Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Muck the Farlins

I've hated the stupid Marlins since they came into the league. The maiming of Buster Posey in 2011, which cost the Giants any chance at a World Series title, deepened that. Scott Cousins, like Chase Utley in 2015, suffered nn consequences except for my total scorn.

So the Giants are finally done with playing that pathetic franchise for the year. They managed to break Longoria's hand and anger Hunger Strickland to the point that he managed to  break his hand on his own.

OK, I don't hate the Marlins as much as the dodgers. But I hope they lose every game this year.

Here's a recap of today's 6-5 vic, which left the Good Guys with a 3-4 record against Miami this season from McCovey Chronicles

The Giants won today, but the best news of the day is that they don’t have to play the Marlins again until 2019. The baseball gods are cruel, but I don’t think they’d be so cruel as to have both teams go on a tear and face each other in the wild card game. It’ll happen eventually. In 2023, Lewis Brinson will rob what should have been a walk-off homer from Joey Bart to propel the Marlins to their third World Series championship without a division title. But that’s five years away.
The seasonal series against Miami cost the Giants dearly. Not only did they drop five out of the seven games, but they had already lost their third baseman, their closer, and their dignity. Today’s game was somewhat of a respite from the childish nonsense and baseball blundery of the previous two. The Giants managed to hold a three-run lead in the ninth despite allowing the tying run to get into scoring position. No one did anything that could be seen as “disrespecting the game,” which prevents Mark Melancon from saying dumb things like “That guy disrespected the game.” Best of all, no one threw a baseball at another person’s butt (or head).
Still, something had to go wrong.
The Giants only had to send one batter to the plate to lose yet another player to a freak injury. Other teams have to deal with freak injuries, too—Brandon Morrow hurt himself taking off his pants at 3 a.m.—but I can’t think of any that have been as unlucky as the Giants. The Giants have had to deal with players getting hit in the hands, getting run into, hitting their head on a wall, getting appendicitis, get hit in the hands again, and now taking a foul tip off the knee.
That doesn’t even include the normal injuries Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija sustained or Hunter Strickland punching a door. You can expect pitchers to get hurt. You can expect Strickland to be a redass. But it would be great if balls and people could stop hitting the Giants.
I suppose it’s fortunate that Alen Hanson only has a contusion on his knee, and he didn’t fracture his patella. Still, a trip to the 10-day DL seems likely. After seeing him writhe on the ground in agony, I have a hard time believing he’ll be back tomorrow. Get well soon, Alen Hanson. Come back and rope some more doubles.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Patient Pablo

Madbum is back

The Good guys lost 3-1 tonight as Kike Hernandez - a completely ordinary dodger -- hit his 4th career homer against Madison Bumgarner tonight. That was the difference

Hernandez has a 4.9 WAR more than 1,000 plate appearances. In other words, he's decent but not so that he's an All-Star.

Here's Ken Gurnick's revolting story for mlb.com

LOS ANGELES -- Enrique Hernandez's tiebreaking, two-run homer that powered the Dodgers to a 3-1 win over the Giants only enhanced his reputation as an all-time Madison Bumgarner killer.
In 34 plate appearances against the Giants ace, Hernandez has 15 hits, four of them homers and five of them doubles. He has the best career marks against Bumgarner in all three slash-line categories, with a minimum of 25 appearances.
That means batting average (.455), on-base percentage (.471) and slugging percentage (.970). Add it up and, of course, he's also dominant in OPS (1.441). His four homers are the second-most against Bumgarner behind Carlos Gonzalez's five, but in only 34 plate appearances compared to CarGo's 63.
And Hernandez's home-run rate against Bumgarner is 11.8 percent, also the highest for a minimum of 25 plate appearances.
Combine Hernandez's homer with another Matt Kemp homer and Alex Wood's second victory of the year and the Dodgers improved their June record to 11-2, with 21 wins in their last 27 games. Coupled with the D-backs' loss to the Mets, the Dodgers' victory cut to 1 1/2 games a National League West deficit that once was nine.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Dodgers LOSE

