Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Game Wrap 8/5/2014: Brewers 4 Giants 3

The Giants sent a short lineup out there to support Timmy in this one.  They made it close, but no cigar at the end.  Key Lines:

Hunter Pence- 1 for 3, 2 BB.  BA= .291.  Pence got on base 3 times, which is exactly what a leadoff batter should do.  He did not figure in the scoring.  He got to play CF for an inning.

Joe Panik- 2 for 5.  BA= .241.  Panik is 5 for 9 over his last 2 games and has raised his BA by .038 in that span.  Bochy gave him the 2-hole after his 3 hit game on Sunday.  We may be seeing him grab the 2B position by the throat right before our eyes!  Just think.  If he does, he could be the Giants second baseman for the next 10 years!

Pablo Sandoval- 1 for 3, HR(13), BB.  BA= .281.  I really thought the Giants were going to pull this one out when Pabs hit his 3 run dinger to tie it.  Alas, it was all the scoring the Giants short lineup could muster.

Blanco, Crawford, Perez, Susac- 1 for 14.  Morse got the second game in a row off to "clear his head." It's usually not a good sign when the manager thinks you need to clear your head, but it sometimes works.  The problem with Morse not playing is it leaves the bottom of the lineup looking like this, not that Morse has been making it look any better lately.  At least when Pagan gets back, it becomes just Blanco, Crawford, Susac and when Posey is catching, it's down to Blanco and Crawford and those guys are not terrible in the 7 and 8 holes.

Tim Lincecum- 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 8 K's.  ERA= 4.22.  Pretty good start for Timmy with excellent peripherals.  He keeps pitching like this and the Giants should be OK on his days.

The Loss, coupled with the Dodgers win over the Angels, dropped the Giants 2.5 games behind in the NL West.  As for the Wild Card, they dropped 1 percentage point behind the Cardinals for the first slot.  They lead the Pirates by 1.5 games for the second slot and the Braves by 3.

Ryan Vogelsong tries to even the series tonight facing Yovani Gallardo.


  1. Short lineup.

    Is it a case of 'well, Timmy is more comfortable with Hector (or Susac),' or 'Once or twice early on, but no, we don't want Posey to catch Timmy at all?' Does anyone know?

    Given that, I think Bochy had 2 choices - one, to present our 'A' lineup when Pagan returns, along with a 'clear headed' Morse (which entails his head clearing on the bench until then) and roll from there, or two, keeping as much pressure on competition now as we can (offensively, that is, or the threat of offense...kind of the Art of War deception thing) with Morse out there (sacrificing defense, of course, for the first 6 innings hopefully, but on par with the season long plan), even with Posey out and Susac catching.

  2. I think the Giants biggest offseason priority is going to be LF. It just won't be an easy fix. The FA options aren't great (no chance Melky and Giants have an interest in getting back together). Markakis could be a FA, but he's a shadow of the player he was a few years ago. Though he could add some defensive value if moved to LF.

    I think the trade market adds the best chance for an upgrade. Alex Gordon is my white whale, but I doubt he's available. Dexter Fowler could be interesting, but he's defense is suspect. Sabean is just going to need to be creative.

    1. I agree that LF will be an offseason challenge. I suppose they could re-sign Morse if he turns his season back around, but right now, he's looking like a good bet to fulfill my prediction of him not lasting the season.

      What about Colby Rasmus as a FA? The Giants have a history of going after guys who were formerly top prospects but whose stock has dropped. Big time underachiever with a big upside.

    2. DrB predicted that Blanco would replace Morse as a starter, to much guffawing from one raucous poster. I note that Blanco, who isn't having a good year, has a fWAR of .5 in under 300 PAs, while Morse is at .7 in just over 400. That's about the same. And I assume M would be still more useless if he had not been needed at 1B, where he can at least field the position.

    3. Morse actually has a negative fWAR in LF. All of his + contribution has come at 1B, not that fWAR is the end-all be-all in the discussion, but the Peavy-deGrom game was a perfect example of where bad defense can drag a player's value down and result in lost games.

    4. I thought the Peavy-deGrom game showed the need for consistent coaching strategy - take Morse out after 6, when we are ahead or in a tight ball game.

      Maybe only if we are ahead.

      All that fWar good streak by Morse and we will get something different. It seems to me that to compare on the X'th game of a 162 game season is a bit arbitrary. Yes, tonight's game is the X'th game, but fWAR fluctuates over time. Right now, it doesn't look particularly rosy for Morse.

    5. I actually thought about Rasmus. He could be a great addition. He had both an fWar and bWar above 4 last year. You could put either him or Pagan in LF.

      He definitely would carry significant bust risk, though, especially in view of how bad his 2014 has been. Also, as lefty, his power might be reduced playing half his games at AT&T But, he would be a buy-low guy if Sabean wanted to take the chance.

    6. The game plan has always been to take Morse out after the 6'th inning if the Giants have a lead. Bochy did not deviate from that strategy in the Peavy game.

  3. Without Morse this team would be 5-6 games back instead of only 2.5. WAR is great and all but Blanco in this lineup everyday would have given us last years offense which I hope nobody remembers how awful it was. What I am a little bothered by is why Posey can't take his "day off" at 1B. Put Belt in LF I really don't see what the big deal is here. Jesus, put Posey in LF if you want just make sure he doesn't get anymore days off for the rest of the season. Panda is going to be just good enough to be really expensive and not quite bad enough to let go. My prediction is the Giants pay him and we get to watch his fat ass be the model of inconsistency for the next 4 years. 2 solutions for LF are Nelson Cruz or move Belt and sign that Jose Abreu guy.... Colby Rasmus = yes.

    1. OMG! Well, I do agree that Morse was a big part of the Giants great first 2 months when they built up that lead, so you might be right on that account. On the other hand, Morse has also contributed to the Giants giving back that lead, so you might not be. WAR does not really sort those questions out very well.

      Belt to LF is not going to happen, so no point in beating that dead horse. Posey in LF is a terrible, terrible idea. I could see Posey moving to 3B if Pabs is not re-signed. Nelson Cruz is not coming to SF for the same reasons Melky is not coming back. Abreu is already signed. I'm intrigued by Colby Rasmus, and in a way he fits the Giants MO, but in other ways, he does not.

      Hey! Nate Schierholtz just got DFA'd!

    2. Jose Abreu signed a 6 year / $68MM contract with the White Sox and is having an MVP type year.

      I agree that Belt should play the outfield once in a while. Why not have a little versatility to this club. Posey is getting dinged up by foul tips and his bat out of the lineup is not a good idea.

      I think we should claim/trade for Alex Rios. He has a reasonable option for next year given his production. This fills a need for this season and fills a whole for the next.

      Cruz would be nice but I doubt the Giants will sign a player with a PED past.

      Colby Rasmus = a big no. I always have liked him but he can't put everything together. His line is .219 .280 .450 and his career line is .246 .314 .438. However, his defense is better than Morse. He reminds me of Kelly Johnson. Lots of dingers but nothing else going on. Maybe on a 1 year deal to see if he can somehow figure out his potential. I believe he can be a great player but a lot of risk on a multi year deal.

    3. If Rasmus is a no, then Rios is an even bigger one. Thee is no upside with Rios--his career is on the downward trend and he has put up no power playing in a hitter's park.

      I suppose the Giants could try to secure a Cuban FA for LF, thought I don't know if they are willing to take the chance.

    4. Yes, his power numbers are down. However the last few years he has averaged about 175 hits and 35 doubles while maintaining a decent BA. He is on that pace for this year too. His career numbers are pretty consistent. I honestly think he would be better than anything we will see on the FA market. Now, if a Cuban prospect defects that is another thing. He is much more consistent than Morse and a better defender. I am only talking about 2014 and 2015. Not a huge investment and not much risk.

    5. The Nelson Cruz and Abreu deals were from the offseason when we also needed a LF. Just reopening old wounds! Colby Rasmus could be lightning in a bottle but he is the type of player we have to take a chance on since we don't sign high priced free agent talent. Posey could play LF as well as Morse!! I just think it is ridiculous that a 27 year old kid needs an extra day off every week. Stand in the OF or at 1B and get that bat back in the lineup. If I were Timmy I would have been pissed to see that lineup supporting me!

    6. Cruz would have cost Tyler Beede. No thank you. Abreu was expensive and played the same position as Belt. Once again, Belt is not going to LF so just forget about that idea.