Friday, June 23, 2017

Blech Blach

After dropping 7 of their 8 game road trip in Colorado and Atlanta, the Giants returned home.  And lost.

Ty Blach on the mound for the Giants, against the Mets' Seth Lugo.  Ty has been a bright spot for the Giants through their dismal season, but, not unlike tarnish, rust or wood rot, tonight the dismal-ness has spread to Ty's performance.

The Giants lost to the Mets 11 - 4.  If you were finishing up dinner, or, for that matter, blinked, you could have missed the scoring.  The Giants went into the 2nd inning tied at 1 each, and then the Mets threw in 3 doubles, a Cespedes home run and an rbi sac fly for good measure to make it 7 - 1.   Yeah, they scored more later, mostly in the 6th.  The Mets, who themselves have been losing much like the Giants, had 20 hits.  Ty went 3, gave up 7, all earned, on 11 hits.  Some of those hits were bloops, but then, some were not.   Gearrin went 2, gave up none; Okert gave up 3 in 1 inning; Osich 1 more in 2; and Melancon, appearing so he could have something to do, gave up a booming high off the bricks on his first pitch, but managed to retire the side without scoring.  I believe that makes 10 losses in their last 11, and gives us a June record of 5 - 16.  The All-Star break seems a long way off.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Comeback Falls Short

ATL 12  SF 11
Kyle Crick made his big-league debut tonight and gave up a run-scoring hit to the first batter he faced. Then he retired the next seven. Derek Law was demoted to make room for the rookie--he probably saw it coming with 40 hits and 11 walks in 30 IP. The lineup did its best with 15 hits and 11 runs, the final five runs coming in the 8th and 9th to close a 12-6 gap. Alas, it wasn't quite enough. Crick was the 49th pick in 2011 (Joe Panik was the 29th). Tyler Beede was drafted 21st by the Blue Jays that year but did not sign and was later taken by the Giants (14th pick) in 2014. I expect we'll see Beede when the rosters expand in September.

Matt Cain had been averaging 5-1/3 IP in his previous 14 starts but he could not get out of the 5th tonight. He faced 22 batters and gave up 10 hits and seven runs. I sorted for pitchers with a minimum of 70 IP on FanGraphs before the game and looked at their WAR. There were 82 listed and Matt Cain's 0.4 was 66th. For comparison Matt Moore is 58th (0.7), Johnny Cueto is 55th (0.8), Ty Blach is 49th (0.9), and Jeff Samardzija is 17th (1.9).

Buster Posey had a good night, he's hitting .344/.427/.537 these days.

--M.C.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

4th inning: 4-14

1st inning: 6-12
2nd inning: 6-12
3rd inning: 10-8
4th inning: 4-14

That's  26-46 or .361 ball. It's as bad as it gets. The great ride we've been on is over.
If a man were called to fix the period in the history of the world during which the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would, without hesitation, name that which elapsed from the death of Domitian to the accession of Commodus. [AD 96-180]
That's Gibbon. The Edward Gibbon of History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Just a little editing and we get this:
If a man were called to fix the period in the history of the world during which the condition of the Giants fan base was most happy and prosperous, he would, without hesitation, name that which elapsed from the promotion of Buster Posey to the departure of Sergio Romo. [AD 2009-2016]
Oh, yes. The accession of Buster Posey. And Madison Bumgarner. And the Core Four. And Matty and Timmy and the rest. Alas, those days are over. This new incarnation, the 2017 Giants, stinks. That's it. They stink. Even if they play .600 ball the rest of the season they will finish 80-82, hardly a playoff-caliber squad. This is a team with a $180M payroll, in the top five for MLB. This kind of performance is a disaster.

The Giants had an epic run from 2009 to 2016, getting to the playoffs four times and winning three World Series titles. That's the past. They kept the band together as long as they could, and it worked, getting that third championship and having a real shot at a fourth. Not many clubs can claim that. But the higher you climb, the harder you'll fall. It was an incredible experience to watch high-caliber championship baseball. But we have a new reality. To put it in newspeak, this is a team in transition.

