Thursday, July 31, 2014

Matt Duffy in the Orange and Black?

Chris Haft of writes that the Dan Uggla experiment is over. He's not making the road trip. Instead the revolving door of second basemen may now include Matt Duffy who's tearing it up at double A.Here's what he wrote -- 

So, who's going to play second base?
"It's going to be a work in progress," Sabean said. "Might be series to series."
Marco Scutaro is on the 15-day disabled list with a highly troublesome back. Joe Panik has been unspectacular since his June callup. Perhaps Double-A middle infielder Matt Duffy, the team's No. 18-ranked prospect who is hitting .332 in 367 at-bats for Richmond, will get the next shot?

Damn, it makes me remember what a fine second baseman Robby Thompson was -- 11 seasons in the Orange and Black from 1986 to 1996, a fine career WAR of over 28 including three seasons over 4.0. Had to retire at 34 because of injuries. I've always thought the 1993 club might have won had Trevor Hoffman not beaned Robby late in the season....

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Welcome back, Travis Ishikawa

Who among us Giants fans doesn't remember the clutch at bat that Travis Ishikawa delivered in Game 3 of the 2010 NLDS?

He was back in the Orange and Black tonight. No walk, though. Twas a strikeout to end the game.

Travis has played for 4 teams since leaving the Giants - the Brewers, Pirates, Yanks and Orioles. You're a real fan if you already knew that.  

O SFG C. Ross C. Kimbrel -7% 9% Popfly: 2B

Travis Ishikawa pinch hits for Sergio Romo (P) batting 9th

SFG T. Ishikawa C. Kimbrel 8% 17% Walk

O SFG A. Torres C. Kimbrel -9% 8% Strikeout Looking

SFG F. Sanchez C. Kimbrel 6% 14% Single to CF (Ground Ball); Ishikawa to 2B

Mike Dunn replaces Craig Kimbrel pitching and batting 8th

SFG A. Huff M. Dunn 34% 48% Single to RF (Line Drive); Ishikawa Scores; Sanchez to 2B

Peter Moylan replaces Mike Dunn pitching and batting 8th

SFG B. Posey P. Moylan 36% 84% Reached on E4 (Ground Ball); Sanchez Scores/unER; Huff to 3B

Monday, July 28, 2014

Please fire the batting "coach"

I can understand getting shut out 5-0 by Clayton Kershaw but Vance Worley?

Worley is a marginal pitcher at best. It ought to be like batting practice. Instead, he throws a shutuout -- the first of his utterly undistinguished career.  What kind of "coach" isn't able to prepare a team better than this?

Our hitting "coach" is no goddam good. He was a terrible MLB player. 

What about the two World Series titles? Those were largely due to outstanding pitching. The hitting was always very ordinary. 

It's 3 days until the trade deadline and the parade of crappy second baseman -- Adrianza, Hicks, Scutaro, Uggla, Arias and the kid who played tonight -- will probably continue. The team gave up two decent prospects for Jake Peavy so a deal for Chase Utley has probably gone away.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

So who got the hits?

I see where Kershaw pitched a 2-hitter and can't find out who got the hits in a 5-0 loss. I read the Chron's story and no dice. Then I went to read a loooonnnnng post on McCovey Chronicles and it looks like Michael Morse got a single. 

I looked up Ray Ratto's story on CSNBay Area -- Blanco got the other single. The Giants have had 9 singles in two days. 

Ray wrote a pretty decent game story -- here's part: 

In the two games, the Giants have amassed nine singles, which we needn’t tell you is some pretty Padretastic offense.
They are now left to ask new arrival Jake Peavy to win his first game since April; Peavy faces Hyun-Jin Ryu in a 5 p.m. start that could if it goes wrong negate the 5-2 road trip the Giants just barely finished. Peavy arrived during the game Saturday night, and seems rarin’ to re-establish his old National League bonafides, even though those were seven years ago.
On the up side, nobody was hurt for the first day in a row, and catcher Andrew Susac, called up to cover for concussed Hector Sanchez, is still a candidate to become Tim Lincecum’s new preferred catcher.
Starting pitching reportRyan Vogelsong opened by retiring his first 11 hitters, but found out that a perfect game would never be enough against Clayton Kershaw.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Let's win this year!

Nothing says the Giants want to go all the way this year like trading top prospects Hembree and Escobar to the Bosox for jake Peavy -- who used to be damn good. 

Hoping this works out better than the Dave Roberts deal (Bochy managed both guys in San Diego). Here's what John Shea of the SF chron reports --

Pitcher Jake Peavy, who has struggled in Boston to the tune of a 1-9 record, 4.72 ERA and 1.427 WHIP, will start for the Giants when they face the Dodgers in Sunday’s series finale.
A trade for Peavy is being being finalized,, and the Giants would hope the 33-year-old could bounce back with a return to the National League under Bruce Bochy, who managed him in San Diego.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


That's the Giants' record on the road this year. I heard the Phils announcers mention it as the second best road  record in MLB.

So they've now had Jonathan Papalbon blow back to back games in 9th -- last night on Buster's homer and tonight on Pence's bases-loaded double. 

It reminded me of the back-to-back blown saves last month by Romo against the Rox. Anyhow, this team is playing well and winning on the road. From Henry Schulman's game story for the SF Chron --

In Wednesday night's 3-1 victory, the Giants' sixth in seven games, a fourth-inning rain delay would have created a "nightmare" for manager Bruce Bochy and his bullpen, as he put it, had it gone longer than an hour and he felt forced to replace Madison Bumgarner.
It lasted 58 minutes, Bumgarner was able to finish eight shutout innings, and a relief corps that was spent after working 15 innings the previous two nights took the night off, save for Santiago Casilla's one-inning save.
Every close umpire's call seemed to cheer the other side when the Giants were losing 22 of 32. In the ninth inning Wednesday, with two outs, the bases loaded and no score, Jonathan Papelbon threw a 2-2 curveball that appeared to nip the outside corner.
Umpire Vic Carapazza called it ball three, though, and Hunter Pence lived to win the game with a bloop double in front of right fielder Marlon Byrd that scored Gregor Blanco, Brandon Crawford and Hector Sanchez, the normally impatient catcher who walked on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases.
Stuff happens, they say, but the better a team plays, the more fortunate its "stuff" seems to be.
Bumgarner earned his 12th win, tying him for the National League lead, and said it feels as though the Giants have reached a long-sought turnaround.
"We're playing a different kind of ball now than we were when we weren't doing so good," he said.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lincecum's First Save

Maybe the best game of the year. A ninth inning comeback homer by Buster. 

Nice game story in the SF Chronicle -- The last thing the Giants needed after the bullpen went six innings Monday was extra innings. So guess what happened Tuesday night?
The baseball gods will have their fun.
Actually, the gods had nothing to do with it. Buster Posey did. Posey, who earlier missed a homer by inches, tied the game in the ninth with a solo homer against closer Jonathan Papelbon, who had not surrendered one all year.
The game spun into the 14th inning, when the Giants won 9-6, with Tim Lincecum getting his first career save in the Giants' longest game of the season.
Brandon Crawford broke a 5-5 tie with a three-run, two-out double against Jeff Manship, a monstrously important hit for a guy who was batting .203 against right-handed pitching his year.
Posey went 4-for-7 and started the winning rally with his second double. Manship walked Pablo Sandoval intentionally before George Kontos, who won for the second straight night, sacrificed.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Dan the Man in the Orange and Black

Dan Uggla looks like he'll be yet another candidate at second base -- he got DFAd by the ATL and is now headed to Fresno. 

Will he be a French Francouer flameout or bring back memories to Pat the Bat?  

He's been on 3 All-Star teams and had two seasons with a WAR over 4.0. He's also been awful in 2013 and 2014.   

Here's some good verbiage from Chris Haft's story for --

The Braves released Uggla last Friday after he hit .162 with two home runs and 10 RBIs in 48 games. But if the Giants are hoping that Uggla can recapture his past, at least it's a fairly impressive one.
He finished third in the NL Rookie of the Year balloting in 2006, batting .282 with 27 homers and 90 RBIs for the Marlins. The right-handed batter proceeded to hit 31 or more homers each season from 2007-11.
Uggla recorded his best all-around season in 2010, when he reached career highs in batting average (.287) and RBIs (105) while hitting 33 homers. But while his home run total rose to 36 the following year with Atlanta, his batting average dwindled to .233. Uggla's inconsistency persisted as he hit .220 in 2012 and .179 last year.
Uggla's statistical decline meant little to Hudson.
"I feel like this is going to be a great opportunity for him," Hudson said. "I love the guy. I thought he was a great teammate. He played as hard as anybody I've ever played with. Even though he's struggled, I feel like he handled it pretty well."

Saturday, July 19, 2014

7 for 52?

Brandon Crawford had not gotten an extrabase hit in almost a month since tripling off the Padres on June 25. Last night, he hit a 2-run homer to start the good guys on a 9-1 vic in Miami.

If I were the Giants front office, I would have asked Barry Bonds to please provide some advice.

The game story by Henry Schulman of the SF Chron notes Sabean went on the trip to figure out what to do before the trade deadline on July 31. 

