Sunday, September 30, 2012

What is WAR?

"The Giants did not resemble a postseason bound team"

The headline is a line from Chris Haft's story for mlb.com about today's stunning 7-5 vic at Petco. And it makes sense in terms of lousy starting pitching by Lincecum and lousy baserunning but no sense at all in terms of coming back from a 5-2 deficit in the 8th on the road. 

I'm going to disagree. Hey, Chris -- that IS what postseason bound teams do....getting off the mat when the situation looks hopeless. 

So it's on the Chavez Latrine, hopefully to put the Dodgers out of their misery. 

Buster and the batting title

Barry Bloom of mlb.com has an interesting post about whether to sit Buster Posey down if the batting title is on the line. 

Baseball Reference.com is going to give the title to Melky at .346, despite his desire to not have it awarded to him.

The last Giant to win the title was Barry Bonds in 2004 --


1.Bonds (SFG).362
2.Helton (COL).347
3.Loretta (SDP).335
4.Beltre (LAD).334
5.Pujols (STL).331
6.Pierre (FLA).326
7.Casey (CIN).324
8.Kendall (PIT).319
9.Ramirez (CHC).318
10.Berkman (HOU).316

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Who cares about tuneup games?

It's always a problem for teams clinching early like the Giants. Madison Bumgarner was no damn good tonight -- and hasn't been for some time, per the SF Chronicle's game story: 

Though he won the division-clinching game eight nights ago in San Franicsco, Bumgarner did not finish strongly. He allowed at least four earned runs in five of his final seven starts, including Saturday night's 7-3 loss to the Padres at Petco Park

Bryan Murphy at McCovey Chronicles thinks Bumgarner should be able to get it together for the Game 2 NLDS start on Oct. 7. -- 

I'm glad Madison Bumgarner gets, essentially, a week off at this point and can put the bad behind him and gear up for Sunday at AT&T Park.
Bumgarner's persona suggests someone who will be able to flip negatives like a string of lackluster or outright bad starts into a positive. He'll be angry, focused, and well aware of the stakes as he takes the mound. I don't think it's worth comparing 2012 to 2010 or assuming that there's a switch of some kind that will make the starters as good as they were in that postseason, but it's fair to take everything we know (from accounts and stats) and think that Madison will be just fine, or at the very least keep the Giants in the game long enough to give them a chance.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Vogelsong's 14th

Thursday, September 27, 2012

"Barry Zito won his 14th"

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Matt and the Cy Young

There. I've said it. He ought to get at least some votes this time, what with a  16-5 record and a perfect game. Baseball Reference puts his WAR this year at 3.4 before tonight's game. 

He's racked up a 29.1 WAR over eight years. We're lucky to have him be a Giant.  

Since Gio Gonzalez was the first to win 20, he will probably get it; Baseball Reference rates him a 4.6 WAR this season. 

If RA Dickey wins his 20th game, maybe he'll get it. Or Kyle Lohse. Or Johnny Cueto -- my point is that therere's no overwhelming candiate; Perhaps the guy with the Perfecto, who won the All Star game and was rock steady all year will get it.  

Just to show how Matt's excellence is taken for granted: the game story in the SF Chronicle barely mentions him, despite 7 shutout innings.  

Grant Bisbee at McCovey Chronicles has a fine post on Matt. 

The good guy award

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"Time of the game - 2 hours, 52 minutes. Seemed longer"

God bless Jon Miller for giving me a big laugh following a somewhat depressing 7-2 loss in a tune-up game where Tim Lincecum was just plain awful.

And Jon was on top of the good news from San Diego as the Dodgers choked away a winnable game once more -- this time with Andre Ethier striking out and Matt Kemp flying out with the tie run on 3rd and the winning run on first, moving the Dodgers one step closer to their 24th consecutive season without a World Series. Soon, Dodger fans can go back to obsessing about Gibson's homer off the Eck.

Monday, September 24, 2012

My favorite Dodger of 2012

It's Juan Uribe, no contest. I read in the LA Times that he pinch hit last night and got a hit in his first plate appearance since Aug. 26. Mattingly must suspect he's still secretly on the Giants payroll.

He hit .204 last year in 270 ABs with 4 HRs and 28 RBIs. He's at .191 this year (31 for 166) with 2 HRs and 17 RBIs. All this for $7 mil a year with another year to go on the deal.

Jason Schmidt, Eugenio Velez, Juan Uribe -- a true murderers' row of ex-Giants ruining Dodger hopes.

Uribe has 12 years in the bigs and a career WAR over 12.0 -- mostly from seasons in 2004 (3.7 with .506 slugging), 2005 (1.9) and 2009 (3.4 with .495 slugging). He was OK in 2010 (1.3) and turned into a pretty awful player once he became a Dodger.  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Reds or Dodgers?

I suppose that I should be rooting for the Dodgers to beat the Reds so that the Giants might get home field advantage in the NLDS.

No way. Just in case you're wondering, I want the sick dream of Dodger fans to buy a championship killed off ASAP. I want the the Dodgers to go 0-162 every year. (The Dodgers have just gone ahead 2-1 in the 7th.)

Glad we've straightened that out

UPDATE -- the Dodgers won 5-1. I hope they lose the next 9 

Hey, "Anonymous"

I'm not publishing your comments so please quit wasting my time and yours. If you don't like this blog, then get out of here. And get a life.

Go Giants.

The modesty of Orel Hershiser

Of all the ex-Dodger stars around, I've always had a soft spot for Orel, because he's a pretty good analyst and because he put in a decent year in the Orange and Black in 1998. He just said on the ESPN Dodgers-Red game -- making the point that the best team doesn't always win the World Series -- that the 1988 Dodgers were nowhere as good as the 1995 and 1997 Cleveland Indians (which Orel also played for and were the last two Cleveland teams to get to the Series).   

Well, maybe so. I think that comment underrates what a force Orel was in 1988. Gibson's HR in game 1 of the series has clouded people's memories of that year; without Hershiser as an automatic winner down the stretch and into the postseason, there's no Dodger World Series vic. Hershiser was the World Series MVP in 1988 with 2 utterly dominating vics; I would bet that many people would automatically say it was Gibson.

And I really could not stand The "I'm So Intense" Gibson as a player. Interestingly, it looks like he's become a pretty decent manager with the Dbacks.

A spring training game in September

Much as I'd love to see the Orange and Black have home field advantage in the NLDS, I think it was interesting to see the scrubs out there losing to the Padres after a month of doing everything to win every game possible. Francisco Peguero got his first big league hit; Justin Christian broke on 0-for-25 streak. Yasmeiro Peitit made his first start in 3 years. 

So it's the same game as in late March -- who are the 25 guys who will make the cut for the Oct. 6 opener?

Now the question is who to put on the postseason roster. Bochy's already declared all five starters -- Tim, Matt, Barry, Ryan and MadBum. The pen aces -- Affeldt, Casilla, Romo and Lopez are locks so that's nine, and Jose Mijares has been a solid pick up so that's 10. The 10 regulars -- Posey, Hector Sanchez, Crawford, Scutaro, Sandoval, Arias, Blanco, Pagan, Belt and Pence -- bring it to 20.

Can you tell I'm not a big Ryan Theriot fan? I would guess that he will get a slot, though, which brings it to 21. Aubrey Huff has been quietly getting pinch hits -- he's gone 5-for-8 this month -- so I'd say he's a lock unless he manages to find some other weird way to get injured. So now we are at 22. Xavier Nady has gotten some big hits for the Giants in his short time with the club and we all know how much Bochy loves veterans so that makes 23. Additionally, he is the only real fourth outfielder the club has right now, unless we count guys like Theriot, Huff and Belt who haven't done much outfielding at all this season.  

I can take or leave the rest of the pitchers -- Clay Hensley, George Kontos, Jean Machi, Guillermo Mota and Brad Penny are the most likely. I never feel confident with any of the mound. Kontos is probably the best of the bunch and he's been used a lot, so he's No. 24.

