Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Game Wrap 5/26/2015: Giants 6 Brewers 3

Madison Bumgarner was not at his best, but he can be pretty far off his best and still be quite good.  He was good enough tonight and the Giants offense backed him with 3 homers and typically solid relief pitching.  Key Lines:

Norichika Aoki- 3 for 5.  BA= .320.  Aoki now has 7 hits in 9 AB on the series.   In the process he is exhibiting tremendous bat control, basically serving the ball to wherever the defense isn't.  Amazingly, his 3 hits from the top of the batting order resulted in no Runs or RBI's.  

Hunter Pence- 1 for 5, HR(2).  BA= .326.  This was one of Pence's monster shots to an elevated walkway above the left-centerfield wall.  It was estimated to travel over 430 ft.

Brandon Belt- 1 for 4, HR(5).  BA= .301.  Belt looked bad in 3 AB's against Brewers SP Matt Garza with 2 K's and a pop up.  He apparently was able to pick up reliever Cory Knebel's pitches better and took him deep in the 7'th for an insurance run.

Brandon Crawford- 1 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .299.  Crawford had a fine day at the plate, but his biggest contribution was on a leaping, diving catch of a Hector Gomez line drive into the hole which would have driven in the Brewers 4'th run.  Be sure to look up the videos of that play!

Matt Duffy- 1 for 4, HR(3).  BA= .300.  Duffy took Garza deep with a runner on base to dead CF.  I mean, now we are talking Buster Posey power!  The best part of it was the dinger capped a frustrating series of events for Carlos Gomez who had flied out in the bottom of the previous inning after he and Bummy got into some extra-curricular activity.  After Duffy's dinger, the TV camera close up on Gomez who was visibly working his jaw muscles while grinding his teeth.  He was not a happy dude!

Madison Bumgarner- 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.00.  Bummy didn't have his best stuff.  I was not counting, but it seemed like he would get 2 strikes OK, but then start nibbling for the K and next thing you knew it was a 3-2 count which cost him his count leverage.  

The sequence with Gomez was Gomez swung and missed a pitch and let out some sort of yell that Bummy and presumably Buster Posey did not appreciate.  Next pitch grazed Gomez' hands and Bummy stepped forward to give him a stank eye which prompted Gomez to throw up his hands and say whattheheck, or something similar to that.  Next pitch, he almost came out of his shoes but got under the ball for a harmless flyout to LF.  Gomez flipped his bat, but in disgust.

Sergio Romo- 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 3.94.  The K was a huge one of Gomez to get out of the 7'th inning without any further damage done.

Santiago Casilla- 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's, Save(13).  ERA= 1.37.  Casilla caused some anxiety by allowing the two baserunners.  The second hit was a blooper, so hardly Casilla's fault.   That brought the revenge-minded Carlos Gomez to the plate representing the tying run.  He hit the ball hard, but lined it right to Hunter Pence in RF for the final out.  As Vin Scully would say, "go figure!"

The Win enables the Giants to remain 2 games behind the NL West leading Dodgers who blanked the Braves 8-0 behind Clayton Kershaw.  The Giants also remain 1 game up in the race for the first Wild Card playoff slot.

Ryan Vogelsong tries for a series sweep tomorrow in a day game facing Brewers RHP Mike Fiers.

This is a bit convoluted, but apparently Casey McGehee still has an option, but as a 5 years MLB player, he can decline it, but apparently he has 10 days to decide whether to accept or decline it, and he is allowed to play in the minors during that 10 day waiting period.  So, Casey McGehee is reporting to Sacramento where he will remain on the 40 man roster and play until June 4, when the Giants might not need to carry 13 pitchers anymore.  Got that?  Seems like maybe Bobby Evans is a wizard at roster rules.  He also seems to have some powers of persuasion.


  1. Did Duffy sell his soul for power? Also, because it amuses me, Duffy is out-playing Sandoval -- defense, offense & base running. Whether it'll last or not, I don't really have a clue. But, for now, it's nice.

    1. I forgot to mention that Duffy struck out on hard two-seam FB on the inside corner at the knees in his first AB. Instead of going back to the bench and licking his wounds, he stood on the dugout steps for the rest of the inning staring intently at Garza, not in a hostile way, but appearing to be deep in thought. Kruk and Kuip picked up on it right away and said he was processing the strikeout and planning for future AB's against Garza. Next time up, gone! Over the CF wall! If Kruk and Kuip are right about all that, I think this kid has a chance to not only keep it up, but get a lot better. That first AB was the first time he had ever seen Matt Garza. The second time he saw him, he took him deep.

    2. Duffy sticking at 3B is really huge for the Giants. With the guys they've got in AA to back up in the infield, we have an entire homegrown infielder with back ups. Our OF is misisng a critical piece (LF) but hopefully Mac can hold that down. Given contracts coming off the books (Timmy, Huddy and Peavy), we can afford to sign Belt and Crawford to long term extensions and tie up the infield for the long term future, giving guys like Ryder a chance to work their way through the system. Also, we'd have other contracts coming of the books that will still give us money to shore up the pitching if some of the minor leaguers can't get their. Say what you will about the nuclear wasteland that is our farm system, but we've been creating players out of it and our team is in really nice shape for the future.

    3. If they were right, that's pretty special in that it's the difference between those who can maximize their talents, possibly becoming great, and those who never quite get there, despite the talent.

    4. Wow, Duffy really did that from the dugout? Then he must have either read Ted Williams Science of Hitting or was taught by someone who did.

      That was one of TeddyBall's tenets for hitting, he felt that leadoff hitter owed it to the rest of the team to take pitches and extend the AB as long as possible, so that the team can watch the pitcher and get a feel for what kind of fastball, stuff, and breaking pitches that he has. Duffman was probably watching Garza's pitches per this Splendid Splinter recommendation and got prepared in his second AB. I found it funny when the announcers started talking about how the Brewers power hitter hit it to the same spot, but was caught at the fence, while Duffy's made it over!

      Don't forget Arroyo too for the infield! Or Arenaldo.

      And only the outside world sees our farm system as a nuclear wasteland, DrB, Shankbone, Cove Chatter have all been very positive about the talent we have in our system. Where the outside world saw good glove, average power catcher, an underpowered firstbaseman, a utility MI, a SS who can't hit enough, and a non-prospect, the Giants saw Buster, Belt, Panik, BCraw, and Duffman.

      Can't wait for the next wave of pitching prospects to fill up the roster, Beede, Crick, Blackburn, Mella, Law, Osich, Okert, Strickland, Black, Johnson, etc.

    5. It is very possible Duffy has read Ted Williams book. The book Duffman credits with turning his career around was one called the Mental Side of Hitting or something like that. What he got out of the book was to control what he can and not worry about what he cannot To not go to the plate looking for an outcome, but rather go to the plate looking for a good AB, looking to make hard contact. The outcome is out of the batter's control, but the quality of the AB and the quality of contact is.

      To be fair, there were a lot of analysts who were pretty high on Buster and Belt, but yeah, I don't recall many predicting good things for Panik, Crawford or Duffy

    6. In fact Duffy was explicit about his watching and gauging pitches prior to his hitting a walk off a couple of weeks ago. He was batting right after Aoki--I don't remember how that happened--and was happy to have Aoki work through an eight or none-pitch AB, so that he, Duffy, could become familiar with the repertoire of whoever the opposing pitcher was.

      My sense is that one doesn't have to read Williams to follow this practice, that it's common for on-deck players to inch over to get as close as they can to directly behind the batter, the better to see the opposing pitcher's arsenal from a position as much as possible like the one that they themselves will have in the batter's box. Of course Duffy may be an unusually thoughtful, intense practitioner of the technique.

  2. My understanding is that he had a period (not sure how many days) to decide whether to accept, since he's a five year vet, and, in any case, he has already accepted it and played for the AAA team last night.

    The 10 days have to do with the normal 10-day period where he can't be recalled after being sent down. That coincides with the period that the Giants said that they wanted to carry an extra reliever on the roster, and thus why the talk about him possibly returning by that time, assuming he starts hitting well again. So this is like the injury rehab he would have been on if he would have DLed with that black and blue knee he carried for, like, nearly a month. They are using the 10 days to see where he is at that point, and where the team is, and then they will reassess. And at that point, you know all the permutations. Here is the link with a better explanation of the arcane rules and machinations: