Sunday, May 13, 2018

Game Wrap 5/12/2018: Pirates 6 Giants 5

The Giants fought back to a tie from a 5-3 deficit only to fall behind again on a strange series of plays and ultimately take their 6'th consecutive loss.  Key Lines:

Andrew McCutchen RF- 2 for 5, 2 2B.  BA= .254.  Bright spot!  Cutch is hitting .370 over his past 7 games and .333 over his last 15.

Evan Longoria 3B- 2 for 5, HR(8).  BA= .246.  Longoria has been steady at the plate and is on a pace to hit 30 HR's.  On the other hand, he's been shaky at best on defense.  I am not sure if he made a poor play when he failed to get an out on a bouncer into foul territory with runners on 1'st and 3'rd in the 8'th inning or if Josh Bell just made a very heads up baserunning play or both.  With 1 out, David Freese hit bounced a ball that Longoria fielded in foul territory.  Bell broke for home but quickly realized home was Longoria's only option so he stopped and dived back for 3B eluding Longoria's tag.  Once Longoria missed the tag, Bell was behind him and easily got back to 3B. Longoria had plenty of time to throw out Bell at home, so he probably should have broken straight for 3B to cut off Bell's path back to the bag, although his momentum may have prevented him from doing that. Tony Watson hit the next batter to force in the winning run.

Alen Hanson 2B- 2 for 3, HR(4), BB.  BA= .298.  Is it just me or does it seem like every time the Giants have a young players who looks like they will give the team a sustained lift, they get injured?  Every since Joe Panik went on the DL, Hanson has been terrific, looking every bit like the former top 100 prospect he was with the Pirates.  He homered in the 2'nd inning, then limped around to score the tying run in the 8'th inning on Austin Jackson's double.  The game report on called it a hammy "tweak", but from the looks of it, a DL stint is a real possibility.  So, Jarrett Parker, Mac Williamson 2 or 3 times, Austin Slater and now Hanson.  All young players who looked like they were ready to give sustained production, all interrupted by significant injuries.  Well, I guess we don't know for sure on Hanson, but it didn't look good to me.

Austin Jackson CF- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .237.  AJax is hitting .316 over his last 7 games.

Jeff Samardzija RHP- 5.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 6.94.  The dinger bug continues to bite the Shark, but overall probably his strongest performance this season.

Sam Dyson RHP- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's, GO/AO- 2/0.  ERA= 3.12.  Another bright spot.  Dyson's ERA over his last 7 appearances is 1.35 with a 0.90 WHIP.

Tony Watson LHP- 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 2.65.  A weird series of plays but the biggest factor was giving up a leadoff double to Josh Bell then a productive out to Corey Dickerson.  The HBP to drive in the winning run is just inexplicable.


Another bright spot:  The NL West leading D'Backs lost to the Nationals 2-1 so the Giants remain 5.5 games behind in 3'rd place.  The Rockies blanked the Brewers 4-0 and are 2.5 games out of the lead in 2'nd place.  The 4'th place Dodgers lost again to the lowly Reds 5-3 and are 8 games off the pace while the Padres topped the Cardinals and are 10 games back in last place.


Derek Holland tries to finish the long road trip on a winning note today against Ivan Nova.


  1. Dyson being tradeable if the giants fall out of contention would be great.

    1. There are a lot of tradable pieces, unfortunately there are also a lot of unmovable contracts for pieces acquired and signed for very large amounts chasing the elusive 4th championship.

  2. Grumblings from an old man:
    Why are the best 2 teams in baseball are in the same division, with the same record, and 3-3 head-to-head?
    Why are the Pirates so good after trading away their long time All Star and their best pitcher?
    Why are the Giants chasing a last hurrah for Buster Posey like they did for Barry Bonds in the 'aughts?

    1. I've kind of thought the 'last hurrah' was more for Bochy than Posey. Age. Four heart procedures. The cumulative effects of a long baseball career. Going out a winner might be the kind of retirement they're planning for after he finishes out his contract (2019).

    2. I tend to believe it's more ownership's business model of insisting on being competitive every year. No teardown/rebuilds.

    3. You two are more likely right than I, just grumbling, kinda threw that in.
      Let's hope they end this trip on a high note and come back to being competitive.
      I'm afraid the cavalry will arrive too late for 2018.