My early guess for No. 25 would be either the non-hitting Eli Whiteside, just in case there's an injury, or Brett Pill, who can hit a homer from time to time. He got 104 ABs this year. I would have said Eli before this year but Bochy spent much of the year just going with Buster and Hector. My guess for No. 25 is Pill. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

"They brought a bulldozer and crashed through the wall"

Pretty good recap of how the Giants have blasted through the competition for the past five weeks, per Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle -- 


Once the Giants returned to first place Aug. 20 they hit the gas pedal and ignored every stop sign, going 23-8 to reach the postseason with the giggly memories of the 2010 World Series run still fresh in the faithful's minds.
They won the West for the second time in three seasons under manager Bruce Bochy, the fifth in Brian Sabean's 16 seasons as general manager and the eighth since 1969, when the two leagues were divided into divisions.
The Giants have clinched six of their eight division crowns when playing the Padres.
No play Saturday symbolized the Giants' determination to finish this thing than Pablo Sandoval's fourth-inning catch of Yonder Alonso's foul pop. Sandoval gloved it as he flipped head-first into small section of VIP field seats - after blowing a bubble with his gum.
With one leg resting on a patron's lap and his right hand hanging from the railing, Sandoval shot his glove into the air to show he had the ball, sending the crowd into a frenzy. When


Friday, September 21, 2012

88-63

The Giants have just gone 25 games over .500, thanks to winning 9 of the last 10. The could clinch tomorrow. 

How long has it been since they've been this far over .500? Try 2003. That team wound up 100-61, and went up 25 on July 21 of that year when they got to 62-37, then went 38-24 the rest of the way.  
































































































































































































Not since Randy Winn

The Nats are in the postseason as the Yankees of the West continued to look sickly. The Dodgers are now 10 games out with 12 games left. Tasty!!!!!!!!!!

Steve Kroner's game story in the SF Chronicle notes that Sandoval's homers from either side of the plate have not been done by a Giant since Randy Winn did it four years ago --

Sandoval got after it in the series against the Rockies. He went 8-for-16, and on Wednesday night, he hit a three-run homer in the first inning, his first home run since July 8.
On Thursday afternoon, Sandoval hit his first home run since Wednesday night. Sandoval took Jorge De La Rosa deep to left in the first for the game's first run.
It was Sandoval's 10th homer of the season, only his second hitting right-handed.
De La Rosa made his season debut; he had Tommy John surgery last year. The lefty departed with two outs and two on in the Giants' six-run fourth inning.
Sandoval greeted right-handed reliever Edgmer Escalona by driving an 0-2 pitch over the wall in right. Just like that, the Giants owned a 7-2 lead.
Not only was it the first time Sandoval homered from each side of the plate in a game with the Giants, he said it was the first time he'd done it in his life.
"I'm confident at home plate," Sandoval said. "I feel great at home plate."
Sandoval hadn't looked so great over the past two months, a stretch that included a stint on the disabled list because of a hamstring strain.
Said Pagan: "Something you cannot lose is your confidence when you're at the plate. (Sandoval) just kept believing. He kept working in the cage, trying to get back to his swing - and finally got it."
The last time the Giants had a player homer from each side of the plate in a game came Aug. 30, 2008, when Randy Winn did it at Cincinnati.
The only time this season before Thursday that the Giants hit back-to-back homers came April 11 in Denver when Nate Schierholtz and Brandon Crawford turned the trick.
Add Sandoval and Buster Posey to the list. Posey took Escalona deep to left-center. As Posey headed to the dugout following his 23rd homer of the season, the AT&T Park faithful serenaded him with an "M-V-P" chant.
The fans could celebrate a division title this weekend with the Padres in China Basin for a three-game series.
As for the Dodgers, in his postgame news conference, Bochy said he wouldn't be watching the L.A.-Washington game that was just beginning. He was going to dinner instead.
"I've seen enough baseball today," Bochy said. "I've said this: 'It's up to us to take care of business.' "

Thursday, September 20, 2012

No torture today, either

Your torture-free San Francisco Giants

At a time when other teams are sweating it out, the Giants magic number dropped to six thanks to the Nats and then to five thanks to the Rox.

Pour it on, guys!

Sounds like Sandoval is back in the groove, per Henry Schulman's game story for the SF Chron. And Matt Cain continues to pitch like an ace -- 


Cain is 14-0 this season when he gets at least three runs of support. He had that three batters in after Angel Pagan singled, Marco Scutaro doubled to match his career high in hits for a season at 174 and Sandoval nine-ironed a Tyler Chatwood slider off the right-field foul pole. It might have hit Sandoval in the foot had he not made contact.
Sandoval had not homered since July 8, a total of 161 at-bats, and heard about it at the cage from Cain and Madison Bumgarner, who had the right to yak because he homered last week.
"It seemed like he hadn't hit a home run since like three years ago," Cain said. "Bum gave him some grief. He put a good swing on the pitch. He definitely needed that and he didn't sit on it. He had two more hits."
Sandoval was able to laugh about the end of his drought, saying, "It's about time." He also said he was not really fretting it, though Bochy figured otherwise and said he believes the home run was an important psychological milestone to overcome.
Sandoval is 6-for-12 in the series, another good sign for the Giants.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Why we love Willie Mays in Giants World

