Friday, August 31, 2012

Game Wrap 8/31/2012: Cubs 6 Giants 4

Man, these Giants do not play well in getaway games nor in quick turnaround games.  I don't have the stats to prove it, but it just seems like you can count on them coming out flat for those games.  Today was no exception as Madison Bumgarner, who had flown to Chicago ahead of the rest of the team so he could get a full night's sleep, didn't have his best stuff and fell behind 5-0.  The Giants chipped away at the lead in the later innings but ultimately came up short.  Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 1 for 3, BB, 2 SB(23).  BA= .290.  More leadoff goodness from Angel as he came around to score twice.

Ryan Theriot- 2 for 3, BB.  BA= .267.  Impressive that Theriot, who hadn't played in like forever, got on base 3 times.

Buster Posey- 3 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .329.  Posey was expected to miss the game but talked his way into the lineup to catch Bumgarner.  He'll play 1B tomorrow and let Sanchez catch Timmy.  There definitely seems to be a personal catcher platoon going despite protests to to contrary from the Giants.

Madison Bumgarner- 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.07.  Bumgarner has had 2 subpar starts since his gem against Kershaw.  He threw a lot of pitches in that game.

Dodgers are tied with the D'Backs in the 7'th of their game as of this writing.

Tim Lincecum faces Justin Germano in another day game in hot, humid Chicago tomorrow.  Hopefully September of this year is like September of 2010 for Timmy.  The odds would seem to be stacked against him tomorrow, though.

PS:  Dodgers lost to the D'Backs 4-3 in 11 innings so they remain 4.5 games back of the NL West leading San Francisco Giants.  By winning, the D'Backs gain a game to 8.5 back.  Dodgers are now 2-5 since The Trade.

Down on the Farm: 8/30/2012

AAA  Reno Aces defeated the Fresno Grizzlies 5-3:

Todd Linden(RF)- 2 for 4, HR(11).  BA= .280.
Jackson Williams(C)- 2 for 3.  BA= .254.

AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels edged the Harrisburg Senators 5-4:

Juan Perez(LF)- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .308.
Johnny Monell(C)- 2 for 4, 2 HR(11).  BA= .251.
Justin Fitzgerald(RHP)- 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 7 K's, GO/AO= 11/2.  ERA= 3.22.
Jacob Dunnington(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 1.84.

 I think Fitz is an underrated pitching prospect.

High A  San Jose Giants pounded the Lake Elsinore Storm 10-3:

Joe Panik(SS)- 3 for 6.  BA= .297.
Andrew Susac(C)- 4 for 6, 3B.  BA= .244.
Jarrett Parker(CF)- 3 for 5, 2B, 3B, BB.  BA= .247.
Bobby Haney(2B)- 4 for 5, 2 2B.  BA= .317.
Taylor Rogers(RHP)- 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 4.14.

Panik's drive to .300 continues!  Susac is hitting .333/.370/.524 over his last 10 games.  He has a .353 OBP overall.  What do folks make of Parker?  He's only hitting .247 but has an OPS of .817 with 15 HR and 26 SB and is playing CF.

Low A  Augusta Greenjackets beat the Rome Braves 5-1:

Shawn Payne(LF)- 0 for 0, 2 BB, HBP.  SB(53).  BA= .311.
Myles Schroder(3B-LF)- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .137.
Elliott Blair(CF)- 2 for 2, 2B, HR(3), BB, HBP.  BA= .198.
Adalberto Mejia(LHP)- 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 3.97.
Brett Krill(DH)- 0 for 5.  BA= .292.

Payne came out of the game for a PH.  Not sure if it's related to the HBP.  I would say Brett Krill's drive to .300 hit the wall in this one.

Short Season  Tri-City Dust Devils outscored the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes by 2 field goals, 16-10:

Mike Merganthaler(1B)- 1 for 5, HR(2).  BA= .212.
Chuckie Jones(CF)- 1 for 3, BB.  BA= .246.
Mac Williamson(RF)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .339.
Trevor Brown(C)- 3 for 4.  BA- .207.
Gaspar Santiago(LHP)- 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K.  ERA= 1.59.

I forgot about Willliamson when I listed my top 5 Giants hitting prospects in the discussion from yesterday's games.  I would rank him #4 behind Brown, Panik and Cabrera.  I would rank Jones #5.

Rookie AZL  Looks like the AZL regular season is over with the Giants out of the playoffs finishing 6 games back of the A's in the AZL East.  The Giants final record was a not shabby 32-24.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Game Wrap 8/30/2012

This one was a total team effort as Ryan Vogelsong got off to a rough start falling behind 4-0 after 3 innings.  He recovered to pitch a full 6 innings and get the W as the offense picked him up and the bullpen shut the door over the last 3 innings.  Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 1 for 5, 2B.  BA= .290.  Pagan drove in the first run for the Giants with an opposite field double down the 3B line.

Marco Scutaro- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .286.  Scooter just missed a HR to left center on one of his outs.

Pablo Sandoval- 1 for 4, SF.  BA= .285.  Pablo is hitting just .206 over his last 10 games, but he's driven in 9 runs.  He smoked a ball to RF that was too close to the fielder who caught it.  I think Pablo is about to break out of his slump.

Hunter Pence- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .262.  Pence is 7 for his last 15 over his last 4 games.  Despite hitting just .229 in August, he has 21 RBI's for the month.  So yeah, he's made his contributions.  There are at least a couple of games the Giants likely would not have won without him.  It now looks like he's heating up for the stretch run.

Brandon Belt- 4 for 5, 2 2B.  BA= .269.  Belt had actually been slumping a bit before tonight's game with just 5 hits in his last 26 AB's.  He definitely looked dialed in tonight!  Great D as always.

Joaquin Arias- 1 for 2, HR(4).  BA= .285.  Arias has a triple, double and HR in his last 3 games all against RHP's.  Tonight, he got a belt high fastball on the inside corner, pulled his arms in and almost tomahawked it out of the park.  He may be thin but he's wiry strong.  I think he has a lot more upside in him.  Giants need to find a way to keep him and play him  every day.  I could see him turning into an All-Star caliber player.

Ryan Vogelsong- 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 3.02.  Vogey again got BABIPed as his K/BB was excellent.  His teammates picked him up with their run production and he recovered with 3 strong innings 4-6 to get the W.

Guillermo Mota- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 5.11.  Nice inning for Mota.  The Giants can use more like this from him down the stretch.

The D'Backs shut out Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers 2-0 behind Ian Kennedy and their bullpen.  The Dodgers fall to 4.5 games behind the NL West leading Giants.  The D'Backs hold steady at 9.5 games back.

The Giants now travel to Chicago and have to get up for an early game tomorrow in the Windy City with Madison Bumgarner facing Chris Volstad.

Down on the Farm: 8/29/2012

AAA  Fresno Grizzlies held off a late rally by the Reno Aces to win 5-4:

Brock Bond(3B)- 1 for 3, 2B, 2 BB.  BA= .339.
Ryan Lollis(CF)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .314.
Brett Pill(.284) and Juan Ciriaco(.250)- 2 hits each.
Brian Burres(LHP)- 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 5.34.
Penny, Otero and Edlefsen- 1 scoreless frame each.

AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels edged the Harrisburg Senators 3-2:

Juan Perez(.307), Wendell Fairley(.225), Joel Weeks(.233)- 2 hits each.
Mike Kickham(LHP)- 6.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 2.91.

Gary Brown is reportedly a bit banged up and will miss a few games.  Callup not likely.  Brownie will play in the Arizona Fall League along with Joe Panik and Ricky Oropesa.

High A  Lake Elsinore Storm topped the San Jose Giants 6-5 in 11 innings:

Joe Panik(SS)- 2 for 5.  BA= .295.
Adam Duvall(3B)- 1 for 4, HR(29), BB.  BA= .263.
Andrew Susac(C)- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .237.
Jarrett Parker(CF)- 2 for 4, 2B, BB.  BA= .243.

Panik continues his drive to reach .300.

Low A  Rome Braves defeated the Augusta Greejackets 4-3)

Brett Krill(LF)- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .296.
Jeff Arnold(C)- 2 for 5, 2 2B.  BA= .238.
Carlos Willoughby(2B)- 2 for 4, SB(10).  BA= .223.
Kyle Crick(RHP)- 3.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 5 K's, 2 WP.  ERA= 2.39.
Andrew Berger(RHP)- 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 5.67.
Christopher Marlowe(RHP)- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 4.03.

Brett Krill is making his own drive to .300.  Crick's command was a bit off in this one.  Marlowe seems to be pitching better out of the pen, even for multiple innings.

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

Kentrell Hill(DH)- 1 for 1, 2B, 3 BB.  BA= .283.
Mac Williamson(RF)- 3 for 3, BB.  BA= .333.
Chuckie Jones(CF)- 1 for 4, 2B.  BA= .245.
Cam Lamb(RHP)- 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA- 2.42.
Keith Bilodeau(RHP)- 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 3.89.
Stephen Johnson(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 5.29.
Peter Tago(RHP, Dust Devils)- 4 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 5.47.

Hill is sporting a .404 OBP.  Chuckie Jones seems to be hitting with some authority.  Peter Tago was a highly rated prospect for the 2010 draft, but like Tyler Matzek, another highly touted Rockies draftee, he's had enormous struggles with his command/control.

Rookie AZL  Athletics out hit the Giants 9-8:

Tyler Hollick(CF)- 4 for 4, BB, SB(21).  BA= .301.
Shilo McCall(LF)- 1 for 5, HR(3).  BA= .246.
Ariel Hernandez(RHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 4.50.
Brandon Farley(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 1.19.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Game Wrap 8/29/2012: Giants 6 Astros 4

The Giants jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning led by Hunter Pence's 3 run HR.  Bruce Bochy brought his quick hook to the game yanking Barry Zito after 2.1 IP and using a total of 7 pitchers in the game.  The Giants held on for the win.  Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 1 for 4, 2B, BB.  BA= .291  Pagan led off the game with a double and scored the first run.

Hunter Pence- 1 for 3, HR(19), BB.  BA= .260.

Joaquin Arias- 1 for 3, 3B, HBP.  BA= .283.  Arias drove in the needed insurance runs with a fading drive down the 3B line that the LF was not able to hold after a diving attempt at a catch.

Barry Zito- 2.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 4.42.  Bochy has definitely shifted into another gear with his late season managing.  If you're the pitcher and he doesn't think you have it, he's not waiting around for proof.

George Kontos- 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 2.08.  I believe this was the highest leverage situation Kontos has pitched in and did he ever rise to the occasion?  I'm guessing we're going to be seeing more of George in important situations down the stretch.

Jeremy Affeldt- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 2.86.  Affeldt's stuff looked a lot better tonight. He's been commuting home to Spokane, WA to check in on his pregnant wife who has now delivered.  I"m thinking that could have something to do with his recent subpar appearances.

Santiago Casilla- 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 2.92.  The Bochy Rule:  You get to stay in there until you give up a hit or a walk, then on to the next guy.

Javier Lopez- 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 2.43.  With a runner on first and 1 out, Buster Posey called for a fastball in the inside corner rather than a slider off the outside corner.  I don't think Kruk and Kuip agreed with that call.  The batter, Jason Castro, smoked it down the 1B line right into Brandon Belt's waiting glove.  Belt and Crawford turned the easy DP.  Game over!

The Dodgers won a slugfest over the Rockies 10-8 in Coors Field to remain 3.5 games behind the NL West leading Giants.  The D'Backs, managed by Kirk Gibson, lost for the 6'th time in a row, this time 6-2 to the Cincinnati Reds to fall 9.5 games back.  Might be too early to declare them out of it, but they seem to be fading fast.

