Monday, April 1, 2013

Game Wrap 4/1/2013: Dodgers 4 Giants 0

Matt Cain matched Clayton Kershaw goose egg for goose egg through 6 innings before yielding to the bullpen.  THAT didn't turn out so well and Kershaw went the distance for the CG shutout.  Oh, and he hit a HR to boot. Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 2 for 4.  BA= .500.

Pablo Sandoval- 2 for 4.  BA= .500.  Pagan and Pablo got the only 4 hits off Kershaw.

Matt Cain- 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K's.  ERA= 0.00.  Talk about getting Cained.....!

Giants get another shot at the Dodgers tomorrow evening at 7:10 PM with Madison Bumgarner facing Hyun-Jin Ryu


  1. Not all that unexpected or disappointing if you ask me. Kershaw is our kryptonite and it doesn't bother me to lose to him on opening day in LA. I wanted to make a few observations before the season started but am a little late. Really the only observation I have so far is that Brandon Belt is going to suck again and Brandon Crawford actually looks like a kid on the way to being a star. Semi bold prediction is that Craw will have a better AVG. than Belt this season. Just to avoid confusion, I wasn't on Craw's bandwagon last year because I thought he needed more seasoning but I'm all on board now.

    Its hard to judge how our offense is going to perform based on spring training and one game into the season but nobody should be surprised if we struggle much like 2011 after winning the WS and not reloading, just resigning guys who caught lighting in a bottle for a month. Scutaro looks like he could end up on the same "missing" posters we saw Huff on in 2011 and Pagan god love him is still not a leadoff hitter but hopefully he can continue to fake it.

    Panda looks like he had an elongated spring training for the world series of hot dog eating. His belly is so frickin huge I bet he doesn't fit into his old uniforms. Our season literally lies in his hands but thats ok according to most because he is basically just a cheaper version of David Wright apparently!! I hadn't realized Wright had signed long term before when I was suggesting he would be a good person to trade Pablo for but why would we want to do that when we get to see the spectacle that is the Panda lumber around the bases! He will still hit but his weight will eventually do him in and when that happens you can kiss the Giants chances of winning this division good bye.

    One criticism which sounds stupid but I think should have been considered is that we did the exact same thing after 2010 when we brought Huff and Sanchez and Burrell back expecting them to do the same things they did the year before. Pagan I'm not so worried about but Scutaro may have a year like Huff's 2011 in which case we are going to have trouble scoring runs. Both 2010 and 2012's offenses were heavily dependant on our leadoff and No. 2 hitters getting on base setting the table for the middle of the lineup and I'm not so sure Pagan and Scutaro are going to be able to repeat.

    Aside from the offense, our starters will be tested once again and although I'm not concerned about Cain or MadBum, Voggie is a year older and Timmy may never be Timmy again. We have nobody in the minors who is ready to compete this year either pitching or batting for the big club so when things go south there won't be a lot of places to turn for help. In all fairness I don't know what else Sabes could have done to improve the team this offseason but we may be in for a bit of a down year if guys like Belt, Scutaro, and Panda don't get and stay on track.

    1. So the non-roster-blowup was the reason why the Gs missed the playoffs in '11? Is that what you are saying?

    2. 100% totally agree with your post. I didnt get to caught up with Belt spring training stats, guy has already shown that he can smash the ball when its not major league caliber pitching, in fact if you take a look at Belts 16 career homeruns they have all been against extremelly bad pitchers (some arent even in the bigs this year). LF is a huge hole, neither Blanco or Torres are regulars. To me Sabean and the Giants organization are to loyal to its players. no way on earth was Scutaro worth 3yrs (at age 37) or even worse bringing back Torres for $2M whos 2010 yr was a total fluke.

    3. I'm going to reserve judgement on Belt until he has a chance to face someone other than the best freaking LHP in baseball, and by a pretty darn wide margin.

      I have already said that I would not sign Pablo to anything longer than a 3 year deal, ever, so in that sense I kind of agree with Pato. I don't see any better available 3B options for now, though.

