Sunday, May 6, 2018

Game Wrap 5/6/2018: Giants 4 Braves 3

The Giants built a 4-1 lead through 8 innings and almost paid for not adding on after the 4'th inning, but Hunter Strickland hung on for their 5'th series win in a row and first series sweep of the season.  Key Lines:

Gregor Blanco LF- 1 for 4, BB, SB(3).  BA= .274.  Blanco started a 2-run rally with a single to lead off the 3'rd inning.  He drove in another run in the 4'th inning on a Fielder's Choice.

Andrew McCutchen RF- 1 for 3, BB.  BA= .246.  Cutch walked and scored a run in the 3'rd inning and drove in another run with a Sac Fly in the 4'th.

Brandon Crawford SS- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .250.  Crawford is a hot hitter, but he did not figure in the scoring in this game.

Alen Hanson 2B- 2 for 4, 2B, 2 E(3).  BA= .321.  Hanson started the 2-run rally in the 4'th inning with a single.  He had 2 errors in the game.  I did not see the first one but the second was on a routine grounder that he simply booted.  Love what he brings to the game, but he'll have to tighten down the fielding if he wants to stick around long term.

Andrew Suarez LHP- 5.1 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 3.06.  Suarez outpitched heralded Braves rookie Mike Soroka.  I watched the from the 4'th inning on.  I thought his command was a bit off, but he was also dealing with a breathing strike zone by the home plate ump.  He was able to rear back and hit 93 and 94 MPH when he needed a bit of extra velocity.  Impressive start for the rook.

Hunter Strickland RHP- 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K, Save(8).  ERA= 2.87.  Well.....THAT was a wild ride!  Strick's stuff looked good, but he clearly did not have his best command.  After a leadoff single by Jose Bautista, it looked like he might settle down with a strikeout of Tyler Flowers.  But then Johan Camargo walked and Kurt Suzuki followed with a hard double down the 3B line.  The pitch Suzuki doubled on was not a terrible pitch and  he did a good job of reaching out and hooking it down the line.  Strick gave up another run to get a second out on a groundball to Brandon Belt.  Ozzie Albies then bailed him out by swinging at the first pitch, popping it up in foul territory for the final out.  Whew! Sam Dyson and Tony Watson pitched scoreless frames in the 7'th and 8'th innings, so there's 2 pitchers who could possibly step up if Strick falters in the Closer Role.


With the Win, the Giants kept pace with the NL West leading D'Backs who defeated the Astros 3-1.  The Giants trail the snakes by 4 games.  The Rockies topped the Mets 3-2 to remain in 2'nd place, 3.5 games out.  The Dodgers lost again to the Padres 3-0 to fall 8 games off the D'Backs pace while the Pesky Padres remain in last place, 10.5 games behind.


The Giants will have a happy flight to Philadelphia where Jeff Samardzija will try to stretch the Giants winning streak to 5 games facing Zach Eflin.


  1. Did it help Strickland NOT to pitch between May 1st and May 6th?
    What kind of rhythm can you have as a closer if you don't pitch for 5 days?
    Bochy is riding a winner but is he managing his bullpen?

  2. When you're hot you're hot and you're hot and don't care whom you play.
    Philly has to be down after a meltdown loss, SF could capitalize even if they have a cobbled staff.

    It doesn't behoove the Giants to sit Strickland for 4 days and expect him to come out sharp. Pitchers got to pitch and watching does nothing.
    Bochy needs a kick in the rear for sitting Strickand all week --
    WTF is he thinking? Or not?

    1. Of all things to be critical of Bochy for, I've got to think his management of Hunter Strickland has be quite far down the list. At one point he used him in 3 consecutive games and he needed a rest. If he uses him in a blowout just to get some work in, then he's unavailable in the last of 3 straight Save situations, folks would be yelling because he used him unnecessarily in the blowout.

    2. Starters sit for the same amount of time that Strickland sat, and yet one expects them to come out sharp and have their rhythm despite their days of looking and not pitching. They of course do throwing in the meantime, with bullpen sessions; but does Anon, with his boot aimed at Bochy’s butt, know what ‘pen pitchers do or what Strickland in fact did? Might Strickland himself know what’s best for him to keep himself ready for his unpredictable role? Might Bochy and Strickland and Curt Young all put together know more about Strickland’s needs than Anon does?