Ryan Vogelsong faces Jordan Lyles tomorrow evening trying for a sweeeep of the hapless 'Stros.

Down on the Farm: 8/28/2012

AAA  Fresno Grizzlies defeated the Reno Aces 4-3 in 12 innings:

Brett Pill(1B)- 3 for 6, 2B, 2 HR(11).  BA= .279.
Xavier Nady(LF)- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .280.
Boof Bonser(RHP)- 1 for 2, HR(1).  BA= .111.
Boof Bonser(RHP)- 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 4.34.
Heath Hembree(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 5.00.
Trevor Bauer(RHP, Aces)- 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 2.85.

Huge game for Pill.  Nady keeps hitting.

AA  Harrisburg Senators edged the Richmond Flying Squirrels 2-1:

Chris Heston(RHP)- 7.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 2.07.

High A  San Jose Giants beat the Lake Elsinore Storm 7-4:

Joe Panik(SS)- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .294.
Adam Duvall(3B)- 3 for 5, 2 3B.  BA= .263.
Dan Burkhart(C)- 3 for 4, 2B, SB(1).  BA= .291.
Ryan Bradley(LHP)- 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 4.92.
Drew Bowlin(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 4.18.

Panik continues his drive to .300.  The SB for Burkhart must have been a fluke.  Dude is definitely not a basestealer.  Very typical husky catcher build.

Low A  Augusta Greenjackets pounded the Rome Braves 10-2:

Shawn Payne(LF)- 1 for 3, HR(6), 3 BB, 2 SB(52).  BA= .314.
Brett Krill(CF)- 2 for 4, 2B, 2 HBP.   BA= .295.
Devin Harris(RF)- 1 for 3, HR(7), 3 BB.  BA= .252.
Garrett Buechele(1B)- 3 for 6.  BA= .262.
Paul Davis(RHP)- 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 3.56.

What a season for Payne!  I just wish the Giants had given him a chance to show what he can do at a higher level.  Nice season for Krill too.  CF?

Short Season  Salem-Keizer Volcanoes topped the Tri-City Dust Devils 4-3:

Kentrell Hill(LF)- 2 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .279.
Charles Jones(CF)- 3 for 4, 2B, HR(6).  BA= .244.
Matthew Graham(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 2.28.
Mason McVay(LHP)- 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 1.23.
Tyler Mizenko(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(13).  ERA= 1.57.

Chuckie Jones had a big game.  He's hitting .296/.424/.593 over his last 10 games.  He hit .212 in June, .240 in July and .273 in August.  He just turned 20 yo the end of July.  I have cautious high hopes for Chuckie.  Kentrell Hill is a guy who I think has set himself up well for next season.  I'm guessing he'll be in Augusta.  McVay continues to impress.

Rookie AZL  Giants DNP.

DSL  It looks like the DSL regular season is over with the Giants missing the playoffs for the first time in several years.  They finished 2'nd in the Boca Chica South division 7 games behind the Yankees1.  Giants final record was 42-28 with a .600 winning percentage.  Not too shabby!  Angel Villalona was the big story for the DSL Giants but they had several players who I think we'll see in the states next year.

A couple of interesting trivia notes from BA:  1.  Former Giants farmhand Brian Buscher managed the top team in the Coastal Plain Summer League.  2.  Marcus Stroman, first round draft pick by Toronto, suspended 50 games testing positive for an amphetamine.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Game Wrap 8/28/2012: Giants 3 Astros 2

This one looked for all the world like another Caining as Matt fell behind 2-1 on a WP in the bottom of the 8'th inning, but the bottom of the Giants lineup, helped by a couple of PH pushed across 2 runs in the top of the 9'th and Sergio Romo closed the door on the hapless Astros.  Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(8), BB.  BA= .291.  Another tremendous effort by Pagan, both at the plate and with some nice catches in the OF.

Brandon Belt- 1 for 4.  BA= .264.  Belt started the winning rally with a GB single up the middle of a LHP reliever.

Joaquin Arias- 1 for 1, 2B.  BA= .282.  Arias continues his hot hitting as a pinch-hitter in this one.  He's hitting .478 over his last 10 games and .420 for the month of August.  Giants gotta keep this kid and find a way to play him every day next year.

Hector Sanchez- 1 for 1.  BA= .265.  Sanchez took one look at the same 2 seam fastball that froze Crawford in the previous AB.  He immediately shortened up his swing and punched a broken bat blooper to CF to drive in Arias with the winning run from 2B.  Sanchez is now 5 for 13 as a PH.  Almost every time I see this kid play, I marvel at something he does to show wisdom way beyond his years.  Kid's a winner!

Matt Cain- 7.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 2.82.  Another day at the office for Matt Cain.  He deserved the W, but a ND in a game the Giants win will do.

Sergio Romo- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(7).  ERA= 2.01.  Easy Save for Romo in this one.

Now for the really good part!  The Dodgers lost to the Rockies, in fact, they were pounded by the Rockies 8-4 to fall 3.5 games behind the NL West leading Giants.  The Dodgers have now lost 3 in a row and 3 of 4 since The Trade.  Not only that, but the Cincinnati Reds beat the D'Backs 5-2 who fall 8.5 games off the pace.

Barry Zito faces Dallas Keuchel tomorrow night.  Dallas Keuchel?  Go Giants!

You know, I have to admit I had kind of gone a bit soft on the Dodgers until this trade went down.  The Trade and the general behavior of the new ownership has really gotten my juices flowing.  Man, I HATE the Dodgers again!  The Giants absolutely can't get too far ahead of this team.  Every game counts!  Memo to Dodgers fans and their owners:  You don't win games or championships on paper.  There's a reason why they play the games!

Down on the Farm: 8/27/2012

AAA  Reno Aces defeated the Fresno Grizzlies 4-3:

Ryan Lollis(CF)- 2 for 4, HR(3).  BA= .313.
Xavier Nady(PH)- 0 for 1, K.  BA= .269.

I thought the reason Nady was not in the starting lineup was because he was called up.  Guess not. He got ejected after his AB in the 10'th.

AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Harrisburg Senators 8-6:

Gary Brown(LF)- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .281.
Juan Perez(CF)- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .308.
Wes Hodges(1B)- 3 for 3, HR(3), HBP.  BA= .302.
Ehire Adrianza(SS)- 1 for 3, SF, SB(16).  BA= .223.
Chris Wilson(RHP)- 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.00.

High A  Rancho Cucamonga edged the San Jose Giants 4-3:

Carter Jurica(DH)- 2 for 5.  BA= .298.
Joe Panik(SS)- 3 for 5, 2B(27).  BA= .292.
Chris Lofton(LF)- 2 for 3, 3B, BB.  BA= .253.
Kelvin Marte(LHP)- 5.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K'.s  ERA= 3.45.
Josh Osich(LHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 3.99.
Drew Bowlin(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 4.31.

Probably too late for Panik to make a run at a .300 BA on the season.

Low A  SAL was idle.

Short Season  Salem-Keizer Volcanoes were idle.

Rookie AZL  Cubs downed the Giants 3-1:

Randy Ortiz(CF)- 1 for 3, BB, 2 SB(30).  BA= .254.
John Polonius(SS)- 2 for 4, 2B, 3B.  BA= .300.
Alberto Robles(2B)- 2 for 4, SB(4).  BA= .380.
Brandon Farley(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 1.25.

Ortiz is hitting .310 with on OBP of .421 and 11 SB's over his last 10 games.  His overall OBP is .340 almost .100 higher than his BA.  Polonius continues to impress.  Farley has flown under the radar but has nice numbers in 22 appearances.

DSL  Giants were idle.

Check out John Sickels' write up on Clayton Blackburn at Minor League Ball linked over on the left.

Dodgers got blown out 10-0 by Colorado in Denver with Josh Beckett on the mound.  Beckett fell just 1 out short of a QS but Jansen got shelled and the hitters were held to just 4 hits by Jeff Francis and the Bullpen Brigade.  Dodgers are reportedly still looking to add a pitcher.  I guess they still have Zach Lee as trade bait, and we already know there is no $$$ limit.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Down on the Farm: 8/26/2012

AAA  Fresno Grizzlies downed the Reno Aces 6-3:

Brock Bond(3B)- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .342.
Xavier Nady(LF)- 3 for 4, 2 HR(6).  BA= .273.
Todd Linden(RF)- 2 for 3, BB.  BA= .279.
Yusmeiro Petit(RHP)- 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 3.44.
Guillermo Mota(RHP)- 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 4.26.
Heath Hembree(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 5.14.

I think it's time to give Nady a callup and see what he can do in LF.  It's not like the guys they have out there now are setting the world on fire.

AA  Altoona Curve blasted the Richmond Flying Squirrels 7-0:

Chris Gloor(LHP)- 3.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 2.89.
Austin Fleet(RHP)- 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 3.64.
Jacob Dunnington(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 1.98.
Jameson Taillon(RHP, Curve)- 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 0.00.

Taillon is a top prospect for the Pirates, a former first round draft pick.  He's had 2 starts since his promotion to AA where he has 13 K's against 0 BB in 11 IP.

High A  Rancho Cucamonga Quakes out hit the San Jose Giants 10-7:

Ricky Oropesa(1B)- 3 for 5, 2B.  BA= .260.
Andrew Susac(C)- 2 for 4, 3B.  BA= .235.
Chris Lofton(DH)- 2 for 3, BB, SB(22).  BA= .249.
Adam Duvall(3B)- 1 for 4, 2 E(28).  BA= .262.
Brad Penny(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 0.00.

Ricky hitting .341 over his last 10 games. He definitely seems to thrive on home cooking.

Low A  Greensboro Grasshoppers edged the Augusta Greenjackets 2-1:

Shawn Payne(DH)- 2 for 4.  BA= .314.
Clayton Blackburn(RHP)- 8 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 6 K's, GO/AO= 13/3.  ERA= 2.54.

I think Blackburn might have my nomination for organizational player of the year.

Short Season  Spokane Indians pounded the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 10-4:

Mac Williamson(RF)- 2 for 5.  BA= .324.
Stephen Yarrow(PH-2B)- 2 for 2, 2B.  BA= .201.
Charles Jones(CF)- 1 for 3, HBP, SB(4).  BA= .235.

Rookie AZL  Giants topped the D'Backs 5-4:

Randy Ortiz(CF)- 1 for 1, BB, HBP, SF, SB(28).  BA= .253.
Roger Kieschnick(DH)- 1 for 4, 2B.  BA= .250.
Andrew Leenhouts(LHP)- 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 4.38.
Ariel Hernandez(RHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 5.40.
Franklin Noel(LHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 6.97.

Roger K starts his rehab.  I would think he would be a prime candidate for the AFL to get him more AB's after all the time he missed.

DSL  The DSL was idle.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Game Wrap 8/26/2012: Braves 7 Giants 1

The suspense in this one didn't last long.  Tim Lincecum came out firing his fastball high and wide as the Braves took a 2-0 lead before the Giants came to bat.  Tim Hudson had the Giants' hitters killing worms all night.  Not much of a game.  Chipper Jones did take his final AB in SF and received a standing O.  Not sure how I feel about that.  Key Lines:

Buster Posey- 2 for 4.  BA= .328.  Buster keeps on hitting well.  Not quite as hot as he was there for awhile, but he hasn't gone cold either.

Hunter Pence- 3 for 4.  BA= .260.  Hopefully the start of something for Hunter.  Remember, Beltran started out cold and then injured last year.  The difference this year is maybe the Giants can hang onto their lead until Pence gets it going.

