Saturday, May 26, 2018

Game Wrap 5/25/2018: Cubs 6 Giants 2

The Giants offense sputtered and the bullpen faltered to spoil a Quality Start by Derek Holland who tried valiantly to be the Stopper, but came up short.  Key Lines:

Gorkys Hernandez CF-2 for 4, HR(5).  BA= .296.  Gorkys is currently the hottest hitter on the team.  He won't hit .385 as he has done over his last 7 games, or .347 as he has done over his last 15, but he is hitting .292 since May 31 of last season.  Even more remarkable is the newfound power.  Each HR since his 3'rd of the season sets a new personal season best for him.  He absolutely needs to be the starting full-time starting CF until he cools off.

Mac Williamson LF- 0 for 4, 3 K's, Assist(home).  Mac had a rough day at the plate has he seemed have trouble with Kyle Hendricks' soft tossing assortment of pitches.  He showed off his arm in LF though.  In the first inning, with runners at 2'nd and 3'rd and 1 out, Anthony Rizzo hit a soft liner to LF driving in the lead run.  Albert Almora Jr, who is a pretty fast runner, tried to score from 2B,  Mac's throw was a laser beam that hit Buster Posey's mitt on the fly with Almora at least 6 feet from home plate.  Almora did not bother to slide or try to evade the tag.  He was that out!

Derek Holland LHP- 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 4.73.  Holland pitched much better than his final line looks.   The hits in the first inning were all very BABIPy, a groundball single to LF and 2 very soft liners and the run was unearned due to Buster's passed ball(although it appeared Buster was crossed up on the pitch).  Holland made that hold up for 6 innings.  He started the 7'th with a HBP and Walk.  Will Smith and Cory Gearrin allowed those 2 runners plus 2 more to score, and the ballgame was effectively over.  Whether Holland should have started the 7'th inning is debatable.  He was already through the toughest part of the order for the 3'rd time and his pitch count was still on the low side, so I think it's defensible.


The Rockies, D'Backs and Dodgers all won so the Rockies lead the D'Backs by 0.5 games, the Giants by 3 games, the Dodgers by 3.5 game and the Padres by 6.5 games in the NL West.


Chris Stratton becomes the next Stopper hope facing Jose Quintana this evening.


  1. Interesting read from the Seattle Times by Geoff Baker, staff reporter:

    Robinson Cano and Dominican catcher Welington Castillo of the White Sox this month became the 56th and 57th MLB roster players suspended since PED testing was implemented. Of those, 40 percent were born in the Dominican Republic despite only about 10 percent of MLB players hailing from that country in a given season.

    A really ugly story about drugs and young athletes in the DR and Venezuela.

    Former Giant Melky Cabrera and high prospect Joan Gregorio hail from the DR. Other current Giant prospects, not from the DR, CJ Hinojosa & Alex Bostic are on drug suspensions. Giant 1st round pick Phil Bickford traded for Will Smith is on a 50-day suspension in the Brewers organization.
    Oh, where have all the flowers gone ...

    1. Good read, thanks Anon.

      Shame the knee-jerk reaction to positive PED tests is always to vilify the player, never to call the system into question.

      The pressures of intense competition, extreme poverty in the DR, minimal MLB involvement , along with super early development expectations practically ensure PED use for the possibility (just the opportunity) to compete at the MLB level.

      Think about the age expectations for a US player. Buster, at 18 years old, was a 50th round selection. Three years later, he was the 5th Overall selection. Would a comparable Dominican prospect have gotten those three years to develop?

    2. Strickland had been "off" from Sunday May 20th at home until Friday May 25th. Getting blown out twice and 2 days off didn't give Strickland a chance to pitch in a game for only hours less than 5 days although no doubt he threw somewhere on the side -- which is not the same thing.
      The pitching coaches know all this -- and maybe the game being meaningless when Strickland came in played with his head -- but he was far from sharp.
      Is the good news that it didn't matter?
      But what if it had? Blown save, that's what! And it's not the first time this year for Strickland.

    3. The reporter vilifies the system in the DR, the "shadowy world of unregulated, independent trainers known as 'buscones' that develop the country’s teenage baseball talent amid a scarcity of high-school leagues" -- taking almost prepubescent boys and using drugs to develop their bodies.
      He also says that the US teams are creating the market by expecting young arms to throw in the 90s and skinny kids to hit 375-foot drives.
      They're preloading Buster's college years into 15 yo's.
      Can't be good for the ones who make it or the many many more who don't.

  2. I think everyone prefer Holland not start the 7th, but I totally get it. That BP has been way overworked with every pitcher going 4-5 innings. If I were Bochy I would be trying to stretch a good start too

  3. OTOH, Affeldt was saying on the telecast how the relievers do need to work regularly, thus Strickland came in for the 8th just to pitch, hopelessly down 5-1. Affeldt specifically said that Strickland has to pitch more often and wasn't sharp at all, 2 3-1 counts, a walk, a hit and no K's. His pitches were all over the place, FBs 95-96.
    Hopefully he'll be in a "save" position this weekend.

  4. Gorkys Hernandez is on fire! And has made some nice plays in left and center although still a negative dWAR outfielder.
    He's 4-10 now leading off games so he's getting on base (one was an HR).
    Interestingly, he's come up 68 times with no one on base and is hitting an amazing .364! On the downside of that, he has not drawn a walk with no one on base. 4 of his 5 pops have been with the bases empty.
    He is different batter with runners on: .233 overall and has NO hits with a runner on 3rd (0-8).
    He's terrible with 2 down, .194 with 39% Ks -- maybe that's when he's trying to hit it out?
    He's much much better when starting than substituting: .321 v .176, and really bad with 2 strikes: .192
    Prescription: Try to relax with runners on and 2 strikes!

  5. Pence saw Williamson's private batting coach and has a new swing: