Sunday, July 20, 2008

Post Pukey Tim

OK, I'm really getting pissed. I can not count how many times we here at RMC have been critical of Bochy's leaving starters out there for one more inning. It is clearly a pattern and IT SUCKS. Today's case (which is almost the SAME AS YESTERDAY'S) is a classic example: Tim has gone 6 tough innings, well over 100 pitches, another quality start, then they send him out for the seventh! A questionable move any day, but considering Tim is just recovering from dehydrating flu earlier this week, it was IDIOTIC. He immediately got in trouble with a questionable HBP, but still he stayed in. The next hitter singles with Romo and Hinshaw warmed up, still he stays in. The next batter, the excellent Ryan Braun, battles Tim for 9 pitches (now we are over 120 !) and, of course, delivers the game breaking homer. Lincecum will get his 3rd loss (it's the bottom 7 now, but clearly a done deal) but much of the blame has to be shouldered by feeble managing. So Tim fails to give a quality start for the second time this season and IN BOTH CASES, he had a quality start after 6 and lost it in the seventh. I normally don't second guess pitching changes too much, but this is clearly a situation that must be dealt with.

My suggestion: NEW MANAGEMENT

Other notes: Bye Ray, wish I could say I will miss you. Rarely has any player 's performance been so closely linked to his contract situation. Too bad Ray wasn't always trying to get resigned.
Photo credit: M&S- be sure to check out that link!!


M.C. O'Connor said...

Excellent diagnosis and prescription, Doc.

I was a-c-r-i-m-o-n-i-u-s at L'Boche in the 7th.

Pro ballplayers may be big-time athletes, but they still need to be pushed to perform at the highest levels. I have no problem with that. I'd like to see our young arms go deeper in games.

But as I've said before, you do that by THROWING FEWER PITCHES. When our guys can get 3 outs on 10 pitches like Greg Maddux they will go longer. Asking them to throw 120 to get through 7 is just plain dumb. Efficiency is more important than IP.

We are NOT in a pennant race. We have a bullpen filled with young arms. I'm surprised we have to keep explaining this.

Check out FAN GRAPHS for today's win probability chart. Looks like yesterday's.

Anonymous said...

Brother Bob:
Yeah, but...
Our bullpen has been scary bad recently, so maybe Bochy's reluctance to sit down the starters is a little understandable. It's a good thing Yabu disappeared. He seemed pretty good for most of the 1st half, but has been abysmal lately. Guess he really does have a physical problem?
Did you see that Geno Espinelli, who took Yabu's place, had to give up a spot on the Olympic team for the priveledge of playing for Your San Francisco Giants? What a choice.
Adios Durham. You were never any big deal with SF but you had your moments. However,you will not be missed.

Zo said...

Durham doesn't deserve to be dumped on. He always seemed a stand up guy, had a terrible year last year, but a great one before that and was putting together good numbers this year. The only point here is that the deal had to be made. It has nothing to do with who we got in return. After watching the Brewers this weekend, I am surprised that he leads the team in BA. I hope he gets into the post season after the Cubs collapse. Speaking of which, is it too late to just eliminate the NL West from the playoffs altogether? How about the division winners and best two other teams from the NL East and Central?

JC Parsons said...

I disagree, Durham is a big part of this team total offensive and infield defense collapse over the last few years. As you mention, last year was bad, real bad, like WORST PLAYER IN LEAGUE BAD. Furthermore, the minute he became a Giant his career started downward, a fleet footed workhorse became an injury prone slug. If Ray had been as a good a Giant as he was a white sox, we probably would have won the whole thing. I wanted to like Ray, but he never earned it.
I can't disagree about the state of the bullpen, it hasn't been very strong since we screwed up Merkin. Howevr, you are still thinking about WINNING. Don't! Let it go, big fella. This year is about the SAFE development of Tim, Matt, and, now, Jonathan. If we find a hitter that's gravy. It s NOT about winning or "contending" or even about playing decent ball. From that perspective, the way Matt and Tim were used the last two times is borderline criminal (if bad baseball is criminal...)

M.C. O'Connor said...

I'm with JC on this.

Development of youth and true "rebuilding" is what this year (and next) are about. If that means losing a lot, so be it.

Durham should not have been resigned. He was a good player for us, but NOT the player he was in Chicago. He was like Edgardo Alfonzo: overpaid for the production created. Good player paid like a great one, injury-prone, wrong fit for the team. I have no ill will--it is not Durham's fault that our management seriously over-valued his skill set. Getting anything at all for him is a plus.

(Hmmmm, I'll bet we could have gotten a draft pick for him if he had left for free agency after 2006. That's moot of course, we paid him $15,000,000 to stay.)

