Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Game Wrap 5/31/2016: Giants 4 Braves 0

Jake Peavy had one of the best starts of his career allowing just 1 baserunner over 7 innings and scored the go ahead run himself to get the Giants back on the winning track after the sleep-deprived loss on Memorial Day.  Key Lines:

Denard Span- 3 for 4, 3B.  BA= .274.  With Jake Peavy on first base, who was running on the pitch, Span smoked a ball into the R-CF gap that stayed out there long enough to Peaves to come all the way around to score and for Span to end up at 3B.  Span drove in another run with a single during the 3-run rally in the 8'th inning.  This was Span's second 3-hit game out of his last 3.

Jake Peavy- 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 6.34.  Peavy was perfect through 4, allowed 1 hit and then shut the Braves down through 7.  He might have finished the game himself, but with the bases loaded and no outs in the 8'th, Bochy wanted to try to add on to the lead.  PH Matt Duffy came through with a SF making it 2-0.  Span and Panik kept it going for 2 more runs in the inning making the final score 4-0.

For a guy who supposedly can't see the catcher's fingers from the mound, Peavy sure looks like he knows what he is doing at the plate at times.  In the 6'th inning, he tried to jerk the first pitch from Wisler, who was pitching a fine game himself.  Wisler adjusted and started keeping the ball away.  Peavy made the adjustment back and lined a broken bat single up the middle to start the go ahead rally. It looked like he barely made it back to the dugout after running all the way from 1B while scoring on the triple.  I couldn't tell from the TV whether Trainer Dave Groeschner was administering an iced towel to Peavy's head or a just soaking up the sweat, but yeah, fortunately the next batter saw a few pitches to get Peavy time to cool off before heading back to the mound.

In his last 2 starts, Peavy has allowed just 1 Run in 13.2 IP.  The previous start was a disaster against the Cubs, but in the start prior he allowed just 1 R in 6 IP so 3 of his last 4 starts have been better than Quality.


The Win kept the NL West leading Giants 4.5 games ahead of the Dodgers who blanked the Cubs and Jake Arrieta 5-0.  The 3'rd place Rockies pounded the Cincinnati Reds 17-4 to remain 7.5 games off the pace.  The D'Backs and Padres both lost to fall 10 and 12.5 games off the pace.  We'll stop including them in these summaries until/unless they start to make up significant ground on the leaders.


Albert Suarez takes the ball for his first MLB start tomorrow evening facing Williams Perez.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Down on the Farm: 5/30/2016

AAA  Sacramento River Cats defeated the Oklahoma City Dodgers 4-3:

Gorkys Hernandez CF- 2 for 5, 2B, SB(10).  BA= .259.
Mac Williamson RF- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .288.
Clayton Blackburn RHP- 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K's.  ERA= 4.14.
Steven Okert LHP- 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 4.42.

Blackburn's composite line since his brief callup to the majors is 14 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 13 K's.  Don't know if we should hope he gets another chance this year or not!


AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels whitewashed the Erie Seawolves 1-0:

Adalberto Mejia LHP- 8.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K's, GO/AO= 9/2.  ERA= 1.87.

Mejia is on some kind of a roll and getting better with each game.  Here's his progression over his past 5 starts:  IP- 6.0, 7.2, 7.1, 7.0, 8.2.  Hits- 3, 6, 6, 4, 4.  Runs- 1, 0, 2, 0, 0.  BB's- 2, 3, 1, 0, 1.  K's- 3, 3, 6, 6, 10!  All in all, Mejia's composite line for his last 5 starts is 36.2 IP, 23 H, 3 R, 7 BB, 28 K's for an ERA of 0.75!  Remember, he doesn't turn 23 yo until June 20.


High A  San Jose Giants blanked the Modesto Nuts 3-0:

Steven Duggar CF- 2 for 4.  BA= .278.
CJ Hinojosa SS- 2 for 4.  BA= .351.
Chris Shaw 1B- 1 for 4, HR(11).  BA= .315.
Daniel Carbonell LF- 2 for 4.  BA= .263.
Jose Vizcaino Jr 3B- 2 for 4.  BA= .243.
Sam Coonrod RHP- 6.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 1.18.

Coonrod gets in on a red-letter day for the farm system's SP's.


Low A  Augusta Greenjackets topped the Kannapolis Intimidators 5-3:

Kelvin Beltre 3B- 2 for 4, SB(4).  BA= .234.
Seth Harrison RF- 1 for 3, HR(2), BB.  BA= .248.
Phil Bickford RHP- 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 3 ER, 7 K's.  ERA= 2.63.
Tyler Cyr RHP- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 2.50.

How great is it that Bickford's fine start was the weakest of the 4 minor league starters in the Giants organization today?

Game Wrap 5/30/2016: Braves 5 Giants 3

Mallex Smith hit a bases-loaded triple in the second inning from the 9-hole in the lineup to lead the Braves to a win over a sleep-deprived Giants team.  Key Lines:

Brandon Belt- 2 for 4, HR(5).  BA= .294.  Belt stayed hot with a long HR leading off the second inning and scoring a run later in the game after a single.

Jeff Samardzija- 5 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 2.84.  Samardzija was not as sharp as he's been, but really, it came down to one pitch and one hit by Mallex Smith to be the difference in this game.  Of course, Samardzija would tell you he should not have been in that situation, but other Giants pitchers have found themselves in bases-loaded situations in recent games and have gotten out of them. Smith's hit only cleared Brandon Crawford's glove by an inch or two, an inch or two that made the difference between giving up 3 runs and getting out of the jam.

Derek Law- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 2.25.  Law is quickly becoming a mainstay in the Giants bullpen.  I think he's here to stay.

Chris Stratton- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 0.00.  Stratton makes a successful MLB debut in relief.  His FB was reportedly up to 94 MPH and he made quick work of the Braves in the 8'th inning.

Mallex Smith(Braves)- 1 for 3, 3B.  BA= .242.  I profiled Smith in the offseason in my Impact Prospects series.  I don't have him on my fantasy baseball roster, but I might have to consider it because I think he is here to stay.  The slash line doesn't look like much, but his 3 HR and 6 SB project to 15 and 30 over a 600 AB season, and the slash line is only going to get better as he shakes off the rookie jitters.

Mike Foltynewicz(Braves)- 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K's.  ERA=  3.51.  Gotta say, I was quite impressed by Folty in this game.  He looks like he's come a long ways from previous looks.  He's been around seemingly forever since he was drafted in 2010 by the Astros, but he's still just 25 years old.  He is big, rawboned and throws haaaard!  Easy looking heat at 96-97 MPH with great command after the first couple of batters.  His stat line shows a BB/9 of under 2 so far this season, which is excellent.  I think the Braves made themselves a very nice long term deal when they traded away Evan Gattis for this kid.  Now, he just needs to stay healthy!


The best part of today's game is every other team in the NL West also lost so the First Place Giants maintain their 4.5 game lead over the Dodgers.


Jake Peavy takes the mound tomorrow evening against Matt Wisler.

Scouting the 2016 Draft: West Coast Colleges

One thing I like to do leading up to the draft each year is do some armchair scouting of college players. I start with looking up team stat pages, but if I see something that catches my eye, I dig a bit deeper and look up bio information and try to find any scouting reports that might be out there to try to build a profile of the player.

The starting point for all hitters in the stat line is BA.  I have some tiers I divide them into:  .320 or above, I'm interested no matter what else is in their line.  .300-.320 I like to see something else such as double digit HR's or SB's or a reversed K/BB.  Ditto for .270-.300, but in that range you really want to see something special in the line such as 20 or more SB's or 15 or more HR's.  If they have a BA of below .270 in college, they are not a prospect, period.  Of course, Matt Duffy would like a word with me about that, but he is an extremely unusual case.

Once I've established an interest from the stat line, I look up their bio page.  I value size!  6' 2"-6'5" is ideal.  Taller players tend to have more problems controlling the K zone.  I like the weight to be well proportioned, but players on the thinner side may have more upside.  I also look to see if they bat LH or RH or switch hit.  I place slightly more value on left-handed or switch-hit bats.  I then look up any scouting reports I can find.  I like to see if they drew any interest from PG when they were in HS.

For pitchers, it all starts with K/IP.  I like it to be 8 or more.  Greater than 9 is better.  I look for Saves to find college closers who just by that designation are likely to throw hard.  Then I look at size.  I like to see 6'2" or more and weights of 200 lbs or more.

I am not really looking for first round or even second round prospects here.  I'm looking for players who might be available in rounds 4-10 or even later who might be "sleepers" or undervalued by the draft rankings and by other teams.  I've used this method with some success in past years, identifying single digit round picks Tyler Horan and Jose Vizcaino Jr. prior to their drafts.  Maybe it's just the blind squirrel syndrome at work, but it is fun to see a name you really like show up on your team's draft list on Draft Day.

I like to start with the west coast conferences first, especially the non-Pac 12 conferences as they are tremendously competitive and have lots of very good, underrated players.  So here are a few players I would be very happy to see the Giants draft in the first 10 rounds this year:

*Vince Fernandez, OF, UCR.  6'4", 205 lbs.  B-R, T-L.  .350/.431/.509, 8 HR, 4 SB, 30 BB, 58 K's, 222 AB.  Nice looking line, especially the BA with a bit of power, but look at that size!  There are more K's than you would like to see and the B-R, T-L is the reverse of what you usually see, but I LOVE the size!  Giants seem to be doing better at developing hitters.  Gotta think there is some serious upside here.

*Daniel Johnson, OF, New Mexico St.  5'10", 185 lbs.  B-L, T-L.  .382/.434/.630, 12 HR, 7 3B, 29 SB, 18 BB, 29 K's, 246 AB.  Always a bit suspicious of batting stats from desert southwest states, but the combination of speed and BA stands out.  Johnson profiles as a CF/leadoff type.  Not a lot of walks, but not a lot of K's either.

*Gio Brusa OF, Pacific.  6'3", 220 lbs.  B-L, T-R.  .337/.418/.614, 14 HR, 26 BB, 41 K's, 202 AB.  Brusa is a senior this year.  He was ranked as a potential first round pick early in in the 2015 draft cycle, but he got off to a slow start to his 2015 season.  I think he had an injury too.  His stock dropped and apparently has not recovered much despite terrific senior year numbers.  The Giants seem to think guys whose stock drops might be undervalued.  Brusa's weight is on the upper side of ideal which might make you wonder about conditioning.

*Manny Jefferson, SS, Pepperdine.  6'3", 180  lbs. B-R, T-R.  .277/.361/.515, 12 HR, 25 BB, 50 K's, 262 AB.  He's started at SS for 3 full seasons at Pepperdine.  Love the size on this kid for a college SS.  His HR numbers have increased from 1 to 6 to 12 from his freshman season.  All that tells me he has terrific upside.  The question, as always, is can he hit in the pros?

Down on the Farm: 5/29/2016

AAA  Oklahoma City Dodgers defeated the Sacramento River Cats 4-1:

Joan Gregorio RHP- 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K's.  ERA= 4.20.
Duke Welker RHP- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 3.71.
Mike Broadway RHP- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 3.18.

Dominant peripherals from Gregorio.  In 3 AAA starts, he has 20 K's against 5 BB's in 15 IP.  He has 8 K's in 5 IP in each of his last two starts.


AA  Erie Seawolves downed the Richmond Flying Squirrels 5-2:

Christian Arroyo SS- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA=  .287.
Ali Castillo 2B- 3 for 3, 2B.  BA= .327
Kyle Crick RHP- 5.2 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 4.32.

The 0 BB's is the key number to look at in Crick's line.  Baby steps!


High A  San Jose Giants topped the Modesto Nuts 5-2:

CJ Hinojosa SS- 1 for 3, 3B, BB.  BA= .348.
Jonah Arenado 1B-  2 for 4.  BA= .251.
Martin Agosta RHP- 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 2.22.
Rodolfo Martinez RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's, Save(14).  ERA= 0.89.


Augusta Greenjackets vs Charleston River Dogs postponed.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Game Wrap 5/29/2016: Giants 8 Rockies 3

Johnny Cueto battled Coors Field to a QS while the Giants got sustained offensive production up and down their lineup to take the rubber game of the weekend series.   Key Lines:

Denard Span- 3 for 5, HR(2), Assist(3B).  BA= .268.  Span's dinger was a long tater into the middle deck in RF, estimated distance 441 ft.  He also surprised Gerardo Parra, who is not slowpoke, by throwing him out when he tried to advance to 3B on a long flyball out.  Span got some help from Matt Duffy who has become quite the tagging wizard at 3B.  On this play, Duffy moved several feet toward 2B to take the throw and then slapped a tag down on Parra's leg before his hand hit the bag.

Buster Posey- 3 for 4, 2B, BB.  BA= .280.   Buster reportedly called a hitters meeting before Saturday's game.  It seemed to light a fire under him as much as the rest of the lineup.  5 hits, 3 for extra bases in the last two games.

Hunter Pence- 3 for 5, 3 2B.  BA= .304.  Pence appeared to be moving much better today than Saturday.  This was confirmed by postgame comments reported by Baggs.  He basically played pepper with the Coors Field OF wall in this game.

Brandon Belt- 2 for 5, 2 2B.  BA= .289.  Belt was also moving much better and did not appear to be slowed at all in legging out this 2 doubles.

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .260.  Crawford has become THE elite defensive SS in MLB.  His UZR/150 so far this year is 29.5 compared to 11.9 last year.  That is well ahead of the #2 Nick Ahmed of the D'Backs.  Crawford as accumulated an fWAR of 1.8 so far. With the season almost exactly 1/3 completed, he's on a pace for 5.4 compared to 4.7 last year.

Gregor Blanco- 3 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .276.  Blanco has a 5 game hit streak in which he is 10 for 21.  He's had a rough time on the basepaths, though,  with instant replay not being kind to him.

Johnny Cueto- 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 2.31.  Cueto reportedly had a stiff back which curtailed some of the variations in his windup and delivery.  He battled the Rockies and Coors Field until the Giants offense had built up a comfortable lead(if there is any such thing at Coors Field) enabling the bullpen to have a relatively stress-free final 3 innings.


The Win enabled the Giants to remain 4.5 games ahead of the second place Dodgers who topped the Mets 4-2.  The Rockies fell 7.5 games behind in 3'rd place with the Loss.  The D'Backs beat the Padres  6-2 leaving the Snakes 9 games behind in 4'th place and the Padres 11.5 behind in the cellar.


The Giants move on to Atlanta where they have an early game tomorrow with Jeff Samardzija facing Mike Foltynewicz.  We'll just call it Shark vs Folty, or maybe the battle of the eye charts.

Down on the Farm: 5/28/2016

AAA  Oklahoma City Dodgers defeated the Sacramento River Cats 5-1:

Mitch Delfino 3B- 2 for 4.  BA= .289.
Matt Lujan LHP- 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 5.01.
Alex Torres LHP- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 1.74.

I believe Lujan's start was moved up a day to fill in for Chris Stratton who was called up to SF.


AA  Erie Seawolves beat the Richmond Flying Squirrels 4-2:

Austin Slater LF- 1 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .328.
Ali Castillo 2B- 2 for 3.  BA= .306.
Tyler Beede RHP- 7 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 3.71.


High A  Modesto Nuts blanked the San Jose Giants 8-0:

Ronnie Jebavy CF- 1 for 3, 3B, BB.  BA= .237.


Low A  Augusta Greenjackets topped the Charleston River Dogs 3-1:

Miguel Gomez 1B- 3 for 4, 2B.  BA= .346.
Johneshwy Fargas CF- 3 for 4, 2 CS(2).  BA= .500.
Michael Santos RHP- 8 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K's, GO/AO= 11/2.  ERA= 3.02.
Jake McCasland RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's, Save(2).  ERA= 2.18.

Michael Santos has gained some serious stamina, pitching a total of 31 innings in his last 4 starts or just over 7.2 IP per start.  In that time he has put up a 2.61 ERA with 20 K's against just 3 BB's and a strong GO/AO.

Game Wrap 5/28/2016: Giants 10 Rockies 5

The Giants bullpen coughed up a 4-1 lead given to them by Madison Bumgarner after 6 innings,  but then the Giants offense came roaring back to life in the 8'th inning led by Buster Posey's second 3-run dinger of the game.  Giants win going away!  Key Lines:

Gregor Blanco- 2 for 5, CS(2).  BA= .253.  I'm going to focus on the CS here.  Blanco was initially called safe by the second base umpire.  The Rockies appealed because, well, they were getting close enough to the 7'th inning they didn't have anything to lose.  The replay on TV clearly showed Blanco's foot beating the tag, but was inconclusive about whether his foot may have come off for a split second while popping up.  The TV review crew has additional angles to look at and his foot could have come off, but if it did, it was for no more than a few millimeters and a fraction of a second.

Dave Flemming was more vocal in his displeasure with the call than Krukow.  Flemming kept saying his understanding was they were not going to call runners out in those situations this year and indeed, it does seem that there have been fewer "ticky-tack" overturns this year than last.  On the other hand, I don't recall there ever being an announcement like that from the league.  What I do agree with Flemming about is that if this is the new normal and runners are going to get called out for split-second departures from the bag on slides, it will have enormous unintended consequences, probably already has.

First of all, I think you will gradually see pop-up slides disappear from the game as runners make more and more effort to make sure their foot stays on the bag after an initially successful slide.  Secondly, runners are going to have to dig in and make sure their momentum gets stopped before their front foot goes past the bag and to make sure their front foot does not bounce up off the ground from the impact of the slide.  That, in turn, will lead to an increase in ankle injuries on slides.  Both of these unintended consequences will lead to less offense in a game that currently needs more, not less, offense.

Matt Duffy- 2 for 4, 2B, HBP.  BA= .250.  Nobody needed a big offensive day more than Matt Duffy. He got on base 3 times with an XBH.  That would qualify as a big offensive day.

Buster Posey- 2 for 5, 2 HR(7).  BA= .268.  The Giants need to get Buster going on offense.  Coors Field or not, this was a welcome game for the big guy.  One 3-run dinger will generally win you a ballgame.  2 almost guarantees it, except in Coors Field.  This was Buster's second 6-RBI game of his career, the first coming in his rookie season, 2010, in Milwaukee.  Remember that?  I know I sure do!

Brandon Belt- 3 for 5, 2 2B.  BA= .286.  Belt twice pulled the ball smartly down the RF line beating the OF shift which  usually shades him opposite of the IF shift.  He might not be quite as fast on the bases as he normally is, but otherwise showed no ill-effects from the ankle sprain he suffered….sliding into 2B a couple of games ago.

Hunter Pence- 2 for 5.  BA= .295.  Pence looked very gimpy running down the 1B line on his second hit.  Wouldn't shock me if he misses more time or even hits the DL.

Jarrett Parker- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .263.  Love Parker's swagger and the fire in his eyes when he comes to the plate.  Dude knows it's his time and knows he's ready.  With Pagan on the DL and Pence literally 1 step away, Parker should be out there every day for the next 2 weeks.  Let's see if he can win the job permanently in that time.

Madison Bumgarner- 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 2.12.  Bumgarner sailed into the 6'th inning with a fairly low pitch count.  Arenado led off the inning with a hard single up the middle.  CarGo then parachuted one into no man's land in LF to put runners on first and second.  Mark Reynolds then worked a 10 pitch AB for a walk to load them up with no outs.  It took Bummy another 8 pitches to strike out Ryan Raburn, but then he got some help on defense with a terrific GIDP off Christhian Adames to get him out of the jam, but by now his pitch count was up to 105 and he had to turn it over to a very shaky bullpen that coughed up the lead in the bottom of the 7'th inning.

Cory Gearrin- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 2.95.  Where would this team be without Cory Gearrin?  He came in and finally put out the fire in the 7'th, and then pitched a shut down inning in the 8'th after the Giants big top of the inning.  Gearrin even contributed to the the offensive explosion.   With runners on first and second, Bochy asked him if he could get a bunt down.  Gearrin said he could, but was overwhelmed by the first pitch.  The bunt sign came off and Bochy said he was hoping he would just take a K and leave it up to Blanco, who was the next batter.  Instead, Gearrin swing and shot a grounder through the hole in the right side to load the bases and set up 3 more runs in the inning.

Santiago Casilla- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 1.74.  This was a non-save situation, although a 5-run lead probably SHOULD be a save situation in Coors Field!  Albert Suarez was not available due to the 5 innings of work on Friday and the only other non-SP on the bench was newcomer Chris Stratton. After seeing what happened in the 7'th inning, Bochy was not going to use Stratton to protect ANY lead if he could help it.  So, Casilla got the call and calmly worked his way through the 2-5 batters in the Rockies lineup to put it away.

