Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Giant thunder

The storm that rolled into Denver tonight was from San Francisco. The Giants, serving notice with clinical ruthlessness, exploited the pitching mismatch in Coors Field, first by dispatching the hapless Aaron Cook, then by blowing away the high-flying Rockies offense. A brilliant Jonathan Sanchez matched a 46-year-old club record held by Juan Marichal with SEVEN CONSECUTIVE STRIKEOUTS. It was a sterling display by the white-hot Giants, their 21st win in 26 games since leaving Denver on the Fourth of July. The trip to Milwaukee on the 5th proved to be the turning point in the season, as the Giants suddenly discovered an offense to complement the outstanding pitching. I was ready to call this post I always wanted a team that scored six runs per game when that pesky Freddy Sanchez hit a damn home run and made it 7-0!! I was whining and hollering and complaining (as I am wont to do) about Freddy Sanchez' .262/.320/.317 batting (can you still call that batting?) line, and the little shit walloped one into the left-field bleachers. Rock on, brother, just hit lower in the lineup, willya? Seriously, it is time to move Pablo Sandoval into the venerated two-hole. Sweet pick to end the 7th inning for F.S., his glove is impressive, but Jaysus-Mary-Joseph the lads' 70 OPS+ means he's 30% worse than the average NLer.

The Missing Bat--that sounds like some slugging Australopithecene--the blog nerds like me have been looking for is not in Tanzania or on the waiver wire. No. He is, perhaps, that Other Fellow with the Golden Spikes Award. Pat the Bat had another big night, proving me wrong again. It's a wonder anyone at all reads my tripe.

Bengie Molina traded, Giants catch fire. Coincidence? You decide. If Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Jonathan Sanchez are my Holy Trinity, then Buster Posey is The Second Coming.



p.s. TEN big ones!! I love Andres Torres--doesn't everybody?


Anonymous said...

What a game. I loved when Freddy got that dinger, he looked like he wanted it bad. I really love when Uribe pinch hit and on the first pitch got a hit and a run scored. That was just domination, done right. We benefited from Coors yet got the Rockies to have so many swing and misses and strand runners and such. We did practically everything better than them. I did not foresee a game like that at all, and I'm an optimist. Go Giants! Stick it to Ubaldo again.

Godis24 said...

You really can't be serious about moving Sandoval up to NO. 2 slot. Yeah right, the league leader in hitting into double plays to bat right after Torrez. You are spending too much time looking at your statistics again. Sanchez has not been as productive, but Bochy bats him second for all the right reasons. I really think you are just trying to stimulate a few readers to comment. Right? You are not serious, right?

Your penchant to rely on stats and not your baseball instincts had you running Fred Lewis out to left field last year while I was calling for Torrez. I did not rely on stats to see with my own eyes that Torrez had the tools to be the guy we needed out there, with the addition of smarts(and a glove) to his speed that allows him to actually steal a few bases.
Glad to see that you love Torrez now. To your credit, you made the call on Posey, but you were all wet with Fred.

Suffice it to say that no matter how much fun it is to second guess Giants management, we do it from afar, without all of the facts or understanding of everything that happens even on the field in front of us. Sabean deserves tremendous credit for doing exactly what we wanted him to do: build a team with young players primarily from our own system, strong on pitching. They have deftly worked this club into a team of fighters that believe in themselves, and that is hard to do. Give them credit, bow down, suck it up. I love this team!

So how about this one? Belt keeps belting through AA, moves up to AAA soon and does the same, only to get called up to the Bigs in September and arrive with a loud Belt into McCovey Cove! And we all ask, Adam who? So glad we don't try to emulate the Yankees! Fuck the Yankees! Go Giants!

Brother Bob said...

Right on, Godis24, but if you're such a big Torres fan start spelling his name correctly.
We should use JSanchez out of the bullpen more often. Last year's no-hitter was his first start after a stint in relief, and last night came after a token relief appearance, and it may have been his best game of the year.

JC Parsons said...

