Thursday, October 16, 2014

Game Wrap 2014 NLCS Game 4: Giants 6 Cardinals 4

Relief pitching and defense continued to be the storyline of this postseason.  The Giants got 6 shutdown innings from their bullpen and took advantage of 3 fielding miscues by Matt Adams in 1 inning to overcome a 4-1 deficit and take a 3-1 lead in the best of 7 NLCS.  Key Lines:

Gregor Blanco- 1 for 4, 2B, BB.  BA= .167.  Amazing how big a role Blanco has played in this series with such an anemic BA.  A little burst of a hot streak at the end here would go a long ways toward a successful WS run by the Giants.

Buster Posey- 2 for 3, BB, SF.  BA= .250.  Posey seemed to be pressing a bit, but settled down in this one and just kept the line moving.  The result was 3 big RBI's!

Hunter Pence- 2 for 3, BB, SB(1).  BA= .286.  Pence seems to be coming out of his funk just in the nick of time.  Again, the Giants don't need dingers out of the middle of the lineup as much as they just need something!

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .154.  Crawford seemed to go into a funk after the grand slam in the Wild Card game.  He came out of it tonight with some key hits and smart baserunning.

Ryan Vogelsong- 3 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 12.00.  Matt Carpenter's leadoff hit might have been an out if it hadn't taken a bad hop over a diving Joe Panik's glove.  After that, it was just plain old fashioned bad pitching by Vogey.

Yusmeiro Petit- 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 0.00.  Gotta think Petit is in line for a starting gig next season.  He's certainly earned it, although if the Giants can find an inexpensive alternative for the rotation, Petit gives them incredible depth.  Petit just might be the MVP of the postseason so far!

Rest of Bullpen- 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's, Save.  Romo got the fearsome Kolton Wong, a LH batter, on a groundout.  He gave up a harmless single to Tavares, but the RH batters Peralta and Grichuk, like all RH batters, had no chance.  I did not see any hanging sliders out of Romo in this appearance.  Casilla had to face 3 consecutive good LH batters to start the 9'th.  He got Descalso and Carpenter easily before giving up a harmless single to Jay, who is suddenly impossible to get out.  Holliday was overmatched for the final out.

Brandon Belt- 1 for 4.  BA= .273.  Belt is rated as a slightly negative fielder by UZR, but 1B D was the difference in this one.  Belt made a perfect throw to get a lead runner on a sac bunt attempt while Adams made 2 poor throws and a poor decision in the decisive 6'th inning even though no errors were charged.  He had to re-grip on the glove-hand transfer on a throw to the plate, allowing Juan Perez to score from third and a tapper which should have hung him out to dry.  The very next play, with runners at first and third, Adams fielded a hard grounder at the bag.  He again had to re-grip on the exchange which may have caused him to panic a bit.  He made an awkward step on the bag with the wrong foot, then made a wide throw to second, while forgetting to check Crawford coming down the line from 3B allowing Crawford to coast home with the go-ahead run.

BTW, a constant of Brian Sabean's tenure as GM has been a good fielding first baseman, often seemingly at the expense of offense.  First Base Defense, an undervalued commodity!

Again, the Win put the Giants up in the best of 7 series 3 games to 1.  Historically, 90% of teams in his situation have gone on to win the series.

Madison Bumgarner takes the mound for the second time in the series tonight facing Adam Wainwright, who continues to be evasive about the health of his arm.

Around the League:  The KC Royals completed a sweep of the Baltimore Orioles to advance to the World Series.  That popping sound you hear is heads exploding over at Fangraphs.  That sound will get louder and more frequent if the Giants end up as the Royals' opponent.

32 comments:

  1. A few days ago I said that Adams looked like a beer league softball player - last night he played like one. That was not major league caliber fielding and the Cards deserve to lose …. Before the NLCS Yahoo Sports or another media source gave the Cards the "edge" at first base. Fielding matters.

    Jay's ball in CF was also catchable.

    I do not expect the Royals to make many miscues, which explains why they are 8 and 0 in the playoffs.

    Victor of the NLCS will face a real test - this Royals flat out play clean baseball.

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  2. Not enough credit has gone to Dayton Moore for the Greinke trade. Escobar and Cain are really good players. And of course the Shields trade has swung huge for him - go compete and see what happens! Davis is the man in that pen. The ratio of support to total hatred was about 1 to 9 when that went down. It was seen as a gigantic mistake and all the WAR score accountants came out to play. Well... The goal of every team is to win championships, not get the best WAR score. You want a laugh? Los Gigantes have the 17th best WAR score over the period from 2010 til now. Just one part of the picture, and a hugely overrated one at that.

    The combo of Crawford, Blanco and Perez strikes two days in a row. It sure would be nice for the Gints to break out the heavy lumber tonight, but we'll take em how we get em. I saw the Cards live at Doyer stadium and was hugely unimpressed with their defense, especially Adams. Just came home to roost in a huge way last night.

    Wish fangraphs still did org rankings...

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    1. Great acquisitions in the Greinke trade! Just goes to show, as a GM, one day you can be a dog, the next, a lion.

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    2. Shanky, you great debunker, you. Kinda puts WAR in perspective, tho.

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    3. The author of this piece - a good example of the lambasting that Moore got from Sabers wanting to count WAR value - http://grantland.com/features/assessing-myers-shields-trade-royals-side-aint-pretty/ - tweeted today that the Royals are something to enjoy, not to emulate.