There's a nice post by Chris Haft in Haft-Baked Ideas about Angel Pagan getting fielding tips from No. 24.Here's part -- 


Mays, who won 12 consecutive Gold Gloves (1957-68) for fielding excellence, advised Pagan to begin his pursuit of such fly balls at full speed, then decelerate. He reminded Pagan that the less his head moves while he runs, the easier it is to focus on the ball and make the catch.
As the season has unfolded, Pagan relishes being told, “Willie wants to see you,” then going to clubhouse manager Mike Murphy’s office to receive more tutelage from the master.
“I like it,” Pagan said with a gleaming, grateful smile. “I don’t consider myself a genius in baseball, so I have to learn as much as I can.”
He didn’t need to add the obvious — that Willie Mays is a baseball genius.

Postscript -- Pagan got his 14th triple tonight, tops in the MLB. The previous SF Giant record was 12, held by Steve Finley (???!!!) and Mays. 

The return of the real Tim?

The Giants went 2-12 in his first 14 starts -- prompting the Wall Street Journal to assert that it was the worst season ever for an MLB pitcher -- and have now gone 11-6 in the next 17.

Tim may never again be that Cy Young guy but he's turned into a pretty decent pitcher again. He's got his ERA under 5.00 (4.91 to be exact), notes Henry Schulman in the game story for the SF Chronicle.

8 up with 15 to go

Madison Bumgarner looks like he's ready for another postseason. Because it's now unavoidable to consider -- the Giants could clinch the NL West by the end of the week. If the Giants win four and the Dodgers lose four, which is a tall order for sure, it could be done as early as Friday.

The Reds will probably be first to clinch. They're up an astounding 11 games on the Cards. 

Chris Haft's game story contains the odd info the Bumgarner is the first lefty starter to win 15 for the Giants since Shawn Estes in 2000. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Your homer free SF Giants

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dodgers choke again

Nothing to take the edge off a buttkick by the Dbacks like a heartbreaking Dodger loss.

Giants -- 8-0 in Zito's last 8 starts

Obviously the strong play over the past month -- 19-9 since the Melky suspension -- has a lot to do with a lot of players. But if I had to point to one thing, it's the Zito stat, which covers 6 of those wins. Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle noted that he's won 12 games for the first time in his tenure as a Giant.Here's the verbiage at the end of the blog post -- 


Here’s a guy who used to be viewed as a fifth starter at best. The staff just hoped to get five innings out of him. Now, he is throwing as well as anyone on the staff.

He showed it when he struck out Upton to end the sixth inning. Zito just went after him, getting a swinging strike two with an 80-mph cutter then finishing him with an 86-mph fastball, inside black.
The Giants are 8-0 in Zito’s past eight starts.
“This guy has had a great career,” Bochy said. “He’s done a tremendous job of getting back on track. He’s locating pitches, doing a better job of pounding the strike zone. It’s pretty impressive, 8-0 in his last eight starts. He’s very determined this year and he’s come through for us.”

Is Ryan Theriot still on the Giants?

10 road series wins in a row

MLB is such a treasure trove of stats but this one kind of leaped out at me in Henry Schulman's game story for the SF Chronicle -- with tonight's 3-2 vic at Phoenix, the Giants have won 10 straight road series.He notethat it is the first time Giants have done so since the 1968 tean --  which was damn good team.

How good, you ask? Try 4 Hall of Famers --Mays with 2 MVPs, Stretch with an MVP, Marichal, Perry with two Cys -- plus a rookie named Bobby Bonds, Jim Ray Hart, Ron Hunt and Bobby Bolin in their primes. They still finished 9 games behind the Cards in second place -- the last year of non-divisional MLB.   