@Godis 24 (great moniker) Speaking on behalf of the "you" to which you refer - MOC will almost certainly be off the grid today due to a glorious anniversary - we want to thank you for following the blog and joining in. Since you have read us before, you know we are not really about provoking responses with poorly thought out ideas. MOC has bemoaned our absolute lack of a #2 hitter for quite awhile, rightfully so. His latest suggestion concerning Sandoval may be pushing it but I can assure you it isn't his style to "fish" for comments. Actually, that's more my trick. What's your suggestion for the #2 spot? Or is FSanchez getting it done? Don't you agree Pablo is looking better lately? Maybe...
Anyway, I think MOC has that rare combination of an experienced, devoted fan and a talented sabermetric analyst. Just cause he knows his stats, don't under-estimate his baseball instinct and passion. Sure, he might not spot a Torres, or dump a Lewis, but WHO THE HELL DOESN'T? It sounds like you and I have much in common (not the forgiveness to Sabean though!) so I'm real glad to hear you chiming in. Keep it up! Go Giants!

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary!

Godis24 said...

Guys, my words may have been a bit strong in taking Mark to task. I do appreciate his fervor for the game, even the stats, and I am so crazy a fan that I find myself looking for more to read after SFGate, and find MC a good writer with a fun spirit. But Sandoval in place of Freddy got my juices flowing!

I am not alone(check out other Giants blogs) in being VERY tired of watching Pablo reach for a bad pitch and hit a weak grounder. If it weren't for the occasional blooper his average would be around .240. Yeah, it was nice to see him drive the ball a few times after the break, and I had my hopes up too, but this guy has so many bad habits that it appears that the other team is just toying with him. He is not even near the same class of hitter as our top four at this time, and deserves no better than sixth place in the lineup. Watching him free swing with success last year was pretty fun, and I would love to see him get going again, but he just makes soo many bad decisions at the plate. He has a lot of "growing up" to do, and I think even his teammates are tiring of his excessive cheer leading. His lack of ability to take pitches alone makes him far from a #2 hitter. He could sure it that grounder on a hit and run though!

As for Freddy, this guy is the ideal #2 hitter. He can bunt, slap the ball to any field, hit-and-run, work a walk, and drive the ball to the gaps. He will be very key for us and I think will really get hot down the stretch. Do you guys really think that we need a different #2?

As for the moniker, my superhero as a kid was Willie, and I guess I've never stopped being a kid because I still tear up when I see him or hear him talk. His enthusiasm for the game influenced how I live my life. I still have the portrait of him hanging on my wall that I bought when I traveled alone 350 miles by bus at 17 to see Willie get his 3,000th hit. If I had lived anywhere near SF, my but would have been in the stands to see this guy play, instead of listening to nearly all of his at bats on a staticky old radio. Fortunately I never let go of the baseball card of Willie I was so happy to get in 1966 showing his superlative 65 stats. Of course I circled all of his career bests and wore out the card carrying it around, so it looks a little rough, perhaps as it should. I could go on and on. It was a coincidence that the Houston series we saw earlier this year included the Mays bobblehead day, but I enjoy it being in my home.

This next two months of Giants baseball is really going to be something. The Padres have had a great run and have something going there to be sure. I hope we have a safe lead before the final three games, but it just might come down to the wire. Too much fun! Go Giants!

PS- How good does it still feel to have swept the Dammed Dodgers!!!!!!

M.C. O'Connor said...

I'm quite serious about dumping Freddy Sanchez from the two-spot. I've watched him hit--I don't see these magical bat skills. I see 22 walks in almost 300 plate appearances. I see 70 hits, 60 of them singles. He makes a lot of outs, too many for the top of the lineup. I haven't seen any gap power. I've seen one hell of a lot of 5-3 and 6-3 by his name. He's 32 and coming off major injuries. He's a glove man at this point, he should hit 7th or 8th.

I'm willing to gamble with Sandoval because of what we saw last year. That season was far, far better than any season Freddy Sanchez ever had. I think he might see better pitches and turn it around. We need Sandoval to hit--badly. But if that doesn't work, you could always move up Burrell or Uribe to the 4th spot and run Torres, Posey and Huff out there 1-2-3, which would mean our best hitters would get the most chances to hit. That's what I like--good hitters at the top, weak hitters at the bottom.

