Sunday, September 21, 2008

6 5 0 0 4 4

108 pitches, 73 strikes, 26 batters faced, 4 groundouts, 9 flyouts.

This was a game where the Giants fielders helped out MC big-time. Even Errant Throwin' got in on the act! Matt struggled but kept the lid on. He gets the True Grit Award for today. Too bad he had to go up against Lowe, a very tough pitcher. Of course, our pathetic offense makes 'em all look tough. (For the record, Lowe's FIP is 3.29, 9th in baseball, just ahead of Brandon Webb.)

I'm still reeling from the thoughtful and intelligent move by Bonehead to lift MC after six shutout innings! Hinshaw was studly in relief, keeping it deadlocked. I fully expected Cain to start the 7th and get yanked when he got up to 120+ pitches, two guys on base, and an unearned run already in. But Bonehead DID THE RIGHT THING and sat our boy down after a stressful afternoon. Although my haphazard foray into statistical analysis revealed that Matt is a good pitcher, in the upper echelon of starters, he can still improve. Walks are his Achilles' Heel, of course. But ground ball outs are the big indicator for me. With his high fastball he has to keep his other pitches down. If he is not going to get the swing-throughs on his fastball or change, he has to get them to beat it into the ground more frequently. (Note to MC: watch Maddux pitch.) Regardless, I'm really happy that he's come back strong in two starts after that bad stretch of three ugly ones. I'm still worried about the workload, but that is someting to fret about in the off-season. No career "W" vs. LA yet, but he'll get another shot at home (Friday?). The LAtriners will likely have clinched by then, maybe it will be a lineup of scrubs and call-ups. Kick some ass, Matt, and get your 9th win. If anyone needs a lesson on the silliness of assigning "wins" to pitchers, note that Barry "Da Beezy" Zito has TEN this season. Does anyone really believe he's a better pitcher than Cain?

How about ROMO?? Wow, three big outs on 11 pitches in the 8th!! The whiff of ManRam was serious studliness!! Then another three outs on 10 pitches in the 9th!! Then another three outs on 12 pitches in the 10th!! Have we found a REAL relief pitcher?? God, I hope so. Our bullpen has been hideous. The lowest 'pen moment of the season I think was Special Agent Jack's three consecutive walks last night to effectively end the game. There ain't no alibi for that kind of U-G-L-Y.

We are going to the 11th, still 0-0. I'm not sure I can endure the agony. I call upon all hecklers to give the post-game feedback.


Zo said...

You gave up just a little too soon. Stolen base for - Brad Hennessey, how cool is that. Wilson K's Manny w/ heat. I guess we will have one more chance for Matt Cain to pick up a (note use of singular) win against the doggers in three years of service. A few games he has pitched poorly, many he has pitched well, a handful he has thrown 0's and still got nada wins for it. I suppose someone has to skip a turn so that Tim can get an extra one. I would expect that would be Hennessey, but maybe it would be better if it were Sanchez. One comment - season long statistics are good for measuring season long performance, but you need to be careful when stating who is the better pitcher. Baseball is very much a "what have you done for me lately" sort of game. If we were about to go into the playoffs (serious fantasy here) who would you put in the rotation? I'd go Lincecum, Cain, Zito and Hennessey, the order of the last three depending on how much they have been used lately.

M.C. O'Connor said...

It was a great ending, indeed.

Until Zito performs above "replacement" level, Cain is better. And I'd go with a "cold" Matt over a "hot" Zito in a theoretical playoff scenario without hesistation. Sanchez, despite his struggles, has proven more effective than Hennessey at getting people out. I would go with Sanchez.