Sunday, April 22, 2018

Game Wrap 4/22/2018: Giants 4 Angels 2

The Giants got an epic, record-setting AB from Brandon Belt, among other things, and a scintillating pitching performance by Johnny Cueto and hung on to beat the Angels for their first series win of the season.  Key Lines:

Joe Panik 2B- 3 for 5.  BA= .276.  Panik had been slumping.  In fact, he was just 1 for his last 19 coming into the game.

Brandon Belt 1B- 3 for 5, HR(5).  BA= .288.  OK, here we go.  in the first inning, Brandon Belt set a major league record for Pitches Seen in 1 AB, 21.  That's right, he had a 21-pitch AB!  It ended with an out, but it was a lineout, so he made solid contact after that battle.  He also had an 8 pitch AB later in the game.  Oh, and he hit a dinger in his 4'th consecutive game.  Belt is hitting .360 in his last 7 games and .308 over his last 15.  I think it's time to stop carping about his caught looking episodes!

Evan Longoria 3B- 1 for 5, HR(4).  BA= .243.  OK, here's the deal.  The Giants loaded the bases in the 3'rd inning with no outs.  Buster Posey hit into a GIDP and it looked like they might come away with just one run to show for it.  Up stepped Longoria and picked up Buster big time with a 2-run blast which enabled the Giants to come away with a 3-run inning which is a whole heckuva lot better than 1.  Longoria is hitting .407 over his last 7 games and .305 over his last 15.

Johnny Cueto RHP- 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 0.35.  As I said, another scintillating performance by Johnny C.  A 0.35 ERA!

Reyes Moronta RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 0.75.  Future Closer?

Cory Gearrin RHP- 0.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 6.43.  Gearrin is just not an effective pitcher right now.  Maybe he needs to cut his hair and and beard?

Tony Watson LHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 0.93.  Watson has looked like a major bargain so far.

Hunter Strickland RHP- 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(3).  ERA= 2.00.  It was a roller-coaster ride with a 1-out single, a very loud out to RF by Kole Calhoun, another single and finally a flyout by Ian Kinsler to end the game and the Save.


With the Win, the Giants remained in 4'th place, 6 games behind the NL West leading D'Backs who topped the Padres 4-2.  The Rockies lost to fall 4 games behind the Snakes in 2'nd place.  The Dodgers edged out the Nationals 4-3 and remain 4.5 games behind in 3'rd place.  The Padres bring up the rear, 8 games back.


The Giants come home from the 3 city road trip to a 3-game series against the Nationals starting tomorrow night with Chris Stratton facing Gio Gonzalez.


  1. Belt on one of his streaks - I back Belt. He swings a potent bat and has not reached his potential - which is as a 30 HR hitter. Delighted to see him producing. Jackson did not start today - I wonder if he will hit the DL so that Slater can be called up.

    1. He's already shown that. One of the baseball websites did a study on Belt. Basically, if he wasn't at AT&T, he'd hit close to 3x the HRs at home that he does. But AT&T is built in such a way that it destroys his power-potential.

      OTOH, you give him an average number of ABs at a neutral park, he's shown 35HR power.

  2. Belt saw 38 pitches in his first 3 AB.

  3. Barria threw 49 pitches in the 1st and didn’t allow a run. That’s gotta be a record as well.

    Good on Belt. I’m from the naysayer camp, but the guy is sight to behold when he gets hot.

  4. Belt: That was EPIC! And, intended or not, a big F.U. to those complaining about the three balls he took as called strikes. Also his 4th HR in 4 games and that 3-6-1 DP to rescue Cueto... Sweet, sweet day for Belt.

    Cueto: I loved his little dance of excitement after the 3-6-1 DP.

    Gearrin: When he came in, I was AFK so I didn't hear who it was.... But his interesting wind=up where he double-taps his glove with the ball hand gave him away. He was pretty terrible in his appearance yesterday and I thought he was going to give it away.

    Strickland: I like him, but I've come to the conclusion he doesn't have closer stuff. Lot of velocity, but average movement. And since hitters are getting better and better at hitting high-velocity FBs with all that launch angle and fastball camping... His average movement isn't going to serve him well in a closer role.

    Moranta: Like Krukow said -- one more movement pitch and he's a closer.

    BTW, there was a bit of a dust-up over Cole's (Astros) sudden and miraculous increased spin rate. With some accusations that he might dabbling in pine tar to increase it. Which got me to look at the Giants and their spin rates (2261 is MLB average and the higher the better):

    High quality FBs (none are in the elite category):

    Samardzija -- 2536 (near elite)
    Stratton -- 2453 (exceptional)
    Moranoto -- 2464 (exceptional)
    Johnson -- 2327 (above average)
    Strickland -- 2386 (above average)

    Average FBs

    Law -- 2187 (average)
    Osich -- 2275 (average)
    Beede -- 2223 (average)

    Poor FBs:

    Suarez -- 2005 (below average)

    We have nobody (numerated at least) that's in the 'bad' category (under 2000). Also, I can't find these because Giants only give one pitch type and I don't know where to find the spin rates beside at MLB.


    I don't know the spin rate data for sinkers, knuckle-curves etc. THough Melancon was the #1 knuckle-curve guy before he got hurt with a vertical drop 10" better than the worst knuckle-curve guy.

    Anyway, there's more to pitching than just that. Gearrin, for example, is a slider pitcher. WHen it's working, it's elite. Law's spike-curve, when it's on, is unhittable. Samardzija, despite the elite spin-rate is good for one or two in the wheel-house every game and, too often, he pays for it.

    1. Use this for other pitch types:

      It is weird in that you need to select one pitch at a time if you want to combine some.

      Look at this:

      This gives top curveball spin rates: Stratton is elite, 4th out of 244 pitchers with at least 25 pitches.

      He is only 25th in wOBA but at .188, that's a great result for a pitcher (scaled to OBP, average for majors is around .320-.330, from what I recall):

      Happy exploring!

  5. Longoria has been great since going on the long road tirp, he just stunk at home, for the most part early. Hopefully he can continue this at ATT.

    I still don't get the Belt hate, seems similar to the hate Snow used to get as an "underpowered" first baseman, but Belt has the power, it is just muted by his home park. Panik too is greatly affected, he had 10 on the road last season, zero at home.

    Maybe he gets hot and cold like people complain - I haven't investigated it - but the fact is that his batting line is among the best in the majors, and he hits LHP almost as well as RHP when you remove Kershaw from his LHP stats, which is what you want from hitters, consistency no matter what side he is facing.

  6. This will be an interesting 10 game home stand. It would be ideal to finish at least 6-4 (win the two 3-game series, spit the 4-game, at minimum), nice to go at least 7-3. The key will be the offense showing up more consistently, which it has not this season, the pitching has been okay considering our top 3 SP did not make every start they could have, due to injuries.

  7. I like tonight's lineup - has Mac batting sixth behind Belt. Nice pop with those two back to back. I have good vibes about game tonight.