Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Game Wrap 7/3/2013: Reds 3 Giants 2

The Giants put up a fight for this one.  That's progress!  Unfortunately, the guys who are being paid to drive in runs failed to deliver and wasted opportunities turned into another loss in extra innings.  Key Lines:

Gregor Blanco- 0 for 3, 3 BB, Assist.  BA= .274.  You can't ask for much more out of your leadoff man than to get on base 3 times in 6 PA's.

Tony Abreu- 2 for 5, 2B, HR(1).  BA= .326.  If this guy is phsically capable of playing, he has to be in there somewhere until he cools down.

Buster Posey- 0 for 3, 2 BB.  BA= .312.  So, the Giants first 3 batters get on base a combined 7 times in 16 PA's.  that's a .437 OBP.  They got just 2 runs out of that plus the whole rest of the lineup.

Hunter Pence + Pablo Sandoval- 0 for 10.  6 runners left on base.  A team is not going to score many runs when it's 4 and 5 hitters go a combined 0 for 10.

Barry Zito- 4 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 4.44.  Zito was PO'd that Bochy pulled him in the 5'th with a 2-1 lead, runners on 1'st and 3'rd with no outs, but Bochy has been burned just too often by leaving his starter in 1 batter too long.  Gotta go into playoff mode to try to get out of this hole.

Sandy Rosario- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's  ERA= 2.50.  Hottest pitcher on the team right now.

CSN Bay Area- Great HD closeup shots of Giants pitchers picking their noses.  LOL!

The Loss dropped the Giants farther into last place now 4 games behind the NL West leading D'Backs who topped the Mets 5-3.  The Dodgers outslugged the Rockies 10-8 to those two teams are now tied for 2'nd place, 2.5 games behind the leaders.  Yasiel Puig got shaken up on a collision with the RF wall.  The Padres lost to the BoSox 2-1 to fall into 4'th place, 3.5 games behind.

Matt Cain takes the mound tomorrow afternoon facing Mike Leake trying to salvage a win out of the 4 game series.


  1. Dusty made it a playoff game for the Reds as well, and Choo Choo beat the odds against Javy and walked em off.

    Baggs said on his chat that there is no way the Giants give Pablo any more guaranteed money, and there is absolutely nothing that I can see to counter that statement.

    The Giants have a "let vets play" policy. It actually dovetails with Sabers theory on what a ballplayer can do, coming back to career averages and what not. However... this laid back attitude of stay back and hope like hell, it will bury you after a while. In 2011 the big blows were already done, the odds weren't good, you had Posey, then Freddy Sanchez, and then everybody but a very laid back Aubrey Huff get hurt. But the Giants still hung in for a long time. If they had taken action and removed Miggy Tejada and Aaron Rowand AT the Beltran trade and not after a month of clogging the lineup, things might have been different.

    Now obviously Beltran got hurt, refused to play hurt, and the team basically crumbled. Are we seeing the same sort of disaster this year? I'm not sure yet personally. I would say that Pablo is doing his best 2010 though, and that got him removed from the lineup, and onto victory for the good guys.

    The pitching is basically back to where we expect it, and now the hitting is taking a massive community slump. I'd shake things up now versus three weeks from now. Who is the guy? I'd try out Trevor Plouffe. Maybe that's the guy the Gints were actually scouting in the Yankee/Minny series. He isn't a savior, but he's an underrated guy whose power fits in our park, can handle multiple positions in a pinch, and is getting into that sweet spot of age/experience.

    I'd take a wild ass gamble on something like this. Pablo is not getting it done, and he's basically Johnny Sanchez'ing his way out of MLB until he gets a very real wake up call that can only happen when teams stop calling.

    1. Am against benching Sandoval, if you do so your basically telling him were moving on from you. Not the best scenario since his trade value is at its lowest. Are there any better options than Sandoval via trade or free agency??? I rather keep giving the Panda a chance, we know what he's capable of doing...