      They are winning with timely hitting, great defense, good pitching and a great bullpen. Does this sound remotely familiar? Bueller? Hello? Hello?

      The obsession with "getting the best deal" is a huge out of touch part of sabermetric analysis. And I still see a bunch of wrong headed statements about Odorizzi being able to do what Shields could do, which is pure comedy. The mental side of the game, having players who can project confidence, take the big spot in the lineup, that is huge. James Shields turned that staff on a dime from a journeyman joke to a "keep us in the game" type deal. Its a huge thing, and WAR analysis won't pick it up correctly.

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  3. Well it is unwise to count our chickens before they are hatched. It is looking good.
    However, after having driven to Kansas to watch our G men play the royals in August.
    I am very afraid of the Royals.
    Go Giants.

    Richard in Winnipeg

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    1. Sir Richard, please stay in Winnipeg this time.

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    2. I promise.

      Richard in Winnipeg

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  4. Great wrap up Doc.

    How was Aubrey Huff's defense at first? How about El Gato grande? Let us not be reminded of any other non Snow-Belt names.

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    1. Huff actually played good D at 1B in 2010.

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  5. What is with this Ray Ratto guy - always associates the Giants with negative words?

    'Giants, Cardinals both leave St. Louis in bad mood.'

    'Embrace Giants' luck lavished upon you before things even out.'

    'Giants, Royals on course for weirdest World Series in decades...'

    And there was one about Sebean selling his soul.

    He's all levity alright, but always something negative.

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    1. Ratto's articles are always tongue-in-cheek. He even had the title "The Miserablist" for a good while.

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    2. ratto: dark humor + highly intelligent. he often laughs at the absurdity of the situation

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    3. I "hated" Ratto for years. But since he has joined Tom on KNBR, I have more fully understood his sense of humor.

      While I still find his grating, I can appreciate his sarcastic take to EVERYTHING now.

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    4. I just wish he would take his 'dark humor' to Beane more often...."The A's fans should enjoy this lucky run in the first half.' 'Beane sold soul to get rid of his mediocre 2009 and 2010 seasons after the Giants won the World Series.'

      He can make these humorous too.

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    5. Another dark humor, intelligent piece, if I may suggest, could be something like, 'Beane tried to sell his soul to Sabean to learn the dark secret of team chemistry.'

      That would be funny.

      Again, I don't see anything like that.

      I do remember though that one year we made the playoffs about a decade ago, he called for us to be a seller in May or June, after a slow start.

      In any case, the man has talent, but no courage to challenge perceived geniuses.

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    6. Plus, I hate it when he seems to try to jinx the Giants, trying to look ahead to the World Series already.

      Is that even necessary? So underhanded. This is most egregious.

      In any case, Strickland was not available for game 3 but was for game 4. Looking forward to the whole team contributing tonight. Team effort. Go Giants!

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    7. I hope to see Timmeh tonight.

      If he is in, it means we are up by at least 4 runs.

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  6. The Giants are labeled as "Lucky" this post-season. They seem to only be able to score when the other team throws a wild pitch or commits an error.

    That is one way to look at it.

    Another way to look at it is that they are incredibly unlucky. Going into game 4, they had accumulated 70-something RISP in the playoffs vs only 30-something RISP by their opponents. The fact that they have been unable to plate very many of those is incredibly unlucky.

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  7. The Giants are reaching a level of omniscience and transcendence seen by few in baseball.

    Flannery tells Crawford on 3B to watch out for the exact Adams play/error before Adams commits that exact play/error. Luck? Karma? Smart baseball?

    Bochy takes out Voggie in the 3rd (smart, but risky) and pinch hits Arias. I am going weak sauce, sure out. Two runs later the Giants are back in it. Who knew? Bochy knew!

    How many times a game does this precognition go on? Stats be damned. They can't keep doing this can they?

    Yes! Yes! Yes! and MadBum today!!!

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    1. If Flannery has a habit of communicating to Crawford like that (and I don't know if it is so), it's not luck.

      I read the other day about Pence being quoting saying one of the things he noticed when he first got traded here was the Blanco communicated (talked) a lot in the outfield.

      So, maybe, there is an explanation for the luck.

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  8. Just an fyi on the prospect front BA just came out with an article on Gustavo Cabrera's return though I dont have a subscription so dont know what happened or how he's doing

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  9. Wow!!! If we beat the Royals this team has to enter GOAT discussion. Also sign da Panda up now.He is so clutch. All the talk of about bringing back the guys we did, wonder how that's gonna change.

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  10. most bizarre series i have ever watched

    cards should have no regrets over the off season

    and no doubt, they will be back again in 2015

    bacci

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    1. If I'm a Cards fan I'm pissed Wacha gets thrown to the wolves there.

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  11. Panik, Morse, Ishi!

    The Golden Age is upon us.

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    1. Sharky, I think you just laid it down correct.

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    2. Everyone who had "Ishikawa" in the 'series hero' sweepstakes step up and collect your prize.
      (I know I didn't).

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    3. After the Vogelsong success, Sabean laid down the order to bring everybody back to the mothership. Boof Bonser was the biggest name? Took one more year, but Sabean's "return to the well" works it's magic again. Can't really picture another one working out like this, but holy hell, what other team has two farmhands on a second tour on the 25?

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    4. Giants are the team that offers redemption!

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    5. Pygalgia, my money was on Timmy and Morse.

      I didn't win, but the team did. And that's all it matters.

      Go Giants.

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