Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Game Wrap 7/9/2013: Mets 10 Giants 6

It has become somewhat interesting to watch Giants games because of the variety of interesting ways they find to lose games.  In this one and exhausted bullpen gave it up in a 5 run 8'th inning that negated a  pretty good game from the offense and sealed their fate once again.  Key Lines:

Gregor Blanco- 2 for 5.  BA= .277.  Blanco's BA reached a nadir on 7/5 at .270.  Since then he's gone 5 for 16 with a BB.

Kensuke Tanaka- 1 for 4, BB.  BA= .250.   The Giants must have seen something in Gillespie they didn't like because he was never really given a chance.  Tanaka gets the callup and brought some energy to the dugout.  First MLB hit.  Nice catch in LF.  Big smile on his face!  He got a huge ovation from the crowd after his hit.  If he can stick, he's going to be very popular in SF!  Love putting the rabbits 1-2 in the lineup!

Marco Scutaro- 2 for 4, Sac.  BA= .316.  Scooter looks like he feels much better and that means he's back to cranking out the hits.  I really like this lineup with him hitting 3'rd behind the rabbits.  This is a team that has to keep the line moving and nobody keeps it moving better than Scoots.

Pablo Sandoval- 1 for 3, 2B, BB, SF.  BA= .258.  Pablo now has hits in 4 of his last 5 games and walks in his last 2.  He is finally looking a little more comfortable at the plate.  Doesn't look any thinner, though.

Hunter Pence- 2 for 5.  BA= .267.  Pence ended an 0 for 20-something skid in the 16 inning game with a triple and got 2 more hits in this one.  Maybe he's coming out of it too?

Brandon Belt- 1 for 2, 2 BB, SB(4).  BA= .257.  OK, here's a couple of other names who went 0 for 8 with 5 K's: Jim Thome and Chris Davis.  Cecil Cooper went 0 for 8 with 6 K's!  That's not terrible company.  Credit to Belt for not bringing it with him to this game.  He also made a heckuva relay throw from way down the RF line, but the runner had held up at 3B.  Oh, and we're still waiting for Bacci to tell us what Belt's "tell" is!

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .267.   Second good game at the plate in a row for Crawford who also left they previous game behind for this one.  Gotta have short memories in this game and both Brandon's showed that ability.

Barry Zito- 6 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 4.62.  Usually, if Zito gets an early lead and gets through the first 3 innings with it intact, he's gonna pitch a pretty good game, especially at home.  Not tonight, as he let the Mets geat the lead back in a 3 run 4'th and then let them extend it with a 2 run 6'th.

Jose Mijares- 1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.68.  Mijares took the loss, but he pitched very well, especially after  Quiroz came out to the mound and barked at him for nibbling.  Bochy took him out after a 1 out walk and 30 pitches in favor of Affeldt and his gas can.

Jeremy Affeldt- 0.1 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 0 K's.  ERA= 3.77.  Affeldt has always had his detractors, especially for his salary which is generous for a non-closer reliever, but he has been an essential piece in 2 championships.  Having said that, the man is not having a good season!  Maybe he'll turn it around in the second half.  Maybe it will be too late by then.

The D'Backs lost again to the charging Dodgers, 6-1, so the Giants remain 6.5 games behind the NL West leaders. The Giants are now tied for 4'th and last place with the Padres who topped the Rockies 2-1.  The Rockies sit 4.5 games behind the leaders in 3'rd place while the second place Dodgers are 2.5 games out of the lead.

Matt Cain tries to shake of his disastrous last start this afternoon facing ex-Giants first round draft pick Zack Wheeler.


  1. So will Zack Wheeler put the coup de grace on this snakebit season? Or will the Tennessee Stud come to play? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Affeldt... No bueno. Zito... Didn't follow the "pitch to contact" part of the rules of Zito. When he walks players, they generally have a habit of scoring.

    I like Tanaka! Will the Giants start a late all-star campaign for him too?

    If Pablo wants to get hot to build trade value, I think that could maybe make up half the ground he dug for himself for showing up completely out of shape.

    I'm curious if Pittsburgh would be interested in getting Javy Lopez back, along with Pence in exchange for Gregory Polanco. Most likely they want to hold him...

