Monday, September 01, 2014

Hunter Strickland in the Orange and Black

As the Giants resume playing a game suspended from July in Denver, the SF Chron recaps the callups with particular focus on Hunter Strickland. 

Here's part of Schulman's story --

I got a chance to catch up with Strickland this morning. He is a big dude, 6-foot4 and (listed at) 220, who throws in the upper-90s yet has tremendous control. He had four walks and 48 strikeouts in 38 games for Double-A Richmond, where he was the closer and saved 11 games.
This is an important audition for the 25-year-old, who returned from Tommy John surgery this spring, and Bochy said he would not hesitate to use Strickland in leveraged situations even today.
Strickland posts a sheet of paper on his locker everywhere it goes. It has two photos of the insides of his arm during Tommy John surgery and the phrase, “Pain is weakness leaving your body.”
“It fires me up a little bit,” Strickland said. “It keeps me humble and reminds me where I”m at.”

Sunday, August 31, 2014

10 extra-base hits

Holy cow as Harry Carey would say. The good guys set a record today for AT and T Park -- most extra-base hits with 10.

THAT is the kind of record I can get behind.

With 6 straight wins, Dare I say that these guys are playing like the team that went 42-21 at the start of the season? Yes.

John Shea's report for the Chron. -- 

It started with another strong start by Madison Bumgarner and ended with new long reliever Tim Lincecum pitching two innings. Through it all, the Giants, young and not-so-young, collected 16 hits, including 10 for extra bases, their most in the 15-year history of their ballpark.
Hunter Pence had four hits, including a triple and two doubles. Pablo Sandoval missed by a double hitting for a cycle. A day before September callups are eligible for duty, rookie Andrew Susac had three hits and three RBIs, and fellow rookie Joe Panik hit a double and two-run triple.
During the 6-1 homestand, the rotation posted a 1.06 ERA. Bumgarner gave up one run on five hits in six innings, not quite as good as his previous start, a one-hit shutout, but it followed a pattern.
A review:
Tuesday, Bumgarner pitched seven perfect innings en route to a one-hit shutout.
Wednesday, Tim Hudson opened with four hitless innings and lasted eight, giving up one run on four hits.
Thursday, Yusmeiro Petit retired his first seven men to break a major-league record for consecutive batters retired (46) and gave up one run on four hits in six innings.
Friday, Ryan Vogelsong went seven innings and gave up two runs on four hits.
Saturday, Jake Peavy carried a no-hit bid into the eighth inning and wound up giving up one hit over 7 2/3.
Sunday, it was Bumgarner’s turn again. He gave up a run in the first tinning on two singles and a double-play grounder, and the Brewers didn’t score again until Martin Maldanado homered off George Kontos in the seventh.
Lincecum gave up a Ryan Braun homer in the eighth and two runs in the ninth.
Sandoval hit a stand-up triple in the second and scored on Susac’s double, hit an RBI single in a three-run third and hit a two-run homer that one-hopped into McCovey Cove. He then walked and flied out.
Sandoval is hitting .413 in his past 12 games and is taking advantage of his contract drive. With his well-chronicled weight loss and improved conditioning, he remains solid in all facets of the game, including defense. The third baseman has one error in 83 games.
Let September begin.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The rotation minus Tim Lincecum

Hudson, Bumgarner, Petit, Peavy, Vogelsong. The Giants just have won 5 in a row since removing Tim Lincecum from the rotation. Peavy carried a no-hitter into the 8th tonight for a glorious 3-1 vic and the dodgers lost.

Bruce Bochy and Dave Righetti sure have a knack for handling pitchers. Here's from John Shea's story in the SF Chron -- 

Peavy threw 7 1/3 hitless innings before yielding a broken-bat single to Milwaukee's Mark Reynolds, and he walked off the field one batter later to a huge China Basin ovation from fans who appreciated the 33-year-old's historic outing.
The Giants finished off a 3-1 victory over the Brewers to run their winning streak to five, another highlight to a pitching-rich homestand. In Peavy's 7 2/3 innings, he struck out eight and walked three.
The previous longest hitless stint of Peavy's career? Aug. 2, in his second start as a Giant. He threw 6 1/3 perfect innings at New York in a 4-2 loss.
His performance Saturday wasn't perfect, but his defense was. Shortstop Brandon Crawford not only ranged deep in the hole at short to throw out Aramis Ramirez in the fifth, but he began an unlikely double play to end the seventh. Scooter Gennett seemed to have broken the no-hit bid with a grounder up the middle, but Crawford came out of nowhere to dive for it and, in one gymnastically splendid motion, flipped the ball to Joe Panik, who turned two.
Third baseman Pablo Sandoval backhanded Khris Davis' grounder in the eighth and just about threw him out from the Giants' dugout.
Jeremy Affeldt replaced Peavy, faced one batter (Rickie Weeks), yielded a hit and exited. Sergio Romo struck out Carlos Gomez on three pitches to finish the eighth, and Santiago Casilla gave up a run in the ninth.

Friday, August 29, 2014

4-game winning streak

and the good guys are now 4 games out. They were 5 games out at the same point in 2010

They got 20 hits tonight. Posey had 5 and Panik had 4. Gregor Blanco had 3 walks and a homer -- kind of a Barry Bonds imitation, per Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area. 

