Saturday, July 28, 2018

Echoes of 2016

One of the worst times to be a Giants fan was 2016. The team had the best record in MLB at the All-Star break at 57--33, then collapsed in the second half and went 33-39. It took a combination of Bumgarner and Gillaspie to win the playoff game over the Mets but thing fell apart after that.

So the Giants managed to put together a decent team this year and thrashed the stupid A's 5-1 in the first game after the break. Now they've gone 1-6 since then; Cueto has fallen apart and no one can hit.

I actually blame the extremely over-rated Hensley Bam Bam Muelens for being a terrible hitting coach. Every veteran he coached is declining. I've read that he's expected to be a manager somewhere. Good riddance.

I'd love to see the Giants make use of Barry Bonds but that idea seems too radical for the front office.

Sami Higgins of McCovey Chronicles has a recap of tonight's game. 

I wrote about perspective in this morning’s BP, noting the triple play, walk-off balk and the many other rock-bottom moments of the second half of the 2016 season. It was supposed to be taken as perspective about how much worse things could be. It wasn’t supposed to be taken as a challenge.
However, the Giants didn’t get that part of the memo, as they went hitless through five innings and looked like they were going to get no-hit completely. Thankfully, Nick Hundley ended both the no-hit and shut-out bids by hitting a home run to center field in the sixth inning, his ninth on the season.
Seven Giants reached base, two only because they were hit by a pitch and one walked. One Giant trotted around the bases, two were thrown out trying to steal, and four were stranded. The offense continues to be incredibly lifeless. To the point where it doesn’t even matter that the pitchers had a bad game tonight. Even if they’d only given up two runs, that is a now a death sentence with this offense.
But, Johnny Cueto did struggle tonight. His velocity was down from the start and he never quite looked right. Then things started to fall apart in the second inning. The Brewers weren’t necessarily hitting the ball well but they were hitting it to trouble spots, making it difficult for the defense to get plays going in time.
A double, single, single, sacrifice bunt and another single scored three runs for the Brewers. Christian Yelich attempted to stretch his single into a double and was thrown out for his trouble to end the inning. But the damage was done for the whole game because the Giants don’t know how to hit the ball.
Thankfully, we didn’t have to see a lot of it because Brian Wilson was being interviewed by Amy Gutierrez. Wilson said he is glad to be associated with the team again, saying he looks forward to bugging Kruk & Kuip in the booth and putting on a uniform and pretending to be Brandon Crawford. And he could do it, too, he’d just need some hair gel since his hair is now at Crawford’s length. He is also currently playing shortstop with his softball team. The team has no idea who he is.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Crossing our fingers

It sounds like the Giants aren't going to make a trade deadline deal. According to AJ Casavell of mlb.com, the owners are determined to stay below the luxury tax threshold

Here's the relevant part --

The Giants aren't a complete team by any stretch. But they might have a hard time adding a big-name piece at the Trade Deadline. They could use some pitching help, but they're already close to the luxury tax threshold and are firmly committed to staying below that mark.
AL front-office member: "They have a mandate from ownership to not get to the Competitive Balance Tax in 2018. That is why they made a recent deal with Texas to get further down, giving up a good prospect to do it. Giants need some veterans to step it up offensively in the second half, most notably [Hunter] Pence, [Andrew] McCutchen, [Joe] Panik, and should have [Evan] Longoria back in August. They'd like to add another bullpen arm, and with some rotation inconsistency, are scouting for starters, a challenge given their CBT mandate."

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Best Giants game of 2018

That's what Zo at Raising Matt Cain had to say about tonight's 7-1 gem. Here's the whole post --

This was, perhaps, the best Giants game of the year.

The San Francisco Giants beat the Oakland Athletics by a score of 7 - 1.

The Giants pitching was superb.
Madison Bumgarner was the starter.  He got his 3rd win, which, perhaps, is a good illustration of how odd the designation of a W to a pitcher can be.  Madison threw 6 fantastic innings, he gave up a home run to Oakland left fielder Chad Pinder in the 5th inning, with no one on base.  That was Oakland's first run, and it tied the score at 1 each.  The Giants had scored on a balk the previous inning.  Apparently, the Oakland starter, Edwin Jackson, slipped or caught his cleats or something as he was in his motion.  It brought Steve Duggar in from 3rd base.  In those 6, Madison gave up 2 hits, 1 walk, struck out 5 and threw 84 pitches.  Madison also pitched in the 7th inning, and did not fare so well.  He threw 18 more pitches, gave up a single followed by 2 walks and was pulled for Reyes Moronta.  Reyes induced a strike out, a line out to the Panda, and a ground ball to Brandon Crawford.  If you could award a "win" based on sheer grit and savvy, Reyes gets the credit.  Innings 8 and 9 were handled perfunctorily by Sam Dyson (a 4-pitch 8th).

After that, it fell apart for the A's.  A series of relievers in the 7th culminating with Santiago Casilla (who also pitched the 8th) gave the Giants 5 runs for the final score.

The Giants hitting was timely.
Steve Duggar scored 3 times, walked, hit 2 doubles and picked up 2 rbi.  In the 7th, with the bases loaded by way of two singles and a walk, Duggar slammed a double to right to score 2.  Belt was hit on the hand (but stayed in the game), McCutheon hit a sac fly to score d'Arnaud and send Duggar to 3rd, where a wild Santiago Casilla pitch brought him in.  A Buster Posey double scored Belt.  Buster had 2 rbi, both coming with 2 outs.  The Giants had to scrap for opportunity early in the game, but took advantage of them when they came.

The Oakland A's had just beaten the world champion and AL West division-leading Houston Astros in 3 games out of 4.  Oakland, even with tonight's loss, would be in first place in the NL West.  Mark's hope is still alive.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

The Steve Duggar era starts with a bang

He led off and went two for six in the leadoff spot in a wild 13-8 victory over the Cards. Ray Black started his MLB career by giving up a three-run homer in the 8th to make the score 11-8. The Giants are now 46-44.

Duggar's first hit was a double in the 6th that started a five-run rally that put the game out of reach at 11-4.

Adios, Austin Jackson

The Giants have just announced a deal to trade Austin Jackson, Cory Gearrin and Jason Bahr to the Rangers for either cash or a player.

They are also bringing up Steven Duggar and Ray Black. Hopefully, they will stop losing games. They've gone 1-5 this week.

Here is the top of Henry Schulman's story for the Chronicle:


The Giants, meandering around .500 all season and in the midst of five losses in six games, are making massive changes Sunday.
The team announced it has traded reliever Cory Gearrin, outfielder Austin Jackson and Class A pitcher Jason Bahr to Texas for a player to be named or cash.
The Giants are promoting top center-field prospect Steven Duggar and reliever Ray Black, the oft-injured right-hander who can throw 100 mph.

The moves not only free up roster space for two prospects who can help the team now, but also space under the luxury-tax threshold that will allow the Giants flexibility to improve the team by trade at the deadline.

Duggar, 24, was hitting .272 with a .775 OPS and playing outstanding defense in his second season at Triple-A Sacramento. He hit his 27th double of the season Saturday night.