  3. Longoria: I looked at his FanGraphs defensive metrics a couple of days ago. They're quite the mixed bag and certainly not the stats of a GG 3rd baseman. So I don't really give him benefit of the doubt. What's amusing is that there are quite a few worse...

    Hanson: I turned it off at 5-3 as it was bed time, so I didn't see his injury. As for Hanson himself, I'm liking what he's doing at the plate. Even with a .278 BABIP, he's pushing .300 with a .346 OBP. And while those are Joe Panik-like numbers, Hanson's speed on the basepaths has shot his wRC+ (165) to a territory Panik is not likely to ever match.

    On the flip side, his defense still remains a bit questionable and is definitely not in Panik's league. Panik may not be as fast, but he's got a better feel for what the ball will be doing when it comes off the hitter's bat and makes plays Hanson, with his superior athleticism, just doesn't. Panik also has much better hands.

    Personally, I'd like to see Hanson eventually become a super-utility player and rotate through the middle-infield and outfield. But we'll see.

  4. Bruce Bochy just HAS to have a "leadoff" batter whether he's any good at it or not -- and almost forever the Giants haven't had a good leadoff batter (emphasis on the "almost" -- there have been some, some of the time, just not very often).
    If the role is to get on base and it's nice to be somewhat fast -- faster the better -- and maybe you don't want to waste a "power" guy, but the Giants DO have a player who fits: gets on base, fast enough, and not a "power" hitter anymore, and has fair career numbers leading off (and leading off an inning), AND can stand the pressure!
    Plus he has lousy career numbers batting in the #2, although that's where BB bats him -- and he's doing very well there, but imagine having your leadoff with a .450 OBP and not coming up in the 1st inning with one out 75-80% of the time!
    McCutchen, Belt, Posey, Longoria, (Hanson, Crawford, Sandoval if you want LH), Pence, (whoever isn't somewhere else), and Blanco, if he's playing, batting 8 where he excels!
    Batting order isn't everything but why not start out with the best foot forward?

    1. The argument for McC’s leading off is well-made by Owen Poindexter in The Athletic.

    2. Send Bochy a copy -- can he read?

  5. Hanson day-to-day. Bumgarner to start throwing in the bull pen.

  6. Perhaps the Giants are trying too hard: batters swinging and not taking pitches wanting to make things happen, pitchers missing corners not wanting to give up (big) hits.
    Strikeouts, walks, and even hit batters are skewed against them on both sides of the ball.
    Giants batters are next to last (14/15) in walks received, second-most (2/15) in striking out, and don't get hit often (13/15) which is probably a good thing given their injury woes this year altho hit batters are runners.
    Giants pitchers give up a lot of walks (6/15), have the fewest K's (15/15), and are in the middle (8/15) in hit batters.
    Getting a lot of walks and not striking out much should mean more runners and more runners generally lead to more runs. Logically the converse is true.
    Does this mean the Giants are "pressing" (trying too hard)? Who knows! Considering what they've been through with injuries, being close to .500 may actually be a plus thing, but the last 6 games sure have been a downer.

  7. OK, I admit I know nothing but don't we have 2 young potential future SF OFers, Slater and Duggar, waiting in limbo at Sacramento while we have 3 OFers, Jackson, Blanco, and Hernandez, who are not much helping the Mother Ship, 6-losses-in-a-row being the evidence.
    Are the Giants afraid someone will snatch one of these 3 who don't have options or trade value or a future?
    Give me a break!
    The Giants are keeping 3 players who are negative fielders, negative hitters, with negative future to stand in the way of the future and lose 6 straight games most of which they were blown out of along the way?
    Please, Bobby Evans stand up and say, "I am not an idiot" in order to clear everything up!

    1. Duggar is not exactly setting the PCL on fire, so I can't really criticize the Giants for thinking he needs more salt down on the farm. I admit I don't understand why Slater is not the starting LF while Mac and Pence are on the DL. Hard to believe that extra pitcher is really worth it when it's Jose Valdez.

    2. Duggar was thrown in as a little hyperbole but good D can make up for poor hitting as long as someone drives home a run once in a while.
      In the OF, the Giants don't take away any hits.
      The three aforementioned OFers are not completely without contributions, but a single misplay can lead to multiple runs and I see very little in the way of multiple runs produced by the 3 incumbents.
      Duggar does seem able to draw some walks.

    3. You have to think about Duggar's development too. The bat seems like it might not be ready to stay above water at the MLB level.