Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Welcome back, Johnny

Friday, August 16, 2019


The Giants got back to .500 last night, thanks to a stellar performance by Dereck Rodriguez. A complete obliteration of the hated Backs.

PHOENIX -- After spending the last few months shuttling between Triple-A and the Majors, Dereck Rodríguez might finally be here to stay.
Rodriguez excelled in his return to the Giants’ rotation, tossing seven shutout innings to lead his club to a 7-0 win over the D-backs in Thursday night’s series opener at Chase Field.
“He had a very determined look on him,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “I know it’s been an up-and-down year for him, especially going back and forth, but he showed tonight what he can do. We needed it. We’ve had some struggles there in the rotation, so that was a real shot in the arm for us.”

Saturday, July 27, 2019

The unreal Giants

Sorry for the lack of postings as the Giants became a different team in July. Last night's game was typical per the MLB.com story:

SAN DIEGO -- During the Giants’ implausible rise in less than a month from last-place outsiders to Wild Card contenders, there has been a constant: Turn the ball over to the bullpen, and something good is likely to happen.
There’s a fair chance that good thing will come from a Panda.
As the bullpen delivered five scoreless innings Friday night at Petco Park, Pablo Sandoval blasted his second extra-inning home run in a span of three games, lifting the Giants to a 2-1 victory over the Padres in 11 innings.
• Box score
Sandoval, who had a walk-off homer in the 13th against the Cubs on Tuesday, hit a two-out homer off rookie left-hander Logan Allen on a 1-2 count.
“I got a good pitch to hit, fastball up,” Sandoval said. “I put a good swing on it.”
Said manager Bruce Bochy: “Pablo, with two out and nobody on, it doesn’t get any bigger than what he did.”
The Giants have had plenty of big moments during their rise to contention. They are 7-0 in extra-inning games since the All-Star break, and the drama is becoming a regular occurrence. Six of those extra-inning victories have come in the past 10 games. The Giants are the first team in the live-ball era to win six extra-inning games in a 10-game span, according to research by STATS.
“That tells me we have a great bullpen,” said Jeff Samardzija, who handled the first six innings Friday. “To win extra-inning games, you have to be throwing up zeros with guys who aren’t starters. ... They’ve been so efficient, just so solid with their work that they’ve made these extra-inning games be not too taxing on them.”

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Giants coming on (a bit)


Madison Bumgarner goes tonight against St. Louis with the Giants nine games under. Is this his final game in the Orange and Black?

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Four in a row for the Giants

Well, the Good Guys have now gone to 30-38 following two wins against the Padres and two more against the Brew Crew.

It's now a month and a half from the trade deadline. Maria Guardado of mlb.com notes in her game story that Madbum may wind up as a Brewer.

At this point, the one thing I don't want is to see him a Dodgers uni.

Saturday, June 01, 2019

Depressing times for Giants fans

Apologies to any followers out there for the dearth of posts but there hasn't been much to write about that's positive. Last night's game was a 9-6 road loss to the Orioles -- one of the few teams that have a worse record than the Giants. It featured a 5-run top of the first, followed a 6-run bottom of the first thanks to starter Drew Pomeranz. No wonder the Bosox didn't want Pomeranz any more.

Anyhow, the Frangrafs site recently did an excellent analysis explaining how we got here. Here are some excerpts:

When we look back on this era of baseball in future times, exhorting children to get off our lawns, nobody shed tears of pity for the San Francisco Giants. After all, the Giants of this generation made the World Series four times and won three of them, a difficult, probability-crushing feat in a world where six division winners and four wild card teams make the playoffs. 

In terms of WAR, the last time the Giants had an above-average outfield was back in 2014. Hunter Pence’s last good year — though he’s been shockingly good this year — carried the bulk of the load, hitting .277/.332/.445 and posting 4.1 WAR for the season. Gregor Blanco, Angel Pagan, and Michael Morse covered the rest of the cavernous outfield. The team’s outfield ranking dropped to 24th in 2015, and hasn’t reached those dizzying low heights since. Blanco’s .291/.368/.413, 2.0 WAR season in 2015 remains the top WAR season for a Giants outfielder since Pence’s 2014. If we were in 2016 or 2017, that would be troubling; in 2019, it’s a disaster for a team claiming contention.
That’s not to say the Giants did absolutely nothing; that would be an unfair charge. When the Miami Marlins, looted and pillaged more often than fifth-century Rome, opened up their gates for another round prior to the 2018 season, the Giants were in on all of Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna at various times. They came away with none of those players and instead traded for Andrew McCutchen, and went the bargain route with Austin Jackson. McCutchen worked out more or less, but was an insufficient short-term fix to a long-term problem; the Giants essentially paid the Rangers Cory Gearrin and Justin Bahr just to be relieved of Jackson’s contract.
This year, looking at the last, best chance to recapture the magic of the 2012 season, San Francisco’s grand outfield plan was to sign outfielders that were highly sought-after by other teams…in 2012. None of Cameron Maybin, Gerardo Parra, or Craig Gentry made it out of March with the organization. While the Kevin Pillar trade was a reasonable one, it still left the Giants with an outfield that projected to be worth around two WAR combined for the 2019 season. Meanwhile, Pillar looks increasingly like the latest outfielder the team has picked up after their prime, rather than before or during it.

Due to years used and unexpected player declines — there are far more players expected to under-perform than over-perform — the Giants’ name-veterans only have roughly a third of the win-value remaining in their contracts. And this ignores salaries — in a world where the Giants will not pay the entire freight on any contracts they move (also known as reality), many of these contracts are underwater and near-unmovable.
The team still has a chance to get something in return for a few of their veterans. While Evan Longoria and Johnny Cueto would likely pass through waivers at this point, Madison Bumgarner is finally back to his 2016 strikeout rate, and his ERA is only inflated because of a .312 BABIP. Our erstwhile colleague Jeff Sullivan implored the Giants to trade Will Smith back in January; it’s even more of an imperative now that 2019 looks as unimpressive as was projected. Not a lot of teams need a first baseman, but Brandon Belt would improve the Indians, Astros, Nationals, and maybe the Yankees if the Grim Orthopedist pays them another visit.
San Francisco made a great effort to avoid paying the luxury tax and they’ve been successful. But instead of paying the luxury tax, they’ve spent three seasons paying the mediocrity tax, finishing well out of the playoffs with payrolls in the high hundred-million range. Since the last time San Francisco made the postseason, they’ve won four fewer games than the Marlins while spending well over $100 million a year more. The longer it takes for the Giants to acknowledge the future instead of holding onto the past, the more painful that future will be.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

The Panda gets going