  2. if jeremy turns it around in the second half, it will be for another team

    last night is why i dont understand the frenchy pickup...the season is over

    the giants now have a worse record than the cubs

    great game for belt. stinging single, 2 bbs and an sb...that is exactly what a team wants from a power position....hahahahaha


    1. The Frenchy pickup is all about no-cost. Season is never over, you have to play it out. If something isn't working, try something new.

      Want a prediction? The Yanks are aggressively shopping Chamberlin and Phil Hughes. Its a pretty easy match with Sandoval. Both Joba/Phil have 1 more year of control. Even the arb amounts match up with Panda. If I'm the GM I'm pealing off one of those OF prospects the Yanks have as well though.

    2. think the giants can fix hughes' probs?

      i have no issues with no cost pickups, but in a lost season, would rather see what prospects can do


    3. Still waiting, Bacci. Until you spill the beans, I ain't paying one scrap of attention to anything you say about Brandon Belt.

    4. Cain has disappointed more, so far.

      And Lincecum.

      And Vogelsong.

      And Affeldt.

      And Zito.

      To some extend, Heston and Kickham - but maybe it was our fault (fans and management) to think they were plan B for the starting rotation.

      I think Belt is way down the list.

      By the way, each person is different, but all the guys (or most of the guys) who played in that World Classic, Pagan, Vogelsong and Panda are not doing too well (Did Scutaro play?). Romo is OK, I guess.

    5. Extent.

      Fans' and managment's.

    6. Yeah, I think the Gints are the guys to take on big Joba and Hughes. Its an interesting challenge trade idea at least. Pablo thinks he's got it rough in the gentle tide of the bay, wait for what NYC scribes and fans will do...

      Peggs has the concussion to deal with, Kieschnick took a step back in the past month when he needed to start mashing, and Gary Brown is a cocky goofball... with a lightsaber!

      Actually maybe Javier Herrera might not have been a bad idea.

      I'm sure there is plenty of time in August and cups of coffee to see these guys though.

    7. "bacci" revealed Belt's 'tell' on the extrabaggs blog:

      "forget watching him at the plate…watch him between pitches…when he goes through what look like breathing excecises…and note the diff between what he does after a ball and a strike….ITS A FRICKIN TELL there are good reasons for game faces…reason 1 is….you never let the other guy know what you are feeling….and belt hasnt gotten that and he never will"

      Of course this isn't a 'tell', since it carries zero strategic information.

    8. Yeah, maybe if he took the deep breaths BEFORE the strike but not BEFORE the ball.....wait....what?

    9. If the Giants had that attitude, the Giants would not have won in 2010, when they were so far down in the standings late in the season, or even in 2012, when the team was 6-7 games back in late May, and still 5 games out in June, or even tied with the Dodgers when Melky suspension hit and LAD just added all those great players. Or even how about the two series in the 2012 playoffs when they were close to elimination, with Zito as our next starter, I'm sure you and all you Sabean Naysayers were all crying in your garlic fries. Luckily, the Giants team had a never say die attitude.

      And I'll bet if we went back to last season, Bacci probably had very similar comments when the Giants were down in the standings. Even more so in 2010. See how apt those turned out? It is easy to snipe at surface problems when things are going bad.

      Yes, to quote a former Giants great, our dauber is down right now. Really down. But there is still 73 games to go still. As we learned in 2010 and 2012, teams that get really up, end up with the worm turning on them later, as whatever drove their rise (Padres pitching was pitching way over their heads to mid-year before reverting to mean, for example) then reverted to mean, while the Giants hit their stride. There are ups and downs for most teams in the NL West every season, it seems, which I've attributed to quirks of the scheduling.

      And yes, if things continue like this, we are going to be really, really bad and get a pretty good draft pick. And that's what I don't get with a lot of commenters, they rail on and on as if things are going to continue unabated, they think totally linearly. I recall a similar conversation, long ago (Schmidt was around!), where everyone was really down, and I explained that we were missing a lot of people important to our team, particularly Schmidt, who was on the DL, and I said things would change once he returned, and it did. But a team is not static, generally, there are usually mitigating factors.