Defense- Remember when the Saber crowd used to derisively talk about "saving countless runs on defense?"  Well, how many runs has the Giants defense saved in this 14 Wins in 16 games run?  I know I've lost count!  In this game alone, Matt Duffy made a whirling stab of a hard shot and got up in time to throw the runner out.  That throw might have pulled most 1B off the bag, but Belt made a nice streeeetch to keep his toe on.  Crawford and Panik turned an extremely difficult DP on Adames to get Bummy out of the 6'th inning and again, Belt save the play on a long stretch.  Panik made a diving stop on a high bouncer by Parra, who is not a slow runner, and got up in time to throw him out, drawing a stare of admiration from Parra.  Then, in the 9'th inning, Crawford ranged into the hole and launched a missile to Belt to nail Arenado which drew another stare of admiration.  That is 7 great defensive plays right there and that does not count several nice catches and throws from OF's.


The Win kept the Giants lead in the NL West at 4.5 games over the  Dodgers.  Thor got thrown out of the Mets-Dodgers game for throwing behind Chase Utley and the Dodgers jumped on the Mets relievers for  a 9-1 win.  The 3'rd place Rockies fell back to 6.5 games down after the Loss.  The D'Backs topped the Padres 8-7 to leave the 2 laggard teams 9 and 10.5 games down respectively.


Johnny Cueto tries to tame Coors Field for the series win today against lefty Chris Rusin.


Speaking of saving countless runs on defense, get a load of this!  The Dodgers have apparently been using laser rangefinders to stake out defensive positions prior to games.  Ken Rosenthal reports they took it a step further in New York by putting down some sort of physical markers on the field so the OF's could find their positions in the game.  When the New York grounds crew objected, they were told if the markers were removed, the Dodgers OF's would dig holes in the grass.  The grounds crew reported this to the Mets who instructed them to remove any markers they could find and called the league office.  They were told the Dodgers could use the laser rangefinders before the game, but not during the game.  I'm guessing we haven't heard the last of this.  Can you imagine if they try that stunt their next trip to San Francisco?  Whoo boy!  Here's my take:  If I'm Rob Manfred, I rule they can use the rangefinders before the game, but cannot place physical markers on the field and they cannot intentionally vandalize the field to make their own marks.  Not sure how you enforce all that, but if they don't, then it seems opposing teams will have no choice but to dig their own holes to try to confuse the Dodgers OF's as to whose hole is whose!  As if the Dodgers weren't already insufferable enough…...!  Speaking of insufferable, I expect to see a Fangraphs article by Dave Cameron defending the markers on the field.  Just one more reason to hate the Dodgers more than ever, which is not easy given how long and how much I've hated them since, oh, about 1965.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Scouting the 2016 Draft: Second Round Options

As a Giants fan, it's been difficult to gear up for the 2016 draft with the Giants not picking until the second round, #59 overall having lost their first rounder when they signed Jeff Samardzija.  Now, if you consider that Jeff Samardzija was their first round draft pick and they signed him for a $90 M bonus, hey, I'll take that deal any day!  In my book, the Giants have already earned an A grade for this draft with that pick!

What makes the Samardzija signing even more savvy is this appears to be an extremely weak draft, particularly in the first round.  Not only is there no consensus #1, there is no consensus top 5 or even top 10.  While I have to confess to not following this draft as closely as I have in past years, John Manuel of BA confirmed my suspicions in his recent chat where he said the strength of this draft is not in picks 1-10 or even 1-20.  The strength of this draft is in picks 25-75.  In other words, the Giants have a great chance to get first round value at #59 without having to pay first round bonus money.  Of course, they don't have that first round money to try to sign a HS prospect or two away from college in the later rounds, but again, I'd rather have Samardzjia.  On top of that, the Giants have an excellent, if not exceptional record in the past several years of finding talent in rounds 2-10, so this draft is setting up for them like a hanging slider in the middle of the strike zone.

So, who might the Giants be looking at for #59?  The Giants don't have any glaring organizational needs as their farm system is currently quite balanced between position players and pitchers with the position players fairly well distributed and the system fairly well balanced between the higher and lower levels, older college draftees and younger HS draftees and international signees. So, the Giants are in a great position to simply take the best player available.   The Giants have several fairly easily recognizable tendencies in their recent drafts:

1.  Starting pitching and up-the-middle talent in the first round.

2.  Power hitters in rounds 2-5.

3.  College players from major programs in major conferences in rounds 1-5.

4.  College relievers with power arms in rounds 4-10.

5. College prospects with a history of being highly ranked out of HS whose stock has dropped for a variety of reasons in rounds 1-5.

6.  Strong performers in wood bat summer leagues such as the Cape Cod League.

The strength, or at least depth, of this draft seems to be in college OF's with names like Kyle Lewis and Corey Ray projected to go in the top 5 overall picks with several others sprinkled through the first round.  On the other hand, Keith Law, for what it's worth, has said in multiple Klawchats that he does not see ANY first round OF talents in this draft!  There are several college OF's who are comparable to the projected first rounders who may well be available at #59 and even #89 where they pick in round 3.  I think that is where the Giants are going to go at #59 although there is a smattering of college pitchers and middle IF's who could be in play there.  I don't see them going HS at #59 since they don't have any first round money to play with this year.  With all that said, here are some specific names, including 1 name who I am going to peg as my projected Giants second round pick:

Jameson Fisher, 1B, Southeastern Louisiana.  6'2", 200 lbs. B-L, T-R.  .443/.570/.716, 10 HR, 15 SB, 47 BB, 26 K's, 183 AB.  Fisher is the statistically top hitter in all of NCAA D1 Baseball.  As you can see, he's fast enough to steal a base.  Downsides would be (lack of) strength of competition, relative lack of power and he's probably already a 1B defensively at best.  Most draft rankings and mock drafts have him in the #60-70 range.

Heath Quinn, OF, Samford.  6'3", 220 lbs.  B-R, T-R.  .350 BA with 19 HR, 41 BB, 48 K's in 217 AB.  Power hitting corner OF.  BA has him ranked in the 40's but others have him in the mid 50-70 range and one mock draft I saw had him going to the Giants at #59.

Anfernee Grier, OF, Auburn.  6'1", 180 lbs.  B-R, T-R.  .366/.457/.576, 12 HR, 19 SB, 19 BB, 35 K's, 243 AB.  He's a Covechatter fave.  Very toolsy, can play CF, major college program.  Has hit well this year, but there are questions about whether the bat translates to the pros.  Big problem is he may not be on the board at #59.  I have seen him mocked as high as the mid 30's or even late first round, but other rankings have him in the mid-50's which puts him within reasonable range for the Giants to have a shot at him.

Ryan Boldt, OF, Nebraska.  6'2", 220 lbs.  B-L, T-R.  .300/.353/.436, 5 HR, 19 SB, 19 BB, 35 K, 243 AB.  There are several reasons why I think Boldt might be THE guy for the Giants at #59:  Fast enough and athletic enough to play CF.  Major program in a major conference.  Major HS prospect pedigree.  Boldt was ranked as a top 20 prospect coming out of HS.  I think his stock dropped due to injury.  While his college career has been a success, he has not quite lived up to his HS and 2016 pre-season hype.  He is now ranked in the 55-70 range in most draft rankings and mock drafts.  He's a classic Giants target for rounds 2-5 and he's my projected Giants top pick in the 2016 draft at #59 overall.  One reason why the Giants may shy away:  So-so performance in the CCL.  Also, while he has light-tower BP power, it does not seem to translate into game-power.  One detailed scouting report I read said his LH swing gets verrrry long. He also has a significant injury history with a fractured left wrist at an early age which forced him to learn to throw RH, and a meniscal tear of a knee his senior year in HS.  I believe he has been mostly injury free in college.  Then again, if he didn't have these warts, he would be projecting in the top 10 of the draft!  The Giants may see his draftability dependent on their own perception of their ability to fix his swing and develop him as a hitter.

Jake Fraley, OF, LSU.  6'0", 188 lbs.  B-L, T-L.  .326/.411/.444, 3 HR, 26 SB, 34 BB, 31 K's, 239 AB.  Fraley is another toolsy OF from a major college program.  Giants may like his speed and reversed K/BB.

Luis Curbelo, SS, HS Puerto Rico.  6'3", 185 lbs.  B-R T-R.  Giants seem to like drafting Puerto Rican prospects, although they have not had a lot of success with them to date.  Puerto Rican kids are usually quite singable, so this is the one HS prospect I think they could decide to roll the dice on.

Bryson Brigman, SS, San Diego.  5'11", 180 lbs.  B-R, T-R.  .372/.428/.424, 0 HR, 17 SB, 16 BB, 16 K's.  Draft eligible sophomore which may impact his signability.  Hit .339 as a freshman, so he can hit.  He'd be a fairly classic Giants hit-tool first, up-the-middle draft pick in the mold of Christian Arroyo and Joe Panik.

Sean Murphy, C, Wright St.  6'3", 218 lbs.  B-R, T-R.  .270/.391/.505, 6 HR, 5 SB, 19 BB, 15 K's, 111 AB.  Great size.  The BA is not much to look at, but the peripheral numbers look great.  The Giants do love to draft catchers in the top 5 rounds!

There are several college pitchers who may interest the Giants for #59 including Mike Shawaryn of Maryland who recently tossed a 16 K game against Indiana in the Big 10 tournament and Corbin Burnes from local college, St Mary's.  There is always Kyle Funkhouser whose stock has recently ticked up a bit after hitting rock bottom early in the college season.  Funkhouser's advisor is Scott Boras who seems to be still angling for a bigger bonus than his talent and track record would justify.  There is Kyle Cody, a big hard thrower who didn't sign last year and who profiles more as a pro reliever, but the Giants may think they can fix.  I'm just not that enamored by the college pitching in this range of rankings, so I hope they don't go that direction, unless they have something really special up their sleeves that I am not seeing.

Sleeper Alert:  Lucas Erceg, 3B/RHP, Menlo College.  6'2", 200 lbs.  B-L, T-R.  Can hit for power.  Played at Cal for 2 years and hit 10 HR's his sophomore season before losing academic eligibility and transferring to the NAIA school.  He's ranked in the low 70's on most draft rankings.

Down on the Farm: 5/27/2016

AAA Sacramento River Cats outlasted the Oklahoma City Dodgers 5-4 in 11 innings:

Ramiro Pena 2B- 2 for 5, 2B, BB.  BA= .333.
Mac Williamson RF- 2 for 5, SB(2).  BA= .291.
Hak-Ju Lee SS- 1 for 3, BB, SB(4).  BA= .274.
Ty Blach LHP- 7 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 3.92.
Sergio Romo RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 3.00.

Seems like Romo should be getting close to coming back to the Giants.


AA Richmond Flying Squirrels outscored the Erie Seawolves 7-6:

Rando Moreno SS- 2 for 5.  BA= .233.
Christian Arroyo 3B- 3 for 5, 2B.  BA= .288.
Austin Slater LF- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .328.
Myles Schroder CF- 2 for 4, 3B.  BA= .271.
Matt Gage LHP- 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.77.
Tyler Rogers RHP- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, Save(4).  ERA= 0.00.

Another head-scratching move in Richmond as Slater moves to LF with Myles Schroder playing CF.  Arroyo has a 10 game hitting streak with a .391 BA over that span. Rogers runs his scoreless IP streak to 23.2.


High A  San Jose Giants topped the Modesto Nuts 2-1:

CJ Hinojosa SS- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .354.
Daniel Carbonell LF- 2 for 4, 2B, SB(1).  BA= .250.
Mark Reyes LHP- 6.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 4.23.
Reyes Maronta RHP- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 2.57.
Rodolfo Martinez RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(13).  BA= 0.89.


Low A  Augusta Greenjackets edged out the Charleston River Dogs 2-1:

Lucius Fox SS- 2 for 4, 3B, SB(12).  BA= .212.
Johneshwy Fargas CF- 1 for 2, HBP, 3 SB(3).  BA= .200.
Michael Connolly RHP- 7 IP, 10 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 2.29.

Game Wrap 5/27/2016: Rockies 5 Giants 2

A 40 minute rain delay to start the game and Matt Cain's exit in the second inning with a hammy strain seemed to take the starch out of the Giants as the offense never really got going against Tyler Chatwood.  Key Lines:

Matt Cain- 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 5.20.  Cain had pitched well in his last two starts and was off to a promising beginning to this one, when he threw a pitch, shook his head and called for the trainer.  Later reports from the Giants clubhouse called is a hammy strain.  I guess we'll find out more today about how long he might be out.

Albert Suarez- 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 3 K's, GO/AO= 7/2.  ERA= 2.25.  All 5 of the hits Suarez allowed were doubles.  Beyond that, he pitched a very decent 5 innings.  Good enough that I would favor him getting Cain's next start, assuming Cain won't be available.


The Dawning of the Age of Urias did no go quite as planned for the Dodgers and the wunderkind lasted just 2.2 IP and the Dodgers lost to the Mets, 6-5 so the Giants remain 4.5 games ahead in the NL West despite the Loss.  The Rockies gained a game on the Giants to and Dodgers and sit 5.5 games back in 3'rd place.  The Padres beat the D'Backs 10-3 so the Snakes and Padres are 4'th and 5'th place, 9 and 9.5 games behind respectively.


Madison Bumgarner tries to get the Giants back in on the winning side of the ledger today facing Eddie Butler.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Down on the Farm: 5/26/2016

AAA  Sacramento River Cats defeated the Colorado Springs Sky Sox 6-1:

Mitch Delfino 3B- 3 for 4.  BA= .296.
Chris Heston RHP- 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 3.72.

Heston goes back-to-back with Clayton Blackburn in going at least 6 innings with 0 Runs Allowed.


AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Binghamton Mets 4-1:

Christian Arroyo 3B- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .279.
Ali Castillo 2B-3 for 4, 3B.  BA= .297.
Jeff Arnold C- l for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .212.
Dan Slania RHP- 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K's.  ERA= 4.33.
Ray Black RHP- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 7.02.
Chase Johnson RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 3.58.
Tyler Rogers RHP- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(3).  ERA= 0.00.

Well, this is innneresting!  Dan Slania takes Chase Johnson's start, at it obviously wasn't because Johnson is hurt.  It also was not because Johnson has been struggling.  He hasn't been the big strikeout pitcher this season, but he had allowed just 3 ER in 18.2 IP over is last 3 starts.  Anybody have the scoop on what went down here?  Probably no connection, but this brings back memories of him being in the coach's doghouse in college for mysterious reasons.  Anyway, I've always thought the Giants might try Slania as a starter somewhere along the way.  I'm guessing he just bought himself at least one more start with this dominating 5-inning performance.  Tyler Rogers extends his scoreless innings string to 22.1.


High A  Visalia Rawhide crushed the San Jose Giants 16-0:

Nothing to see here.  Biggest margin of defeat in Little Giants history.  Jordan Johnson was the starter and got lit up big time.


Low A Charleston River Dogs topped the Augusta Greenjackets 3-1:

Cory Taylor RHP- 7.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 8 K's, GO/AO= 10/2.  ERA= 2.03.

In his last 4 starts, Taylor has allowed 4 Runs in 25.2 IP for a 1.44 ERA.  Overall, he's averaging a K/9 of 9 with a GO/AO= 2.71.  Man, the early returns in the Giants 2015 draft are pretty amazing.  Taylor was their 8'th round selection.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Down on the Farm: 5/25/2016

AAA  Sacramento River Cats blanked the Colorado Springs Skysox 6-0:

Gorkys Hernandez CF- 1 for 3, BB, SB(9).  BA= .257.
Mac Williamson LF- 1 for 4, 2B.  BA= .297.
Clayton Blackburn RHP- 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 4.66.
Sergio Romo RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 4.50.
Alex Torres LHP- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 1.74.

I think this is easily Blackburn's best start of the season.  It comes right after a short MLB callup in which he did not appear in any games.  Did he get a coaching session with Rags or Mark Gardner or some advice from a pitcher?  Romo continues his rehab assignment.  Love the Torres pickup.  Nice insurance in case the Giants need a lefty reliever later in the season.


AA Richmond Flying Squirrels pummeled the Binghampton Mets 11-2:

Austin Slater CF- 3 for 4, 2 HR(5), SF.  BA= .323.
Tyler Horan LF- 3 for 5, 2B.  BA= .283.
Rando Moreno SS- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .229.
Ben Turner C- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .375.
Andrew Suarez LHP- 7 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 4.42.

Slater showing some serious power in addition to the already impressive hit tool.


High A  Visalia Rawhide edged out the San Jose Giants 3-2:

Ronnie Jebavy CF- 2 for 5, SB(6).  BA= .247.
Ty Ross C- 1 for 4, HR(1).  BA= .263.
Cristian Paulino RF- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .235.
DJ Snelton LHP- 6 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 4.14.
Jose Reyes RHP- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 4.67.

Daniel Carbonell shows up in the SJ lineup, goes 0 for 4.  I thought he had been released!


Low A Columbia Fireflies outscored the Augusta Greenjackets 7-4:

Miguel Gomez DH- 2 for 3, HBP, SB(1).  BA= .355.
Jean Angomas RF- 2 for 4, 2 2B.  BA= .200.
Adam Sonabend C- 1 for 2, 2 BB,  BA= .175.
Seth Harrison CF- 2 for 4, 2B, SB(4).  BA= .252.
Tyler Cyr RHP- 2.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 2.65.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Game Wrap 5/25/2016: Giants 4 Padres 3

The Giants got a QS from Jake Peavy and a walk off hit by Brandon Crawford in the 10'th inning to sweep the Padres for the 3'rd time this season and give the Giants their 13'th win in 14 games.  Key Lines:

Gregor Blanco- 2 for 4, 3B.  BA= .244.  Blanco had been struggling, but now has 4 hits in his last 2 games.  I haven't see video of the triple to RF, but man, it was a rough series for Matt Kemp, especially on defense.

Matt Duffy- 2 for 5, 2 SB(7).  BA= .250.  Duffman is hitting .320 over his last 7 games.

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 4, SB(3).  BA= .262.  Crawford his hitting .333 over his last 7 games.

Kelby Tomlinson- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .344.  The two hits don't tell half the story.  Tomlinson started in LF because Boch wanted to give Span a day off so Blanco moved to CF with Jarrett Parker taking RF. Tomlinson got off a throw that everybody is talking about to nail a Padre runner at home plate.  I mean, who knew?  I guess he was mostly a SS in the minors so it's not a surprise that he has an arm, but where have we seen that kind of a throw out of him before this?

Jake Peavy- 6.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 7.26.  Peavy had only thrown like 70 pitches after 6 innings.  Just a much more efficient, smoother effort than what we have seen so far this season.  I've seen so many time that MLB players bounce back after hitting rock bottom and Peavy did that in his last disaster start.  Hopefully this is the start of one of his good runs, which would be so huge for the Giants.


The Win kept the NL West leading Giants 4.5 games ahead of the 2'nd place Dodgers after the Dodgers topped the Reds 3-1.  The Rockies and D'Backs lost so the rest of the division stacks up with those teams and the Padres respectively 7, 8.5 and 10.5 games behind the Giants.


The Giants get tomorrow off, but will spend it in Colorado before starting a weekend series in Coors Field where they have tended to not match up well with the Rockies the last couple of seasons.  Matt Cain draws the first start facing Tyler Chatwood, who has turned himself into quite a good pitcher.

Down on the Farm: 5/24/2016

AAA  Colorado Springs Skysox outscored the Sacramento River Cats 9-6:

Gorkys Hernandez CF- 3 for 4, 2B, HBP, SB(8).  BA= .256.
Andrew Susac C- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .250.
Mac Williamson LF- 2 for 5, 2B, HR(6).  BA= .298.

Mac just needs AAA AB's, lots of them!  Hopefully Susac is fully healthy for the ROS.


AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels blanked the Binghampton Mets 3-0:

Christian Arroyo 3B- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .276.
Austin Slater CF- 1 for 4, 2B, BB.  BA= .308.
Ryder Jones 3B- 1 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .252.
Adalberto Mejia LHP- 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K's, GO/AO= 9/3.  ERA= 2.23.
Tyler Mizenko RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 2.35.
Tyler Rogers RHP- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(2).  ERA= 0.00.

Mejia now has 4 QS in a row in which he has allowed just 3 ER in 28 IP with 6 BB and 18 K's.  Rogers' season opening scoreless string is now at 21.1 IP.


High A  San Jose Giants crushed the Visalia Rawhide 12-2:

Ronnie Jebavy CF- 3 for 5, 2B, HR(2), BB.  BA= .242.
Steven Duggar RF- 1 for 5, HR(7), BB.  BA= .293.
CJ Hinojosa SS- 2 for 3, 2 HR(4), 2 BB.  BA= .356.
Chris Shaw 1B- 3 for 5, 2B.  BA= .331.
Jonah Arenado 3B- 3 for 4, 2B, BB.  BA= .257.
Brandon Bednar 2B- 2 for 5.  BA= .277.
Sam Coonrod RHP- 5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 1.38.

Nice game for padding the stat lines, but the Little Giants offense seems to be really hitting it's stride and living up to preseason expectations and then some.


Low A Columbia Fireflies swarmed over the Augusta Greenjackets 14-2:

Miguel Gomez 3B- 2 for 4.  BA= .344.
Gustavo Cabrera LF- 2 for 4.  BA= .250.

Nothing else to see here.

Game Wrap 5/24/2016: Giants 8 Padres 2

The Giants offense came to life with a 5-run 8'th inning to break open another tight pitching duel between Jeff Samardzija and Andrew Cashner.  Key Lines:

Denard Span- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .257.  Span's single through the left side drove in Gregor Blanco for the first run of the game in the 3'rd inning.  Blanco was safe on the review after being initially called out at the plate.

Matt Duffy- 1 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .246.  The Padres are playing some really odd OF defenses in this series and the Giants are making them pay.  On Duffy's double, the CF was playing at one end of the CF fence and the LF was stationed at the other end.  Duffy's ball split the uprights and would have been easily caught in anything close to a conventional alignment.

Buster Posey- 1 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .265.  Giants desperately need Buster's bat to come alive.  He drove in the go-ahead run with a line drive into the LF corner for the 2B.

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 3, 3B, BB.  BA= .256.  Another case where the Padres OF defensive alignment burned them.  Kemp was stationed waaay up in Triples Alley, about where he was on Pence's pop-fly double in game 1.  Crawford burned him by turning on a pitch and driving it to the straightaway RF wall.  Again, the ball kicked away from Kemp and Crawford went all the way to 3B for a 3-run triple.

Jarrett Parker- 1 for 4, HR(1).  BA= .250.  Parker's dinger came in garbage time in the 8'th with the score already 6-1, but can we pleeeease have Parker in the lineup every single game that Pagan is on the DL and just see what happens?  Parker may have helped his cause with Bochy more with a defensive play he made in the first inning than with the dinger.  Matt Kemp crushed one off the top of the LF fence down by the foul pole.  Parker got a good carom, turned and in one motion threw a strike to 2B where Panik put a perfect tag on Kemp.  So, how long have I been telling you Parker has a cannon for an arm?

Gregor Blanco- 2 for 4.  BA= .235.  Roberto Kelly sent Blanco home from 2B on Span's shallow GB single to left in the 3'rd inning.  It did not look like a good decision from the get-go and Kuiper said so on the broadcast as Blanco came down the line.  Blanco looked out and the ump called him out, but the Giants challenged and the replay clearly showed his trailing foot touching home plate just ahead of the tag.

Jeff Samardzija- 6.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 2.54.  Wow!  Great start by Samardzija and you'd have to rate it as below average for what the Giants starters have been putting up. That's how good this rotation has been!

Josh Osich- 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 2.30.  Samardzija got 2 quick outs in the top of the 7'th, but then gave up a single to Alexei Ramirez and walked Christian Bethancourt.  With his pitch count at 105 and 2 LH hitters coming up, Bochy went to Josh Osich.  Osich got a dribbler up the line from John Jay but stumbled in front of Jay while trying to pick up the ball.  Osich was called for interference but once Osich muffed the pickup, Jay was going to beat it out.  That loaded the bases and presented a test for Osich, who is still a relatively young pitcher.  He responded by calmly inducing a groundball from Alexei Amarista to end the threat.

Matt Kemp- Kemp had a rough night and is having a rough series and has obviously lost a step or 3 or 4, but I guess that isn't really news.  The Padres obviously feel they have to cheat him waaaay into Triples Alley, and he just isn't fast enough to cover RF from out there.  Then, in addition to the Parker throw nailing him at 2B on a ball to the LF corner, Kemp hit one of his own into Triples Alley that bounced away from Gregor Blanco.  Blanco stayed after it, hit the relay man(not sure if it was Panik or Crawford).  Kemp looked like he beat the relay throw at 3B, but the Giants challenged.  As soon as Kemp saw the replay on the scoreboard, he knew he was out and the umps confirmed it a few seconds later.  You had to feel a bit sorry for Kemp, but he had no reason to try to stretch it into a triple with his team trailing by 2 runs.

Instant Replay- The Giants have lost some tough challenges this season, but they sure benefitted in this game with Blanco's score at home plate and Kemp's out at 3B.  Both calls had big impact on the game and both got it right.


The Win kept the Giants 4.5 games ahead of the second place Dodgers, who beat the Reds 8-2, in the NL West.  The 3'rd place Rockies lost to the BoSox 8-3 to fall 6 games off the pace.  The D'Backs were pounded by the Pirates 12-1 and are now 7.5 games back in 4'th place while the Padres are 9.5 games behind in last place.


Jake Peavy goes for another sweeeeep of the Padres today facing James Shields in an afternoon game.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Down on the Farm: 5/23/2016

AAA  Sacramento River Cats defeated the Colorado Springs Skysox 4-2:

Jarrett Parker RF- 1 for 2, 2 BB.  BA= .281.
Gorkys Hernandez CF- 0 for 2, 3 BB, 2 SB(7).  BA= .244.
Joan Gregorio RHP- 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 8 K's.  ERA= 3.60.
Sergio Romo RHP- 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 9.00.
Steven Okert LHP- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 4.70.

Joan Gregorio coming on strong.  Don't forget he's on the 40 man roster.  Romo gives up a dinger, but strikes out the side in his first rehab appearance.


AA  Binghampton Mets edged out the Richmond Flying Squirrels 2-1:

Christian Arroyo SS- 2 for 4, HR(2).  BA= .272.
Kyle Crick RHP- 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 4.25.
Tyler Mizenko RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 2.51.
Ray Black RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 7.47.

I didn't look it up, but this seems like Crick's longest start in almost forever.  This was just Arroyo's second dinger of the season?


High A  San Jose Giants topped the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 4-2:

CJ Hinojosa SS- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .349.
Chris Shaw DH- 3 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .323.
Jonah Arenado 1B- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .243.
Brandon Bednar 2B- 2 for 4.  BA= .273.
Martin Agosta RHP- 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 2.11.
Pat Young RHP- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 2.38.
Rodolfo Martinez RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's, Save(12).  ERA= 0.98.


Low A  Columbia Fireflies downed the Augusta Greenjackets 2-1:

Matt Winn C- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(4).  BA= .276.
Miguel Gomez DH- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .337.
Phil Bickford RHP- 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 2.72.
Ryan Koziol RHP- 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 3.20.

Fireflies are the Mets affiliate, formerly the Savannah Sand Gnats.  Bickford now has 50 K's against 10 BB's in 43 IP.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Game Wrap 5/23/2016: Giants 1 Padres 0

Hunter Pence drove in Brandon Belt from first base on a pop fly double to RF in the bottom of the 9'th inning to give Johnny Cueto a Complete Game 1-0 shutout of the Padres.  Key Lines:

Matt Duffy- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .244.  He didn't figure in the scoring, but Duffy showed signs of breaking out of his slump with a seeing-eye hit-and-run GB single in the first inning and hard hit double later in the game.  Now, about getting picked off first base…..

Johnny Cueto- 9 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K's, GO/AO= 16/2.  ERA= 2.38.  All kinds of historic stuff hearer.  Cueto become the first Giants pitcher since Atlee Hammaker in 1984 to pitch 3 CG's against one team in a season.  He became the first Giants pitcher to pitch 3 CG Wins against one team since Rob Knepper and Ed Halicki in 1978.  This was also the first time the Giants have won back-to-back 1-0 games since 1980 when Ed Whitson and Vida Blue were the pitchers.

The only time Cueto came close to allowing a run came in the 8'th inning when he hit Alexei Ramirez with a pitch on the left wrist with 2 outs.  That seemed to shake him up a bit and he gave up a hard single to right-CF to Amarista putting runners on first and third.  That brought up Yangervis Solarte to pinch-hit, but Cueto buzzed a Shuto across the inside corner for strike 3 to end the threat.  Before that, I don't know when I've seen a Giants pitcher on an almost effortless roll like that.  Hitter after hitter, inning after inning, get ahead of the count, induce weak contact, let the defense do the work and keep the pitch count down.  Yeah, that's the way Juan Marichal used to pitch them.  Once again I come back to Juan as the guy Cueto most reminds me of from Giants history, and not just because of their common country of origin.


The Win extended the Giants lead on the NL West to 4.5 games over the Dodgers who moved into 2'nd place with a 1-0 win of their own behind Clayton Kershaw against the Cincinnati Reds.  The Pirates dropped the Rockies into 3'rd place, 5 games behind with a 6-3 win of a makeup game from yesterday's rainout.  More on that later. The 4'th place D'Backs were idle to fall 6.5 games behind while the luckless last place Padres dropped 8.5 games off the pace.


Jeff Samardzija tries to keep the winning ways going tomorrow evening facing Andrew Cashner.


Angel Pagan had to run hard on a groundout in the 8'th inning and really gimped it down the line, especially the last 30 feet or so.  He's going to get an MRI, but from the looks of it, I would say he is headed for the DL.


Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Ryan Vogelsong who was hit in the face by a pitch in the Pirates-Rockies game.  It's a bit unclear why this happened.  The bases were loaded in a scoreless ballgame when he got hit, so it was almost certainly not a purpose pitch.  Just before the pitch, two of the broadcasters were bantering about what advice they would give the Rockies pitcher in that situation and the color guy said, "don't hit him!"  Weird answer, weird coincidence.  Anyway, Vogey reportedly has broken bones in his face and is in the hospital.  Wish him the best and yeah, Pittsburgh is not a good place for him!

Down on the Farm: 5/22/2016

AAA  Sacramento River Cats edged out the Nashville Sounds 3-2:

Jarrett Parker RF- 2 for 4.  BA=- .278.
Mac Williamson LF- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .295.
Chris Stratton RHP- 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 6.02.

With Blanco in a slump, if Pagan and/or Pence have to hit the DL, I would favor giving Parker and/or Mac the bulk of the starts in their place.


AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels topped the Erie Seawolves 6-5:

Austin Slater CF- 3 for 4, 3B, SB(5).  BA= .313.
Hunter Cole RF- 1 for 3, HR(2), BB.  BA= .252.
Tyler Beede RHP- 7 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.68.

Cole is hitting .297 over his last 10 games with dingers in his last 2.


High A  San Jose Giants rolled over the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 6-1:

Steven Duggar RF- 2 for 4.  BA= .296.
Chris Shaw 1B- 2 for 4, 2 HR(10).  BA= .309.
Brandon Bednar 2B- 1 for 4, HR(3).  BA= .266.
Jason Forjet RHP- 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.96.


