Monday, October 6, 2014

Game Wrap 2014 NLDS Game 3: Nationals 4 Giants 1

A wild throw on an ill-conceived attempt to get the lead runner at 3B on a sacrifice bunt doomed an otherwise stellar pitching performance by Madison Bumgarner.  The problem was the offense went silent again until the 9'th inning when it was too little, too late.  Key Lines:

Gregor Blanco- 0 for 4.  BA= .071.  Blanco made several highlight reel quality catches in CF, but again failed to get on base to set the table for the middle of the order.  It's a problem.

Joe Panik- 0 for 4.  BA= .133.  Panik's bat has also gone silent in the last 2 games with the 9'th inning walk in Game 2 being his only trip to 1B.  Nats have figured out that he likes fastballs and are pitching him backward.  He has to make the counter-adjustment.  Gotta have at least 1 of the 2 guys at the top of the order getting on base.

Madison Bumgarner-  7 IP 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 2.57.  Bumgarner, if anything, was pitching better than he did in the Wild Card game until the 7'th inning when the first two batters reached base on a groundball hit and a walk.  Wilson Ramos laid down a good sac bunt to the right side of the mound.  Bummy jumped on it, looked like he was thinking first base, but then Buster Posey yelled 3B. There was just enough hesitation that the throw had no chance to get the speedy Ian Desmond anyway, but Bummy pulled his throw and it went all the way past the bullpen down the LF foul area.  2 runs scored and you knew it was the ballgame right there.  We'll never know what might have been if Bumgarner had just gotten the out at 1B putting runners at 2'nd and 3'rd with 1 out, but there would have been a fighting chance to hold them scoreless, a decent chance to limit the damage to 1 run and an almost guarantee of limiting it to 2 runs.  Maybe the Giants were feeling the pressure on defense of the offense's failure to generate any runs and they felt they had to get that lead runner at all costs?

Doug Fister- 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 0.00.  On a day that seemed like the ball should be jumping out of the park(it was 76 degrees at game time), it actually did not seem to carry well at all.  Crawford had a promising drive die at the warning track in left-center and the Nationals had several balls seem to stay in the park when it looked like they might not.  Fister is no slouch of a pitcher.  If I remember right, he was the Tiger pitcher who gave the Giants the most problems in the 2012 WS.  He's only gotten better since.  Giants have to do better on offense, though, if they want to win this series.

The Loss dropped the Giants lead in the series to 2-1.  Ryan Vogelsong faces Gio Gonzalez tomorrow evening.  This is now looking like a must win for the Giants as they do not want to have to fly back to Washington to face Stephen Strasburg again.  We may see a lineup shuffle tomorrow with the LHP going and the offense struggling for the last 2 games.  Gotta remember, though, that every one of these Nationals starters had ERA's under 3 this season.  If you want to beat this team, you better scrap for every run and pitch your heart out.  The Giants did all that, but sometimes these games and series turn on a bad decision as much as any physical activity on the field.  Giants have mostly made the right decisions until the 7'th inning today.

Around the League:

Cardinals took a 2-1 lead in the other NLDS series with a 3-1 win over the Dodgers.  Nice to see our old friend Kolton Wong get the game winning 2-run HR.  Kershaw and Greinke are now both going to go on short rest.  That will be interesting.  This is not the 1960's when Koufax and Drysdale went on short rest every World Series.  I mean, there are still two 7-game series' remaining if they get past the Cards!  Remember Orel Hershiser?

22 comments:

  1. During the extra innings of game 2, some player was quoted as saying that every inning was sudden death.

    Every game in the post season should be treated like that, must win, regardless, because you don't know what will happen next

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  2. i pretty much called this game

    although i didnt think that runs would be scored on a brain fart

    thought that matty would give up a solo, get pulled in the 7th and the pen would give up a couple of runs

    as i said in keys to the series....giants can not make bonehead plays on the field or basepaths and expect to beat the nats

    gonna be tuff to beat gio, who has had a lot of success against the giants

    no shame in losing to the nats, who have the best all around team left in the post

    what i do know, is that neither the nats nor the giants will be facing the bums in the nlcs

    they have no pen and were it not for kemp's late inning heroics, they wouldve been swept by the cards....who will be extremely patient with kershaw to make sure he is out of the game by the 6th

    speaking of the table setters or lack thereof....really hope that some intrepid beat reporter. sometime post the post, asks bochy and sabes exactly why it is, given the lack of depth and injuries to the of, that they didnt bother actually testing out brown

    bacci

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    1. The reporters have already asked about Brown and the answer they get is Bochy, and presumably Sabes, just want to go with the guy who has more experience, Juan Perez.

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  3. Silver linings? At least it was our best players making the mistake and not somebody who will be vilified and exiled. Maybe its a bit like the season, they can't go big all the way, have to take a nosedive. It was a weird gaffe though, because usually Posey makes good decisions, and getting the out you still have the bottom of the order coming up. Although Bumgarner promptly gave up a single to pesky Cabrera.

