Monday, July 7, 2014

Game Wrap 7/6/2014: Giants 5 Padres 3

The top of the Giants lineup had a big day and Tim Lincecum extended his scoreless innings streak to 23 before allowing a solo HR in the 7'th inning.  The Giants hung on to take the Win and win the series.  Key Lines:

Hunter Pence- 3 for 4, 2B.  BA= .301.  Pence seems to have already taken over the leadoff role getting on base 3 times and scoring 3 runs in this one.

Joe Panik- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .257.  Who says the Giants need to trade for a 2B?  Panik added 2 runs scored to the 3 that Pence scored and that was the Giants offense.  He is also 7 for 19 over his last 6 games with an additional 2 BB's.  About that vaunted K/BB he had in the minors?  He has 4 BB's and 3 K's since his callup.

Brandon Belt- 1 for 3, SF.  BA= .257.  Belt drove in 2 runs out of the 3 hole.

Morse and Sanchez added run scoring doubles.

Tim Lincecum- 6.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 3.91.  Timmy was not quite as sharp as he was in his last 2 starts, but took his scoreless streak to 13 innings before surrendering a solo HR to Brooks Conrad of all people.  Still, 3 very strong starts in a row for Timmy which I believe is his longest string of dominant starts in over 2 years.

Sergio Romo- 0.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 5.35.  Romo hung more sliders and Yasmani Grandal hit one nearly to the second deck in RF, which is a truly prodigious blast in Petco Park.  There was a recent Fangraphs article analyzing Romo's problems which seemed to conclude that he really isn't doing anything different.  When I suggested that he appeared to be hanging a lot of sliders from the TV angle, the suggestion was not well received.  Well, he is hanging his sliders and until he figures out why and corrects it, he is going to be a mop up pitcher at best.

Santiago Casilla- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(3).  ERA= 1.08.  As clean inning Save for the new closer.

The Win enabled the Giants to remain 0.5 games behind the NL West leading Dodgers who defeated the Rockies 8-2.

The Giants now return home to face a 4 game series with crosstown rival A's in a 4 game series split between the Oakland Coliseum and AT&T Park with the first 2 in Oakland.  Ryan Vogelsong takes the mound tonight facing Jesse Chavez.


  1. I was an early supporter of Sergio Romo, back in his minor league days in the Giants system. And I was pleased when he took over for Brian Wilson in the "closer" role (if there must be one). But I noticed his dropoff last year, and with this being his last year under contract, I've been hoping that the FO would let him go in November and not try to re-sign him out of misguided loyalty. I did not, however, expect this sudden implosion that we've seen recently.

    As you said, DrB, he needs to figure out how to stop hanging those sliders. Until he does, I hope he is only used in mop up situations.

    It's too bad Heath Hembree hasn't mastered an off-speed pitch. We could really use him. Here's hoping someone from the Law/Strickland/Osich/Hall/Bandilla/Black group steps up between now and next March.

    1. Steven Okert is coming on strong in Richmond. How about a lefty going 93-96 in the late innings? Sounds pretty nice to me!

      Romo isn't doing anything different huh? Well, I imagine the person who wrote that piece hasn't actually watched Romo pitch this year. Maybe he's throwing the same pitches, but they are not crisp. He's lost his confidence, and even yesterday he was nibbling with a 4-run lead. Like everyone else here, I am a big Romo supporter... but he just cannot be used in high leverage situations right now.

      Panik is looking better and better up there. I'm still in a bit of shock over the A's/Cubs trade, and the Shark looked very good in Oakland yesterday. But if Panik can keep getting more comfortable at the plate, maybe the Giants will decide to use their chips and snag a good SP instead of a 2B.

    2. Perhaps a trip to the DL for Romo.

      Injury types - physical, psychological or spiritual.

      In Sergio's case of confidence lost, it's psychological DL for him.

    3. Maybe the end of Romo being a good pitcher has come to an end? We all know how relievers are. They can turn from being excellent to being horrible in less than a second. Look at this year Jim Johnson and Grant Balfour.

  2. Romo hasn't appeared right all year even when he was getting all of his saves. Mentally I think he acts with more bravado than he really has, not sure how mentally tough he really is. He also looks very, very skinny. He's always been a smaller guy but the uniform just hangs off him and his cheek bones seem more prominent. I think there is more to this story.

    1. My daughter has been following Romo on Instagram. She has thought that he's been in a bad place emotionally from way before he imploded on the field just from the messages he's posted.

    2. I want to see a bit more from Lincecum. He has been facing offensively challenged teams his last starts. I'm not ready to buy into that he has regained his mojo back and can become a solid pitcher (3.50-3.75 ERA)

  3. Giants are going to get a second baseman. Look at their track record at trade deadlines (Sanchez, Scutaro) and see how much they value experience at that position. I do hope they keep Panik and let Hicks go when the time come comes though. I can't stand to see Hicks at the plate anymore.

    1. You gotta think the Giants are going to go after a veteran 2B if they think they have any chance at all of making the playoffs. Right now, there is no reason to think they can't with a couple of key reinforcements, so yeah, I expect them to make a trade for one. On the other hand, maybe they learned their lesson a couple of years ago when they didn't think Crawford was ready and went for Orlando Cabrera and he turned out to be a pumpkin.

