Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Game Wrap 5/1/2013: Giants 9 D'Backs 6

The Giants mounted a sustained offensive attack led by Brandon Belt's 3 run HR in the top of the 8'th inning to complete a sweep of the D'Backs in Arizona.  Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(1), BB, Assist.  BA= .283.  Pagan led off the game with a HR and scored all 3 times he reached base.  He got credit for an OF assist, but it was Crawford's relay that really made the play.

Brandon Crawford- 1 for 4, 3B, BB. BA= .271.  Crawford had been in a 1 for 19 slump before he tripled up the right-center alley to drive in a run.

Hunter Pence- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(5), BB, SB(5).  BA= .268.  Great game from Pence.  I really think this is Pence's team.  If you watch him in the dugout, he is constantly talking serious baseball with the other players, pointing out stuff on the field, giving encouragement, giving suggestions.  It's gonna be fun to see how far he can take them.

Gregor Blanco- 2 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .282.  Blanco quietly put together a fine game.  Whenever he is hitting above .250, he's contributing because of his ability to take a walk and get on base.

Brandon Belt- 1 for 3, HR(3), BB.  BA= .239.  It seems like every time Belt hits one, it's big.  This one brought the Giants from a 6-4 deficit to a 7-6 lead that they never relinquished.  Belt has also been raking ever since his private batting practice with Bruce Bochy.  He's hitting .357 over his last 10 games.  10 games ago, his BA stood at .183.

Tim Lincecum- 5 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 0 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 4.41.  Not sure what to make of Timmy's game here.  The 0 walks were nice, but was it at the expense of being more hittable?

George Kontos- 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K's.  ERA= 4.02.  The line does not look that impressive, but Kontos bailed Lopez out of a really tough jam and then came back with an additional shutdown inning.  Very deserved W for Kontos!

Sergio Romo- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(11).  ERA= 1.98.  Another methodical drama-free Save. He allowed a 1 out single to Goldschmidt, but Goldy never got past 1B.

Heath Bell(D'Backs)- 0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 5.91.  Whatever happened to Heath Bell?  Was he just an overrated product of Petco Park's dimensions?  Anyway.....the main reason I added him to Key Lines is I wanted to point out that the man has to have the oddest shaped feet in all of baseball.  I mean his shoes are equal in depth, width and length!  Yep, pretty much cubes attached to his ankles!  I just stare in amazement every time I see them on TV.

With the Win, the Giants complete a sweep of the D'Backs.  They stand 0.5 games behind the NL West leading Rockies pending the outcome of the Rockies' game against the Dodgers in which the Rockies are leading 7-3 in the 8'th inning.  The D'Backs fall 1.5 games off the pace also pending the outcome of the Rockies-Dodgers game.  The Dodgers sit 2.5 back with the Padres are at 6 back after losing to the Cubs 6-2.

The Giants get tomorrow as an off day the begin a 3 game series against the Hated Ones in San Francisco over the weekend with Barry Zito pitching Game 1 against Clayton Kershaw.


  1. Is anyone else pleasantly surprised at how Noonan has handled himself so far? Sure he's come down a bit since his hot start to the season, but he looks really comfortable at the plate. I'm so used to rookies (non-Posey division) coming up and looking lost, it's nice to see someone step in with an idea of what he's doing and making solid contact.

    1. Not entirely surprised. I thought there was a chance that Noonan would break out this year, but initially at Fresno. He's had over 2000 minor league PA's. He's obviously learned something from those.

    2. Same here. Kid got overlooked in way too many places this off-season. He put together a very good and very versatile year last year at a VERY YOUNG age...The kid is just a baseball player..may never be a starter, but will be able to help in many ways and Positions..Unfortunately, for him but maybe not the Giants, likely backing up the likes of Crawford, Scuturao and Panik in SF..


    3. Pleasantly surprised but he's doing what I've been expecting him to do since the second half of 2009. And nothing against Noonan, but in baseball, you kiss enough frogs (Niekro, Ellison, Ortmeier, Linden), eventually one will be pretty good.

      At worse, he can be a great versatile player off the bench, the super utility guy that the Giants had envisioned Burriss being. The Giants used to be able to find such good bench players like Scarsone and this other guy on the tip of my tongue (Litton?) back in the day, though I'm still hoping that Noonan can be a starter, and with the talk that Sandoval could be let go due to his weight issues, Noonan could be our 3B of the near future (or vice versa with Panik, not sure who has stronger arm), at least until Duvall pushes his way up here.

      People forget because he's been in our system so long, but as SteveVA astutely notes, Noonan has been very young for each league he's been in, so he's been fighting an uphill battle, and such battles are usually only won by the very good players (like Posey and Sandoval), but I think Noonan can be a good but average player and those players have good value to the team, as that is one less position you have to spend big money on.

      But yeah, right now, looks like he'll be our super-utility guy of the next 5-6 years, as his BABIP is still sky high, and thus his average should fall, he needs to cut his K's down and boost his walks. I view him as a better hitting version (but not as good defensively), infield division, of Nate Schierholtz. They probably can start somewhere in the majors and have some good years, but the Giants need good starting players now and can't wait out the development process to the finish.

