Friday, April 6, 2012

Game Wrap 4/6/2012: D'Backs 5 Giants 4

The D'Backs took the longball to Timmy in the first inning and the Giants were not quite able to recover losing a closely fought opener to their division rivals. Key Lines:

Melky Cabrera- 2 for 5, 2B, HR(1). BA= .400. Melky looks like he's ready to do some damage.

Pablo Sandoval- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .400. Pablo looks a bit heavy out there. He seemed to be a bit anxious early, but the double in the 9'th was a classic swing and long line drive up the left-center alley.

Buster Posey- 2 for 4, BB. BA= .500. Buster had a good game. He couldn't get it done in the 9'th with a chance to tie it, but Buster looks like he's gonna be OK.

Tim Lincecum- 5.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 8.44. Timmy might have been a bit amped in the first inning and the D'Backs made him pay with two dingers and 3 runs. Timmy dominated after than until possibly tiring in the 6'th inning.

Ian Kennedy(D'Backs)- 6.2 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 4.05. Kennedy didn't seem to have great stuff. He had a riding, tailing fastball that the Giants kept getting under and he had them in the popcorn machine all night.

Bruce Bochy- With 2 outs and 2 on in the 7'th inning, Gibson brought in Joe Paterson to face Aubrey Huff. I know Huffy hits lefties pretty well, but Paterson is death to LH hitters. I thought that might have been an opportunity to use Brett Pill for the reason he made the roster, to bring a RH bat off the bench. I imagine 90% of managers would have played it the way Bochy did, but the Giants are very vulnerable to LHP and it wouldn't hurt to make opposing managers at least think twice about bringing one in.

Madison Bumgarner pitches tomorrow against Daniel Hudson in an afternoon game.


  1. Timmy pitched badly and should have been better prepared. He has pitched opening days, all-star games, and in the world series so not sure why after a month in AZ he can't focus when it counts. He will be fine more then likely but if not then we could be in some serious trouble.

    As I watched the lineup play out tonight it reconfirmed to me that it may be more important to have Blanco at leadoff even if it costs us either Huff or Belt in the starting lineup. Huff would be a great LH bat off the bench and take his bat out of the lineup and insert Blanco's at the top and I think you would have a lot more balance in the top 5. Pagan would probably be more comfortable in the 2 hole and Melky is ready to bat 3rd. Either Posey or Panda 4th and the other bats 5th to give us some nice speed at the top and more rbi opportunities for Buster and Panda.

    The fact that they broke spring with all the young guys leads me to believe a move like this isn't far off. The only real change they would be making would be to take Huff out of the starting lineup for a better defender in Blanco and more of an impact bat. Having Huff off the bench could be huge as well. He and Pill could be the late inning pinch hit options when we need to drive in a run.

    1. It may come to that. I think they need to keep this basic lineup intact for awhile and see if it can gel. I agree that I'm not sure Pagan is a true leadoff batter which Blanco is. If they can get Pagan going, though, he could be a force similar to what Torres gave them in 2010.

    2. Right now, Timmy is a 2 pitch pitcher and I'm not sure that's enough. If he doesn't want to throw the slider, then at least go to a cutter. The cutter seems easy enough to learn. He just needs something with a little horizontal movement to mix in there

    3. Pato,

      You are going crazy off of one game. Timmy gives up a few runs in the first game of the entire season and you are ragging on him. The guy who has 2 Cy Young awards and brought SF to its first world series title. Give him a break. Let the team play.

      Also, I feel that too many people think they can rag on professionals all they want. Barry Zito is a prime example. He seems like a great person. Obviously was a great pitcher and signed a contract which he fully deserved. Then his arm fell off a cliff. Preparation can be significant, but is probably less common than other problems. Let Timmy pitch. If you hear that he has been lazy, get on his case. But giving up a few runs in THE FIRST game shouldn't lead to such negativity.

    4. Pretty much agreed on Timmy. Anybody can have a bad first inning of the first game of the season. Happens to the best. He was dominant, although maybe slightly off on his command for the next 4 innings until the wheels came off in the 6'th after the Giants had fought back to a 3-3 tie. That was frustrating.

      I do think Timmy needs a pitch with some kind of horizontal movement in his arsenal and maybe a cutter would do the trick?

      I saw Zito running sprints from foul pole to foul pole on the back field when I was at spring training and that did not look like much fun. I don't doubt his dedication and it does sound like he at least tried to pursue some new things this offseason. That does not change the fact that his velocity has deteriorated to the point where it is doubful he can get MLB hitters out anymore which creates a huge dilemma about how the Giants should proceed. Everybody is frustrated and that leads to some unfortunate comments by some fans.

    5. I don't think I am going crazy in any way, just pointing out an observation that any baseball fan should have recognized. Timmy was nervous in that first inning and wasn't prepared. He talked a big game about wanting revenge for last year and that he had a long memory and wouldn't forget how Kennedy dominated him in his last start there and comes out and lays an egg in the first. Obviously he hasn't turned into Zito as he was able to pitch pretty well up until his last inning but if you give him a pass this time, does he get a pass when he faces Kershaw next and pees himself again? He needs to be better, that was my only point and you should have higher expectations for someone who has won 2 Cy Youngs and a world series!

    6. There is a certain amount of truth to that, but it might be a bit on the harsh side too.

    7. I will say I'm happy the Giants only have 2 years invested in Timmy rather than 5 or 6, let alone 8!

    8. One weakness last year was shutdown innings. I haven't looked up the stats, so this could just be my impression and they were OK from last year, but when you tie up the score you have to come out and pitch a shutdown inning. Obviously Buster's error contributed, but that is an important psychological part of baseball. Score, lock the other team down, go back and score again.

      I was pleased that Pagan and Sando had nice ABs late, Melky looks great and Posey looks healthy. Way too much first pitch swinging at marginal pitches. 4 pop ups early on like DrB noted, that always seems to be the Giants achilles.

  2. Bats are cold all over. Ubaldo has a no-no through 6. In the same game, Brandon Morrow has allowed just 1 hit and 2 unearned runs.

  3. Anybody else think Melky looks like he's loaded for bear this year?