I worry about the bullpen the least. You can always find relievers later. We need to get Lowry back and Correia on track. We need to keep Lincecum, Cain and Sanchez healthy. We need to get rid of Winn and Roberts. (And a few other over-30s.) And we need to develop some young hitters, like Lewis. Bowker, too? And we need to play Nate Schierholz or trade him. And Wilson. Trade him to a contender who needs a set-up guy or closer for a young hitting prospect or two. (I like Wilson, but "rebuilding" teams don't need closers.)

Anonymous said...

Brother Bob:
I get it about all the rebuilding ideas but a manager still has to try to win games every day, and starters still need to pitch as long as possible, within limits. So there has to be a bit of a balancing act between playing to win and using players with an eye for the long-term.
Recently BCB or ELM, I forget which, had a conversation about when to "shut down" Sanchez for the year, based on the notion that one mustn't appear in too many more innings than one had in the past. Is this actually done in the real world or is it just hypothetical micro-managing? I understand a per game pitch count, but a per year inning count? Really?

M.C. O'Connor said...

It really depends on the pitcher's development. Guys used to log 20-30 starts in the minors in a season, so when they hit the pros they had arms used to going 200+ innings. Now guys come out of college, or spend parts of years in the system, or jump from reliever to starter (like Sanchez). At a certain point, you have to watch the seasonal innings count.

Economics is the biggest factor. Guys used to throw 40 starts, 260+ IP. Now it is 33-34, 210-240 for "aces." More money, more guys on the squad, more specialty roles, more money, more "kid glove" treatment, more money, more injury time ("investment protection"), more money . . . you get the idea.

JC Parsons said...

Remember, Sanchez threw about 70 innings last year (most at Fresno)and this year he is already around 120. That is already a jump and going over 200 this year would be dangerous. (Actual numbers: 208.1 IP career, 116.1 this year!)

I still disagree. It is not always the manager's job to win everyday. there are several cases in this LONG sport where a win today is NOT what must be played for. Sanchez will be a good example; obviously he will give us a better chance to win, but pitching him over 200 IP this year could very well damage next year and the entire future. "Playing to win" is almost a knee jerk reaction, a moral imperative. There are no morals in baseball.

Anonymous said...

Brother Bob:
What a lively thread!
Of course if your team quickly falls behind 5-0 the manager is indeed relieved of the imperative of trying to win. Then he just tries to make the best of it, keep daubers up, avoid abusing arms, give bench players playing time, toy with the lineup, etc.
If, on the other hand, your team's greatest strength is a few young starters who usually keep you in the game for at least 6 innings, then you have a different task. You have to let them have a chance to succeed, but also consider their future. I'm not saying it's simple.
Seriously though, what specifically do we do with Sanchez? After 200 innings buy him a ticket to San Juan and say "Adios, thanks for everything, see you next spring"?

Anonymous said...

Brother Bob:
I actually did some math and 13 more starts at 6 innings per game would put Sanchez at 200 innings total. So he might not even do that much by the end of September.
But he should definitely never throw a single pitch after 7 innings, no matter what.

Lawrence said...

I understand the frustrations when the Giants seem to lose games because one bad inning is the difference maker. Without scoring consistently the margin of error is almost non-existent.

I agree with the person that mentioned how the Giants bull pen has been shaky as of late. With Timmy being such a fierce competitor, flu or not, he probably wanted to continue. Even with the recent days off, during the first half of the season, the pen had experienced a heavy workload. The bullpen continues to be taxed because other Giants starting pitcher are not going deep into ball games and are pitching 20 plus pitch innings. The Giants are also absent a long relief pitcher. Bochy needs to reserve what they have in the event that a starter only goes three innings.

JC Parsons said...

Great thread! Thanks for chiming in Lawrence. However, at the risk of more dead horse flogging, I'm going to continue to disagree. Our bullpen contains 2 or 3 people possibly important to the future in our bullpen (Romo, Valdez and Wilson?) But truthfully, I could see not one current reliever being part of our future. (Please let it be Merkin!) The use and composition of our relief corps is almost completely unimportant now (unless you are still clinging to those meaningless '08 wins!). Burn through these chumps until we find some good ones, then you immediately start trying to find cheaper, better versions. As MOC says only contenders need closers.

I will say that this thread gives one the sense of inherent complexities involved in "rebuilding." Good work.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I like your point, Lawrence, about long relief. Seems like we could use Misch and other "future-starter" types in that role, esp. as we back off on IP for Lincecum and Sanchez. Yabu's injury gives us a chance to put a youngster in that role. We could take some pressure off the late guys in the 'pen with a kid who could come in and chew up 3 or 4 innings. A lot of potential starters could get a good look that way. We've got a lot of bodies that need mound time--let's use 'em!