Low A  Augusta Greenjackets outscored the Rome Braves 7-4:

Jalen Miller 2B- 4 for 5, 2B, SB)2).  BA= .278.
Seth Harrison CF- 2 for 4, BB, SB(6).  BA= .250.
Dylan Davis DH- 2 for 5.  BA= .295.
Michael Santos RHP- 7 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 3 K's, GO/AO= 12/4.  ERA= 3.33.
Connor Kaden RHP- 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 5.22.

Santos pitched better than this line looks.  Through 7 innings, he had allowed 1 run on 6 hits.  He then opened the 8'th by allowing 4 consecutive singles.  Kaden then came in and allowed another hit that drove in 2 inherited runners before settling down and getting out of the inning.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Game Wrap 5/22/2016: Giants 1 Cubs 0

Madison Bumgarner and the Giants bullpen shut down the Cubs offense while Bumgarner himself drove in the only run of the game as the Giants took the 3 game series from the team with the best record in baseball.  Key Lines:

Madison Bumgarner- 1 for 3, 2B.  BA= .154.  Gregor Blanco led off the bottom of the 5'th inning with a walk, and Bumgarner failed to get a sac bunt down(it is widely suspected that Bummy is not highly motivated to get sac bunts down so he can get a chance to hit another dinger).  He swung away on the 2 strike pitch and drove it over the head of LF Jorge Soler.  Blanco, who had been running on the pitch, coasted home with the only run of the game.

Madison Bumgarner- 7.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K's.  Bumgarner loaded the bases in the first inning after 2 were out, but struck out Addison Russell to get out of it and coasted into the 8'th inning after that.  When he walked Anthony Rizzo with 2 outs in the 8'th after throwing 115 pitches, Bochy came and got him.  Cory Gearrin gave up a line drive to Kris Bryant that found Brandon Crawford's glove at SS for the final out of the 8'th and Bummy's scoreless game was preserved.

Santiago Casilla- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's, Save(12).  ERA= 1.93.  First batters are always an adventure with Casilla, especially LH batters and Ben Zobrist put a charge into one that got Denard Span turned around and backpedaling in CF.  Span stayed on his feet long enough to glove it while tumbling backwards onto the warning track.  Casilla blew away Soler and Russell for the final two outs.


The Win enabled the Giants to gain a half game on the second place Rockies, who were rained out in Pittsburgh, for a 4 game lead in the NL West.  The Dodgers won a marathon 17 inning game against the Padres 9-5, to remain 4.5 games back in 3'rd place.  The Dodgers absolutely shredded their bullpen in the process and even used Ross Stripling, who was the scheduled starter for Tuesday, for 3 innings.  The D'Backs topped the Cardinals 7-2 to remain in 4'th place, 6 games behind the Giants while the Last Place Padres slipped to 7.5 games back.


The Padres come to town for a 3 game series starting tomorrow evening with Johnny Cueto facing Drew Pomeranz.


I feel like this was a statement series by the Giants.  Not only did they prove they could recover and win after breaking their win streak, they served notice to the Cubs that the road to the World Series still leads through San Francisco in even years and the Giants can take anybody in a short series, maybe even a long series!


It will be interesting to see if this weekend's series in San Diego, particularly the marathon game today with the burning of Stripling's next start will force the Dodgers front office hand on Julio Urias.  Will we see his MLB debut this week?

Down on the Farm: 5/21/2016

AAA  Nashville Sounds defeated the Sacramento River Cats 4-3:

Ty Blach LHP- 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 3.75.


AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels dominated the Erie Seawolves 9-0:

Myles Schroder 1B- 4 for 4.  BA= .287.
Christian Arroyo SS- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .265.
Tyler Horan LF- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .284.
Hunter Cole RF- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(1).  BA= .250.
Ryder Jones 3B- 3 for 4, 2B, 2 HR(4).  BA= .254.
Ricky Oropesa DH- 2 for 4, HR(8).  BA= .223.
Matt Gage LHP- 8 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K's, GO/AO= 14/2.  ERA= 3.55.
Tyler Rogers RHP- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 0.00.

Huge game for Ryder Jones.  Matt Gage took a no-hitter into the 8'th inning.  Since his disaster first start of the season, Gage has allowed 8 ER in 30 IP for a 2.43 ERA.  He has a 13 inning scoreless streak over his last 2 starts with 12 K's against just 2 BB's.  Major sleeper in the system.  Tyler Rogers extends his scoreless innings streak to 19.2 from the start of the season.


High A  Ranch Cucamonga Quakes edged out the San Jose Giants 4-3:

CJ Hinojosa SS- 2 for 4.  BA= .348.
Andrew Susac C- 2 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .429.
Cristian Paulino RF- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .244.
Mark Reyes LHP- 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 4 K's, GO/AO= 10/1.  ERA= 4.74.

Paulino is hitting .300 over his last 10 games.


Low A  Augusta Greenjackets blanked the Rome Braves 4-0:

Lucius Fox SS- 1 for 4, SB(11).  BA= .216.
Dylan Davis RF- 2 for 3, HR(5).  BA= .291.
Michael Connolly RHP- 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.31.
Tyler Cyr RHP- 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(1).  ERA= 2.59.

Since moving into a starter role, Connolly has allowed just 1 R in 11 IP with 9 K's against 3 BB's.

Game Wrap 5/21/2016: Giants 5 Cubs 3

The Giants got another Quality Start from Matt Cain and this time they gave him enough runs to come away with the Win.  Key Lines:

Buster Posey- 2 for 4, HR(5).  BA= .274.  Buster was hitting .185 over his last 7 games and .175 over his last 15, so this is not a trivial slump he's been in.  Hopefully this is the start of one of his long hot streaks.

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 3, BB.  BA= .260.  This was Crawford's second 2-hit game in 3.

Matt Cain- 1 for 3, 2B.  BA= .059.  Cainer took matter into his own hands and drove a double over Dexter Fowler's head to drive in the first 2 runs of the game.

Matt Cain- 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 5.37.  In his last 3 starts,  Cain has allowed just 4 runs in 21 IP for a 1.71 ERA.  He's struck out 17 with 4 BB's.  I'm going to cautiously say Matt Cain is back!  He gives the Giants 4 starters capable of going up against the other team's best and having a chance to win.

Javier Lopez- 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.   ERA= 4.50.  Lopez may be a lefty specialist, but RH batters are 0 for 9 against him this year after hitting .214 against him last year.  Thanks to Baggs for that little stat, although they mentioned it on the Fox broadcast too.

Santiago Casilla- 1 IP,  1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K, Save(11).  ERA= 2.04.  Casilla fell behind the leadoff batter, Fowler 3-0 and ended up throwing 1 too many pitches over the plate.  With a 3 run lead, it was probably just as well the ball went out of the park so he did not have to pitch to the big guns out of the stretch.


The Win allowed the Giants to remain 3.5 games ahead of the Rockies, who topped the Pirates 5-1, in the NL West.  The big news here is the Dodgers lost again to the Padres 3-2 in 11 innings to fall into 3'rd place, 4.5 games behind the NL West leading Giants.  The 4'th place D'Backs lost to the Cardinals to fall 6 games off the pace while the Last Place Padres remained 6.5 games back.


Madison Bumgarner tries for a series win tomorrow evening in the ESPN game facing Kyle Hendricks.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Down on the Farm: 5/20/2016

AAA  Nashville Sounds edged out the Sacramento River Cats 2-1:

Mac Williamson DH- 1 for 4, 2B.  BA= .289.
Chris Heston RHP- 6.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 4.45.


AA  Erie Seawolves pounded the Richmond Flying Squirrels 6-1:

Chase Johnson RHP- 6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.68.
Ray Black RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 7.98.


High A  San Jose Giants defeated the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 4-2:

Ronnie Jebavy CF- 1 for 4, HR(1).  BA= .238.
Steven Duggar RF- 3 for 4, Assist(home).  BA= .293.
Chris Shaw DH- 1 for 4, HR(8).  BA= .310.
Jordan Johnson RHP- 6 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 2.85.
Rodolfo Martinez RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's, Save(11).  ERA= 1.04.


Low A  Augusta Greenjackets outscored the Rome Braves 8-5:

Lucius Fox SS- 1 for 4, BB.  BA= .214.
Jalen Miller 2B- 2 for 5, 3B.  BA= .259.
Dillon Dobson 1B- 3 for 5, 2 2B, HR(8).  BA= .285.
Cory Taylor RHP- 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K's, GO/AO= 5/1.  ERA= 1.93.

Game Wrap 5/20/2016: Cubs 8 Giants 1

Well, they say all good things come to an end, and that now includes the Giants 8 game winning streak.  If you were looking to predict when the streak might end, this one looked like a great candidate with Jake Peavy facing Jake Arrieta.  The game unfolded true to form as Peavy could not get out of the second inning and that was predictably game over against arguably one of the top 5 pitchers in all of baseball right now.  Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 2 for 3, 2 SB(5).  BA= .289.  Pagan struggled a bit in San Diego, but looked good in this one, maybe the one bright spot in the lineup.

Jake Peavy- 1.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 0 K's.  ERA= 8.21.  Not many silver linings here.  Peavy is a shaver and a nibbler and the ump set a tight strike zone early.  Not a good combination.  He gave up a leadoff single to Dexter Fowler which also is not a good thing against this Cubs lineup.  Then Jason Heyward had the AB that probably set Peavy's fate, 10 or 11 pitches ending with a BB.  Peavy kept trying to shave the inside corner on Heyward and Heyward kept fouling off the strikes and letting the balls go.  It looked to me like a good fading changeup or tailing 2-seamer on the outside corner might have gotten him, but Peavy never threw one of those.  He finally lost Heyward on a 2-seamer that was way inside.  More on Heyward later.  He was able to limit the damage in the first inning, but not before throwing 29 pitches.  When the second inning turned into another high stress inning, Peavy wilted and was completely out of gas by the time Bochy finally lifted him in the second inning, probably 2 batters too late.  It's easy to say in retrospect, but watching the game, I did not think Peavy should face Kris Bryant.  It's not like Peavy was going to go deep into the game at that point anyway and the bullpen had not been used for almost a week.

Derek Law- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 2.70.  Again, Law looked like he was ready in time to face Bryant and that's where I would have made the pitching change, but then, I'm not a HOF manager either.