    2. Hey, I hate when fans bitch but don't give any alternatives.

      I just gave it a shot at a better option - Plouffe. And I'd also think the White Sox might line up as a trade partner as well. Get Rios and Peavy, they both share one trait with the Panda - one more year on their contracts. It'd balance the salaries some.

      That's what I'm saying right now - go look at Panda's 2010 and that is your ceiling as far as "we know what he's capable of".

      Of course I would love to be proven dead wrong. But he looks like hell, and he's playing like hell.

    3. Plouffe is fine if he's not costing us any good prospect, but I think the Twins would want one.

      He's horrible against RHP but great against LHP, which we already have, and he's really good at home, not good at all on the road, another strike against him. The third strike is that he's not even good defensively at any position, horrible at 3B, even worse at SS and 2B, he is maybe OK in the corner OF, but small samples, same for 1B. On top of that, he should be arbitration eligible soon, and thus very expensive starting next season. Unless they are giving him up to us for a failed prospect with no potential, I don't see what the use of trading for him is.

      At this point, I would rather give Sandoval the rest of the first half to figure things out, but if not, then Sabean can fire up the phones during the ASB. At that point, if he's still so cold, just put him in AAA at 3B until he gets hot hitting, start Noonan in his place, cause at the rate he's going now, Noonan should easily beat that and he don't strike out that much either.

      Maybe that will be the wakeup call he needs again to get into shape. His adding weight is much like Melky taking that junk, it will cost him a 9 figure contract when he becomes a free agent, and he'll be lucky to get a low 8 figure deal, heck, if he's bloated, he'll be lucky to get a contract period, a minor league deal might be what he can expect, as Melky could get clean and be productive at his price, but Sandoval would still be fat and as unproductive.

  2. Can't wait for this roadie to end.. Watched the middle innings.. Kontos looked good except for 1 mistake to Heisey... I have no gripes with Pence who hit 3 line shots which found gloves but the Panda looked terrible. The Reds were begging them to score in the 8th inning, I was hoping Arias would take at least 2 pitches..I'm actually hoping for a rainout tomorrow so that Cain & Madbum open against the Bums..

    According to reports, the Giants had a scout to watch Nolasco's start. I'd be ok with getting Nolasco as long as they don't give up a top prospect. A serviceable starting pitcher would help this team. My one constructive criticism of the front office is not addressing their lack of depth in the starting rotation for the past 2+ seasons by trading for a couple of young starters for instance. If another starting pitcher gets hurt, they are in deep trouble.

    I do think the Giants fortunes has the potential to turn due to Cain & Madbum pitching better, Casilla coming off the DL, more home games in July, & the offense can't be this bad for the rest of the season can it? Maybe injuries are affecting Scutaro + Crawford right now.. Pence hit some balls hard tonight. The key to the whole thing might be Panda coming around..

    1. Young starters who look likely to become OK starters in one to two years cost talent. Who do you think the Giants could have realistically have traded in the past two seasons to get young starters?

      Yeah, I didn't think so. You cannot easily stockpile young talent in the minors waiting for a spot in the majors. The best for that scenario would have been to trade Brown instead of Wheeler, but Baggerly confirmed that the Mets only wanted Wheeler or the deal was off. Then you are left with trading good talent for the two in the bush.

      Not maybe, Scutaro is having back problems right now, the media has been reporting this for a while now, and Crawford hasn't been the same since spraining his fingers sliding into second.

      At least you got your wish for the rainout and we get Cain and Bumgarner against the Dodgers. Plus, that means Cain don't get the last start of the first half, meaning that he will get a lot of rest over the ASB until his first second half start.

      I think the momentum of the bad play has messed up hitters' heads right now. Hopefully returning home will return some of the mojo back, the Giants should rest Scutaro against LHP, starting Abreu, then when he gets healthy and back to normal, Abreu would take LHP starts for Crawford until he is healthy and hitting like he was earlier this season, as Abreu kills LHP and Crawford doesn't. Some more stellar starts where the Giants starters wins the game for us would help the hitters stop feeling like they need to hit 5-run homers in each AB.

