Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Game Wrap 10/1/2014 Wild Card Game: Giants 8 Pirates 0

Madison Bumgarner was his at his dominating best and Brandon Crawford effectively ended the game in the 4'th inning with a grand slam home run.  Giants win their 7'th postseason elimination game in a row.  Key Lines:

Joe Panik- 3 for 5.  Panik did his hit thing, but did not participate in the scoring.

Buster Posey- 2 for 5.  They were both singles, but Buster looked rested and in sync at the plate.

Pablo Sandoval- 2 for 5, BB.  Pabs bore down, took pitches, got hits, and made a perfect cartwheel over the Bucs dugout railing while catching a foul pop, stuck his landing and even got in a little bounce at the very end.

Brandon Belt- 2 for 3, 2 BB.  Belt finished the season on a hot streak and kept it going here.  There is a jet stream out to RF in Nationals Park.  Just saying'.

Brandon Crawford- 1 for 3, HR.  Crawford moved up to 7'th in the order which turned out to be a genius move by Bochy.  The grand slam in the 4'th effectively ended the game.  The Giants knew it.  The Pirates knew it.  The crowd knew it.  The TV announcers knew it. Oh, and it was the first grand slam HR by a SS in the entire history of postseason competition!

Madison Bumgarner- 9 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K's.  You knew it was over after the GS in the 4'th inning, but really, you had to know it was over when he got through the first inning 3 up, 3 down.  He just painted the corners with hard, nasty stuff all night and with 2 strikes got the Pirates to chase out of the zone.

Edinson Volquez(Pirates)- 5 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 3 K's.  Volquez' BABIP did not regress, but his newfound command deserted him.  It looked to me like he abandoned his FB early in the count and tried to pitch backward.  It didn't work.  And if ballgames are won with 3 run dingers, they most certainly are with grand slams!

Clint Hurdle(Pirates)- Bruce Bochy made a smart move to bat Crawford 7'th and put Ishikawa in the 8-hole, but beyond that, did not really have to manage this game.  Hurdle, on the other hand, may have almost singlehandedly cost his team the game with poor game management.  He carried an extra LHP on the 1 game roster, but chose to let Volquez pitch to the left-handed Brandon Crawford the highest leverage situation in the entire game.  Later, he let the RHP Jared Hughes face Brandon Belt with runners on base when he had not one, but two LHP's warmed up the bullpen.  I mean, this was an elimination game!  What on Earth did he think he was saving his bullpen for?  Why did he carry the extra lefty anyway?  Those two decisions may well have cost his team 6 of the 8 runs the Giants scored on the night.

The Crowd- The Pirates tried to have a "blackout" where the team wears black uniforms and crowd all wears black and they swing black towels.  The "blackout" was a massive fail.  The black uniforms looked ugly and you could not see either the crowd or the towels.  Once the crowd fell silent after the grand slam, it might as well have been a morgue!

So, let's recap my Keys to the Game and see how they turned out:

1.  Top of the Order:  They didn't get it done in the first inning like I envisioned and Blanco went just 0 for 4 with a walk, but Panik did his part with 3 hits.  Except none of Panik's hits contributed to the scoring.  I'll give myself a check on this one, because of Panik's hits.

2.  First Inning:  You had to have a great feeling about this one after Bummy went 3 and out in the first inning.  I know I did!  Check!

3.  Quiet the Crowd- It was noisy for the first 3 innings, but all the oxygen got sucked out of the stadium after Crawford's HR.  The crowd was not a factor after that.  Check!

4.  Stay out of the Double Play:  They did and it made a difference.  Check!

5.  Bottom of the Order:  I didn't get the batting position right, but I did get the player right, Crawford!  Check!

5 for 5 on my Keys to the Game.  How do you like that?

The Giants now get a day off for travel to Washington then start the NLDS series with Jake Peavy probably facing Stephen Strasburg.  The Nationals will rightly be heavily favored to win the series, but what else is new?   When was the last time the Giants were favored in a postseason series?  Yeah, pretty much never!

28 comments:

  1. Your Keys to the Game were right on. But as to letting Volquez rather than a lefty pitch to Crawford, Hurdle may have known that C's 2014 BA was .213 against right-handers, and over .300 against lefties. OPS over .800 against lefties and under .700 vs righties. He played the odds and lost.

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    1. ya

      craw has hit lefties better than righties all season

      he hit the ball to the one place that plays small in that park....and thats why there is a 21 foot wall there

      baccu

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    2. Crawford was also something like a career 3 for 24 against Volquez. I don't know. With the way Volquez was struggling there, I think I still would have brought in the lefty reliever at that point. I know that is what I was thinking at the time. Elimination games are no time to be trying to bolster the confidence of your starter.

