Sunday, October 17, 2010

Oswalt overwhelms Giants

Roy Oswalt didn't really need the sloppy play and the bullpen meltdown by the Giants. He did just fine all by himself, limiting the Giants to their daily Cody Ross homer and not much else. He even got a hit and scored an "insurance" run in the 7th, starting the rally that ultimately blew the game open. Jonathan Sanchez walked in a run in the 1st and ran up an ugly pitch count, but limited the damage and kept the score close through six, getting seven strikeouts in the process. I was surprised he came out for the 7th even though it was the pitcher's spot--he'd done his job and probably should have turned the ball over to Ramon Ramirez or Santiago Casilla at that point. Shane Victorino was on deck, and he'd roped a double last time up, so I expected Sanchez would be pulled anyway. It all went to shit as both Ramirez and Casilla gave up run-scoring hits, with Jimmy Rollins delivering the two-out coup de gr√Ęce that put the game out of reach. You hope your bullpen can keep a one-run game a one-run game, thus giving you at least chance that a lucky break, a bad play, or a solo jack can tie it up, but the normally stalwart relief corps didn't get it done. I'm not sure it would have mattered the way Oswalt was pitching. According to the win probability chart, the Giants has their best chance in the 5th when Mike Fontenot drew a walk after Ross' one-out homer had tied the game. Edgar Renteria lined out to short for the second out and Oswalt whiffed Sanchez to end it. Sanchez then gave up the go-ahead run in the bottom of the inning, and the Phils never looked back.

If you had asked me on Friday if I would have been happy with a split over the weekend I would have given you a resounding "yes." Tonight's loss was deflating, though, as the team looked over-matched. It started out "no fun" and finished "no fun." And I don't like seeing stone-cold guys like Rollins getting their stroke back. Fortunately everyone gets a day off tomorrow and things resume in San Francisco on Tuesday. Work will likely cause me to miss most of Matt Cain's start as it is a day game. Let's hope he brings his good stuff and the bats wake up enough to help him out.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

10 comments:

Ron said...

Aside from the obvious (nearly all of our offensive production lately consists of solo HR's by Cody Ross), it has been difficult to watch our RHP set-up relief corps go from totally reliable to totally unreliable over the last 2 weeks. What is going on? It seems improbable that the Braves & Phillies have solved those guys, while the teams who see them on a regular basis (our NL West foes) couldn't. They (Bochy, Righetti, Gardner, Posey) need to figure out what's wrong & fix it quickly.

Andres Torres & Freddy Sanchez are major concerns. They are behind 0-2 in every at-bat, usually after taking a strike, then flailing wildly at the next pitch.

Torres has hit a few balls solidly, but mostly looks like a blind man. His splits show that he is a .229 BA, .276 OBP hitter after an 0-2 count. If he were achieving that now, it would be inadequate. But, he's probably .000 / .000 in the post-season after an 0-2 count. There has to be some consideration given to going with Rowand in Game 3, what with the left-handed starter going for the Phillies. Hopefully, not Rowand leading off, though.

Sanchez's season splits are even worse after an 0-2 count (.224 / .238). He had a nice, patient single on an off-speed pitch in the 9th last night to provide some hope.

The best & most promising at-bat of the night was the gritty multi-pitch BB by the Panda in the 9th. Coupled with the lackluster displays by Fontenot lately, I think that Pablo has justified his re-inclusion in the lineup. Bochy will be unlikely to go there in Game 3, because of the left-hander Hamels. So, assuming that Uribe is healthy, we'll probably see Uribe at 3B & Renteria at SS in Game 3, with Sandoval returning in Game 4.

As a part-time Yoga Instructor, my best advice would be some deep-breathing exercises for the entire team, especially the hitters. They are too jacked up & too impatient.

On another note, watching the games on Fox Deportes is a major plus, as the broadcasters are fact-based & non-irritating. This is my choice, not my Family's. However, it is helping Susana learn baseball, because, as I mentioned above, the commentary is descriptive & to the point. The LCS set-up is NLCS on Fox Deportes & ALCS on CCN en Espanol. The World Series will be on Fox Deportes.

Ron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ron said...

Note to Mark: Several of us seem to be having issues with duplicate posts. I'm not sure whether or what I may be doing wrong??? Please help.

Brother Bob said...

We didn't lose because JSanchez had a Zito-esque first inning.
Or because Fontenot played crappy defense. And so did Huff.
We didn't lose because Torres and FSanchez are death at the top of the order.
We didn't lose because the first man out of the bullpen stunk, again.
Or because Jimmy Rollins, a great ballplayer having a nightmare year, had a nice shining moment in the sun.
We didn't lose because Roy Oswalt dominated our lineup... oh wait, no that is why we lost.

Brother Bob said...

JSanchez's butt is nicer than Lincecum's.

Ron said...

Fun tidbit from the Spanish language broadcasts:

- Simple slang for 'Strikeout' is 'Ponche' (literally, 'puncture').

- More sophisticated equivalent of 'Grab Some Pine Meat' is 'Tragar Chocolate' (allowing for context, more or less, 'go back to the bench & sip on a hot chocolate'). Ejemplo: Ryan Howard trago chocolate dos veces contra Tim Lincecum.

Ron said...

Sorry to be such a post machine this morning, but another thing occurred to me, while watching the game. Then, I saw the same comment on another blog:

Perhaps Andres Torres out to consider a lighter bat for now. His notoriously heavy bat looks slow & unresponsive. For God's sake, he recently had an appendectomy & is at the end of the longest season of his professional career. No one would fault him for being a little run down & a tad bit weaker right now. Lighter lumber, quicker bat, Andres - give it a try in BP today.

Brother Bob said...

Good idea, Ron, about the lighter bat.
What I think will happen is Torres sits against Hamels and Rowand gets a start. But please, no, don't let him hit leadoff. So who does that leave?
Here is my suggestion for a radically altered batting order:
1.Fontenot
2.Renteria
3.Ross
4.Burrell
5.Posey
6.Rowand
7.Huff
8.FSanchez
The main feature is to move the red-hot Ross into the heart of the order, and to get FSanchez and Huff out of it.
What do you think?

Ron said...

Unlike Ross, Fontenot has not been able to sustain his early success & should sit, especially against a lefty. Therefore, if Uribe is available, I think that it should be. Renteria & F. Sanchez could be flip-flopped in either line-up. Posey batting 2nd also crossed me mind, but I decided against it:

Ross, RF
Renteria, SS
Burrell, LF
Posey, C
Uribe, 3B
Huff, 1B
Rowand, CF
F. Sanchez, 2B
Cain, P

If Uribe is unavailable:

Ross, RF
Renteria, SS
Burrell, LF
Posey, C
Huff, 1B
Sandoval, 3B
Rowand, CF
F. Sanchez, 2B
Cain, P

M.C. O'Connor said...

I'm not sure about the double-comment thing, I haven't seen the bug and I'm not sure what to do about it. Blogger can be slow to respond so just make sure you single-click on the publish button and wait for it to process.

Ted Williams thought everyone should switch to a lighter bat in September.

Start Rowand in CF vs. Hamels.