Sunday, May 12, 2013

Game Wrap 5/12/2013: Giants 5 Braves 1

The Giants got 7 shutout innings from Timmy and broke out the longball to win their 3'rd straight against the first place team in the NL East.  Key Lines:

Marco Scutaro- 2 for 5, 2B, HR(1).  BA= .305.  OK, I've always liked Scutaro and thought his contract was a good deal for the Giants, well, except for the 3'rd year part, but even I did not expect him to get hot like he did last year.  Well, he's as hot right now as he was at any time last season.  Only question is how long he can keep it going.  Didn't see it, but apparently the Dawg interfered with the 2B or it would have been a second dinger.

Pablo Sandoval- 2 for 4, HR(6), BB.  BA= .320.  Second dinger in 2 games for Pablo.  Guess his power slump is behind him.

Brandon Belt- 1 for 3, HR(4), BB.  BA= .233.

Gregor Blanco- 1 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .289.  Blanco follows up his huge game yesterday with a ground rule double  in Triples Alley that would have been a HR in any other park and might have been an inside-the-park round tripper had it not bounced over the wall.

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 3, BB.  BA= .279.  Crawford has 2 more hits in this one.  The 6,7 and 8 hitters went a collective 4 for 9 with 2 2B, HR and 3 BB in this one.

Tim Lincecum- 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 4.07.  I thought Timmy looked better in his last start.  His results caught up today.  Hopefully this will instill some confidence to keep it going which would be a huge boost to the Giants hopes of repeating their championship run.

The Win left the Giants 2 games up in first place in the NL West.  The second place D'Backs went to the 9'th inning leading 2-0 only to have Heath Bell cough it up then go on to lose 4-2 in the 10'th inning.  The D'Backs suddenly are in a world of hurt with their bullpen.  The Rockies pounded the Cards 8-2 to remain 2.5 games behind in 3'rd place.  The 4'th place Padres lost to the Rays 4-2 to fall 6.5 games behind while the Dodgers beat the lowly Marlins 5-3 to remain 7 games behind in last place.  Ha!

The Giants now get a day to travel to Toronto for a 2 game set.  Barry Zito will face RA Dickey in the opener and Bruce Bochy will give Melky Cabrera his Ring.


  1. Doc, I think they win 3 in 4 this year. This team is amazing. They are first in hits, second in runs, albeit eleventh in home runs. Imagine when hopefully the starting pitching consolidates this team would simply be unbeatable.

    First they say the Dodgers, then the Braves, then the Nationals well the Giants have beaten them fair and square. We got the best left hander in baseball right now in Bumgarner, the MVP and batting champion in Posey, and albeit he has been falling down in recent years the twice Cy Young Winner Lincecum. Has there even been other team to have won all these awards in such a short span of time not even including the World Series. I don't think so. I think the only competition for the Giants are the Cardinals and even then I won't bet against them.

    1. It's crazy hard to win back-to-back championships in baseball, but yeah, the Giants seem like they have a better team than in either 2010 or 2012. It will come down to how well the pitching holds up.

    2. Yeah, don't why the pundits turned their backs on the Giants for 2013, they bring back the same team virtually, and all look good for repeating performances as no one really outperformed, without someone underperforming, plus if Lincecum figures out things, the Giants blow the other teams out of the water!

  2. Crawford weathers his first slump very well. I'd say Blanco is feeling the heat from Peguero being called up, and stepping up his game. The Giants have 4 CFs on the team. I've seen some speculation that Torres just isn't used to LF and that might be an explanation for his mental lapses out there. Blanco hasn't had that problem.

    I had faith in Scutaro. Wasn't expecting him to get to 300 though.

    This stretch of pitching demonstrates why the Giants are such a dangerous playoff team. And while it should be tempered that its early in the season, it feels good to beat a playoff caliber team like the Braves 3-1. This is the best baseball they've played all year. Love this team.

    1. I bet the swing-swing of the season continues though, and the Gints get a little let down on this road trip. Melky Cabrera grand slam off of Zito? I can see that happening.

    2. I thought about the way Melky just destroyed LHP's last year when I posted that Zito will pitch the game 1 of the Toronto series.

    3. Yeah, wasn't worried about Crawford that much, based on the interviews I've heard and the comments made about him by coaches whispered to the beat writers on the difference between him and Belt.

      Not sure why Blanco would feel heat of Peguero, since Pegs is RHH. Torres had great defensive numbers in 2009-10 across the OF, so the only reason I can understand is that his ADD meds are not helping anymore, resulting in his lack of attention in the OF and hitting. But Blanco played mostly LF last season, particularly, down the stretch, so that should help him be more used to fielding LF.