Albert Suarez- 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, GO/AO= 5/1.  ERA= 0.00.  Another bright spot.  Suarez has now pitched 7 innings in 4 appearances without allowing a run.  If you are looking for a "prospect" who might step up and take a rotation spot by next season, hey, why not this guy?  Look up his last two AAA starts before he was called up.  He's big and strong.  Throws up to 95 MPH, doesn't walk batters and keeps the ball on the ground.  What's not to like here?

Jason Heyward(Cubs)- 0 for 0, BB.  BA= .225.  After wearing down Peavy in the first inning, Heyward made one of the best catches I've ever seen to rob Giants leadoff hitter, Denard Span, of at least a triple.  Span crushed one to Triples Alley and Heyward went what seemed like forever to run it down, then laid out at the warning track with his back completely to the plate catching the ball in the webbing of his glove, almost sno-cone style.  As he sprawled on the track, his head hit up against the padded wall, bending his neck and twisting his torso.  He had to leave the game, but seemed like he escaped serious injury.  Anyway, Heyward totally lived up to his rep as a defensive RF on that play.  For a guy his size to run that far that fast, then make that acrobatic of a catch.  Now THAT is impressive!


Kenley Jansen blew a Save in San Diego for a 7-6 loss and the Rockies lost to the Pirates 2-1 so the Giants remain in first place in the NL West by 3.5 games despite the Loss.  The D'Backs won so they and the Padres each gain a game to 5 and 6.5 games behind the Giants respectively.


Matt Cain tries to keep his improved pitching going and get the Giants back on the winning side of the ledger today facing Jon Lester.


Sad to hear of the passing of Jim Ray Hart at age 74.  I mention Jim Ray Hart in my About Me segment on the left. I also wrote up a retrospective on his career way back when I started this blog.  That entry can be found in the Archives dated Jan. 9, 2010.

I started following Giants games on the radio regularly in 1966, which happened to be Jim Ray's best season with he batted .285 and hit 33 HR's.  Willie Mays hit 37 HR's that year with 36 by Willie McCovey and another 27 from Tom Haller.  Man! How on Earth did that team finish second to the Dodgers?  I'm not sure how many Giants fans these days know that from 1964-1968, Jim Ray Hart had a 5 year run in which he averaged 27 HR's per season.  He had a reputation as a poor fielder and did make a lot of errors, but he also had two seasons in which he participated in 24 DP's from the 3B position and participated in a total of 85 over that same 5 year span.  He started so many DP's from 3B that as a kid, I didn't understand why SS was considered part of a DP combination!  

After 1968, Jim Ray's career fell apart from injuries and rumored alcohol problems.  From what I understand, he spent quite a few of his last years in a care facility.

RIP Jim Ray Hart!  He'll always be one of the great Giants in my mind.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Down on the Farm: 5/19/2016

AAA  Nashville Sounds topped the Sacramento River Cats 6-5:

Mitch Delfino 3B- 1 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .317.
Jarrett Parker DH- 3 for 4, HR(13).  BA= .270.
Mac Williamson LF- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(5).  BA= .290.
Matt Lujan LHP- 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 4.44.
Clayton Blackburn RHP- 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 5.51.
Steven Okert LHP- 2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 5.40.

I have Mitch Delfino pegged as a sleeper in the system.  Blackburn goes back to scratch, ramping up his innings after a paid vacay in Arizona.  Okert's K's and BB's look good, but the 4 baserunners must have been bunched together.


AA  Trenton Thunder rolled over the Richmond Flying Squirrels 12-8:

Myles Schroder LF- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .274.
Christian Arroyo SS- 3 for 5, 2B.  BA= .261.
Austin Slater CF- 2 for 4, 2B, SF.  BA= .305.
Hunter Cole RF- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .242.
Ricky Oropesa 1B- 3 for 5, 2B, HR(7).  BA= .220.
Andrew Suarez LHP- 4.1 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 6.35.
Dan Slania RHP- 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 5.06.
Jake Smith RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA- 5.40.
Ray Black RHP- 0.1 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 0 K's.  ERA= 8.56.

Arroyo breaks out of a slump.  Suarez' line looks like he may have had some bad luck.  Man!  I had such high hopes for Ray Black this season!  Biggest disappointment of the season so far!


High A  San Jose Giants outscored the Stockton Ports 9-4:

Ronnie Jebavy CF- 3 for 5, 2 SB(4).  BA= .238.
Jonah Arenado 3B- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .258.
Aramis Garcia C- 3 for 5.  BA= .293.
Johneshwy Fargas LF- 2 for 4, BB, SB(8).  BA= .183.
Brandon Bednar 2B- 2 for 5, HR(2).  BA= .280.
Cristian Paulino RF- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .231.
Pat Young RHP- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 2.61.

Jebavy is hitting .333 over his last 10 games.


Low A  Rome Braves defeated the Augusta Greenjackets 8-3:

Dillon Dobson 1B- 3 for 4, HR(7).  BA= .275.
Ryan Koziol RHP- 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.47.

Dobson had all 3 of the GJ's hits in the game.

Game Wrap 5/19/2016: Giants 3 Padres 1

 Jeff Samardzija only pitched 8 innings, but they were dominant 8 innings and the Giants offense scratched out 3 runs to run their winning streak to 8 games and complete a 3 game sweep of the Padres and a 7 game sweep of the road trip.  This was the first time a Giants team has swept a road trip of 7 games or more since 1913.  Think about that!  Key Lines:

Joe Panik- 4 for 5, SB(3).  BA= .253.  Panik broke out of his BABIP induced slump.  Despite the 4 hits, he did not record a Run or RBI although he did keep the line moving for 1 of the Giants runs.

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 4, HR(6).  BA= .257.  Crawford's HR was an insurance run in the 7'th inning.  It came after he was in an 0-2 hole in the count.

Jeff Samardzija- 8 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 8 K's.  ERA= 2.66.  All kinds of great stuff going on here.  In his last 4 starts, Shark has 31.2 IP which is 1 out short of 8 full innings per start.  In that span, he's allowed just 5 ER for a 1.57 ERA with 29 K's against just 3 BB's.  In the 8 game winning streak, Giants starters have pitched 60.2 innings which averages out to 7.2 innings per start.  Their ERA over that span in 1.32 with 54 K's and just 12 BB's with 4 of those 12 coming in the first game of the winning streak.

Interesting discussion on the broadcast and Postgame Live about how Shark started the season with a split/forkball which he junked for a circle changeup.  It's still a developing pitch, but he threw it effectively in a few key spots in this game.


The Win, coupled with losses by the Dodgers and Rockies puts the Giants up by 3.5 games in the NL West.  The 4'th place D'Backs were idle to slide 6 games behind while the Padres bring up the rear of true division with a 7.5 game deficit.


The Giants come home to start a tough weekend series against the mighty Cubs with the Cubbies lining  up their top 3 starters for the series.  Jake Peavy takes on Jake Arrieta in the opener tonight.


The Tim Lincecum era is officially over in San Francisco, at least for the time being, as Timmy signed a prorated $2.5 M deal with the Angels with incentives for $1.7 M more.  Is Timmy going to make the Giants regret not re-signing him or is he done?  My best guess is he still has a few good games left in him, but overall will continue the downward trajectory of his career.  His delivery requires the flexibility of a gymnast and how many 30 year old gymnasts have you heard of?  It was a great run while it lasted.  Timmy won 2 Cy Young Awards, contributed to 3 championships and leaves the Giants with the most games with double digit K's in franchise history.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Down on the Farm: 5/18/2016

AAA Sacramento River Cats were idle.


AA  Trenton Thunder rolled over the Richmond Flying Squirrels 2-0:

Adalberto Mejia LHP- 7.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 2.65.


High A  San Jose Giants pounded the Stockton Ports 8-1:

Ronnie Jebavy CF- 2 for 6, 2B.  BA= .225.
Steven Duggar RF- 2 for 4, HR(6), BB.  BA= .286.
CJ Hinojosa SS- 3 for 4, 3 2B, BB.  BA= .359.
Jose Vizcaino Jr 3B- 2 for 5.   BA= .254.
Ty Ross C- 2 for 2, 3 BB.  BA= .283.
Cristian Paulino LF- 2 for 5, SB(11).  BA= .216.
Sam Coonrod RHP- 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 1.35.
Dusten Knight RHP- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 5.09.
Rodolfo Martinez RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 1.10.

Hinojosa is looking more and more like the steal of the 2015 draft.  Once again, the Giants hit on a once highly ranked prospect whose stock dropped.


Low A  Augusta Greenjackets beat the Asheville Tourists 10-2:

Jalen Miller 2B- 1 for 3, BB, SF.  BA= .254.
Dylan Davis RF- 1 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .300.
Miguel Gomez DH- 3 for 4, 2B.  BA= .362.
Gustavo Cabrera LF- 1 for 4, 2B, Assist(3B).  BA= .229.
Logan Webb RHP- 7 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K.  ERA= 4.96.

Webb has a dominant start after scuffling for a couple of games.

Game Wrap 5/18/2016: Giants 2 Padres 1

Hunter Pence's 2-run dinger was the only offense the Giants needed as Johnny Cueto pitched their second CG in succession and the Giants won their 7'th game in a row, 6 of them coming on this road trip.  Key Lines:

Denard Span- 2 for 3, BB, SB(6).  BA= .279.  Span has become an on-base machine with an overall OBP of .378, .515 in his last 7 games, .429 in his last 15 and .419 in his last 30.  The problem for him and the Giants is the 2 and 3 hole hitters are 0 for their last 31.  That seems to be mostly due to a stretch of bad BABIP luck as both Duffy and Panik have approximately league average LD% over that span.

Hunter Pence- 1 for 3, HR(7), BB.  BA= .298.  OK, is it just me or did Pence's towering flyball look like Kemp could have caught it if he had any idea where it was?  It looked like it hit on top of the low fence in RF just behind Kemp who was facing the RF foul line.

Johnny Cueto- 9 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 8 K's, GO/AO= 11/3.  ERA= 2.70.  You know who Johnny Cueto's games remind me of?  Juan Marichal!  The leg kick isn't there, and Juan used to mix up his arm angles while Cueto mixes up the timing of his delivery, but there's the same crispness and efficiency and pace of the game.  The economy of pitches.  Lots and lots of 0-1, 0-2, 1-2 counts followed by soft contact.  When I used to listen to Juan's games on the radio, there was just a different pace to the game and I get that same feeling when watching or listening to Cueto's games.  Love it!