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    3. maybe hurdle spent the morning listening to colin cowdork, who went on a tirade about shields being pulled too early

      cowdork said, "YOU LET YOUR STARTER STAY IN TO LOSE THE GAME"

      im not kidding, thats what he said

      bacci

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  2. Good calls going 5 for 5! followed the game on the Giants gameday site. When I saw BCraw come to the plate with the bags loaded, I had the same feeling as Posey's 2012 AB in Game 5 vs the Reds. Well done Gigantes fan! And made some history to boot!

    Onto DC! And Victory!

    NWGiantsFan
    DtF!!!

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    1. I didn't think Crawford was going to hit a grand slam there, but I had a feeling he was going to do something good. At least a Sac Fly.

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  3. The key to the game was MadBum getting out of the 1st inning with a low pitch count. He did, game over.

    Any other starter, Bochy pulls him in the 9th for Casilla. MadBum, no way.

    I don't know about your TV but, 3-2 count, top ninth, MadBum swings thru a 97mph heater and lays a bodacious F-bomb out there. He wanted that one, BAD.

    Craw's Grand Slam 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

    Panda's Dive 9.5, 9.5, 10, 9.5, 10

    6'-5" High Heat or 5'-7" No Dot Slider? 8th inning, loved the image of Hunter Strickland warming up next to Romo. Nasty stuff!

    We can all bitch over the course of 162 games, but watching Bochy and his staff manage in the playoffs is a thing of beauty. They got the right stuff.

    Feel for A's and Pirates fans, one game playoffs are rough stuff after 162 of success. Brutal.

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    1. I heard that F-Bomb. It was a duzy!! I was grinning and thinking the same thing...but you know, I think that really helped Bum and the team stay focused on the last out.

      It's never so late in an elimination game to start taking it easy!!!

      WHAT A GAME!

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    2. A...FFFFFFnnn...men. Had the exact same thought. No way Bochy was pulling MadBum after he laid that out there. The dugout might have exploded. And thank god baseball doesn't have a stupid cursing penalty like the NFL.

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  4. one key to the game that everyone missed

    get an elderly woman to wander into the dugout

    http://deadspin.com/did-an-old-woman-wander-into-the-giants-dugout-tonight-1641471333?utm_campaign=socialflow_deadspin_twitter&utm_source=deadspin_twitter&utm_medium=socialflow

    bacci

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    1. Apparently the security there is a loose as the White House.

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  5. Hurdle stated that Mad. did not pitch to the scouting report, but changed his approach. Can someone amplify on this…
    What did Mad. do differently? Thanks...

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    1. No clue. I watched the game and it looked like the same old Bummy to me.

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    2. he threw more curves and when bucs hitters were looking for breaking stuff, he busted them inside with the fast ball

      bacci

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    3. Other than an 8-pitch first inning, and a little more off-speed stuff in the dirt with two strike counts, I didn't see any difference. But again, who knows what their scouting report said.

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    4. Here's Hurdel elaborating on that quote...

      “It was a different game that he pitched, a different game than we’d seen scouted,” Hurdle said. “He used all of his pitches. He was able to get his fastball in tight against the righthanders. He was able to spin the ball late, dump it late. He used some changeups early after he’d shown the fastball. He also knew how to elevate. We tried to counterpunch. We just couldn’t muster up anything.”

      Ummm, maybe he hasn't seen MadBum pitch before?

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    5. Hurdle was the Rangers batting coach in 2010.

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  6. What a wonderful win! Even the umpiring was good (not perfect, but good). I can't wait to see Bum take the hill again. If you had told me that the Brandons were going to account for the majority of the RBIs, I wouldn't have thought that was enough. There was plenty to grouse about (I'm looking at you Blanco, Pence and Ishi), but that is what I expected and I choose not to dwell on the negative today. It blows me away that there had never been a SS to hit a grand slam in post-season before now.

    From Andres the Giant on GE: Bum has the lowest career postseason road ERA (0.72), minimum 25 innings. Better than Gibson (0.97), Rivera (1.02), Koufax (1.04), and Grove (1.11).

    Finally- when was the last time you saw a pitching change before the pitcher batted?

