Thursday, September 3, 2009

Polarizing Tim

(Note: written while listening to "Suck On This (Live) by Primus. This may be significant.)

This season is going to drive me crazy. I love it and hate it all at once. Every glorious shutout seems to be followed by humiliating disgrace. Guess which one happened tonight.

Pro's:

  • Tim was great; 7 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, and ELEVEN STRIKEOUTS. Which, of course, leads to loss #5, his third since the ASB
  • 18th career game with 10+ strikeouts, most in ML since 2007
  • 233 strikeouts, leads ML, on pace to break Christy Mathewson's 1903 franchise record of 267!!

Con's:

  • Pedro was better (of course, he sure didn't have to face Utley - that was his 19th HBP, what a pro! - or Howard); career win #217. Damn, he got up to face Tim, didn't he?
  • we went 0-8 with RISP and once again put on a clinic on failed opportunities
  • Tim gave up his 9th homer (0.37 HR's/9 inning, 2nd in ML)

KEY FACTOID: The Giants are now 17-18 in one run games. Not great, but OK. However, the split is crazy: 12-1 at home and 5-17 on the road! Christ! Does everything have to be SO out of balance????

(in between songs, Les Claypool says "We're Primus and we suck." I love it.)

15 comments:

Ron said...

And, we called up Posey why, exactly? To sit around, so that Whiteside & a hobbled up Molina could play. So that Fred Lewis could continue to flounder. What are they waiting for?

Bob said...

Good question.
Classic Giants offense. All downhill after the first pitch. Weird things going on.

M.C. O'Connor said...

The Phillies scored 3 runs against us and we lost two games. Ridiculous. If ever there was an argument for a "balanced" approach, this series was it.

Molina should sit. And we should not retain his services for next year. (Sorry, I don't have Bengie-love, and I don't value "gamer-ness" and "clubhouse leadership.") Then again, I've been sick of this guy for a long time, but sub-.300 OBAs and two-pitch ABs will do that.

Fred (whose playing time is not connected to Buster's or Bengie's) at least put the ball in play in his pinch-hit appearance, and he is second only to Pablo in OBA on the team. He may not be the guy we thought he'd be, but I fail to understand how our second-best OBA guy sits down when we can't score runs. Another way of looking at it: who would be better? It would be nice to have the Randy Winn of a few years ago, but he is not that player any more, and we should cut ties with him at the end of this year. We can replace his production for next to nothing. We've got a franchise full of 4th outfielders. Fred, for all his flaws, is at least predictable and consistent. You can't say that about Velez, for example. I think if Schierholtz, with his pop, speed, and glove, could be taught some of Fred's patience and plate discipline, he could be come a good everyday player.

Buster should have started the game, and he should get some starts immediately. You don't pay a guy 6 million bucks to sit.

Nothing "weird" about last night. Weird is getting a clutch grand slam from Edgar Renteria and massive bombs from Juan Uribe. Weird is dominance by Brad Penny. Weird is being in the chase with no hitting. Losing games we pitch well because we can't hit is not weird, that's entirely too familiar and predictable.

Joe G. said...

No question about the "love/hate, elation/frustration" relationship with this team. Timmy should be nearing his 20th win, not hoping he doesn't stay on thirteen as long as he did 12. So, I think this won't be our typical trip to Milwaukee. Giants take at least 2of3 and we all feel the Yin. Cheers, JOe

Joe G. said...

PS- Thanks for the good info on Runzler. Can't wait to see him pitch.

Bob said...

I guess what I meant by "weird" is that almost every game seems unusual or remarkable in some way. Dramatic grand slams, both good and bad; strong starts from, well, almost everyone, but so few wins (recently) going to Matt and Tim; Johnson's 300th win; Sanchez's no-hitter; Pablo's many many moments of specialness, etc.
What an amazing season it's been.

JC Parsons said...

I agree Fred must play. Like it or not, he is pretty much our second best hitter. We can't afford to sit him. Sad but true.

Winn amazing consistency, until this year, is finally going to be his undoing. One can only assume his skills are finally eroded. In any case, he must go. Sorry Ron.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Craig Calcaterra ("Shyster Ball"), at least, understands the Posey situtation:

Buster Posey's callup is a play for the present and the future. (q.v. "Circling the Bases" on NBC's webpage)

We need his bat NOW. We need to give Bowker and Guzman a shot to get some hits as well. We need all the bats we can get at this point. I figured this team would have to shed its 2009 free agents (Roberts, Winn, Molina) before it would be competitive again. I was wrong--Timmy & Co., Sandoval, and the cheap re-treads like Uribe have done the job this year in spite of the dead weight. Roberts was rightfully DFA'd. (The Giants love pouring millions on the ground, don't they?) Time for Posey and the youth brigade and the rehab scrap-heap guys to take the reins.

Some day Sabean might figure out that locking up mediocrity for huge contracts is untenable. Much of the same value can be gained with young players and guys who've fallen through the cracks that can be had for cheap. It's one thing to throw money at Mark Texeira, that at least has a chance of working out. But we will be paying for Aaron Rowand, our no. 8 hitter last night, for a long time. And we will regret giving away our propspects too cheaply, even if they never throw a pitch again.

Zo said...