Brandon Crawford- 1 for 3, SF.  BA= .246.  Crawford's WAR keeps inching up.

Tim Lincecum- 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 5.30.  As wild as he was to start the game, it's a wonder he didn't give up a lot more.  I'll give him credit for hanging in there for 5 innings.

George Kontos- 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 2.25.  Is it time for Kontos to start getting some higher leverage work?  Oops!  I guess he did give allow a couple of inherited runners to score.

Tim Hudson(Braves)- 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K's, GO/AO= 12/5.   ERA= 3.57.  I'm surprised to see that many AO's.  It seemed like Huddy was serving up nothing but groundballs there, especially in the early going.  I guess I remember a sinking liner that Heyward caught in RF and maybe a couple of others.

The Dodgers lost to the Marlins 6-2 to remain 2 games behind the NL West leading Giants.  The D'Backs lost yet again to the Pesky Padres 5-4 to remain 7 games off the pace.

Giants have the day off Monday then travel to Houston to take on the hapless Astros.  Hopefully they'll do better than they did last year against the 'Stros.

Commentary: The Giants Advantage

I promised a post on why I think the Giants continue to be as well positioned for the future as any team in baseball.  Here's my stab at it.  Some of these ideas are interlocking and interwoven and some come from more of a mental picture than words so may be difficult to express clearly in a post.  Bear with me, and feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments.

The Dodgers, at long last, finally have what Giants fans have dreaded for almost 2 decades now, ownership with deep pockets, pockets so deep, in fact, there may be no bottom to them!  Of course, the ultimate fear would be a deep pocket owner who is also baseball savvy and uses all that money to full advantage in fielding a superior team.  That last part remains to be seen.  Let's all remember, though, that the Giants may have some long term advantages in several areas that may not be as visible as how much disposable money ownership has to spend on players, but may be as important or more important to the long term health of the franchise.

A quick and superficial way of looking at it is the stark difference between games this season at AT&T Park and Dodger Stadium.  If the Dodgers ownership panicked after the most recent Giants-Dodgers series, it was more likely due to the quiet, half empty stadium for the game, particularly games 1 and 3, than because the Dodgers got swept by their rivals from up north.  It's more than just one stadium being full and the other half empty too.  We have to remember that Dodger Stadium holds about 15,000 more people than AT&T Park so there can be a lot of empty seats and still have the same attendance.  Games at AT&T Park have become a joyous, communal experience while games at Dodger Stadium remain a distant, aloof experience where many fans worry more about getting in and out of the parking lot than being at the game.

Dodger Stadium was built for the 1960' and 70's.  It has a big, wide open, airy feel.  It has a massive parking lot that is accessible from several major freeways. It was built on what I call the Walt Disney vision of the future. While the sight lines are excellent, most of the seats sit back from the field giving a detached feel from the game.  I call Dodger Stadium the no-fun stadium because they don't let you bring signs.  There is little, if any public transportation access to the stadium as the vision was, like everything else in Southern California, based on the idea of people driving their cars there and driving home.

Walt Disney was a futurist.  He created Disneyland and Disney World in his image of the future.  Disney's future involved big ideas about bigger, better, faster, sleeker, farther.  Travel around the world, travel to outer space, travel under the ocean.  When the future actually arrived, though, it was not with a colony on the moon or on Mars, it was in a microchip.  Instead of traveling to space, around the world, under the ocean, people could travel to new worlds by staying at home.  Instead of going to big concerts, people plugged in headphones.  Instead of going to the shopping mall, they ordered things online.  If the goal is to simply see a game of baseball, you can see it much better and in more detail by watching it on a HD TV at home, or now you can even go somewhere and watch it quite nicely on your iPad.

So, what is it that people are missing out on in the information age.  What exactly is it that will get them out of their internet cocoons?  My answer is, a communal experience.  I don't need to go to AT&T Park to see a game.  I can see the game just fine, thank you, with my HD TV and MLB satellite TV package.  Here's why I want to go to AT&T Park to see a game:  I want to sit with a bunch of people wearing orange.  I want to see the fake and real beards, maybe wear one myself.  I want to see the Panda hats and Giraffe hats.  I want to see the Melkmen, at least I used to.  I want to do the "Whatsamatta with Laaary" chant.  Last year, I was listening to a game while driving up to the bay area.  The fans were getting on Laynce Nix, "Whatsamatta with Laynce?"  "There's no Y in Lance!" THAT's why I wanted to be at that game instead of listening to it on the radio or watching it on TV.  I want to be able to give Ryan Vogelsong a standing ovation when he walks off the field and be close enough to see the look on his face.   I want to stand and sing When the Lights Go Down in the City with all the other fans in the 8'th inning.  Those are all things that AT&T Park gives you that Dodger Stadium can't.  Dodger Stadium is a place you go.  AT&T Park is a home for Giants fans.

You can drive to AT&T Park and fight traffic and pay a ton of money for parking, but you don't have to.  There are a wide variety of ways to get there ranging from walking on foot, to BART to trolleys to even boat!  At Dodger Stadium, you pretty much have to drive.

Vin Scully is a HOF announcer.  He doesn't really get it though.  You can complain all you want about Krukow being a shameless homer, but Krukow gets it.  He gives a private pitching clinic every game on TV, but he also sells the AT&T Park experience every single game.  He exhorts people to bring their gloves to catch foul balls with and by the time he's done, I can't wait to go to AT&T Park with my glove and try to catch a foul ball.  He makes up a silly expression like Gamer Babes from Half Moon Bay and now groups of girlfriends can't wait to get together, go to the park with their sign and be gamer babes from Petaluma or wherever.  Of course, they have to buy tickets to get there with their signs!

Make fun of Larry Baer and his marketing all you want.  Go ahead and laugh about Hunter Pence and lobster hats.  The Giants have elevated marketing the AT&T Park experience to genius levels.  Their TV ads have it right.  It's the players, the manager, the stadium, the fans.  Fans can easily see personal quirks and characteristics of the players from the closeness of the seats and feel like they can participate in the game too.  It's not enough to see Brian Wilson's beard on TV.  You have to go to the park and WEAR A BEARD!

Of course, winning helps.  The Giants are still benefitting in huge ways financially from the World Series win in 2010.  If they go several years without making it back to the playoffs, it's doubtful they could maintain the community lovefest they have right now, but it's also doubtful that they could have kept the attendance this strong for this long without the community experience thing either.  Fielding a winning team and community participation have to continue to be a two pronged model for continued success.  If the Giants ownership and management get that, and it appears they do, the Giants will continue to be as well positioned for the future as any team in baseball.

Down on the Farm: 8/25/2012

AAA  Reno Aces came from behind to beat the Fresno Grizzlies 8-7:

Nick Noonan(SS)- 2 for 4, 2 2B, Sac.  BA= .303.
Brett Pill(1B)- 2 for 4, 2B, SF.  BA= .279.
Todd Linden(RF)- 1 for 4, HR(10).  BA= .276.
Xavier Nady(LF)- 2 for 4, HR(4), HBP.  BA= .247.

Nady has hit .359 with a .615 SLG% over his last 10 games.

AA  Altoona Curve blanked the Richmond Flying Squirrels 3-0:

Justin Fitzgerald(RHP)- 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 3.20.

High A  Rancho Cucamonga Quakes outslugged the San Jose Giants 11-8:

Ricky Oropesa(1B)- 3 for 5.  BA= .257.
Adam Duvall(3B)- 1 for 4, 2B, SF, E(26).  BA= .262.
Jarrett Parker(CF)- 3 for 5, 2B, HR(15), SB(26).  BA= .246.
Andrew Susac(C)-2 for 4, BB.  BA= .232.
Jarrad Page(RF)- 2 for 5, Assist(home).  BA= .156.
Taylor Rogers(RHP)- 5 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 4.13.

Low A  Augusta Greenjackets great pitching continued in a 1-0 win over the Greensboro Grasshoppers:

Edwin Escobar(LHP)- 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K's.  ERA= 3.02.

Escobar has now pitched 16.2 consecutive scoreless innings while allowing just 5 hits and 2 BB's with 18 K's.  He should be part of a strong SJ rotation next season.

Short Season  Salem-Keizer Volcanoes topped the Spokane Indians 5-2:

Kentrell Hill(LF)- 2 for 4.  BA= .277.
Ryan Jones(2B)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .232.
Williamson(.320) and Branca(.244) added a double each.
Chris Johnson(RHP)- 6 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 5.93.
Randall Zeigler(LHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 6.87.
Stephen Johnson(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's, Save(2).  ERA= 5.63.

Chris Johnson got the start in place of Chris Stratton.

Rookie AZL  Cubs out hit the Giants 8-7:

Tyler Hollick(LF)- 0 for 2, 3 BB, 2 SB(20).  BA= .280.
Shayne Houck(DH)- 2 for 5, HR(4).  BA= .292.
Gabriel Cornier(C)- 2 for 4.  BA= .322.
Randy Ortiz(CF)- 1 for 3, BB, 2 SB(27).  BA= .249.
Martin Agosta(RHP)- 1.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 4.22.
Brandon Allen(RHP)- 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 5.95.

DSL  the entire DSL was cancelled yesterday due to Hurricane Isaac.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Game Wrap 8/25/2012: Braves 7 Giants 3

Madison Bumgarner was just a bit off today.  That caused him to start the 3'rd inning by walking the opposing pitcher followed by another walk followed by a 3 run dinger to Jason Heyward.  It was pretty much all over but the shouting after that.  Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 0 for 4.  BA= .292.  If Angel's not hitting, ain't nobody hitting!

Brandon Belt- 1 for 3, 2B.  BA= .265.  Belt continues to slowly raise his BA and to show why he deserves to be in there against all pitchers.

Francisco Peguero- 0 for 2.  BA= .000.  Pegs showed on his first AB that he is certainly not afraid to swing the bat.

Gregor Blanco- 1 for 1, 2B.  BA= .241.  Blanco has done a reasonable impression of Melky Cabrera since the suspsension.  Where the Giants really miss Melky is when a lefty is pitching. Melky destroyed lefties.

Madison Bumgarner- 6.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 2.93.  As I said earlier, just a tad off today. He threw a lot of pitches in his last start.  Maybe there was a residual fatigue?

The Dodgers are leading the Marlins early in LA after AGone got his Dodger tenure off to a rousing start with a 3 run dinger.  Should they go on to win, the Giants lead would be cut to 2 games in the NL West.  The D'Backs are losing again to the Pesky Padres.

Either Big Time Timmy Jim or Little Timmy Lincecum will take the mound tomorrow evening to face Tim Hudson who is always tough on the Giants.  Evening games are double trouble for hitters.

Around the League: Dodgers-BoSox Blockbuster!

A blockbuster trade that was widely rumored for much of yesterday and through the night between the Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox was finally announced as complete this morning.  The Dodgers receive much of the core of the melted down Red Sox team:  Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford with Nick Punto thrown in for good measure.  The Red Sox receive James Loney and Rubby De La Rosa and a decent package of prospects:  Ivan DeJesus Jr, Jerry Sands and Alan Webster.  De La Rosa will reportedly be named later due to the Toronto Blue Jays claiming him off waivers and the Dodgers pulling him back.

From the Dodgers perspective, this trade provides an substantial upgrade at 1B and to the lineup in the person of Adrian Gonzalez.  Carl Crawford recently underwent Tommy John surgery so is a non-factor this year.  Josh Beckett has a long history of pitching and winning big games but has not pitched particularly well this year and is rumored to have been a cancer in the BoSox clubhouse as a founding member of the beer and fried chicken club.  Longer term, the Dodgers take on approximately a quarter of a billion dollars in contracts with a high probability that none of those players will be good in the last 2-3 years of the contracts.

