Sunday, July 2, 2017

Game Wrap 7/2/2017: Giants 5 Pirates 3

The Giants got another QS from Jeff Samardzija with the help of several sparkling defensive plays.  Brandon Belt supplied the offense.  The Giants completed their second consecutive sweep and their second of the season to run their win streak to 6 games.  Key Lines:

Brandon Belt 1B- 3 for 4, HR(16).  BA= .235.  Belt made a nice recovery from an 0 for 5. His 2-run dinger was the big blow of the game and put him within 2 of his all time high.  He also beat the shift with a bunt single which he needs to do at least once per game if the situation allows.  On top of all that, Belt made a spectacular running, over-the-shoulder catch of a pop-fly into no-man's land down the RF line that had Kuip and Javy comparing him to Jerry Rice.  Great game by Brandon Belt!

Jae-Gyun Hwang 3B- 2 for 4.  BA= .333.  Hwang is showing he can hit MLB pitching just fine.  He added a very nice sliding catch in foul territory that not every 3B would have made and he made it look easy.  I say, put Hwang out there every day and see what he's got.  Send Ryder back to AAA for some more salt.  I suppose they have to play Nunez some when he comes off the DL just to restore his trade value, but they have got to see what they have in Hwang and it might be something special.

Austin Slater LF- 0 for 4.  BA= .318.  Slater did not contribute with the bat but made a great running, diving catch on a ball hit directly in front of him.  I haven't looked up his UZR, but to my eye, he's playing the best defense in LF since Gregor Blanco which I guess isn't saying much, except I expect Slater to hit a lot more than Blanco.

Hunter Pence RF- 0 for 3, BB.  BA= .260.  Pence was making long runs and diving left and right to rob Pirates hitters of XBH's.  Looking like the old Hunter Pence out there!

Kelby Tomlinson PH- 0 for 0, SF.  BA= .254.  Tomlinson came up with the bases loaded and 1 out and delivered a 2-strike SF to medium depth in CF.  Hey!  It got the run home just as well as if it had gone to the warning track.

Jeff Samardzija RHP- 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 4.54.  Yet another QS for Shark who is drawing some trade speculation.  If the Giants want to compete in 2018, they should not trade him unless the return is huge.

Sam Dyson RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(2).  ERA= 8.31.  Dyson seems to have gotten completely back on track.  He was nasty today hitting up to 97 MPH on the radar gun with a sharp slider to back it up.  Dyson's contract is controlled for a few years.  Giants can use him next year or he might bring back a nice return if the flip him in a deadline trade.  Personally, I think they should keep him for next year.  He's insurance against continuing injuries to Mark Melancon and if Melancon is healthy, he makes a very strong 8'th inning guy and takes pressure off Will Smith who will be returning from TJ.


The Giants get a day off to travel to Detroit where they start a 3 game series on July 4 with Matt Cain facing Michael Fulmer.


More bad news out of Sacramento as Christian Arroyo got hit on the hand in his first game back from getting hit on the hand and suffered a fracture.  He is expected to miss 8 weeks which is pretty much the remainder of the minor league season.


There was some postgame discussion that the Cubs may be interested in trading for Denard Span as an upgrade on a rough season for Albert Almora Jr.  Giants do not have to trade Span so I would hope they would get a nice return.  IDK if Almora alone is enough.  Despite his poor season, he still has a high ceiling and is cost controlled for 5 more seasons.  IDK if the Cubs would give up Eloy Jimenez or Eddy Martinez, both very high ceiling prospects who are struggling a bit in the minors.  Giants tried to sign Martinez as a IFA but the Cubs apparently topped their offer.


  1. Belt: It was funny how they were comparing Belt to Jerry Rice. I was like 'huh?' I kept thinking that basket-catch should have been more to Willie Mays. But I guess you don't touch the Giants Icon.

    Hwang: I know a 3rd basemen that couldn't make that catch. He's hitting .212 for the Red Sox. What was cool was I think he was the furthest away from it (Samardzija & Posey were also going for it) and yet he made the play.

    Slater: I looked up his advanced fielding after he made that catch. It's not that great. But underlying data is incomplete. For example, his RZR is .000. I thought at first, they meant 1.000 and the one didn't show. But because there are a few players with 1.000 in that stat I'm thinking there's a data problem as .000 means he catches nothing. But he's caught all but one in the 60% to 90% catch-rate zone.