    4. Belts at bats in preseason were the same and he was facing Milone and a few other good pitchers for the A's but nothing close to kershaw and yet he still had swiss cheese sized holes in his swing. I honestly don't think he was shown any tough pitches in spring training especially not from pitchers he will be facing frequently this year so the numbers are clearly not a good borrometer of how he will do.

      Calsnowskier, you asked if the non-roster blowup was the reason the Giants missed the playoffs in 11. Are you trying to instigate or do you figure I forgot that we lost Buster that year as well? They weren't the whole reason but they were a big part of it. Instead of jumping at every opportunity to question what I have to say try being a little more open to my perspective because if you are jumping to the conclusion that I'm blaming the entire 11 season on the fact that we didn't blow it up then I will go ahead and assume that you didn't notice a difference in production from 1-3 in the lineup from 10 to 11 (Torres, Sanchez, Huff). Heck, throw in Burrell if you want and ask me again with that antogonistic attitude whether I thought the 11 missing the playoffs was due to them not blowing up the team! The fact is that the offense was horrible even with Posey in the lineup that year and yes, they didn't make the playoffs because Torres was garbage, Sanchez was injured, and Huff and Burrell had nothing left in the tank. Any more questions?

    5. You look at the '10/'11 off season with 20/20 hindsight, though.

      Sanchez was glass, but was still performing at a near-elite level. I was not a HUGE fan of him as the solution, but there were none better.

      Huff was a key member ofthe '10 team. He finished 8th in MVP. We had Belt sky-rocketting through the system. Huff signed for 2/20. What other 1B would you have liked to come in. given the fact that our #1 prospect was a 1B, and was almost ready to bust through?

      Ross was a late-sign. Sabes kicked the tires, and found nothing better. Torres was near free. Burrell was a last-minute sign as well, and he knew he was likely not going to make it through the whole season. Who would you have prefered? Crawford? Ford?

      You look at the situations judging on outcomes instead of looking at the landscape that existed at the time. If Posey does not go down, I think there is little argument that the Giants would have made the playoffs, and MIGHT have still had Wheeler in the org. As it was, we were contending down to the last couple weeks with just about EVERY major player on the roster spending at least some time on the DL (Wilson, Posey, Sandoval, Sanchez, Belt, Huff...).

    6. Well, I agree that spring training stats don't mean anything but Belt actually hit pretty well down the stretch last year.

      Nobody thought Huff was going to repeat his 2010 season. If they did, they would have signed him for $20 M. What they signed him for was the price of an average MLB player. Pretty much the same deal with Scoots and his second half last year. They signed him for the price of an average season for him, which is still not half bad. I agree that 3 years is a long time for him.

    7. Great points Cal and Dr. B. I didn't have a huge problem with those moves back then although I didn't do a single fist pump either. It is hard to argue with bringing back guys that won you a world series which is partly why it really doesn't matter what Pagan and Scutaro do this year, they earned it. I'm not sure what moves I would have made differently after 2010 but with Belt almost ready maybe one of those moves would have been to not resign Huff and let Posey play a little first base if Belt didn't come along as quick (purely a hindsight 20/20 move admittedly).

      I do argue with the thought that we would have made the playoffs in 2011 if Buster hadn't gotten injured. It sounds like it makes sense but then again, that team was winning so many 1 run games and getting everything to go their way until they sputtered out. They continued to stay in 1st for quite a while after Buster was injured and lost it after acquiring Beltran which I think very well could have happened with Buster or without. What WAR would Buster have had to produce to get us those extra 5 or so wins it would have taken to make the playoffs?

      Nothing you can do to change the past but one thing I might have done as Giants ownership to avoid repeating it is avoid repeating it!! Everyone here is in agreement that nobody was expecting that much out of the lightning in a bottle guys from 2010 going into 2011 but what makes these lightning in a bottle guys any different? Why are we now saying that Pagan and Scutaro and Pence and Blanco are going to succeed where Huff and Torres and Sanchez and Burrell and Ross failed before them? I'm not happy about my prediction but I think we are asking a lot if we think these guys can play all year like they did in October last year.

