Saturday, August 29, 2015

Game Wrap 8/28/2015: Giants 5 Cardinals 4

The legend of Kelby Tomlinson continues to grow as he lined a single through a 5 man infield to give the Giants a walk-off win against the team with the best record in baseball.  Key Lines:

Brandon Belt- 2 for 5.  BA= .276.  Belt has been an OBP machine since moving into the 3-hole and that is creating RBI opportunities for the hitters behind him.  His OBP over his last 15 games is .419.  The top 4 Giants hitters in this game were on base 8 times in 20 PA's.  If your top 4 batters are getting on base at a .400 clip, your team is going to score some runs even if the top 4 aren't hitting for any power.

Marlon Byrd- 1 for 4, HR(22).  BA= .238.  The 4 and 5 holes are where I think OBP becomes less important, especially 5.  5 and 6 you are just looking for hits and dingers to drive in runs.  Byrd is a prototype 5 or 6 hole hitter.  He must feel like he died and went to heaven finding all these runners on base for him.  He is 7 for 28 since joining the Giants for a .250 BA, but 3 of those 7 hits have been dingers and have driven in a total of 9 runs and have directly contributed to 3 of the Giants 4 wins in that span.  Oh, and the Grand Slam was the Giants 8'th of the season setting a franchise record.

Kelby Tomlinson- 2 for 3, 2 BB.  BA= .364.  How many big hits has Tomlinson had since being called up?  This one was huge!  The Giants got a bit of a break with Trevor Rosenthal out of paternity leave.  Kevin Seigrist, who has always been very tough on the Giants pitched the 9'th inning of a tie game, which is an interesting place to use your closer on the road.  Anyway, Seigrist had trouble finding the plate and Tomlinson came up with the bases loaded and 1 out.  This is a situation where you absolutely do not want to leave it up to the next batter, especially when you are batting 7'th in the lineup.  The Cardinals brought Brandon Moss in from the OF for a 5 man IF.  BTW, if you are going to do that, why not just bring in all 3 OF's and play a 7 man IF?  Anyway,  I had a feeling about Kelby in this situation.  Of all the Giants current hitters, I think he and Duffman are the two I would have the most confidence in to get it done. Those two just never, ever give up on an AB.  Kelby did not disappoint.  He lined a shot up the middle just to the left of 2B, right where Moss had been standing before the Cardinals repositioned him to the right of 2B.  Peralta was playing a fairly neutral SS so there was just a wee bit of a hole between him and where Moss moved to and Kelby put it right in the exact middle of that hole.  Amazing!

Mike Leake- 6.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 4 K's, GO/AO= 9/1.  ERA= 3.53.  I thought Leake pitched better than his line looks.  He gave up some hits, but in the 3-run 4'th inning, the Giants failed to convert 2 GIDP opportunities and it cost them at least 2 runs.  The 4'th run scored when Tommy Pham singled, took 2B on a flyball out, took 3B on another flyout and scored on a WP.  Again, if Leake stays healthy and continues to pitch like he has so far, he's going to win some games down the stretch.

Josh Osich- 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's.  ERA= 1.80.  It doesn't look like much of a line, but Osich was brought in to face Jason Heyward and Matt Carpenter with runners on base and the game on the line in the 7'th inning.  Pretty significant that Bochy went to Osich and not Lopez in that situation.

Sergio Romo- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 3.32.   Bochy seems to have found the right role for Romo and it's what he used to do before he became a closer.  Romo is pitching as well as he's ever pitched right now.  0.61 ERA over his last 15 appearances.  34 K's against just 3 BB's in his last 26 IP over 30 appearances.

The Win kept the Giants 2.5 games ahead of the Dodgers in the NL West as the Bad Guys handed the Cubs their 3'rd straight loss.  The Giants have made up 3 games in 3 days on the Cubs in the race for the final Wild Card playoff spot.  They now trail the baby bruins by 4.5 games.

Ryan Vogelsong faces Lance Lynn today in an afternoon game at AT&T Park.  In case you are interested, the Cubs have Jon Lester going against the Dodgers.

Matt Cain was placed on the DL with nerve irritation in his right elbow.  Chris Heston will get the start in his place on Sunday.

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