Friday, August 30, 2013

Angel's golden return for the Orange and Black

The SF chron makes a justifiably big deal out of it -- though it fails to mention the Giants actual record since Pagan went down on May 25. 

That's lazy, though I don't have to knock these stories out on deadline. OK -- the record was 27-22 on May 25.  

Then they went 32-52. They finally won their 60th game tonight. WHY?????????

They played Andres Torres and Gregor Blanco far more than they should have. And Jeff Francouer, Roger Keishnick, Kensuke Tanaka, Juan Perez. Even Brett Pill.

Brian Sabean is to blame for this. 

I say sign him

The Belt upside

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The international Orange and Black

Andrew Baggarly of CSNBay Area has a long post about the need for the Giants to do a lot more finding players on the international market like the Dodgers did.

I guess the combo of standing pat because of the World Series -- oh, wait, they signed Andres Torres and Jeff Francouer -- plus the albatross contract of Barry Zito managed to keep the Giants office looking like it's arrogant and not particularly smart

Please pitch Petit

John Shea of the SF Chron reports from Denver -- Yusmeiro Petit might start sunday instead of Barry Zito. That's a GREAT idea. Among the most depressing things in this depressing season is seeing Zito continue to pitch. 

I'd like to see if Petit's start this week was a fluke. AS for Zito, I never want to see him pitch again for the Orange and Black.

ABZ -- ANYONE BUT ZITO

Giants aren't no-hit

Terence Moore is an idiot just like Bruce Jenkins

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"Zito can't explain 2013 results"

That's the very laughable headline on the San Francisco Chronicle's story about Barry Zito's miserable season, authored by John Shea. 

Here are some of the better responses --

 The question is, if someone hits a homerun off Zito should it count, I mean, come on people, it's like batting practice right. He's not like a real major league pitcher anymore.
And Barry, please stop trying to explain why you can't pitch anymore. Please just shut-up.
Thank you.

 What....is Zito now trying his hand at standup comedy? He sucks today as he has sucked his entire time with the Giants....all the way to the bank. What a fraud. End of story.

 Dear Zito:
one--you are a year older
two--your "fast ball" travels at 81-83 mph
three--if your pitches are not spot on, the batters will treat you like a little league pitcher.
You are welcome, no reply needed.

That's got to be the greatest deadpan headline yet: "Zito Can't Explain 2013 Results". Right up there with "Titanic Captain Can't Explain Leak"

 I would think the headline was misleading. A better headline would be "Zito can't explain 2012 Results". 2012 was the aberration in Zito's tenure with the Giants.

 Zito pitches are very hittable, like batting practice. Why is he out there? This is the big league, they are charging big bucks for tickets. Why throw this little leaguer out there?

 I'm counting down the days until we don't have to endure any more Zito starts. I don't watch them anymore. I'm a season ticket holder, I give away the home games that Zito is scheduled to pitch. We owe him a debt of gratitude for last season, but it's past time to go now. 6 years of awful and 1 year of very good. Ubelievable how crazy a game baseball is. After his first 5 years here I wouldn't have bet anyone that he'd win 15 games last year. It almost seems like a dream.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Petit? Petit!

Yusmeiro Petit got his first MLB vic in 4 years tonight in Denver. A nice reversal from Zito futility of Monday -- which was overwhelming that I could not think of anything to post except something like "Hating on Zito" 

It brought his MLB record to 11-20.  

He's been pitching well at Fresno. Here's what the mlb.com story had to say --

Petit threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of the 26 batters he faced and threw 67 of his 96 pitches for strikes. This was Petit's 38th Major League start but just his second in the past four seasons. His lifetime record in those 38 starts is 10-17 with a 5.15 ERA. In four previous starts against the Rockies, Petit hadn't pitched more than five innings.
"He pounded the strike zone with all of his pitches and threw quality strikes," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's been around, knows what he's doing out there. He showed it tonight."
This was just the second Major League start for Petit in the past four seasons. This year, Petit went 5-6 with a 4.52 ERA in 15 starts at Triple-A Fresno but had allowed three or fewer runs in each of his final seven starts with a 2.30 ERA in those games.
 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Dodgers look pathetic

Spoiler alert!

