Sunday, July 14, 2013

Game Wrap 7/14/2013: Padres 10 Giants 1

The Giants got blown out early in this one with a combination of bad pitching and fielding miscues.  Key Lines:

Andres Torres- 1 for 4, 3B.  BA= .256.  Torres led off the game with a ringing triple up the gap in right-center.  He scored on a bloop single by Scutaro.  That would be the last run the Giants scored in this one.

Marco Scutaro- 2 for 4.  BA= .316.  The RBI single was a dying quail but it got the job done.  That was before the Padres buried the Giants with an HR explosion.

Barry Zito- 2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 0 K's.  3 of the 4 hits were longballs.  Maybe Zito looked around, realized it was a hot day, he had an ump with a small K zone and decided he's just as soon hit the showers early.  Just kidding!  I know Zeets is a competitor, but man, it gets frustrating to watch him sometimes.  First pitch of the game was a FB at 82 MPH on the TV gun.  Can it get any slower?  I mean, that's not even a changeup for a lot of pltchers!

Jake Dunning- 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 3.31.  Dunning got a DP grounder but the Giants failed to convert, then Lopez came in and poured gas on the fire.  Not that he pitched well, but Dunning should have been out of the inning with just Zito's runner scoring.

With the Loss, the Giants remained 6.5 games behind the NL West leading D'Backs who lost to the BrewCrew 5-1.  The Dodgers stayed 2.5 games back with a 3-1 loss to the Rockies who gained a game to 4.5 back.  The Padres gained a game and are now 8.5 back in last place.

MLB now enters the All-Star Break.  The Giants get a 4 game break and resume play on Friday, July 19 against the first place D'Backs.


  1. 10 weeks left in the season. 6 1/2 out. LF is either a hot mess or a work in progress. When will fans accept that the Greybeards treat LF the way fans want the bullpen to be treated?

    Lets bust out the great wordsmith Pat Burrell's line: 1 game a week gain in the standings, and then we'll see where we are.

    Yeah yeah, the starting pitching is leaking, the pen is in ribbons, the hitters can't hit in RISP. And there wasn't any plan to replace Angel Pagan or Ryan Vogelsong.

    2012 Giants 2nd half: 48-28
    2011 Giants 2nd half: 34-36
    2010 Giants 2nd half: 45-29
    2009 Giants 2nd half: 39-35

    Will they catch fire? Will they tread water? Will Sabean make trades for the future for the first time? Inquiring minds want to know!

    Love this baseball team, love these past few years, whatever goes down, gonna have fun going down that path. It's always about Los Gigantes. Always.

    2009: Freddy, Garko
    2010: PTB, Cody Ross, Jose Guillen, Javy Lopez, RamRam
    2011: Beltran, Keppinger, Orlando Cabrera
    2012: Scutaro, Mijares

    I missed a couple? Choose wisely Greybeards!

    If the Gints tank, there will be lots of whining about the FO and the ownership group. If they light the rocket, mute silence til the next tank job. It's been a good run, some knock downs, and then a great run. Let's see what happens next!

    1. Details... details.. I knew I missed something somewhere!

    2. Actually, Dusty had been saying that rule of thumb for a long time, make up one game in the standings per week.

      As I pointed on your blog, the scenario for the rest of the season is best paralleled by what the Giants did in the first 6 weeks of the season, or so, when they got to 8 games over .500.

      Offense then and now are about the same, if not better. Pagan actually scuffled, so Blanco/Torres in CF is probably improvement offensively and defensively. Tanaka/Francoeur is probably about the same as Blanco/Torres. Scutaro was cold then hot, Belt too, Crawford was good then and now, Pence is not hot now, but Belt has been good enough, I think, and Posey as usualy raised things up a notch for him.

      Pitching should be better. Starting was bad first two months, it was offense carrying them to those wins. Now Bumgarner is hot, Cain is Cain, same, Lincecum is improved, Gaudin better than Vogie, and Zito is Zito, random hot mess. And relief is back to where it was before with Casilla back.

