Thursday, July 10, 2014

Game Wrap 7/9/2014: Giants 5 A's 2

The Giants offense mustered 5 runs and while Matt Cain labored his way to a QS and the bullpen shut it down over the last 3 innings.  Key Lines:

Hunter Pence- 2 for 5, HR(12).  BA= .302.  Ideally, you would like someone else setting the table with Pence cleaning it up out of the 3 hole, but he's making the most of the current set up and led the way tonight.

Pablo Sandoval- 2 for 4.  BA= .264.  Pablo did not figure into the scoring, but needed this game as he was 1 for his last 16 coming in.

Joe Panik- 2 for 4.  BA= .234.  Every time you get to thinking Panik is in over his head, he has a game like this where he gets a couple of hits and some very nice AB's.  Tonight, it was taking nasty LHP Eric O'Flaherty up the middle for a base hit to start a 2 run rally to tack on insurance runs in the bottom of the 6'th after the A's had narrowed the gap to 3-2 in the top of the inning.

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 4.  BA= .244.  Crawford was safe on a perfectly placed line-drive bunt past the pitcher in the 6'th.  Kuiper said he thought that hit would get Crawford going out of his slump.  Sure enough, next AB he lined a single to CF.  We'll see if it carries on past this game.

Matt Cain- 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 4.18.  Once again, Cainer looked like he had good stuff.  His 2-seam FB, in particular, was 93 with a ton of movement.  I don't know if it was location inconsistency or the A's hitting philosophy, but he ended up throwing 105 pitches in 6 innings, but ended up with a QS and the W as he got some run support and the bullpen shut it down in the final 3 innings.

Sergio Romo- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 5.19.  I'm pretty sure I would not have used Romo in this situation, although it was probably OK with a 3 run lead and a short leash.  This looks more like a Romo line than what we've mostly seen this year.

Santiago Casilla- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(4).  ERA= 1.05.  Saves with 3 run leads are not too impressive, but Casilla has been pitching clean innings since taking over the closer role.

The Win put the Giants back in sole possession of first place in the NL West by a percentage point over the Dodgers who have 1 more Win and 1 more Loss.

Tim Hudson tries to complete a 2 game sweep of the home half of the series this afternoon facing Scott Kazmir.


  1. Panik seems to be the kind of player to make adjustments. He did it in the minors and I think he will do it at the MLB enough to be a servicable player. Giants still need a second baseman but Panik may be closer than we think.

    1. I am likely wrong but I don't think the Giants trade for a second baseman if Scutaro is able to play a couple days a week. Here's why: Scutaro if really healthy is at least as good as anyone on the market and he will bring a spark. Panik, as you note, is capable of adjusting, so I think they will platoon--ease him in and give Scutaro days off to make sure he does not regress. Maybe I am wrong on this, but I actually think this will be very symbiotic for Panik too. Not sure you could find a better coach for Panik than Scutaro--Panik will get even more coaching on defense and plate discipline. While I think in some instances sending a kid down to get reps etc. is the right thing, here he would actually be disadvantaged given the time he can spend with Marco. Ultimately, by the end of the season, I'd expect Panik is playing most every day and hopefully hitting .270+ which I think is doable for him. That combination is more than sufficient to address the needs, and better long term (especially when you take into account Scutaro has one more year on his contract).

      I tend to think the only trades we make are for help in the pen, but only if we're also trading or releasing guys. Not sure that happens, unless we move Romo for a change of uniforms type move where we get a similar guy who may be in need of a fresh start. While I know some are down on the rest of the pen, Casilla, Affeldt and Lopez have largely done well. I think Machi too. So, mabye one of the fringe guys, but I don't see a huge outcry for that, especially when you consider we have pertty close to a full loaded pen in AA/AAA.

      If Pagan doesn't come back, that might make a difference, but I'm not sure there is a CF type on the market. Pagan also has two years left. I am with the rest of the group that we should bring up Brown and see what he can do. Can't be worse than Perez or Blanco at this point.

      I don't view giving the kids a chance as "giving up the season". I think sometimes trades work, but I'm not a believe that you can't improve from within especially when I don't see any sort of improvement that makes sense from a long term perspective on the market. While this team has a chance to go all the way, it isn't as close as I think it needs to be to mortgage the farm.

    2. I think the Giants need to bring up Scuts and keep Panik..Play both up to the deadline (Scuts as the main guy)..It would be nice if this Tandem could work because there are too many other spots that need help...A healthy Pagan is obviously the key, but if he's not, the Giants have to bring in a CF not named Gary Brown (or can PENCE play CF and you bring in a RF??)..Otherwise, I think this is the one case where you can say the season is done and kids (Brown) could be triedr....If you have a healthy trio in the OF, then you can pick and choose where you want to make trades for----Strengthen the bullpen (pretty mandatory), 2B if Scuts can't play, or even a Starting Pitcher with a SP moving to the bullpen...the next three weeks will give us the answers....


  2. It's not a matter of what we think but what Sabean thinks in terms of the value of "kids" during a penant race. Look at his history of going with kids vs veterans come trade deadline, he trades for veterans----Cabrera, Burrell, Garcia, Scutaro. I just don't see him changing his MO no mater how well Panik does. I would like to keep Panik on the roster when Scutaro comes back as I do think he will be a good mentor but I wouldn't expect Panik to get a lot of playing time if we are in a race.

    1. The flip side is that the Giants brass admitted they made a mistake not keeping Crawford on the squad in 2011. Joe Panik is playing up, not playing down currently. But with Scutaro getting activated today, we have Hicks getting one last shot. If Hicks has a big game, it wouldn't be that much of a surprise for the Giants to option Joe for a bit. I think that would be a mistake.