The pitching continues to shine --

Vogelsong (9-8) faced plenty of threats in the Brewers lineup but his biggest challenge might have been staying loose during lengthy home halves of innings.

The Giants gave Vogelsong a 3-0 lead, and have scored eight runs for him in the first inning over his past two starts. He gave one back when Jonathan Lucroy doubled high off the right field wall in the second inning and scored on a ground out.
But the Brewers managed just one more run, when Lyle Overbay hit a leadoff single in the fifth and scored in a sacrifice fly.
Vogelsong worked with Andrew Susac in the seventh inning and dispatched the Brewers quickly to end an efficient, 96-pitch night. He has allowed three runs or fewer in 11 of his last 12 starts.
Bullpen report
George Kontos pitched the final two innings. Perhaps Bruce Bochy really is saving Tim Lincecum for leveraged situations?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

3-game winning streak

OK, it's just the Rox, but still. It's been too damn long since we've seen a decent stretch of ball from the Orange and Black. In this case, it took Tim's demotion to the pen....

They've started to get superb pitching as Yusmeiro Petit set a record with 46 consecutive outs yesterday  . Here's part of the SF Chron's report --

Petit's streak began with a Grady Sizemore comebacker to end the fifth inning of his previous start, July 22 at Philadelphia, in place of Matt Cain.
He then retired 37 more in six relief appearances against the Dodgers, Pirates, Brewers, Royals, Cubs and Nationals before he was tapped to start Thursday.
Petit said he was not as nervous in the third inning against the Rockies as he was in the ninth inning of his near-perfecto against the Diamondbacks.
Petit rarely gets rattled, which makes him a good candidate for a difficult job. He has to be ready in a few minutes when asked to enter a game as the long reliever, yet also prepared for the very different job of spot starting, which he has done seven times.
Asked if he likes his job, Petit did not hesitate before saying yes.
"I know it's not very easy to every pitcher," he said, "but I try to make it easy for myself because I know I can help the team if I am able to start and relieve."

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The superb start

Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey = 3-0 one-hit complete game. Zo at Raising (Matt) Cain says it better than I could --

Madison Bumgarner was superb tonight.  He was almost perfect.  He faced 28 Colorado batters, and only one of them got a hit.  He had a perfect game through 7 innings, gave up only 1 hit, walked none and struck out 13.

Madison was economical with his pitches, throwing less than 11 per inning through the first 7.  He threw 103 pitches in total, and 80 of them were strikes.  He had seventeen 0 - 2 counts on the Colorado batters.  Think about that for a minute.  In 17 of the 27 outs allotted in a game, Colorado batters had 1 strike to work with.  His 13 strikeouts was a career high, and he leads the National League in double-digit strikeout games.  When Justin Morneau hit a double to lead off the eighth and break up the perfect game and no hitter, Madison responded by striking out the next three Rockie batters.

Buster Posey carried the offense on his broad shoulders.  He hit 2 home runs, the first with Hunter Pence on base, for the Giants 3 runs.  It was his first multiple home run game.  Gregor Blanco made several important catches, including a spectacular at-the-wall snag in the first.  As the radio spots say,  Mr. Bochy is a genius for starting Gregor in left field tonight.

This was a fantastic performance.  I wish I felt that it was the start of something big, but I have soured too much on this team in the past few days.  To elaborate on that seems churlish.  Madison Bumgarner is 25 years old.  Buster Posey is 27. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Doug Eddings = Satan?

I hate umpires who can't call a consistent game. Doug Eddings had such an erratic game tonight that Bruce Bochy actually got himself thrown out to keep Posey from getting thrown out.

I'm sick and tired of reading about what a great commissioner Bud Selig has been. Let's see -- cancelled the World Series in 1994; made the All-Star Game into a joke; lets the umps be totally out of control. Guys like Joe West, Angel Hernandez, CJ Buckner, and of course, that idiot Eric Gregg. 

Eddings has a massive and inconsistent strike zone. I Typed in "doug eddings sucks" into google -- here are some of the results --

-- Doug Eddings will Straight Fuck you up.    

And this one on the huzzah board.-- 

Doug Eddings-Not only makes horrible calls (especially behind the plate, where his strike zone has always been highly flexible), but he is one of those insufferable umpires with a habit of making himself the story. He seems to relish confrontation with players and coaches, and appears to go out of his way to ramp up every confrontation.

On the upside, it looks like Jake Peavey threw a fine game -- even with 4 errors, the Rox only scored 3.


"I really screwed us over"

That's Tim Lincecum, who knows a thing or 3 about must-win games. Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area is writing about a possible banishment to the pen -- which imploded today, giving up 11 runs in less than 3 innings.Fortunately, the Dodgers also got hammered, 11-3, by the Mets. Here's the key part about Tim -- 

Lincecum’s six-run, four-walk performance over 2 2/3 innings in Saturday’s 6-2 loss to the Nationals was the second shortest start out of 246 in his major league career. In his last six starts, he has a 9.49 ERA and a super-sized 2.27 WHIP that includes 41 hits allowed in 24 2/3 innings.
Lincecum called his start Saturday “horses***” and that he “I kind of screwed us over. I mean, I really screwed us over.”
Said Bochy: “Timmy takes it so hard. He feels like he’s letting everybody down and puts added pressure on himself. Everybdoy does. You play for your teammates, your fans, your family. But Timmy’s taking it extremely hard.”