Sunday, August 11, 2013

Game Wrap 8/11/2013: Orioles 10 Giants 2

The Giants staked Matt Cain to a 2-0 lead in the first inning and for a long time, it looked like he had this one under control.  He faltered in the 7'th inning and when the bullpen took over, the roof collapsed while the Giants offense failed to build on their initial success.  Key Lines:

Marco Scutaro- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .304.  After an initial 0 for 9 out of the leadoff spot, Scooter is now 6 for his last 18, but without any BB's to boost his OBP.

Brandon Belt- 1 for 4, 2B.  BA= .271.  Kruk went into some detail about the grip thing.  He explained it exactly the way SpeierFuentes has been explaining it all along.  I've read about the Giants coaches wanting him to not "wrap" since practically the day he came up to the majors, so it's not like the problem was ignored.  It has to be that Belt did not want to change. Hopefully his recent success will be the incentive to maintain the new/correct grip.

Hunter Pence- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .281.  The Rev is hitting .306 over his last 10 games but with no dingers. He has hit just 1 HR since the July 1.

Matt Cain- 7 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 4.44.  QS for Cain who, once again, clearly outpitched his opponent, yet ended up on the losing end.  This time it was the longball that got him, as well as the lack of sustained run support.

The Giants have tomorrow off to travel.  They start a series in Washington DC with Bumgarner facing Gio Gonzalez in Game 1 on Tuesday.


  1. Belt - all along, I sensed it was psychological. And when nothing happened, I believe it was both parties - the student not listening AND the teacher failing to reach into his mind/heart/soul.

    What can the teacher do if the student is not listening?

    That's one sided.

    The other half is why does the student not listen.

    Both halves, at the same time.

    1. Belt has said that the reason he did not want to change is because he thought he was doing pretty well. That may or may not be the real reason. He was doing "OK", and we'll never know how much better he would have done had he made the changes from the get-go.

    2. He thought he was doing OK - that's an unusual ability, being able to tune out the fans who wouldn't agree with that statement.

    3. To be fair, there were a lot of vocal fans who thought he was doing better than OK.

  2. Best Cuban hitter defected. Jose Dariel Abreu.

    Giants need to kick tires and then some. This might be a once generation talent. Lots of raves on this guy, the only bad thing I've found so far is he's a 1B.

    We obviously need hitters. Pull hitters, and guys who rope the ball. it's been bad beat central all year, but obviously the O's had no problem rocking the ball around a park they've just met for the first time.

    I'm so over Sandoval.

    1. This is the kind of signing that the Giants need to do to light up the fan base after a very depressing year. The guy stats are ridiculously good, nicknamed Barry Bonds in Cuba and it looks like theres a hot streak in recent years of Cuban player being able to succeed way better in the bigs than they used to do (Fernandez, Cespedes, Puig, Soler (considered a top prospect) . Cespedes is having a bad year but he still a useful player with the potential to bounceback next season.

      If your good enough to hit, teams will find a position for you, so no worries with him being a 1B. I've read thats the only position he might be able to play so just move Belt to LF where his bat would play much better there.

    2. As hard as it is to find good power hitters these days, yeah. I say go for it. Absolutely cannot let the Dodgers pick up another relatively cheap piece like this.

  3. With Belt heating up, Angel looking like a prospect again, and Posey destined for a corner infield spot, I wonder if this would be the best allocation of resources. Belt can be moved to LF, sure. And Posey could probably move to third eventually. And Angel? He can be trade bait, especially if he ramps up next year.

    Still, with the potential depth at 1B, maybe a can't-miss-signing really isn't a can't-miss-signing. However, a little creativity could make it interesting.

    For example:

    Belt to LF. Posey eventually to third. Angel and Pablo used to acquire whatever top player we can get via trade.


    1. I have to say I was a bit less enthusiastic after reading BA's piece on Abreu. Still, power is power and I think you have to take a look. I do think that the Giants have to be seriously looking at moving Buster to 1B and Belt to LF. That would solve a lot of problems, but then you need a catcher who is at least an average hitter or you open up a huge hole there. Sabes definitely has his work cut out for him this winter.

      What this organization really needs is a Byron Buxton, as can't-miss 5-tool OF. Maybe they can draft one this next June?

    2. BA article does give one pause, and lets face it, the power hitting 1B is definitely low on Sabean's priority list. Its just not what the Gigantes value. So I would put this at low probability. But I do want them to at least BE there for the showcase, to get the name in, and to possibly drive up the price at least. And sure, Puig is a huge hit, we'll see how he does in the post-season, there seems to be a bit of ticking time bomb but we can all agree that a bonafide 5-tool athlete roaming the OF is where we WANT the Giants to be. And no, that isn't in sight anywhere.