In an interview before the Giants returned to first place in the National League West, percentage points ahead of the Dodgers, Sabean confessed he still does not know which trade route to travel. He is no closer than two weeks ago to knowing what, if anything, the Giants will get from Marco Scutaro or Angel Pagan, or how strong his bullpen really is.
Sabean also made it clear he does not have the resources to fix all of those problems via trade, even if the players were available.
"Obviously, you don't have enough wiggle room payroll-wise and you don't have enough prospects to plug all those holes," Sabean said. "At some point we're going to have to pick our poison.
"If we still have a question at second, still have a question in the outfield and we may need help in the bullpen, that's a tall order."

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Puig strikes out 3 times

Thanks, Yasiel, for a preview of coming attractions at last night's All Star game. Way to suck!

If you read the LA Times, there was no mention of Puig's sucking in the coverage - just Puig 3 in the box score agate under strikeouts.

He's a big bonehead. He got thrown out at 3rd with 2 outs trying to advance on a sac fly on Friday night at Chavez Latrine, ending a rally. The Dodgers lost 6-3. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

An MLB first thanks to the Giants

That would be today's game with Posey and Madison Bumgarner getting grand slams -- the first time ever in MLB history that both members of a battery have each hit grand slams.

Duane Kuiper had an interesting reaction to Bumgarner's first-pitch slam in the 6th. "He got a first-pitch fastball and hit it as hard as he could; that's what Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell did in 2010."

Anyhow, the Giants needed a month to get from 42 wins to 52 wins. During that stretch, they lost 22 games and got shut out six times so now they are 52-43.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Not since Lynn McGlothen

You can call yourself a real Giants fan if you remember Lynn McGlothen, who went 2-9 in a brief stint in the Orange and Black. The Giants traded Ken Reitz to get him from the Cards and got Hector Cruz from the Cubs when they got ride of him.

How bad have the Giants gotten? So bad that Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle went back 37 years to 1977 for a comparison.---

Marco Scutaro looked like a baseball player in his first game of 2014. Not an old player, not a player with a bad back, but a guy who can help the Giants in the final months of the season.
And once again, the Giants looked like a team that needs a lot more help that Scutaro can provide.
Four the fourth consecutive start, Ryan Vogelsong got zero runs of support in a 2-0 Diamondbacks victory, the Giants’ 16th loss in their past 21 home games and their 10th shutout defeat overall, one short of their 2013 total.
Vogelsong allowed two runs over 6 1/3 innings on an Aaron Hill solo homer in the fourth and a Hill double that turned into a run in the seventh.
During his four-game losing streak, Vogelsong has allowed eight earned runs in 24 2/3 innings, a 2.92 ERA. The last Giant to get no support in four consecutive games in the same season was Lynn McGlothen in 1977.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Wecome back, Marco Scutaro

I'm sure the Giants front office has wondered about getting Jeff Kent to un-retire. And why is Ehire Adrianza still on this team?

Last year, Scutaro was a shadow of the 2012 Scutaro but the Giants have been so lousy for so long that it makes sense to give the guy a try, per John Shea of the SF Chron --

Scutaro was Crawford’s double-play partner on the 2012 championship team, showing up after his July 27 trade to be a utility guy and back up Ryan Theriot at second – yes, Ryan Theriot. As it turned out, Pablo Sandoval went on the DL and Scutaro played his first 10 games as a Giant at third, eventually taking over at second.
He hit .362 in 61 games, won MVP honors in the National League Championship Series and was a consummate hitter and teammate, which others fed off. Two years older with a stiffer back, Scutaro is nowhere near what he was. But he is a decent alternative for a team that has tried Brandon Hicks, Joaquin Arias, Ehire Adrianza and Joe Panik at second base.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Angel Hernandez = Satan?

I suppose it's not that bad but he's as bad an umpire as can be, if Duane Kuiper is to be believed. Duane ususally takes a pretty low-key approach so I'm surprised he's so forthright on this per Hardball Talk. 

It's just one more example of how Bud Selig has screwed things up. 

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Sore winners

That's sure not the San Francisco Giants right now. No, that would be the extremely annoying and grating Oakland A's announcers -- who kept braying during the nightmarish 3rd inning about just how SMART and UPSTANDING the A's are and how stupid the Giants are and how they're just not trying.

Please dial it down, guys. Please. I know you're excited about your 57-33 record in your dump of a ballpark but it's not because your guys have superiority moral character and smarts. 

It's this sort of moral superiority that the dodgers fans and announcers like to put forth. And the dodgers SUCK, partly because of it.

Frankly, the A's ownership and park is an embarrassment so get off your high horses before I vomit. 

Monday, July 07, 2014

How about a new hitting coach?

I am feeling BITTER.

Man, that 50th win is elusive. I can't stand the Stupid A's and their crybaby owner. 

