Sunday, May 3, 2015

Game Wrap 5/3/2015: Giants 5 Angels 0

Norichika Aoki and Joe Panik became the first Giants to hit leadoff the first inning with back-to-back HR's since Chuck Hiller and Duke Snider in 1964.  That set the tone for what might be the best all-around game the Giants have played this year resulting in a wire-to-wire shutout Win.  Key Lines:

Norichika Aoki- 1 for 3, HR(1), HBP.  BA= .307.  Add the leadoff HR to the list of wonderful things Aoki has done already in his Giants career.

Joe Panik- 2 for 4, HR(1).  BA= .293.  Can we say Joe Panik is for real yet?

Brandon Belt- 1 for 4, 2B.  BA= .217.  Pretty good game for Belt.  One of the outs was a smoker than handcuffed the Angels 2B resulting in a RBI force out at 2B rather than an inning-ending DP.  The double was an unfortunate ground rule job on a ball that bounced up off the warning track just to the left of the 421 foot sign in Triples Alley forcing the lead runner, Buster Posey, to stop at 3B.  Brandon Crawford then cashed in the runs when he hooked a 2-out double to the right of RF Kole Calhoun that went to the RF wall.

Brandon Crawford- 1 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .250.  Crawford moves up to 5'th in the lineup and lives up to the role.  Crawford just might be having that breakout season Brian Sabean predicted for him in the offseason.

Tim Lincecum- 2 for 2, BB.  BA= .250.  Timmy did not participate in the scoring, but forced Jared Weaver to throw a lot more pitches than he wanted to.  Speaking of Weaver….Dude has the exact same body language as his bro at the end of his career.  Kind of like the yard is the last place in the world he wants to be.

Tim Lincecum- 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's, GO/AO= 11/4.  BA= 2.40.  Timmy spent last year talking about how he wanted to emulate Huddy.  Looks like he might have finally figured out how to do just that as this was a very typical Huddy line.  Wouldn't it be huge if Timmy has finally figured out how to pitch with reduced velocity?

The Win allowed the Giants to jump over the Rockies into 3'rd place, still 4.5 games behind the NL West leading Dodgers who topped the D'Backs 1-0 in 13 innings.  Arrrrgh!!!!  In case you are wondering, the Giants are tied with 3 other teams at 1.5 games behind in the race for the final Wild Card playoff spot.

Madison Bumgarner takes on Tyson Ross and the Padres at AT&T Park tomorrow.


  1. Interesting day in Baseball.. That's the best game I've seen Timmy pitch in awhile.. He had command of all his pitches, located them down for the most part, and maybe the work in the offseason to clean up his mechanics is paying off.. Yes, Joe Panik is for real and so is another young 2nd baseman Kolten Wong! Both hit dingers today, and Kolten's was a walk off.. They will be the 2nd baseman for their respective clubs for years to come... Speaking of 2nd baseman, it occurred to me this weekend that the Halos really miss Howie Kendrick's presence in their lineup, and it upsets me that they traded such a good player to the Dodgers! Probably the biggest surprise of the young season so far has to be the Houston Astros. They're doing it with good pitching and hitting lots of dingers.. Can they stay in the AL West race till the end? Its now time to pay back the Padres..


    1. I live in St. Louis and, yeah, Kolten Wong is the real deal. And pretty much every Cardinal fan will tell you that, too.

  2. Panik's the real deal. I loved that thumbs up wink to the camera after his walk off interview the other day. Flashes of charisma, and confidence plus he's still growing into the job too. The Giants are all in on him either way. Posey's endorsed him numerous times, and they sent him with Baer and Willie Mays to NY to let him bring the trophy back to St. Johns.

  3. It was a nice game over-all. And Pagan came so close to making it 3HR to start the game. Obviously it didn't happen, but it looked like it for a second...

    Panik continues to impress. And, it also gives me a bit of smugness. I really felt that pre-season projections did him an injustice, heavily weighting his AA numbers (in the pitcher friendly league he was in) while ignoring he had much better numbers everywhere else, including the MLB. In 24 games (including pinch-hitting non-stats) he's already accumulated 0.7 WAR and is substantially out-performing all the pre-season projections in batting averages. Plus, every projected rated him negatively in offense, yet he''s performing in a positive fashion. So, obviously, I'm enjoying his performance and I think he's really established himself as a major league player.

    Posey wasn't mentioned, but he went 2-for-4 and has hit .391 with a 1.112 OPS in his last 6 starts after flailing around through the early season.

    Crawford is on a tear. His last 6 games have come in with a .375 and a 1.399 OPS. That's some 'tearing the cover off the ball' hitting and his defense is currently (from a stats perspective) the best it's ever been and he's rubbing elbows with the elites.

    Lincecum used a lot more fastballs with Posey catching. Even though they weren't blazing (mostly around 88-to-89MPH) he used the pitch quite effectively to keep the hitters from camping his off-speed stuff.

  4. So Doc, when Pence comes back what camp are you in Aoki or Maxwell for left field? Read an article yesterday where it said Maxwell has a slight edge statistically but I really like what Aoki brings to the line up at top. The mentioned a platoon but they also added the splits don't support it.

    Billy Baseball

    1. I think it has to be a rotation. Not just in LF, but for Pagan to rest his muscles to alleviate chances of soft-tissue injuries, and even for Pence now that he has lost his Iron Man status for consecutive games played. Pagan two days off in six, and Pence 1 in six. Play match-ups and roles with Aoki, Maxwell and Blanco.

    2. I don't think you can take Aoki out of the lineup at this point. I agree that both Aoki and Pagan may need some rest days. Obviously Pence is going to want to play every single day. I think Maxwell and Blanco will have to be the 4 and 5 OF's which could cause a crunch somewhere else on the bench.

    3. Maxwell started hot, but has really come to earth the past week or two (.105). Whether it's a 'mere slump' or part of his regressing to his mean, I don't have an answer for that. Aoki, OTOH, is really doing a great job as a lead-off man, is on a pretty solid hitting tear, and is playing reasonably good defense though Maxwell is playing better defense (and is probably playing the best defense of all the current OF).

      So, for now, no way I'd replace Aoki with Maxwell. But I would rotate Maxwell, and Blanco, through the outfield to rest Pence, Pagan and Aoki unless his bat continues to be frigid and his offense drops further.

  5. Aoki has the clear clear edge right now, especially since Maxwell's bay has cooled down. Also, Pence and Maxwell are similar players whereas Aoki is key to the leadoff position right now and I think Pagan will stay healthier in the 3-hole with less of a mindset to steal bags & beat out grounders.