Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Game Wrap 9/18/2013: Mets 5 Giants 4

Oh my!  Just when you thought it was safe to get excited about the Giants again, they lay an egg like this.  Matt Cain took a shutout into the 8'th inning, allowed only 1 unearned run and left the game leading 4-1.  Then Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo, the two most reliable members of the bullpen, blew the lead giving up 4 runs in the bottom of the 9'th inning for the loss.  Key Lines:

Gregor Blanco- 1 for 3, HR(3), 2 BB.  BA= .267.  Blanco has a 7 game hit streak and is hitting .433 over his last 10 games with an OBP of over .500.  If the Giants could only figure out what causes his annual mid-season slump!    He's terrific for the first 2 months of the season and the last 2 months.  It's those 2 months in the middle that are tough to stomach!

Matt Cain- 7.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 4.06.  Can't pitch much better than that.  The Giants found a new and novel way to Cain him tonight.

The Loss leaves the Giants in 10'th place in the race for the #1 overall draft pick in the 2014 draft.

Madison Bumgarner faces Jonathan Niese in the series finale tomorrow afternoon(morning PDT).


  1. Blanco said that he's going to rest this off-season, instead of playing in the Winter Leagues, and see if that helps him be more consistent during the season. Yeah, if he can solve that, he would make a good regular, he was hitting around .750 OPS when he hit his cold patch, he was actually doing very well taking over for Pagan for a month plus before he went cold like a lot of other hitters.

    1. But Blanco went about as cold as Johnie Lemaster, in a slump.


    2. Was Johnnie Lemaster ever not in a slump?

    3. Everyone has a different reaction to tiredness, and some get really cold. For a good example, look at the Giants pitching rotation the past few years. August always seemed like the month they all went into the tank, as you aptly put it, getting as cold as Boo LeMaster. Just goes to show what a thin line it is between being really good and really bad in baseball.

    4. To be fair to Johhnie, any one can have a slump within a slump.

  2. The good news is Cain gives you hope that he will be back in 2014.

    That's means we maybe half way to a 4-ace rotation.

    1. Agree with really liking what we've seen from Matt Cain the last couple of games. Nice that he pitched great AND the Giants gained ground in the draft pick race!

  3. cain didnt want to leave the game...and there was no question that he still had gas left in the tank

    this game was given up

    the giants want to hold onto a top 10 pick...FACT


    1. I have no problem with pulling Cain even if he did want to be out there. No sense in putting excess mileage on the arm when the season is already over. If the Giants were giving it up, then whattheheck was Romo doing out there? Boch supposedly didn't want to use him so when Casilla couln't find the strike zone, why not bring in Kontos or Machi maybe even Hembree and see what they can do with the closer role?

    2. At 107 pitches, Cain should have been taken out anyway, he hasn't been the same since his Perfeco last season, until the last month or so when he started putting up starts like he was in 2010-2011 and early 2012. No need to push him unless he was going for a no-hitter, as one more inning would have pushed him over 120 pitches, and Bochy rarely allows his guys to go over that, though willing as circumstances allow.

      I agree about Romo, DrB, and here's my best guess: Romo has rarely been tested this season in regards to overuse that closers normally get, because the team has not been getting into a lot of situations where the closer would come in, and so Bochy wanted to test him.

      But yeah, that was my first thought, why wasn't Hembree brought in? He's the heir apparent and as all the recent articles noted, the Giants were very worried about Romo's arm, so we need to get Hembree some MLB closing experience so we can see how he handles that pressure and comports himself, as Romo's arm could go kerpluey any moment in the future, much like Wilson's.

  4. Blanco wouldn't be much more than a fringy LF even without that 2month slump. I see him being nothing more than a .270 7hr 20SB type of guy if playing a whole year and thats not really good for a LF. If a team really wants to go with a Blanco in the OF as a regular then you must have another stud OF which the Giants currently dont have.

    I've read on some posts that the Giants dont need much change, I have to disagree. I dont believe you can count on Lincecum and Vogelsong to make a stable, reliable rotation, Vogelsong is ageing in the last 2 starts has an ERA of 6.55, in the last 5 an ERA of 4.55. LIncecum well we all know the whole story.

    I still think the Giants need a fearsome hitter in that lineup, someone who everytime comes up to the plate creates an exciting atmosphere (like a Chris Davis, Puig, Cabrera). Its unlikely to get such a bat but am saying sign some new blood it will light up of the fans.

    I do not put to much emphasis on these performances right at the end of the season, especially when the Giants are playing teams that like them are playing for nothing. This in a sense is a bit like spring training.

    1. The Giants need a bigger bat in LF, no question. I also don't think there is any question that Brandon Belt would be a significant offensive upgrade over Blanco and he might be as good or better than what the Giants could get in trade or via FA. Since he's basically free, why not give it a try? They could then move Buster to 1B full time where he would be getting constantly beat up. I believe Hector Sanchez is capable of moving up to an everyday catcher role. That is my idea of not much change.