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  7. Cuban prospect Yasmany Tomas has been declared a free agent and can now sign with any team. C'mon Sabean lets get this done! We missed on Castillo and Abreu so man up and get him. He has a ton of power potential and would look great in LF. Tomas, a hopefully healthy Cain, full year of Panik and Susac, plus a new SP such as Peavy should get us back to the postseason next year. Pablo is probably leaving for more money. However, many people believe Josh Donaldson will be traded by the A's. He has 4 years left of team control and is going to his first arbitration hearing next year which means he will likely be relatively cheap for another 2 years. I think he is an impact player where we could create a package of prospects to get. I am thinking anyone except Carbonell and Beede from our farm system would be available for someone of Josh's caliber. He hits a lot of homers (24 in 2013, 29 in 2014) and has a decent OBP. He also seems to be a above average fielder. Would Susac need to be put in that deal? Any thoughts?

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    1. Tomas would be really nice to have and yes Susac would have to be in the deal (given the 3 headed monster that the As used this year). But I'm certain that Beane will never trade with Sabean.

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    2. In theory, getting into the post season should mean more money to spend.

      And if signing Panda and a Cuban free agent are not connected, then it could mean more money (from post season) for one of them, or split between the two.

      In the meantime, it's about the present and beating the Nationals.

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  8. I just want to bitch about two things I heard all over talk radio this morning (I live in San Diego and listen to national radio programs, mostly, so it wasn't a regional thing, but a national thing). Basically, the "expert" opinions were this: Sunday was NOT an elimination game, so Clint Hurdle made a blunder by pitching Gerrit Cole, who should have pitched last night and given the Pirates "a chance." This sort of thing grinds my gears for an obvious reason. Last night, barring a miraculous homerun by Gerrit Cole hitting in the place of Edinson Volquez, if Gerrit Cole had pitched, he would have had to pitch 9 scoreless innnings to remain TIED. How the hell does Gerrit Cole "give the Pirates a chance" when Bumgarner throws a CG shutout?

    The other thing was Gabe Kapler as a guest on Jim Rome (Rome agreed with him, as did another talk show I listened to during my commute). His comment was basically that the Giants have some mojo in the playoffs and were clearly not "the best team in either 2010 or 2012." This is my response to such a stupid remark: on any given day "the best" team wins the game, right? When you shorten a pitching rotation, have better high leverage arms in the bullpen with a manager who knows how to use them and players who are "just clutch," those aren't "mojo" those things equate to having a better team in the playoff format.

    When will morons get off the radio and taken out of television broadcasting? The best team always wins the championship because by the definition of championship, the best team wins on the days they have to to become "the champion." Can't wait to see Peavy's intensity and watch some young "superstars" on the Nats crumble under the pressure.

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    1. The old adage - games are not won "on paper." This is not about statistics, odds, or projections. The odds of Cabrera freezing on a called Third Strike by Romo? The odds of Verlander giving up x runs in a WS series game? On paper the match-ups might have gone thew other way - but as you said, who is going to perform under pressure and who is going to crumble? … Ha, maojo. Here is the dictionary definition: mojo 1 |ˈmōˌjō|
      noun ( pl. mojos )
      a magic charm, talisman, or spell.

      Amusing, but naturally nonsense to attribute G's success to magic or luck. They have a team that is talented, confident, and performs in the clutch and a manager who pushes the right buttons.

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    2. In 2010, the Giants simply had the best pitching in baseball I don't care what their team xFIP was. They had THE best pitching! In 2012, they still had good pitching but they also had some good players who did not shrink from the task in the clutch. I mean, it's not exactly a fluke that Buster Posey would hit a series winning grand slam, right? Of that Pabs would hit 3 dingers in one game. OK, maybe Pabs hitting 3 dingers WAS a fluke, but he is a pretty darn good hitter and it's not like he'd never hit a HR before. The other factor that got completely overlooked both years was the impact of lefty specialist relievers and how Bochy was able to use them to get favorable matchups. Team Defense was also a huge factor the got almost completely overlooked both years. Lastly, the Manager absolutely made every other manager, including some highly respected ones, look like they were lost out there.

      So yeah, there is way more to the game than just hitting hitting, starting pitching and closers. Most TV analysts types do not look past those 3 factors, while the Giants dominated in defense, middle relieving matchups and managing.

      It was not luck.

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    3. With luck, you can wins game, or maybe a series, but not a championship.
      It may factor in between two even teams, but make David beat Goliath.

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    4. It takes both skill and luck for any team to win a championship. It's never just one or the other.

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  9. Love Huddy's quote on MadBum...

    "He don’t come with a lot of flair,” Giants starting pitcher Tim Hudson said, “but he goes out there and sticks it right up your butt.”

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