      Also, as much as I like Crawford and Panik up the middle, you never know when the injury bug hits (Tulo, A's Crosby) and a good to great career is diminished by recurring injuries. So Noonan is great insurance in case either should need replacing in the next few years. The Giants are not only set up nicely at the major league starting lineup level, they also have good insurance pieces in case anything happens to our starters.

  2. Wow, what an unbelievable series! Belt's homerun was stunning to listen to, and watch on my MLB app.. I like this team's chances of winning alot of games if the starting pitching settles down.

    Pence's homerun was very impressive to watch too on my MLB App. I heard 470 ft? I agree on Blanco, if he hits enough he's a solid contributor because he plays great defense.

    Friday might be a good day to give Crawford his 1st day off against Kershaw. What an exciting 1st month of the season, this team fights till the last out is recorded..


  3. timmy was more hittable because the ump didnt have a knees...forced to use the plate and come up...fb was clocked at 93

    this team kinda reminds me of the teams i loved as a kid. when there was pitching, no hitting...when hitting, no pitching....only diff is this team wins

    would love for the giants to keep pence...but he is pricing himself out of the market and would be foolish not to get as much as he can on the fa market

    gotta agree with craw getting a day off against kershaw. not that i dont believe he can hit him, but just that arias does need some work at ss and craw would benefit from a day of sitting and watching. i think his mini slump has a lot to do with being a bit tuckered out.

    i asked konto what pitchers do when a k-zone is so out of whack and he tweeted, just roll with the punches...which i think is nuts. this game depends a lot on muscle memory and being forced to adjust to an ever changing zone is just wrong. really want to know what joe is doing at the league office, cuz he sure as heck isnt going over ump evals

    anyway...nice road trip...time to bust on those 230 mil bums


    1. I totally agree about the umpiring. It is they who needs to adjust, not the pitching.

      I thought that the MLB was serious and making good headway into this problem when Sandy Alderson was in charge of umpiring, especially when he got rid of a number of the worse ones by accepting their resignation selectively (I still love his quote when that happened), but then suddenly he was pushed out and the umpiring just seemed to regress to what it was before.

      With the new systems that can read strikes versus balls, I'm hoping that the next generation of umpires are trained using those systems so that there is more uniformity of strike zones and we can have less days where players have poor outings because the umpire is lousy, lazy, or both.

      It's nuts, but that's the right way to handle it when you are the pitcher, and as often noted by the umpire apologists, both teams have to adjust to the zone, so that's relatively fair, but I don't know how many times I've heard that the umpire is calling strikes on one team while calling a ball for the other in the same spot. That's just unacceptable, I've hated poor umpiring since almost my first days as a baseball fan, and I still rail against bad umpiring. They are not the stars, it is the baseball players who are, who the fans come pay to see/hear, and the sooner they realize that, the better.

  4. You know it's all good, when the Giants offense is winning in come-from-behind victories... now if only they could get some starting pitching.

    Timmy is better, but he's got to show it against someone other then the Pads.

    Craw's hitting this year is like opening great Christmas presents, every day.

    I don't know what giraffes and pandas have in common, but without Pablo's and Belt's late game heroics the Giants record would be under .500.

    Bring on the Bums, bring out the brooms!

    1. Well, the good news is that the starting pitching has actually been good in a sabermetric way, using the PQS (Pure Quality Start) analysis tool, but have been suffering from a lot of bad luck, whether too many hits or too many homers. Lincecum and Cain in particular, and even Vogelsong has actually pitched well, just there would that extra hit, extra HR that costs them the game/ERA. If they can continue pitching well from a sabermetrics perspective, then things should start balancing out and their ERAs will go down. I still think the early spring training plus shorter off-season due to the playoffs did affect the pitchers in some ways too.

      You should read Crawford's blog post on, he talks about what he changed to hit this well, shows how a little change can make a huge difference to a hitter.

      What giraffes and pandas have in common? They bring in $15-20 per hat/stuffed animal sold in the park? :^)

      Speaking of brooms, the road trip started in disaster but ended up where we would hope, .500 plus, if you could chose how to be .500 on this road trip, being swept by the Padres and then sweeping the D-backs is the best results because we don't have to worry about the Padres, while the D-backs should be one of our toughest competitors for the NL West division title this season. Plus, they took two of three from us at home, as well, do that evened things up.

      Don't need to sweep the Bridegrooms, just win the series is enough for me.

      (I'm settling on this as my way of needling the enemy, that's one of their old time names. Factoid, I just noticed that the team was called the Robins from 1914 to 1931, and Robin was introduced as Batman's sidekick in 1940, and Gotham City was an alternative version of New York City, so I have to wonder if there was any connection there. Probably not, but something interesting in terms of coincidence to think about.)

  5. Giants MLB ranks for the 9th inning of games

    Runs = 1st
    Hits = 1st
    Doubles = 1st
    HR's = 1st
    RBI = 1st
    Avg. = 2nd
    OBP = 2nd
    SLG = 1st
    OPS = 1st
    XBH = 1st

    This team is amazing may I even say unbeatable. 3 in 4 coming up this year!!!

    1. BuyLowSellLowerMay 2, 2013 at 2:15 PM

      And if we can add back into that the original recipe of 'pitching and defense' (not all of it is missing, btw), we will be living less dangerously (all teams must live dangerously to some degree).