Sunday, July 8, 2018

Game Wrap 7/8/2018: Giants 13 Cardinals 8

Madison Bumgarner was not his sharpest self and the bullpen was less then stellar, but the Giants offense awoke from a deep slump to outscore the Cardinals in a high scoring affair to split the 4 game series.  Key Lines:

Steven Duggar CF- 2 for 6, 2B.  BA= .333.   Duggar looked a bit lost in the first 3 AB's of his MLB debut, but started a 5-run rally in the 6'th inning with a sharp line drive double to R-CF and added another hit later in the game.  We'll call this a successful debut!

Andrew McCutchen RF- 3 for 6.  BA= .262.  Cutch was stinging the ball for 3 hits.

Brandon Belt 1B- 2 for 3, 2B, 2 BB.  BA= .300.  Belt's double was hit clanged off the bricks in RF so hard it bounce all the way to Tommy Pham in CF and Belt had to settle for a double on a ball that looked like it might have triple possibilities.

Pablo Sandoval 3B- 3 for 5, HR(8).  BA= .257.  Pabs made several scintillating plays at 3B, one of which jammed his left thumb which had him rubbing it for the rest of the half-inning raising concerns that he might have a serious injury.  He allayed those fears in his next AB with a smash to right with 2 runners on base which would have been a clean splash hit were it not for the ball bouncing off the top of one of the water cannons on the arcade.  Pabs added a 2-run single to the opposite field later in the game for a 5-RBI game.  This game broke him out of a 1 for 17 slump.

Alen Hanson 2B- 3 for 5, 2B.  BA= .284.  With this game, Hanson is 8 for 26, BA= .308 in 8 games this month.

Gorkys Hernandez LF- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .279.  Gorkys has been scuffling a bit at the plate but had 2 nice hits in this one.  He may have solved Bochy's playing time issues, but not in a good way, as he had to leave the game after a 2-run single due to a tight calf.

Madison Bumgarner LHP- 5.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 6 K's, GO/AO= 6/2.  ERA= 3.09.  Bummy didn't have this best stuff or command which Kruk and Kuip commented on.  The offense picked him up in this one.

Reyes Moronta RHP- 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 1.86.  Moronta seems to be the high leverage pitcher right now, the guy Bochy brings in when he needs to get out of a jam.  Moronta came in with 1 on and 1 out and blew away 2 batters to get out of the 6'th with a 6-4 Giants lead.  I'm thinking Moronta is going to be the Giants Closer before the end of his career.

Ray Black RHP- 0.1 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 81.00.  I would say this was not a successful MLB debut.  I missed Black's appearance due to a work related obligation.  Any scouting reports out there? Black had a rough AAA debut too, but then really settled down.


The D'Backs, Dodgers and Rockies all lost so the Giants now trail the 3'rd place Rockies by percentage points, 3.5 games behind the NL West leading D'Backs who lead the Dodgers by 1 game.  The Padres remain in last place, 11.5 games off the pace.


The Giants start a 3-game series against the Cubs tomorrow evening with Andrew Suarez facing Kyle Hendricks.


The Giants made a significant trade early in the day which led to the call ups of Steven Duggar and Ray Black.  They sent OF Austin Jackson and RHP Cory Gearrin along with RHP prospect Jason Bahr to the Rangers for the proverbial PTBNL or cash considerations.  Both Jackson and Gearrin struggled this season, although Gearrin had pitched better in his last few games.  By trading them now, the Giants are able to avoid having their remaining salaries count against the CBT threshold.  GM Bobby Evans indicated that the Giants felt they needed the tax space to make a move as the trade deadline approaches.  Even with this amount of relief, the Giants are not going to be able to take on a star player's salary, but may well be able to swing a deal for a LF with some pop which would seem to be their biggest need.

Jason Bahr had some pretty big fans who read and comment here who are undoubtedly disappointed in his inclusion in the trade.  I am sure the Giants had to include a prospect as payment for the Rangers taking on the salaries of Jackson and Gearrin.  Bahr has put up good numbers since being drafted last year, but a recent scouting report after his promotion to the Cal League had his FB in the 90-94 MPH range with a nice slider.  His ceiling is likely #5 SP in MLB or a max out in AAA.

The timing is interesting for Steven Duggar as he was not exactly tearing up the PCL.  Although he had hit in 9 of his last 10 game for Sacramento, he was hitting just .225 in that stretch.  I think all of us wanted to see Ray Black and his 100+ MPH FB in the major leagues.  It remains to be seen if we should have been more careful what we wished for.


  1. Can't really call it a scouting report on Black, but...

    His 4-Seamer is pretty straight. Reminds me a lot of Strickland, especially when he first arrived.

    His 2-Seamer has a ton of horizontal run (Into RH, Away from LH). He didn't seem to have a lot of control or confidence in that pitch Sunday.

