Friday, July 5, 2013

Game Wrap 7/5/2013: Dodgers 10 Giants 2

Matt Cain and the Giants got blown out early in this one.  Key Lines:

Matt Cain- 2.1 IP, 6 H, 8 R, 4 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 4.85.  That's the ballgame right there.  The Giants were coming off a road trip that saw them reach a seemingly new low almost every day.  They caught a break yesterday when they getaway game was rained out in Cincinnati allowing them to return home a couple hours early and preserve Matt Cain's rotation spot for the opening of the Dodger series, then proceeded to hit a new low!  Yup, when your ace starter gets blown out early at home against your most hated division rivals, THAT is a new low!

The Loss dropped the Giants further behind the NL West Division leading D'Backs to a 5.5 game deficit as the D'Backs blanked the Rockies 5-0.  The Rockies dropped into a second place tie with the Dodgers 3.5 games behind the leaders.  The Pathetic Padres lost to the Nationals and are tied with the Giants for 4'th and last place.

Madison Bumgarner will take the mound facing Stephen Fife who has lowered his ERA from 7.71 to 2.83 over 6 subsequent starts from April 21.

When you are the defending champions coming off a tough road trip with a chance to get a re-set on the season and your ace gets blown out by your division rivals, well, it might be time to start thinking a repeat might not happen.  Right now, a trade for 1 or even 2 players is not going to make enough of a difference to turn this around.  The Giants are not going to win this division if Matt Cain is getting blown out of games like this.  Until, or unless this team finds a floor and starts scratching back, there is no point in throwing away prospects, no matter how expendable they are, to try to turn it around.  I"m not saying they can't turn it around, but it's starting to not look good at all and at some point you have to be realistic.  No trades unless/until this team finds a floor!

I would make an exception if the player being acquired is controlled for several years and the move is more for next year than this.

So, why is all this happening?  Probably multifactorial:  1.  The physical and mental strain of two championship runs in 3 seasons.  There is a reason why only 3 teams not named the Yankees have done it since something like 1930.  There is the tangible stress on the pitchers of going an extra month with a month less time off in 2 of the last 3 seasons.  Plus, there is always an inevitable emotional letdown after a period of prolonged intensity.  2.  Accumulated injuries:  Pagan is both a sparkplug in the lineup and an emotional leader.  Scutaro is clearly not right and probably won't be until next year at the earliest and he's a key cog at the top of the lineup.  Pablo is clearly not right after playing in pain for several weeks and then a stay on the DL.  There's Vogie and Casilla, then Gaudin.  Arias looks like he's getting hot as a replacement for Pablo then HE gets hurt!  3.  Downward momentum.  Once a losing streak sets in, it can be very hard to turn it around.  Breaks go the other way.  That leads to discouragement and more mistakes and it can quickly become a death spiral.  The Giants have come to the brink of these over the last several years but have almost always managed to pull out of it in the nick of time.  This time it may not happen.


  1. Agree. No point in acquiring a Nolasco or Garza, which you could get in free agency (of course if the dodgers get Nolasco he probably wont be a free agent). The Giants will still lose their 1st round pick but am not sure if a 1st rounder would have the same value as a Blackburn, so better keep the guys in the minors that are already performing and give up a draft pick.

    I dont even think 2 players might do it. If you look at the pitching they are holes every where, in the starting rotation and the bullpen. Cain hasn't pitch good this year every once in a while hes getting licked and has about 5-6 really bad starts this year (should the Giants be concerned about that contract? ), we all know what Lincecum is right now and Zito as well. The only guy I sincerely trust is Bumgarner.

    My theory for the batting being so bad is that a bunch of guys (Crawford, Blanco and Scutaro) were playing over their head. Scutaro is a good 2B but is not like hes going to bat .320 all year at age 37 when he hasnt done that his whole life, so he was due to regress add that to injuries and its not pretty. Blanco started the same way last year and ended up in the .240s, not really a good hitter, him and Torres. Not sure what the Giants org were thinking in putting these 2 guys as starters in LF.

    Crawford is a guy whos had an iffy track record, so its not surprising to see him get back in the .240-.250s but I also wont be surprise if this is a major slump and he puts that avg in the .270-.280s, but right now hes hurting the team.

