First Trade

My Savvy Vets fantasy baseball team won its first H2H contest 7-1-2. We won all 5 offensive categories quite handily as well as K's and WHIP on the pitching side of the ledger. Lost only ERA and tied in W's and Saves. In all honesty, I'm not sure the other manager is actively managing his team as he has 2 players on the DL in his starting lineup with very good players sitting on the bench.

There is usually not a lot of trading done in my league. Last year, I think there were only about 3 all year. Another manager is very active in the FA market for closers. He just picked up Santiago from the White Sox and Fernando Rodney from the Rays. He put out a message saying he wanted to trade a RP for a SP. He's a Cardinal fan and said he wouldn't trade Jason Motte, but all other RP's were on the block. As you know, I stockpiled pitchers at the end of my draft and have a stable of 11 SP's. The only two I feel are untouchable are Grienke and MadBum. I ended up offering Ricky Romero for Jordan Walden and he accepted.

Now, before you go all ballistic on me, let me give my explanation:

My league carries 3 RP slots plus 2 P slots and does not count Holds. This alignment almost demands carrying a minimum of 3 closers and the possibility of 5. WIth 10 teams in the league and at least 10 of the closer situations very unstable at any given time, you can see there simply are not enough stable closers to go around, if any such animal even exists. I like to carry at least 4 closers if I can. 3 plus a spare, plus having 4 gives you a leg up on the average team in that H2H category each weak. If I can get 5 without spending too much, all the better. I then use my bench as an extended starting rotation.

Yes, the closer position is inherently unstable, and you can pick up good closers during the season, but you have to be thinking at least 2 steps ahead or you will be left hungry when the flock of vultures descend on the carcasses of another imploded closer situation. You can burn up a tremendous number of your alloted 40 in-season FA pickups chasing Saves. The one year I won the league championship, I grabbed a couple of closers early in the draft. My worst season was when I punted the category altogether.

I think I've mentioned that I am not all that enamored by Ricky Romero. He had a great ERA last year, but it came with a low K rate and some of his other peripherals were quite mundane. Plus, he pitches in the AL East which is a beast for pitchers. He's the type of pitcher that a lot of fantasy owners find attractive for W's and ERA but in the long run there are other options that are better. I have never had trouble finding SP on the FA market that are as good or better than Ricky Romero, so I considered him expendable for the right player or players coming back. It was worth it to me to use him to solidify my RP situation so I don't have to burn up 25 moves chasing Saves.

Here is Savvy Vets current roster after the trade:

C Matt Wieters
1B Prince Fielder
2B Dustin Ackley
3B Jose Bautista
SS Dee Gordon
IF Pablo Sandoval
OF Andrew McCutchen
OF Melky Cabrera
OF Alejandro De Aza
UT Freddie Freeman
UT David Ortiz
SP Zach Grienke
SP Madison Bumgarner
SP Cory Luebke
SP Brandon Beachy
SP Jordan Zimmerman
RP Jordan Walden
RP Brian Wilson
RP Joe Nathan
P Grant Balfour
P Vinnie Pestano
BN Brandon Morrow'
BN Ervin Santana
BN Chris Capuano
BN Matt Harrison
BN Bartolo Colon
DL Kyle Farnsworth

Right now, I'm watching De Aza and Colon closely and I'm a bit nervous about Luebke. I'm confident I can find good alternatives on the FA market for all of them if the need arises.