Saturday, September 27, 2014

Game Wrap 9/26/2014: Padres 4 Giants 1

The Giants were coming off the celebration of clinching a postseason spot and it looked like it as the offense failed to sustain an attack against Ian Kennedy and Ryan Vogelsong's otherwise strong start fell apart in the 6'th inning.  Key Lines:

Brandon Belt- 2 for 3, BB.  BA= .239.   Apparently Belt's 2-hit night in the series opener was not a fluke as he looked like he was seeing the ball well again in this one.  That is good news for the Giants postseason hopes!

Hunter Pence- 1 for 3, BB.  BA= .279.  Pence has been in a brutal slump, but seemed to be swinging less wildly in this game.  Hopefully something to build on over the last 2 games and into the postseason.

Ryan Vogelsong- 5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 4.00.  Vogey allowed an unearned run in the first inning on a couple of hits and a PB.  over the next 4 innings he allowed just 1 hit and 1 walk  while showing off what might have been his best curveball of the season.  Like Petit the night before and Huddy the night before that, the wheels rather unexpectedly came off in the 6'th inning.  When the first batter of the inning struck out on a perfect curveball, Vogey appeared to be rolling, but then Will Venable doubled, Vogey appeared to want no part of Yasmani Grandal and walked him, but then Seth Smith delivered the big blow, a shot that caromed off the very top of the wall in RF driving in the go-ahead run and putting runners on 2'nd and 3'rd with 1 out.  The next batter was Rene Rivera, who must have put up at least half of his total 2014 production against the Giants.  Vogey made a good pitch and blew up his bat, but the ball floated out over Brandon Crawford's head for a 2 run single and Vogey's night was done.

Ryan Vogelsong made all 32 of his starts this year and pitched well for the most part.  He got very little run support for long stretches that suppressed his W-L.  He would appear to be a good value on a similar 1 year contract as this season.  On the other hand, he might command more on the open market and the Giants might not want to go that high, so this could have been his final start for the Giants.  Just one of many interesting stories to follow after the season ends.

Erik Cordier- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 1.80.  Cordier had a rough last appearance, so this one was important to see if he could recover and put it behind him.  He appeared to dial the FB back just a hair to 97-98 MPH and seemed to have much better command of it.   He also used a sharp breaking ball more frequently which kept the Padres hitters off balance.  Nice game from Cordier who is definitely going to challenge for a roster spot next spring.

The Loss eliminated the Giants chances of hosting the Wild Card play-in game.  The Pirates and Cardinals both won, so the Cardinals maintain a 1 game lead in the NL Central.  If the season ended last night, the Giants would face the Pirates in the WC game in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.  The Giants are hoping for a tie atop the NL Central by Sunday night, which would force the Cards and Pirates into an extra 1 game playoff on Monday to determine the division winner and Wild Card entry.

Jake Peavy takes the mound for today's game facing LHP Eric Stults.  Don't expect Peavy to be out there longer than 5 innings at the most though.

Prior to the game, Madison Bumgarner was named the Willie Mac Award winner, which was very well deserved.  Willie watched from a hospital bed where he is being treated for a serious infection.  Willie's daughter presented the award as several other family members looked on.  It was great to see the parade of past winners and wow!  Mike Krukow won it 2 years in a row!  What a warrior he was and how great is it to listen to him explain the game night after night on the TV broadcasts?!  Kruk has his own physical challenges now and it was obviously an emotional night for him too.  The ladies in my family cried during the ceremony and I had a tear or two trying to come out.  The guy who just might be the proudest of all to win the award?  Andres Torres, who I'm guessing would not miss out on the ceremony for anything.  If they didn't invite him, he'd probably force his way in!

It was a strange sequence of events down in Arizonaland as Kirk Gibson got the ax as well as bench coach Alan Trammel.  The D'Backs then turned around and asked Trammel to manage the last 3 games of the season.  So, does that mean Trammel is in the running to be the next non-interim manager?  Weird!  As for Gibson, his tough guy persona might have gone a bit too far.  You need scrappy players on the team, but you also need tools and talent.  Gibby didn't seem to understand that and appeared to be the driving force for several trades that depleted the talent depth on the team.

Dave Stewart has been named the new GM for the D'Backs, though he may have a more lofty title.  This would be Stewarts first experience in an MLB front office(he has been a player representative or agent).  I am sure Tony LaRussa feels he can mentor Stewart  and the ties obviously go back to their days when LaRussa managed Stewart with the Oakland A's, although LaRussa himself does not have front office experience as he spent his entire career up to now managing in the dugout.

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