      Don't forget that a couple of years ago, Chris Davis didn't look like the answer to anybody's problems either! As for Puig, he's having a great run and had a great night last night, but before that he was on a 3 for 22 run, so it remains to be seen how sustainable his performance is. If the Giants scouts think Abreu is for real, I would not be against spending big on him to play 1B and leave Buster behind the dish for a few more years. Beyond that, I don't see where the Giants are going to get an MVP caliber hitter from outside the organization.

      As for the pitching: Cain and Bummy are a great core to build around. The Giants will have a large contingent of very good homegrown pitchers that start arriving late next year or in 2015. They need to patch something together for a year or two until then. I would rather they go short term with Timmy and Vogey than go big and longterm with an injury risk on a guy like Matt Garza, for example.

      The Dodgers have a ton of talent, but as we are seeing now, a lot of them are getting older and have extensive injury histories. I think the Giants can put a playoff competitive team out there next year with some minor additions.

    2. I would not be heartbroken at all if the Giants moved on from Timmy and Vogey and did a short term patch through the FA market. The pitching market is much more buyer friendly this year than the hitting market.

    3. Also, whatever they do, it is imperative that they hang onto their draft picks as this is a draft deep in talent that could be a difference maker for 10-15 years to come.

    4. Puig over the last 10 weeks or so (66 games): .289/.379/.467/.846. Very good, yes, but is that excitement? Not so much.

      Davis, one great season, and he's exciting? Just two years ago he had a .707 OPS and playing part time. And like Puig, not even for a full season, after a great start, he has been very good but not exciting over his last 10 weeks (68 games): .244/.336/.548/.884.

      I found Posey to be very exciting in the second halves of 2010 and 2012, he did it when it counted, Davis shrunk when his team needed him to be SuperDavis still.

      If you don't believe in the new Belt, that's understandable, but from Apr 16-Aug 15, 4 months, Belt hit .298/.374/.525/.899, which was when we needed him to hit and he did well until late August. And up to when the team was 23-15 in the early season, the hitters were the ones who were producing and getting us those wins, not the pitching.

      The problem with Lincecum has been that he would have these blow-up games that just kills his ERA. However, overall, he has been pitching a lot of quality starts, per PQS, and that, while not Ace-worthy, is very good for a #3 starter, which he would be in our rotation. I'm OK with moving on if a team wants to get stupid with the bidding, but if he can be had around QO, 1-2 years, I would rather sign him than get a draft pick.

      I understand the reticence with Vogie, but it's only $6.5M, and with Gaudin, who has also done very well as a starter for us this season, that's a great 3-4-5 for any team. With Petit as first backup should Vogie goes down, the Moscoso, then Kickham/Surkamp/maybe even Escobar afterward, I think we are covered pretty nicely in the starting rotation with that group in the mix for 3-4-5. And if Crick progresses quickly, he could be pushing for a spot by August, as the Giants have been aggressive in the past with guys with his type of stats.

      I don't see the value in spending big money on a starter if we can get Lincecum for similar money. And I would be OK with letting Vogie go, if that is the decision, and seeing what Petit or another cheapo starting pitching signing could do in the #5 spot.

      Even with no free agent signing, Cain, Bumgarner, Gaudin, Petit, Moscoso/Kickham/Surkamp is doable, I think, as long as Pence resigns and the team stays relatively healthy.

    5. I'd take those Puig numbers, very easily. He is a very exciting player. How much more he adjusts versus what the pitchers do, that'll be interesting to see.

      The big problem with Timmy is those blowup games. He's like a version of Zito - do we settle for half QS, that's what we got from Zito in 2012, it served well. But not knowing which pitcher is going to show up, that just gets old after a while. I love Timmy, I want him to figure things out, but he's just a gigantic risk. I think anything over the one year QO prove out type deal should be 2/30 and an option. Anything more than that... let some other team balance the risk/reward.

      I have to say I disagree that Gaudin/Vogie/Petit/Moscoso/Kickham is the answer. That should be the backup. The Giants need a third guy to slot behind Bum and Cain. Then they are strong. On paper Tanaka could do that. You push Vogey to the 4 spot, and bring in even more guys for that 5th spot, then you have some depth.

      The Giants need to take a hard look at where they've been with Zito, and take the best guess of where Timmy will put them on that front. Having two guys who's stuff you can't trust is one too many. Timmy as a 5 though? That would be acceptable. If you had something else. Tough call though, there just aren't many pitchers to slot in as a 3.

    6. Not sure how you can say Anon that the Gmen did it only against the teams that were out of it. That swing into LA was hardly that. Forgetting the natural competition between those two teams at the end of the year (Still remember Joe Morgan's homerun!), the Dodgers are not only knee deep in a playoff run, but they wanted to clinch at home. The completely lost mo. That was significant.

