Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Game Wrap 8/20/2013: Giants 3 Red Sox 2

Ryan Vogelsong pitched his heart out and the Giants offense was finally able to push across some runs late in the game to squeak out a win.  Key Lines:

Brandon Belt- 3 for 4, 2B, 3B.  BA= .283.  Terrific game for Belt who was scalding the ball to all 3 parts of the field.  He definitely led the way for the offense tonight!

Roger Kieschnick- 3 for 4.  BA= .283.  I am A-OK with Roger K hitting singles. I would much rather have him hitting singles and keeping his BA up than swinging for the fences with a BA of .100 which would get him sent out.  The power will come if he can gain a foothold in the majors.

Ryan Vogelsong- 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 6.29.  It looked like Vogey was going to get BABIP'd right out of the game in the first inning as grounder after grounder was exactly in the wrong place to load the bases.  He pitched his way out of it with just 1 run in damage and hung tough from there.  This was a good start towards a pickup of his option this offseason.

Chad Gaudin was placed on the DL with carpal tunnel syndrome, so Barry Zito gets the start facing LHP Felix Doubront.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a chronic impingement of the median nerve in the wrist that can lead to loss of sensation and weakness of the intrinsic muscles of the hand.  It can sometimes be alleviated with anti-inflammatories and splints, but often requires a minor surgical procedure.

The Giants also DFA'd Jeff Francoeur so they could call up both Mike Kickham and Jean Machi from Fresno.  Francoeur was a nice flyer to take but showed no progress in breaking out of his slump that is now several seasons old.  Time to move on.  Good call by the Giants.  I would think this move mostly benefits Roger K who has certainly earned a longer look.


  1. Plus, just as important, no strikeouts again for Roger! Really getting encouraged by his streak of no strikeouts.

    This is the Vogie I have been expecting, i expect the Giants to pick up his option.

    Frenchy has seen the writing on the wall for awhile, since Roger was getting all the starts for a while now. Rogers better bat lately probably sealed the deal as much as the need for pitching. Now he got ten days to start and do something more with it, before reinforcements come in Pagan, Pegs, and Perez.

    Why do players push it like that? Gaudin must have known something was up, but started anyway and cost us a game. He has done more than enough to return, and if anything cost himself money by pumping up his ERA like that.

    1. Seem like every time I get excited by a young players who has been recently called up, they go into a 1 for 20 slump and the next thing I know they are back in Fresno, so I'm goin to temper my enthusiasm on Roger. It does seem like he is playing it real smart, has a good feel for the strike zone, is listening to coaching advice and staying within himself. It would be huge for the Giants future if he could grab the LF position and hold onto it.

      I agree that Frenchy's release had more to do with Roger K's success than the need for pitching. It's a great sign that Bochy and the braintrust have seen something in Roger that makes them want to give him more opportunity.

    2. Cost himself money by pumping his ERA and by going on the DL. With Zito on the 25, Gaudin always could have skipped a single start to try to alleviate the carpal tunnel syndrome. Then gone on the DL retroactive, or even limped along to roster expansion.

    3. We need to be careful about assuming things we really don't know about. CTS tends to start out with intermittent symptoms that suddenly become worse with certain movements or stresses. We don't really know anything about the timeline of his symptoms.

    4. I was basing my comments on the reports that he said that he's been battling issues in his hands for a while now, including as far back as when he had that bad start because he reportedly hit 150 balls in batting practice in order to have better at-bats. That was against the Reds about a month ago. Schulman quote: "As for Gaudin, he said he began feeling fatigue in his right hand when he pitched against the Reds on July 24. His performance started declining shortly thereafter. He informed the staff, and Bochy said Gaudin was "pitchable"...".

      But to your point, we don't know exactly when the hand went bad bad, and he did have some good starts in between the two bad starts. Still, this just brings up bad memories of Ray Durham's situation with the Giants, where he really should have been DLed but lingered on the bench for a long time, screwing up the team in the process. They should have DLed him earlier, and, in Gaudin's case, given that his hand was not getting better, they should have thought about skipping a start to let it heal, especially given that he had not started this late into the season in years. What kennv proposed would have made good sense, to alleviate whatever it was affecting him, carpal or not.

      And it is not like we've been in contention in his last few starts, there was no need to push him just because he was "pitchable", they should have just sat him down and let it rest, at minimum at his Orioles start, but even his Brewers start, we were too far down.

  2. I can see 3.25 starters for 2014 - Madison, Cain, Vogelsong (75%) and Gaudin (50%).

    We probably need 6.5 starters - 5 like we had in 2010 -2012, 1.5 backup starters.

    Got a long way to go.

    1. I actually like how the pitching depth is shaping up for next year. I would be very satisified to see a competition between Moscoso, Surkamp, Kickham and Escobar for those last 1.5 slots.

