Friday, July 24, 2009

And the race is on

7 3 1 1 4 5
Game Score 68

I was surprised when Ol' Boch left Matt Cain in to hit for himself in the top of the 7th after a tortuous 6th, a pitch count over 100, and a Righetti Visit of Doom. Big Sugar then dominated the 6-7-8 hitters (Tulowitzki-Stewart-Iannetta) in the bottom of the 7th, and walked away with another outstanding start, his 10th of 7 IP or more this season. Ol' Boch showed some Veteran Savvy Clutchness of his own, giving Fred Lewis another start, and the Mississippian responds with a single, double, triple, walk, and two runs scored. He wasn't done: he shrewdly yanked Lewis for defensive purposes, switched Winn to LF, and Andres Torres made a big play in CF in the 9th to get a badly-needed out. Damn! Ol' Boch was working the 8-3/4 beastie tonight. Got to give credit where it's due. And credit the Tennessee Stud with shining in perhaps his most important start of the season. Colorado is a tough place to pitch even with the humidor and the newer, supposedly slower lawngrass, and that's a patient, talented lineup to boot. It's a playoff race, add in our road woes and general offensive ineptitude, and this was a big, big start. The 12 wins ties Cain for the ML lead. A nod to Lights-out Affeldt for continuing his incredible run--he got 3 groundouts on 11 pitches in a perfect 8th. Another nod to Olympic Nate for muscling up and getting a big HR (and continuing to show off his arm in RF). Still another nod to the Kung-fu Panda for two sparkling plays in the field. It's a team game, lads, ain't it? Wilson scared the crap out of us in the 9th, but in the end we had a very satisfying win. Way to go, Matt Cain, and way to go, Giants!


alouredux said...

And it didn't even take 2:15? Was expecting the 7th when I logged on, and there was Mississippi Fred on the post-game!

KidFu said...

Also worthy of note is that M.C. didn't lose his cool with a rugged (pitcher-wise) strike zone. Also...Affeldt, nice.

JC Parsons said...

Yes, we all do need to remember Affeldt. He is quietly putting together the best relief season for a decade. I bet many playoff teams will cone inquiring.

Wild card races are crazy and I don't really think they start for a while. It's easy to focus on Col but we have 12 more games with them; some control. Hou, Atl and Chi are different stories. With so many involved (not to mention Mil, NY and Fla) it is not so much a race, as a war of attrition. It is super impressive that we are even in the pack (let alone leading it!). This year sure has been an eye opener for the value of pitching.

A big key to our staff was shown by Matt yesterday. We get tough with men on base. Tim has always been like that, but this year it feels like a staff trend. Again, I didn't do the research, but I am confident we have a low RISP%.

Wanna read a wild piece by a passionate fan? I especially think my brother would like this one . If I made a comment about my wife like the one in here, I would be dead meat!

Bob said...

Two weeks ago Lincecum looked like the front runner to repeat as the Cy Young winner. Now he has competition from his teammate Cain.
JC is right to keep mentioning Affeldt. He is outstanding. Maybe we're under-utilizing him.
My favorite trend is the emergence of Scheirholz. He's clearly a good fielder and has that thing which can't be taught (speed). If he grows as a power hitter then he's a huge asset.
Another teaser from Lewis to get us all wondering again if he's really any good. I say no.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Here's a link to a BtB article analyzing the Holliday trade. It's OK just to skip to the last paragraph.

It's a long season. There are a lot of teams in the race (7 within 4 games of the WC, 10 within 9). Think about it: we could be San Diego, 14-1/2 back. We aren't. There is Joy in Mudville. I never believed this team was competitive until they started competing, so I guess that makes it easy to enjoy it.

While I believe that rosterbation is a perfectly healthy, normal activity for the male, and that it should be encouraged as part of an overall wellness program, I find it to bring only temporary relief and not long-term satisfaction. So far, I've yet to hear a realistic trade scenario from the "trade-for-a-bat" crowd. Would I like to get some hitting? Would I like to do it without giving up Posey and Bumgarner and Cain? Yes, emphatically, to both. Despite ou good pitching, we don't have a "surplus" of talent. If we give it up, we will be weaker, and may not be able to make up the difference in the trade.

And since the subject of wives came up, my lovely bride has the same mantra every baseball season, especially after she has endured my 4,137th pre-season rant about this guy and that guy, and this team and that team, and these odds and those odds:

"you can never tell."

Zo said...

How about 4 earned runs in 29 1/3 innings in 5 games in July (including the one where he lasted 1 2/3 innings only because of taking a line drive to the hand)? I'd say a 1.23 era for the month is pretty good. In contrast, some pitchers had to throw perfect games in July to get their era down to 3.34 for the month.

JC Parsons said...

In the next three years, Tim, Matt, MadBum, Alderson, Sanchez, Wheeler and Zito are all around. Martinez, Pucetas and Barnes are also in the mix. Every one of those guys is as good/better than almost every pitcher in the Nats organization (for example). I know we all want alot of pitching and weird things happen, but we will soon NOT BE ABLE to keep high quality young pitchers because there aren't enough ROSTER SPOTS! That combined with our COMPLETE LACK (save for Posey and Neal?)of offensive hope, means we need to start making changes. We should risk a trade or two. Not trading pitching prospects can often be devastating when they get injured. What we CAN NOT risk is losing talent without getting ANYTHING in return. Nobody has enough talent for that.

You must have high standards, I have seen several reasonable trades. Many ideas involving N Johnson, K Johnson, and Willington are worth looking at. Not blockbusters but they are "realistic." We trade match so well with them it is spooky.

Beane gets too much credit. The Cards are making moves that lead to pennant races, the A's are making moves that lead to...making more moves.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Here's Henry Schulman's take on trades, etc.

Note that they never say who we are thinking about giving up for Freddy Sanchez or Nick Johnson or etc.

A Nats blog ( Federal Baseball)picked up the thread, too.

Zo said...

"we will soon NOT BE ABLE to keep high quality young pitchers because there aren't enough ROSTER SPOTS!" Well knock me over with a feather - there are some (other) sane minds out there. I'm not sure who is the best potential trade candidate, and for whom. I do not like Adam Dunn (although I might if I were an AL GM with no DH). I thought Victor Martinez sounded like a pretty good idea - but no telling what the asking price was. Clevelanders expect him to go somewhere.

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