      In our case, our pitching was not really that good for much of April and particularly in May, and now our offense is suffering, first from losing at least two if not three of their five hitters in their lineup: Pagan just out, Scutaro with his pinky then back, Sandoval with his DL, and now struggles finding his stroke while fighting his size again, Posey needing rest. In addition, a good bat in the early going in Crawford has been missing after he sprained his fingers sliding into second. Add to that, once the pressures of generating offense weighted heavily on everyone, the offense spiraled and I think people got into bad habits trying too hard. But before that, our offense was good enough to get us 8 games above .500, even with our bad pitching early on.

      The Giants last year made up 10 games in the standings, roughly, after this date last season. Arizona did that in 2011. Giants again in 2010. Colorado gained 5-6 games or more in 2009.

      And in 2012, Padres were 34-53 on this date, but turned things around and finished the season 42-33. We don't know when the turnaround will happen, but we could be in the dark before the calm.

      Or it could really be the end of the season, as you have been crying about for a long while.

    10. (Cont.)

      But it don't make sense to me, our starting pitching is coming around, and once we get back Casilla, our backend relief won't need to rely on Jake Dunning to come in and stop the bleeding. And this is the lineup - minus Pagan, but Blanco has been getting on base at a good rate - that was scoring 4.5 runs per game in April/May and was even higher when Pagan and his upside-down cat fighting went on the DL. Posey had been hitting his annual hot streak, but literally nobody else was hitting at all, it was like a non-hitting virus went through the whole team.

      As Bochy has been saying, they are better than this. Once people get healthy and get their minds in a better place, they should be, particularly the hitters. I had been hoping it would be earlier, but we are like a wounded animal now, I am just hoping we can stay this close at the ASB, at which point the troops will rest, hopefully reset their brains, and get into a better mindset.

      And what is wrong with Belt's .500/.750/.500/1.250 batting line? Most teams would kill for that type of production from any position in the lineup! Plus, his OPS is .765 for the season and the average 6th place hitter in the NL averages .721 OPS, so he is above average for his batting position. Talk about trolling...

      Francoeur is about improving our OF bench, because Peguero and Perez weren't doing it, and Brown and Kieschnick were deemed to be not ready, and really, their AAA numbers underwhelm, so I'm not surprised.

      We'll see how Tanaka works out, if he's hitting well, I wonder who goes when Francoeur comes up, Blanco obviously stays, but is Torres job at stake in that case? But Torres has been great vs. LHP so far, so I can't see him getting pushed out, quite yet, but he hasn't been hitting since around when Pagan went down, so that's not good for him sticking around, but part of that is that he's seeing a lot more RHP now.

    11. BLSL: Bochy actually brought this up as an aside when talking with the scribes, forgot who, maybe Baggerly, but he made the point that the Giants have had problems with many of the guys who were playing for the WBC, Pagan, Sandoval, Vogie, Scutaro also played, and some of the others have had issues of one thing or another, Affeldt, Casilla, Mijares, Lopez, Romo. Obviously, the last three have been OK, but Casilla is on the DL, and Affeldt is pitching like he should be. I wouldn't be surprised if he goes on the DL, admitting he has been fighting something, that has happened before with Giants pitchers, particularly Dirty.

      Basically, anyone playing a (pretty much) regular role, position or pitching, has suffered some sort of injury and/or poor performance. Scutaro's finger injury was fluky, but his recurring back problems could be part of the issue. And two of the five relievers have injuries or issues, but the other three have been great. Of course, Affeldt and Casilla are two often-used relievers, whereas Lopez and Mijares have not. Romo has been used more, but with this bad losing streak, has not seen much usage lately, so we'll see how that works out eventually, there is still a lot of season to go.

      Yeah, Belt is way down the list of problems for the Giants, and I would say that he's not a problem or disappointment, he started out cold, but had been hitting really well for over two months when his bat got cold like every one else, he's actually been a bright spot, 0-fer-8 with 5 K's notwithstanding. He's still in development and I look forward to a nice second half from him, I think the break will be good for him too.