    2. I think they will sit tight a bit before they pull the trigger. First, we may get a 2B without doing anything. Scutaro's rehab has been nothing short a a miracle. While I certainly am not counting those chickens, having him back even in a platoon basis would be an improvement over Hicks. Second, Panik has been good (if not very good) of late. He's a kid, and I think you have to give him some slack for tanking a bit early on. Unlike Hicks, Panik has had no time at the Big Show and it is not surprising that he could have been pushing a bit hard. Again, not saying he's arrived, but if his recent numbers hold, is really worse than anyone else we'd get (and at what cost)? Panik is a first round pick, who has progressed "evenly" within the farm system. He may be young, but as Dr.B points out, so was Crawford and look at the latter now.

      Unless there is a run on 2b types, I think we hold for a bit and see what happens with our existing guys. I personally don't want to spend a bunch for another infielder.

      As for other trades, I dunno. Sure, we could use a pitcher but with Vogey and the Freak pitching well, where do you put that Sp -- I can't see them pulling Cain who right now is the weak link. As for RP, Romo is a problem, but the rest of the staff is doing fine and again, we're not going to let Romo go.

      I almost wonder if we should do a small bit of selling rather than buynig. What if we traded Romo and brought up Hembree? Romo is not in the right space, but I still think he'd fare well on the market and he's a FA next year. Plus, I don't see him necessarily bouncing back with the Giants. I realize that doesn't happen, but it seems like change of uniforms might be good for the guy.

    3. I don't think the FO factors Hembree at all in the teams future. His velocity hasn't been the same since that forearm strain mid 2012. We all thought maybe he was taking a bit off for control, but I seriously think he just lost it. His current stuff profiles as a 7th inning kind of guy. As we can see with Machi and Gutierrez they're a dime a dozen and not worth making special exceptions for.

      If anyone comes up from Fresno I think it's going to be Cordier. He's still wild, but has gone from bucking stallion to effectively wild. Then you have Strickland with that 97mph fastball and plus slider in AA AND Okert with a 96 and mph Fb and a plus slider from the left side. I guarantee you all three of those guys have passed Hembree in the FO's eyes. Law would be ahead of him too if he didn't get bit by the TJ bug. Hembree and Adrianza are probably going to be complementary pieces in what ever trade the FO decides to pull the trigger on.

    4. They must like Cordier. Dunning was let go. Cordier must have made progress. Not many pitchers have his heater.

      They have always like Strickland. It's a matter of getting back to his pre-injury form and some final touches. Not sure if he's ready right at this moment, but could be later this year (hoping here anyway). Okert has looked good all season. So, unless they want him to work on something specific or get more innings, he's worth considering.

      We might need a back up leadoff guy (infielder or outfielder), even if Pagan comes back. I know Pence is doing it now (and doing well), but it wouldn't hurt. I know we wanted power off the bench as well. It's like there is always something we want.

      Oh, and we need Bumgarner to be back to his usual excellent self....and Posey to have a hot July.

  4. They need to trade for a second baseman if nothing else for insurance of Panik. No way they are going to hand him the job not only for this year but next if they don't bring anyone in.Not their MO.

    As for their relievers, you are a lot more optmistic than I. Besides Romo, Machi is leaking gas and Lopez has not been the same this year either. Guiterrez is not really someone you can count on too down based on his career. I could easily see the need of a minimum of 2 maybe 3 new faces in our pen. Maybe Runzler can finally step up if we need an internal option but our pen is still shy of stability.

    One "outside the box thinking" could be getting a starter and them moving Lincecum to the pen. Timmy has had success there in the past and I think it might allow him to recapture some of his heat in shorter relief outings. I am not sold that he has re-invented himself either but I do think in a relief role he could be as good as anyone we have there currently.

  5. I just read through that F/G article. Eno got a bit testy. He watches the games!

    Giant fans have known for years that when Romo's frisbee slider hangs, it goes a long way. That was Eric Hinske's celebration game remember? Oh wait, Travis Ishikawa drew a walk!

    The Cubs James Russell could be an interesting supplement to the pen. The Phils have a lefty Jake Diekman who can K/9 with the best of them. You get Raggs and Gardner to settle down his hit tendencies... The Rangers have a righty Shawn Tolleson who has given up some HRs, but has a pretty decent K/BB and has held teams down on the hit side. Its strange that the Phils and Rangers will be sellers this year, just a couple years ago they were the juggernauts.

    Joe Panik has game! Sabean better weigh this one carefully, and I don't want to see any bunk broken down 2B subbed in a la Orlando Cabrera for sure!

  6. I didn't think Panik would last, but I am getting the feeling I truly blew that one. If the kid can do the job; let him, but Met's Murphy wouldn't induce the rage of tears for another O. Cabrera.

    With Pagan's continuing trips to the DL, Pence is a perfect leadoff, at least for the Giants. Then all the Giants would need is a who is a gapper that moves runners up or drives in runs. Bring up a young pitcher for mop up inning(s)?

    Cain really scares me. I have no idea what is wrong with him, but if I had to guess, it would be his stamina?

    Anon, I agree that Romo looks sucked up. If a pitcher keeps throwing that slider that drifts off the plate, hitters have?/will learn to lay off that pitch. A LOT of his pitches are drifting right into the sweet spot. If Romo keeps putting that ball down the middle of the plate, I think he should consider one of those safety hats!


  7. Of the pitching choices that kibitzers insisted that the Giants should have made in the offseason, rather than re-sign Lincecum and Vogelsong, I note that the hardy Bronson Arroyo is to have TJ surgery. One would think, given his age, that his career might be pretty well over. I'm sorry for him, glad for us, and patient in waiting to see how many amateur pundits will recall their annoyance that the Giants didn't grab Arroyo while they could.