    Juan Perez and Blanco are both auto-outs. I would think a little unpredictability with Brown might be worth the gamble. He could be another auto-out, but he might have that little edge because major league pitchers haven't seen him yet.

    Ishikawa's drive that Harper caught was a crazy important play, as was the BP HR that Machi threw him.

    I think this is going to be a hard game to win. Gio G pitches well, the Giants haven't played well against lefties, and the momentum has turned. The Giants seem to play best with their backs against the wall. Here's a crazy stat: the last 11 NLDS games the Giants have played have been won by the road team. Do we really want to see if that streak can get to 13? No? Just win baby.

    If Bochy isn't going to try Brown, he should at least get Blanco out of leadoff. I think we all know that Blanco just doesn't play his best there. His fielding has been awesome though.

    Might as well have all hands on deck if Vogey doesn't have it. Vogey's 6th inning has been bad all year. I hope Bochy is aware of that now that it counts.

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    1. Agreed. Put Brown in CF, Blanco in LF. Let Posey play 1B and have Susac catch. Have Pence lead off, move Blanco down in the order - shake things up a bit.

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    2. Belt is 7 for 17 plus three walks this postseason. That is an OBP of .500. I don't think it would be very smart to have him on the bench today, so that Susac can play.
      Do you, really?

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    3. Panik, Crawford, and Blanco are among the top five hitters against lefties in 2014, and Belt has in his career hit lefties well. I would not change Bochy's lineup. Brown has the bulk of his experience in center field, where the Giants want to play Blanco. Perez has played the other outfield positions, and has a very strong arm. It may be stronger than Brown's. These are two more reasons why Bochy prefers Perez, despite his poor hitting,over Brown. And remember that in AAA Perez outhit Brown. Perez is not much good, but is Brown likely to be better?

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  4. That was a 4-beer/1-shot gut punch.

    Posey made the wrong call. Hard to type that. But he did.

    Was the right call to go to second and try for the double play on the slow running Ramos?

    My head is still reeling from this one, hope the Giants get theirs screwed back on squarely and quickly.

    No need to point out Blanco leading off is bad, lack of OF depth is bad, bench is bad, base stealing is bad - these have been problems all year. They ain't going away now. Bochy can only do so much.

    Gio Gonzalez is set to give the Giants fits. Can Voggie hang in there?

    Don't fear facing Strasburg in DC, and if that's the path to advance so be it.

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  5. Voggie has not pitched since 9-26.
    Frankly I expect him to pitch very well.
    Don't give up the ghost.

    Richard in Winnipeg

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    1. Prescient, Richard.

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  6. By the same token, Gonzalez hasn't pitched since 9/25. It's a push on that front.

    Remember folks, although they didn't win yesterday, they're still playing at home. Momentum has shifted? Maybe a little, but most of the guys on the Giants roster are playoff vets. I'm not too worried about them getting caught up in the whole momentum-swing thing. Even if they lose today, they can't be counted out. These guys are fighters.

    Alan

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  7. Hey DocB -

    What's the reference to Hershiser about?? I was but a wee lad back in those days...

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    1. Hershiser pitched on short rest several times in the 1988 postseason(the last year the Dodgers won the WS), even pitched in relief. He was the hero(besides Kirk Gibson), of that postseason for the Dodgers. He was never the same again and his subsequent decline has been attributed directly to overuse in that postseason.

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  8. My guess is his 59+ scoreless innings in 1988. Beat the Mets and then the A's - I stopped being an avid Athletics fan after that.

    Shank, silver lining #2: if we gotta lose a game n might as well be to the Merced lad. Karma for the line drive off his noggin in 2012?

    NWGiantsFan
    DtF!!!

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  9. NLCS bound. Gutsy pitching yet again. Saturday night in St. Louis, here we go!

    Congrats everyone!

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    1. For an amusing spectacle, take a look at the roster of experts whose predictions are reproduced on the fine blog "Raising Matt Cain." They all pick Washington to win it all. The Giants? Nowhere to be seen, for the seven experts all foresaw their losing to Pittsburgh in the Wild Card game.

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  10. has a team ever won a deciding game scoring all their runs sans a hit?

    that may have been the most bizarre post season game i have ever seen

    and attention puig and harper....the baseball gods hate punks

    bacci

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    1. Amen! I hate punks too!

      Vogelstrong! Let's Beat the Cards!

      NWGiantsFan
      DtF!!!

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    2. OK guys, Puig is an idiot, but Harper played his heart out in this series and played well. He's not the only guy in history who woofed it around the bases after a big HR. Harper is just 21 years old and has taken a lot of flak, some of it brought on by his own attitude and actions, but I'd love to have a guy like that on our team. If I had to choose between giving a huge 10 year contract to him or Trout, I'd give it to him and not think long about it.

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  11. do the guys from espn do any homework at all?

    the pbp guy reported harper's hr as a "splash down" and kruk kept adding a D to bumgarner

    what maroons

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