Saturday, May 27, 2017

Game Wrap 5/26/2017: Braves 2 Giants 0

The Giants offense stopped sputtering and went silent reviving the practice of Caining when a certain Giants starting pitcher is on the mound.  Key Lines:

Eduardo Nunez 3B- 2 for 4, SB(13).  BA= .282.  Nunez had 2 of the Giants 4 hits, but go no help from his teammates.  The closest the Giants came to scoring a run was in the 6'th inning when the Braves intentionally walked Buster Posey to load the bases with 2 outs and Justin Ruggiano grounded out weakly to 3B.

Matt Cain RHP- 7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 K, GO/AO- 13/3.  ERA= 4.45.  Cain was solid.  He's become a groundball pitcher.  Unfortunately in the 7'th, a few of those GB's found holes including a single through the left side by opposing pitcher, Garcia.  That drove in 1 run.  The second scored because Brandon Belt's throw from LF hit the lead runner in the legs.  The ball kicked far enough away for Dansby Swanson to score too with Garcia ending up on 2B.  You knew the game was over at that point.  That's how bad the Giants offense looked.


The Giants fell 12 games off the pace in the NL West and 9.5 games behind in the Wild Card race.  I think the Giants can safely start prepping for next season.


Ty Blach takes the mound today facing Mike Foltenewicz.


  1. Baseball, unfortunately, is not chess.
    Chess pieces, the players, are completely predictable, they have no emotion, no free will. Each has a set of moves and will make those moves on command unless blocked by another piece which has been placed precisely in that position with completely ordered moves.
    Although put on the field by management, ball players carry their personal baggage and temperament, their hopes and fears, their highs and lows, and, sadly, their physical impairments.
    Giant management addressed last year's failure with care and thought, assembling a board equipped for the battle. That two of the front line would be self-eliminated, one for the entire season the other for half, doesn't happen to inert pieces that can only be beaten in battle by the enemy. Other key pieces on the Giants' board have had their injuries, and mostly the substitutions have not been effective.
    The failure is on the field by the players themselves, sometimes abetted by faulty decisions, but ultimately the test is of the individual, will he perform as he has in the past? Chess pieces will do what they always do, nothing more in the heat of battle nor nothing less unless hampered by better management for the opposition. Baseball players must rise above the ordinary.
    The disappointment of this season is amplified by our expectations: everywhere (except left field) there was a good answer, a player who had performed beyond average many times in his career. That so many have been struck down by so many injuries is part of it, but the onus lies in the men not doing their job when called upon by a situation. When challenged by difficulty, greatness lifts or mediocrity falters. Our Giants have failed in too many aspects. So often this year, when a game has been on the line, a walk, an error, a mental mistake, a bad pitch, a missed opportunity -- some small thing in the enormity of the game -- derails an otherwise adequate, sometimes excellent, performance.
    Sometimes there is the element of luck, but where it is random, it evens out. Some players seem to create their own luck, good and bad, as in rising to the occasion, or not. We've had too many of the "nots" this year. The Giants would have to be inexplicably lucky to balance this going forward, and nothing suggests this will happen.
    The only thing predictable about the future is its unpredictability. Although the ship cannot be turned on a dime, on a game, but with leadership there is always a chance. It has to come from the players, from the leader, from each rising to their best when fate beckons, not every time but often enough. An individual baseball game affords numerous opportunities for success, only the players can make that happen a fair share of the time, now like 60%! They must rise above the predictability of a chess piece. Ain't gonna happen by luck!

    1. As a long-time Giants/49ers/Warriors fan it's not like I'm not used to losing... What ticks me off about this year is Posey is having an MVP year and will have zero chance since 'winning record' (fair or unfair as you may feel it to be) plays a big part.

  2. I see people posting often about the need for more power bats in SF, and I couldn't agree more. But honestly, how many of those guys really want to play half their games at AT&T Park? It's not exactly hitter-friendly. I guess enough money could seduce just about anyone, but how much is enough? Besides that, we're not like contenders at this point.

    1. It is well known that power hitting FA's don't want to sign with the Giants because of the ballpark. They they have to either grossly overpay, acquire them by trade or draft and develop them through the farm system. Power hitters tend to take longer to develop and tend to have a less smooth transition to MLB. Giants need to be patient with potential power hitters like Mac and Chris Shaw.

    2. Over the past three years LH power has a .55 park factor to deal with in RF. RH power has to deal with .76 PF in LF. And, early in the season, when it's colder and the ball doesn't travel as far, they get even lower. Right now it's .575 for the whole stadium. Meanwhile the ball is carrying like crazy in AZ and they have 71 HRs in their 1.597 PF stadium.

