Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Game Wrap Spring Training 2013: Giants 8 Dodgers 8

Brett Pill threw down a stake in the race to be the 25'th man on the roster hitting 2 HR's to lead the Giants to a come-from-behind tie of the Hated Ones in the Dodgers' home park.  Key Lines:

Brandon Belt- 1 for 3, 2B.  BA=.143.
Roger Kieschnick- 2 for 3, 2B.  BA= .286.
Johnny Monell- 1 for 1.  BA= 1.000.
Brett Pill- 2 for 5, 2 HR.  BA= .273.
Francisco Peguero- 1 for 1, BB, SB.  BA= .667.
Brock "Barry" Bond- 1 for 2 HR.  BA= .200.
Tim Lincecum- 1.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 1 K.
Yusmeiro Petit- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  
Jeremy Affeldt, Mitch Lively, Scott Proctor, George Kontos- 1 scoreless IP each.

Timmy got cuffed around in the 2'nd inning but everybody seems to be happy with the outing.  He reportedly felt strong and felt his mechanics were good.  Bochy played matchup ball bringing in the LH hitting Monell to face a RHP in the 9'th.  Monell's hit brought Pill up to hit the tying HR.  Good to see Roger K and Frankie Pegs having good springs so far.  Even if they get optioned out, good impressions made in spring training can pay off down the road.  Brock Bond muscles up for a rare HR.


  1. No word on Brock Bond power !!!! that's the big news !!!

  2. All right Brett Pill! Start the Belt wars again? Naw, here was the end of the Belt Wars:


    Yup, they go out with a whimper. Now the embers might get fanned into flames again if Belt struggles, because that will be meeeann Bruce Bochy's fault, but in general the MCC twitter crowd has to sit and eat crow. Because not only did Belt prove out finally, Bochy's handling of Belt proved out as well. (And yes, I had some moments of criticism of Bochy's handling as well, no doubt)

    I love the fact that in a meaningless exhibition game Bochy pinch hit Monell. I just remember Gary Brown's walkoff against the Doyers at the end of Spring Training 2011. Players were fired up.

    So is Petit the break glass emergency guy? Or is it Heston? Its interesting the two guys who got protected were Noonan and Heston, due to trade interest. For me the guys the team keeps against all callers are mostly the most interesting. In the past that includes Johnny Sanchez and Danny Runzler. Sometimes it might have paid off to trade, but what are your needs? The simple fact is we aren't getting some all-star for our guys. You have to have a clear cut need as well. I don't see a clear LF candidate to go trade for. The Giants have about 5 flawed options, but the mix/match might just overcome those flaws.

    1. I will take the opportunity again to note that Noonan had a great second half in Advanced A ball that was very good (great contact rate, K/BB roughly 1.0) plus hit well too, and he was very young for the league. As the saying goes, once they demonstrate the skill, they own it, it is then a matter of replicating again. He appeared to figured out a lot of stuff in AAA last season, hitting for a high BA, now he needs to get more walks, strikeout less, and hit for a little more power, and he's MLB material, and he's still young.

  3. Well, no one is perfect and Bochy is not immune; he handled Belt mostly right, in hindsight of course (as we should not claim we knew how things would turned out).

    1. Nobody can see the future. However, a manager's most precious commodity is the games to be played. When you are competing, you don't always have the luxury of letting young guys ride out slumps. Could he have been a little more flexible? Yes, I think he could have. But the Giants have always been a prove out type org. Kind of ironic that they also have given tons of chances to young players to grab the reins. Some do, and some don't. I hope Nate the Great does some damage in Chicago, as long as it isn't against the French Vanilla.

    2. I personally think that Belt was handled right from the context of what was happening, not just hindsight, even if, say, he ended up failing instead of hitting as well as he did.

      Keeping a player in there just because is not a good enough reason. That is basically what a lot of Giants fans were saying.

      Clearly, from the murmurings and bits of info since, we know that the Giants did not think that he was doing things right and that he was obstinate and not going with what they were now suggesting. Leaving him in there would not change that behavior, it would just let him fail and flail. Even when he finally did what the team asked (and beat reporters had already noted what they wanted him to do), in an interview, he said that he figured it out on his own by looking at some videos and seeing how he used to do it.

      I see people trying to compare his struggles with, say, Dustin Pedroia, when he first came up. The vast difference is that Pedroia, even while not hitting well, was still demonstrating good plate discipline and he eventually figured it out because he was already swinging well and was disciplined. Belt has not show much discipline at all in the majors. He has been up and down, but mostly down. I monitored his contact rate average for the past 10, 20, 30 games, and he was up and down, one moment he's at 90% contact, a little while later, he's down in the 60's and 70's.

      I am beginning to think that he's a thinker, one whose brain gets in the way of his skills. In recent interview, he noted that once he stopped focusing on this numbers and started thinking about the team, he started hitting. Something like .323 was reported and his OPS was in the mid-800's (.855?), both very good (but skyhigh BABIP, like .395, so unsustainable long-term). I know I read him saying in an interview that he would pressure himself too much, and particularly after he hit well.

      These are all hindsight, I grant that. However, when I went over his usage, game by game, the Giants only took him out when he was clearly lost at the plate, striking out at obscenely high rates (40%, 50% +) that no player could sustain unless he's hitting a homer every game or two, really. So then they took out a young player who was taking it too hard when he failed, plus was ignoring their advice to get better as well. I'm sure it wasn't perfect, but when they sat him down, I check the numbers and he was struggling hard most of the time.

  4. Roger K and Peguero - we go to war not with the initial 25 and so, it's good to know we have more in reserve (ask Napolean if he didn't wish he had more at Waterloo).