Speaking of Hall of Famers and MVPs -- Baseball Reference says Buster Posey has a WAR of 6.0 (Melky is 4.6). After his two run HR tonight, the Dbacks announcers said he should be considered as a leading candidate for MVP this year. I concur.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Orange and Black consistency

MC O'Connor at Raising (Matt) Cain has a nice post about the team's ability to stay solid. 

It's based on the idea that there are 9 innings in the season -- each consisting of 18 games. Here's how the Giants have done so far:


1st inning: 9-9
2nd inning: 9-9
3rd inning: 12-6
4th inning: 10-8
5th inning: 10-8
6th inning: 9-9
7th inning: 12-6
8th inning: 11-7

Here's part of his commentary --  It's easy to have confidence in this bunch. They are so consistent. They claw their way out of funks and toss off winning streaks with regularity. If things go well the rest of the way they could clinch at home, and that would be a lot of fun. We all know that anything can happen in this game. We're Giants fans, fer chrissakes. We know this only too well. But I like this team. They just seem to have what it takes. Bip Roberts always talks about "chemistry" on the pre-game show, it's his favorite subject besides "confidence." It's easy to scoff at the old canards these guys trot out every night, but the Giants are living proof of both. They have talent, of course. You have to have that. But they have that magic dust, too, and they sprinkle it all over each other all the goddamn time. They have that synergy, that "whole-is-greater-than-the-sum-of-the parts" thing goin' on, and it's beautiful, man. Just beautiful.
 

20 over .500

Friday, September 14, 2012

Giants 62, Dodgers 25

According to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times, that's the number of runs the teams have scored this month.

What a thing of beauty.

That vital fact was in the 7th paragraph of the game story about the Dodgers' glorious 2-1 loss to the Cards. Here's the verbiage leading up to it --

The last time the Dodgers scored more than three runs in a game?
Would you believe 11 days ago?
For the third consecutive night, the Dodgers had a chance to tie the St. Louis Cardinals for the second and final wild-card spot in the National League. For the third consecutive night, the Dodgers failed.
The Dodgers' offense failed, that is. In the opener of a four-game series that could severely wound their playoff hopes, the Dodgers suffered a 2-1 loss to the Cardinals on Thursday.
The scores of the Dodgers' last three games: 1-0, 3-2, 2-1.
"A lot of the same game, over and over," Manager Don Mattingly said. "We've got to get over the hump. I don't know how to identify where the hump is, but we've got to get over it."
The Dodgers' clubhouse was closed for a few extra minutes after the game, as President Stan Kasten met with Mattingly in his office for what the manager said was a pick-me-up session. Mattingly said he is concerned his players might be losing confidence.
"That's the toughest thing right now," Mattingly said, "coming in here feeling like you're going to win that night. That's the battle you keep fighting."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

What's the best thing on a Giants off day?

A Dodger loss, that's what. The Yankees of the West just keep losing. They are now 7 and half games out of first following a 2-1 loss to Cards at Chavez Latrine.

Pour it on, guys!

There's no better than September to start winning most every game -- especially since tonight's was the final game in Denver this year for the Orange and Black. We all know that no lead is safe in Denver.

"I kept waiting for Coors Field to show up," is how Grant at McCovey Chronicles put it. 

So here's what's left -- 6 games each with Dbacks and Padres, four with the Rox and three with most evil team on the planet (the dodgers, in case you are reading this blog by mistake)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

First time since 2003

The Giants are now 6 games up with 20 to go.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Can we ditch Dan Otero?

He just put the game out of reach, though no game is truly out of reach at Coors Field. He showed again why he belongs in the minors.

He's "pitched" 11 times and has an ERA around 7.00 

It annoys me that Ryan Vogelsong was given the loss for this game for giving up 4 runs in 5 innings -- not a very good start but not awful. Otero gave up the next 2 runs in two thirds of an inning and the Giants lost 6-5. Makes no sense to me why Otero isn't given the loss.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Zito? Zito!

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Dodgers = evil

Five and half up

Thursday, September 06, 2012

It has gotten better for Tim

On June 27, Tim Lincecum was 2-8. He shut out the Dodgers and has gone 6-6 ever since.

He was so bad before then that his WAR this season is still -1.5, dropping his career WAR to 22.2

He goes tonight at the yard against Josh Beckett of the Smodgers, another pitcher who has seen better days.

Lincecum lost?

Robert O'Connel has a nice post in The Barstool blog about Tim's awful season. Here's most of it: 


His poorest pre-2012 season even came with the ultimate fortunate ending, as Lincecum and the Giants, far from the best team in baseball in a year that saw the Phillies, Rays, Twins, and Yankees finish with superior records, rode excellent pitching, Buster Posey, and Cody Ross’ suddenly preposterous ability to homer on pitches down and in to a 2010 World Series victory.  Fate once again smiling upon this San Francisco icon, Lincecum pitched the Series’ deciding fifth game, puzzling the Texas Rangers’ mighty bats over eight innings and outdueling the Rangers’ rented ace, Cliff Lee.  Though Lincecum, by this time, could no longer push his fastball into the high-90s, he worked the plate’s edges with a taunting confidence, staying just out of the batters’ reach.  The image that sticks: Lincecum, in the fourth inning, shuffling fastballs under Josh Hamilton’s hands and past his knees, Hamilton flicking strikes foul until Lincecum chose his changeup, setting it where he wanted and, when Hamilton swung, tugging it like a dollar on novelty store invisible string.  Perhaps no pitch has ever been so well suited to exploit one particular swing, Hamilton’s looping motion flummoxed by the change’s last-second dart.  A few more innings of easy trickery, and the Giants claimed the Commissioner’s Trophy.

Despite a still-eroding fastball, Lincecum pitched almost as well in 2011 as he had during his Cy Young years, posting a 2.74 ERA and suggesting that the Giants had happened upon organically what the Philadelphia Phillies, in recent years, had tried to buy and build: a rotation with four aces, Lincecum and Matt Cain buttressed by the emerging duo of Madison Bumgarner and Ryan Vogelsong.  2012, with the return of Posey from injury poised to ignite the sometimes anemic San Francisco offense, was to bring another pennant and then another October opportunity to follow master with master and frustrate the juggernauts.

Instead, Lincecum has pitched horribly, compiling his 5.21 ERA not with occasional disastrous turns but with consistent badness.  Cain, Bumgarner, and Vogelson have rolled along, combining with a surprising offense to hold the NL West lead as September arrives, but Lincecum seems to weigh on the collective San Franciscan psyche, cameras finding him in the dugout when he’s not pitching hooded and in uneasy repose, giving viewers a gloomy glimpse of their worn hero.  When he pitches, one realizes that there’s no mystery to his descent; he is just worse in about every capacity.  The fastball catches more of the plate than it should, or it misses by more than it should, too wide a margin to coax any swings.  The changeup hangs and gets belted.  The delivery that had been a brave stand against regulation in a time of millisecond-splitting video analysis is now, to armchair analyst and pitching coach alike, frustratingly undiagnosable, the faulty cog impossible to find among the once-charming peculiarities.

That San Francisco has subsisted without Big Time Timmy Jim’s cartoon triumphs somehow adds to the sadness.  If the team had fallen with Lincecum, his myth may have had a more pleasing arc, that of the small, weird battler who lifted his club to the ultimate success and, exhausted by the effort, faded as quickly as he arrived, the team’s triumphs diminishing along with his fastball.  But two years removed from playing the iconoclasts on the game’s biggest stage, the Giants have moved towards a more common brand of good baseball in recent years.  They have shored up the formerly wink-link offense.  They traded, before this season’s deadline, for Philadelphia’s Hunter Pence, an attainable but useful outfielder who the Phillies themselves had acquired in just last season’s deadline as they dreamed of perpetual and seamless growth and who they presently pass to the Giants as a sort of baton of organizational fortitude.  Cain rolls along at the front of the rotation, steady and sure.  It seems, at times, as if this shift towards convention has pushed Lincecum to the periphery, as if he cannot be himself in a situation too well-set.  He joins another former West Coast icon, rusty curveball wizard Barry Zito, at the bottom of the rotation, the Giants carrying with them a sort of museum of goofy pitching artifacts, token reminders, on a team fast becoming indistinguishable from its competitors across the National League, of the old San Francisco weirdness.

Still, something in Lincecum inspires hope.  He does not seem obsolete, just miscalibrated.  The changeup, when well located, retains its effectiveness, the delivery its capacity to disorient.  He is 28 years old, an age when most pitchers reach their primes, not fall out of them.  The years to come will tell whether 2012 is the first in a string of disasters or a 200-inning hiccup.