    That said, you have 3 hitters who were extremely hot to start the season and now all have cooled off, add Pagan, Sandoval, Pence and even Belt (his name never shows up in the scorecard) and you think, Can you really blame Bochy for the Giants hitting woes as well as the pitching woes??

    I've always thought that its more about the personnel than the coaches.

    1. At the rate they are going, the Giants might have a protected first round draft pick next year! One guy who has a couple of years on his contract who the GIants might be able to trade for is Bud Norris of the 'Stros. Not sure if they have the firepower in prospects to get a deal done, but that is the type of player they might want to try to acquire at the deadline, not for this year, but the next couple of years.

    2. The Cubs wanted Jonathon Schoop and Eduardo Rodriguez for Garza! That is insane. The equivalent in the Gints system is Panik and Mejia. For a 2 month rental.

      I think its time to let Agent Ned win that Nolasco bidding war. The Gints are offering 2 prospects and part of the money to the Bums all the moneys and one pitching prospect.

      On Blanco, he isn't a full time player. He needs time off against lefties. So the Pagan injury forces him into a role that he isn't meant to play. He is still a top 40 OF by WAR value, although a lot of that is defense related. But with him in CF, then LF becomes a big issue if its the punch (less) and Judy show out there.

      The big injury is Pablo. Complete lack of professional preparation for the season. Telling the beats "he'll be in shape in 2 years". He is pulling a Johnny Sanchez here, we'll see what goes on, but his trade value is diminished, and there is no way the Gigantes will offer any more long term value for him.

      The Gints might indeed be heading for top 10 territory! Wow, what a shame. But that's baseball.

      2013 FAs: Javy Lopez, do you deal him to get something? I'm sure Sabean would prefer to lock him to another 2 year deal.

      Hunter Pence? I think its a slam dunk Qualifying Offer, but do you deal him - a top 20 OF WILL get something of value, but its most likely a back of the BA100 guy. I think Sabean would prefer to lock him to a 4 year deal.

      Timmy? Ho ho ho, that's a can of worms.

      Pablo maybe the best trade chip.

      If the Giants offer qualifying to Timmy/Pence they could be looking at 3 draft picks. Then again, Angel Pagan, and they never really want to stock up. We were sure they were getting picks for Melky and Angel, look how that turned out.

    3. With Timmy I see it unlikely due that is too much money the Q offer and either he accepts it or he doesnt and it affects his free agency ala Kyle Lohse. The Giants wont want to that to a guy who had much to do in both WS titles, IMO.

      Hadn't realize that we are now top 10 in the draft, that might be a positive. Looking at it 2014 draft looks much better than 2013.

    4. Anon - I think you maybe right with Timmy, the awesome history with him, and the recent history with Pagan/Lohse. The Giants have a good rep around baseball for treating guys right. Are they perfect? No. But they're way better about it than a wheeling dealing team like the Blue Jays.

  2. This time it may not happen.

    told ya so

    will you now admit that i is a baseball genius?

    thank you


    1. The Cards were TEN games out at the end of August in 2011. If the Giants don't make any adjustments they may very well be going down the river, but its way to early to check out.

      This was a statement game though, no doubt.

      I didn't give up when the Gints were down 2 games to the Reds and was rewarded mightily for that faith.

    2. Bacci,

      I don't always agree, but I know you know your stuff.

  3. I obviously want the Gmen to win. But a part of me is not disappointed that they will not be buyers. I actually wonder if we should be sellers. Given the problem with a qualifying offer for Timmy, maybe trade him?


    1. If the Giants continue to crater, I think they need to look long and hard at trading Timmy and Pence. I think they could get a nice haul for those two. Maybe I'll write a separate post called Worst Case Scenario or something.

      One other combination of moves I'd make: Put Belt in LF full time and see if he can cut it out there. Move Posey to 1B full time. No point in getting him more beat up behind the plate if they are cashing in the season. Make Hector the full time catcher. If he doesn't show improvement in a month, bring up Monell and Williams and see what they can do.

  4. I'd trade Timmy, Pablo and Pence. Re-load farm a bit and get one or two MLB ready guys. Maybe Lopez or Affeldt too.

  5. I thought Posey didn't want to move to first? If not, I agree. I would also trade Pence and Panda. Packing the farm isn't a bad idea. I am fine with trading the pen too. Time to see what the kids can do