Monday, June 9, 2014

Game Wrap 6/8/2014: Giants 6 Mets 4

The Mets made them work for each game, but the Giants completed a 3 game weekend series sweep with a Sunday win behind a QS by Tim Lincecum and the hitting of Gregor Blanco and Brandon Crawford.  Key Lines:

Gregor Blanco- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .253.  Blanco got the start in CF on a day off for Angel Pagan.  He didn't miss a beat as he contributed a very Pagan-like game from the leadoff spot.  Blanco mentioned in the post-game interview that he is just trying to hit line drives and it shows.  His slumps tend to come when he starts thinking of himself as a HR hitter.  Blanco is hitting .423 over his last 10 games after hitting .295 for the month of May.

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .250.  Crawford's bat has come alive again and it helps the Giants have one of the more productive bottoms of the lineup in MLB.  Crawford is 8 for 22 with an additional 5 BB's over his last 7 games.

Tim Lincecum- 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 6 K.  ERA= 4.97.  It wasn't looking good when Timmy walked the leadoff batter and then gave up a 2 run dinger to Curtis Granderson, but he settled down behind his offspeed stuff, particularly a very sharp curveball, until giving up another dinger to Grandy in the 6'th.  On Postgame Live, Greg Papa was suggesting that maybe Timmy needs to stop trying to establish the FB and just pitch backwards from the get-go.  Shawn Estes sounded a bit conflicted at that notion.

Sergio Romo- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, Save(20).  ERA= 3.12.  Romo's best appearance in awhile.  His slider seemed sharp and commanded on almost every pitch.

Zack Wheeler(Mets)- 3.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 6 K.  ERA= 4.19.  This game was a struggle for Wheels. He made some fantastic looking pitches.  The potential ace stuff is obviously there.  His command faded in and out and the Giants made him pay, waiting for hittable pitches and running up his pitch count.  I'd say Wheeler is still a work in progress.

With the Win, the NL West leading Giants pushed their record to 42-21, a .667 win percentage or exactly twice as many wins as losses.  That maintained a 9.5 game lead on the despicable Dodgers who trounced the Reeling Rockies 6-1 in a rain-shortened game.  The Rockies continued to fall back in the division and are now 12.5 games off the pace.  The Pathetic Padres were blanked by the Nationals 6-0 to fall 14 games behind while the Desperate D'Backs held off the Braves 6-5 to remain 15 games behind in last place.

Ryan Vogelsong will try to remain strong facing the red hot Nationals and Stephen Strasburg tonight in the start of a 4 game set.  Should be an interesting series!


  1. Great show of character and determintation from the Giants.
    Good luck Vogie tonight.
    Doc, well I love where the Giants are at,, never ever count out the resto of the division.
    I recommend ( IMHO) that we not not "denegrate" the other teams lest they come back and bite us in the ass.
    Just my opinion. I will leave my chortliling till the fat lady sings.

    Richard in Winnipeg

    1. Nobody is denigrating anyone or counting any chickens. Just having some fun with words. The Pathetic Padres have been known to turn into the Pesky Padres overnight and the D'Backs from Desperate to Dangerous, the Rockies from Reeling to Rampaging. The Dodgers will alway be despicable, though.

    2. "... the Rockies from Reeling to Rampaging. The Dodgers will alway be despicable, though."

      I'm loving it Doc.

  2. Doc. I hear you. The team I actually fear the most is any team managed by Bud Black.

    Richard inWinnipeg

    1. Yeah, but look at the team he is managing. Fear not, Sir Richard.

  3. Doc, can you comment more on pitching backwards from the get go, like how often do pitchers do it, or which pitchers have had good success with that approach? Did a curve ball pitcher like Zito, in his youthful prime, pitch that way?

    1. I think it's pretty rare for a MLB pitcher to use anything but a FB as their primary pitch although I am sure it's been done successfully. I'm trying to think of a good example but having trouble off the top of my head.

    2. Ryu tends to do it. But can't see Timmy w/o his FB. That's what sets up all his swing and miss stuff in the dirt. The curve is a nice addition and maybe deserves more attention. His FB at 90 is not swing and miss, it's his other stuff that is. But when he can't control the FB, then hitters can sit on his offspeed stuff or wait for a FB mistake. Hopefully he gives us six good ones.

    3. Pitching backwards depends a lot on the element of surprise. Doing it consistently takes that advantage away. It very tough to throw breaking stuff early in the count:

      1. Umps have a hard time calling breaking balls strikes because it's hard to follow the movement of the pitch all the way into the strike zone.

      2. Breaking balls tend to be more effective if they start out looking like strikes then break out of the zone. If a batter recognizes it, he can lay off and have a great chance at getting it called a ball. That is harder to do with 2 strikes in the count.

      3. "Get it over" breaking balls tend to get hit a long way if the batter is looking for it.

    4. It's a hell of a lot easier to pitch backwards AFTER you have established your fastball.