      As for next year, my plan would be:

      a) Move Belt to OF. Let's get it done now.
      b) Sign Pence. Spend the money on a guy we know. I don't want another Rowan fiasco. You'd have a OF of Pagan, Pence and Belt, and then you could have Pegs and +1 as your backups. I don't think Pegs will ever amount to a full time starter, but bringing him in as the 4th gives him a similar shot that Belt had two years ago when he was transitioned in.
      c) Let's have Buster try out 3b NOT 1b. We know what he can do at 1b, so that is a given. What we need is a guy who can step in when Panda falls off the wagon (again). Maybe having a .300+ MVP breathing down his neck will give Panda some extra incentive.
      d) Hector is fine at Catcher. I wonder if Susac is ready to be a back up. My guess is we go with Monell and put Susac at AAA to see if he's for real.
      e) Pill can play first for now. We know what he can do. We have Angel V. in AA/AAA next year. I'd be more than fine signing the Cuban dude and giving him a shot out of spring too. Worst case, Buster can play there if all else plays well.

      Your line up is then Pagan, Scutaro, Belt, Posey, Pence, Panda, Crawford, Sanchez. That is pretty good. If we get a new 1b, they swap for Panda. Also good.

      On SP: No, no, no Vogie. I just don't see it. Cain, MadBum, and ? I think we give Timmy a QO and Seattle bites and gives him a 2-3 10/year type deal and Timmy bolts home. He'll do better in the AL too. We can get an extra pick which is great. I am hopeful Surkamp is the next lefty and that Escobar pushes him. I'd be ok giving Chaudin a spot (less hyped about Petit as the season goes on and he appears to wear down). My SP would be Cain, MadBum, FA, Surkamp and Chaudin.

      On Pen: Not sure who I like anymore. Romo has blown too many games. Many of the other guys look tired. I am worried about left side with Affeldt being less so, Mijares running hot/cold and Lopez gone. I guess, sitting here, I'd try to sign Lopez for a year (if he'd do it), send Mijares down to the minors (just in case) and move Kickham up. Right side, I'd prefer to see Dunning and Hembree, with Casilla and Romo. Hembree could be their to catch the knife if Romo falters again. Hopefully, Kickham could grown into a dependable 8/9 inning guy as a set up. Then we can let the guys in the minors come up (although with Dunning and Hembree, we'd be better off on the right than the left). At the end of the day, with all the pitching, I wouldn't do anything more than a bandaid in the pen. Too many good arms at A/AA right now.

      Really don't want to spend money when I don't know that there are any real upgrades beyond a dependable 3rd for the rotation.


    7. My guess is that they give themselves a little bit of breathing room for error (on-the-field production wise, not moneywise) in putting together their 2014 rotation.

      That's my guess.

      I could be wrong and I have been wrong before, but I think they say, 'Never 2013 again!'

    8. puig is a punk who has very little respect for the game

      if he were playing even 20 years ago, he would be the recipient of a steady stream of fb's to the ribs

      interesting things said by bochy today....things, that as far as i can tell, he has never said in the past...he's not the kind of manager who is big on blasting guys for dogging it

      and craw's future bro in law k'd 12....kid is an ace in waiiting


    9. Baseball has changed over the years.

      It used to be there was no crying in baseball. But Belt cried and it turned out OK. It is not so macho these days. Very few get a steady steam of rib-brushing fastballs.

    10. I too have thought about Posey as the 3B lately. If Pablo is out after next year, who will fill the role? 3B should be a position of power, and Posey will provide that. They've won 2 titles with him as a C, but it's time to put the money being spent on him to better use, as early as this season. If Pablo wants to stay in the lineup, he can shift over to first when Posey isn't behind the dish. Belt needs to learn to play the OF, plain and simple. The Giants, as a whole, need to be open to some change. After this season, I think they'll be ready. So... as early as next year, Sanchez needs to be starting 1 out of 3 behind the dish, with Buster moving to 3rd, Pablo to 1B, and Belt to LF. 2015, Posey is your Opening Day 3B.

      Probably won't happen that way, but I think it gives us the best chance to get max production from each hitter in the lineup.

  5. Another win today. 8 wins, 4 one-run losses. The Gigantes have been playing very good ball. Since that Bosox/Pit homestand that was awful but ended well, they've been turning it around big time. 15 wins since August 24, against 10 losses, 7 of which are 1 run variety.

    Romo has been pretty shaky lately. With all the chat about LF I would not be surprised at all if its the bullpen that gets the look. Boone Logan for 3/15MM. That would bring down the crowd. What they do need to do is bring back Lopez and cut bait with Mijares.

    1. I like Boone Logan. I picked him up in my keeper league about five years ago so I was pleasantly happy to see you mention him as a possible signing.

      Bumgarner got 10 K's, just one short of 200 for the season to join a select handful of Giants lefties to strikeout 200 in a season, including Dirty in 2010.

      Go Giants! Though not so much that we get a pick above 10th...