Sunday, September 28, 2014
Game Wrap 9/27/2014: Giants 3 Padres 1
The game had no relevance to the Giants placement in postseason competition, but was important to some players who may have been auditioning for a postseason roster spot and for a roster spot next April. Brandon Crawford broke open a 1-1 game with bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 8'th inning for the game winning hit. Key Lines:
Gary Brown- 2 for 4. BA= .333. Brown finally got his chance to start, ridiculously late IMO, and responded with a bunt single and another hit off an IF chopper that contributed to the winning rally. Now, a couple of IF hits does not a major leaguer make, but man, he can get down that line in a hurry! Not sure why he has so much trouble stealing bases with that kind of speed! He also made some nifty plays in CF.
This is one place where I disagree with Bochy and/or Brian Sabean. Maybe Brownie hasn't done anything to deserve an earlier look, but we all knew Juan Perez was not the answer a long time ago. In the KNBR roundtable discussion amongst the game announcers on Postgame Live, the consensus seemed to be that Brown just might be a better option for the postseason roster than Perez. Kuiper, in particular, brought up how many times Brown has been passed over, so I guess I'm not the only one who noticed
Matt Duffy- 2 for 4. BA= .254. Duffy hit the ball hard 4 times. His outs were on a line drive to RF that was caught and another was on a sharp grounder up the middle that Amarista made a diving stop on, made a great play to get Brown on a force at 2'nd. Spangenburg made a wild throw to first allowing Duffy to end up at 2B from which he eventually scored the go-ahead run.
Duffy is 5 for 12(.417) in his last 10 games. .333 in 15 games in Sept. He is 7 for 19(.368) with RISP. He has 5 Runs and 7 RBI's in 59 total AB's. Forget that he's walked just once. In the role he has been given, he is not up there looking to walk. What's important is he has good AB's and gets good pitches to hit. Matt Duffy!
I don't know if The Duffster has enough arm to make the throw to first from behind 3B, but if he does, he has to be under consideration for the position should Pablo end up leaving via FA.
Brandon Belt- 1 for 3, 2B, BB. BA= .241. Belt is 7 for 22(.318) over his last 5 games and looks good heading into postseason play. Good job getting up to speed in a hurry there, Big Guy!
Brandon Crawford- 1 for 4. BA= .246. The 2 Ribeyes gave Crawford 69 on the season. Somebody in the broadcast booth, I think it was Kuip, pointed out that's as many as Yasiel Puig! Crawford has also scored 53 runs on the season. Now, I know Ribeyes and Runs are not the greatest measures of a player's value, but come on, guys! Crawford has done this while hitting mostly 7'th and 8'th all season!(he was hitting 6'th in this game).
A reporter asked Bochy after the game if Crawford might be under consideration to bat higher in the order. Bochy said it was a consideration, but he's done so well hitting 7 and 8, he didn't think he'd want to upset the chemistry there. Here's how I see it. Each place in the order has it's own characteristics in terms of what situations the batter comes up in and what types of pitches he sees. Crawford has thrived in a spot that is extremely difficult for most hitters. He seems to have figured out when to be aggressive and when to be patient. Even if he doesn't get a hit or take a walk, he fouls off pitches and forces the pitcher to burn up valuable pitches on the bottom of the order. There are likely other hitters who can bat at the top of the order, but I'm not sure there is anyone else who can do nearly as well as Crawford at the bottom.
Jake Peavey- 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 3.73. This was basically a tune-up game for a hoped for postseason start that will come on Friday, October 3 in Washington if everything if the Giants win the Wild Card Game in either Pittsburgh or St. Louis.
Jeremy Affeldt- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 2.28. Affledt has been very shaky and at times downright bad in September. His last 2 appearances, including this one, seem to have him back on track, which is a very good thing for the postseason.
Hunter Strickland- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 0.00. Another lights out inning for Strickland. I don't know how much leeway the rules allow for postseason rosters. My understanding is the only way he can get on is to replace in injured player for whom there is no alternative replacement who was on the 25 man roster before Sept 1? The roundtable did not seem to think it would be much of a problem, but who develops a mysteriously vague injury between now and 10/1? I think it's pretty clear that Strickland is better than the 12'th pitcher on the pre-9/1 roster, whoever that is(actually, Timmy, I'm looking at you!). First MLB W in this game for Strickland.
Santiago Casilla- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(19). ERA= 1.70. Casilla seems pretty well entrenched as the closer for the postseason and has firmed up that grip in the last 2 weeks.
As mentioned above, this game had no bearing on the Giants postseason placement. The Pirates and Cardinals both lost so the Cardinals lead the NL Central by 1 game going into the final game of the regular season. Giants have to be hoping for a NL Central tie which would force those two teams to burn up their #1's in a one game playoff tomorrow.