    So, for now, I don't trust FanGraphs because their data is looking incomplete on him. So, for me, it's only the eye test. And I like what I see. He gets good jumps. He runs good routes. And even Stat Cast gave him 4 Stars on that catch:

    And you can see the stat cast on his 461' HR (longest of the season so far (for the Giants)):

    Considering everything written about him as a prospect, you'd think he'd never be able to do that.

    1. IF Slater is the real deal, what a difference that makes going forward.
      LF has been a what if since, since, Barry?
      Sure, the platoon was great in 2010, Melky was incredible in 2012, and Sf won regardless in 2014.
      But a real live hitter/fielder/good guy in still the BIG question mark going forward.
      Giants will survive whatever Cueto does -- he might bring something better. And cheaper.
      Blanch will move to a 4, and there's a 5 somewhere.
      Smith will be healthy. Melancon will be healthy. Dyson may be the steal of the decade.
      There are IFers coming, OFers coming, Span and Pence will play less but probably contribute.
      2018 could be an even year in the SF-sense.
      Maybe there are assumptions about Arroyo and Jones and Shaw and whatever Nunez and Cueto bring, but there is no reason that expectations for 2018 should be less than they were for this year.
      And the Giants will have a LFer!
      Maybe Mac and Parker will, maybe they won't, but we could look forward with as much optimism as we had this year, AND a LFer!
      BTW, Shaw is playing LF, also.

  2. In light of your words concerning Tomlinson I thought I'd pass this along from a Twitter post today :-)

    What's the difference between a stick-shift and Kelby Tomlinson? The clutch never wears out.

  3. When Shaw is ready, doesn't it make sense for him to LF and move Slater to Right or Center? And Duggar may be ready to take Center by mid-season 2018. Further, is it time to stick a fork in McParker?

  4. Eloy Jimenez is one of the top prospects in the game. no way they're trading him for Span

    1. Mark Slater,
      I tend to agree with your take that the Cubs would not wish to part with Eloy Jimenez for Denard Span. But I am not completely convinced, for 4 reasons...
      1) If the Cubs have another top prospect that is similar (i.e. 5 tool guy) and plays a similar position (corner OF) - and they do, in Eddy Julio Martinez - they may be persuaded to trade one of them for an immediate need that neither can fill - a bonafide CF Span).
      2) If the Cubs are in a win-now mode (they are) and are fighting off a team from above (MIL) and below (STL) for a playoff spot (and I believe they could be), and there is an obvious option at CF, one who is not a signed beyond next year (that would be Denard Span) who looks to be hitting well this year, they must at least consider who they would move. The Giants played that game in 2011. The Span role was played by Carlos Beltran, the Cub's role by the Giants, the Giant's role by the Mets, and the Elos Jimenez (or Eddy Julio Martinez) role by Zach Wheeler. The Giants waited until the end, but they went for it.
      3) At some point, probably coming soon, the Cubs may come to the realization that they may need to win the Central to make the playoffs (the Rockies, Dodgers, D’backs, Cardinals and Mets are all legitimate contenders for the 2 wild card spots). Can they do that with their current CF situation? Well, all we know for sure is that with what they now have in CF, they are at .500. And .500 will not win the Central, or make the playoffs.
      4) I don’t see another bonafide CF available at the deadline. The only possibility that is plausible is A. McCutchen. And I think the Pirates would be reluctant to trade him – it may take both Jimenez and Martinez to get McCutchen from the Pirates (who would also be reluctant to trade their starting CF to a division rival).
      Span for Jimenez or Martinez – strait up? Perhaps not. Span and another (Parker, Andrew Suarez, Slania, Caliixte) for Jimenez or Martinez? Possibly.

  5. The Giants reach .400 with a win in Detroit tomorrow!
    Still hard to believe they fell so far.
    They're feeling bad in Colorado and Chicago, too.
    Since the Rox swept SF mid June and won their opener against AZ, they've gone from 1st in the NL West to 3rd, losing 10 of 11!
    They are still comfortably the 2nd WC, but if Chicago or St Louis or the Mets get their act together, they could close the gap. Cubs and Cards are definitely in reach of Milwaukee, so they should both be buyers this month. They have gaps to fill.
    Cubs need starting pitching pretty bad. Cueto would become their "ace" over Lester (!) and even Matt Cain is better than what they're throwing out there!
    Hard to believe Mike Leake is the "ace" in St Louis!