ALWAYS A GOOD THING

SUCK IT, DODGER FANS

THE GIANTS AND dodgers have the same record 32-32

LOS ANGELES -- Alex Wood is the lone active survivor from the rotation that began the season for the Dodgers, but taking the mound regularly doesn't necessarily mean regular wins.
In his 13th start of the season on Saturday night, Wood's win total remained stuck on one as the Dodgers fell to the Braves, 5-3, missing a chance to pull ahead of Colorado and into second place.
A year ago after 13 starts, Wood was 10-0 (one win in relief) with a 1.67 ERA and en route to his first All-Star nod. With Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda and Hyun-Jin Ryu on the disabled list this year, Wood (1-5 with a 4.43 ERA) leads the staff in starts, but he's tied for eighth in wins."It's been a tough three starts for me, probably the toughest of my career," said Wood, who has allowed 13 earned runs in the last 12 innings. "Just grinding really hard. Got to think one of these next few has got to turn, but definitely frustration."
The pitcher downplayed physical ailments as a contributing factor, but manager Dave Roberts confirmed that hamstring cramps and adductor discomfort have prevented Wood from being "100 percent synced up" physically and mechanically.
"The fact that he still goes out there and competes says a lot about him," said Roberts. "He'll be the first to tell you he's not where he needs to be."
Coming off a two-inning start in Denver, Wood went 4 2/3 innings and allowed his former team nine hits with no walks. Two of the four runs he allowed were earned and he struck out six.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Stratton's seventh

Chris Stratton got hammered on May 9 in an 11-3 loss. He's won the next 4 starts and is now 7-3

He's done it under the radar. He shut the Phils out for 6 innings tonight -- no mention of him til the 10th paragraph in the SF Chronicle story  ---

 

This is the 2018 Giants in a nutshell, only now the health concern goes beyond a limb or a finger.
After playing two innings in Friday night’s 4-0 victory over the Phillies at AT&T Park, first baseman Brandon Belt was rushed to a hospital to be evaluated for appendicitis.
If that diagnosis was confirmed, requiring emergency surgery, Belt will be headed for the disabled list. When Andres Torres had an appendectomy in September 2010, he returned in 13 days, and that was considered quick.
Manager Bruce Bochy said Belt was not feeling well before the game but tried to play through his symptoms. After he struck out in his first at-bat, and played another inning in the field, they worsened, and head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner told Bochy, “We’ve got to get him out of there and get him evaluated.”
The immediate concern is Belt’s well-being. Appendicitis can be dangerous. Then comes the team’s.
Second baseman Joe Panik returned from his sprained left thumb and had an immediate impact Friday, reaching base his first four times. The Giants finally had their entire lineup on the field — for two innings — before their best player exited.

“He’s been swinging the bat as well as anybody in the National League,” Panik said of Belt. “You never want to take that bat out of the lineup and that glove out of the field. Hopefully he’ll bounce back quickly and have the year we know he can have.”
With Belt out, Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey can play first base. Sandoval became the only extra infielder when the Giants optioned Kelby Tomlinson to the minors in the afternoon to clear a roster spot for Panik. The Giants could bring Tomlinson back Saturday.
The Belt news followed one of the Giants’ best-played games of the year, against the team that swept them in a four-game series in Philadelphia.
The Chris Stratton who flashed a 2.32 ERA in his first five starts, before his paternity leave, returned. Stratton allowed four hits, walked one and struck out seven in six shutout innings.
He routinely threw strike one and finished Phillies hitters with a curveball that had vanished as he forged an 8.00 ERA over his past six starts.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Wrigley Win

Nothing feels better for Giants fans than the team ending a losing streak -- in this case, a fine 5-4 vic in Chicago over the super-annoying Cubs. MC O'Connor at Raising Matt Cain has a nice recap:

SF 5 CHC 4
The Giants looked good in sunny Chicago this afternoon and held on to beat the Cubs. Gorkys Hernandez flashed some mad small ball skills and Brandon Crawford dazzled with the bat and the glove and the visiting squad snapped their three-game skid. Contributions from Brandon Belt, Andrew McCutchen, and Mac Williamson did the rest of the damage as the Giants overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits. Hernandez is slashing .311/.333/.505 with 12 hits in his last eight games so I think he's earning his playing time. Chris Stratton faltered, but didn't fall apart, and finished strong, striking out six in his five innings (21 batters, 88 pitches) and leaving with a 4-3 lead. Reyes Moronta and Sam Dyson put up zeroes in their frames but Tony Watson gave us a scare with two hits and a run in the 8th. Fortunately Hunter Strickland had a 1-2-3 9th to seal it and the Giants had an impressive, well-played win.