86-69

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Brian Wilson's home debut as a dodger

Not particularly impressive so far. He got Victorino to start the 8th, hung a slider which Dustin Pedroia hammered for a double, gave up an infield single to Napoli, got Gomes on a popup, walked Stephen Drew to load the bases with two outs. Now there's a conference on the mound.

This feels pretty familiar, actually.

He struck out Will Middlebrooks looking on a 2-2 pitch. I still think Wilson's living on borrowed time after a second Tommy John surgery

UPDATE -- And the dodgers LOSE 4-2!!!!!!!!!!! Start of a big fat season-ending losing streak. Anyone who signs with the dodgers is a LOSER

"Miserable season"

That's how Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle described the Orange and Black season in his game story, which  highlights Madison Bumgarner losing 3-1 to Clint Barmes of all people.

Well, there's no sympathy from the rest of the world for us Giants fans after winning the World Series twice in the past three years. We are reduced to a spoiler role. 

As I write this, Jon Lester of the Bosox has shut down the dodgers through five. Of course, you wouldn't know that by watching the miserable Fox broadcast. The dingbat announcers don't want to tell us what's going on down on the field....instead, they're obsessing about Brian Wilson.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Spring training starting early

I thought of that when Bruce Bochy let Jose Mijares pitch the 6th after the disastrous 7-run 5th inning tonight instead of replacing him with someone more effective. And when he pulled Marco Scutaro for Nick Noonan later in the game, in which Brett Pill started and had 3 hits. Now it looks like we may have seen the last of Mattt Cain this year.. 

The season has become a second spring training.  

The best news about the game was that Matt Cain wasn't hurt worse, per John Shea of the SF Chron. He has never been on the DL --


For Giants fans, the final image of Matt Cain Thursday night was his bee line to the dugout after he took a sizzling liner off his right arm, a right arm that has logged 872 innings since 2010 and might be getting a rest.
Finally. And forcibly.
Cain exited another of those 10-5 losses, this one to the Pirates, in the fourth inning, and the good news came a bit later. X-rays were negative. Just a forearm contusion. Just a forearm contusion? Easy for anyone other than Cain to say.

The Giants trailed 3-1 when Cain left and tied it on Marco Scutaro’s two-run single. The Pirates put the game away in the fifth inning by scoring seven runs. Guillermo Moscoso’s wildness was on display when he was charged with three runs on no hits, and Jose Mijares coughed up the rest.
Only one member of the bullpen’s Killer M’s, Jean Machi, had a good night, logging two scoreless innings.
Though it all, Cain was getting treatment. His next start, Tuesday in Colorado, is in jeopardy. For someone who has made 31 to 34 starts for seven straight years, this is a significant twist. Cain’s $112.5 million contract runs through 2017, and the Giants will be in no position or mood, if he’s still hurting, to get him back on the mound for a meaningless game at Coors Field.
The Giants collected eight hits, and Brett Pill had three. Pill, making his first start of the season in left field – Bochy said it might not be his last – hit an eighth-inning double in a rally that featured Brandon Crawford’s bases-loaded, ground-rule double.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Adios, Frenchy



Hard to believe that Jeff Francouer is already gone from the Giants. Per CBS Sports --

Francoeur, 29, once appeared a very promising prospect, but he's never lived up to expectations that came from his excellent rookie season. He still has a cannon for a throwing arm and the potential to hit for power, but this season he's hitting just .204/.238/.298 with three homers in 256 plate appearances.
He's still young enough that he'll likely find work somewhere, but he's now been discarded by five teams in the past five seasons.

Zito nightmare ending soon

It can't end soon enough. Not since Armando Blownitez have I found it more difficult to root for a Giant.