  3. I want to add that maybe the Giants should look into the possibility of having Belt play LF in the games that Posey plays 1st base. That way they keep Belt's bat in the lineup.I remember him playing some OF in the minors.

    Although I wish the Giants had a couple of young starting pitching prospects that could help them now, I have no major complaints about a FO that has led this team to 2 WS titles in the past 3 seasons.


    1. There are natural cycles in baseball just like everything else in life. With the current free agency rules, the new draft rules, international signing rules, it is virtually impossible to build and maintain a dynasty in baseball. The Yankees were the last team to accomplish it and that was almost 15 years ago now. I would say winning 2 championships in 3 years is about as close as we're going to see in the forseeable future.

      Here's what the Giants are up against: 1. Tired pitching arms. They have pitched a full extra month for 2 of the last 3 seasons while simultaneously having 1 less month to rest before the next season. 2. Skyrocketing players value. When you win, your players become more valuable in the eyes of opposing teams. It becomes harder and harder to keep the core intact without blowing up the payroll. 3. Lower draft positions and less money pools for IFA signings. This means they don't have the elite prospects like Timmy, Posey and Bummy in the system.

      As I have said many times, the challenge for Brian Sabean is to find a way to trade some of his core as it gets expensive in exchange for younger, cheaper talent. As Billy Beane has demonstrated, that's a lot easier said than done and it cuts across Sabean's grain.

      I also think by 2015, the future, especially for the pitching will look a lot brighter as kids like Kyle Crick, et al rise up through the system and reach AA and AAA.

    2. The Giants have played Belt in LF in the majors before. He played there regularly when he was in high school, so it is not totally foreign to him. And Bochy said that they considered him for LF when Posey was starting at 1B but didn't want to expose him to Coors or GAB because they are hard to handle when you have not had much practice in LF. Looks like he will get some practice out there, perhaps soon, like during the ASB, and he'll get starts there when Posey starts at 1B. Not sure how much practice he needs, but given that they didn't want to throw him into it at Coors, seems like they do want some length of practice there.

      There are natural cycles, but some teams have been able to stay very competitive over the long term without buying it, namely Cardinals and Braves. I think the Giants are positioned to do that too, combining improved scouting/drafting, particularly IFA, development, and astute trades. I still think the Giants have at least another championship with this core group.

      I agree with what the Giants are up against. Though I would note that the pitching seems to be coming around lately, seems like they really needed that time lost to the playoffs as well as to the WBC (Bochy pointedly noted that all the players who played in the WBC has had injuries and problems this season). I'm just worried that they will do well for a while, then have their next lull in September.

      I see your point about cutting against Sabean's grain, but taking devils advocate side, who did he really have in his core that he could trade away during that period, to keep the line moving, to use their parlance?

      He did trade Hamilton, but I would not have called him core. Bonds and Kent were the only real core to the hitters, in my opinion, Burks too, and the only starting pitcher I viewed as key was Schmidt. Ortiz was traded, but that was for budgetary purposes according to the reports then. Had the Three Aces - AWF - had any type of long-term value, he might have been able to trade away more starting pitching, but as it was, they basically gave away Livan, Estes was good until he wasn't, and Rueter was viewed as luck.

      Good in concept, but I don't see who could have been traded, other than Bonds or Kent, and Kent we needed in 2002, and Bonds was the key infrastructure the team was built around. We never really had any good young players under Sabean until this era. Lowry and Sanchez I had hoped we could trade for good players, but Lowry injured out and we did get Melky for Sanchez.

      And I agree, our future, particularly for pitching, should look good up top in the 2015 timeframe. Lots of good arms coming up, lots of good performances.

