Thursday, July 25, 2013

Game Wrap 7/24/2013: Reds 8 Giants 3

Chad Gaudin struggled with his command and the Reds pecked away at him to build up a 6-1 lead while the Giants offense somehow managed to produce just 3 runs out of 17 baserunners.  Key Lines:

Marco Scutaro- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .311.  Typical Scooter game.

Pablo Sandoval- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .269.

Hunter Pence- 5 for 5.  BA= .278.  Pence is not a guy you really expect to go 5 for 5 and if he does, you would not predict that they would all be singles.

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 3.  BA= .274.

Jeff Francoeur- 1 for 5, 7 LOB.
Guillermo Quiroz- 0 for 5, 8 LOB.  Giants hitters combined for a whopping 35 LOB, but Francoeur and Quiroz were the two biggest black holes in the lineup costing the Giants the game.  Of course Sandoval and Posey both leaving the bases loaded didn't help either, but these two guys really did not deliver with runners on base.  Quiroz, in particular, shows just how valuable Buster is behind the plate. You knew rallies were dead as soon as Quiroz stepped up with the pitcher on deck.

Chad Gaudin- 3.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 2.77.  I'll give Gaudin credit for battling.  He did not really fall apart out there, but the Reds just kept pecking away and the next thing you knew it was 6-1 in the 4'th inning. Amy G interviewed the missus during the game about the Giants wives auction.  She looks very young, but was well spoken.  Their young son is definitely a chip off the old block.

Grounds Crew- This team gets an F for the RH batters box which was set not at all parallel to home plate.  Howtheheck did that happen?  It kind of freaked Kruk out, but Kuip didn't seem to think it was a big deal.  I know I couldn't stop looking at it so it could have been a distraction for somebody on the field.

Mike Leake(Reds)- 6 IP, 12 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 2.73.  Classic bend but no break here, but that's always been his game.

With the Loss, the 4'th place Giants dropped to 7.5 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West.  The Dodgers beat the Blue Jays 8-3 in extra innings to sweep that series and win their 6'th in a row.  The 2'nd place D'Backs lost to the Cubs 7-6 to fall 1.5 games behind the leaders.  The 3'rd place Rockies topped the Marlins 2-1 to remain 5 games back while the Pathetic Padres lost to the decimated BrewCrew 3-1 to fall 9 games back in last place.

The Giants get a day off to regroup before starting a 3 game home series with the Cubs.  Matt Cain faces Edwin Jackson in game 1.


  1. 2nd division? No way.

    The Giants do have to play for pride, remember they've been there before and act accordingly though. You never know how things turn out, so they need to grind out and try and win series.

    1951 baby, 1951. The underlying talent is there. The story line is definitely set up just right. Tons of things have to be changed though, no doubt.

    Personally I think that 82 wins the West this year. With 61 left to play, the Gigantes need to win 36. Somebody in that clubhouse needs to say "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"

    Re-tool on the fly: Trade Pablo to the Yankees for Rafael DePaula and one of them OF prospects. Trade Blackburn and Blach to Minny for Trevor Plauffe. That way you're covered on your pitching prospects, you've re-booted 3B and taken the weakest cog out of the equation. Go see what you can do for the year.

    1. Of course it would help if I spelled names right when I play wannabe GM. Plouffe would be the name, and he is a questionmark at this point, I think he'll bust out. Minny needs more pitching as they re-tool. Hell, for Blackburn/Blach maybe the RDF can shell out cashish and get Justin M while we're at it, put Belt in LF and see what's what.

      Bam! Shankbone can think outside the box a little once in a while...

  2. Leake has bent a number of times before, looking through his starts, 8 times out of 19 starts is a lot of starts to get beat up on. That's basically why the Reds are 12-7 in his starts, when he's bad he's bad, and most starts where he gives up a lot of hits, he's usually had a bad start. This was his first bad start that ended really well for him.

    Plus the Big Red Machine, apparently reincarnated, has done a great job of winning when he does pitch well, so that helps fuel his great record, that and Dusty being good at taking him out early enough when he's having one of his bad games (that and Reds scoring a lot), else his record would be much worse overall.

    I also think that the Reds focused on the Giants because of what happened in the playoffs last year, and good teams do rise to the occassion.