      People have been too hard on him, looking only at surface stats (overall), when you need to look at his performance in slices because he's still developing. It may be small samples, but there are still trends that one can follow, like last season, I followed his contact rate over 10, 20, 30 games periods, to see how he's doing and generally started out really bad, but got better overall, though still up and down throughout the season. Good habits are hard to stick to. I haven't followed his contact rate much this season, but when you get hot and then are hitting over .800 OPS for a two month period, don't really care much what his contact rate is, just want him to continue.

    12. Its baseball, anything can happen. Dauber is down right now. The lesson I learned in 2011 is don't give up. Change things up. The Giants are always pretty conservative, but they have to see that the Torres/Blanco needs to be a platoon not full time. There are no available guys who can solidify the lineup, so you scrap along with a shot in the dark like Tanaka/Frenchie. If the pen gets solid next, and something finally breaks the Gigantes way, things can change.

      St. Louis won it all in 2011, on the back of their franchise player. They are still mocked for that team being pretty average, but flags fly forever, and Cards fans won't mind. As long as the Giants have Posey, they are in contention. They just need a break. Let's see what happens against the prize pooch today. I remember being psyched the Giants went out and got a hitter, and weren't going to waste some amazing pitching. Beltran was NOT injured until after we got him. I'll root for Wheeler big time, but not today. Hope the Giants can milk those walks and finally get a big bad break to go their way. The RISP antics are out of control.

  3. Lol Bacci is on the hot seat! What prospects would you rather see Bacci honestly because the Giants don't really have any prospects that you should be excited about seeing! Someone already said it but Frenchy is going to be playing RF when they trade Pence so there will still be room for Paguero or one of the other meaningless outfielders that will soon be joining Fred Lewis, Nate Schierholtz, and Rajai Davis on the list of OF prospects that the Giants have tried and failed.

    I'm actually excited to see how bad this team can actually be because I would love to get a high draft pick next year and some prospects through trades to give us something besides Gary Brown to look forward to offensively coming through the system. Bring on any trades IMO at this point I'm ready whenever you are Sabes! If they lose today that should be the final straw is my guess although it may take another week or two after the AS break before the fire sale.

    1. Sure, not great, but we have position players to be excited over besides Brown, like Panik, Duvall, Villalona, Gustavo, Mac, Shilo, the two new draftees, Arroyo and Ryder. And I'm sure I'm missing someone. When you are drafting back in the draft, you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find the good hitters.

      Part of me, now that Shankbone has made me aware that we got the 10th pick right now, wants the Giants to tank the season, trade off guys, bring up guys, and lick our wounds and move on to 2014. But we are so close and our pitching is starting to come together, I would rather roll the dice and try to win this season, particularly since it could be our last with Lincecum.

    2. I've been thinking for the last month that this isn't the Giants year and it's time to start looking ahead towards next season. Even in the beginning when they were winning, it was mostly because they were coming back and winning late in games. But I always thought that if you took away the miracle comebacks, the Giants were a below .500 team, and now that they've stopped coming back, it's clear that they are. While it's true that they could still come back in a weak division, the odds are likely that they won't and it would be foolish to focus on this season at the expense of the future.

      Unless a complete miracle happens between now and the end of the month, the Giants should just accept reality and trade away whatever they can on the edges of the roster and stock the farm system with as much young talent as they can get. If that means suffering through a 90 loss season, then so be it. With the core that the Giants have and some young talent to supplement the roster, along with the ability to sign free agents without losing a top ten protected pick, they should be much better next year. In some ways, this reminds me of 1996 when the Giants played the last few months with a bunch of young guys and lost, but found a few that stuck around that helped them win the next year. I'd much rather see that than the 2005-06 version that refused to rebuild because the division was weak and then sucked anyway.

    3. Actually we're now 8th! Lower than the Cubs or Mets. Jay-sus this is bad. Cold Harsh Reality: this team goes as Matt Cain goes. Their Captain doesn't compete, they won't compete.

  4. Fangraphs hasn't even bothered making fun of the Giants for the Frenchie signing. I'm sort of sad about this actually...

    1. Maybe they are finally getting tired of getting burned (i.e. being wrong) when trying to analyze the Giants?