Henry Schulman of the SF Chron writes an unusually lame game story that barely mentions Zito. Hey, Henry -- it wasn't the two errors that led to 12-1 Bosox vic. It was CRAPPY pitching. 

I dislike errors by the Giants but the lack of hitting and quality pitching are what has doomed this year's team. And Zito has been the most worthless Giant.  

Waving the white flag with Zito

I'm posting this with Barry Zito still in the game as the starting pitcher and the Bosox having a 6-1 lead in the 4th. Earth to Bruce Bochy -- this guy can't pitch any more. He's no damn good. 

Can we please not pitch him any more even if Chad Gaudin is on the DL? What about some of the minor leaguers?


UPDATE -- Jean Machi just came in so the latest of torture for Giants fans is over. Because nothing says you are giving up like starting Zito.

Walk Don't Run For a Walk-Off

It was the first walk-off win in almost two months since June 22 -- yikes!  -- per Chris Haft's recap for mlb.com

The Giants got 8 hits -- three each by Belt and Kieshnick, one each by Scutaro and  Arias  -- and three walks by Pence, Torres and Scutaro, who drove in the game winner with a 4-pitch walk-off walk Strange but always a good thing when the Giants win.

The good guys are now 56-69.

Monday, August 19, 2013

I thought that Cy Guy was back

I was wrong. Tim Lincecum is back to being lousy. 

The offense consisted of three singles by Andres Torres, one by Posey and two walks by Brett Pill, who got hit for Tim and replaced Jeff Francour, who got the start in left tonight.

And this is where I start to lose it. What kind of lazy incompetent General Manager -- who's obviously resting on his laurels -- runs a revolving door in left field. Besides Pill and Francouer, there's been Torres, Gregor Blanco, Roger Kieshnick, Kensuke Tanaka, Juan Perez, Franciso Peguero and Cole Gillespie. What a bunch of fifth outfielders, aside from Blanco, who is a damn good 4th outfielder    

To have not planned better than this for something going wrong -- such as Angel Pagan going out for most of the season -- is inexcusable. 

Frankly, I am more confident that Lincecum -- who stunk up the joint tonight -- may yet rebound than any of these guys having even a chance of performing at a replacement player MLB level. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The 68th loss

I didn't realize until Henry Schulman of the SF Chron pointed it out -- today's 68th loss equalled the total losses last year.

Damn. 

So many things have gone wrong.  

I figured that with Bumgarner pitching and getting a 2-0 lead on a Pence homer in the first, this one was in the bag. The Stinky Fish exist to create misery for the Orange and Black. 


The August rebirth

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Two in a row

Man, it has been awhile since the Orange and Black had a real winning streak -- like back on May 5 when they hit six in a row to go 19-12. They had just swept the Dodgers, who were 13-17 at that point. 

Well, this game tonight was decent with 14 runs and 19 hits -- season highs for the good guys per mlb.com's story by Joe Morgan (!!?? - I guess it's not THAT Joe Morgan 

The Giants are now 54-67. They need to go something like 35-6 to have a shot at the postseason...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Your World Champion San Francisco Giants

They sure played like it today with perhaps the best victory of the year. I keep forgetting that Hector Sanchez was a big contributor last season but he reminded us all today with an utterly fearless at bat in the 9th with the Giants down to their last strike. Here's part of the game story from Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle -- 