      I wasn't worried too much about Scutaro, other than his back, but now that it has been shown to be related to a shorter leg, I'm hoping for a great season out of him, he's been a good MI offensively in recent seasons, but I had to think that his bad back costed him a lot of poor hitting streaks, which would be missing this season with his new shoes. I think over .800 is a strong possibility, and given how hot he has been lately and compared to his time with the Giants in 2012, wonder if his contract could prove to be a huge bargain if he can continue hitting very well.

      I don't see why we should be tempered by it being early in the season. The rotation has a great history of doing well when they are healthy, only Vogelsong and Lincecum have real question marks coming out of 2012, and I'm very encouraged by Lincecum's adjustments in recent starts, he appears to be adjusting to his new weight/fitness better and better, as well has showing stronger stamina over 2012.

      And Vogelsong seems close, just off the mark a bit, and I still wonder if he's experiencing a bit of dead arm right now due to the short off-season, both because of playoffs and WBC. His PQS has actually been good until his last start, showing that sabermetrically he was doing OK overall, just poorly in key spots, which has cost him.

  3. I don't want to start a what's wrong/right with Timmy conversation. However, it seems to me that it is not velocity. He can get people out with 89-91. Location matters of course, because he stays away from the long ball when he keeps the ball down. But that isn't the biggest difference. It seems like the key though is late movement on his changeup. His changeup was wicked in this one. It was not only diving down, but away from left handed hitters. The late movement kept the hitters guessing and seemed to upset their timing. You can tell when a hitter is sitting on one pitch, but has another pitch that he is worried about. There were several half hearted swings and swings that missed the ball by 4 inches in this game.

    1. Well, you have more room for error with more velocity and Timmy has never had the greatest command in the world. Maybe hitters from outside the division don't see him enough to recognize the split-change. Seems like everybody in the NL West has seen it enough that they recognize it and lay off.

      It's just one start, but an encouraging one. Yet another interesting story line to follow as the season unfolds.

  4. Glad to see Belt with another homer. It took him until June last year to even have 1 HR. I really hope he can correct his mechanical flaws and start to produce like people expected he would. I don't think he has Joey Votto upside, but I do think he can put up numbers similar to 1997-2000 JT Snow.

    So far in May he is hitting .226/.333/.484 with a 14% walk rate and 25% K rate. I'd like to see the K rate go down, especially against lefties who are just massacring him in the early season (0% walk rate and 41% K rate). I think if he can improve against lefties and keep up the line drives, he'll be a big part of this team. Those might be big "ifs" though.

    1. If he can sustain an OPS >.800 and play great D at 1B, he's an asset to the team.

    2. +1 to DrB's comment, he'll be a big part of the team just by being an asset.

      I think Votto upside is still a possibility and as much as I liked Snow, being Snow-like would be a disappointment to me. People forget, but it took Matt Williams a while to figure out MLB hitting, then once he did, watch out. Also, Votto was 24 when he started playing full-time and hitting well. Belt is only 25 this season, and has 4 HR in his last 56 AB (14 HR/AB), with a .929 OPS in that stretch since April 22.

      Votto had .874 OPS overall in his first full season, and struggled early on, though figured out things sooner. From when he figured things out to May 12th, he hit .268/.355/.610/.965, with 7 HR in 82 AB (12 HR/AB), a very similar stint of hitting for batting line and HR power as what Belt produced.

      Add to that Belt's stellar defense at 1B and ability to steal double digit bases, yes, maybe he won't be Votto, but he'll be close enough that he'll be a great asset on the team, not just the asset that DrB notes he could be.

      The important thing to remember is that right now we don't need Belt to be great for us to win right now, though obviously that would be better. He's our insurance policy of keeping this dynasty going forward should we happen to lose Pence in 2014 or Sandoval in 2015, he would replace either of them in the lineup in terms of production should we lose either one to free agency. Or, as I like to put it, risk mitigation.

    3. He's definitely been better and I hope it continues. I hope he has a nice hot streak, too (like a good week and a half to two week hot streak).

      I hope he can continue to correct his mechanical issues, something Keith Law talked about in his blog post about his lunch with Belt. The good news is that Belt recognizes what the issue is and so do the Giants coaches (especially Bochy, who was the guy who "got" to Belt on working to correct it).

      I wanna see Belt get back to the guy who could hit opposite field doubles like this:

      I'm still not sure the current Belt has shown he can do that (not even last year, I think). It also seems to me, if you watch the video, that his one tap toe tap might help with his balance, something his new (2012 new) double toe tap doesn't do.

    4. Did Keith Law address his snarky tweets from last year about the Gints Braintrust trading Belt during this lunch? Or his implication that they 'ruined' his swing? Of course he didn't.