Sunday, June 29, 2014

Still in first place

The gas can bullpen

7 runs in 3 innings tonight

Good Lord.

I was going to apologize for paying attention; I had ignored the game tonight, saw that they were behind 2-1 in the 9th after Romo blew a save, saw them tie in the 9th thanks to Buster, saw Machi give up a 2-run single in the 11th and stopped watching in time to miss the Reds score 3 more

Hoo boy. MC O'Cooner was Raising (Matt) Cain puts it aptly -- 

So we know the Giants will live and die, like most teams, on the strength of their starting pitching. Unfortunately when a team is in a losing spiral like the one they are in now it hardly matters. The Giants got a strong start from Ryan Vogelsong on Thursday but poor work from the bullpen and an anemic effort by the lineup doomed them to defeat. Tonight Matt Cain gave the team seven shutout innings, but the same formula--feeble offense and wretched relief--kept the losing streak going. I thought I might talk about Sergio Romo, but so much is wrong with the club right now it's not worth singling anyone out.

The Giants scored 111 runs in April and 123 in May. They've only managed 92 so far in June. The swoon isn't just the offense--the team allowed 94 runs in April and 90 in May and they've allowed 112 in June. It's a team-wide mess. They are 10-15 for the month after a 6-1 start--that's four wins in their last 18 games. We knew they would not sustain the smoking hot start to the season. We knew they'd cool off and hit some rough patches. But this is really, really ugly and not at all what I expected. They aren't doing anything right. Perhaps we can feel good about a solid start from Cain as they certainly can't expect to stay in contention without the rotation performing the way they ought to.
 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Adam Duvall's first day in the MLB

Some excellent deadline reporting by Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle--

Here is the first part of it --

As many folks know, we have to file a game story as soon as the final out is recorded. In a tight game, we often have to write two stories at once, a win story and a loss story, on separate screens — just in case.
In the eighth inning today, I had to pull up a new file and prepare a story that said Lincecum had a no-hitter but lost it. It must be done. But I somehow knew I wouldn’t have to use it, unless Lincecum jammed one of the final few hitters and gave up a duck snort single.
He was that good today.
“It was an incredible performance,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He had such a great focus. He was really an artist out there.”
You can read my gamer here, with all the facts and figures and some of the best quotes. I also wrote a Giants beat that focused on Adam Duvall. He’s the infield prospect the Giants promoted from Triple-A Fresno today to replace Angel Pagan, who is going on the DL.
What a day for Duvall. He flew in from Austin, Texas, where the Grizzlies were playing, showed up at first pitch, donned his new No. 37 Giants uniform then got to join the celebration on the field when Lincecum finished the no-hitter.
“I jumped on the pile and I got to be a part of it,” Duvall said with an ear-to-ear smile. ” To be able to witness that my first day here, it was a little hectic, a little awesome.”
Duvall, 25, was the Giants’ 11th-round pick in 2010 out of Louisville and was leading the Pacific Coast League with 23 home runs when Fresno manager Bob Mariano phoned him at his Austin hotel room Tuesday night with news of his promotion.
“It was like someone punched me in the chest,” Duvall said. “I couldn’t get any of the words out. To finally hear those words from your manager is something you can’t prepare for.”
XXXXXXXXXX
Hunter Pence is now a seasoned veteran of Lincecum no-hitters, having played right field in two of them. We asked Pence if he noticed anything different about Lincecum before the game. They dress next to one another.
Pence had a hard time thinking of anything out of the ordinary until he remembered how excited Lincecum was when Pence handed him a shipment from the U.S. mens soccer team. They sent Pence and Lincecum personalized jerseys. You might have seen Lincecum wear his in the clubhouse celebration and interviews.
“I think we’re going to give a little shoutout to Team USA soccer for sending us jerseys,” Pence said .”We’ve been inspired just by watching them and how they’ve gone about it.”


Adam Duvall in the Orange and Black

They brought a serious masher up to the big club today; he has "easy" power, according to Bruce Bochy --

Here's part of Chris Haft's story for mlb.com -- 

Besides hitting a league-high 23 homers, Duvall was batting .297 in 67 games. He ranked second in the PCL in RBIs (67) and slugging percentage (.620).
Bochy said that he'll try to give Duvall, 25, a start or two at first base, with Michael Morse likely moving to left field in those instances.
Though the PCL has a reputation as a hitter-friendly league, Bochy regarded Duvall's power as legitimate.
"I don't care where you are. That's a lot of home runs," Bochy said. "He has 'easy' power."