    1. I wonder what was up with Gaudin, the radio announcer mentioned his pitch stats at one point late in the game, about half his pitches were balls, so to me, he did a pretty good job at keeping the runs off the board for as long as he did, Bochy probably would have took him out sooner if we didn't just go through two games yesterday, then on top of that, had two long bullpen games as well. He took one for the team in this start.

      Great analysis, DrB, those two holes in the lineup really hurt us, plus I would add Blanco and Sandoval to that list too, particularly Sandoval when it was bases loaded, down 6-1, an XBH then would have cleared the bases even with Scutaro, as there was two outs. I guess it hurt extra that he popped out on the first pitch. Hard to blame a guy with 2 ribbies in the game where we only had 3, but out of the four guys, he's the guy we depend upon to deliver and he didn't.

      But as we all know, we have to take each game, one at a time now, and move on. Hopefully Cain will return to at least his earlier season goodness, but if he has another bad start, even if he says he's still physically fine, we have to wonder what is up, either way.

      He has had three straight starts with walks >= K's, that's probably the worse three start sequence he has ever had in his career, even in his first full season, though looking back, this is very much like his first full season, he had a 4.67 ERA as of July 25th, then had a bad start on the 27th to push it to 4.87, another August 12th to push to 4.89, had a great string of starts before ending bad again. Both years have been very up and down, but mostly down.

      The good points of the game were that Scutaro and Crawford had nice games, that was part of what was going well with the offense earlier in the season, plus Sandoval, Posey, Pence appears to be delivering again, plus Belt has been steady good for a long while now, but unfortunately there are two big holes right now in the offense, in LF and CF, and Blanco especially has not been delivering lately, and really since he started playing CF mostly when Pagan went down, though Torres has been good.

      Plus Francoeur has been horrible in the second half, hopefully the last few games are just SSS, but he is just continuing the LF woes as well.

      If he can at least be productive, then Blanco/Torres platoon would help fix the Blanco problem vs. LHP. He is actually OK vs RHP, .277/.330/.367/.697, so he really should be platooning with somebody.

      While Francoeur's history is not that great vs. RHP, it at least is at least as good as Blanco has been vs. RHP, doable with his power. But he hasn't been good since 2011, and really, in four of the last six seasons, this is nothing like the Burrell situation. So here is where the Giants are probably employing some wishful thinking.

      Still, one would have thought that at least one of Kieschnick, Pequero, Brown would have broken out some this season and be useful at the MLB level, and the Giants clearly don't think much of their capabilities to do anything up here right now, under the pressure of trying to win a division title, as our chances sink into the west.

      This is partly why I think the Giants need to work hard on re-signing Pence, and now I'm thinking overpaying him a little ($15M per year) would be worth the reduction in worry over the OF offense for a few years.

      Plus, I wonder why the Giants don't just start Belt in LF so that Pill could get regular ABs at 1B, he couldn't be worse than what we have been getting out of LF, but I doubt that is the next plan if Francoeur don't work out, they will probably trade a lower tier prospect and pick up another vet to try to catch lightening with.

    2. care to provide an apology?

      season was over the first week of july


    3. Agreed about Belt.

      At some point, that move may be forced anyway (pressure from Angel V or Buster if Susac pans out).

      In the meantime, we have a first baseman (Pill) who may be able to provide some offense, and Belt would outperform any of our LF options. I'd almost be interested in a Pill/Monell platoon, with the latter getting the occasional look behind the plate, too. Tanaka would go down, for sure. Not sure who else could make room.


    4. Along the lines with Belt/LF, trading Pablo clears out some more scenario space. You get a placeholder to cover 3B, maybe Posey can handle 3B we don't know. Villalona is an interesting look, and then you have the recent 4MM investment in 5 players who might be able to handle 3B in 2-3 years (if it breaks out in a classic Belt/Sandoval sense, conventionally its 4-5 years): Arroyo, Jones, Javier, Beltre and that last IFA guy who's name escapes me. Obviously the biggest looks are Arroyo and Jones because they're older/more advanced.

      Susac might pan out, putting Posey in a 50-50 catching situation. I do agree Hector Sanchez needs full time at-bats. He also needs to get into shape. Huge rookie mistake taking it easy after the victory. Show up out of shape, get hurt, blow your season up. He should make short work of AAA though, he's advanced enough for that.