From Boston's perspective, they were able to divest themselves of several crippling contracts, each of which appeared to be untradeable, in one huge deal.  That they were able to get some interesting prospects in return makes the deal all the more remarkable for them.  Their GM, Ben Cherington, now has the financial flexibility to start over and build the team he wants to build.

There are almost endless ways of analyzing this trade.  It certainly raises a host of questions that are close to unknowable at this time:  Will Adrian Gonzalez be enough of an upgrade to the lineup to put the Dodgers in the playoffs and give them a chance at a WS title and give the new ownership a running start?  Does the apparent loss of Chad Billingsley, possibly for the rest of the season, offset the offensive gains Gonzalez might give?  Will the toxicity of the Boston clubhouse come west with the players?  Do the Dodgers have any payroll limitations going forward?  There has already been hundreds of pages written about these issues and there will likely be hundreds or even thousands more written in the next few days.

I'm going to look at it from different angle and explain why I think the trade will be a failure for the Dodgers.  This was a panic move by Dodger's ownership, but not because the Giants swept them this week.  What caused the panic was a half empty Dodger Stadium for the Bumgarner-Kershaw matchup in the first game of their series and the even more empty stadium for game 3.  The fact that as many as 1/4 of the fans in attendance were Giants fans, did not help quiet ownership fears.

Magic Johnson fervently believes that the way to sell out an arena or stadium is to have stars on the team.  He just as fervently believes that if you want stars on your team, you pay whatever price it takes to get them and everything else will take care of itself.  Magic did not get a backer who owns a company worth a reported quarter of a TRILLION dollars for nothing, nosireebob!  Word on the street is the Dodgers believe Adrian Gonzalez can be that star with the added benefit that he will appeal to latinos, the largest component of their fanbase.  Magic and the Dodgers were willing to take on the enormous added risk of Beckett and Crawford in order to achieve their goal of bringing AGone to LA.

There are several problems with this scenario for the Dodgers:

1.  Adrian Gonzalez was loved by the community in San Diego, but that never translated into great attendance at Padres ballgames.  AGone just isn't a very charismatic player.  He'a a good player, maybe even great.  Just not the kind you say to yourself, "man, I have to drive 30 or 60 miles each way and spend $200 for a chance to see Adrian Gonzalez play!"

2.  Baseball is not like basketball where 1 or 2 superstars and another 2 or 3 role players is all you need to win a championhip or 3 or 4.  Baseball teams have 9 players on the field at any given time as opposed to 5 and have 25 man rosters as opposed to 11 or 12 or however many basketball has(see how much I follow basketball?).  You can't win baseball games by having 16 guys stand around while 2 play one-on-one for 48 minutes.

3.  Unlike basketball, where many fans might choose to go to a game  or buy season tickets just to see Magic Johnson or Shaquille O'Neal or Kobe Bryant most people who go to baseball games do not go to see just one player.  If they do, it's usually to see a particular pitcher pitch, not one hitter who might only come to bat 3 times in the whole game.

4.  The Dodgers marketing problems run a lot deeper than the product on the field.  That is the real message that ownership should have taken away from the Giants series.  The Dodgers were the first place team leading up to the first game and their best pitcher was on the mound.  If a winning product was the issue,  that game should have had lines of fans being turned away from the walkup windows.  More on that in a later post.

This trade MIGHT save the Dodgers' season this year.  The only thing that will prevent it from being a disaster in the long term is if the Dodgers ownership continues to have unlimited money to spend and a continued willingness to spend it.  The reaction to those empty seats in Dodger Stadium would seem to suggest that even the new Dodgers' ownership group has its limits.

Down on the Farm: 8/24/2012

AAA  Fresno Grizzlies blanked the Reno Aces 2-0:

Conor Gillaspie(3B)- 2 for 4.  BA= .290.
Brett Pill(1B)- 1 for 4, HR(9).  BA= .275.
Brian Burres(LHP)- 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 5.48.
Heath Hembree(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 5.29.
Jean Machi(RHP)- 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(14).  ERA= 3.69.

AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels edged the Altoona Curve 2-1:

Mike Kickham(LHP)- 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 2.91.

Kickham pitches no-hit ball for 6 innings but did allow the 5 BB's.

High A  San Jose Giants pounded the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 9-4:

Carter Jurica(2B)- 2 for 4, 2 2B, 2 BB.  BA= .300.
Joe Panik(SS)- 2 for 4, BB, SB(10).  BA= .290.
Ricky Oropesa(1B)- 0 for 3, 2 BB, SB(1).  BA= .252.
Chris Lofton(LF)- 3 for 5, 2B, 2 HR(5).  BA= .242.
Dan Burkhart(C)- 2 for 4, 2B, 3B.  BA= .274.
Brad Penny(RHP)- 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K's.  ERA= 0.00.
Josh Osich(LHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 4.13.

Low A  Augusta Greenjackets smothered the Greensboro Grasshoppers 4-0:

Shawn Payne(LF)- 2 for 4, SB(50).  BA= .313.
Carlos Willoughby(2B)- 2 for 3, SB(9).  BA= .218.
Danny Sandbrink(RHP)- 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 1.13.
Steven Neff(LHP)- 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 3.68.
Christopher Marlowe(RHP)- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 4.13.

Marlowe seems to run hot and cold.  This was a dominant effort.

Short Season  Salem-Keizer Volcanoes topped the Spokane Indians 2-1 in 13 innings:

Kentrell Hill(CF)- 1 for 4, 2 BB.  BA= .273.
Andrew Cain(PR-DH)- 1 for 2.  BA= .246.
Lorenzo Mendoza(RHP)- 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 4.37.
Mason McVay(LHP)- 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 1.32.
Keith Bilodeau(RHP)- 3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 4.24.

Hill drove in both runs and Cain scored both.  McVay is a big lefty who is looking like a steal from this year's draft.  He has 40 K's against 13 BB in 27.1 IP.

Rooke AZL  Giants defeated the A's 6-4:

Tyler Hollick(CF)- 1 for 3, BB, SB(18). BA= .286.
Zach Edgington(LHP)- 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 1.65.

DSL  The entire league was postponed due to Hurricane Isaac.

Game Wrap 8/24/2012: Giants 5 Braves 3

Ryan Vogelsong pitched a Quality Start despite giving up 3 HR's.  Angel Pagan played like a man possessed.  Bruce Bochy continued his increasingly legendary bullpen wizardry.  The Giants mixed and matched their way to a win while rumors of a blockbuster trade between the Dodgers and Red Sox swirled in the air.  Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 4 for 5, 2B(27), 3B(9).  BA= .295.  A man possessed indeed.  Pagan's Fangraphs WAR has shot up from 1.7 just a couple of weeks ago to 3.2 after this game.  Pagan has put this team on his back and has carried it in the wake of Melky's Meltdown.  Pagan directly contributed to 3 of the Giants 5 runs tonight.  We'll forgive him for the late pickoff at 1B.

Marco Scutaro- 2 for 4, Sac.  BA= .286.  Scooter batting second has been a big contributor over the last 2 weeks too.

All starting 8 position players had at least 1 hit in this one with Belt and Blanco contributing 2 each.

Ryan Vogelsong- 6.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 2.90.  I'm guessing Vogelsong was trying to avoid the astronomical pitch count by being more aggressive with hitters which may have contributed to the 3 dingers he gave up.  He only gave up 1 BB and 1 other hit so still got the QS

Santiago Casilla- 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 3.04.  2 huge outs in the 7'th and I'm really liking Casilla as the high leverage guy in the bullpen rather than the closer.

Javier Lopez- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(4).  ERA= 2.48.  Here's where I really like The Committee concept.  Nobody is tougher on LH batters right now than Lopez.  Starting with Heyward in the 8'th inning, the Braves next 4 batters were 3 lefties and a switch-hitting Chipper Jones.  I would take Lopez facing them over Brian Wilson, Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla, Jeremy Affeldt, heck, over Jonathan Papelbon!  Guess what?  Bochy had him sitting right there ready to go at exactly the right time.  Bochy has done some brilliant bullpen managing in his day, but this was as good as any.

The Dodgers pounded the Marlins 11-4, but Billz came out of the game in the 4'th with a sore elbow.  They remain 3 games behind the NL West leading Giants.  The D'Backs were blanked by the Pesky Padres 5-0 to fall 7 games off the pace.

Madison Bumgarner takes the mound today facing lefty Mike Minor. Go Giants!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Down on the Farm: 8/23/2012

AAA  Reno Aces defeated the Fresno Grizzlies 5-2:

Noonan(.304), Nady(.242), Lollis(.326)- 2 hits each.
Guillermo Mota(RHP)- 2.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 3.38.
Dan Runzler(LHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 6.17.

Grizzlies had no XBH's in the game.

AA Altoona Curve edged the Richmond Flying Squirrels 2-1:

Juan Perez(LF)- 2 for 4, 2B, SB(17).  BA= .308.
Chris Heston(RHP)- 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 2.12.

High A  Visalia Rawhide pounded the San Jose Giants 7-3:

Carter Jurica(2B)- 2 for 3, BB.  BA= .298.
Stephen Harrold(RHP)- 4.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 5.28.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets edged the Greenville Drive 2-1:

Jesus Galindo(CF)- 1 for 3, 2 BB.  BA= .252.
Joe Staley(DH)- 1 for 2, 2 BB.  BA= .244.
Jeff Arnold(C)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .237.
Adalberto Mejia(LHP)- 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 4.15.
Tyler Hess(RHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 0.00.

Hess gets the call from Arizona.  He was dropped from the Braves organization after putting up pretty good numbers in Rome last year.  He's a big body(6'5", 240 lb) out of Sonoma St.

Short Season  Spokane Indians held the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes to just 2 hits in a 3-0 win:

Cameron Lamb(RHP)- 5 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 2.08.

Rookie AZL  Giants were idle.

DSL  Giants outpitched the Mets1 1-0:

Carlos Diaz(LHP)- 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 13 K's.  ERA= 2.91.

Diaz is an 18 yo LHP.  This was his best game, by far, but he has a 1.54 ERA over his last 10 starts.  Expect to see him in the states next year.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Game Wrap 8/23/2012: Giants 5 Braves 2

Barry Zito battled an unfriendly strike zone and came away a winner as the Giants offense broke out for 4 runs in the 5'th inning.  Zito carried the 5-0 lead into the 9'th inning before allowing the first two batters to reach base.  Bruce Bochy was pulling strings and juggling pitchers until Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo put out the fire for the win.  Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 1 for 3, 2 BB, SB(21).  BA= .289.  Pagan continued to lead the way from the leadoff spot getting on base 3 times and scoring 2 runs.

Brandon Belt- 1 for 3, BB, SB(10).  BA= .262.  Belt should have been 2 for 3 with an RBI.  He was robbed of a hit by the official scorer and a hard grounder down the line that ate up Freddie Freeman and bounced into short RF.  Belt hustled all the way to 2B for what should have been an RBI double.  The Giants would have scored 5 runs either way, as far as the outcome of the game, it didn't matter.

Hector Sanchez- 2 for 4, 2 2B .  BA= .267.  Sanchez was in a mini-slump on the road trip but broke out big time tonight helping his buddy and batterymate Barry Zito get the W.

Barry Zito- 8 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 4.31.  Zito has pitched some very good games this year but I think I might be the most impressed by this one.  He had an ump with a small, low strike zone.  Not exactly tailor made for Zeets.  He looked shaky at times, especially in the first 2 innings but kept after it and held the Braves at bay giving the offense time to build a lead.

