Sunday, May 27, 2018

Wrigley Win

Nothing feels better for Giants fans than the team ending a losing streak -- in this case, a fine 5-4 vic in Chicago over the super-annoying Cubs. MC O'Connor at Raising Matt Cain has a nice recap:

SF 5 CHC 4
The Giants looked good in sunny Chicago this afternoon and held on to beat the Cubs. Gorkys Hernandez flashed some mad small ball skills and Brandon Crawford dazzled with the bat and the glove and the visiting squad snapped their three-game skid. Contributions from Brandon Belt, Andrew McCutchen, and Mac Williamson did the rest of the damage as the Giants overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits. Hernandez is slashing .311/.333/.505 with 12 hits in his last eight games so I think he's earning his playing time. Chris Stratton faltered, but didn't fall apart, and finished strong, striking out six in his five innings (21 batters, 88 pitches) and leaving with a 4-3 lead. Reyes Moronta and Sam Dyson put up zeroes in their frames but Tony Watson gave us a scare with two hits and a run in the 8th. Fortunately Hunter Strickland had a 1-2-3 9th to seal it and the Giants had an impressive, well-played win.

Ty Blach tomorrow at 5:08 Pacific. GO GIANTS!


Friday, May 25, 2018

Most valuable Giants

It's Brandon Belt by a longshot with a 2.5 WAR (wins above replacement) so far this season, according to Baseball Reference.

Johnny Cueto, who's on the DL, is next best at 1.9, followed by Buster Posey at 1.4 and Brandon Crawford at 1.2. Tony Watson and Hunter Strickland are at 0.7. Andrew McCutcheon and Alen Hanson are at 0.6. Reyes Moranta is at 0.5

Friday, May 18, 2018

Brandon Belt is an All-Star

That's what Brady Klopfer at McCovey Chronicles says

I don't really care about the All-Star game but Belt is the only Giant who ought to go.

Here's part of the post --

Let me first state the obvious: Brandon Belt should be an All-Star. If you don’t believe so, then I regret to inform you that you have entered the wrong baseball site. Turn around and find a new one. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.
Unfortunately, many of the people who decide the participants in the All-Star Game are nincompoops, so the selections often have an air of nincompoopery. So let’s cut the bull(nincom)poop, and get to the point: Brandon Belt is an All-Star.


If we gathered all of the season’s awards today, Belt wouldn’t just be an All-Star; he’d also be an MVP candidate. Belt is second in the National League in position player WAR, according to Fangraphs. He’s third if you include pitchers.
The two players above him - A.J. Pollack and Max Scherzer - both play for teams with winning records, so Belt isn’t taking home the MVP trophy in this hypothetical 45-game MVP race. But if he fails to crack the top five in your ballot then you also put ketchup on your tacos and refuse to pick up your dog’s (nincom)poop.
Don’t be that person.
MVP candidates should always be All-Stars, right? Right? …….. Right?
Why do I feel like I’m trying to convince myself of this as much as I’m trying to convince you?

The biggest obstacle

As you may be aware of, MLB has a horrendous rule wherein every team gets a player representative at the All-Star Game. It’s the baseball equivalent of a participation trophy, in a league that condones the most microscopic displays of joys, and cheers 95 MPH fastballs to the buttocks as a means of retribution.

And it could absolutely screw Brandon Belt in the most stupid, nincompoopy of ways.
Here are the top five first basemen in the NL this year, with their fWAR in parenthesis:
Brandon Belt (2.1)
Freddie Freeman (2.0)
Joey Votto (1.4)
Cody Bellinger (1.0)
Eric Hosmer (0.8)
Freeman is in. He’s good, he’s popular, and the Braves are one of the best stories in baseball, presuming you turn a blind eye to, you know, the blatant racism that emanates from their stands every half inning or so.
Let’s look at Hosmer, a fine but inferior player to Belt. Only one other position player on the San Diego Padres has eclipsed 0.5 WAR. That’s Travis Janikowski who . . . let’s just be honest here, is not going to be an All-Star. The only player contending with Hosmer for best on the squad is Ty Ross, and boy howdy would that be an uninspiring All-Star pick.
You see what I’m getting at. Good ol’ Eric Hosmer, owner of an exorbitant contract that he really doesn’t deserve (I’m all for players getting paid. Get it, Eric), owner of worse stats than Belt in every category imaginable, could steal Belt’s spot, just because the league demands a representative from baseball’s most uninspiring team.
As a reminder, there’s no set number of players at each position for the All-Star Game. Usually there are three first basemen selected, though sometimes only two.
If things hold, Belt will likely be an All-Star, but ugh . . . “likely” really should not exist in that sentence.