      So I expect the Giants to get back over .500 before the end of the season, barring any further injuries to major cogs, and to get back into contention.

      However, if this is really the new Dodgers, then we probably won't get that close, I expect Puig's hot streak to cool off and then they will fall back to Earth, and that's how we catch up to them. For D-backs, Corbin can't continue this, much like Rockies hot pitcher when he had that great first half (he's now with Indians I think) and they should fall back too, but you never know when it is that pitchers year (like McClain's 30 win season long ago). Lots of ifs, but as noted, at least one game per week, then lets see where we are at the end of August.

    3. Cain is Cain? You could sure fool me! Yeah, he's had a few good starts, but he has not been himself most of the season so far and is now coming off 2 of the worst starts of his career. Here's hoping he's physically OK and turns it around, but Cain is definitely not Cain right now!

    4. I'd have to have Cain in the "leaking" column as well OGC. The only starter actually hitting stride is Bumgarner. Timmy is looking good lately, so he might be close. But Cain has been absolutely miserable, as has Zito. Zito has added a point to his ERA in his past 9 starts, we've only won 2 of them, with a tidy 69 hits given up in 34 IP on the road in 8 starts. Gaudin is keeping hope alive with his starts.

    5. Sorry I wasn't clearer, I thought that my position on Cain is very clear: he's not the Cain of old, I've been writing for a while now about how his DOM has dropped significantly since his Perfect Game and he's been struggling to regain his former goodness from before, though he's been good in terms of DOM/PQS (just not elite as before).

      What I meant is that Cain of early 2013 season appears to the the Cain of right now as well, before his two bad starts, he was doing about as well, maybe a little better (small samples natch) than early season. So I meant that Cain of now is same as Cain as then, and the Giants were winning overall as a team in that early season with good offensive production.

      My point is that the starting pitching weren't that good then and yet with offense similar to what we have now in our lineup (maybe better), we got to 8 games over .500 in 6 weeks (May 12th, 23-15). With possibly better starting now (per the comparison's I made above) and similar offense to that period, I think the Giants can put together a nice stretch to September, putting us over .500 by that point.

      Right now, as well as Dodgers have done, they are still under .500 overall, and Puig isn't hitting over .400 for the season. Only Arizona is over .500, and they are at 47-42, and that is based on their 17-2 record in Corbin starts: they are 30-40 in starts by their other starters. If you look at his peripherals, BB/9 and K/9 is almmost the same, only his H/9 and HR/9 are drastically down, suggesting that he's had a nice run of very good luck leading to his 2.35 ERA vs. his 4.54 ERA last season. His BABIP is .249, which is a bounce back for his poor BABIP last season of .319, resulting in .283 BABIP overall in his career. He should be regressing, and so should his HR/9, I wouldn't be surprised if his FIP+ is much higher. And if he's not continuing at the same level, they are no longer doing 17-2 percentage in the rest of his starts, and the rest of the team, as I noted, 30-40.

      So we could be right back in thick of it by the start of September, even if we are only around .500. Even if D-backs stay at 5 above .500 by playing .500, the Giants then would be around 2 games back with the games in Sept to go. And if the offense and pitching is better, as I theorized, we could be in the lead.

  2. I have decided I don't want Zito back at all. Just never know what you will get and more than likely it will be the bad Zito. Time to turn the page.

    1. Well, Alex P over on Extra Giants seems to think that the Giants are getting a bit fed up with Zito too. Bochy had an awfully quick hook today and I think you could sense some annoyance that Zito did not give them a more competitive game.

      I know i have made a big point of the number of QS's Zito gives you. The other side of that coin is that when he does not give you a QS he is so bad the Giants have no chance to win.