Gary Brown in the Orange and Black

Henry Schulman of the SF Chron is reporting that Angel Pagan is on the DL so that we will either see Gary Brown or Adam Duvall in an MLB uni soon; my guess is Brown because he's a strong defensive outfielder. 

I'd say that Bochy wants to give the pitchers as much support as possible from the defense, based on what he said tonight --

Yes, the offense needs to better, but during this stretch of 11 losses in 14 games, the starters have faltered with a 5.85 ERA. Bochy addressed that after tonight’s loss.
“It’s fair to say that’s our biggest issue in this tough stretch,” Bochy said. “The rotation put us in a good position. Now, they’ve hit a bump in the road, some of them. It happens.
“It’s important we get out of this and it’s going to be our starting pitching that gets us out of this.”
Next chance to be a hero: Tim Lincecum, who has a 6.85 ERA in his four June starts.

UPDATE -- THEY BROUGHT UP DUVALL NOT BROWN

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Dave Flemming is right

"People don't come here to watch you"

What in the world am I talking about? Dave Flemming went on a rant during the postgame tonight following a disgusting 7-2 vic by the Padres.

It's the Steve Barman-type LOSERS who come to AT and T Park and try to catch balls rather than the fielders. One did tonight and prevented Tyler Colvin from making a catch of a ball that went for a disgusting Padre homerun.

By the way, I have exactly zero sympathy for Bartman. ZERO. According to his Wikipedia page, he's never gone back to Wrigley. If Moises Alou catches that ball, who knows what happens?

So, assholes -- let the goddam players play the goddam game.It's just a goddam baseball. You can buy one at the souvenier stand, OK?   

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Two in a row!

The Giants have just won their fifth straight series at Chase Field with a closer-than-the-score-indiecates 4-1 vic.

Joe Panik even drove in the 4th run with a double. He got a walk last night in his MLB debut.  

Marco Scutaro may never be back; Brandon Hicks had stopped hitting MLB pitching; Adrianza never started hitting; and Arias is strictly a backup. So Panik was option 5 this years a second baseman..... 
Then he went 2 for 4 today. 

42-21 to 44-30

so the Giants are still 14 over .500 despite an ugly 1-9 stretch. Ryan Vogelsong held em to 4 in 5 innings and the pen shut down the Snakes for the rest of the game

They're still on track to win 96 games. Here's part of Andrew Baggarley's story for CSNBay Area --

 

 It took awhile for Romo to get a shot at redemption after blowing two save situations last weekend against the Colorado Rockies, but at least he was facing the right team. Romo entered with a 1.08 ERA in 49 career appearances against the Diamondbacks.
First the bullpen had to record nine outs to put the ball in his hands. Jeremy Affeldt recorded four of them, but allowed two soft singles in the seventh. Jean Machi got away with a huge mistake when Goldschmidt fouled back a floater down the middle, and ended up walking him to load the bases. But Hill hit a foul pop on the first pitch that Pablo Sandoval caught with room to spare to end the inning.
Santiago Casilla struck out two in a 1-2-3 eighth but Romo got in trouble when pinch hitter Roger Kieschnick hit a one-out double in the ninth. Kieschnick had one extra-base hit in his career as a Giant, and now he’s got one against them. 
Gregorius followed with a grounder to the left side and Crawford, who was shaded toward second base, ranged far to glove it. But Gregorius beat the throw by a step. A ground out advanced runners to second and third, and with Goldschmidt up, Bochy made a mound visit and put a hand on Romo’s shoulder amid the conference.
Rather than put the winning run on base, Bochy trusted Romo to get the out against one of the league’s most dangerous hitters. Romo threw a first-pitch slider and Goldschmidt hit a line drive to right field, but Pence raced back to catch it near the track to end the game.
Romo recorded his 21st save in 25 opportunities.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

OK, time to Panik

The Giants have brought up Joe Panik to the big club and given him the Number 12, according to the SF Chronicle. Here's part of it --

Publicly, the Giants had expressed a desire to let Panik develop more in Triple-A, where he has a .321/.382/.447 slash line, very impressive even for the Pacific Coast League. He has 14 doubles, four triples and five home runs.
Privately, though, team officials conveyed a need to see Panik before the July 31 trade deadline. Brandon Hicks’ regression might have accelerated the move.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

No Panik despite another loss

Even Tim Hudson is losing now. Henry Schulman of the Chron says the Giants are not going to panic and bring up Joe Panik despite a 5-game losing streak. 