With two runners on, Sanchez drove the ball high into the dusk and just inside the right-field foul pole - his first homer of the year and first career pinch homer - to give the Giants a 4-3 victory.
"He saved a little sanity around here," manager Bruce Bochy said.
Sergio Romo saved the Giants' first win here since April 2011. Brandon Crawford co-saved it with one of his best catches as a Giant when he lunged behind second base to intercept Bryce Harper's shot up the middle to start the ninth.
Sanchez knew exactly what his home run did for his team and himself.
"I'm having a tough season," he said. "To come into that situation and hit a ball and get us a victory is amazing for me. It made me feel great, for me, the team, the manager. This is what we need to do: Keep fighting."
That is all Sanchez has done in a rough sophomore season that yielded three RBIs before he doubled that in one swing.
His travails began long before spring training when he hurt his throwing shoulder playing winter ball in Venezuela. He was still hurt on Opening Day, a big reason the Giants carried a third catcher. That it affected his throwing was obvious. His hitting? Less so.
The Giants finally put him on the disabled list before the All-Star break and kept him there for a month. The shoulder finally felt as good as it had all year.


Hector has 38 RBIs last year in 227 plate appearances and a WAR of 0.8

Thursday, August 15, 2013

"Close to a good loss"

Man, we are having a tough time putting a positive spin on this dismal season. "Close to a good loss" is how Chris Haft of mlb.com puts the 6-5 result. 

I would say "not as humiliating as it could have been."

Chief culprit was Tim Lincecum what with a 5-run inning.

Brandon Belt hit another homer -- one of the better developments of the season is that Belt now has 14 HRs. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Fire Hensley Meulens and DFA Barry Zito

I think the best day of the 2011 season came two years ago when the Giants front office ditched Aaron Rowand and Miguel Tejada on the same day. And do you know what? The Giants actually put together an 8-game win streak down the stretch.

If I did my job as poorly as Zito and Meulens, I'd be toast. Come on, Sabean. Let's salvage something from this fiasco.

Now that the pitching staff seems to be turning in decent performances in most games -- particularly the starters -- it's time get rid of people who are no damn good at their jobs. 

Think I'm being hard on Hensley?  Take a look at this passage in the game story by Chris Haft of mlb.come  for the 4-2 loss tonight --

The Giants out-hit Washington, 10-9, but went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and marooned 12 baserunners.
This, of course, is nothing new. The Giants are averaging a Major League-low 2.58 runs per game since the All-Star break. They've scored three runs or more in six of 24 games in that span. And in their last 12 games, they're batting .176 (16-for-91) with runners in scoring position.
Last year, when the Giants' .296 batting average with runners in scoring position after the All-Star break led the Majors, is becoming more and more of a distant memory.
"Somebody's going to have to hit a gapper sometime, you'd think," Bochy said. "And we're missing it."

I say that the alleged batting coach ought to take the blame for doing a garbage job. 

62 years ago

Monday, August 12, 2013

Chad and Tim

Lowlight of the season

Sunday, August 11, 2013

White-flagging with Zito

You know, there's nothing that says "We've given up on this game" when Dave Flemming says, "And Barry Zito is warming up in the bullpen."

Of course, it was as ugly as we've come to expect -- three hits, three runs on a 3-run homer by Adam Jones in the 9th. Put the game completely out of reach at 10-2.

Oh, well. This should utterly seal the Giants declining the option on Zito for 2014. I'd love to hear Scott Boras explain why anyone should sign this guy after he fleeced the Giants for $126 million over the past seven years. 

  

Belt taking it up a few notches

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The right Orange and Black stuff

Well, it was another game with a nightmarish outcome but plenty of positives -- another HR by Belt and a fine return from Ryan Vogelsong. 

Dammit -- now that the rotation is solid (Cain, Tim, Chad, Madbum and Vogey -- we are stuck with only having a quarter of the season left. Well, tomorrow is the day to start a big win streak

Andrew Baggarly of CSNBay Area had a nice analysis piece. Here's a big part of it ...

