Monday, October 8, 2012

Game Wrap NLDS Game 2: Reds 9 Giants 0

The Giants suffered one of their most lopsided beat downs of the season as they were dominated in every phase of the game by the Cincinnati Reds.  Pretty tough to find any Key Lines when your team gets just two hits and gives up 13, but here goes:

Giants offense-  Buster Posey drew 2 walks, Brandon Belt single, Pablo Sandoval doubled and Brandon Crawford drew one walk.  That was the offense for the night.

Madison Bumgarner- 4.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.  MadBum came out on fire in the first inning, but Ludwick's dinger in the second let all the air out of his sails.  Bummy has always had a tendency to allow a long string of basehits once the other team gets started and that's what happened in the 5'th when the Reds put up a 3 spot.

George Kontos- 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  Kontos came in and promptly induced an inning-ending DP ball.  How much has his stock risen over the last 2 days?

Tim Lincecum- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K.  Timmy didn't even warm up. He just came out to the mound and dominated for 2 innings.  Maybe he needs to just chuck the warmup routine altogether?  Maybe he needs to be a $20 M long man out of the bullpen next year?  Just kidding, but hey!

Bronson Arroyo- 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.  Sometimes it's hard to tell whether a pitcher is pitching well or the hitters are hitting badly.  I lean more toward the latter in this one.  Arroyo was up in the zone with a mid 80's FB. That stuff should get crushed.  We all know that for one game, you can get a lot of long flyball outs.  I didn't think his low pitches were particularly low, it's just that he got the Giants swinging at stuff at the tippy top of the zone and when he went lower, they swung over it.  I could be wrong about all this, but I'd love to see a heat map of this one.  Anyone else out there who watched the game think I was hallucinating?

Giants now trail the best of 6 series 0-2 with the next 3 games in Cincinnati where they have not done well in the last 3 years or so.  The Giants really are not built to play in that kind of a park.  We'll see.  Stranger things have happened.

Ryan Vogelsong takes on Homer Bailey who only threw a no-hitter in his last start.  The Reds remind me a lot of the 2010 Giants in that they have a seemingly bottomless pit of pichers to draw from.


  1. arroyo made some adjustments to his delivery and changes speed, but this team has seen him twice already and i cannot believe they could not adjust

    i think timmy warmed up in the indoor pen

    im really starting not to like pence at all

    getting very tired of the press and giants posting stats from the reg season, as if they have anything to do with the post...they dont

    vogey gets step 2 of the dream....too bad it wont go much further...but would be really cool if he is the giants pitcher who can shut down the reds

  2. I said it here on this blog before the post season started, not to expect anything from the Giants. They have struggled to beat good teams and its even worse when they play a team like the Reds, who are good and own you. Am too getting sick of watching Pence ABs. Giants really have to think if hes worth $14M for next year cause am sure they wont want another Rowand.

    1. So how does that make you right? The Giants won the NL West Division Title going away in a race that was considered over when the Dodgers picked up their early Christmas presents of A-Gon and company. The Giants are one of 8 teams playing in the playoffs. All of that is something very significant. I'm proud of what they have accomplished this season, given all the difficulties laid in their path.

      Also, you can say whatever you want because you are anonymous, no way to prove you said anything.

      The fact is, most good teams struggle to beat good teams, that's why most teams have around .500 or worse record against good teams, even the best teams.

      Winning a season's series 4-3 is not ownership, that's basically even and could be 3-4 other seasons.

      Cainer was not that bad, the problem was the offense could not do anything against their pitching, which should have been scrabbling because they lost their best pitcher after 8 pitches. Instead, they shut us down. Bumgarner, on the other hand, clearly did not figure out his mechanical problems - contrary to what he was saying, though it was telling he qualified his statement by adding that no matter where you are, you have to go out there and compete. He didn't. Then the bullpen failed us in both games, putting games out of reach for the offense. Vogelsong was actually our hottest pitcher at the very end of the season, so hopefully he can at least keep it close.

      And the hitting has failed us at the wrong time, and they had been super hot for much of the second half of the season. Almost getting no-hit is embarrassing, particularly when Arroyo is on the mound, the Giants have done very well against him in the past.

      I still like Pence, but I don't think $14M is his price range, that would be too high in my mind, though I haven't looked into what is a fair salary for him yet. I would still like to see a long term deal signed, 3-5 seasons worth. I'm OK with higher $ to get less years, though.

    2. Yeah, anonymous #3 made that point. What point? The Giants were going to not show up? Hmmm... Way to go out on a limb there, anon #4. Or was it #5? Get a handle already.

