Friday, August 22, 2014

Game Wrap 8/22/2014: Giants 10 Nationals 3

Joe Panik led what might have been the Giants best offensive game of the season with 4 hits including his first MLB HR as the Giants dominated the hottest team in baseball at least for one game.  Key Lines:

Buster Posey- 2 for 5, 2B, HR(15).  BA= .286.  Buster is hot and showed no ill effects from catching late into the night in Chicago plus arriving in Washington at 7 AM.  Look for him to stay in the lineup tomorrow at 1B with Susac catching Timmy.

Joe Panik- 4 for 5, HR(1).  BA= .316.  This ballpark, with a jet stream to R-CF is tailor made for Panik who got a ton of carry on a drive that direction to drive in the first 3 of the Giants runs.  He also had 2 sharp singles, one up the middle and the one through the hole to RF as well as a squibber to the left side that went for an IF hit.  As Kruk said, "stay hot, kid!"  I don't think anyone who reads Down on the Farm on a daily basis is surprised by any of this.  If Panik stays hot, and the Giants make the playoffs, does he deserve ROY consideration?

Gregor Blanco= 1 for 1, BB.  BA= .246.  Blanco is hitting .417 over his last 10 games and .304 with a .375 OBP in 31 games since the All-Star Break.  He also made a terrific catch on a drive down the LF line by Denard Span that was tailing away from him.

Tim Hudson- 5.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 2.99.  Huddy did not have his best command.  He went 3-0 on at least 2 batters in the first inning and ran up an uncharacteristically high pitch count.  But he characteristically battled into the 6'th inning.  Bochy came an got him at exactly the right time as he was obviously tiring.

Javier Lopez- 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 1.99.  Lopez started the season slow and was a forgotten man in the bullpen for awhile but he has always been terrific in the second half of the season and this year is no exception.  He slammed the door in the 6'th by striking out Adam Laroche and inducing Ian Desmond to ground out to SS.  Lopez has been as effective against RH batters as LH batters so far this season.

Jean Machi- 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 1.46.  Machi came in and retired 5 batters before allowing a single to Rendon with the fearsome Jayson Werth coming up.  Machi clearly did not want to come out of the game, but Bochy seemed to think Machi was getting tired and brought in Romo.

Sergio Romo- 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 4.15.  Romo's job was to retire Jayson Werth who he struck out with aplomb.  Romo would make a terrific righty specialist.

The Win kept the Giants 3 games behind the Dodgers who beat the Mets 6-2.  The Giants also maintained their 1 game lead over the Braves for the final Wild Card playoff spot as the Braves beat the Reds 3-1 with Mike Minor taking a no-hitter into the 8'th inning.  The Cardinals lead over the Giants for the first Wild Card slot was cut to 1 game as the Cardinals lost to the Phillies 5-4.

Tim Lincecum takes the mound tomorrow facing Jordan Zimmermann in a yard where he has struggled with the heat and humidity in the past.

Bruce Bochy was asked prior to the game about Buster Posey moving out from behind the plate and Boch got fairly expansive in his answers.  He stated that there is currently not discussion regarding Buster moving to another primary position, although he expects it may happen at some point in the future.  He was pretty emphatic that if and when Buster moves to a new primary position it will be to first base, not third.  Bochy acknowledged that Buster has some tools that would play at 3B, but there are aspects to playing the position that would require a lot of work and the transition to 1B would be much easier.

Nationals have made a couple of very savvy trades in acquiring Doug Fister and Denard Span while giving up virtually nothing.  Span is perhaps the type of OF Sabes should be looking to make a trade for over the winter, not that Span himself is going to be available, but someone like he was when the Nats made the trade.


  1. Since your illuminating posts on lineup construction, DrB, followed from my doubts about the criteria being invoked to have Panik bat second, let me ask if you are planning a Part 4 to this topic. I wanted to see what you had to say and then comment on your conclusions and those of The Book (Tango et al.). It seems fitting for me to ask on a day when Panik was a major hero, as he has repeatedly been this month, so that he would seem to fit any criteria for moving up in the batting order. If only he can keep it up!

    1. Part 3 was the last installment. I think I was pretty plain in that post that Panik would make a fine #2 with lack of top end speed being his only deficit for the role. Of course, right at the moment, Panik would do just fine wherever you put him. He's not going to stay THIS hot forever, though.

    2. Gosh, Panik sure is looking like another Giants 2B at the dish lately. Haven't we said all along that he could very well turn out to be a Marco Scutaro/Freddy Sanchez type player?

      This lineup has caught fire at exactly the right time, and it's a rookie who is really helping to stir the straw. I would still move him to the #2 spot without blinking an eye. But if the current alignment is working, I can't complain. Susac behind the dish today... maybe we'll get even more lucky, and Bochy will sit Crawford's .196 average against RHP (.179 for August, .173 July) in place of Duffy.

      With these kids in the lineup lately, I truly cannot wait to turn the game on every day.

    3. *stir the drink...

    4. From Kruk and Kuip's back and forth about Duffy, it sounds like there is some internal debate in the organization about Duffy's future role and whether it is as a starter or bench guy and how important it is for him to be playing every day for development purposes vs getting experience in his future role. I have to say I was disappointed that Arias got the call at 2B the day Panik was out with the finger. It seemed like a perfect opportunity for Duffy to get some AB's, but then again, Arias seems to be hitting better of late and these games are important to win.

    5. Campanari,

      …but feel free to comment on the the series on Lineup Construction any time.

    6. Even if things break nicely and Panik does become considered a ROY candidate I highly doubt the writers will vote for him though.

  2. Glad Romo is back, and last night, the team played like it did in the first two months of the season.

    Still about 1.5 months of the regular season left, with many teams not too far away.

    Hope to see a good game from Timmy, even in that humidity.

  3. Crawfoid's future with the team gets bleaker everyday IMO. Giants seem to be having too many options at his position and he hasn't done anything to show he's ever going to be much more than he is. In fact, a case could be made he is regressing somewhat at the plate and in the field. Even with that, there are some teams out there that might be interested and I would hope we could get something useful for him when the time comes I'd say only a 25% chance he's with the team next year.

    1. Not sure what the deal is with Crawford. He's always been a guy who can pull off the spectacular play then mess up an easy one, but it seems to be a bit more pronounced this year. I will say that the error yesterday was on a very bad bounce.

      The other thing with him is he seems to fall into bad mechanics at the plate over and over again. I don't know if it's always the same thing but it ends up with the same result, prolonged slumps at the plate that sap his overall season numbers.

      To me, he's about a league average SS which is better than some teams have and a step up from the days of the Renteria, Orlando Cabrera types, but that should not stop the Giants from trying to upgrade.

    2. Miggy Tejada would be another example of the SS types that Crawford was a liberation from.