    3. I checked Stricklands stats out of curiosity and he has appeared in 15 out of 34 games which is ok to me. I'm sure that Bochy doesn't want to over use him to keep him fresh for the whole season.


    4. I've read that they're optimistic about Melancon coming back in June as well. A healthy Melancon will only make the bullpen better. If he comes back, should he regain the closer role? Not so sure about that.


  3. Hanson: Both errors were boots. On the first one he got his glove too low under the grounder while charging it and it hit the heel of his glove. It wasn't a terrible error, but was an error. What's funny is that just a couple of days ago I was saying 'watch out Panik' and then he does that. Still, while he needs to tighten up his fielding, he's really doing well otherwise.

    Sandoval: Though he wasn't charged with an error, he couldn't get the handle to make the throw on a smoking grounder he stopped in the first inning which allowed the one unearned run to score in the first. I agree that wasn't scored an error, it was a tough play and he had to rush the throw-attempt without full control of the ball while getting up after laying out to stop it. I can't complain, but I wish it'd had been otherwise.

    Umpire: He had worst strike zone I've seen in quite some time. He was calling strikes on pitches 4" and 5" out of the zone. The catcher even had to lunge to stop one from being a wild-pitch when it went inside to an outside target. Other times legit strikes were called balls.

    Not Giants:

    Yadier Molina took a 101.5 MPH foul-tip to the nuts. He had to get surgery that same day and he'll be out for a month. I feel for the guy and hope like hell it isn't life changing for him, but I have wonder why professional athlete don't wear cups. I started Little League and Pop Warner football at 10 and continued sports and athletics through fencing and competition karate until my late 20s. I never once failed to wear a cup. Accidents happen and getting struck in the nuts can wreck your day...

    Kershaw: Years ago (around 2014 or 2015 Spring Training I think) I read an article that boiled down to which ace would you take to build a new franchise Kershaw or Bumgarner. I was struck by the fact most were taking Bumgarner because while Kershaw was the better pitcher, he was a 'max effort guy' and they projected him breaking down whereas Bumgarner had a low-effort delivery that wasn't likely to break him down. Since the article was written, Kershaw has:

    2014 - Missed 6 starts to injuries. (I think it was a sprain, but I'm not sure.)
    2015 - Healthy
    2016 - Missed 12 starts to back problems.
    2017 - Missed 6 starts to back problems.
    2018 - Has chronic lower-back problems. Has biceps tendonitis and is likely to miss a 4-to-6 weeks.

    Bumgarner has only missed time because of stupidity (motorcycle) and bad-luck (broken-hand on comebacker).

    1. Moses - I'm positive almost without a doubt that all MLB catchers are wearing cups while behind the plate.

      Problem is, with the strength of players these days, things just have more force these days - I have a feeling he got struck and the blow just could not be properly deflected by the cup. It's the same thing with an airbag, if the car wreck is toO heavy, the impact is still going to cause injury even with the force dissipation. I feel horrible for Molina, that guy deserves nothing but the best. I'll meditate on his quick recovery today.

      Thanks for the news update, would not have seen that otherwise..

    2. Interesting take on max effort. In tennis (my game) look at smooth playing Federer, only one injury in his entire career. Then look at max effort Nadal, extreme torque on every shot and he has had multiple injuries and rehabs. In baseball Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver had long careers with smooth mechanics...

      I saw the Molina "highlight" - is that true he was not wearing a cup? I had not heard that angle to the story. I tip my cap to catchers (and punt returners) - toughest specialties in pro sports.

    3. You nailed it! Kershaw is beginning to break down. For 9 years, from his second season until this one, he's averaged over 200 innings even with his back-related injuries.
      The most common cause biceps tendonitis is overuse from certain types of sports activities.
      It came -- it'll probably come back, as his back issues have.
      If he opts out, I would think a new contract would be incentive laden for IP.

  4. Good News - Bad News. Bad news, Cueto has an elbow sprain and will be out 6-to-8 weeks. Good news, no surgery necessary.

  5. The news on Cueto is good in that it's not REAL BAD!