      What would I have done differently is a fair question. Unfortunately the right answer is the unpopular one and its that they don't do anything if there isn't anything out there worth doing. If some other team wants to overpay Scutaro for the next 3 years then let them. If Pagan can make more money playing somewhere else then let him walk and take your chances with Blanco in Center and sign someone like Ichiro or Torri Hunter for a year. Unless there is an impact free agent out there we go with the next best thing which could have been to bring Theriot back and let him play 2B at 3 million a year. I would love to be wrong and this must seem like a total knee jerk reaction after one game but I do see some similarities between the 2011 and this years teams and they could be what keep us from making the playoffs this year.

    8. Another factor to keep in mind is that no one wants to play at AT&T. To get an "impact" bat to even consider coming to SF, te G's have to over-pay like crazy. It was well reported that Hunter had ZERO interest in playing in SF. Who knows how accurate those reports were, but they did exist. There is story after story of guys having that opinion of hitting in SF.

      Therefore, the FO needs to do their work in trades instead of FA signings. Usually, the G's RAPE their trading partners, so trades are pretty hard to come by. Thus, you keep who you got, and you develop from within.

    9. Hey Pato -

      The one thing about "don't do anything if there isn't anything out there worth doing," is that, quite frankly, this is just not an option for a reigning WS team. For a NUMBER of reasons. First of all, the Giants are kings of marketing their team, and it's one of the ways that they've built an extremely powerful fan base, and a surging baseball business. Secondly, not signing these guys would have left the team with huge holes all over the field.

      Here's my justification:
      Pagan: Honestly, I don't see how putting Pagan in the same class as Ross and Torres makes any sense whatsoever, since he had truly excellent years in 2009 and 2010, which he replicated in 2012. In addition, personally I could see his raw talent on display last year. He's a great junk-ball hitter, great emergency hack, and his game is a mix of speed and extra-base hits. He's young enough to last, and was the best option for the $$ and draft-picks.

      Blanco: Defense is underrated, and the Giants proved that. This carries over the entire year, not just in playoff games. His bat is not a vapid hole in the lineup, and he's got speed to burn. Plus, price and a lack of other worthwhile options necessitated Blanco in LF.

      Scooter: Marketing. Pure and simple. Also, career-averages wise, the best bang for the buck, and will be a serviceable UI the next two years when Noonan/Panik take over.

      Pence: Dude, Hunter is actually a very, very good ball player. Every team was green with envy in 2011 when the Phils nabbed him, and he helped us win a WS at his absolute, maximum worst. Marketing comes into play, but I believe his leadership only compliments his power, RF arm and RBI abilities. Not to mention, again, what were the alternatives?

      Yeah, it would be great to add some set of awesome, key FA pieces after winning a WS. But seriously, where we needed them, there weren't any available. Trades? With what farm-hands? Again, Sabean took the rout which will bear the most fruit both long and short term.

      Don't forget, they may not have won after the 2011 offseason, but they did win it ALL the very next year. It's hard to field a good argument against the wisdom of the Giants FO right now, I'd say.

  2. Good arguments on both side, but I think I will reserve judgment till we play a few more games. Personally, I think Dr. B's projections post was right on target and will continue to root for the Gigantes! 161 more games to play!

    Like Shank says, "Flags Fly Forever!"

    Duck the Fodgers! Let's Go Giants!

    NWGiants Fan

  3. Even though it blew up in '11, you give the World Series Champions a chance to repeat.

    As Doc say, lets go ahead and see Belt against NOT the best lefty in baseball. There are a lot of different ways to look at stats, but just looking at basic OPS, Belt was dead center in the pack of NL 1B. When he looks bad, he looks bad. And he disappears for stretches. But I have no problem giving the guy another, at least, to develop (or not). He's a great defender, a good baserunner, can play a corner OF spot in a pinch (unlike most !B), and the guy started his college career as a pitcher. If anyone has a better idea for 1B (and go ahead and Monday Morning QB back through this past winter) I'd like to hear it.

    1. Another "year" to develop, that is