Sunday, September 18, 2016

Game Wrap 9/18/2016: Cardinals 3 Giants 0

I'm not sure what is more disheartening, seeing your favorite team lose a game on a Blown Save or seeing them get dominated by a rookie pitcher who you quickly realize is going to dominate the entire league for years to come.  That second one is what happened out at AT&T Park today as Alex Reyes, a  BA top 10 preseason prospect and #2 midseason prospect pitched 7 innings of shutout ball aided by a couple of relievers who mopped up.  Key Lines:

Albert Suarez- 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 4.16.  New Stat:  5'th Starter Quality Start= 5+ IP, 3 runs allowed or less.  Suarez pitched another one of those today.  Unfortunately, he would have had to pitch a CG shutout just to stay even through 9.

Cory Gearrin- 2 IP 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 4.15.  …..and Gearrin wouldn't have been a better option against Yadi Molina last night than Casilla?

Matt Cain- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 5.56.  Cain has been dominant in 2 1-inning relief appearances since coming off the DL.

Alex Reyes(Cardinals)- 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 1.03.  Holy Moly!  Am I envious of the Cardinals who have this guy for the next 6 years, at least!  He's the perfect height for a pitcher, 6'3", incredibly strong body, Mid-high 90's FB with movement, plus fading changeup mid-80's, solid hard curveball.  He still could use a bit better command, but no doubts that will come.  Easy, easy heat.  He just didn't look like he had to put much effort into it.


The Dodgers lost to the D'Backs 10-9 in extra innings to remain 5 games ahead of the Giants in the NL West.  The Mets won to move 1 game up for the first Wild Card playoff spot.  The Giants lead over the Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot is down to 1 games.


The Giants head south for a 3 game matchup against the Dodgers with Madison Bumgarner facing Clayton Kershaw in game 1.


  1. This series seemed to involve 2 teams that want to be put out of their misery, and both teams didn't cooperate splitting the series!

    No matter what happens it's been a disheartening 2nd half, but hey its comforting to think back to the 3 WS championships this decade and there is still hope for next year if the right moves are made.


  2. Living in St. Louis I hear about Reyes all the time. His command may have been spot on (for him) last night, but over all it has been weak. He had a 4.96 ERA in Memphis before the call-up with huge pitch counts and 4.4+ BB/9 this season. The talking heads were hoping the Cardinals could get 5 innings without too much damage out of him since the option was Garcia who is full melt-down mode.

    So this result was entirely unexpected by me.

    1. Local talking heads tend to be harder on prospects who they perceive to be less that perfect. The tendency is to dwell on what they aren't doing as opposed to what they are doing. Did those same talking heads say anything about his K rates of 12-13/9 in the minors or his K rate of 10+ in the majors? I mean, you can be sure BA was not ignorant of his BB rates when they named him as the #7 overall pre-season prospect and the #2 midseason prospect this year.

    2. Oh, yeah. They gushed about his upside, too. His incredible FB and his high K rates. He's a got three good pitches (FB with great movement, a change up and a curveball plus he's working on a slider).

      But it's not just the radio guys, even Jen Langosch, who is the Cardinals 'reporter' for both & the Cardinals main website is interviewed at least 2x a week during the season, on ESPN 101.1, was down on his chances for this season. She has been pointing out, for months, that he his pitch counts in Memphis were really, really high (along with his walks) so he was struggling to get out of innings and making it more than 4 or 5.

      Now, of course they're all happy. But they were all worried and not expecting this kind of performance as a starter. In fact, he's been more efficient in the MLB than the average MLB pitcher coming in about 15 pitches per inning instead of about 16.

  3. Reyes did look really good. Giants bats fell flat again when they had runners in scoring positions. Once again stating the obvious, the Giants need more power in the lineup. I know getting a BB is good, but couldn't of Belt at least attempted to drive in a run when he had runners in scoring position. I mean he is hitting in the middle of the lineup. Krukow always said the first run is the hardest in a game like that, and it might have opened the gates a little. Hopefully the Giants go into this series against L.A. charged up and ticked off, because this series could be the backbreaker. That said, its the battle of the big dogs! MadBum VS Kershaw! Go Giants! Beat L.A.!

    1. I saw that AB and I don't think Reyes and the Cardinals were going to give Belt anything close to being hittable in that situation.

    2. Yeah, your probably right. If there was at least one more hitter capable of hitting around 20 round trippers, he would have been protected and probably would have had better pitches. I'm just critical on Belt and sometimes Posey because I want them to succeed. I just hope that last Saturday's didn't get in the Giants heads.

  4. This is a team filled with guys who are afraid to swing the bat. If the pitch isn't down the middle of the plate they are more than likely to take it or not get a good swing off. You have to have either some aggressive hitters mixed in with the patient ones or take an aggressive approach with you to the plate every once in a while. This might actually be Hensley Muellens fault a little for once. As a hitting coach you have to have a solution for a pitcher who doesn't go behind in the count 2-0 every hitter. They should be looking for outside at the knees first pitch and driving it the other way. It seems like everyone except for Pence and Nunez is hoping to not see a strike their entire at bat and let the guy behind him do the heavy lifting. Something will need to change with this offense so we can start blaming games on the bullpen again or I think Hensley could be looking for a job at the end of the season. How long is Bonds contract for in Miami???

    1. OK, let me set you straight on this because you are demonstrably wrong. All you have to do is take a little trip over to Fangraphs and look up a few secondary stats to prove the Giants are not trying to take walks or are afraid to swing the bat"

      1. Yes, the Giants have the 4'th highest BB% in MLB.

      2. They also have the 2'nd LOWEST K%.

      3. They swing at the 6'th lowest percentage of pitches outside the strike zone.

      4. They swing at the 5'th HIGHEST percentage of pitches INSIDE the strike zone!

      THAT is NOT being afraid to swing the bat and it is NOT looking for walks! It's called damn good hitting and damn good plate discipline!

      Man, I remember years and years of bitter complaints from fans about the Giants poor plate discipline(Bonds excepted, of course). Hensley Meulens is the first hitting coach in my memory who significantly improved that. Instead of firing him, Bam Bam deserves a nice long extension.

      If you are looking for a statistical reason for the Giants poor offensive performance, look no further than their very low SLG% and IsoP's. Some of that is due to park factors, but they need more power in the lineup, simple as that.

  5. Another possibility from trying to "leave it to the next guy" is trying too hard.
    There are, supposedly, clutch players who can dial it up in pressure situations (Bonds?), but I always wondered why would anybody (Bonds especially) not try every time?
    The team batting average is down Post ASG to Pre, the ERA is up. Neither a lot different (0.3 runs, .015 points) but both are in the wrong direction. Obviously there is more to winning baseball games than BA and ERA, but those are easy to look at and MLB does most of the work that EXCEL can finish.
    I won't quote Einstein again because it doesn't take a genius to know if you're hitting worse and pitching worse, you're more than likely to do worse.
    Like getting shutout and crashing another close game in the 9th.
    I don't think it's a matter of "letting the next guy do it" because a "pro" wants to be "the guy" who does it and the Giants didn't become a coterie of amateurs on July 15th. Maybe they were "over" confident going into San Diego and lost 3 by a total of 6 runs, then a tough trip to Boston and NY which didn't cure anything but maybe the WALL was too inviting and Yankee Stadium too intimidating, and SF didn't get well. The PRESS began?
    Meanwhile, the manager showed that he isn't a genius every year.