With the Win, the Giants build their lead over the idle Dodgers to 3 full games and the idle D'Backs to 6 full games.

Ryan Vogelsong tries to get back on track facing Ben Sheets tomorrow night.  Vogey has been victimized by the BABIP gods his last 2 games.  Sheets started his comeback like a house afire but struggled in his last start.

Down on the Farm: 8/22/2012

AAA  Fresno Grizzlies defeated the Reno Aces 5-3:

Brock Bond(3B)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .348.
Xavier Nady(1B)- 1 for 4, 2B.  BA= .226.
Juan Ciriaco(SS)- 2 for 4, HR(3), SB(6). BA= .254.
Boof Bonser(RHP)- 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 5.09.
Trevor Bauer(RHP, Aces)- 7 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 9 K's.  ERA= 2.84.

AA  Bowie Baysox beat the Richmond Flying Squirrels 7-3:

Nothing to see here.

High A  San Jose Giants edged the Visalia Rawhide 2-1:

Ricky Oropesa(1B)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .256.
Kelvin Marte(LHP)- 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.46.

Low A  Game 1  Augusta Greenjackets pounded the Greenville Drive 6-1:

Brett Krill(LF)- 2 for 4.  BA= .298.
Jose Flores(3B)- 1 for 2, 2 BB, SB(4).
Devin Harris(RF)- 1 for 3, 3B.  BA= .262.
Garrett Buechele(1B)- 1 for 3, HR(3).  BA= .258.
Galindo(40) and Shawn Payne(49) had a SB each.
Kyle Crick(RHP)- 5.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 9 K's.  ERA= 2.30.

Game 2  Greenville Drive downed the Augusta Greenjackets 5-2:

Shawn Payne(LF)- 1 for 3, 2B.  BA= .311.
Devin Harris(DH)- 2 for 3, 2B.  BA= .271.
Paul Davis(RHP)- 5.1 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.81.

Short Season  Salem-Keizer blanked the Spokane Indians 3-0:

Mac Williamson(RF)- 1 for 4, HR(7).  BA- .345.
Charles Jones(CF)- 1 for 2, 2B, BB.  BA= .241.
Joe Biagini(RHP)- 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K's.  ERA= 4.17.
Steven Okert(LHP)- 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 2.66.
Tyler Mizenko(RHP)- 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 1.69.

Great to see Mac back in the lineup.  This might be Biagini's best start as a pro.

Rookie AZL  Giants topped the Angels 7-3:

Travious Relaford(2B)- 1 for 3, BB, SF, SB(2).  BA= .342.
Shayne Houck(1B)- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .299.
Alberto Robles(3B)- 2 for 4.  BA= .405.
Giants used 8 pitchers in the game.

DSL  Giants edged the Mets 4-3:

Rando Moreno(SS)- 2 for 5, SB(23).  BA= .267.
Keury Mella(RHP)- 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 9 K's.  ERA= 2.47.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Game Wrap 8/22/2012: Giants 8 Dodgers 4

The Giants built a big lead for Matt Cain who pitched 7 strong innings.  The bullpen looked like it might implode in the 8'th inning, but Santiago Casilla came in and quieted the Dodger bats and the Giants completed a sweep of the rival Dodgers.  Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 2 for 4, 2B, BB, SB(20).  BA= .289.  Pagan went 7 for 13 with a walk in the series.  This was his 4'th multi-hit game in a row.  He is hitting .395 over his last 10 games.

Marco Scutaro- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .285.  Scooter just keeps rapping out the hits.

Pablo Sandoval- 1 for 2, SF.  BA= .298.  I don't think Sandoval quite has his timing down yet, but he's produced some runs with hits and sac flies this series.

Hunter Pence- 0 for 3, BB.  BA= .258.  Pence looks as lost as Brandon Belt ever did up there.  His front shoulder is flying open on every swing.  Maybe he's always done that and gotten away with it, but it seems much more noticeable to me now than it's been in the past.  Maybe because I'm watching him more closely, or it could be why he's hitting about .150 since July 4.

Joaquin Arias- 3 for 4, 2 2B, HR(3).  BA= .280.  How hot is Joaquin Arias and where would the Giants be without him?  Can he play LF?

Matt Cain- 7 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 2.83.  The run was because Hunter Pence was just as lost on RF as he was at the plate and got turned around on a flyball to the warning track by Andre Ethier, who might be my least favorite Dodger for some reason.

Santiago Casilla- 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 3.09.  Casilla came into a bases-loaded 1 out jam in the 8'th. He allowed 2 runs to score on a broken bat bloop hit by Luis Cruz who is leading a charmed life right now.  The next batter, AJ Ellis hit a comebacker that Casilla was able to turn for a DP.  He then allowed one harmless hit in the 9'th.  It doesn't count as a Save, but yeah, Casilla saved it.  He's pitched 3.2 innings in 2 games now.  I  have a feeling he's about to get his closer job back if he can keep the blisters away.

The win puts the Giants up by 2.5 games on the Dodgers in the NL West.  The D'Backs swept a DH from the Marlins to move up by 0.5 games to 5.5 games back.

The Giants now come home to start a 4 game series against the Atlanta Braves with Tommy Hanson facing Barry Zito tomorrow night.  Go Giants!

Down on the Farm: 8/21/2012

AAA  Tucson Padres blanked the Fresno Grizzlies 6-0:

Brock Bond(2B)- 2 for 4, 2 2B.  BA= .346.
Xavier Nady(LF)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .224.
Heath Hembree(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 5.45.
Andrew Cashner(RHP, Padres)-  2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 0.00.

Gotta think Nady is getting called up any day.  Hembree's lines have looked good since coming off the DL.  Cashner and is triple digit heater look about ready to come back in SD.

AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels defeated the Bowie Baysox 7-3:

Gary Brown(CF)- 1 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .283.
Juan Perez(LF)- 2 for 4, SB(16).  BA= .309.
Ehire Adrianza(SS)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .224.
Chris Gloor(LHP)- 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 2.45.
Chris Wilson(RHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 3.21.

Adrianza is hitting .308 over his last 10 games.  Melonhead Jr. on he DL with a tired arm.

High A  Visalia Rawhide beat the San Jose Giants 7-5:

Carter Jurica(DH)- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .297.
Adam Duvall(3B)- 2 for 5, E(25, throw).  BA= .264.
Ricky Oropesa(1B)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .254.
Josh Osich(LHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 4.28.

Low A  Game 1  Augusta Greenjackets edged the Greenville Drive 6-5:

Brett Krill(RF)- 2 for 3, HBP.  BA= .296.
Devin Harris(DH)- 1 for 4, HR(6).  BA= .261.
Garrett Buechele(1B)- 1 for 4, HR(2).  BA= .257.
Kevin Couture(RHP)- 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, GO/AO= 8/1.  ERA= 2.81.

Game 2  Postponed.

Short Season  Salem-Keizer Volcanoes topped the Vancouver Canadians 3-0:

Mitch Delfino(3B)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .296.
Chuckie Jones(CF)- 1 for 3, HR(5).  BA= .238.
Joan Gregorio(RHP)- 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 4.98.

Jones drove in all 3 runs with his dinger.

Rookie AZL  Angels pounded the Giants 14-4(completed early after top of 7'th):

Hector Mercedes(RF)- 2 for 3, 2B.  BA= .269.
Brad Penny(RHP)- 1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 18.00.

DSL  Giants edged the Cubs2  5-4:

Fernando Pujadas(C) 3 for 4, 2B, BB.  BA= .271.
Moises Mesa(LF)- 3 for 4.  BA= .364.

Game Wrap 8/21/2012: Giants 4 Dodgers 1

The Giants offense built an early lead.  A gaunt looking Tim Lincecum worked out of a 6'th inning jam with the help of the bullpen and a nice throw and block play by Pagan and Sanchez.  Bruce Bochy's bullpen wizardry took it from there.  Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 3 for 5.  BA= .287.  Pagan stays hot in the leadoff role.  He's hitting .346 in August after hitting just .210 in July.  The CS wasn't so good though.

Marco Scutaro- 2 for 5.  BA= .283.  I've always liked Scoots from his stat lines and hoped the Giants could acquire him one day.  He's even better watching him live.  What a great acquisition by Sabes!  Hitting .350 over his last 10 games and .313 in August.

Buster Posey- 1 for 3, BB.  BA= .327.  Buster drove in the first 2 runs with a first inning single.

Brandon Crawford- 1 for 3, BB.  BA= .246.  With the Giants facing a string of LHP's and Joaquin Arias wearing them out, this was Crawford's first start since 8/17.  He's hitting .370 over his last 10 games and keeps inching up the SS WAR rankings.

Tim Lincecum- 5.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 5.30.  Tim looked good for 5 innings.  Well, his pitching looked good.  He does not look good.  I commented on him looking rail thin after he withered in Pittsburgh.  He might be even thinner now.  Is gaunt too strong a word?  Come on, Tim!  Let's have some balance here.  It's OK to get a few In-N-Outs here and there.  His velocity seemed OK. I saw a couple of 93's on the TV gun, but he looked gassed in the 6'th and ended up throwing just 87 pitches.

Santiago Casilla- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 3.20.  Very encouraging appearance by Casilla who made quick work of the Dodgers in the 7'th and 8'th innings.  No K's, but his pitches had good location and movement.  He needed just 19 pitches to breeze through those 2 innings putting the Giants in great position in the 9'th.

Sergio Romo- 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 2.13.  Romo is being used in the 9'th inning, but he's not the closer.  He's still a ROOGY in Bochy's eyes and rightly so with all the lights out LOOGYs in the Giants bullpen.  No way was Romo facing Ethier in the 9'th with a runner on base.  Vin Scully commented that Romo looks like he's lost a lot of weight during the season and is looking "bony" around the shoulders.

Javy Lopez- 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's, Save(3).  ERA= 2.63.  Lopez came in and got Ethier to GIDP and earned his second 1 batter Save in as many days.  Bochy used Mijares to K Ethier and escape the jam in the 6'th.  Bochy has used his LOOGY's to make Ethier look helpless for 3 huge outs in the last 2 games.  What a luxury!

Joe Blanton(Dodgers)- 5.2 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 5.02.  Gotta mention this.  My Dodgers fan friend is not much of a Blanton fan.  Neither, apparently, is Don Mattingly.  I don't know if Blanton got yanked for giving up a single to Lincecum with 2 outs in the 5'th or because the top of the order that had abused him earlier in the game was coming up, but when Donnie Baseball came out to get him, Blanton looked absolutely stunned.  The TV showed his face up close and you could see he couldn't believe it.  The look on his face was priceless.  Love going to games, but you miss that stuff when you are up in the stands at a MLB game.

The win stretched the Giants lead over the Dodgers in the NL West to 1.5 games.  The Marlins edged the D'Backs 6-5 in 10 innings as the snakes fall to 6 games back of the leaders.

Matt Cain goes for the sweeeeep today facing Chris Capuano who has hung tough all year.  D'Backs play a DH in Miami today.  Go Giants!  Beat LA!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Down on the Farm: 8/20/2012

AAA  Tucson Padres defeated the Fresno Grizzlies 6-2:

Brett Pill(1B)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .276.
Xavier Nady(LF)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .204.
Yusmeiro Petit(RHP)- 5 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 3.48.
Guillermo Mota(RHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 3.00.
Dan Runzler(LHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 6.45.

What's the over/under for how many more games before we see Nady starting in LF for the Giants?  Pill, Mota and Runzler are likely September callups.

AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels edged the Bowie Baysox and Dylan Bundy 4-3:

Gary Brown(LF)- 2 for 5.  BA= .283.
Juan Perez(CF)- 2 for 3, HR(11), BB.  BA= .307.
Johnny Monell(C)- 2 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .254.
Ehire Adrianza(SS)- 2 for 3, Sac, SB(14).  BA= .222.
Justin Fitzgerald(RHP)- 6.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K's, GO/AO= 9/1.  ERA= 3.26.
Brett Bochy(RHP)- 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 0 K's.  ERA= 2.53.
Dylan Bundy(RHP, Baysox)- 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 3.18.

Hey!  Justin Fitzgerald outpitched Dylan Bundy!  Fitz has a 1.39 ERA over his last 10 starts.  This was his second scoreless start in a row.

High A  San Jose Giants blanked the Visalia Rawhide 8-0:

Joe Panik(SS)- 2 for 5, SB(9).  BA= .292.
Andrew Susac(C)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .233.
Chris Lofton(LF)- 2 for 4, 2 SB(21).  BA= .238.
Skyler Stromsmoe(CF)- 2 for 3, BB.  BA= .237.
Taylor Rogers(RHP)- 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 4.21.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets downed the Greenville Drive 4-1:

Shawn Payne- 2 for 4, 2 2B, SB(48).  BA= .310.
Brett Krill(LF)- 1 for 4, HR(5).  BA= .293.
Clayton Blackburn(RHP)- 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 10 K's.  ERA= 2.55.

Crick may have better raw stuff than Blackburn but man, it's pretty hard to argue with Blackburn's numbers:  137 K's against just 18 BB in 123.1 IP with a GO/AO= 2.30.  He's even a little stronger over his last 10 starts with a 2.25 ERA.  Can't wait to see these kids next year with San Jose!

Short Season  Vancouver Canadians topped the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 4-1:

Joe Rapp(1B)- 1 for 4, HR(11).  BA= .276.
Chris Stratton(RHP)- 4 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 2.76.
Mason McVay(LHP)- 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 1.48.
Gaspar Santiago(LHP)- 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 2.12.

Rookie AZL  Giants beat the Indians 5-3:

Randy Ortiz(RF)- 1 for 3, BB, Sac, 2 SB(24).  BA= .248.
John Polonius(SS)- 1 for 4, BB, 2 SB(7).  BA= .297.
Tyler Hollick(CF)- 1 for 3, BB, SF.  BA= .290.
Martin Agosta(RHP)- 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 2.00.

DSL  Giants edged the Cubs2 3-2:

Alejandro Flores(RHP)- 5.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 2.04.
Diomedes Mateo(RHP)- 3.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 1.62.

PS:  Note in BA about Duvall being diagnosed with Type I Diabetes at the end of spring training.  It also said most of his errors are coming on throws that sail over the 1B head.  Coaches are working with him to change his arm angle to prevent the sailing.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Game Wrap 8/20/2012: Giants 2 Dodgers 1

Many pitching duels don't live up the the anticipation.   This one did!  Madison Bumgarner went mano-a-mano with Clayton Kershaw in front of a less than sellout crowd at Dodgers Stadium and came away the winner despite an almost equally brilliant performance from Kershaw.  Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .283.  Pagan was the perfect leadoff hitter tonight scoring both the Giants runs.  He led off the game with a double off the left-CF wall, advanced to 3'rd on a bunt by Scutaro and scored on a sac fly by Pablo.  Later, in the 6'th, he singled on a grounder to deep short with 2 outs, advanced to 2B on a single by Scutaro and scored from 2B on a soft single to CF by Sandoval.  I have to say, Pagan looks fired up and like he wants to win this thing bad.

Marco Scutaro- 2 for 3, Sac.  BA= .282.  You won't see any runs or RBI's in Scutaro's line but the Giants probably don't win this game without him advancing Pagan on the basepaths.  Great situational hitting by Scoots!

Pablo Sandoval- 1 for 3, SF.  BA= .296.  See the Pagan discussion.  Pablo caused me a bit of heartburn with a late-inning error, but Bumgarner pitched out of it, so no harm.

Madison Bumgarner- 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K's.  ERA= 2.83.  Holy Moly!  What a game by Bumgarner.  Just complete domination of the Hated Ones and against their ace of aces to boot!  Matt Cain is the ace of the staff, but man, Bumgarner is right there.  If you have one game you have to win, I'd almost be willing to flip a coin.  What a great 1-2 punch in the rotation!

Sergio Romo- 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 2.15.  After getting two quick outs in the 9'th, Romo showed once again why Bochy has never trusted him with closing duties giving up a dinger to Hanley.  Fortunately, the Giants had an overpriced LOOGY to come in and close it out facing the LH hitting Andre Ethier.

Clayton Kershaw(Dodgers)- 8 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 10 K's.  ERA= 2.87.  Again, Kershaw was brilliant, but not quite as brilliant as Bumgarner and how great is that?

With the win, the Giants move back past the Dodgers into first place in the NL West by 0.5 games.  The Marlins crushed the D'Backs 12-3 to push the snakes to 5 games behind the leaders.

Tim Lincecum tries once again to step it up facing Joe Blanton in Dodger Stadium tomorrow night.  Go Giants!  Beat LA!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Down on the Farm: 8/19/2012

AAA  Game 1  Fresno Grizzlies defeated the Tucson Padres 5-0:

Brock Bond(2B)- 1 for 2, 2 BB.  BA= .344.
Conor Gillaspie(3B)- 3 for 3, HR(14), SF.  BA= .292.
Xavier Nady(1B)- 2 for 4.  BA= .191.
Ryan Lollis(CF)- 1 for 3, SB()2).  BA= .328.
Andrew Kown(RHP)- 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 5.77.

Game 2  Tucson Padres returned the favor in a 5-0  over the Grizzlies:

Ryan Lollis(CF)- 1 for 2, BB.  BA= .331.
Brock Bond(3B)- 1 for 2, BB.  BA= .345.

Gillaspie has been in a slump.

AA  Binghampton Mets beat the Richmond Flying Squirrels 5-2:

Michael Kickham(LHP)- 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.04.
Jacob Dunnington(RHP)- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 0.84.
Austin Fleet(RHP)- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.93.

An off night for Kickham.

High A  San Jose Giants out hit the Stockton Ports 10-6:

Adam Duvall(3B)- 2 for 3, 2B, HR(28), BB, HBP.  BA= .263.
Alex Burg(1B)- 2 for 4, 2 2B, BB.  BA= .275.
Jarrett Parker(CF)- 1 for 5, HR(14).  BA= .247.

Parker's dinger was a GS.

Low A  Augusta Greenjackets blanked the Charleston River Dogs 4-0:

Jesus Galindo(CF)- 2 for 5, SB(39).  BA= .254.
Brett Krill(DH)- 4 for 5, 2 SB(8).  BA= .294.
Edwin Escobar(LHP)- 8.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K's.  ERA= 3.24.

The big news here, obviously, is Escobar who pitched the best game of his pro career so far.  He's just 20 yo and very much age appropriate for the level.  He is probably not a top tier pitching prospect yet, but he's pitched some mighty fine games this year and is solidly in tier 2.

Short Season  Vancouver Canadians topped the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 3-0:

Kentrell Hill(DH)- 2 for 4, SB(8).  BA= .286.
7 other Volcanoes got 1 hit each with Delfino contributing a 2B.
Lorenzo Mendoza(RHP)- 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 4.69.
Ian Gardeck(RHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 3.71.

Rookie AZL  Giants edged the Padres 1-0:

Alberto Robles(3B)- 2 for 2, Sac, 2 SB(2).  BA= .400.
Matt Lujan(LHP)- 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 1.41.
Joe Kurrasch(LHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 0.00.

Lujan is way old for the league but hey, it's better than pitching poorly at the same level. Kurrasch resurfaces in Arizona after a rough pro introduction in S-K.

DSL  Giants were idle as usual on Sundays.

Game Wrap 8/19/2012: Padres 7 Giants 1

It took Ryan Vogelsong 13 pitches to strike out Everth Cabrera, the Peskiest Padres of all and their leadoff batter.  It was all downhill from there as Vogey threw 96 pitches in 3+ innings of work while the offense failed to sustain an attack against lefty Clayton Richard.  Key Lines:

Pagan, Arias and Belt had 2 hits each, none of which contributed to scoring.

Ryan Vogelsong- 3 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 2.85.   7 K's shows he had good, even great, stuff and he only walked 1 batter.  This looks like another BABIP game, but you have to be wary when it happens two games in a row.

George Kontos- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 2.37.  Kontos has been terrific and looks like a solid bullpen member for years to come.

Clayton Richard(Padres)- 8 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 3.73.  Yeah, look at that K number.  Life just ain't always fair!  I started watching the game in about the 5'th inning and fell asleep twice but had time to see at least 4 or 5 hard hit balls by the Giants die in the gloves of Padres' defenders.

The Dodgers blanked the Braves 5-0 behind Chad Billingsley to leapfrog back over the Giants to a 0.5 game lead in the NL West.  The D'Backs pounded the hapless Astros 8-1 cutting their deficit to 4.5 games.

The Giants now move on to LA where the first pitching matchup Monday night is one I have been dreaming about since about 2008 when Madison Bumgarner broke out as a pitching prospect.  Bumgarner vs Kershaw.  Go Giants!  Beat LA!!

Down on the Farm: 8/18/2012

AAA  Fresno Grizzlies defeated the Tucson Padres 5-3:

Ryan Lollis(CF)- 2 for 2, 2B, BB, SF.  BA= .327.
Noonan(.302), Peguero(.274), Gillaspie(.287)- 2 hits each.
Wilmin Rodriguez(LHP)- 4 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 5.91
Guillermo Mota(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's.  ERA= 0.00.
Dan Runzler(LHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 6.75.

Pegs is hitting .386 over his last 10 games.  Lollis has put up excellent numbers at 2 levels but skipped the big challenge of AA.  How important is it for hitters to have that EL challenge?  Wilmin Rodriguez gets stretched out in a start with unexciting results. Mota moves up to AAA in his rehab.

AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels blanked the Binghampton Mets 4-0"

Gary Brown(LF)- 1 for 3, BB, SB(32).  BA= .282.
Johnny Monell(C)- 2 for 4, HR(9).  BA= .251.
Chris Heston(RHP)- 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K's, GO/AO= 11/1.  ERA= 2.08.
Brett Bochy(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 2.05.

Does Brown playing LF portend a callup in the near future?  Monell is hitting .371 over his last 10 games, .362 in August after hitting .304 in July.  I still think Monell can have a nice MLB career as a LH hitting backup catcher for somebody.  Heston seems to be dealing again.  Bochy has been solid all season.

High A  San Jose Giants sank the Stockton Ports 5-3:

Joe Panik(SS)- 3 for 4, BB.  BA= .291.
Jarrett Parker(CF)- 0 for 1, 3 BB, SB(25).  BA= .248.
Ryan Bradley(LHP)- 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 4.61.
Josh Osich(LHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 4.44.
Jose Valdez(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(7).  ERA= 2.38.

After hitting just .221 in April, Panik hit .291 in May, .280 in June, .303 in July and .404 so far in August.  That comes with a reversed K/BB.  I'd say he's had a solid first full pro season after the slow start.  Despite the anemic BA, Jarrett Parker has an OPS of .812.