    He seemed to have decent control of his cutter, but still was mostly a bit outside the zone to RH hitters.

    I saw one slider which had pretty hard downward bite and a bit less movement away. He didn't throw it for a strike, but the hitter (Pham maybe?) had to commit to it early and barely fouled it off. I'm curious if this a pitch he can command.

    He threw one pitch to Carpenter, a 4-Seam 98 MPH strike, middle in, mid-thigh. Right in his happy zone.

    Umpire helped him a bit. I saw two pitches he threw were called strikes that were very wide.

    It's fair to call it debut-adrenaline. But he's going to be a little wild. And pretty likely he'll get away with fewer 98-100 MPH straight 4-seamers thrown to MLB hitters than he did in the minors.

    1. Thanks, Mojo. Appreciate it. Sounds like a legit scouting report to me.

  2. Black: Couldn't find the strike zone to save his life with the first couple of batters with the first two walks were on 11 pitches and as Mojo said, the umpire helped him and called a couple of balls (and they weren't really that close to being strikes) as strikes so it was worse than that. He hit 100 at least once.

    After the two walks, Curt Young came out and talked to him a bit and calmed him down and he got a little better. Carpenter's HR was not a bad pitch. It was middle-low on the inside corner first-pitch strike and at 99MPH with some left-to-right tail. Carpenter was looking for it the whole way and turned on it perfectly.

    Posey: Bader's catch of his blooper to the OF robbed Posey of a 87% hit probability bloop. That was some (unfortunately) great defense.

    Duggar: Looked a bit over-whelmed at the plate early on. But that double showed his amazing speed and when Pham struggled to pick the ball up I thought Duggar was going to try and stretch it to a triple at one point. But, in the end, he had a nice day at the plate and very nice debut.

    The trade:

    Bahr -- The Rangers seem to like him. They certainly talked him up.
    Jackson -- The Rangers made some indications that they may be looking to trade him as they're happy with their OF.
    Gearrin -- The Rangers had injury issues so Gearrin has a chance to earn himself into a permanent spot.

  3. I don't mind Duggar being up, but I wasn't calling for it like some fans. Would have preferred we waited until he was killing it in AAA. Slater sort of gets a bad deal when you can argue he earned it more so far. Not a big deal, I hope it works out.

    1. Slater doesn't have the range to be an every-day CFer or the power bat to be an everyday LFer. He's a good player. I'm hoping he turns into a Zobrist kind of guy and can fill in at multiple positions with little drop-off.

  4. I watched Black's performance on replay last night - I think it was just adrenaline rush. He got a couple of swing and misses and unfortunately just grooved one to Carpenter. Excited to see him again. Dugger is fast.

    Losing Bahr isn't fun, its the cost of the salary cap. The Giants getting all of 28 games total for 60MM for 3 players - Shark, Cueto and Melancon - is pretty rough. The FA market is a gamble. Giants have 10 players making over 10MM plus in salary - Belt, Craw and Posey are pulling their weight, Cutch is too although not as much, and hopefully Cueto/Bumgardner pick it up for the 2nd half.

    I'd rather lose Bahr than Logan Webb or Shaun Anderson at this point in time, its always hard to see what a pitcher does in the low minors compared to up the ladder, but Bahr definitely dominated the Sally and looked good in the CA. Still, I think Webb has a better chance of being "the guy" a year from now. Giants took a shot on OF insurance, now they see what they had in ST. It'd be really cool to have a leadoff guy with big speed and defense if it works out!

    1. Sickles rates the prospects at the beginning of the season. Bahr was one of 14 or 15 "C+" rated pitching prospects. Those are basically prospects with serious questions about at least one aspect of their game, but could make it. As it is, we've brought 3 of them up: D-Rod, Moronta and DJ Snelten.

      D-Rod has matured faster than expected as a pitcher quite fast and has 3-of-5 good pitches. Moronta is still growing and Sickles thinks that as he gains more control and a broader pitch selection he could be a top-notch closer. DJ Snelten had an ugly call-up and was DFA'd. The Orioles picked him up off waivers and he was ugly there too, so they DFA'd him and the out-righted him to AAA.

      As for Bahr, his FB is decent speed wise (91-94) but not particularly active. He's got a solid selection of decent pitches. But he's, more-or-less, comped as a Heston/Blackburn kind of guy.

  5. With a dysfunctional defense in the outfield -- the best dWAR of 0.0 from a guy who hadn't played yet -- a move, any move, was needed, and this is hardly enough.

    It would be nice to have a D replacement for McCutchen, too, when the Giants have a lead, at least at home. The only thing worse than his patterns is the not infrequent hole that finds its way into his glove.

    A combination of Cutch, Jackson, and Hernández may have been the worst outfield in the Major Leagues, or close to it.
    Does Williamson, Duggar, and Slater represent a better than average OF? Whatever, but average is well above what the Giants have been trotting out there this season.