      So while, over the years, lots of people have complained about the power, I think they've never really looked at the splits. Let's look at Posey:

      2010 - 18 HRs, 6 home, 12 road.
      2012 - 24 HRS, 7 home, 17 road.
      2013 - 15 HRs 8 home, 7 road
      2014 - 22 HRs 11 home, 11 road
      2015 - 19 HRs 6 home, 13 road
      2016 - 14 HRs, 7 home, 7 road.
      2017 - 7 HRs, 2 home, 5 road.

      Sample size -- 119 HR 47/119 @ home = 39% For a RH hitter. It's worse for the lefties. So, let's face it, when it's harder for you to hit at your home park than on the road... Kind of sucks. And kind of, to me at least, puts a big hole in the bottom of the 'power-hitter' boat. (This isn't to say 'eschew power.' Rather, power shouldn't be weighted as high in the player skill-set factors as you would if you were in a neutral stadium.)

      Right now I'd settle for a bunch of 15-HR power guys who could .275+ with .330+ OBP. Because, right now, we have two -- Posey & Bumgarner. Our third best hitter, Nunez, is hitting .282 with a .302 OBP and a wRC+ of 82. And only Bumgarner, Posey & Belt have wRC+ over 100.

  3. and not trade them away like they did Duvall...he'd solve both their power and LF issue....

    1. Duvall has blossomed in Cincinnati, that is undeniable. It's not like he didn't have his opportunities in SF showed no sign of breaking out during that time. No front office is perfect and the Giants have made very few major mistakes in trades, so I think it unfair to hold Duvall over their heads.

      Having said that, they do need to be patient with Mac and Chris Shaw who are their two best hopes for future power in the organization.

    2. I wonder what their plan for Shaw is. They signed Belt to a big contract which blocks Shaw from 1st base unless they see him as a future left fielder.


    3. Environmental context is really import. Great American Ballpark is a band-box kind of place. You put Duvall here and his fancy HR totals are likely to take a big hit, just like everyone else's.

      Or, lets just run the comparatives. In 2016 the Giants hit 75 road home runs. The Reds hit 76. That's just a +1 difference. Meanwhile in 2016, the Reds hit 88 HRs at home the Giants just 55 at home. A huge difference of +33 for two teams that, in neutral fields, had nearly identical power numbers.

      And it's not just one year. Already in 2017 the Giants and Reds are both tied with 25 Road HRs. Yet the Reds have 36 HRs at home while the Giants have just 15. Or 2015 -- 55 HRs at home for the Giants, 88 HRs at home for the Reds. Meanwhile, on the road -- Giants 83, Reds 79 giving the Giants +4.

      So, yes, the Reds have 'plenty of power' but it's because the environment favors HRS. The Giants have 'no power' because they play in an environment that destroyers power. Do you really think he'd 'solve' their 'power issue' now? Because without GA Ballpark to help him he's decent power, probably close to Hunter Pence, but he's not likely to be, at AT&T, a 30+HR guy like he is for the Reds.

      So, while he might be an upgrade from Nunez in fielding, and he'd show some power, it just wouldn't be like so many people imagine. Plus he might not have the range for AT&T's out-field. He may have ended up here as a defensive liability with far less power and people would giving him the same treatment Belt gets.

      Fact is, for Duvall, he's in the best place possible for him. AT&T... Probably one of the worst.

      As for the trade... Duvall failed at both 3B and 1B. There comes a time when a prospect has to fish or cut bait. He was blocked at 1st & 3rd with Duffy & Belt and, at 26, getting long in the tooth for a prospect.

  4. Not only do we seem to be approaching a logical end for Hill and Ruggiano here, they do need to try out Hwang and Calixte. Tomlinson has long since proven he deserves playing time. Much as I like Nunes he's not a long-term Giant and should be sent to a contender for a real prospect, probably low-A level. It also kills me to say it but Johnny C. should likely go as well, near the deadline. Arroyo was rushed and should go back to Sac for the rest of the year (Hwang getting a try at 3b). Agree about patience with Mac and Shaw.

  5. A little cherry-picking for what it's worth: if Blanch's horrendous start in Cincinnati is scratched out (why was he left into get pounded - 8 ER in 3 IP --anyway?), his ERA is 2.57; without the bad relief inning in AZ, it's 1.91!
    Eleven appearances (5 starts), 37.2 innings, ERA under 2!
    If Bumgarner came back tomorrow, who would get scratched from the rotation?