      The Giants will need to make a better plan for LF next year. But we have to remember Sabean's history here - he will take care of the IF before the OF every single time. OF is the last priority. And the Giants treat LF the way fans want them to treat their bullpen.

    5. Hey Bacci - I see you calling for Big Head Bochy's head over at Pavlov's. And some more whining about Wheeler. Zack Wheeler would not help the Gigantes this year. He's giving up HRs at the same clip as all our bozo starters, and he's walking a bunch to boot. I don't think OGC owes an apology, he put down his (however optimistic) reasons for no surrender. I am a bit more pessimistic than him, but I also acknowledge that you play out the hand you get dealt, and sometimes weird things happen. Season is never over in July. I wouldn't put money down on the Giants right now, and you have outlined good reasons for failure here in the past couple months, but the ragging on the Wheeler trade... That is why you go for these things when you have the shot, because success is fleeing and a big prospect is never a sure thing. Wheeler still is not a sure thing, at all.

    6. i like calling for bochy's head whenever i can...not that it matters

      but i am concerned with what timmy said post no-no

      if true that team has not been focused, that falls on the coaching staff...and bochy am the boss

      wheeler may not have helped this season, but wheeler opens the door to at least timmy being traded...cant do that with no replacements in the wings

      and ya...wheeler looks exactly like cain did at the start of his career...what almost everyone predicted he would

      i deserve an apology for being slammed for being realistic

      this team lacks what took it to the ws in 2010 and 2012...and anyone who didnt see that is living in a fantasy world

      and i gotta go for a shot when that rental is a sure thing...but carlos was damaged goods before he came to the giants...and many reporters stated that...the only guy who apparently didnt see it was sabean

      and yes...this season was over in july...10 games under 500...season is over

      unless you wanna trade the farm and spend 250 mil....both of which are gonna come back to bite the bums in the rear pretty soon...probably when some of the guys they picked up have their names on that biogenisis list


    7. Fair enough. I will say that without the fire of Vogelsong and Pagan, the chemistry took a big time tumble. I've been saying for a while too many boy scouts, not enough red asses. Still not sure about the apology, but that's between the two's of you, that was must my two cents.

      I didn't think Carlos was a sure thing, but I was damn happy to get him. I do have criticism with the timing on the trade, I think they should have made Alderson sweat it out because of Don Carlos' no-trade clause created an artificial pre-deadline for trading. And in reality Beltran only had a couple suitors because he wanted NL and competitive as his demands. And with the poison pill no-arb contract, they had to trade him to get any value. Sometimes it costs though. We'll see how Wheeler goes, I doubt he's Matt Cain though. And it would be nice for Sabey Sabes to take the lesson to the bank and sit on it to the last second to see if a desperate team wants to give up a blue chip.

    8. Bacci,

      Did the team lack focus in 2010 and 2012? At some point, no matter who is managing, you just can't keep up the kind of intensity that The Rev was dishing out last year. On top of that, this is a pitching staff that has pitched a ton of innings over the last 3 season and is exhausted. Add in all the injuries and it turned into a perfect storm.

      I agree with you. It is highly unlikely that this team makes a significant comeback. Yes, it's going to need to reinvigoration before next year rolls around.

      I just don't think there is any reason at all to rag on Bochy and Sabes because they're failing to win it all 3 out of 4 seasons.

      As for Beltran-Wheeler, Beltran was the best hitter on the market, the Giants were still in first place at the time of the trade and needed a hitter. You can't get the best hitter on the market, even if he's just a rental, for nothing. You also cannot must sit on your thumb when you are the defending champ and you are still in first place. Sabes said it was his and Tidrow's job to find another Wheeler and he made good on it and more with Crick and a whole slew of pitching prospects who might be as good or better. Water. Under. The. Bridge. Let. It. Go!

    9. Apologize? I have nothing to apologize for. They still have a chance to come back.

      Funny you asking for an apology, then I should get one from you for each of the past four seasons with extra for 2010 and 2012!!!

      And I will bet if I am right this season, you would not apologize then either.

  3. Shank, I'm with you on re-tooling while giving this year a shot, too.

    Had Affeldt not went down, he seemed like the most expendable trade chip with decent value. Now obviously that's Pence and Lincecum, but you raise an interesting point in moving Pablo. With Pence and Timmy, it's tricky because we sort of can predict the value we'd get for them in return this offseaso (via the QO and subsequent sandwich pick if they leave). Trading them for prospects would have to be a calculated move that got us at least the same value back.