    3. What you want and what you get are two different things. The troller keeps harping on power. Well, I think we all agree we want more power on the team. The question is where are you going to find it and how much is it going to cost? The Angels went all in for power with Pujols and Hamilton and look what it got them. Good power hitters have become as scarce as hen's teeth and most of the ones out there do not have a lot of interest in playing in AT&T Park which also comes with an additional 21 games at Petco, Dodger Stadium and Oakland attached. As they have gotten more scarce, the price has gone up. Gotta take that all into consideration.

      If there is a true 5 tool athlete who can play the game available in the upcoming draft, I would hope the Giants would take a shot at it. Right now they are tied for the 4'th worst record in MLB. Not sure how the tiebreakers work with draft slots, but the #4 overall pick should yield a darn good player. Gotta make sure you don't miss when an opportunity comes along like that and the Giants historically have not missed.

    4. Well, lately they have been good, they missed pretty badly with Grilli, who was a #7 pick, I think Sabean's first as GM.

      Power is just the easy thing to point at when a team is struggling offensively, particularly for the Naysayers. I would love more power too, I grew up on Bobby Bonds, Willie Mac, Dave King Kong Kingman, Jack the Ripper Clark (and was mad about losing George Foster and Bobby).

      But overpaying for power does not make any sense at all when studies by two of the best known sabermetrics sites, BP and THT, finds that offense does not matter when you get into the playoffs. Getting power, yes, overpaying, no.

      Especially since we are hopefully getting more power from Belt in 2014, assuming his fix holds and he continues to excel. And to DrB's point about the Angels and Pujols and Hamilton, the two preeminent power hitters of their times, have been wasting Trout's great start to his career by not even hitting above .800 OPS.

      That's the lie for most of the complaints about the Giants, the Naysayers complain that there's no power, but had the Giants picked up, say, Hamilton and he struggles like this, then they say that Sabean's an idiot for signing him, when they were for the signing in the first place. They never look themselves in the mirror to see that they had made a bunch of mistakes too in what they had been preaching for, or that the Giants would be much worse off listening to their advice (really, Smoak over Posey?) than they were under Sabean's management.

      If there is a true 5 tool prospect available when they draft, I have to think the Giants would jump on him. BA does not get a lot of info from the Giants, yet a general concept that recurs over and over from all the profiles I read is that the Giants like 5 tool athletes who are mature. But those types of players are very rare, so unless the Giants get a top 3 pick, I don't see how they will get one, unless you all see a top 5-6 prospect list that includes 2-3 5 tool players.

      Susac is looking more and more to me like the catcher who will take over for Posey, perhaps as soon as 2015 full-time, though I would imagine that the Giants would prefer to transition Posey to Susac by having Susac play the backup for a season, and learn from Posey, so maybe they do that in 2015 and make it full time in 2016.

    5. Ironically, while we all look back fondly at the glory days of Mays, McCovey and Hart, to Bobby Bonds, to Will and Jack Clark and even the stupendousness of Barry Bonds backed up by Jeff Kent and Rich Aurilia(is that enough power for you?), none of those teams won the World Series. The teams that finally did had great pitching and pretty anemic offenses.

    6. Like the Dodgers did in 1960's. That is the model that changed my mindset on how the Giants could win, then I started seeing all sort of research that supported that model of winning, and in fact, made it very clear that while girls dig the long ball, championships go more often to teams with great pitching and fielding defense.

      I also noticed that to be true in both football and basketball as well. Air Coryell and other high output football teams would rarely if ever win, and the 49ers won as much for their defense as their offense, we remember all the last minute wins that Montana drove and got it done, but few realized that meant that the defense really won the games, the 49ers rarely blew out the other team, it was their defense that kept them in the games enough for Montana to score enough to win the games. Defense is what usually wins championships, even in the blowouts, the defense made it easy for the offense to score again by getting the ball back to make scoring easier and in any case, made it easy to win had there been little scoring.

      Basketball too, the Warriors under Nelson were often high octane scoring teams, but rarely winning teams, let alone championship teams. As much as Jordan's offense is rightfully lauded, he was also one of the best defenders in the league as well, and he was often supported by defensive minded centers, if I remember right.

      Fans love offense, but it is defense that wins championships. And that is why I now love and appreciate defense even more than offense (though I don't mind if there were more homers).