Thursday, August 1, 2013

Game Wrap 8/1/2013: Giants 2 Phillies 1

The BABIP gods smiled upon the Giants in the 9'th inning and Matt Cain came away a winner after it looked like he would be the victim of another Caining.  Key Lines:

Buster Posey- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .311.  Buster hit the ball hard in the 8'th inning too.  For a second, I thought he had hit a HR.  Good to see him bust out of his slump!

Hunter Pence- 3 for 4, 2B, SB(15).  BA= .279.  Pence won this game with his speed which allowed him to beat out a slow tapper to SS to start the winning rally and used his speed to take 3B on a single to put himself in position to score on a non-hit, if necessary.

Brett Pill- 1 for 4.  BA= .275.  Pill hadn't looked too good up until his last AB, but he kept the rally going started by Pence.  After getting 2 strikes on him, he made a nice adjustment and punched one to RF with Pence taking 3B

Roger Kieschnick- 1 for 1.  BA= .500.  Roger K was sent up to PH for Frenchy with the RH Papelbon on the hill. He promptly stroked a single through the right side that drove in Pence and allowed Pill to advance to 3B.

Joaquin Arias- 2 for 4.  BA= .286.  Arias drove in Pill with a single through the left side.

Brandon Belt- Belt pinch-hit for Andres Torres with one out and 2 runners on base.  I really liked his AB.  He took 2 aggressive rips at hittable pitches.  Papelbon then tried to get him to swing at something outside the strike zone and Belt wasn't havin' it and ended up drawing a walk.

Matt Cain- 8 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 4.57.  I remember back in the day, whenever the Chargers would play on Monday Night Football and Chuck Muncie would make a strong run, which was about 20 times a game, Howard Cosell would cut in while Frank Gifford was still calling the play.  "Frank! Frank!  Chuck Muncie is a horse!" As if he hadn't already said it 19 times.  Well, Chuck Muncie WAS a horse!  If Howard Cosell were alive and calling baseball games, he would be calling Matt Cain a horse too, because Matt Cain IS a horse!  Oh man!  Cainer had the heck worried out of me after he got shelled twice in a row.  Not to worry!  He is back!

Sergio Romo- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, Save(25).  ERA= .293.  Romo loaded the bases on a fielding error by Arias, a bunt single that was meant to be a Sacrifice, and a HBP.  Not to worry.  He then got Laynce Nix to fly out to short RF with the runner at 3B holding.  Ruiz then flied out to short LF and the runner wisely did not test Roger K's arm.  The final out was a ground force-out, Arias to Scutaro.  Ballgame!

The Giants win a series for the first time in awhile and now head to Tampa Bay to take on the Rays on another billiards table.  Madison Bumgarner faces off against Chris Archer in Game 1.


  1. Good for Belt, hopefully this is a sign that he's getting his stroke back.

    Yeah, Cain is a hoss. I was worried a bit after those two games too, he hasn't been the same pitcher since his Perfecto, and I was worried this was a sign of further decline. Instead, this is just part of his pattern since the no-hitters, some games he's up, some games he's down. Beat report that maybe the Giants will give Cain extra rest in September due to concern that the short off-season was the reason for wear and tear and lack of performance from pitchers this season.

    Wow, Sergio gave us quite a flashback of Torture!, Wilson style, that is up there with any of the potential implosion roller coaster rides that BWeez used to take us on. But like Wilson, he pulled the beard out of the hat and saved the game.

    What are the Naysayers saying? That Bochy hates rooks and loves dem vets? Pinch hitting Kieschnick for Frenchy should put the kibosh on that meme hopefully for some, though the Naysayers are still out there in force, so it's not dying totally anytime soon.

    1. I am not familiar with this area, but are there any coaches who love rooks and hate vets?

    2. Well I'll say this: there is a segment of the Giants interwebz fans who love to blame the Front Office for everything. Pablo's out of shape and putting up lousy numbers? Its the front office's fault for demonizing him. Belt (see previous post for all matters - 57 comments and counting) is obviously Bochy's fault. Pence? Its the front office's fault for trading for him, their fault for not trading him again, and their fault for bringing him back for more money ("I'd pay 3/27MM MAX!) than is convenient. And if Pence somehow outperforms the contract... And of course its the Front Office's fault they didn't properly address LF last year.

      Fact is all 4 positions have underperformed and will be big talking points for the BrainTrust this offseason. Trade Pablo? Trade Belt? Hang onto Pence? LF? There are a lot of balls in the air. I think that's one of the main impetus for a quick Pence re-sign. Glancing at the FA market... its pretty grim.

      I know this: Sabean wants to fill in as many of his positions long term as he can. You look at 97-02, that is the model he's looking for. Snow at 1B every day, Kent at 2B every day, eventually Richie plays SS after proving out and our hero Billy Mueller takes 3B for a few. That's what the goal is, but sometimes its hard to get there. Its doubly hard in this era where teams have enough money to hang onto the best talent, the FA market is scraps, and with the new playoff format, teams don't want to trade. That leaves the farm... which takes patience. Who has any patience these days? We want to win!

    3. You have to take it one game at a time and the same with criticism - one act or one transaction at a time.

      With respect to Belt, let's just say only an egomaniac like Beane would say something like, one-stat-uber-alles or using one formula or one stat to mass produce prospects. Prospects are humans and are a bit like growing fine wine: it is one bottle at a time. Something like that. You know, we make money the old fashioned way - we earn it. Sometimes a thoroughbred takes time to break, to train. I said that 2 years ago when Belt was benched like the 4th game into the season, in Colorado. Not that it made or broke his career, but I argue for throwing away stats, believing the key to him is for the manager to learn how to handle his psych, just as he or they (meaning management) would for any player. Every one is unique. No one is a number.

  2. I like Belt and want him to succeed, but I'm not going to get too excited about one AB. I mean, he did swing through a 91 mph FB down the middle. His consistent contact issues (either swinging through pitches he should make contact with or fouling of pitches he should put in play) is concerning. I really hope he can make the changes needed to allow him to put his good pitch recognition to good use.

    1. Pretty burned out on Belt discussions, both here and reading around the Giants blogosphere. But what the hell, why not something new: DrB's been saying back off the plate a bit - look at the heat map: - a little bit of evidence that he's not doing so hot with inside pitches. Also, folks saying he is getting AT&T'd might want to look at a hit chart, that isn't proving to be true this year at all.

      I'd say my biggest point with Belt is similar to yours and poster Peter's from yesterday - Belt does not jump on mistake pitches and punish hitters counts. That is the adjustment that takes him from so-so to hugely valuable. And I'd add that is what the Giants have been preaching, from our hero Will Clark all the way to Big Head Bochy.

    2. Thanks for that link. I'm not hitting coach, but I've learned a few things from watching a whole lot of games and a little reading. I'm tellin' ya. Belt needs to back off the plate! Not too far, but I think about 2 inches would get it done without compromising the outside corner. He also needs to do something with his swing so it doesn't look like he's swinging a choppin' axe, but that's a whole other topic.

    3. TK,

      Agree that we should not get too excited about 1 AB from Belt and it would have been a much better AB if he had connected with one of those first 2 hittable pitches. I do think it was a good AB though.

    4. Belt needs to clear his head.

      When the tea cup is empty, it is ready to receive.

      Hopefully, there are those who are wiser, from having been around for a while, as humans and as players, to guide him.

  3. I hate Joe West, what a lousy umpire. This is not the first time his name has come up with a bad call with the Giants, and won't be the last. What a showboat, someone needs to tell him who fans want to see at baseball games, the players or the umpires.