 

No, Vogelsong did not have his best stuff while taking a major league mound for the first time since a pitch crushed is pinky finger May 20. His running two-seamer wasn’t hitting Buster Posey’s glove at 92 or 93 mph. He wasn't shattering bats.
But there are other kinds of stuff. And against one of the major league’s post power-packed lineups, Vogelsong showed he still has the right amount of it inside. He actually pitched better with limited velocity as he went along, holding the Orioles to two runs in six innings of an eventual 5-2, 10-inning loss at AT&T Park.
“I just tried to do what I always do,” Vogelsong said. “Be mentally on every pitch and think about the stuff I needed to do to make pitches.”
It’s working for Tim Lincecum, who spent the better part of two years whipping over his front leg and trying to torque pitches past major league bats. It took Lincecum that long to figure out that less was more.
Vogelsong has learned so many baseball lessons the hard way, too. It’s what gives him his perspective and his appreciation for what he’s been able to achieve in his mid-30s.
“It's hard not to do something you love doing, you know?” Vogelsong said. “I missed it."
Vogelsong is not ready to be a right-handed Barry Zito yet. He still had the nasty factor on a few pitches, even if three of his four strikeouts were called and he benefited from more than a few hard outs.
It was a good sign that he was able to untangle himself from a couple jams while stranding five runners in the first three innings. He had cruised, mostly, in his minor league rehab starts. And prior to the injury in May, Vogelsong had so much trouble making that Houdini pitch. He had turned in just one quality start among his first nine, and had a 7.19 ERA. The long postseason, followed by the World Baseball Classic, appeared to be obvious drags on his arm.
He did not have tremendous, bat-sawing stuff in his return Friday night. But it was also his first start back. So factor that in for now, and toss in Vogelsong’s lack of concern while you’re at it.
“I don’t have any issues or anything,” he said. “I’m just trying to build arm strength back up.”
Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow made an interesting comment about Vogelsong on KNBR Friday morning. He said he enjoys watching the 36-year-old pitch because it’s like watching someone piece together a puzzle. Vogelsong throws one pitch to set up another, and when it doesn’t work out as planned, when he’s behind 3-1 to a hitter, he refuses to give in.  Even on a night when it’s obvious he’s missing a few pieces, he’ll still try to fill in as much of the picture as possible.


Thursday, August 08, 2013

Adios, Guillermo Quiroz

Lefty Malo does a nice post explaining the implications of Quiroz being DFA'd today. 

He's back. The Giants Thursday recalled Hector Sanchez to be Buster Posey's primary backup and designated Guillermo Quiroz for assignment. He immediately caught Tim Lincecum's gem of eight innings, one hit, but don't be deceived. Bringing up Sanchez is an offense-now move for a team dying for any kind of lineup upgrade, anywhere, anytime.

I've been a Hector basher on this blog, I admit. He doesn't have a good eye at the plate, he doesn't have much power, and his defense is shaky at best. Part of his recent woes were due to a bad throwing shoulder, which he says is feeling much better. (He made a very nice throw in today's game to lend his assertion some credence.)

But the bad shoulder can't explain away the pitch framing problems, which probably cost his pitchers at least a few strikes a game. I watched a few innings of the game today on my lunch break. I didn't see much improvement from the jerky, stabby glove movements that in the past have even elicited on-air comments from Mike Krukow, not one to normally throw his fellow Giant employees under the bus.

Remember, though, that Hector doesn't turn 24 until November. He has time to improve. It's easy to see him becoming in time an adequate backstop who makes modest contributions at the plate. But he'll get there faster playing every day in Triple A, not once or twice a week in the big leagues. I don't see much advantage bringing him up now and dumping Quiroz, when in 22 days rosters will expand, anyway. 


 He might have to improve quickly to keep a job with the Giants. That's because Andrew Susac, a high draft pick a couple years ago, is quietly having a very nice year with the bat in Double A. He's missed some time due to injury; 12 home runs in 262 at-bats is an excellent rate in the pitcher-friendly Eastern League. I'm not sure about his D, but if can at least match what Sanchez offers, he could be a call-up candidate next year.