      I think it's still a very close call and will depend on how he does in the second half. You have to wonder what the Giants are thinking about those 82-83 MPH fastballs, though. I think I remember Kruk expressing some frustration over his pitch selection, especially after Denorfia took him deep in the first inning on a pitch Kruk figured out was coming about a full minute before it was thrown. I mean, you just can't go throwing consecutive 82 MPH cutters on the inner half of the plate to major league hitters and not expect them to hammer the second one.

    2. All that really matters regarding Zito is this: do we have a better option? For the past few years, he added on zero cost to utilize, so you could really only look at internal options for better results and there were none.

      The change for next season is that it would cost the Giants $11M to pick up his option. As many had noted previously, it was not outrageous to consider Zito a gimme to pick up his option, as frustrating he is, overall you can expect a certain level of production over a full season and he don't miss games, which means you don't go to your 6th starter, which is still a big drop from Zito, generally.

      Gaudin has now made that scenario look bad for automatically picking up Zito's option. We should be able to retain Gaudin at relatively minimal cost, and he looks like a good improvement over Zito, not just a capable replacement. With Kickham looking like he'll be a viable replacement in case of injuries for the 2014 season, the Giants look likely to decide between pursuing Lincecum OR Zito for the last rotation spot in 2014 (assuming Vogie returns strong enough) or even pursuing another free agent starter. I would think Lincecum will be the main target (unless his agent for some reason tells them not to bother) and the Giants will feel the need to ride that out for PR purposes, but get another Gaudin type to be the long relief but backup plan should we strike out on Lincecum and Zito gets away to another team. I think Zito will sign for a good sized contract, but just one year, in the $7-10M range, just depends on when a team forces him to select a deal or meets whatever demands he might have. Or maybe he's the really good guy he says he is, feels he owes the Giants something, and signs a small contract for 2014 to help make up for what he didn't do while under contract.

    3. QS in 2010: Cain 25; Timmy 22; Zito 19; Sanchez 14; Maddy/Wellemeyer 15
      QS in 2011: Cain 26; Timmy 23; Maddy 23; Vogey 19; Zito/Sanchez/Surkamp 12
      QS in 2012: Vogey 22; Cain 21; Maddy 19; Zito 17; Timmy 13

      QS in 2013 Maddy 13; Cain 11; Timmy 8; Zito 6; Gaudin/Vogey 4
      19 starts for most those cats, 32-33 in years prior.

      They have 13-14 starts remaining, meaning its going to be tough to get to 2012 level pitching and close to impossible to 2011.

      Big Game Barry Zito is going to have to rattle it off to be worth it. He does have some history of doing that though...

    4. QS in 2009: Timmy 26; Cain 20; Zito 16; Sanchez 9; Johnson/Penny/Sadowski 13

      What does this tell me? Give Timmy the Qualifying Offer! Zito has a pretty solid history of at least pitching well half the time, and the other half...

    5. By QS standards, Zito is up there. By PQS standards, he's been merely good or adequate relative to the other starters.

      But to your point, that is valuable pitching, all those innings at an overall OK quality.

      To my point, with Gaudin doing well and Vogie probably doing well, it becomes Lincecum vs. Zito, and I don't see the Giants paying as much as other teams to get that production, especially when it is Lincecum and the PR disaster that could be if they give up on Tim in order to sign Zito.

    6. How the National Scene Writers view it:

      Schulman has a nice profile on Timmy working toward his mid-career: (if it doesn't load, go to his twitter and click link to get through pay site)

      It would be a nice problem to have if Timmy continues to grow into a different pitcher. Sabean himself talked about the adjustment from being a 94 MPH fireballer to more of a pitch to contact sneaky guy. The diminished velocity isn't diminished to Zito levels.

      If it is straight up Zito/Timmy that's a pretty easy 7MM buyout. But you have to hedge in case Timmy rolls on out... Its a interesting puzzle to sort through.

