Tuesday, April 22, 2014

dodgers gag in extras again

Forget it, Jake. It's Denver

....or "embarrassing" as Ryan Vogelsong put it. Hoping it was just a Colorado abberation. 

Another nightmare night in the Mile High City. Ryan Vogelsong was all kinds of awful, per the SF Chron's game story -- 

The Giants allowed five home runs at Coors for the first time since the park opened in 1995, rather surprising given the thin air.
The situation was not too dire when Ryan Vogelsong's shortest start with the Giants ended after he retired four hitters and allowed five runs on three homers. After all, manager Bruce Bochy had eight relievers.
The dire part arrived in the third inning when long reliever David Huff legged out his first big-league hit, a moment of hilarity that turned to despair when he strained his left quadriceps on his 90-foot dash and had to exit before throwing another pitch. Huff seems headed to the disabled list.
What saved the Giants was having another long man. Yusmeiro Petit threw Bochy a lifeline by pitching four innings and getting through the sixth. Jean Machi and Juan Gutierrez added an inning apiece, leaving the bullpen in decent shape for two more games at Coors.
Still, the bullpen worked way too many innings for Vogelsong's liking. No starter likes to force his relievers to go 6 2/3 .
"I'm definitely not happy about it," Vogelsong said. "It's embarrassing, really."

Sunday, April 20, 2014

"I've never sat on top of the plate" - Buster Posey

It took 3 years for MLB owners to figure out that allowing psychotic dingbats like Scott Cousins to maim catchers was not such a good idea.

Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle notes that the rule change came into play in today's 4-3 vic over the Padres. Here's the key part -- 

Like any workplace, the ballpark is filled with sounds of griping. There has been plenty over new rules this season that have added instant-replay challenges and attempted to end unnecessary home-plate collisions.
There is no griping from the Giants camp. Manager Bruce Bochy has won three of his four replay challenges, and Buster Posey has proven very adept at standing in front of the plate and applying swipe tags that have befuddled some catchers around the majors who are used to blocking the plate and do not mind getting slammed.
Both rules came together in one sweet moment for the Giants in Sunday's 4-3 victory against the Padres, which ended a three-game losing streak.
After a previously anemic offense took a 4-0 lead on Posey's two-run homer in the first inning and Angel Pagan's two-run single in the second, the Padres loaded the bases with two outs against Tim Lincecum in the third.
Chase Headley smashed a ball past first base into the right-field corner. Will Venable and Seth Smith scored easily, and Xavier Nady, coming around from first, was ruled safe as well, apparently beating superb relays by Hunter Pence and Brandon Belt.
The scoreboard said 4-3 Giants with a runner on third and two outs. Lincecum seemed to be in deep trouble.
However, Bochy immediately popped out of the dugout and challenged the safe call on Nady. The umpires in New York needed only 88 seconds to overturn it after replays clearly showed Posey's swipe tag on Nady's back before Nady brushed the plate with his back leg.
A Padres run came off the board in what became a one-run victory. Plus, the inning was over with Headley stranded at third.
"I've said I like replay, and that changed the game today," Bochy said. "I've been on the other side before replay when that's cost us a game."
"I've said I like replay, and that changed the game today," Bochy said. "I've been on the other side before replay when that's cost us a game."
Bochy knew he was going to challenge as soon as he left the dugout because he had a clear view of a tag that Posey announced he had felt. But Bochy waited until Shawon Dunston confirmed it from video central inside the clubhouse.
Posey's tag was perfect. He took Belt's throw in front of the plate and wheeled around to his left to tag Nady, who attempted a hook slide even though he had a clear path to the plate.
Some catchers have been slow to adapt. Posey and all Giants catchers have adapted ever since the club ordered them not to block the plate after Posey's ghastly injury in 2011.
"I don't know if we have a leg up or not," Posey said. "But I've never sat on top of the plate any time in my career. I haven't had to make any adjustments."

Saturday, April 19, 2014

I hate 3-game losing streaks, so bring back Barry

That's what the good guys have now. I'd bring back Barry Bonds myself.When the Giants were clobbering the ball, it was within memory of his week in Scottsdale. It couldn't hurt!

Dammit. No one is hitting.

Henry Schulman's recap -- The Giants have their first three-game losing streak of 2014, and it’s all on an offense that has gone into hibernation.
For the first time since September, 2011, the Giants have gone three consecutive games without scoring as many as two runs. They have scored once in each of the past three games, including Saturday night’s 3-1 loss to the Padres at Petco Park.
The Giants were looking at a third straight 2-1 loss until pinch-hitter Chris Denorfia squeezed home Will Venable in the eighth inning. The Giants’ streak of one-run games ended at eight.
Tim Hudson had been the lucky charm of the rotation. The Giants had won his first three starts, all after losses.
But Hudson committed the cardinal sin these days of allowing two runs, in seven innings, enough to doom the Giants to their second series loss of the season.
Hudson set a franchise record in the fifth when he completed 28 innings to start the season without a walk. The previous record-holder was Hooks Wiltse in 1913. His actual inning streak cannot be determined because of incomplete record-keeping, but it was no more than 28.
Hudson also became the second major-league pitcher in the past 80 seasons to begin a season without walking a batter in four starts of at least seven innings. The other was the Yankees’ Tiny Bonham in 1944.
Left-hander Eric Stults, who entered wit ha 5.52 ERA, held the Giants to three hits in six innings, one a long Michael Morse home run.

"Wasted a superb performance"

Who in the world could that be about? Matt Cain, that's who. 

The upside is that the pitching has been fine; the historical perspective is that the Giants have now had 8 straight one-run decisions and gone 4-4.

Here's the Chris Haft story on Giants site --

 The Giants wasted Matt Cain's superb performance Friday night by mustering four hits in eight innings off right-hander Tyson Ross in a 2-1 loss to the San Diego Padres.
The Padres nicked Cain for their first run in the first inning. Chris Denorfia tripled to right-center field and scored as the final pitch on a walk drawn by Jedd Gyorko eluded catcher Hector Sanchez for a passed ball.
Cain proceeded to retire 16 of the next 18 batters he faced, including 11 in a row between the third and sixth innings.
The Giants generated their closest semblance to a scoring threat in the seventh inning, which began with Pablo Sandoval's single and Hunter Pence's walk. Ross escaped by inducing Sanchez's double-play grounder and Brandon Crawford's low line drive directly to shortstop Everth Cabrera.
San Diego added an important insurance run in the bottom of the eighth on Yasmani Grandal's solo homer for a 2-0 lead.
San Francisco runners reached second base on three other occasions but advanced no farther until Brandon Belt's home run in the top of the ninth.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Seven in a row for the Orange and Black

What in the world am I talking about? 

Steve Kroner of the SF Chronicle files a solid game coverage story, noting that the 2014 Giants, like the 1910 Giants, have gone through seven straight one-run games. 

Some pretty fine writing here --

So after the Giants dropped a 2-1 decision to the Dodgers on Thursday afternoon, you almost expected to see the ghosts of manager John McGraw, pitcher Christy Mathewson and outfielder Fred Snodgrass hovering over AT&T Park, watching the seagulls perform their postgame ritual.
McGraw, Mathewson and Snodgrass were part of the 1910 New York Giants. That was the last team in franchise history to have a longer streak of one-run games than the 2014 San Francisco Giants put together over the final seven games of their just-completed nine-game homestand.
The 1910 N.Y. Giants played eight straight one-run games in August. The 2014 S.F. Giants managed to win four of those seven games, and they took two of three from Los Angeles despite going 5-for-30 with runners in scoring position.
Their lone hit in eight RISP at-bats Thursday was Ehire Adrianza's RBI single with two outs in the ninth. Adrianza's third hit of the day left the Giants with the potential tying and winning runs at second and first, respectively.
Kenley Jansen stranded those runners and picked up his fifth save by getting pinch-hitter Brandon Crawford to fly to left.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pitching, pitching, pitching

Tonight's 2-1 vic over the dodgers was one of the best of the young season and it showed that Ryan Vogelsong still has some life in him.

He made the Dodgers look silly tonight. Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle recaps --


Normalcy must have returned to AT&T Park because manager Bruce Bochy is joking again about the stress these close games are placing on his heart, which, like the rest of him, turned 59 on Wednesday.
All those home runs in the first week were fun, but they were not Giants baseball, which is predicated on the manner of pitching the team displayed in its third and latest turn through the rotation.
The starting five had a 2.97 ERA after Ryan Vogelsong righted himself and allowed one run over six-plus innings in a 2-1 victory over the Dodgers, which clinched a winning homestand and the Giants' second series victory this season against their ancient rivals.
The 10-5 Giants went 4-1 during the rotation's third turn, all one-run games, all the victories enhanced by a bullpen that has a 0.63 ERA over the first eight games of the homestand. It ends Thursday with Madison Bumgarner on the mound.
Bochy offered a familiar thought when asked what the spate of one-run games has done for his boys.
"It gives you a lot of gray hairs," he said. "I guess that's what it does for us. That's our strength. It's been like that for years. It's good for the guys to know that every play, every pitch, counts. We're in a stretch where we're playing a lot of one-run games, and the guys have done a good job."
The pitching has had to step up because the offense has stepped down some from its heady start. Bochy fielded a lineup with three hitters below .200, none of them Vogelsong.
The Giants scored the winning run in the seventh inning when Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had left-hander J.P. Howell walk .183 hitter Hunter Pence to face .172 hitter Pablo Sandoval.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hector Sanchez again

The big hit came at 12:15 am at ATT Park thanks to the backup catcher

It was such a tight game that I hardly left my seat in Section 315.

How did that taste, dodger fans? mmmmmmm

"I was hungry," he told the San Franciso Chronicle.  

The Giants were out of reserve infielders, outfielders and catchers and down to their final reliever. But they still had Hector Sanchez.
In a game that started on Jackie Robinson Day and ended on Bruce Bochy's birthday — 14 minutes past midnight — Sanchez hit a two-out single off Brandon League in the 12th inning to beat the Dodgers 3-2 before a lively crowd at China Basin.
The Giants struggled in most of their important at-bats, going 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position before Sanchez's at-bat and 0-for-5 with the bases loaded.
The final rally began on Brandon Crawford's one-out single. He took second on a groundout and third on a wild pitch before Sanchez won it, his sharp grounder glancing off second baseman Justin Turner's glove.
"I was hungry," Sanchez said after the 4-hour, 54-minute game – he also expressed concern about getting his daughter to school on time.
It was his fourth career walk-off hit.
"It's a long game, and we used almost all our players," Sanchez said. "In extra innings, you have to get the victory no matter what."

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Splash hit number 64!

Brandon Crawford ended the game in the bottom of the 10th on the second pitch of the inning. Eat it, Rox

I keep thinking that perhaps some of the instruction that Crawford got from Barry Bonds aka Mr. Splash Hit may have paid off.

Chris Haft of mlb.com notes that Sandoval's HR would have also been a splash hit if it had not hit a flagpole on its way to the water. 

All in all, a great day at the yard.