The team still has a 4-game lead despite its crappy play. Here's Hudson's take --

After today’s 7-6 loss, the Giants clubhouse did not have that “lost eight of nine” feel. Maybe it was the late rally from down 7-2 to kept the tone from being funereal.
Losing pitcher Tim Hudson, who was hammered for seven runs in 4  2/3 innings, had a different idea. In his version of events, the Giants were not really that far away from winning most of the games they have lost since the Mets left San Francisco on June 8.
“Even though we lost some games, there are some games we feel like we should have won,” Hudson said. “Today’s a game we felt we should have won.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

"And Cain walks in a run"

What else do you really need to know about tonight's game? The Giants got an early 2-0 lead while the Sox announcers were talking to Paul Konerko's wife Jen. Then Gordon Beckham homered and Cain started getting hammered...Crawford's error let in two and the final score was 8-2.

This is what I call a June Swoon.

I will leave it to M.C. O'Connor at Raising (Matt) Cain to recap -- 

The pain continues for the Giants who have now lost seven of eight. The Cain Train got derailed tonight as the White Sox pummeled the big righty for eight runs. Matt Cain has not been Matt Cain in 2014, and it's no goddamn fun. Life is better when the Giants win. I mean, sure, life's good and all, no complaints, but it's sure as hell better when the team is winning. It's like horseradish on your prime rib, man. I like prime rib all by itself, I mean it stands on its own, am I right? But you add a little root sauce from Amoracia rusticana and boy you get yourself some lip-smacking goodness, am I right? Right now I'm missing a little spice on top--my main man Matty is stinking up the joint and my fave team is free-falling and showing no signs of slowing down.

Jesus, Mary, and Fookin' Joseph, win a goddamn game already!
 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Maybe it's my fault -- sorry!

We here at Giants Win take the success of the Orange and Black pretty seriously. So I'd like to apologize for showing up Friday and Saturday's game. I had not been at a home game since the May 23 and 24 vics over the Twins...

It's hard to believe that the good guys lost back to back on blown saves by Romo with a 4-2 lead on Friday and a 4-3 lead on Saturday....

The only constant I can think of is my being there. So maybe I'd better stay away. Apologies!!!!!!!!!!

That's how real fans think by the way -- something awful happens so you'd better change up the circumstances.

MC O'connor at Raising (Matt Cain) called it "Nigtmare on King Street Part two"and here's some verbiage -- 

The Giants are having their worst week of the season with losses Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and now losses on Friday and Saturday. That's 1-5 in six games, which they did once before, from April 17th to April 22nd. And yes, the Rockies were involved. That stretch was a loss to the Dodgers at home, two to the Padres in San Diego followed by a win, and then two losses in Colorado. They went from a 10-6 team to an 11-10 team. These June Giants were 42-21 after Sunday's win and are now 43-26. Those 26 losses are the fewest in the majors. The Giants are 7-6 for the month, not quite swoonish but not quite the well-oiled machine we saw in the first third of the season. Game 72 is in Chicago this Wednesday. That's 4/9 of the way or the fourth seasonal inning. Lots of baseball left.

GO GIANTS!


--M.C.

Friday, June 13, 2014

The pro's pro

That would be Tim Hudson, who is making the front office look like a bunch of geniuses for signing him during the offseason. 

I thought of this just because of the comments Hudson made about Brandon Crawford in the mlb.com story about yesterday's 7-1 vic, written by Ryan Hood --

Angel Pagan made a sliding grab in deep center to rob Jayson Werth of extra bases in the fourth. Crawford ranged to his left to corral a grounder from the speedy Denard Span before stepping on second and making the throw to first in time to preserve the then-2-1 lead in the fifth. An inning later, Crawford ranged to his right with two on and one out, scooping up the Zimmerman grounder in time to throw Werth out at third.
"He hit that ball pretty good and it hit the lip of the grass and it popped up, it was a big play for us right there," Hudson said of Crawford's double play. "He's much better defensively than I anticipated coming into Spring Training. He's really blown me away with his defensive skills."
After playing with Andrelton Simmons, arguably the game's best defensive shortstop, Hudson has grown accustomed to being backed by outstanding defensive play at the position. He believes Crawford belongs in the same discussion defensively as Simmons.
"Crawford is way better than people give him credit for," Hudson said, "and a lot of fun to watch. Every ball that gets hit to that side of the field I feel like he's going to make a play on."
Crawford has exceeded Hudson's expectations and Bochy believes the same can be said about Hudson.
"We were very excited about getting him here," Bochy said, "and he's done all we thought he could do and more."