It is always easy (not to mention fun!) to get all over Sabean for paying big money for mediocrity. Remember, though, that two years ago, and again one year ago, Sabean did not have a team to field come spring, and was in a bad position to make offers (...what, come play for the giants and never sniff playoffs for the rest of my career? no thanks...) Teams that are down have to over pay to get quality players that can (hopefully) draw fans and create turnarounds in teams' fortunes. Criticize him for the players he signed, but the dollars are not relevant. Thankfully, we are in a much, much better position now, similar to the Bonds days, when being able to play with the best player in the game on your team was in itself a draw. Remember the Orioles' signing of Miguel Tejada? I think I remember $13 million a year for 4 years back in 2004 dollars. The difference was that Peter Angelos was honest in his remarks to the press, "You have to overpay to get talent to jump start this team" or words to that effect. It is very easy to make the assumption that, just because Mark Texiera is not a Giant, that Sabean had no interest in him. You will never know that. We have spent all season giving various people a chance to get some hits. The ONLY two position players who have established themselves are Sandoval and Sanchez.

M.C. O'Connor said...

And FSanchez established himself on ANOTHER team. He has made a very small contribution to THIS team due to his injuries--which are many, with a long history, and part of the "package." (If he slugged like Jeff Kent, I could live with it.)

I think the Rays proved you could "jump start" a team with young talent. (And Peter Angelos has presided over a pretty bad team since the Tejada deal.) No one except Brian Sabean thought that a team could be built around Barry Zito and Aaron Rowand. The team is built around Tim, and now, we hope, Buster. If Aaron Rowand was THAT valuable he would have signed with the Red Sox. He wasn't that valuable, except to Brian Sabean, who ought to know better. Juan Uribe was claimed off the scrap heap, and has contributed the same or more value. We don't need to overpay for average guys--they are available on the fookin' waiver wire, or can be cobbled together with your bloody goddamn AAA team's hottest hitters.

Anyway, we need some hits and some runs. Let's hope we can take 2 of 3 in Milwaukee. And let's see Buster with the gear on, eh?

Joe G. said...

Why "our second best OBA guy sits when we can't score runs".
I liked Fred Lewis last year when he would reach out an drive a two strike pitch on the outside corner the opposite way to left for a single, with luck a double in the corner, but this year Fred takes that pitch for strike three. I was a Fred Fan, and now I loath the guy.
OBA only means something if there are some other stats to go along with it. How about this stat, the number of at bats to get an RBI: Fred(17), Velez(10), Winn(10),Shirholtz(9), Rowand(8), Sandoval(7), Molina(6). That is very telling, especially for an outfielder. How about this, number of at bats per strikeout: Fred(3.5), Rowand(4.0), Shirholtz(5.2), Velez(5.5), Winn(5.7).
I'm sorry Mark, but I grew very tired of watching Fred patiently take a called third strike. He has been doing better in a pinch hitting role, but I would rather see almost anyone else up their in an RBI situation late in the game. Fred needs another full year in the minors to get it together, or not. Did I mention that he is an adventure in left?

M.C. O'Connor said...

FreddieLew is what he is: a reasonably productive and useful platoon/4th OF-type. Another year in the minors won't change that. Like Eugenio Velez, we are seeing his "peak" value. The fact that he should be our starting LF tells us more about the sorry state of our OF talent than about Fred.

We are stuck with Rowand and his league-average .774 OPS for three more years. He was advertised as a good fielder--I've seen no such evidence. Winn is aging, and no longer a good player, despite still having some glove. He's a 4th OF-type now, and a free agent at season's end. Scheirholtz should be given the RF job for good, and should learn some plate discipline, and we'll hope for the best. He might become an everyday player. Velez is Velez. Andres Torres is useful guy with some nice skills (glove, speed, a little pop) but without the chops to be a full-time player. Still another 4th OF-type. Unless Bowker or one of the call-ups can step in and deliver, Lewis is our best guy. The Giants and the fans wanted Lewis to be a 20-HR no. 3 hitter. He isn't, and I'm as disappointed as everyone else. But he is still a valuable piece until we replace him with a superior talent.

Joe G. said...

Fred Lewis our second best hitter? If that were really true I would have given up on the Giants this year. What kind of Kool-aid are you guys drinking? Check the stats boys, and feel lucky that we have someone other than Fred to put out there. I predict that if Fred ever makes it, it will be with another team, and the Giants will be better for it. Now Shirholtz, he's another story. I love that guy!

M.C. O'Connor said...

Well, I'm open to suggestions about who should start in LF. I think it should be Lewis, but I have a feeling we'll see a combo of Winn, Torres, Velez, Lewis, and maybe even Bowker for the rest of the run. Lewis will get a few starts, but the job is wide open. Given this offense, I'll take my chances with a low-power, decent OBA guy over another free-swinger. If our low-OBA hitters had more power, I could live with the 2-pitch ABs. But we are what we are--a very weak hitting team. So, who should start in left?

Joe G. said...

Well Mark, to me it is pretty obvious, the guy who keeps making the plays and making things happen for the Giants, Velez. I would choose to spell him a bit with Torres and Bowker, but how can you keep Eugenio out of the lineup when he continues to produce for this team. Obviously, Bochy feels the same way. Velez is a triple waiting to happen, not to mention another great diving catch. I just want to see him steal more, a la Otis Nixon, who always seemed to have a cloud of dust around him. Velez is electric and should develop into an outstanding player. He, like Sandoval, is really fun to watch, and has this aura about him that he will not be denied, that he will make something happen. I wish I could say the same for Fred, who seems to have the tools, but sends me away in frustration. 16 RBI's! Is there any other outfielder in the majors who has less with an equivalent number of at bats? Another thing I like about Velez is that he, like Sandoval and Winn, especially with two strikes, will reach out an slap the ball to the opposite field, rather than always trying to hit it out of the park. One of the reasons the Giants don't often enough get that RBI is that they don't shorten up and try to hit a single. I Freddy Sanchez knows the routine, and I hope he comes back and picks us up a bit. The Giants could have one today if they could have just moved a runner over to third once in a while. No excuse for todays painful loss. Don't yah love em!