    7. The hedge that I noted above is that we have Kickham in AAA, hopefully improving, and also that the Giants take a look at a Gaudin/Vogelsong type to take a flier on for 2014, as long relief if Timmy signs and as starter if not. Yes, very interesting puzzle to sort through, still a lot of season left, Timmy looked like he was ready for breakout with his 2012 second half, then continued to struggle this season, so we will see if he's changing as much as he says he is.

    8. Nice articles, thanks.

      No dilemma in my mind, the Giants were never really going to seriously consider trading Lincecum. The Tigers et al who might be interested in him as a reliever, but that's like how the Blue Jays were interested in trading Rios for Lincecum, that don't mean the Giants were looking to move him.

      And another article about a Giants player refusing to listen to the coaches, familiar theme, Dirty and Belt have been exposed as players who did that before, Brown among minor leaguers. And it is not surprising that Lincecum would fight back, that is what got him to this point in his career, anyhow, not listening to what others were telling him, that he was too small, too freaky, too whatever.

      Money quote: "By that, I mean studying my hitters better, going over my mechanics to the point where I'm not trying to overthrow things, working more on placement."

      That's all about what the Giants do to attack the opposition, studying hitters' tendencies, getting your mechanics right, try not to overthrow, and placing the pitches in certain spots. Makes it so amazing that Lincecum has done so well for so long just being a thrower and not a pitcher.

      And that is why I have been wanting to sign him up still, he clearly has had his stuff, you don't strike out over 9 K/9 without great stuff, he was just throwing the wrong pitch at the wrong time too often. If this has really been his problem over the past season and a half, then I can see Lincecum getting big offers from interested teams, and that the Giants would be one of those teams, if he has a monster second half.

      Great article, thanks for sharing.

    9. I like to look at how outsiders might view the Giants. Because of the local and vocal trash the Giants and the FO crowd (not here and a few other sites) there is always a pessimistic bent towards any action.

      The name of the game in MLB now is contract control. Romo and Panda being FA's in 2015, and being experience and proven MLB guys, they are worth something, we don't know what yet. Timmy is worth less ironically, because of his contract and his PR worth to the Giants. And on the flip side, he has the most value dormant, by the factor of about 10 if he puts it together. Pablo has the additional value of most likely being worth the qualifying offer/draft pick game, assuming he rights his portly ship.

      Interesting take on the listen to the coaches. For some reason interwebz fans have this fiction that the Giants ruin position players, and throw players under the bus when they don't tow the line. That'll open up a big can of worms, but I generally find that the Giants are actually the good guys when it comes to how they treat players. And it shows up with things like Pat the Bat coming back to the org on a 1MM contract, staying to be a scout and generally "I like it here". This gets echoed a fair amount. And I think that's what Timmy is saying, but there is lots of paranoia mixed up in this one, and its been going on for years. Alls I know is why in the world would a guy like Timmy who has enjoyed huge success want to go labor for a loser organization like Seattle? King Felix anyone?

    10. Plus, as we all have pointed out at various times, Timmy has Example 1A+ to see up close in all its goryness how a big contract nice guy comes to another team that is trying to rebuild, and getting excoriated in the press for years: Barry Zito.

      And Timmy hates to think long-term, he's a moment to moment guy, so he might prefer resigning quickly with the Giants in the exclusive period, a two year deal, just to get it out of the way, though I'm sure his agents have other plans that they are going to push hard for him to follow, and that he'll most likely follow. But he sees his baseball future right here, right now, how the fanbase has never really gotten over Zito's contract, and do he really want to risk that by going somewhere else?

      Plus here's an idea that might work for him, maybe a unique option that reups every year he reaches 200 IP to the same amount and buyout, so that he's on a perpetual short term deal, with bonuses to up the salary, say $1M per Cy Young, MVP, or other major awards. So lets say the option is $22.55M, so if he reaches 200IP, he gets a new contract for the next season at $22.55M plus another option that vests if he reaches 200IP.