Thursday, June 12, 2014

No 4-game sweep for the Nats

It turns out that this could have been the first 4-game sweep by a visitor at ATT Park, per the SF Chronicle 

Thanks, Tim Hudson -- no matter what else happens, a loss today would have been TOUGH TO TAKE.

Here's Henry Schulman's take -- 

As bad as the series was for the Giants, they lost only one game off the fat 9 ½-game division lead they had at the start, as the Dodgers split a four-game series in Cincinnati.
The Giants are 4-3 on a homestand that ends with a visit from the Rockies, who have cooled considerably since their most recent game was suspended in a 2-2 tie.
The Giants had the right guy on the mound in Hudson, their most consistent starter. The Giants are 10-2 in his starts, 8-1 following a loss. His majors-best ERA stands at 1.81.
Michael Morse, who seemed depressed after striking out with the bases loaded in the eighth inning of a 2-0 game Tuesday night, finally got the measure of his former team with three singles, two contributing to a pair of two-run rallies.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bumgarner Vs. Fister, take 2

A big hat tip to Raising (Matt) Cain for pointing out that the last time Madison and Doug faced off against each other was in Game 2 of the 2012 World Series. Giants Win was in the CF bleachers. 

Amazing that Bumgarner already has two rings and has won 2 World Series games. A thing of beauty is a joy that lasts forever....

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Your .667 San Francisco Giants

42-21 -- that equates out to 108-54, ladies and gentlemen.

 Tim Lincecum wins his 5th game over Zach Wheeler of all people, he of the Carlos Beltran trade. Gregor Blanco drives in three runs from the leadoff slot -- all a bit hard to believe. Chris Haft has some nice coverage at mlb.com-- 


When Zack Wheeler was drafted sixth overall in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft by the Giants, the right-hander was dubbed "Little Lincecum," thanks to his similarly herky-jerky delivery.
Dealt to New York in July 2011 for Carlos Beltran, "Little Lincecum" opposed his nickname-sake Tim Lincecum for the first time Sunday afternoon at AT&T Park.
Wheeler's Lincecum-esque motion has since become a thing of the past, much like his Sunday outing became after Lincecum ended the 24-year-old's day with a fourth-inning single for his first hit of the season as the Giants defeated the Mets, 6-4, completing the three-game sweep.
Wheeler allowed four earned runs on six hits and two walks in just 3 2/3 innings, the shortest start of his young career. Lincecum flirted with trouble in his six innings, but as has been a trend lately, he averted too much damage, surrendering three earned runs on six hits and one walk en route to earning his fifth win of the season.

41-21

The last time they were 20 over .500 was in September, 2012. They finished the season at 94-68 and got to the 20 over mark two weeks earlier with a 6-2 vic over the Snakes. 

I don't believe it either. The good guys were down 4-3 in the 9th, then Pagan got to first on a strike out. It was over 4 batters later.

I saw the Metsies score 3 runs in 3 innings off Tim Hudson and thought "He just doesn't have it tonight."

But the pen held the Mets to one run the rest of the way. With that kind of pitching, a team always has a shot. 

Here's Steve Kroner's verbiage for the SF chron --

Angel Pagan opened the ninth with a strikeout, but still reached first. Jenrry Mejia’s pitch was low and catcher Anthony Recker couldn’t corral it. It rolled only a few feet to Recker’s left.
Pagan hustled up the first-base line, and when Recker’s throw pulled Lucas Duda off the bag, Pagan was safe on the wild pitch.
Hunter Pence followed with a liner into the left-field corner. His double brought home Pagan for a tie game. Pence and Pagan each had three hits.
Pence followed with a smart baserunning move, tagging up on Buster Posey’s flyball to left. Pence was at third with one out.
The Mets intentionally walked Pablo Sandoval to get to Michael Morse. Morse, who’d been hitless in four at-bats, stung a ball to right-center over the drawn-in outfield.

Friday, June 06, 2014

First HR in 93 ABs

The Good Guys are now 40-21, a pace that will give them a 106-56 record. 

I had not noticed but it had been a month since Buster Posey homered, per Chris Haft's story on mlb.com...

SAN FRANCISCO -- After Matt Cain's pitching held the Mets spellbound through much of Friday evening, the Giants relied on good old-fashioned power, as Buster Posey's two-run homer broke a deadlock in the eighth inning and lifted San Francisco to a 4-2 triumph.
With the score tied at 2, Angel Pagan drew a four-pitch walk from Mets reliever Carlos Torres (2-3) to open the eighth. Pagan advanced to second base on Hunter Pence's groundout before Posey redirected a 1-0 pitch into the left-field seats, ending a drought of 93 at-bats without a homer.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Back to 1962

The Giants got an easy 6-1 vic today on a getaway day in Cincy, leaving them at 39-21 -- that's the best 60-game mark since the 1962 team that was 40-20 at the same point. The Giants are on a pace to go 105-57; the 1962 team won 103 games.