Ty Blach tomorrow at 5:08 Pacific. GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Most valuable Giants

It's Brandon Belt by a longshot with a 2.5 WAR (wins above replacement) so far this season, according to Baseball Reference.

Johnny Cueto, who's on the DL, is next best at 1.9, followed by Buster Posey at 1.4 and Brandon Crawford at 1.2. Tony Watson and Hunter Strickland are at 0.7. Andrew McCutcheon and Alen Hanson are at 0.6. Reyes Moranta is at 0.5

Friday, May 18, 2018

Brandon Belt is an All-Star

That's what Brady Klopfer at McCovey Chronicles says

I don't really care about the All-Star game but Belt is the only Giant who ought to go.

Here's part of the post --

Let me first state the obvious: Brandon Belt should be an All-Star. If you don’t believe so, then I regret to inform you that you have entered the wrong baseball site. Turn around and find a new one. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.
Unfortunately, many of the people who decide the participants in the All-Star Game are nincompoops, so the selections often have an air of nincompoopery. So let’s cut the bull(nincom)poop, and get to the point: Brandon Belt is an All-Star.

OR MAYBE MORE!!!

If we gathered all of the season’s awards today, Belt wouldn’t just be an All-Star; he’d also be an MVP candidate. Belt is second in the National League in position player WAR, according to Fangraphs. He’s third if you include pitchers.
The two players above him - A.J. Pollack and Max Scherzer - both play for teams with winning records, so Belt isn’t taking home the MVP trophy in this hypothetical 45-game MVP race. But if he fails to crack the top five in your ballot then you also put ketchup on your tacos and refuse to pick up your dog’s (nincom)poop.
Don’t be that person.
MVP candidates should always be All-Stars, right? Right? …….. Right?
Why do I feel like I’m trying to convince myself of this as much as I’m trying to convince you?

The biggest obstacle

As you may be aware of, MLB has a horrendous rule wherein every team gets a player representative at the All-Star Game. It’s the baseball equivalent of a participation trophy, in a league that condones the most microscopic displays of joys, and cheers 95 MPH fastballs to the buttocks as a means of retribution.


And it could absolutely screw Brandon Belt in the most stupid, nincompoopy of ways.
Here are the top five first basemen in the NL this year, with their fWAR in parenthesis:
Brandon Belt (2.1)
Freddie Freeman (2.0)
Joey Votto (1.4)
Cody Bellinger (1.0)
Eric Hosmer (0.8)
Freeman is in. He’s good, he’s popular, and the Braves are one of the best stories in baseball, presuming you turn a blind eye to, you know, the blatant racism that emanates from their stands every half inning or so.
Let’s look at Hosmer, a fine but inferior player to Belt. Only one other position player on the San Diego Padres has eclipsed 0.5 WAR. That’s Travis Janikowski who . . . let’s just be honest here, is not going to be an All-Star. The only player contending with Hosmer for best on the squad is Ty Ross, and boy howdy would that be an uninspiring All-Star pick.
You see what I’m getting at. Good ol’ Eric Hosmer, owner of an exorbitant contract that he really doesn’t deserve (I’m all for players getting paid. Get it, Eric), owner of worse stats than Belt in every category imaginable, could steal Belt’s spot, just because the league demands a representative from baseball’s most uninspiring team.
As a reminder, there’s no set number of players at each position for the All-Star Game. Usually there are three first basemen selected, though sometimes only two.
If things hold, Belt will likely be an All-Star, but ugh . . . “likely” really should not exist in that sentence.

Wait a minute, what if Belt is the participation trophy?

The Giants have a lot of perennial All-Star candidates. Let’s go down the line.
Madison Bumgarner: Far too injured to be selected.
Johnny Cueto: Far too injured to be selected.
Andrew McCutchen: Playing fine. Not playing great or close to it.
Evan Longoria: Recovering from a slow start, not playing at an All-Star level in a talent-heavy position.
Which brings us to Buster Posey, who is having a fine season. But he’s fifth in the NL in fWAR, tied with Tucker Barnhart. Now, based on reputation, popularity, and pitch framing alone, he’d probably make the All-Star Game were voting held today, but it really isn’t a sure thing.
Translation: Belt may be the only Giant at the midsummer classic.

In conclusion…

Brandon Belt is on pace for 7.6 fWAR, and if he isn’t an All-Star I will throw (nincom)poop at the walls.