  4. I feel comfortable with our pitching staff, with the one caveat being we pick up a starter. Everything falls in line at that point: Gaudin back to bullpen; Casilla returns; Vogey eventually gets healthy and forces Timmy to the pen...or something along those lines.

    In regards to the offense, things will pick up. Bochy does have to shake things up, though. Maybe Scutaro should get some more playing time at 3B, allowing Abreu to start more. Belt can take flies in left, allowing Arias to get more starts at 1B. I don't know...something to tweak things.

    I wouldn't be surprised if we grabbed a utility type player to push some of our starters for playing time. However, things are eerily similar to 2011. I just hope Crick, Blackburn, et al are not part of any plans to acquire some veteran help.


    1. Both Scutaro and Crawford need to get healthy, so that they can start hitting again like they were earlier. Pence also needs to return to normal as well. ONce all this happens, and that is a lot, then I think that Sandoval's struggles won't be as noticeable.

      I agree about giving both of them extra rest. Abreu has been monster against LHP, just platoon the two at 2B, with Abreau vs. LHP, until Scutaro is lining drives around every day?

      Same for Arias, have him face LHP - Crawford still can't hit worth crap against them - until Brandon is healthy and hitting well.

      Belt is most likely starting to take LF practice. Bochy said that he didn't play him in LF in Colorado or Cincinati because of the bigger fields in those two places, suggesting they were at least considering it then and trying to figure out a way to do that without compromising defense nor screwing up Belt.

      Given that Torres has been so-so starting fulltime, I wouldn't mind see them start Belt in LF for the rest of the season, and give Pill the starting job when Posey is not using that spot, plus sitting him sometime and giving Arias some starts at 1B.

      As Shankbone divided on this blog, I don't think Crick or Blackburn has done enough bad stuff to not be on the Giants "Do Not Trade" list. Stratton I have to wonder though, as he is not dominating even though he's a level lower than what most people thought he should be this season. But his great K/B and K/9 should keep him on that DNT list. I can see a multiple position player being picked up, too bad DeRosa has been so bad since his wrist operations, he was great defensively at so many positions even why hitting well.

  5. Ditto what LG said...some faith is warranted.

    Also, on the pitching front...Surkamp may soon emerge as a more viable option than Kickham. That's a positive.


    1. I was going to point this out in the minor's post, but Petit is also a viable option for the starting rotation, he did well for us last season, is back to action and has done OK since returning, and could be a good alternative for us this season, especially if Gaudin is not up to starting and throwing a lot of innings yet. I would rather put Gaudin back into long mode and try out Petit with the remaining starts.

      And yes, some faith is warranted, people need to remember and recognize that this is the team that was 8 games over .500 but had bad luck with injuries and poor performances that dropped them down to where they are now. And that 8 games over was done via our hitters, and outside of Crawford, all the other hitters have hit around what could be expected of them, and similar to what they did when all together at the end of last season. So getting back to where they were before the injuries and hitting slumps should change the team's fortunes dramatically.

  6. People keep saying you know what were still only 4 games back, thats not the point, the point is that this team is playing the last 46 games like the worst team in baseball, so it doesn't matter if they are 2, 3, 7 games back it matters that they can't win games. Everybody in the division can kiss goodbye to a wildcard spot so its going to be a dog fight until the end for the division.

    Regarding playing Belt or Arias or Abreu, thats not going to fix the long term hitting woes, these players arent great they will give 1 good game, 1 bad maybe another good one but thats about it they will never score 5 runs on a consistent basis, we dont need anymore role players, we have them already now its up to Sabs to go get a legit 160 game starter, most likely an OF either now or in free agency. The Giants have won thru out these last years due to pitching, pitching, pitching. While it has been solid the last couple of series am still skeptical of Zito, Lincecum and even Vogelsong.

    1. The do have to turn it around, that's for sure. I think the point about being only 4 games back is that IF they do turn it around, they are not too far out to make a run. As you say, though, if they don't turn it around, it's all a moot point.