Wait a minute, what if Belt is the participation trophy?

The Giants have a lot of perennial All-Star candidates. Let’s go down the line.
Madison Bumgarner: Far too injured to be selected.
Johnny Cueto: Far too injured to be selected.
Andrew McCutchen: Playing fine. Not playing great or close to it.
Evan Longoria: Recovering from a slow start, not playing at an All-Star level in a talent-heavy position.
Which brings us to Buster Posey, who is having a fine season. But he’s fifth in the NL in fWAR, tied with Tucker Barnhart. Now, based on reputation, popularity, and pitch framing alone, he’d probably make the All-Star Game were voting held today, but it really isn’t a sure thing.
Translation: Belt may be the only Giant at the midsummer classic.

In conclusion…

Brandon Belt is on pace for 7.6 fWAR, and if he isn’t an All-Star I will throw (nincom)poop at the walls.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Some good news for a change (about Bumgarner)

The Giants are in a 6-game losing streak and went down 1-2-3 in the first today.

But there's a ray of sunshine -- Madison Bumgarner is finally starting to throw again. Here's the story from McCovey Chronicles.

It’s been a tough week, Giants fans. The team is striking out at a record rate, the pitchers are giving up infinity runs, and they’ve just been hard to watch. Not to mention all of the injuries, and the fact that we’re facing a rain delay weekend, which will make it even more difficult to watch.
Fret not, though, there is a glimmer of hope for the future:
According to Hank Schulman, this is three days earlier than expected. Which is a great sign, and it could mean we see Bumgarner return closer to the originally scheduled May 25th. The most recent run of updates were sort of trending towards a date later than that, but maybe now that’s not the case.
It sure would be nice to have an ace on the roster again. Let’s couch that, it sure would be nice to have a starting pitcher who can pitch into the sixth inning. Hell, I’d take a starting pitcher who could give us five quality innings.
Don’t rush yourself, Madison, but please hurry back.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Matt Harvey in the Orange and Black?

Given that the current rotation is Holland, Blach, Suarez, Stratton and the Shark, it's not surprising that the front office is giving  some serious consideration to signing Headcase Hall of Famer Matt Harvey.

MLB Trade Rumors has the news via Rob Goldberg -- 

The San Francisco Giants are reportedly among the teams interested in acquiring Matt Harvey, whom the New York Mets designated for assignment Saturday.        
On Monday, Jerry Crasnick of discussed the team's interest along with the possible question marks:
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Mets have 4-5 teams interested in Harvey, including the Giants, and would pick up the majority of his remaining salary to receive something in return.
Harvey had a 7.00 ERA in eight appearances (four starts) this season before the Mets DFA'd him.
The 29-year-old had a 6.70 ERA in 19 games last season while recovering from thoracic outlet syndrome and apparently is still shaking off some rust. While Harvey had a 2.53 ERA in his first three seasons in the majors, finishing fourth in Cy Young voting in 2013, he is well-removed from that level of production.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Andrew Suarez wins his first game

The Giants have won four in a row and are now 19-15. They've scored 33 runs in four games.

Biggest news Sunday was the first MLB victory for Andrew Suarez per

ATLANTA -- In his third career start, Giants left-hander Andrew Suarez was in control of the Braves' lineup on Sunday en route to San Francisco's 4-3 win -- the first of his career -- to complete a series sweep at SunTrust Park.
"It's something I'm never gonna forget, for sure," Suarez said. "I'm just glad we got the win, especially the sweep."
In his 5 1/3 innings of work, Suarez allowed seven hits -- all singles -- and the lone Atlanta run off him was unearned as he struck out six and issued just one walk.
"He knows what he's doing out there, so it's good to see him come up here and get off to a good start," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "As much as that, he's got a lot of confidence. It can be a tough time for a guy coming up and making starts. You try to get settled in, but from the get-go he's been good."
Suarez also induced three double plays, with six total turned in his last two starts.