That was some team -- four Hall of Famers in Cepeda, Mays, McCovey and Marichal. A rotation of Marichal, Jack Sanford, Billy Pierce and Billy O'Dell. Stu Miller in the pen. Went to 7 games against a Yankee team that had won every AL pennant since 1947 except for 3 years, along with 9 World Series. 

Will we look back the same way on Bumgarner, Posey, Pence, Sandoval, Cain, Romo and Crawford?

Bumgarner has now won 6 in a row.Nice coverage by Chris Haft of mlb.com --

Bumgarner (8-3), National League Pitcher of the Month in May, shut down the Reds after a stressful first inning. He finished his eight-inning workshift by retiring 23 of the last 24 he faced.
"He pitched like it was still May," Crawford said.
The 24-year-old left-hander has a 1.91 ERA over his last seven starts. He gave up hits to two of the first three batters he faced, including Todd Frazier's solo home run, before settling in.
"He was hitting all his spots," Reds leadoff hitter Billy Hamilton said of Bumgarner. "Of course, it could have been both ways; we could have hit better. But I feel like he did a great job today of mixing up his pitches and hitting his spots."
"What a job he did," Bochy said.
Bumgarner even gave Reds fans something to cheer about. When Cincinnati reliever J.J. Hoover got two strikes on Bumgarner in the eighth inning, what had been a quiet crowd came to its feet. Hoover eventually fanned Bumgarner, the 11th strikeout of the day for Cincinnati pitchers -- the number needed for a local restaurant chain to give out free pizza to ticketholders.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Another beauty of a night

In less than 2 minutes, the Giants scored 3 runs on a homer by Morse, a single by Hicks and a homer by Juan Perez in the 6th. The Reds announcers could not have been more stunned.

MC O'Connor at Raising (Matt) Cain recaps ably the baserunning blunder by Billy Hamilton that limited the Reds to 2 runs. The Reds announcers were steamed about Hamilton's gaffe for the rest of the game. Those guys get pissed. 

then the Yanks of the West lost 2-1 at Chavez Latrine to go 8 games behind the Orange and Black. Two infield hits by Dee Gordon was the sum total of the dodger offense. What a thing of beauty!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

The return of the 2012 Lincecum?

Well, so much for pulling Tim Lincecum out after 96 pitches last week when he was no-hitting the Cubs over 5 innings. The idea being to preserve him for this start -- which blew up in Bochy's face. 

A truly awful outing, starting with a 4-run first -- which made me think of this game from April 2012, when Tim also gave up 4 first-inning runs at home, leading to a 5-2 loss.  

Tonight was worse. Tim put up zeroes in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th but fell apart in the 5th. 

Tim is now 4-4 with a 5.01 ERA. It was the crappiest out of the year; he had a lousy outing a month ago in Pittsburgh too. 

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Tim Hudson projecting to 18-6

Tim Hudson already had a 2.1 WAR before the game started, according to Baseball Reference. The he shut out the Cards at Busch for 7 innings. 

What a stunner this deal has turned out to be -- lights out pitching every time.Here's part of the mlb.com coverage by Chris Haft -- 

Joaquin Arias, who filled in at first base after Michael Morse had to be scratched with a sore left foot, drove in three runs with a pair of singles. Brandon Crawford collected a pair of RBIs, scored twice and played his usual solid defense.
And, of course, there was Tim Hudson, who delivered a typically solid effort. The right-hander tossed seven shutout innings and surrendered three hits -- one in each of the first three innings and none after the third, when he left the bases loaded. Hudson retired 13 of the last 14 Cardinals he faced after accidentally beaning Allen Craig in the third inning.

4th shoutout of the season

Michael Wacha dominated the Giants today, 2-0 

It was only the 4th time our guys have been shut out this year.  

I hate any Giants loss. Brian Murphy at McCovey Chronicles reminded me that it's going to happen, even to the team with the current best MLB record at 36-20 --

  The Giants started Ehire Adrianza, for goodness sake, and Hector Sanchez looks like he needs a day. Our favorite baseball team could've looked even worse, but against a team that overpowered them, they merely looked regular overpowered instead of comically overpowered. Even at less than full strength, the Giants are a tough team to beat.