    2. the team is 6 games under 500 and more importantly, 15 games under 500 on the road...its not a good team

      and one bat and on pitcher aint gonna change that

      cuz there is only one puig and one kershaw...and neither of them are on the trading block and puig likes running into walls


    3. You know, Bacci, I've been watching baseball a long time. The Giants are going through a very rough stretch, but as a guy who knows a lot more about baseball than I do once said, "It ain't over 'til it's over!". I've seen teams that looked terrible turn it around. Wasn't it you, Bacci, who had the Dodgers written off just a few weeks ago? Now you're saying they have the two best players in baseball in their own tier? Come on, Bacci! I agree it's not looking good right now, but there is not way I'm throwing in the towel just yet.

      Sandoval looks horrible, but I've seen him go from ice cold to red hot in the past. Pence can get hot again. The pitching has been better of late. They get a couple of hitters hot and keep pitching and they could put together a strong second half. Not predicting it, but it COULD happen.

    4. And this bad stretch was built on the back of a large percentage of our top 5 hitters either being injured, performing poorly, or both. We are too close now to just throw in the towel without waiting for our injured players to return to normal, hopefully. Since it is so close, I am viewing the ASB as the time for the players to get into reset mode and start performing well again among the position players.

      The thing that people like this commenter is missing is that if what they are saying is true, then where where they complaining when the team was 23-15, 8 games over .500? It is the difference that is the key point: the hitting is pretty much gone, whereas the 23-15 was built on the backs of the hitters, not the pitching, which had been struggling overall at that point in time. With our pitching returning to prior goodness, we just need our hitter to get some of the way back in order to start winning again.

      Heck, Bacci had the Giants written off for a long time now, when has he stopped complaining about the Giants and Sabean?

      We don't need a Puig or Kershaw to turn things around. The pitching is basically there, I think, once Casilla returns. And this rainout works to our favor in that now Cain will not be pitching the last game in the first half, and that will get him (and the other starters) a lot of rest before the first start of the second half. I think our pitching is close to giving us one of those great runs of 2-3 weeks of great pitching that gets us back to the top rather than the bottow.

      The hitting needs a lot of people to not put so much pressure on themselves to do something plus guys like Crawford and Scutaro healing enough to play like they were earlier this season. I don't really see that happening real soon, probably in the second half, but getting these games in SF will help us right the boat first, I think, just getting home and getting comfortable.

      I mean, a lot of people had the Giants written off when Melky was suspended, yet they pulled ahead by so much that they went from being one game behind to finishing 8 games ahead. The Giants, just like the Dodgers just now, is one good win streak away from contention or even the division lead.

      And Puig, as I analyzed on a site somewhere, is not going to hit like this all season. His BABIP is way too high, even greater than what he was doing in the minors. Dropping him even to the high levels he had done in the minors previously would bring him down to merely good status, which is a nice cog, but not a one bat who makes a difference type of contribution. And when he does cool down, the Dodgers will as well, and Bacci would be wrong again.

  7. I admit, this team is very tough to watch. Downright bad. I won't make apologies for them.

    With that being said, we as fans tend to overreact...a lot. If it's a prospect who comes up and rakes the first couple weeks....he's anointed the second coming. If a hitter goes into a slump, they're written off. If the team goes through a prolonged dry (very dry) spell, they're done. If we take a step back, though, have some patience, and let Sabes do his thing, I highly doubt things will look this bad in the second half. I mean, seriously, we have too many good players to let the ship sink too far. We know that at least a few of them can be counted on to turn things around. Will it be enough? Who knows. But I'm not in the "let's get an all-star to fix things" camp." Sure, a LF could be nice, and another starting pitcher is needed at this point. Outside of that,'s up to the players we have to turn things around. We get healthy, add a player or two, the schedule becomes more friendly, a couple hitters start clicking, and we're playing good baseball again. That's not too inconceivable.