I don't claim to know what to do. The team needs an obvious re-build, that's for sure. Key members will still be key members, but changes will happen and it will take more than just one season. It should be fun, as fans, to watch that happen. And that's it: I'm a fan. Just because the team sucks doesn't mean I stop being a fan. Sure, the crash after a raging high is tough, but I can handle it. I liked the team in 1985 when they lost 100 games; I'll stick by them now.

But it'll be rough going. I'll need a lot of bourbon, local herb, and Bessie Smith records to get through it. Will you stick with me?

--M.C.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Adios Amigos!

Loss, 9-0 @ ATL

I am so out of here!  My first ever trip to Costa Rica starts in just a couple minutes and I can't wait.  Sure wish I was already gone just so I could have missed that piece of sh*t today. But that is true of this entire crappy season actually.  So my brain is in no place to talk about a seven game losing streak, or the obvious need to make changes, or the incredible amount of this disaster that we still have ahead of us.  Sorry.  Talk among yourselves.

Pura Vida, ya all!   Talk to you in about a week!   I'm off to find that elusive, yet ever Resplendent  Queztal.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

And So It Goes for the Giants

Well.  In an exchange of e-mails with my friend in Colorado, I stated, "I predict the Giants will win one by a fluke."  And they almost did!  But then, they didn't.  Swept for their 6th consecutive loss, they lost to the Rockies, 7 - 5.  The Giants are 4 - 12 for the month of June.

Ty Blach pitched well.  Beautifully, in fact.  He went 6 2/3 and gave up 3 runs.  When your starter does that in Coors field, you want to give him a W.  Ty gave up 7 hits, 2 home runs (both with no one on) and struck out 5.  George Kontos took over and finished the 7th and held the Rockies scoreless in the 8th.  In spite of 18 runs in the previous 3 games, the Giants had only 2 going into the 9th and were down 3 to 2.  With 1 out,   Hernandez walked.  Then Hunter Pence, pinch hitting for Kontos, hit his first ever pinch hit home run (in few pinch hit opportunities).  That gave the Giants a rare 9th inning lead.  And, much to their credit, they added to it.  Joe Panik singled and somehow got caught on the basepath and wound up safe at second, and then Crawford doubled him home to take a 5 - 3 lead.

Finally, a chance to showcase Mark Melancon, who had not appeared in this series and who hails from just up the road in Arvada.  I think that at the end of the year, we might look at Melancon's blown saves and conclude that it is not a terrible number.  But, man, the guy seems to pick the spots where it hurts.   One out, a single, another single, another single (5 - 4), and then a 3 run Nolan Arenado home run.  That gave him a cycle, the Rockies the sweep and left the Giants almost 20 games back well before the half-way mark.  The Giants are one of only two teams with less than a .400 win percentage.

After getting hit for 12 earned runs in his last 2 outings, Ty held the Rockies to 3. That's good.  But on the whole, just as our offense has improved, our pitching has gone from pretty decent to crappy.  In the first game of the month, on June 2, Ty Blach threw a complete game shutout against the Phillies.  The Giants won 10 - 0.  Since then, the Giants have allowed 94 runs in 16 games (including June 2).  5.875/game.  Not fair to include Coors, you say?  Excluding Coors, the Giants have allowed 62 runs in 12 games.  5.169/game.  The offense has netted 82 runs in that time, 5.125/game.  5+ runs per game is an improvement for the Giants.   The league leader, the Nationals, are averaging just over 5.5 runs per game.  Yet, the Giants, this June, at 5.125 runs/game, have a .250 winning percentage.  After scoring 10 runs to beat the Phillies, they scored 7 and lost.  Then they beat the Brewers twice with scores of 7 and 9 runs.  They scored 13 to beat the Twins and then scored 9 and 8 in two losses to the Rockies.  They have only won 4 of 7 games where they have scored 7 or more runs, and only 1 game of 9 where they have scored less than 7.  That's some bad pitching.  And so it goes.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Worthless Wednesday

Loss, 7-2 vs. KC 

I have had to post about losses/no decisions/crappy pitching for seven of the last eight times, so this is getting really old.   It was bad enough to waste a lovely spring day by watching that shitty game, so I don't think I will add to the damage by writing much about it.

