Sunday, October 14, 2012

NLCS Preview

I've liked Lance Lynn, the SP for the Cards in Game 1 of the NLCS tonight, for a long time.  I remember being fairly bullish on him in college and hoped the Giants might take him in the supplemental round or 2'nd round of the 2008 draft.  He had all the ingredients you look for in a pitching prospect:  size, velocity and a great K rate plus he was a horse with durability.  Here are his college stats from Mississippi:

2006:  7-3, 4.96, 85.1 IP, 51 BB, 76 K's.
2007:  8-5, 2.85, 123.1 IP, 44 BB, 146 K's.
2008:  7-4, 4.52, 89.2 IP, 31 BB, 110 K's.

The Cards ended up drafting him at #39 in the supplemental round after the Giants had taken Conor Gillaspie at #37.  Now, don't get me wrong. I was very happy with the Gillaspie pick at the time, so I'm not saying I would have done it differently, but I also would have been happy had the Giants picked Lynn at #37.

Lynn moved smartly through the Cards minor league system putting up similar K and BB numbers as in college.  He reached AAA near the end of his first full pro season and spent all of 2010 at that level.  He bounced back and forth between AAA and the majors in 2011 mostly starting in AAA and mostly relieving in St. Louis.  He started out 2012 in the pen again but quickly moved into the rotation when Chris Carpenter went down with an injury early on, compiling an overall record of 18-7, 3.87, 176 IP, 64 BB, 180 K's.

With Carpenter back late in the season, the Cards moved Lynn back to the bullpen for the NLDS going with a rotation of Waino, Carpenter, Jaime Garcia and Kyle Lohse.  Lynn made 3 appearances out of the pen with a record of 1-1, 8.10, 3.1 IP, 2 BB, 6 K's.  When Garcia came up with a bum shoulder, Lynn was called on to move back into the rotation for the NLCS and thus will start game 1 against Madison Bumgarner.

The Cards still have some long relief options in their bullpen.  I've already mentioned Trevor Rosenthal and his triple digit heat who was a starter most of the season in the minors. Then there is Shelby Miller, who is an elite pitching prospect and who pitched 6 innings of shutout ball against the Reds in the season finale in a game the Cards won 1-0.

On paper, the Giants have better pitching than the Cards, but the Cards pitchers are tenaceous and can eat up a lot of innings and they have some very good, young fresh arms in the bullpen.  This series will come down to who pitches better.  Tough to project that in a short series at the end of the season when everybody is fatigued from the long season.

The Cards are a strongly RH leaning lineup who could really abuse the Giants lefty pitchers.  On the other hand, their pitching also leans strongly RH and the Giants match up well against RH pitching.

The Giants bench is clearly stronger than the Cards bench.

Gonna be a great series.  First game is big.  If Madison Bumgarner can hold his own against this RH heavy lineup, The Giants will be in good shape.  If not, the Giants will be in a must-win game 2 and have a dogfight on their hands.

What are your keys to the series?


  1. 2008 Draft has Posey standing way tall (and imagine a world without Scott Cousins!), then Lawrie. Ike Davis and Gordon Beckham. Pitching wise, you got Miley, Crow and Lynn. And then its down to the 1 WAR crew. The other Beckham is a huge bust - wait I thought the Rays were always geniuses - as well as the persistent bottom feeder teams with their crew of Alvarez, Matutz and Hosmer all hovering below 1 WAR, back to back to back.

    So yeah, I'll check. There he is, Justin Smoak, at -0.6, worse than our very own Conor G, who is at -0.5. I liked the Conor G pick at the time, more offensive minded. He may have a future with an AL team, I don't think his defense plays well enough to crack the Gints. But back to Smoak... Now back to Posey... Now back to Smoak... Now back to Posey...


    This series is going to be awesome. Our pitchers have stepped up at random times but definitely have not dominated. It'd be nice. Bumgarner has his work cut out. Hope the bats stay hot and give him some breathing room.

    Keys to the series? I'd say Angel Pagan and Scutaro, again. They show signs of life, we win. Hunter Pence, anytime you want to step up with that bat as well as the inspirational speeches, that's OK with me. Personally I like Timmy as the joker in the deck, but wherever he does pitch, he might be a huge key. And Mr. Romo, if he can keep it up, along with The Greek, The Lefty Burger Flipper, and so far underused Javy Lopez. The less Casilla in the series, the better as far as I'm concerned.

    Posey chooses his moments, Pablo steps up, we'll be OK. But the Cardinals are a tough, tough bunch of Hombres. And then there is the grating tones of Buck and McCarver. Shankbone won't have to worry about that though, he's gonna be at games 1 & 2 at the Bell. Go Gigantes!

    1. Ooh! Have a great time at the games. I'll be watching on my HDTV wishing I could have Kruk and Kuip for the audio. Does Fox have some rule that they only hire ex-Dodgers and Cards except for the token idiots like Wild Thing and AJ Pierzynski? AJ! Now isn't that special?

    2. Yeah, MCC had a big and long argument about how Sabean blew it by selecting Posey over Smoak. For all their complaining about Sabean and Giants management, I don't think that the sum of their alleged mistakes would match the boner of selecting Smoak over Posey, that would have been a franchise crushing mistake (and has been for the Rays who selected Beckham instead). There would not have been a 2010 World Series championship without Posey, nor this great playoffs so far, had the Giants listened to MCC for once.

      If you want to get technical, Pierzitski is a former Giant, not that I would ever invite him to an old-timers game, unless that is, he's planning on spending the whole game head under water in McCovey Cove.


    chuck prophet willie mays is up at bat

    ya baby

    crawford is homeless

    1. listen to the song

      the craw comment was a non sequitor

      hope they show the team the vid of the thrill taking on 4 cards with candy performing a perfect flying leap to save him...FIRE UP THE BOYS

  3. not gonna second guess bochy, but no roster changes

    so mota and huff are still on

    dont understand having a guy on the squad who can only ph and a pen guy who nobody wants to see take the ball

    1. Cards only have on LHP, so Huff LH bat may come in handy. Giants need the RHP in the pen against a strong RH hitting lineup. Would you rather have Hensley?

  4. HIroki Kuroda has a no-no through 5.