    3. OGC - I like Pence, even with these struggles. My theory is he will be a expensive version of Cody Ross - the Giants will have to overpay next year with the arb award (like Ross with his 6.3MM salary in 2011). Then he might not have a home, just like Cody. No team wanted to pay Ross 6MM plus, and no team is going to want to pay Pence 14MM. So we'll see what happens. I think the Giants might be able to get a 3/30MM with some sort of option plan. I think that is a worthwhile gamble. He will not get Aaron Rowand money, that's for sure. My other theory is the Giants are done with the free agent market except for reclamation and scrapheap. They will pay their homegrowns the 5 year deals, but the most they will go outside market is 3 years, been burned too bad by Zito/Rowand and that has been the MO for the past few years anyways.

      Enough with the future though, in the present, we have a game to play. The Giants have not played especially well at Great American, but they have played well on the road. Vogelsong has the call, and lets see if he answers it. I do think they need to score first, that is pretty important to take a little pressure off.

  3. I don't see what the problems with Pence is. Bond didn't hit in the playoffs until 2002, yet nobody got down on him. Pence has a long history of hitting, not just in his hitter-oriented homeparks, but also on the road too, and he hit LHP and RHP pretty equally. He is an amazingly balanced hitter, which is great for an offense, less ups and downs in run production then.

    1. The Giants were hitting great against bad pitching and eliminated teams for most part of the 2nd half. Example against the Reds and Nationals the Giants had a record of 4-9, they were outscored 73-45, and average 3.46RPG with an ERA over 5. Against Cubs and Astros the Giants had a record of 14-2, they outscored them 74-43, and average 4.63RPG with an ERA under 3. So, my point is that the Giants were trashing bad teams while 2 of the top teams in the NL, Reds and Nationals (the NL is really weak) were giving them serious trouble in both departments of pitching and batting. So, its to no surprise that the Giants havent fared well in the first 2games of this series.

      Btw, in 2010 the Giants against the 3 other teams that qualified to the playoffs: Braves, Phillies and Reds had a record of 10-10 and outscored them 104-94, with an average of 5.2RPG and an ERA of about 4.7. That goes to show that the 2010 team played very well if not excellent against the tough teams in the NL. Even though they were called the misfits or the lucky team, I tend to disagree with most people and believe that the 2010 Giants were better than the 2012 version. The pitching was immensely greater and the batting was clutch at crucial points and had more pop, I also think that the batting was better even though they didnt score as much as this years team.

    2. i tend to believe it all comes down to pitching. For whatever reason, the Giants pitchers ran low on gas at the end of the season. They'll have to look at ways to keep the pitchers strong through a full season. Whether that means better conditioning or a spot starter to give them occasional skipped starts throughout the season I'm not sure, but the Giants pitching dominated down the stretch in 2010 and struggled down the stretch in 2012. To me that is at least 80% of the difference in the two teams right there.

    3. Both teams have good pitching staffs. I think the Reds pitching stats ranks even higher then the Giants this year.. They have hard throwers like Cueto, Latos, Bailey, complemented by a veteran like Arroyo, and a deep bullpen lead by Chapman, thats tough for anybody to beat in a short series. To me, thats the big difference between their 2010 team and their current team..

      Who knows why the Giants pitchers ran low on gas.. Maybe better conditioning is needed.. The Giants had Cain and MADBUM pitch 200+ innings this year, while the top 4 starters on the Reds each pitched 200+ innings. I think the Giants were fortunate that their starting pitchers took the ball every game except for 2 games I believe.. We know about their lack of starting pitching depth in the minors. I think every team in MLB would take that..

      I agree Drb that it comes down to pitching.. The big difference I see between the Giants starting pitching in 2010 and 2012 is Timmy.. Its critical for the Giants to look for ways to get Timmy back on track in 2013.. I don't expect greatness but there is no reason why he can't be good MLB pitcher.


    4. I'm actually excited to see what tomorrow will bring.. Will the team come out and score some runs or will they lay an egg again.. It would be cool if Vogelsong would be the one to shut the Reds down. I'm excited and appreciative to see this team in the playoffs because who knows when the next playoff appearance will be after this one.. No matter what happens tomorrow, I've enjoyed following this team and consider this a successful season.


  4. Doc, I agree that, while Arroyo pitched well, he didn't pitch THAT well. I've rarely seen a more tense group of hitters, and Arroyo seemed to feed off that. I'd almost rather see them face a fireballer so that they'd need to loosen up and swing away.

    My guess is that, if the lineup had already put some runs on the board, Ludwick's HR wouldn't have fazed Bumgarner.

  5. Doc B, got to agree on the PITCHING. The Giants frankly are not built to come back from 3+ runs down - especially in the playoffs against a strong and deep team. The Reds were a tough match up going in:

    1. Dusty has them fired up - and emotions count in a short series. He wants this win BAD!

    2. Dusty knows ATT park and Rags and how to approach the Giants in their home park. Giants did not have their traditional home park advantage.

    The Giants need, no require, dominate shut-down pitching to win in the playoffs. They need to get the lead and hold it. Play one run ballgames. Cain and MadBum gave up early leads, got down by 3+ runs and the Reds smelled blood and executed. The Giants pitchers made it easy for the Reds pitchers - here's a 3+ run lead now go and beat the Giants hitters. Pitching from ahead, the Reds pitchers have not given the Giants hitters much of a chance so far. Yes, the Giants table setters have not been getting on, but that's what good pitchers, with the lead and confidence, do in the playoffs.

    Still think the Giants starters are just worn out this year. Not able to throw 6+ shut down innings.

    Still think MadBum has to learn an off the plate get-em-out pitch. All of the hits in his the 3-run inning were with two strikes on batters and caught too much of the zone.

    Still think Bochy is a really good playoff manager. Putting Timmy in the pen is both what Timmy has earned with his 5+ERA and he is the best starter to be coming out of the pen. Voggie for a must win game three is the best chance for a shut down game. Voggie will be competitive.

    Go Giants!!!

    1. I thought about the "win one for Dusty" angle, since he had a major health issue at the end of the season, and so far, can't say it isn't helping them.

      About Timmy in the pen, I thought that was a stroke of genius as long as Timmy is on board with it. Timmy can warm up in nothing flat. That's huge to have in the bullpen. He's also still a good pitcher, and honestly, as much as I believe in the closer-by-committee situation, I'm worried about Romo's arm going on any pitch, much like Nen in 2002 and Wilson in 2010, only we didn't know about either until afterward. Lincecum could become our closer, and as counter intuitive as that may sound because he had problems when runners were on, I think if he had to focus solely on that alone during the game, and not as a starter, giving his all, he'll be alright. At worse, he could be the literal ace in the hole if we should have the lead and have Romo/Lopez going in the 9th, if they run into trouble, he could warm up quickly and hopefully shut down the rally.

  6. For people complaining about the pen, its the starters who have put the Giants in the hole and the offense has not been able to dig them out of it. The pen has simply been an unhappy afterthought.

    1. The losses in the last two games have been a team effort, but the overall pitching is the biggest factor.

    2. I think all aspects of the team has been lacking, I agree. Cain was fine for the most part, the offense just wasn't up to it, I think his pitching line would have been OK if he could have continued, but if Casilla didn't give up those runs in the 9th, the offense might have been able to tie things up and then who knows what happens next.

      Game 2 was just one of those games where everything went wrong, starting pitching, hitting, bullpen.

      The only guys really shining in this so far are Kontos and Posey. Also, Lincecum, Romo, and Blanco have had their moments.

      Pence gave a speech today, but so far, nothing much happening, 2 innings of nothing so far today. Still plenty of game to go, though the way Vogelsong is going, he'll leave early for pitch count. Bailey looks like he's in the zone so far.

      I've been wondering if umps would squeeze the Giants, either consciously or subconsciously, because they are viewed as cheats because of Melky. Didn't really see any signs of it during the season - and I realized that it would be hard to do anything substantial without being obvious during the season though. And didn't hear a lot of the games during the weekend. But today, Vogelsong seems like he's being squeezed, I don't know how many times the announcers have said already that Vogelsong missed bythatmuch. Could be just an adjustment, the second inning went a lot smoother, but it was a thought on my part.

  7. Now that was shutdown Giants pitching! And that's what they needed to sit the Reds down.

    Voggie is tough...his history gives him the edge to compete in a must win game.

    The bullpen is good again...any comments?

    It's the little things that count, Broxton's wild pitch. Ex-Bums, bring 'em on.

    The ump just destroyed Belt's ability to win an AB. Just a little bit OUTSSIIIDDDDEEEE.

    Now can we have some offense, please.

    Zito/Timmy day tomorrow.

    1. Wow, never expected a game 4.

      How about Romo, huh?!!!! And his AB was actually better than half the Giants ABs. They need to get some flow going.

      And Vogelsong! I was calling him out for Game 3 before his final two solid starts of the regular season. He's the guy you want when your back is up against the wall.

      Belt...I just want him to show some emotion. Way he walks back to the dugout, you'd think it was mid-May in Visalia. Will he ever get some swagger?

    2. Yeah Shark & Kelly! That was a nice win. First time we got a break, and they decided to pitch it up but good. Where the game summary at?