Our "ace" this season, Johnny Cueto (5-6), is not up to the job.  Today (game score 20!) was another version of the same problem this year: the long ball.  Three today...yuck.  The only difference was that he had only given up one at home all year (with 13 on the road).

Any one else feel like they were in a hurry to get out of town?  Why on earth would they want to go to Denver?  We are in deep poop.

Congratulations Warriors!

I was away for a couple of weeks.  Saw some beautiful scenery, some awesome wildlife and was out of touch with the innertubes for a good part of it, which is a good thing.  On my return, not much changed.  I find the Giants still playing shitty, sub-mediocre baseball.  They haven't won a series in my absence and won't win one against Kansas City.  I have to consider the possibility that my presence or absence has little effect on this team.

I heard the Giants 13 - 8 win on the radio as I was driving through heavy traffic and a terrific electrical storm between Sacramento and Vacaville.  Real rain in June?  But today, the Giants lost again, back to the 1 run offenses that we have become accustomed to seeing.  Kansas City now has a better record than the Giants, that didn't used to be true.  Thank goodness for the Filthies and the Pudres.  Those teams, by the way, are the only 2 teams with a worse record than the highly paid, World Series winning Giants SINCE THE LAST ALL STAR BREAK.  We're almost up to one year of a record vying for the worst in baseball.  Some accomplishment for this overpaid team.  Let's face it, no slump goes on this long.  Get ready for the fire sale.

Kansas City's Jason Vargas against Ty Blach.  Ty Blach managed 5 2/3 innings, gave up 7 runs.  He pitched well and not so well in the last couple weeks.  Is he about spent for the season?  Did everyone figure him out?   He was kind of a bright spot for awhile, now, I'm not so sure.  About much of anything.

How 'bout those Dubs, though!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Comeback!

SF 13  MIN 8
The Twins chased Matt Cain in the 5th and appeared headed for another victory but somehow the Giants scored NINE runs in the final two frames to stave off a series sweep. Buster Posey and Hunter Pence were, fittingly, the hitting stars. The bullpen took a 13-5 lead into the 9th and gave up three runs (FNG Sam Dyson faced four batters and got none of them out, three scored) but the 8-run cushion saved the day. That's right, the Giants had an 8-run lead at one point. Crazy, eh? Eduardo Nunez and rookie Austin Slater also had big days at the plate. The 13 runs is a season high. Joe Panik, The Brandons, and Denard Span were all on the bench. Kelby Tomlinson took the leadoff spot and had two hits and two runs scored. Whatever works!

Off-day tomorrow and then the Royals are in town for two with Blach and Cueto on the hill.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

p.s. Eight doubles (Hernandez, Slater, Posey, Nunez 2, Pence 3) by the club tied an SF record.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Giants Come Up Short--Again

MIN 3  SF 2
Go to the ESPN MLB statistics page. Select the ALL MLB Player Pitching link. Click on Expanded II Pitching Stats. Find the RS column near the right-hand edge. One click will sort ascending, click again to sort descending. RS is 'run support average per start.' Coming in to today's game you would have seen that Giants starter Jeff Samardzija was fourth on the list. That is, he had the fourth-worst run support in the game at 3.08 runs. It should be noted that Matt Moore, Matt Cain, and Ty Blach are all in the top twenty. Such are the signs of a stinky season. The Shark allowed three runs today in his six innings. The Giants, in their nine innings, scored two. That's easy math, mates.

--M.C.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Ervin Magic

MIN 4  SF 0
Ervin Santana came to town with some interesting numbers behind his season: only 23 runs allowed, third-best among starters; 0.89 WHIP, also third-best; .520 OPS against, second best; 81 IP, tied for first; and two shutouts, the league leader. So he proceeded to throw another shutout and his bases-clearing double in the 4th broke the game open. That was his first hit, he had DH'd in his 12 previous starts. He had never faced the Giants in his 13-year big league career. I think he made an impression. The Giants were helpless: they only saw 91 pitches total and managed four hits and a walk. With a 1-0 lead in the 3rd Santana yielded a leadoff triple to Aaron Hill. Two pitches later it was two outs and two pitches after that the inning was over. That summed up the Giants night.

--M.C.