Imagine this scenario: a backup catcher who can actually hit, which gives the Giants more reason to play Buster Posey at other positions. But also imagine Brandon Belt continues to improve; he's hitting better than last year, however you measure (OPS, wOBA, or wRC+), and a good finish to the year could put him well into the top-10 major league first basemen, and that's before you factor in his plus-defense. If Belt makes himself irremovable from the lineup, could we start to see Buster at the hot corner now and again in 2014 or 2015?
That, of course, leads to the question whether Pablo Sandoval will be there. If he continues his anemic pace -- .259 / .310 / .380, even worse than his disappointing 2010 -- the Giants might end up mistaking him for a backup catcher.

The Cy guy returns

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Harsh times for the Orange and Black

Lefty Malo, who's not given to tantrums, really let our guys have it tonight.-- 

I rarely do this, but... Booooo, Giants. Tonight's loss to the Brewers was unfit for human consumption. The hitters couldn't make a peep of noise against a thoroughly tomato-can pitcher, then a wretched defensive spell in the eighth ruined Madison Bumgarner's outing, then Barry Zito, mopping up in the ninth, used rancid schmaltz in his bucket instead of lemony-scented Pledge.

Hey Joe Maddon, you want to re-think your words of encouragement from the past weekend? Maddon told the Giants to keep their daubers in the up position, but we're not fooling ourselves. The team is tired. The just-enough-offense strategy has fizzled into Buster Posey and the Seven Dwarves. It's all about 2014 right now, and the fall from World Series grace has come so swiftly, perhaps we should be thinking about how the Giants can avoid the multi-year spiral of ugly that can suck in teams and their fans with little warning. A couple key injuries, a couple bad free-agent decisions, a few years of farm-system neglect, and, pow, sucka, you've got two decades of Kansas City or Pittsburgh all up in your grill.

"Unwatchable" Giants

That was the headline in the SF Chronicle's game story tonight.  I have my problems with the Chron but I'd be hard to dispute that headline.  

They have not hit a homer at home since July 20. FIRE HENSLEY MEULENS.

 Also, six years ago tonight, Barry Bonds hit his 756th homer off Mike Bacsic.

I think Barry would be a fine replacement for Bam Bam -- and it's hard to believe the Giants could hit any worse than they are right now.

BONDS FOR BAM BAM

You're welcome

I'm so done with Zito

Not quite sure what Bruce Bochy wanted to accomplish by letting Barry Zito relieve in the 9th tonight and put what had been a disgusting game already completely out of reach by letting the score go from 4-1 to 6-1. I don't get it. Zito is no damn good any more, not even pitching at home.

I'd had a long tough day at work but enjoyed hearing the Giants eke out a run in the 7th to go ahead 1-0. Bochy's decision to leave in Madison Bumgarner in the top of the 8th blew up in his face as two Brewers got on and scored, thanks to horrific defense by Crawford and Sandoval.

I appreciate Zito's good run last year but that's so over.  

Leading off -- Hunter Pence

Bruce Bochy has shaken up the lineup again and put Hunter Pence in the leadoff spot tonight. He's also starting Jeff Francouer in center. 

My impression about Francouer is that his best days are way behind but he's still a decent defender. 

My guess is that the injury to Angel Pagan has been ruinous to this team. Here's teh SF Chron's Henry Schulman's take --

 “Desperation” is the only word that comes to mind when you see Hunter Pence leading off and Jeff Francoeur in center field. This is not a knock on the two players. It’s just not who they are.
The state of the Giants’ offense is astounding considering the same cast plus Angel Pagan composed the lineup of a World Series title team just one season ago. 
They are missing Angel Pagan. The 3-4-5 hitters, Pence, Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval, are struggling with runners in scoring position. Brandon Belt, though improved since his three-day break, is not putting up the same numbers as last year. Marco Scutaro is caught in a slump he can’t explain and the Giants are getting no ignition from the leadoff spot.
Gregor Blanco was not meant to be the leadoff hitter on a defending World Series championship team. He was supposed to bat seventh and platoon. Now, he is mired in such a long slump, 3-for-45 since the All-Star break, that it might have gotten into his head. Manager Bruce Bochy thinks so.
“His confidence is shaken,” Bochy said. “It’s a hard thing to get out of. I talked to him yesterday. When he was bunting the last time up, he was almost sending a message he’s lost his confidence.”
So Pence leads off, which he did 32 times with the Astros in 2007 and 2008, a guy who is the exact opposite of the typical leadoff hitter who sees a lot of pitches and works counts.
Desperation.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Fire Hensley Meulens