    But you mention, Pablo. I'm fully on board with exploring our options with him. I figured the offseason would be the best time to do so, as he could regain his power and boost his numbers a little. Not sure Plauffe is the guy to replace him, though, and I'd like to think we could get a better return for Blach and Blackburn. I'm right there with you on the approach, though.

    One thing to consider, though. And it's crossed my mind a lot. Say we do consider embracing the seller does the FO spin it best in the PR department. We can be a fickle bunch, us Giants fans, and lord knows the top brass want to see seats filled as much, if not more, than getting back to the playoffs (now or in the future). So, how does a smart baseball decision get spun to the fans and FO who want a winner/seat-filler now. I worry that unloading the likes of Timmy, Pence and Pablo could create some backlash.


    1. The FO has a PR nightmare on their hands. The RDF is facing the sell-outs leaving. They will also pressure the FO at least some with Timmy, which is semi-ironic because of the pressure exerted to sign former CY winner Big Game Barry Zito. He is a huge name in Giant history, huge connection with casual fans and so he gets more consideration than just a former CY with declining velocity. But he's also interesting in baseball terms, learning to pitch with his head instead of his stuff, this possible bullpen/fireman move, and rebuilding value via the QO amount.

      Hey, everybody says Pablo is going to re-bound, look out for the contract year and all that jazz. That's great, it usually follows that way for sure, but I'm just throwing it out there: what if this is his high point right now? It sure was with Johnny Sanchez, another headstrong guy who refused to embrace professional trainers and advice from the Giants. You simply cannot build your franchise around an undisciplined talent like Pablo. Could he re-bound and become an all-star? I think the only real wakeup that has a chance of working is trading him, right now. You cannot think of signing him long-term based on his performance. And if he does rebound big you're getting outbid anyways. With the 3 HR world series game fresh in memories, I think there is a good shot this is as good as it gets with Pablo. I'd use the tease of his talent, as well as the year of control and the possible QO/draft pick scenario delayed a year to get what I could.

      Plouffe may well be light on Blackburn/Blach. But I'd rather undervalue them some than overvalue, trying to be realistic about what to get/teams needs. I think the real value is guys who have at least had some success in MLB, might be young enough to take the next step. Like Pagan/Melky the year before. You're always looking for the Jeff Kent/Joey Batts success stories, sometimes you have to kiss frogs.

  4. Time to deal our guys. I don't buy that we need to keep our guys b/c of what happens next year if Timmy, Lopez, Pence and/or Panda are gone. Yes, there is a fatigue factor for our pitchers, but Panda continues to disappoint. As for Pence, I'm fine with a qualifying offer if we can't get real value, but he is the guy who probably commands the most. Timmy is a more interesting issue, since I don't think he'll pass on a qualifying offer but not sure what he gets us on the market.

    I would:

    a) Trade Panda (assuming we can get something good for him), and give Chris Dominquez (sp?) a chance. He's hitting will in AAA, so lets see what he can do. We have it seems a bunch of guys at SS coming up, as well, so perhaps those guys also get a shot. Arias played well before hurt too.

    b) Trade Lopez. He's got value. He's a free agent. We have Runzler who has pitched well in AAA and also when he was with the home team.

    c) Trade Pence (assuming we get value). Yes, we will have an issue in the OF, but I think there are a couple of mitigants. First, you have 3 guys who we just need to play in Brown, Roger K and Pegs. Give them a shot now, and let them play for 2 months. Then we see what we've got. Plus, there is also the Angel V. v. Belt issue. Right now, Angle is hitting in a tough league. Stranger things have happened, like Crawford and Posey moving up quickly. Given Pence's batting average is only a bit above Belt, do we lose much if Belt can play OF and Angel can play 1b? You also have Posey who everyone wants at 1b (I know someone said try him at 3B; I don't know if that is even possible, but I'd certainly be all for that if it were, and Panda was a C/3b, so maybe it works in reverse).