Low A  Augusta Greenjackets edged the Charleston River Dogs 8-7:

Jose Flores(3B)- 2 for 4, 2B, BB.  BA= .265.
Shawn Payne(DH)- 1 for 3, BB, HBP, SB(46).  BA= .311.
Brett Krill(RF)- 3 for 3, BB, HBP.  BA= .287.
Kelby Tomlinson(SS)- 3 for 5.  BA= .233.
Danny Sandbrink(RHP)- 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 2.25.
Chris Marlowe(RHP)- 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's, Save(2).  ERA= 3.96.

Brett Krill is hitting .375 over his last 10 games.  After hitting .205 in April and .197 in May, he's hit .309 in June, .385 in July and .333 in August.  I'd like to see him get a starting gig with San Jose next year but the competition will be fierce.  Sandbrink surfaces in Augusta.  Must be coming off the DL.  Marlowe has completed 2 successful Save opportunities since moving into the role.

Short Season  Eugene Emeralds topped the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 3-2:

Ryan Jones(2B)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .238.
Cam Lamb(RHP)- 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 2.92.
Steven Okert(LHP)- 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 2.86.

AZL  Giants were idle.

DSL  Giants crushed the Phillies 10-1:

Rando Moreno(SS)- 2 for 5.  BA= .260.
Hengerber Medina(3B)- 2 for 4, 2B, BB.  BA= .319.
Carlos Valdez(LF)- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .239.
Emmanuel Hernandez(1B)- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .281.
Carlos Cartegena(RF)- 3 for 4, 2B.  BA= .189.
Eber Guzman(RHP)- 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 3.98.

Medina's numbers are as interesting as his first name.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Game Wrap 8/18/2012: Giants 8 Padres 7

The Giants played a seesaw game against the Pesky Padres holding off a 9'th inning rally to get the W.  Key Lines:

Marco Scutaro- 2 for 4, SF.  BA= .282.  Scoots is hitting .341 over his last 10 games.

Pablo Sandoval- 2 for 5, 3B.  BA= .300.  Sandoval looks ready to roll.  Just stay healthy!

Buster Posey- 3 for 4, 2 2B, SF.  BA= .333.  Buster stays hot.  He hit .381 in July.  He's hitting .434 in August.  .407 in his last 10 games and an unbelievable .439 since the All-Star break.

Hunter Pence- 2 for 3, 2B, BB, SF.  Pence had one of 3 SF's for the day for the Giants.  This may come as a surprise to some, but the Giants lead MLB in SF's with 46, 3 more than the Boston Red Sox and 6 more than the 3'rd place Texas Rangers.

Joaquin Arias- 3 for 5, HR(2).  BA= .268.  Arias is hitting .476 over his last 10 games, .328 post All Star break.

Barry Zito- 4 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 4.42.  Bochy apparently wasn't digging what he was seeing from Zito and yanked him early.

The Dodgers rode 3 consecutive HR's by Ramirez, Loney and Cruz to a 6-2 win over the Braves to stay 0.5 games behind the NL West leading Giants.  The D'Backs crushed the Houston Astros 12-4 to stay 5 games back.

Brad Mills was fired as manager of the 'Stros which hardly seems like a rational or fair move after the 'Stros held a fire sale to boost their future.  If they want to go in a different direction, why not wait until after the season?

Ryan Vogelsong goes for the sweep against these same Pesky Padres and Clayton Richard tomorrow afternoon.

Down on the Farm: 8/17/2012

AAA  Oklahoma City Redhawks defeated the Fresno Grizzlies 3-2 in 11 innings:

Emmanuel Burriss(2B)- 3 for 6, 2B.  BA= .375.
Xavier Nady(LF)- 3 for 6, 2B, HR(3).  BA= .175.
Boof Bonser(RHP)- 5 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 6.00.

Big game from Nady.  I'd like to see him do it a few more time before I believe.  Nice start for Bonser albeit not quite a QS.

AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels pounded the Binghamptom Mets 10-3:

Gary Brown(CF)- 0 for 3, BB, SF, Assist(home). BA= .282.
Daniel Mayora(3B)- 2 for 4, 2B, SB(9).  BA= .290.
Juan Perez(RF)- 3 for 5, 3 2B.  BA= .305.
Wes Hodges(1B)- 2 for 5, 3B.  BA= .256.
Ryan Cavan(2B)- 2 for 4, 3B, SB(3).  BA= .238.
Nick Liles(PH-LF)- 2 for 2.  BA= .273.
Craig Westcott(RHP)- 7 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.84.

Juan Perez his hitting .429 over his last 10 games and .424 in August after hitting .303 in July and .298 in June.  Lots of organizational players on this team.

High A  San Jose Giants whipped the Stockton Ports 7-2:

Adam Duvall(3B)- 1 for 4, HR(27).  BA= .260.
Alex Burg(RF)- 2 for 3, HR(10), HBP, SB(1).  BA= .268.
Jarrett Parker(CF)- 1 for 2, 2 BB.  BA= .249.
Andrew Susac(C)- 1 for 4, HR(8).  BA= .232.
Kelvin Marte(LHP)- 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 4.50.
Heath Hembree(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 0.00.

Duvall sets a SJ season record for dingers.  He is a ferocious hitter.

Low A  Augusta Greenjackets smothered the Charleston River Dogs 6-3:

Jesus Galindo(CF)- 1 for 2, 2 BB, Sac, SB(38).  BA= .252.
Brett Krill(RF)- 3 for 5.  BA= .282.
Garrett Buechele(1B)- 2 for 5.  BA= .267.
Kelby Tomlinson(SS)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .229.
Adalberto Mejia(LHP)- 6 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 4.42.
Kyle Vazquez(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(8).  ERA= 4.13.

Vazquez has 26 K's against 9 BB's in 24 IP.  Galindo is hitting .306 in 10 August games after hitting .306 in July too.  His OBP for both months is >.400.

Short Season  Eugene Emeralds topped the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 5-4:

Brennan Metzger(LF)- 1 for 3, 2 2B.  BA= .247.
Joseph Rapp(1B)- 2 for 4.  BA= .277.
Ryan Jones(2B)- 2 for 4, HR(1).  BA= .232.
Gaspar Santiago(LHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 1.80.

Rookie AZL  Giants pounded the Brewers 11-4:

Randy Ortiz(RF)- 1 for 3, SF, SB(21).  BA= .243.
Tyler Hollick(CF)- 2 for 3, 2B, 2 BB, 3 SB(17).  BA= .295.
Jonathan Jones(1B)- 3 for 5, 2B.  BA= .309.
Gabriel Cornier(C)- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .305.
Alberto Robles(2B)- 2 for 4, Sac.  BA= .364.
Zach Edgington(LHP)- 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 1.93.
Brandon Allen(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 6.49.
Tyler Hess(RHP)- 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 3.18.
Jake Shadle(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 2.84.

Hollick is looking like a 5 tool prospect.  Jonathan Jones appears to have the makings of a ferocious hitter.  Cornier is another switch-hitting catcher prospect.

DSL  Giants downed the Phillies 4-2:

Angel Villalona(DH)- 1 for 4, HR(7), BB.  BA= .308.
Hangerber Medina(2B)- 3 for 4, 2B.  BA= .312.
Carlos Diaz(LHP)- 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.19.
Carlos Alvarado(RHP)- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 1.06.

Diaz is 18 yo and looks like a legit prospect.  Alvarado is 22 yo and was picked up from the Tigers' organization.  He's got interesting size at 6'4" and has put up nice numbers.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Game Wrap 8/17/2012: Giants 10 Padres 1

In the wake of Melky Cabrera's season ending suspension, the Giants had something to prove tonight and did they ever prove it?  The Giants offense put up 9 runs in the first 3 innings and Matt Cain took care of the rest.  Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 3 for 5, 3B.  BA= .280.  From what I've read, Pagan might be the Giants player who felt most betrayed by the Melky suspension.  If Pagan was on a mission tonight, mission accomplished!

Marco Scutaro- 2 for 5, HR(6), SB(8).  BA= .280.  I've had Scoots on my fantasy team all season. I was afraid he would lose a lot of PT coming to the Giants but I hung onto him to see how it would play out.  He's been even better with the Giants!

Hunter Pence- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .261.  Time for Hunter to step up big time.  He certainly made a contribution tonight.

Gregor Blanco- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .239.  Blanco is 4 for 8 with a walk since taking over Melky's spot in LF.  One of his outs tonight was a ball that went to the fence in right-center which would have been easily out of any other park except maybe AT&T.  That area is Death Valley in Petco!

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .246.  Crawford's average just keeps creeping up. He's hitting .382 over his last 10 games and .350 for the month of August.

Matt Cain- 8 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 2.90.  On a warm humid night when his opponent had rivers of sweat pouring off him, Cainer looked as cool as a cucumber out there for 8 innings barely breaking a sweat at all.

Ross Ohlendorf(Padres)- 2.1 IP, 6 H, 8 R, 2 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 7.58.  The Giants really worked him over making sure he threw a ton of pitches and making sure they plated every baserunner.  Ohlendorf might have set a record for sheer volume of sweat produced.  I mean, he soaked his cap and ever time he looked down it just came pouring out of the bill.  I was starting to think he might collapse out there by the time they took him out.  He looked a bit rubber kneed as he walked off the mound.

The Dodger lost to the Braves 4-3 in extra innings allowing the Giants to move ahead by 0.5 games for the NL West lead.  The D'Backs beat the 'Stros 3-1 to gain 0.5 games to a 5 game deficit.

Barry Zito takes the mound tomorrow evening at 5 PM facing ex-Dodger Eric Stults.

Down on the Farm 8/16/2012

AAA  Fresno Grizzlies defeated the Oklahoma City Redhawks 5-1:

Brock Bond(.338), Todd Linden(.282), Juan Ciriaco(.262)- 2 hits each.
Pegs and Linden each doubled.
Jason Stevenson(LHP)- 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 6.38.

AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the New Britain Rock Cats 3-1:

Gary Brown(CF)- 3 for 4, BB, CS(16).  BA= .283.
Juan Perez(LF)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .302.
Mark Minicozzi(1B)- 2 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .302.
Chris Gloor(LHP)- 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 2.32.
Daryl Maday(RHP)- 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 3.40.

High A  Bakersfield Blaze downed the San Jose Giants 4-2:

Adam Duvall(3B)- 2 for 4, BB, SB(6).  BA= .260.
Dan Burkhart(C)- 2 for 4.  BA= .273.
Chris Lofton(LF)- 1 for 3, BB, SB(19).  BA= .238.

Low A  Charleston River Dogs topped the Augusta Greenjackets 3-1:

Shawn Payne(LF)- 1 for 4, 2B.  BA= .312.
Joe Staley(C)- 1 for 2, 2B, BB.  BA= .235.
Elliott Blair(CF)- 1 for 2, BB, 2 SB(8).  BA= .198.

Short Season  Salem-Keizer Volcanoes edged the Eugene Emeralds 3-2"

Kentrell Hill(LF)- 1 for 4, 2B.  BA= .287.
Joseph Rapp(1B)- 2 for 4, HR(10).  BA= .273.
Andrew Cain(RF)- 1 for 4, 2B.  BA= .243.
Joan Gregorio(RHP)- 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 5.46.
Tyler Mizenko(RHP)- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 1.85.

Rapp seems like a ferocious hitter.  Gregorio pitched 5 shutout innings before allowing 3 baserunners without recording an out in the 6'th.

Rookie AZL  A's outslugged the Giants 15-10:

Tyler Hollick(LF)- 1 for 4, BB.  BA= .282.
Shayne Houck(3B)- 2 for 4, HR(3), BB.  BA= .309.
Jonathan Jones(1B)- 1 for 5, HR(6).  BA= .299.
Hector Mercedes(RF)- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .266.
Shilo McCall(DH)- 0 for 2, 3 BB, SB(6).  BA= .274.
Guillermo Mota(RHP)- 1.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 23.63.
Andrew Leenhouts(LHP)- 3.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 8 K's. ERA= 4.55.

