Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Game Wrap 4/4/2018: Giants 10 Mariners 1

Bruce Bochy shook up the lineup a bit and go immediate results as the Giants bats came alive in a route of the Mariners.  Key Lines:

Joe Panik 2B- 0 for 2, 2 BB.  BA= .381.  A walk is as good as a hit from the leadoff position.

Brandon Belt 1B- 3 for 4, HR(1), BB.  BA= .353.  Huge game for Belt.

Pablo Sandoval 3B- 1 for 4, HR(1), BB.  BA= .333.  Pablo gets the start at 3B, curiously the day after Longoria broke his slump with a dinger, but Pabs picked up where he left off last year with a splash hit dinger that drove in 2 runs.  He also drove in a run with a BB.

Brandon Crawford SS- 2 for 4, HR(1), SF.  BA= .250.  Crawford struggled a bit while facing 4 LHP's in his first 4 games.  Today was better.

Gorkys Hernandez CF- 3 for 4, HR(1).  BA= .500.  Gorkys makes the most of his opportunity.  He led the league in AB's without a HR last year with 348.  According to Alex Pavs, Gorkys has added 10 lbs of muscle and had healthy wrists after spending all of last season recovering from hamate surgery.

Johnny Cueto RHP- 6 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 0.69.  Cueto twisted his ankle in the 3'rd inning trying to field a Dee Gordon bunt.  He stayed in the game and pitched effectively for 4 more innings.


The Win left the Giants in 2'nd place, 2 games behind the Dangerous D'Backs who savaged the Dodgers in a 3 game sweep capped by a 3-0 shutout by Patrick Corbin today.  The Bad Guys are now 2-5 and 3.5 games behind the D'Backs in 4'th place.  The Rockies topped the Padres 8-4 and are in 3'rd place, 2.5 games behind while he Pathetic Padres bring up the division rear at 1-5, 3.5 games behind.


The Giants get a day off at home before starting a 3-game weekend series against the Dodgers with Derek Holland facing Kenta Maeda.


  1. I'm hoping the Giants keep their hitting going against the Dodgers. It'd be really nice to put them in a hole this early in the season.

    1. Definitely! 2-5, wow, we can put a big hurt on them by winning the series.

      But with rain expected to rain out Friday, it might become a two-game series, so it might be another split, plus that would kill the Blach-Kershaw rematch (missing Kershaw is always a good thing, though...).

  2. Panda had a great Spring. He came to Arizona trimmer, hit well all ST, and displays a good attitude. That Bat belongs on the lineup and not on the bench. What to do? Put Belt in LF and Panda at 1B?

  3. I think Sandoval is going to push for more playing time sooner than later. They are going to need his bat.

    Billy Baseball

  4. Juggling the line up had nothing to do with scoring runs, the lack of command by the pitcher was the cause.

    Crawford is 5 for 14 against LHP this season, that isn't struggling. Was he 0fer against Gonzalez and Hill, sure. Before yesterday he didn't have a hit against a RHP at all (according to Fangraphs).

    It is a good thing Pablo is right back where he left off last year (only hitting LH) because he would be atrocious otherwise.

    The first time this team beats the Dodgers any way that isn't a fluke will be the first time I think this team will be .500 at the end of the season.

    Thanks for the fantasy baseball tips.

    1. I get why people think the Giants are not even .500, but I think the Giants are at least .500, if not Wild Card competitive, even with the injuries.

      First, I think people are underestimating how good the offense now is with Longoria and McCutchen. We only had three good hitters last season, Panik, Posey, Belt, the rest underperformed overall. Adding two good hitters increases the odds of offense greatly being generated. It eliminated two holes in our lineup that we had at 3B and LF. Plus Crawford appears to be returned to his prior increasingly good hitting.

      And the bullpen has been reinvigorated with having a lefty who can get outs against either side with Watson, much like when we had Affeldt, and hopefully Smith returns to his prior performance level and give us two of them in the bullpen.

      And further strengthened by the maturation of Strickland. Perhaps his bonehead rhubarb that ended Morse's career finally made him grow up? In any case, he added a great new pitch with Smoltz's tutoring, and seems like a different guy on the mound now, the closer-in-training that was advertised appear to finally be here, and just in time, as Melancon continues to suffer from health issues. Moreover, his career ERA with the Giants are mid-2's even without a better pitch, so if he does only what he did before, we'll be fine back there.

      Even with Melancon is out, we are set on the back end, Strickland in the 9th, Watson in the 8th, Dyson in the 7th. People point to his so-so ERA from last year, but a reliever should be rated more for his run-less outings, and so far in his Giants career, 32 scoreless appearances out of 40, or 80% of the time, which is pretty good. His ERA was the result of his problem last year of when things go bad, they go from bad to worse, giving up a lot of crooked numbers.

      But that happened to him more because he was our closer, with no one to back him up. Now as setup, Bochy can bring in Watson sooner, or even bring in Gearrin, who has been great for the Giants as well, and probably could handle the 7th for us as well, which should give us pretty soon five good to great relievers in Strickland, Watson, Dyson, Smith, and Gearrin, out of 6. That's a darn good bullpen, hopefully Melancon can add to that, or maybe Osich, though Moronta and Johnson are making cases for that last spot as well. At minimum, might have a yo-yo in that last spot (if Melancon is out), just to try out guys or rest them when they are tired.

      Lastly the rotation. Most teams have an ace, a good second, an okay middle rotation guy, and two back end starters. Right now, Cueto is that ace, Samardzija will soon be that good second, and Stratton, Blach, and Holland so far look like they can split the okay middle and two back end starter roles. So I think the rotation is fine with our good offense and bullpen, until Bumgarner comes back and super charges our rotation again.

      And right now, the Dodgers does not appear to be running away with things again, and I don't expect the D-backs to either, they are good but not THAT good. Neither are the Rockies, both have had some Pythagorean luck so far, getting an extra win (of course, one could say the same about the Giants on that end). I think the Giants can hang near the division leader all season.