Sunday, September 4, 2016

Game Wrap 9/4/0216: Cubs 3 Giants 2 in 13 Innings

Every season, successful or not, has its share of gut-wrenching losses.  It sure seems like the Giants have produced more than the usual number this season.  Today's game will undoubtedly rank fairly high on the Gut-Wrench Index in a season which seems destined to go down as a season remembered for gut-wrenching losses.  You had to know deep inside how this one was going to turn out as soon as Santiago Casilla blew his 7'th Save of the season, but did they really have to prolong the agony for another 4 innings?  Key Lines:

Johnny Cueto- 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 2.92.  Cueto pitched great but his innings were a distant memory by the time this one was settled.

Santiago Casilla- 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 3.27.  Bochy said Casilla threw well.  I saw it differently watching the TV broadcast.  Yes, he threw hard, but had marginal command of the FB and none whatsoever of the hard curve that has been his go-to pitch a lot this season.  Approximately 90% of the curveballs he threw either hung out over the plate or else were so far out of the strike zone as to be "easy takes" as Kruk likes to call them.

To put it simply, Casilla cannot be trusted to save a 1 run lead, period which makes the Giants somewhat less than a playoff caliber team as long as he stays in the role.

Steven Okert- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 4.70.  Maybe it was BABIP luck but Okert dispatched the Cubs on 6 pitches in the 11'th inning.  He had been pitching a lot better in his last 4-5 appearances for Sacramento before his callup.

Joe Nathan- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 0.00.  I wasn't watching by the time Nathan came in, but he reportedly was hitting 92 MPH with the FB with good command.  He could be the closer before we're done with this season.


The Dodgers topped the Pathetic Padres 7-4 to expand their lead over the Giants in the NL West to 3 games.  The Giants lead over the Cardinals for the first Wild Card playoff spot shrank to 1.5 games.  They lead the Mets by 2.5 games for the second Wild Card spot.


The Giants move on to Coors Field where Matt Moore will face Chad Bettis tomorrow afternoon.


  1. It's amazing that the Giants were in a position to split considering their BA in the series being a putrid 106! Yeah Casilla blew it in the 9th, but the offense should share part of the blame in this lost series too.


    1. Agreed. 6 baserunners in 13 innings is quite pathetic, but a 1 run lead in the 9'th inning should give you a 90% chance to win and the Giants aren't close to that this year with Casilla closing.

    2. I was at the game, sitting so the pitcher-batter face-off was directly in my line of sight down the third base line. This isn't a better view than one gets from the broadcasters' booth or TV cameras, but it is different and pitcher-focused. Casilla, from where I sat, looked like the weakest of the great parade of Giant pitchers: I wasn't surprised to see him get hit, apart from my expectations (= fears) when he took the mound. Nathan looked wholly in control; I hope he takes over the ninth.

      Note: looking down the third-base line is delightful for getting a full sense of Aroldis Chapman's velocity.

  2. Simply put, if the bats don't wake up its over. Casilla is not closer material, never has been. He always looks like he is about to have a nervous breakdown ( Or I am.) when he is on the mound. He doesn't have the mental makeup. Like Strickland doesn't have the accuracy. Belt is going to be a player that disappoints a lot, while playing good enough at times to give us hope. I am starting to wonder if Posey is going to have a Fred Lynn like career and that 2012 will have been his peak year. Don't get me wrong, Posey is way better than most catchers, but at the cost of his bat not being one of the best anymore. The Giants need a dangerous game changing bat in its lineup, because there isn't one on the Giants this season.

  3. Casilla is running at his usual low-80% save rate. I've wanted him gone for years now. And, in replacement, I'm not looking for something unrealistic. Find a high quality guy that hovers at 90% and I'll have nothing to say. I'm perfectly happy with a 90% success rate because I know it's hard, it's high leverage and you're just not going to win them all. But 7 blown saves and 4 losses... That's tough on a team that wants to make the playoffs and, once in, advance.

    But it's also true that the offense is really struggling so there's a lot of fingers to be pointed in the second-half collapse and we can't blame Casilla for everything.