    I realize a ton of "ifs" (there are more, like "If Hembree is the real deal, now finally"), but what are we losing? Lopez is gone next year, and Panda will still be fat next year. I also think Pence is gone next year since he won't sign for a qualifying. Not on a ledge, nor do I see this as a "rebuild". We have a ton of position talent (Pagan, Crawford, Scutaro, Posey) and pitchers at starters (Cain will be back, MadBum) and Relievers (Romo, Casilla, Runzler, Dunning) so I think this is about strategic decisions and freeing up some cash for good FA signings.


    1. Look at that positional value - all up the middle. With more prospects coming along as they are... (Brown, Panik, Susac - all up the middle guys).

      Personally I don't know if Hembree will make it. He looks more like a Runzler type every day. But they do have a ton of guys moving up. Hall and Osich look just as good to me as Hembree at this moment in time.

      I agree, Lopez is a saleable piece. He's 35. There are other lefties. The Giants have depth. He's money in the post-season. If they are offered enough - and hell, the Rangers have spent a ton on their pen - they should make that deal. But only if they get legit value. Lopez has been paid enough now he might go year to year. But most likely is looking for one more 2/12MM.

  5. There are six teams the Gints will be hard pressed to be worse than: MIA, HOU, SD, MIL, MIN, CWS. There are another eight they can contend with draft picks with: NYM, CHC, LAA, WAS, KC, PHI, TOR, COL.

    We cannot tank enough to get Carlos Rodon. Not. Gonna. Happen. But this 2014 draft looks a lot better than the last two, and maybe the two before that as well. Definitely a draft to be buying into not punting out of. Silver linings.

    1. Which might be something to consider when offering QOs to Timmeh and Pence. Will other teams be willing to punt out of this draft? Will it increase the odds that they accept the QOs?

    2. QOs will either be accepted by players or they won't. Are you asking how many players might get QOs this year? Last year the Angels/Braves leapt in (the Braves knowing they'd get one back); the Nats were convinced it was a good idea by Scott Boras (and by the way - anybody hating on the Giants right now for the letdown might want to go see the Nats real quick, that team was supposed to be a juggernaut) and then the Brewers and Indians had to see bargains to be convinced to lose their picks (Indians having their 1st round protected).

      Looking at the 2014 FAs I'd say that McCann might be a QO at catcher, don't see a 1B, Cano is a no-brainer at 2B, no SS's, no 3Bs, no LFs, Ellsbury and Granderson (the Yanks were big on the QOs and have the muscle to afford 14MM's anytime even with trying to get under luxury), RF - Pence and Franc... oh wait...

      Pitchers are tricky - I'd say Timmy is the only close to a lock. Lots of castoff and injury risk there from the list.

      So SIX QOs total? MLBTR had a series on it, with polls and stuff. The Giants look sort of like the Yankees from 2013, possible chance to pick up 2 picks, sit big at the back of the round. Hope they come up with something more creative than Aaron Judge and Eric Jagielo.

  6. Reality check boys and girls - this season was over the minute Pagan went down and pretending otherwise would be a huge mistake. This team needs an infusion of young talent into the system, and that's not going to happen if the Giants insist on standing pat in an otherwise lost season. Pence, Timmy, Pablo, Lopez and Romo should all be on the trading block at the moment, and if the Giants can get some decent prospects for them, then they should not hesitate to do so. I'm not saying to give them away for nothing, but if there is a legit trade out there for any of these guys then they need to pull the trigger. Not doing anything because they're worried about taking a PR hit would be the worst thing they could do and would only prolong the misery into next season. Because lets face it, there are some serious holes in both the lineup and the pitching staff, and they're not going to magically go away by sticking their heads in the sand and playing out the string.

  7. I am not convinced that a total sell is really the big answer here--

    1) The holes are currently starting pitching, backup C, and LF. Doesn't selling on Pence and Sandoval (the #4 and #5 hitters btw) create more holes?

    2) I don't forsee that we have other MLB ready players for OF or 3B that can fill a gap if Pence and Sandoval go.

    3) It sounds like we are all still recovering from World Championship addiction. Admit it and take the 12 steps to freedom...

  8. GF#2: As Sabes has pointed out, they can potentially get a couple of nice supplemental round picks in a strong draft by making Qualifying Offers to Timmy and Pence. They may well get better prospects by going that route than by trading them.

    1. Also, after looking up what's available on the upcoming FA market, it's wise for Sabes to keep his options open on Timmy and Pence. There are worse options out there than to re-sign them within reason.