Sunday, September 11, 2016

Game Wrap 9/11/2016: Giants 5 D'Backs 3

Angel Pagan drew walks in the 6'th and 7'th innings to start 2-run rallies.  Matt Moore was dominant for 7 innings and the Giants may have found their new closer in Hunter Strickland who earned a 4-out Save.  Key Lines:

Denard Span- 1 for 5, HR(10).  BA= .262.  Span, who has been struggling at the plate, ambushed Zack Greinke for a leadoff HR to start the game.

Angel Pagan- 0 for 3, 2 BB.  BA= .279.  One major criticism of Angel Pagan over the years has been his relatively low walk rate and OBP.   That was not the case in this game with Pagan hitting in the 2-hole.  He battled Greinke for 11 pitches and finally drew a leadoff walk that ultimately proved to be Greinke's undoing.  2 more walks and a hit later, the Giants had the lead.

BTW, is it just me or did Greinke have terrible body language that inning?  I started watching in the 6'th, so I can't say what he looked like in earlier innings, but he was clearly not feeling it in the 6'th.  He took forever between pitches.  He clearly did not want to throw a strike in any count or any situation.  He had 2 extended conversations, one with 2 teammates and 1 with the pitching coach in which he kept nodding his head. I can't read lips, but it sure looked like they were repeatedly asking if he was alright.

Buster Posey- 2 for 5.  BA= .288.  2 of Buster's outs were a flyball to the warning track in CF and a line drive to CF that was caught.

Hunter Pence- 1 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .294.  Pagan started another rally with one out in the 7'th with another walk.  He went to 3B on Crawford's single and Pence came up with 2 outs and runners at the corners.  He poked a Greinke FB that was low and just off the outside corner down the RF line where it caromed around in the corner long enough for Crawford to score the second run from 1B.  Those 2 RBI's proved to be the difference in the game.

Brandon Belt- 2 for 4.  BA= .273.  Belt drove in one of the runs in the 6'th inning by poking a perfect Greinke curveball to the large hole in the left side created by the shift.

Matt Moore- 7 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 11 K's.  ERA= 4.08.  Moore had a sensational curveball that he was able to augment with a 92-94 MPH FB that he threw like a dart at both corners of the plate.  He equaled his career high in K's.  He seemed to get stronger as the game went on, striking out the side in the 6'th and inducing a nice GIDP to end the 7'th.

Hunter Strickland- 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's, Save(3).  ERA= 2.65.  Bochy said the plan was for Strickland to pitch the 9'th.  Bochy brought him in 1 batter early when he had to use Will Smith to strike out Jake Lamb after Romo had given up a solo HR to Welington Castillo.  Strickland proceeded to blow the pesky Brandon Drury away then dominated the 9'th inning.  The hit was a broken bat poke over the head of Nunez by leadoff hitter Socrates Brito.  Strickland started Brito off with 2  2-seam FB's on the outside corner that Brito swung and missed at.  Posey called for the same pitch but 2 inches off the plate.  Close enough that Brito had to swing but far enough out that he was unlikely to make contact and if he did it would be weak contact.  Strickland put the ball right where Posey wanted it, but Brito reached out and poked it over Nunez' head for a leadoff double.  If you were like me, you muttered something about here we go again, but Strickland stood tall and got the next 3 batters with a K, a weak comebacker and a weak liner to Panik at 2B.  Just a guess, but I think Strickland gets the next Save opportunity too.


The Win was the Giants' 4'th in 5 games and evened their record for the loooong road trip at 5-5.  When you figure how close the Cubs games were and the crushing come-from-ahead loss in Coors Field, this trip could have been a whole lot better than 5-5 which ain't bad at all.  The Win also gained a game on the NL West leading Dodgers who lost to the Marlins 3-0.  The Giants now trail the Bad Guys by 3 games.  The Giants also gained a game on the Cardinals who lost to the Brewers.  The Giants now lead the Mets, who won, for the first Wild Card playoff berth and the Cardinals by 2 games for the second spot.


The Giants now come home for a 7 game homestand with 3 against the Padres and 4 against the Cardinals.  Jeff Samardzija gets the ball for Game 1 against the Padres tomorrow night.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome game. Yeah, it looked like it got in Greinke's head when he walked Pagan in the sixth and he couldn't regroup. It would be great if Strickland could be the closer, but lets see how he handles the playoffs and if his accuracy holds up. He is subject to hanging his pitches sometimes for the long ball, even though he has progressed nicely since the 2014 playoffs. If the Giants have a good series at home against the Padres and Cardinals, then the two series vs "The Hated Ones" will be very interesting.