This should bring out the defenders of Bam Bam who will no doubt say I'm full of it. I say fire him NOW

Let me point out --

-- The Giants have gone 2 for 22 in RISP situations in the last two games
-- They have not homered at home since July 20
-- Scutaro has stopped hitting -- .224 since June 20. 31 of his 33 hits have been singles
-- They're wasting fine starting pitching; Matt Cain held the Brewers to 2 runs tonight. Normally, that's enough to win.  
-- They keep letting garbage starters like Wily Peralta close them down, per Steve Kroner of the SF Chron, who reports --
A starter needs his offense to score a run or two while he's the pitcher of record to have a shot at a victory. The Giants mustered all of one run against Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta in his 6 1/3 innings.
In his previous two outings, Peralta gave up a combined 12 runs (eight earned) and 12 hits in 8 2/3 innings.

 

Lilly in the Orange and Black

SB Nation is reporting that the Giants have signed Ted Lilly to a minor-league contract and that he will pitch in Frenso tonight.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Chad Not So Bad

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Better than Zito

That's the best thing I can say about this game. Guillermo Moscoso started instead of Barry Zito and the Giants still lost but only by 4-3 instead of by 7-3. 

So I looked back at the some of the games Zito has pitched recently and there were 7-3, 10-1, 10-6 and 12-8 losses... The 10-1 loss going into the All-Star break at Petco was brutal

 -- but there were also a few adequately pitched games, probably enough to make Bochy and Righetti believe maybe he'd get it together.

That GREAT guy is back

I'm often wrong -- I'm the second to admit it. This revival of Tim Lincecum's career is one of the most positive developments of what's been largely a depressing season. Keeping the Rays to a single run at their home park is some fine pitching.

Here's what Buster Posey told Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle --

 You could say Lincecum is finally listening to Posey after all these years. Posey said he would not put it that way, but he agreed that by doing his homework, Lincecum is fostering a rhythm between the two that can aid the cause.
"He's definitely putting in his time before the game coming up with a game plan," Posey said. "I think that probably helps his confidence going into the game, knowing he's well-prepared."

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Zito's last start

Remember when Barry Zito won Game 1 of last year's World Series? At that point, I recall that there was some suggestion that maybe the Giants should pick up his option for 2014.

I don't think that's going to happen, given the horrific performance of 2013 with a negative 1.5 WAR. OK, Vogelsong is negative -1.7 but Zito has become unable to pitch on the road. What a head case.


I can't think of a more appropriate cap on Zito's career as a starter than last Tuesday's 7-3 loss in Philly, which may have been Zito's last start as a Giant. There have been lots of crappy Barry Zito starts, but this one was especially distasteful in that it left the team 13 games under .500 with only two months left in the season. Perhaps this will be the game that GMs bring up to Scott Boras the next time he's trying to get a 7th year tacked on to a contract.  

Per Andrew Baggarly of CSNBay Area, Bruce Bochy has told Barry Zito that he's no longer a starter for the Orange and Black It sounds as if Zito's tenure as a Giant is coming to and end this year. 

Zito went to 4-3 at the end of May with a 5-2 vic over Oakland. At that point, his ERA was 3.88 and he ws occasiaonlly effective.  

He's now 4-8 with a 5.08 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP. He's a nice guy but as an MLB starter, he flat out stinks right now. 

Friday, August 02, 2013

Three in a row!

Now, that's more like it. A vic over one of the best teams in baseball at home. There's still time to get back in the race.