Houck was drafted as an OF out Kutztown St.  He's played mostly 3B for the Volcanoes.  He's hitting .459/.556/.892 over his last 10 games.  Jones has shown nice power this summer.  Maybe Mota needs to go back on the 'roids?

DSL  Pirates outscored the Giants 8-7:

Carlos Valdez(LF)- 2 for 4, HR(4), BB, SB(4).  BA= .240.
Franklin Matamoros(1B)- 2 for 3, 3B, BB.  BA= .220.

Valdez is hitting .368 over his last 5 games.  He's a kid to keep an eye on.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Down on the Farm: 8/15/2012

AAA  Oklahoma City Redhawks dominated the Fresno Grizzlies 7-1:

Emmanuel Burriss(2B)- 3 for 4, 2B.  BA= .395.
Nick Noonan(SS)- 2 for 3, BB.  BA= .301.
Dan Runzler(LHP)- 1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 7.08.
Yusmeiro Petit(RHP)- 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 3.35.

AA  New Britain Rock Cats edged the Richmond Flying Squirrels 4-3 in 10 innings:

Johnny Monell(C)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .246.
Ehire Adrianza(SS)- 2 for 4.  BA= .219.
Justin Fitzgerald(RHP)- 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K's, GO/AO= 12/5. ERA= 3.41.

Justin Fitzgerald seems like a sleeper to me.  Big body, Low 90's, gets ground balls.  Could be a Joe Blanton #4 or 5 starter.

High A  San Jose Giants pounded the Bakersfield Blaze 9-1:

Carter Jurica(2B)- 3 for 5, 2B.  BA= .308.
Ricky Oropesa(1B)- 4 for 5, HR(15).  BA= .254.
Jarrett Parker(CF)- 1 for 4, HR(13), BB.  BA= .249.
Jarrad Page(RF)- 1 for 3, BB, SB(6).  BA= .174.
Taylor Rogers(RHP)- 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K's, GO/AO= 8/2.  ERA= 4.43.
Heath Hembree(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 0.00.

Nice game for Ricky.  Hopefully he's emerged from his slump and can finish the season on an up note.

Low A  Augusta Greenjackets beat the Lakewood Blueclaws 3-1:

Carlos Willoughby(2B)- 2 for 2, BB.  BA= .196.
Kyle Crick(RHP)- 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K's, GO/AO= 9/2.  BA= 2.34.
Chris Marlowe(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's, Save(1).  ERA= 4.04.

Seems like a mature game from Crick.  Marlowe is going to get some Save chances?

Short Season  Salem-Keizer Volcanoes exploded over the Boise Hawks 13-5:

Brennan Metzger(LF)- 2 for 4, 2B, 2 BB, SB(5). BA= .243.
Joseph Rapp(1B)- 1 for 4, HR(9), BB.  BA= .269.
Mac Williamson(DH)- 2 for 4, 2 HR(6), BB.  BA= .346.
Stephen Yarrow(3B-SS)- 2 for 5, HR(3).  BA= .188.
Andrew Cain(RF)- 4 for 5, HR(2).  BA= .243.
Ryan Jones(2B)- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .230.
Chris Stratton(RHP)- 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 3.65.
Mason McVay(LHP)- 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's, Save(1).  ERA= 1.57.

Too much good stuff in this game!  Gotta love what we've seen of Williamson so far.  Stratton's line is a wonderful sight.  McVay is looking great so far.

Rookie AZL  Giants topped the Reds 9-5:

Jonathan Jones(1B)- 2 for 5, HR(5).  BA= .302.
Alberto Robles(2B)- 3 for 4, 2 2B. BA= .320.
Randy Ortiz(RF)- 2 for 4, 2B, 3B, SB(20).  BA= .250.
Tyler Hollick(CF)- 0 for 3, 2 BB, 2 SB(14).  BA= .284.
Martin Agosta(RHP)- 3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 3.00.

Jones is looking like a hitting prospect.  A bit of a downer start for Agosta but I imagine both he and Stratton are just getting their work in.

DSL  Pirates blanked the Giants 3-0:

Keury Mella(RHP)- 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 2.52.
Luis Castillo(RHP)- 3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 3.80.

Game Wrap 8/15/2012: Nationals 6 Giants 4

The Giants did not lose this game because Melky Cabrera was not in the lineup.  Big Time Timmy Jim must have gotten stuck in traffic so Little Timmy Lincecum started the game and did not have a Quality Start.  It's a tough loss when your team scores 4 runs in a game Stephen Strasburg is the opposing SP.  Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 0 for 5.  BA= .277.  Pagan is one player the Giants need to step it up down the stretch. He didn't get it done in this game.

Hector Sanchez- 1 for 1.  BA= .279.  I'm not sure how many PH's Hector Sanchez has but it seems like a lot.  If you need a hit and have just one AB to get it, call The Hector!

Pablo Sandoval- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .299.  Good to have Pablo back in the lineup. He came back just in the nick of time.

Gregor Blanco- 2 for 4.  BA= .236.  Blanco had a very Melky looking line in this one.

Brandon Crawford- 1 for 3, BB.  BA= .244.  Crawford just keeps inching that BA up. His Fangraphs WAR is up to 1.2 now.  That moves him up from 18 to 16 in WAR rankings for all MLB SS's.  At the beginning of the season, how many people thought Brandon Crawford would be a MLB league median SS?

Tim Lincecum- 4 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 5.45.  I didn't see the game due to work, but it does look like there was some BABIPing involved, but then that's been the story most of the year.

The Dodgers pounded the Pirates 9-3 and the Pirates sure picked a helluva time to roll over and play dead.  The Giants fall 1 game behind the Dodgers in the NL West.  The D'Backs lost to the Cards 5-2 to fall 6.5 games off the pace.

The Giants get a day off to regroup before heading to San Diego for a weekend set.  Dodgers play the Braves next.  Come on Braves!  Get that chop going!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Commentary: Melky Suspended for PED's

Today, Giants fans got a small taste of what Robert Pattinson must have felt like when he found out Kristen Stewart was doing another dude in the back of parked cars.  Melky Cabrera came to San Francisco with a long history of being reviled by fans in other cities and scoffed at by many baseball oriented websites.  He may have been a bit inscrutible to the media, but he played the game hard, enthusiastically and surprisingly well with just the right touch of flair.  Giants fans fell in love with him and gave him unconditional love and support.  They worked feverishly to get him voted into the All-Star Game starting lineup.  They brought signs saying "got Melk?" and came to games dressed as Melkmen.  Today, that world, that love affair all came crashing down.  Melky had been off secretly cheating and now the incriminating pictures were hitting the internet.

Personally I think the steroids and PED's have been one of the most overblown stories in the history of baseball.  Incidents like this always bring out the know-it-alls who confidently talk about ridiculous stuff like hat sizes, production spikes, and other things they think they know.  In reality, most of the what passes for facts about steroids and PED's belongs more in the realm of mythology and folklore than investigative journalism, but that is beside the point.  The fact is that the players signed a contract that prohibits the use of these agents.  When players choose to use them, they are violating that contract.  End of story!

Melky made a choice that he knew carried the possibility of betraying the hope and trust his team, teammates and fans had placed in him.  Today, he let all those people down.  That it happened in the middle of the tightest pennant race against the Giants most hated rivals just rubbed salt and pepper in the wound.

There have been enough of these incidents with enough different types of players to raise suspicion that PED use is still much more widespread than is apparent.  I do not believe that these guys are stupid.  In fact, Melky seems like a highly intelligent person and ballplayer.  These guys are taking calculated risks.  I don't know what percentage of MLB players get tested each day/week/month/season or if it is truly random. It's obviously a small enough number that guys are thinking they will take their chances on not getting caught.

It may be harder to replace Melky psychologically than statistically.  The first guy in line for replacement duty, Gregor Blanco has earned 1.9 WAR in 350 PA.  If he plays every inning of every game, like Melky, the rest of the way, he should earn another 1.1 WAR.  Melky has earned 4.5 WAR in almost exactly 3/4 of a season so if he maintained his previous pace, he would earn another 1.5 WAR or just 0.4 more than Gregor Blanco.  Of course, a lot of Blanco's WAR value is on defense whereas Melky's was mostly on offense, so the hit on run production might be greater.

There are other ways to make up for Melky's loss.  Pence has gotten settled in.  Brandon Belt is belting 'em.  Crawford is playing better.  Pablo is back.  It's certainly not the end of the world here, but with Melky, the Giants lineup was looking formidible down the stretch.  Now, it's just looking OK.  The Giants pitchers will have to step up one more time.

Down on the Farm: 8/14/2012

AAA  Oklahoma City Redhawks defeated the Fresno Grizzlies 4-3:

Justin Christian(CF)- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .348.
Emmanuel Burriss(2B)- 3 for 5, 2B.  BA= .353.
Francisco Peguero(RF)- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .274.
Nick Noonan(SS)- 2 for 4.  BA= .299.

AA  New Britain Rock Cats beat the Richmond Flying Squirrels 5-1:

Juan Perez(RF)- 2 for 4.  BA= .302.
Mike Kickham(LHP)- 4.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 9 K's.  ERA= 2.79.

Looks like Kickham might have gotten the BABIP treatment here.

High A  San Jose Giants edged the Bakersfield Blaze 4-3:

Carter Jurica(DH)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .304.
Ricky Oropesa(1B)- 3 for 4, 2B.  BA= .248.
Jarrett Parker(CF)- 2 for 3, 2 HR(12), BB.  BA= .249.
Justin Schumer(RHP)- 6.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 4.98.
Jose Valdez(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 2.42.

Low A  Augusta Greenjackets won over the Lakewood Blueclaws 4-2:

Jose Flores(3B)- 3 for 4.  BA= .263.
Devin Harris(RF)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .283.
Jeff Arnold(C)- 2 for 3, HR(3).  BA= .245.
Clayton Blackburn(RHP)- 7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 9 K's, GO/AO= 7/1.  ERA= 2.63.

Can't wait to see the SJ rotation next year!

Short Season  Boise Hawks blanked the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 4-2:

Lorenzo Mendoza(RHP)- 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 8 K's.  ERA= 4.72.

Rookie AZL  Giants out hit the D'Backs 10-3:

Ryan Honeycutt(C)- 2 for 3, BB.  BA= .318.
Shayne Houck(DH)- 4 for 5, 2B, 3B.  BA= .307.
Shilo McCall(LF)- 1 for 3, BB, HBP.  BA= .279.
Cristian Paulino(3B)- 1 for 3, 2B, HBP, 2 SB(11).  BA= .247.
Travious Relaford(2B)- 3 for 4, 2B, 3B.  BA= .340.
Brian Burres(LHP)- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 1.29.
Guillermo Mota(RHP)- 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 6.75.
Matt Lujan(LHP)- 3.2 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 1.67.

Will Mota come back and help the bullpen down the stretch?  Shayne Houck is hot.  Shilo McCall keeps plugging away.  Nice day for the Travious Relaford fan club.

DSL  Nationals bested the Giants 10-8:

Rando Moreno(SS)- 1 for 4, BB, SF.  BA= .254.
Carlos Valdez(LF)- 2 for 3, 2 BB.  BA= .238.
Fernando Pujadas(C)- 2 for 3, HR(1), BB.  BA= .268.
Royel Astacio(3B)- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .244.
Diomedes Mateo(RHP)- 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 1.56.