But most importantly, for the believer, he remains Tim Lincecum.  He carries himself as he ever did, traipsing purposefully around the mound as if to counteract both his scrawny build and his laid-back reputation in one fell swoop, a cram session in batter intimidation.  The same number 55 adorns his back; the same long black hair spills from his cap.  And though discovery has its place in baseball lore – Mike Trout, in combining excellence with novelty, has electrified the season – no desire is more potent in a game so tied to memory than the desire for the return of something lost.  So as evidence mounts against us, warning us of an end that may already have come, we wait for Lincecum to be a great goofball again.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Thanks, Padres!!!!!!!!!!

The Dads prevented the day from being a total disaster for us Giants fans, who have endured a stretch of crappy starting pitching for the past week.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Strangeness in the 11th

Both the Giants and the Dodgers have just lost in the 11th inning. Nothing to take the edge off a brutal loss like a Dodger choke. Odd that it happened about the same time.

The SF Chronicle's game story notes Bruce Bochy set an MLB record by using 11 pitchers... mainly because Ryan Vogelsong was so lousy and gave up 6 runs in the first four innings

Monday, September 03, 2012

Thanks for being a putz, Putz

Sunday, September 02, 2012

What a worthless Putz!

Lesson for the Giants -- If you want something done right, you'd better do it yourself. 

The Dbacks closer JJ Putz was unable to hold on to a 4-3 lead in the 9th at Chavez Latrine. I'm kind of  stunned that the Dbacks manager Kirk Gibson doesn't give the closing role to David Hernandez, who's lights out.

The X man = Cody Ross?

Xavier Nady has turned in a fine 2-game career as a Giant so far, making me wonder about comparisons with the 2010 version of Cody Ross. Here's what Andrew Baggarly just tweeted --

 

Saturday, September 01, 2012

1st of 19 caught stealing

I was reading a fine post at Raising (Matt) Cain about Tim's fine pitching today and one of the "hecklers" noted that Hector Sanchez had become the first to throw out a man stealing (David de Jesus) on Lincecum this season after 18 consecutive steals. 

Truly one of the fave moments of a fine game at Wrigley. Here's part of it via JC Parsons --

Maybe it wasn't Big Time Timmy Jim, but it wasn't too far off.  He had some nasty stuff fo' sure. He really only gave up two well hit balls ( and the homer was right down the right field line at Wrigley, which is about as short as it gets ).  His biggest problem tonight was with the pitch count, but let's face it, that's a nice problem compared to napalm innings which have led to that ridiculous 5.21 ERA.  Is he ever going to get that ugly-thang below FIVE?

The good:  My favorite moments ( besides the Nady double ) were : 1) a lovely throw by
Hector Sanchez to nail a would-be base stealer. It was a perfect strike FROM HIS KNEES! Truly a thing of beauty. And 2) the four pitches (all strikes) from Javier Lopez to lock down the eighth.  He even gave up a single on the first pitch! 

Welcome, Xavier Nady

These tweets tell you all you need to know --


Here's stat du jour: They entered 1-45 w/2 outs, bases loaded in 2012. Nady, gets that situation in 1st AB w/club, drives in 3.


Nady on Giants, A's: “I grew up more liking SF. Probably went to A’s games more because they were cheaper tickets.”

"It's not that Cy Young stuff"

Cubs manager Dale Sveum is recapping the Giants 5-2 win and credited Lincecum with figuring out how to use his offspeed pitches.

Huge win for the Gmen as Tim strikes out 7, showing that he's a viable member of the rotation going into the stretch drive.

Of course, it helps to take the mound with a 4-run lead in the first. In the same situation in Houston three days ago, Zito could not get out of the third inning. Tim gave up a 2-run homer in the third but closed down the Cubbies into the 7th and the pen shut them out the rest of the way 

Thanks, Jason Kubel

The DBacks outfielder kept the Dodgers on a losing track with his 27th homer in the 11th at Chavez Latrine. What a thing of beauty!

There's nothing -- and I mean NOTHING -- like a Dodger loss to take the sting out of a Giant loss. 

Additionally, Dylan Hernandez of the LA Time points out that the Dodgers were unable to add any playoff-eligible players to the roster by the 9 pm deadline Friday. Let's hope that it's a moot point and the Dodgers just keep losing. 

The Yankees of the West are now 2-5 since The Trade.