LET'S GO GIANTS!

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Romo tiene cojones!

That's what Henry Schulman of the SF Chron said about Romo's performance tonight with a headline saying "A word on Sergio Romo --

And that word is “cojones.”
I won’t translate it. You probably know what it means. And deep down you have to know that Sergio Romo has them. If you want to read a complete recap of tonight’s game and Romo’s ninth inning, see the original post below.
I get ripped a lot from people who think I’m anti-stats; or, more specifically, anti-Sabermetrics. Truth is, I’m not. I just get aggravated when those in the “stats community” go too far overboard and deny any human elements that can affect the outcome of a game.
One of the greatest canards is, “Teams overvalue closers.” 
Now, part of that is true. I’d be reluctant to sign a closer to a four-year, $50 million contract because success in the role can be fleeting and the difference in talent between a guy who pitches the ninth inning might not be worth millions more than a guy who pitches the eighth, especially if it’s a Santiago Casilla.
The canard part is the notion that “anyone can close,” which is pure balderdash, poppycock and a whole bunch of other 19th century words that an old curmudgeon like me are supposed to use.
You think any pitcher with great stuff could have gotten out of the bases-loaded, no-out situation that Romo escaped tonight? Some might have, but I’d wager most couldn’t because of the way the Phillies got their three runners and what that would do to a pitcher’s mind. Especially after the pitcher had lost his previous two games (as Romo had).
An error, a slip and fall on a bunt (by Romo himself) and a hit batter. That’s enough to make a lot of pitchers tear their hair out, and it’s not easy to get three outs without allowing a runner from third to score when you have a fistful of hair.
As soon as Romo hit John Mayberry Jr. to load the bases, I looked toward the dugout to see if someone would go to the mound to try to make sure Romo was calm. Nobody came, although manager Bruce Bochy thought about it.
“I just backed off there,” Bochy said. “That’s his game. He’s been in that situation. That’s why he’s your closer. He regrouped and made some great pitches.”
All Romo needed was Buster Posey telling him he had to bear down, and his cojones.
Romo said there was something more: “The fact that no one’s given up here, everyone keeps pushing and trying to progress forward as a group, and the performance that (Matt) Cain put out today. That ninth off (Jonathan) Papelbon is not easy to do. You’re able to be more confident going out there knowing you’re not alone, knowing that everyone still wants it. The reality is it was just really really good to get it done.”
And when he did, Romo reached 25 saves.
I asked what that number meant to him, and he said, “It’s huge. It means I’ve been able to get the job done that many times. It means more I’ve been able to do it for these guys because they put me in that role. They feel I deserve to be in that role. Just to get it done and reward their efforts, actually getting my job done, that’s the most fulfilling part.”

Holy cow!

That's the best I can do -- quote Harry Caray. 

Well, there I was at work getting depressed over the prospect of a 1-0 loss in Philly.

Then the Giants scored 2 in the ninth. I damn near fell out of my chair. Then Sergio Romo loaded the bases with no out in the bottom of the 9th. Then Romo got them.

Best win of the year. Best win of the year.

Here's the first 5 grafs of Chris Haft's recap -- 

 
The offensive spark that Brett Pill and Roger Kieschnick have provided since their arrival this week from Triple-A Fresno again burned the Phillies.
Pill and Kieschnick provided two of four consecutive ninth-inning singles Thursday night off Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon as the Giants rallied for a 2-1 triumph.
San Francisco trailed, 1-0, when Hunter Pence opened the ninth inning by beating out an infield single for his third hit. Pill followed by grounding an 0-2 pitch into right field. Kieschnick, batting for Jeff Francoeur, also singled to right, hitting Papelbon's first pitch. That scored Pence with the tying run.
Joaquin Arias singled to left field on an 0-1 split-finger fastball, sending Pill home with the go-ahead tall

Old guys prefer old guys

Echoes of Stretch