      At this point in his career, it might be worth the two in the bush to get a good deal in the hand first instead. That guarantees two years plus as long as he's starting and doing well, he'll reach 200 IP, he can force the contract to keep on going with good performances.

      That'll be making a bet on himself that he can last, say, another 10 years as a starter, and still get $200M without having a 10 year, $200M deal hanging over his head. And frankly, I don't see other teams fighting to give him any 5 year deal at the end of the season, no matter how well he does the rest of the season, his 2012 and early 2013 will weigh heavily on the fingers holding the coin purses of the other teams. Some teams might offer 3 years, but that then makes the 2 year with re-vesting option at 200 IP a viable alternative for Lincecum to reconsider resigning with the Giants, plus keeps him tethered to us as long as he is productive.

      As you note, that is a recurring theme for Giants players, they want to stay here and publicly says so, and hopefully they are willing to work with the team to stay here. This revesting option is one way it could work for Lincecum long-term while limiting risk for the team.

    11. Shank, I love your insight & perspective, and agree that SF is the best place for Timmah...however, if he came home to Seattle he would be treated like a hometown hero. And he does have the multi million $ pad up here.

      That being said, I hope he stays down there. The Ms are cursed with Lincoln & Armstrong...Sabes is G2G in my book. Hope we keep him & Barr...Bochy et al.


  3. Barry Zito is not the answer. Barry Zito is the question; "no" is the answer.

  4. 8 games under 500 at the break. forget the standings. reality says that giants must be sellers and retool for 2014 and beyond

    losing heston for nothing is an absolute joke


    1. Have they lost him yet? They have 10 days to make a trade.

      I think they can retool and compete at the same time. No team is going to give up top 100 talent anyways, so they have to be sneaky.

    2. They are always sneaky when it comes to dealing with competing teams.

    3. What is an absolute joke is that reality says that the Giants are poised to get back into the race and yet people are still doubting it.

      People focus too much like a horse with blinders on, seeing only what is in front of them. The "bad" Giants of the past two months was a result of injuries to major cogs of the offense that was driving their success in the first six weeks of the season. Those injuries are over and the real Giants are back, as the players are now returning back to prior hitting performances when we were averaging 4.5 runs per game and playing .605 ball (23-15).

      This is not the mid-to-late 2000's when the team was really bad, this is the same team that ran roughshod over the NL West in the last part of the 2012 season then continued that roll early in 2013 until injuries decimated the lineup. And that lineup has returned to hitting shape.

      What is an absolute joke is that there are still people who doubt Sabean's abilities as GM. They miss the big picture and they over value minor prospects, Heston was only rated the 17th best prospect in the system pre-season, and his poor pitching dropped him even further down the list. Whether we lose him or not, unfortunately, he has not shown very much this season, and he's a prospect who needs to prove himself at every level. And he didn't even come close to parting the Red Seas this season.

    4. It's right up there in my first comment - 2 years of rampagin' and 2 years of treading water. What will happen? Nobody really knows. But I agree, this is not your late 90s team that threw up Rowand/Molina/Wynn/Freddy Lew.

      Heston is a nice story, but he's still a long shot. This smells like one of those sideways moves, most likely picking up a reliever they can stash in AAA.

    5. I think with respect to Heston, it would be, uh, not so prudent, if he was the 17th best prospect, to count on him as our in-house plan B for our rotation at the start of the spring training this year.

      Maybe after that early spring training session where almost everyone was present to either 1) watch him pitch, they (I don't remember the chronology to say if 1 or 2 below applies) decided to rely more on Gaudin or 2) they went out and signed Gaudin. Whatever the case, I only remember hearing about the session and not much about anything as a result of that session.

    6. This should read just a tad more sensible...

      Maybe after that early spring training session where almost everyone was present to watch him pitch, they (I don't remember the chronology to say if 1 or 2 below applies) either 1) to decided to rely more on Gaudin or 2) they went out and signed Gaudin. Whatever the case, I only remember hearing about the session and not much about anything as a result of that session.