Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Game Wrap 5/21/2013: Giants 4 Nationals 2

Matt Cain battled Stephen Strasburg in an exciting pitching duel, but neither starter was around to finish this one as Pablo Sandoval won it with a walkoff 2 run dinger in the bottom of the 10'th inning.  Key Lines:

Marco Scutaro- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .337.  Scutaro got to late in the game still needing a hit to extend his hittin streak to 19 games.  He ended up with his 20'th 2-hit game as he singled in the 10'th to set up Pablo's game winner.

Pablo Sandoval- 2 for 5, HR(8).  BA= .308.  It was almost like Davey Johnson gave up on this game when he brought in Yuniesky Maya for the 10'th.  The guy's AAA numbers did not look good and he did not disappoint Giants fans who were licking their chops at the thought of Pablo getting to bat against him.

Buster Posey- 2 for 4.  BA= .303.  Buster had a clutch single up the middle in the 9'th to get the game tying rally started.  Boch made a great move pinch-running Torres who came all the way home on Blanco's drive to the wall up Triples Alley.  Buster probably would have scored on that hit too, but it's not a slam dunk that he would have.

Gregor Blanco- 3 for 4, 3B, SB(5).  BA= .293.  How great is Blanco playing right now?  He was a thorn in Strasburg's side all night and he had The Stras giving him stare downs and stankeyes all night for some reason.  He then smoked a triple over the head of Harper in right-center that got to the wall faster than any hit I can remember out there.  It just rocketed over Harper's head before he had a chance to take more than 2 steps back and Harper was playing deep.

Matt Cain- 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 5.12.  Cain actually had a better statistical line than Strasburg allowing 1 less hit and 1 less walk.  Cainer gave up both his runs in the first inning then was nails after that.  He actually appeared to be getting stronger as the game went along.

Bruce Bochy- Boch outmanaged Davy Johnson in this one with deft use of his bullpen.  Of course, you really can't blame Davy for Soriano not executing, but Bochy's use of his bullpen was masterful.  Boch gets some extra points for pinch running Torres for Posey and then not risking getting Torres thrown out by running him.

With the Win, the Giants moved into a first place tie with the D'Backs who lost their game with the Rockies 5-4.  The Rockies cut their deficit in third place to 1 game.  The Padres lost to the Card 10-2 to remain 4.5 games behind while the last place Dodgers(man, I really love writing that) remain 7 games back with a 5-2 loss to the BrewCrew.

Madison Bumgarner goes for the sweep facing Gio Gonzalez tomorrow afternoon.


  1. know they are all playing great, but scoots, pence and craw do need more days off and arias needs some field time.

    i was in my car for the 9th and 10th, i think i woke up the neighborhood

    this is one strange season

    if maddy is on tomorrow, should be another great pitchers duel.


    1. I was thinking about Arias last night. Man, that guy has completely disappeared! It's a long season though. Bochy has a history of temporarily forgetting about guys then finding a way for them to contribute later.

    2. Well, Arias plays only the infield, and all of the infield has been playing well and hitting well, so I understand why Bochy has not taken them out of the lineup as much. He has also not hit that well so far. And the team has been in or near the division lead, so you want to put your best players out there. I would forget about him too.

      Today's game might be a good one to rest Scutaro though, day game after night, give his back a rest, we already won the series, plus our best starter so far is going. And with Torres not really doing that well so far, hard to argue to rest Pence in favor of giving Torres a start. They could start Pill at 1B, push Belt to LF, and Blanco to RF, I suppose.

    3. ogc! Belt is not going to play LF! You can stop tooting that horn any time.

    4. I concur. Belt is the 1B unless the NL MVP needs to get in the game. He is not going out to LF unless its extra innings and the bench is short.

    5. I agree that he most likely won't be playing LF anytime this season, but I still think that is in the realm of possibility, hence why I ended with "I suppose".

      But I still view that as a season to season decision for Belt, if he does break out and start hitting the way everyone thinks he can, the Giants will not be wanting to take him out for even 10 games in a season, let alone 20-30 to allow Posey some time at 1B. That would suggest moving him to LF.

  2. The threat of running is sometimes better than actually running. Bochy also didn't bunt, with Pence and Belt coming to the plate in front of Blanco.

    Blanco is a sweet ballplayer. And I can live with Torres having low stats if he's the guy who comes around to score late important runs and straightens out his defense.

    Love the hitting streak, hope Shawshank tightens up his defense soon. Weren't we having some debate about Scutaro a couple weeks ago here? He's threatening to compete for a batting title now.

    1. Exactly, plus Torres is better able to score on any extrabase hit with Pence and Belt hitting. It is just ironic that it was Blanco who did the job there. You don't want to run your way out of a scoring opportunity, especially with no outs in the inning. And unlike Johnson who had Harper, his best hitter, bunt twice, Bochy had his guys swinging away.

      Blanco has been doing OK, which is all we really need from him, plus great defense. Don't have much power - ironic since didn't he win the MVP or something one Winter League? - but he gets on base a lot, which is great for keeping the line moving, and Crawford has been hitting well behind him.

      Do you think that Scutaro is adjusting to his legs being the same length, now that he has his new shoes? Could that be upsetting his internal balance in some way? Yeah, there was a debate, that's the great thing in baseball, things can change to the positive very quickly.

    2. Blanco had that exaggerated choke up on the bat. I think they changed his grip in VZ winter ball, and against inferior pitching he went on a rampage. It was pretty fun to watch his stats, then have the Giants sign him, then have him rampage onto the 25 after snagging the MVP.

      The Giants are very obviously taking the defense and speed, making it the bottom of the orders priority to move the line. Hey all you OBP worshippers with your Jr Saber badges, lets put on the accountant's eyeshade real quick: the Giants got 2.1 WAR out of Blanco last year while paying him the league minimum. This year they doubled his salary plus a bit of scratch, and he's put up 0.9 in 2 months. Looks like these bumbling stumbling idiots who just don't understand OBP might just be onto something.

    3. I still can't get over how Blanco smoked that ball. It's great that Harper is beating himself up and taking responsibility for it, but to my eye, Harper never had a chance. That ball just shot over his head like laser beam. It got there so quick he just didn't have time to react.

  3. Pitching and defense remain the cornerstones of this team.

    Hopefully, starters start putting together quality starts.

    With the showing of offense so far, and there is no reason why defense can be on par with 2012, and with bullpen not a visible problem (I haven't checked the numbers yet), if we can just from our starters 90% of what we got last year, we should be fine.

    Now, if Vogelsong's replacement is 50% as effective as the 2012 Vogelsong - and know that each one starter (in a 5-man rotation) is given 1/5 of total number of starts - that's 90% rotation performance, assuming the other 4, as a group, perform similarly to 2012.

    That's just back-of-the-napkin number crunching. The point is it's a group effort thing and we have to remain positive about trying to replace one guy, even just over 6 weeks, give or take.

  4. I'm just surprised the Nats threw a strike to Pablo in the 10th. Quiroz was hitting in Posey's spot after Torres pinch ran for him.

    1. I pretty much knew the game was over when I saw Maya coming in for the Nats and saw his AAA numbers. Davy gave up on this game. Maybe he had his reasons for giving up on it, but that's what he did.

      Of course, players have to execute, but a healthy percentage of this win can be chalked up to Bochy outmanaging Davy and Davy is a widely respected manager. Just one more example to refute the Bochy haters.