Tonight was the 4th shutout in eight games, for crying out loud. Whatever Bam Bam Meulens is telling the guys, it's not working.

I say bring in Barry Bonds.

Speaking of crybabies -- Sports Illustrated should be ASHAMED of itself for its Hank Aaron article that inaccurately calls Aaron the home run king.

Hey, SI -- guess what? Bonds had 762 HRs. Get over it. I guess being accurate is just too much of a challenge.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Tim's ownage of the Padres

They just can't seem to hit him -- their only score off him was a HR by Brooks Conrad of all people. Somehow it's fitting that Brooks wound up a Padre.

John Shea's game story notes that Belt drove in a pair, just like last night when the Giants also won 5-3.

It's the first series the Giants have won in a while.

Only two guys made the All-Stars -- Pence and Bumgarner. No biggie as far as I'm concerned. A 2-game win streak fills me with joy. 

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Belt back!

Nothing like a 10th inning HR to say "I'm back"

John Shea notes in his post for the SF Chron that the Giants had gone 5-18..

Morse went on a high-five assault after his homer, and Belt was forced to protect himself.
“He was coming in pretty hardcore,” Belt said. “I had the left hand up at first and took it back down and stuck the right hand up there. I’ll put my guard on next time.”

Also, the dodgers gagged 8-7 to the Rox.

Welcome, 81 for 93!

I've added a link in the blog roll for 81 for 93 -- a blog done by Bert and Le Anne Steinberg, who are going to ALL the Giants games this year with Bert at the age of 93. They are huge fans, obviously.

I ran into them at Delancey's a few weeks ago and they could not have been more charming.

Hey Giants -- let's win this for Bert and Le Anne!

Belt back

Brandon Belt finally made it back after suffering a broken thumb, per John Shea at the SF chronicle. 

Well, it didn't go very well -- they got shut out 2-0 at Petco. It was the third shutout in 5 games, per Andrew Baggarly at CSN Bay Area.

I'm very reluctant to link to the sites following their CRAPPY re-design. Impossible to view anything in Mozilla ...  

Jeez, MLB! I just want to know that Belt went 0-for-4 in the second slot. At least Bochy's no longer batting Gregor Blanco as the lead off


Friday, July 04, 2014

"This team is driving me to drink"

Zo at Raising (Matt) Cain made that observation after yesterday's worthless 7-2 loss

I concur -- please drink responsibly on the 4th (since I'm out on the road!). Here's the fine post --

Well, I had, if not hope, exactly, then expectations for something better.  But today the Giants and Madison Bumgarner dropped the series against the St. Louis Cardinals and Carlos Martinez.  The Giants have only won 1 of their last 7 games, 2 of their last 10 (both Tim's) and 5 of their last 22.  Madison didn't pitch well enough.  He gave up a home run after a walk that he did not agree with in the 1st inning.  Then in the 3rd, Adam Duvall threw away what should have been a double play, and the Cardinals wound up scoring 3.  Not to be outdone, Yusmiero Petit also threw away a double play ball in the 7th, allowing the Cardinal's 6th run to score.  But by that time, you had a sense that our punk offense would not mount a comeback.  In fact they did tease us with runners on base, but they consistently couldn't push them across.  Remember when the Giants would score first and get 2-out rbis?  Me neither.
Carlos Martinez kept the hitters off balance for the most part.  Madison Bumgarner was much less of a pitcher than he is capable of being, although he did pick up 50% of the Giants' rbis.  Madison's numbers: 5 innings, 5 runs (4 earned), 6 hits, 6 K, 3 BB.  That is his second start in a row in which he pitched less than 7 innings and gave up at least 4.  We need better from our #1.  So many holes in our line-up right now.  Blanco, bless his inconsistent little heart, got 2 hits today and scored the first run.  This team is driving me to drink and that is about the only good thing I can say about them right now. 

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

No July swoon

After one of the most brutal June swoons ever -- the Giants were in first by 9 and half, then went 4-15 -- Tim Lincecum followed his no-hitter with 8 innings of shutout ball. 

He had 73 strikes and 40 balls in the no-no and 73 strikes and 40 balls tonight per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chron --

"Just tremendous," Hunter Pence said after Lincecum followed the no-hitter with eight shutout innings and pitched the Giants back into first place in the National League West after a 24-hour absence.
"I really don't know how to describe it. They were two phenomenal performances. He's got that groove, and it's fun to play behind him."
In his no-hitter, Lincecum threw 73 strikes and 40 balls. On Tuesday, he threw 73 strikes and 40 balls.
Lincecum could have pitched the ninth in a bid for his first consecutive shutouts in the big leagues, but he did record consecutive scoreless outings for the first time since 2011.