    2. I like our 2014 as well. As long as Lincecum continues to have a hiccup to go with his good starts, I feel that he'll be in the Giants uni in 2014. I'm willing to give him a QO to retain him, in light of all the great performances he gave us before, particularly when we were losing, to see if he can finish his transition to becoming a pitcher with us next season. I believe that he can.

      The thing is that there is no need to attach percentages to these pitchers. They make up the back half of the rotation, and most teams don't have good starters back there. Vogie has demonstrated via good PQS game scores that he's a good pitcher, Gaudin too. And Lincecum has been good for the most part, just would have those bad innings. We should be fine overall if we retain Vogie, Gaudin and Lincecum.

      And I'm very happy with Moscoso, Kickham, Surkamp, and Escobar as depth for the starters.

    3. That would make an OK rotation with potential upside as well downside, but not what one would think of as a great building block of the team if management wants to compete based on pitching and defense.

    4. I would hope that the Giants would use the money saved on Zito and Timmy to upgrade the offense. The pickings are slim in FA, but they could go after a Shin Soo Choo or Jacoby Ellsbury and they would be nice addtions. They also may be able to use some of their minor league pitching surplus to trade for a young cost-controlled hitter or two.

    5. I really like that stood up to any temptation to 'defend the title' and didn't trade our prospects this summer.

      Now, we can look forward and hope for better seasons to come.

      And the heart of the coming pitching should hopefully arrive starting 2015. Next year may be more a bridge year. Perhaps not timely as it would in a perfect world. Maybe... But still, better than never.

    6. And if they stick to what they do usually, they will strike early this off season.

      Its even more likely this year, as we have been playing meaningless (Sabean's definition. I think every game is meaningful) games since late June (I think, this season has been too fuzzy).

  3. As you alluded to, there are very few FA's out there, and I would expect heavy competition for them. Teams are locking up their young players, and I think the trend of not having a good selection of FA will continue. The Giants' are better off using the money "saved" to lock up their own young players.

    The other area the Giants should invest is their farm system. As I mentioned in a prior post, I am a huge fan of the FO for what they have done with finding and keeping players. However, there is no reason why a players get to the major league with an In-n-Out burger diet, or needing a camp Panda (and a camp Hector). The Giants' are being "forced" to spend 8 million less than the Astros in the draft and IFA market. Some of that needs to go toward the farm. The investment I am talking about is hiring nutritionists and buying meals for the kids (Garret Brohious mentions over and over that many of these kids are living below the poverty line). I doubt that such a program would cost more than a couple of millions, and the payback could be huge, both for the Giants, and for the kids.

    Anon #1

    1. That's a good suggestion for budget allocation.

    2. I completely agree with this. These prospects are too valuable to go unsupported during their formative years. It makes absolutely no sense to spend millions of dollars on scouts, signing drafted players or FA's, the farm system and not pay attention to their basic needs of life such as nutrition, mental health, etc. It's kind of like buying a $50, 000 car and then skimping on the insurance.

    3. I totally agree, I've been pointing this out too. I think the saying is penny-wise, pound-foolish, but I like DrB's analogy with car insurance, though I would change it to car maintenance.

      Food is one major thing, though I wonder if the other Giants affiliates have a program like the San Jose Giants where there are host families and they typically help the players eat good food regularly. At least have a spread at the park that the players can get for lunch and/or dinner, as necessary.

      I think that spending extra on coaches would help as well. Maybe a player wants to burn the midnight oil in the batting cage or taking grounders. Having a base stealing coach seemed like a no-brainer, at least to follow Gary Brown around and pass on knowledge, whereas he seems to be regressing, it is an outrage that he has such speed to first base from the right side of the plate, but can't learn out to steal bases effectively and efficiently.

      Maybe either set up a gym or get gym memberships for the players so that they can work out more regularly.

      There are a lot of ways a team could make it easier for their prospects to reach their full potential instead of being penny ante and hoping that they can figure it out on their own. I was impressed that the Giants have instituted an off-season training camp for their recent draft top prospects to teach them some things, but they should extend that to more players and provide help more times in the year, not just once in the players career like that.

    4. I'll go along with the car maintenance analogy. The host family concept is a good place to start. I think most minor league teams have these, especially at the lower levels, but that seems a bit haphazard to me. I don't know what the answers are, but there is enough evidence out there that certain things are neglected in minor league players that you have to believe it's a problem.

      For one thing, I strongly suspect that mental health issues are a much bigger factor in terms of who makes it and who doesn't than we know, but that is just a suspicion of mine based on my own experience as a human being and knowing what kind of schedule these kids have to keep out there in the minor leagues. It has to get mighty lonely out there for a lot of them. Lonliness makes you very vulnerable in many ways.