    Gearrin was a good Giant, and mostly pitched well. He might have helped the Giants through the 2016 NLDS but didn't pitch despite a collapse by most of the staff. After his injury, from August 26th through September (2016) he was good, but was left out of the playoffs and wasn't part of the Chicago fiasco.

  6. Six games until the ASG break and mid July, AND then what in the remaining 2 weeks -- are the Giants buyers or sellers?

    The rotation is finally set and no one is likely to get even 150 IPs for the year. It will be rested, will it be effective? Will they last?
    What's the odds on the current 5 being the final 5? Any chance for post season depends on a strong starting corps. This is more thanpicking up an SP (or 2) for the 2nd half

    6 fairly reliable relievers are set, and no one has a high count of innings/appearances. One of the uncertainties (Black or Blach) will become Strickland by mid-August. Almost like picking up a reliever.
    Law, Rogers, Osich, and Okert should appear in September or before? And maybe Sam Wolff? Sleeper. Relief pitching is a strength, even if not all are studs.

    Is the revamped OF improved? Is Pence a P-H, and is he happy with that? Is Hernández hurt? How many OFers can SF carry before September? Is there really enough CBT $$ to get a D specialist and is there one? Can Duggar hold on to the job and is he really a + OFer? Will Williamson come back? is it enough with McCutchen possibly the worst RFer in the league?

    Alas, the IF, truly an i-f! Panik, Longoria & perhaps Sandoval with injuries, and Hanson a 0 dWAR playing sub. Hang in there Brandons,
    for sure, the Giants need you! Probably don't need an "add" here, health could provid it.

    Hundley has filled in adequately but the Giants are 12-20 in his starts, most of which Posey played 1st or DH'd. Hundley hits in Wins (23-53, .434) but not in Losses (13-85, .153).
    Posey's almost the same, win (37) .288/.390/.411 or lose (34) .281/.340/.414. Nothing really needed here.

    Most likely the Giants will neither add from the outside or subtract.
    Will they be left out of the party with all their "stars" aboard?

    Either LA or Milwaukee will solidify their playoff position with Machado, plus Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Washington, AZ, and maybe St Louis -- 8 teams -- Giants have to beat out half of them plus Colorado to get to post season. If they need to win 90, it's 43-27 from here, .614 -- 90 is almost always enough. If they get that far, they will also have momentum.

    It could happen.

    Not quite ROFLMAO but close.

    1. How wearisome to read endless kvetching about Cutch! Right fielders with worse defensive fWAR than he this year include Bryce Harper—nearly three times worse!—and both Kemp and Puig for LAD, as well as Gregory Polanco, Carlos Gomez, Stephen Piscotty, Detroit’s Castellanos, Toronto’s Hernandez, and Texas’s Mazara.

    2. Well, if he'd catch the **** routine flies, there'd be a lot less Kvetching. Add in his offense is hardly exciting, being ranked #16 just for RFers and #42 among all OFers.

      The truth is he hasn't been all-that-and-a-bag-of-chips. Blanco, in 2015 had fewer PAs than McCutchen has now and he was pulling 2.0 fWAR as the 4th OFer. And Blanco was better fWAR per AB in 2014 as well. 2018's Hernandez had more fWAR per AB than McCutchen. And he's nowhere close to the ironman and healthy Pence before injuries and age took him down.

      There's a reason the Giants OF is one of the worst in baseball. And McCutchen is part of the problem.

    3. Oh those asterisky routine flies! Let’s see how badly McC has botched them: of his 144 routine chances, as Fangraphs reckons them, he has caught only 98.6%. Am I a butterfingers with arithmetic, or am I right in figuring that McC has missed only two ****s all year? He is, incidentally, a better fielder as measured by defensive fWAR than 2015 or 2016 Blanco or 2018 Hernandez (Moses’s points d’appui).

  7. Unfortunately, I don't think the Giants will quite make it this year. It'll still be a fun ride and it's nice SF's front office didn't just throw in the towel this season. I'm really looking forward to the upcoming home-and-home series against the A's. They're playing really well right now and some of their pitchers are close to coming off the DL.

  8. Hunter Pence lost a buddy in Gearin. There is a good video of Pence and Gearin on YT hanging out in a Dutch Bros. Coffee Shop. Pence and Jarret Parker were also buds - again more fun vids. of those two palling around outisde of the ballfield. Losing a buudy - That is baseball.

    1. So what you're saying is 'Don't be buddies with Pence..." lol

  9. Best defensive OF: Slater LF, Duggar CF, Gorkys RF? Infield fine, just get healthy. Pitching fine, big three get themselves in the groove and Suarez and Rodriguez carry on. Each SP just needs to win 9 starts out of 14 in the remaining 70 games. If Pence/Hundley are RH bench bats, who is LH bench bat? Trade for Granderson or similar?