Of course, I have to mention the sensational fielding play to grab a Matt Kemp dribbler up the 3B line and throw him out, but to me the signature moment in the game came on the last pitch of the 8'th inning.  Cueto had just given up a pinch-hit single to Christian Bethancourt and was at 3-2 on the dangerous Myers.  It looked like Cueto might be tiring.  Kruk and Kuip were fretting about Myers laying in the weeds for the next pitch.  Cueto threw it right down the middle…..at 94 MPH!  I think that was the highest velocity pitch he threw all night and he saved it for that moment.  Myers never had a chance.  Blew it right past him!


The Dodgers and Rockies both lost so the Win puts just a bit of distance, 2.5 games, between the Giants and the two second place teams in the NL West.  The D'Backs lost to the Mets to fall 5.5 games back in 4'th place while the Padres bring up the rear at 6.5 games behind the Giants.


Jeff Samardzija has some tall tasks this evening while facing James Shields.  Not only is he trying to keep the winning streak alive, he's trying to complete the sweep and has the last 2 CG's to try to live up to.  You better bet that if he's still around with a lead in the 8'th inning, Bochy is going to have to hogtie him and carry him off that mound!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Down on the Farm: 5/17/2016

AAA Sacramento River Cats pounded the Memphis Redbirds 10-3:

Mitch Delfino 3B- 3 for 5, HR(3).  BA= .316.
Darren Ford CF- 3 for 5, HR(1).  BA= .257.
Phil McCormick LHP- 3.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 4.05.
Duke Welker RHP- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 2.31.

My man, Mitch Delfino, is hitting over .300!  McCormick gets the start.  Is it a spot start or is he being transitioned to a SP?  I always thought he had more of a SP profile.


AA  Trenton Thunder edged out the Richmond Flying Squirrels 3-2 in 11 innings:

Austin Slater CF- 2 for 4, 2B, BB.  BA= .299.
Tyler Horan LF- 3 for 4, 2 2B, BB.  BA= .284.
Jeff Arnold C- 1 for 5, HR(1).  BA= .231.
Kyle Crick RHP- 5.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 4.80.
Tyler Rogers RHP- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 0.00.

Austin Slater is hot.  Crick is taking baby steps with his old San Jose catcher Jeff Arnold guiding him.  Rogers extends his scoreless streak to start the season to 18.2 IP.


High A  San Jose Giants outscored the Stockton Ports 12-5:

Steven Duggar RF- 1 for 4, HR(5), 2 BB.  BA= .279.
CJ Hinojosa SS- 3 for 6, 2B.  BA= .347.
Jose Vizcaino Jr. 3B- 2 for 5, 2B, BB.  BA= .248.
Aramis Garcia C- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .273.
Brandon Bednar 2B- 4 for 5.  BA= .278.
Cristian Paulino LF- 2 for 4, BB, SB(10).  BA= .203.
Martin Agosta RHP- 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K, GO/AO= 7/2.  ERA= 1.65.

Hinojosa should be starting to get some national recognition.


Low A Augusta Greenjackets topped the Asheville Tourists 5-4:

Jalen Miller 2B- 3 for 5, 2B.  BA= .252.
Kelvin Beltre 3B- 4 for 5, 2B.  BA= .245.
Miguel Gomez DH- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .338.
Lucius Fox SS- 0 for 4, BB, 2 SB(10).  BA= .221.
Jean Angomas LF- 1 for 4, 3B.  BA= .215.
Phil Bickford RHP- 5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 2.92.

Proud of the way the kids are hanging in there in a very tough environment.  Can they beat the grind of a full season?

Game Wrap 5/17/2016: Giants 5 Padres 1

Brandon Crawford drove in all 5 runs and Madison Bumgarner was dominant as the Giants cruised to an easy win, their 6'th in a row.  Key Lines:

Brandon Belt- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .311.  Belt had a good game, but the big news was a bunch of players used their day off yesterday to visit the SD Zoo.  They all posed in front of the Giraffe enclosure and the giraffe had his head on Belt's shoulder.  I guess he really is the baby Giraffe!

Hunter Pence- 3 for 4.  BA= .299.  Pence can beat you in so many ways.  Getting on base led to 2 runs, but one of them was a direct result of his speed as he easily beat the throw home, scoring from 1B on Crawford's double to the RF wall.  Not every baserunner does that.

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 3, 2B, HR(5), SF.  BA= .257.  Crawford was hitting 7'th in front of Madison Bumgarner.  The game was effectively over after Crawford's HR off a high fastball that may not have even been a strike.  The ball carried over the CF fence which is no easy feat in that park, even with the shortened fences.  I know the Sabers scoff at the idea of lineup protection, but the Padres seemed to almost be more afraid of pitching to Bumgarner than to Crawford in this game.  Oh, and how great is it that the 5, 6 and 7 hitters in the lineup went a combined 7 for 11?

Madison Bumgarner- 9 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 11 K's.  ERA= 2.45.  The lone run was a leadoff HR by Matt Kemp in the 9'th inning.  Bumgarner has really hit his stride and now has 6 QS's in a row with a 1.71 ERA with 50 K's and 11 BB's in 42.2 IP in that span.


With the Win, the Giants remained 1.5 games ahead of the Rockies and Dodgers in first place in the NL West.  The Rockies topped the Cardinals 3-1 while the Dodgers beat the Angels 5-1 behind Clayton Kershaw.  The D'Backs beat the Yankees to remain 4.5 games behind in 4'th place while the Padres slipped 5.5 games behind in last place with the Loss.


Johnny Cueto tries to keep the winning streak alive tonight facing Drew Pomeranz who has been pitching quite well of late.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Down on the Farm: 5/16/2016

AAA  Memphis Redbirds beat the Sacramento River Cats 5-1:

Jarrett Parker RF- 3 for 4.  BA= .257.
Chris Stratton RHP- 6 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 6.60.
Steven Okert LHP- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.97.

Parker bringing his BA up to a more respectable level to go with all the dingers.  Another uninspiring performance by Stratton.


AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels were idle.


High A  Modesto Nuts topped the San Jose Giants 3-1:

Ronnie Jebavy CF- 2 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .227.
Steven Duggar RF- 1 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .280.
Jason Forjet RHP- 7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 4.40.

Jebavy is hitting .293 over his last 10 games.


Low A  Asheville Tourists edged out the Augusta Greenjackets 3-2 in 12 innings:

Matt Winn C- 2 for 5, 3B.  BA= .315.
Michael Santos RHP- 8 IP, 10 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 5 K's, GO/AO= 10/3.  ERA= 3.02.
Tyler Cyr RHP- 4 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K.  ERA= 2.86.

Santos was helped by some questionable baserunning by the Tourists and a couple of DP's, one on a lineout back to Santos. Cyr was the hard luck loser allowing just an unearned run to end the game.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Down on the Farm: 5/15/2016

AAA  Sacramento River Cats defeated the Memphis Redbirds 4-2:

Jarrett Parker RF- 3 for 4, 2 HR(12).  BA= .239.
Ty Blach LHP- 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 3.57.
Alex Torres LHP- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 2.35.

Parker stays hot.  Blach has a 1.98 ERA over his last 5 starts spanning 30.2 IP.  Alex Torres is the dude who used to pitch for San Diego and wore the hard lining under his cap.  I think he pitched for the Mets last year.


AA  Altoona Curve beat the Richmond Flying Squirrels 6-2:

Myles Schroder LF- 3 for 4, 2B.  BA= .264.
Tyler Beede RHP- 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 3.65.
Jake Smith RHP- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 6.17.

This was Beede's first official QS of the season(he's given up fewer runs in 5 IP several times).  He has a 2.25 ERA over his last 3 starts spanning 16 IP.


High A  Modesto Nuts outlasted the San Jose Giants 4-3 in 14 innings:

Steven Duggar RF- 3 for 6, 3B, BB.  BA= .278.
Chris Shaw DH- 3 for 7, 2B.  BA= .331.
Mark Reyes LHP- 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 6 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 4.78.
Dusten Knight RHP- 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 5.74.
Reyes Maronta RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.38.
Pat Young RHP- 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's.  ERA= 2.89.


Low A Greenville Drive outscored the Augusta Greenjackets 11-10:

Lucius Fox SS- 3 for 5, 2B, 3B, BB.  BA= .240.
Dylan Davis DH- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .295.
Miguel Gomez 1B- 2 for 5, HR(3).  BA= .333.
Beltre(.225), Cabrera(.259), Angomas(.222)- 2 hits each.
Michael Connolly RHP- 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 4.05.

I've said that hitting .220 or better for Lucius Fox would be a successful pro debut.  He's doing better than that so far.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Game Wrap 5/15/2016: Giants 2 D'Backs 1

The Giants avenged an early season sweep by the D'Backs in San Francisco as Matt Cain turned in his second consecutive dominant start to lead the Giants in wrapping up a 4-game sweep in Arizona.  Key lines:

Trevor Brown- 1 for   4, HR(4).  BA= .261.  Brownie jumped on the first pitch he saw from Rubby De La Rosa,who was otherwise unhittable, and sent it over the LF wall for the Giants first run.  Brown now  has 4 dingers in just 50 PA on the season, remarkable for a backup catcher.

Matt Cain- 7 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 5.87.  Rebounding from a disaster start on 5/5, Cainer has allowed just 3 Runs in 15 IP over his last 2 starts with 2 BB's and 12 K's.  Hey!  The Giants finally have a 5 man rotation!

Hunter Strickland- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 3.18.  Strickland came in after Lopes walked PH Phil Gosselin to lead off the 8'th inning.  He immediately got a GIDP and then another groundout.  Inning over!

Santiago Casilla- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, Save(9).  ERA= 1.72.  Casilla got into trouble again with runners at the corners and just 1 out.  He got a DP grounder, but the runner was initially called safe at 1B scoring the tying run.  There were two questions on the play:  1. Did Crawford stay on the 2B bag long enough and 2.  Did Brandon Belt keep his foot on the bag long enough.  Initial replays showed Belt clearly kept his foot on the bag.  2B was more of a question mark.  Coming out of the replay the initial call was safe at 2B and out at 1B, which still would have scored the run.  Turned out the ump made a mistake on the replay call and both runners were actually out.  Game over!  Gotta say, that's a tough way to lose for the D'Backs, but it looked like instant replay got the calls right.


The Win gave the Giants sole possession of first place by 1 game after the Dodgers lost to the Cardinals 5-2 in Chavez Ravine.  The Rockies won again over the Mets to remain to remain in 3'rd place, 1.5 games behind the Giants.  The 4'th place Padres lost to the BrewCrew 3-2 to fall 4.5 games behind the Giants while the D'Backs remain in last place, 5 games behind the leaders.


The Giants get a travel day off tomorrow then start a 3 game series in San Diego with their top 3 pitchers lined up for the series.