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.


  1. doc,

    remember how the halos got rodriguez on the roster, even though he was a sept 1 callup?

    it is clear that the org has mishandled brown.

    curious. in the history of the mlb, has there ever been a case where a team is about to do what the dodgers are in game 162, with having the players take over coaching duties cuz the game is meaningless?


    1. I don't think it is clear that the Giants have mishandled Brown at all. I happen to think that right here, right now, he is the best option for a reserve OF role and the Giants have been slow to get to there, but that is a whole lot different than saying he's been mishandled.

      Just my opinion, but it seems like there must be issues going on with Brown that we don't know about.

      Yeah, it seems like the postseason roster rules are rather porous.

  2. On the Juan Perez-Gary Brown "battle" - Perez put up good #s in Fresno 316/372/508 while being a good soldier getting shuffled back and forth. Not quite 200 PAs, he did 7/11 SBs and hit 7 big flies while taking 14 BBs. That might not seem like a lot, but for him its huge, he has always been at the top of the "hacking" foodchain of Gints minors. Gary Brown had almost 3 times the PAs, put up 271/329/394 with 36/56 SBs and 10 big flies.

    That might be the difference here, the Giants don't see enough from Brown and reward Perez for nose to grindstone.

    After the 100 or so PAs with the French Vanilla... I'd really like to have seen Brown a bunch this month and I think the Giants lost an opportunity.

  3. Re: Gary Brown, I just discovered that a teammate from Fullerton, CHRISTIAN COLON, was the no. 4 pick (Royals) in the same draft. I pass this on to anyone who was wondering what some of Brown's peers are up to. Same college team. Both no. 1 picks with mixed success in the minors.This is Colon's rookie season and he hit .302 in 43 AB's before being placed on the DL.

  4. While I would have liked to see Brown get some PA while he is up, I have no problem with others getting to the bigs before him. Perez is essentially the 6th OF, and as long as they think Brown has any kind of future, I prefer him getting the regular AB's.
    Next year, I would rather see Brown in AAA and Perez on the 5th OF/Sacramento shuttle, then the other way around.

    1. …except next year would be Brown's 3'rd season in AAA. I'm not sure what the point of him getting more AB's down there is. He's either ready to take over some MLB role or he's likely to never be.

    2. It's very evident that Brown's call-up lit a fire inside (or underneath) him, and his enthusiasm definitely felt the boost. I saw him play college ball on numerous occasions and I was at this weekend's games, and noticed that true to form, when Gary lit the afterburners he exhibited the same game-changing speed I remember from his Fullerton days. I, as well, have been baffled by the low SBs in his minors stint. But the speed is still there, without a doubt.

      After his precipitous drop from the top levels of the prospect lists, he could very well be *the* most hungry of a group of very hungry baby Giants on the bench at the moment. In light of this, my prediction is that he'll be playing with his hair on fire at every opportunity he's given with the Giants from this point forward, and is poised to sway public opinion in his favor. Admitting to a bit of bias here, but if it were me in charge, I'd take Brown over Perez without hesitation.

    3. Well, it is a two game sample size.

  5. And it's official: Giants will be flying to Pittsburgh for 1 game and will face Edinson Volquez, who like most of the Pirates pitchers finished the season red hot.