I'm not a fan of bunts and stolen bases. The hit-and-run is a nice weapon to use sometimes, but I don't see the Giants using it any more than any other club. How many extra runs have the Giants created because someone slapped a ball the other way with a runner on first? Probably not much more than the league average. Aaron Rowand and Edgar Renteria can pull off a hit-and-run, too, but no one wants to move them up in the lineup.

I'm happy to admit that I never realized Andres Torres could play MVP caliber baseball for an entire season. I was happy we had him as a backup OF because I liked his skills, but not even the Giants management was willing to start him over Aaron Rowand. In fact, all of baseball is surprised by his performance. I'm thrilled he's made the most of his opportunities. Fred Lewis may not be much more than a useful part-timer, but his .788 OPS (and 40 XBH) is better most of the Giants roster. I realize we are doing great without him, but I hated to see the Giants cut loose a player that could contribute positively without having a replacement that was the same or better. In fact, they had to go out and get another outfielder! Fortunately Burrell has worked out pretty well, and Huff's versatility has been a godsend.

JC Parsons said...

Glad you are back, dude. Lots of comments lately, cool, huh? Hope you guys had a great day.

I was going to suggest just what you said..."move up Burrell or Uribe to the 4th spot and run Torres, Posey and Huff out there 1-2-3". But, as usual, you beat me to it. That's the best I see...and I know alot of people will be freaked by Buster batting second. But he does hit to right often and the Right-Left-Right thing is still in play. FSanchez is contributing defensively and, right now, we can afford to have him in the lineup. But not between Torres and Posey.

Zo said...

I agree with Godis24. We are doing just fine with Freddy Sanchez at #2. We are much better with Pablo batting down in the line up until he demonstrates that he can hit consistently (and I hope he does). Sanchez has hit into 5 double plays, Pablo, 20. Enough said.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Really? Double plays? That's it?

I'm not defending Sandoval--he has hit very poorly this year. But what else, exactly, has Freddy Sanchez done better? Sandoval is an improvement, not much of one, but an improvement. He walks more, strikes out less, and has more power. (Those are rates, not just raw numbers.) Sandoval is a lot younger. His upside is way higher.

The problem with "replacing" FSanchez is that we really don't have a fourth bat after Huff, Posey, and Torres. Burrell is the closest, and maybe Uribe. Uribe has a low OBP, but at least has some power (FS has none). Even Renteria is hitting better than FSanchez!

My beef isn't who will hit 2nd instead of FS, but why a guy with such modest batting skills is a lock to hit 2nd. There's never been a question that FS would hit 2nd since he was acquired. I cannot accept that. Why put a weak hitter between two of your best hitters at the top of the lineup? I realize I'm supposed to gush over all his David Eckstein-like intangibles, but I can't seem to find them. And the time-tested "he-can-move-a-runner-over" argument doesn't work with me. Hell, I've seen Eli Whiteside do that.

We've played .500 ball with FS hitting 2nd and we've played .800 ball with FS hitting 2nd. I'm not sure he's the reason for either one of those. I just don't think a .655 OPS is worthy of 5 PAs every game.

JC Parsons said...

Here's one last bit of info about Freddie , if you haven't already seen it.

Anonymous said...

Hmm...the lineup. I read somewhere that it isn't too good to put your best hitter 3rd because a lot of the time, there will be no one on base in front of him. I also read that it's pretty hard to screw up a lineup. Just put the players you want to see most (generally the best ones) higher. I wouldn't mind seeing Pablo bat higher especially since he has more power and currently gets on base just as much as Freddy. He really hasn't grounded into many double plays lately. I don't think he can do much worse than Freddy anyway. I'm fine with the lineup the way it is, but I'd be even more finer with this:


Also, Freddy doubled as I wrote this. So...is it a sign?

Anonymous said...

Hey JC, for some reason, my computer hasn't let me go on that site for over a month now for some reason. What does it tell about Freddy?