Thursday, July 28, 2011

Utley Dominating Tim

Our beloved Giants took yet another series, this time from the "mighty" Phillies. And although the spotlight was on newly acquired Carlos Beltran, the real story for the Giants' 4-1 victory in Philly today was what it always is for the defending World Champions : pitching.

Following on Matt Cain's masterpiece yesterday, Tim Lincecum (9-8) completely nullified the highly regarded NL East leader line up. Tim was remarkably strong considering his recent bout with food poisoning and the muggy 85 degree weather. I guess he has something to prove to the rude Phillie fans. Well, he did.

6 innings 3 hits! ZERO RUNS 4 walks 6 strikeouts (game score 68)

The key to Tim's success tonight was his complete domination of Chase Utley. Every time Utley (who I consider the best all round hitter in the NL) came up against Lincecum there was a runner in scoring position. Normally, this is a recipe for a loss. Tonight it was as sweet as could be:

1st inning - runners on 1st and 3rd, one out: limp pop up to short
3rd inning - 1st & 3rd, two outs: got him out on called strike three, made him look bad doing it too
5 inning - 1st & 2nd, two outs: made him look even worse striking out on a ball in the dirt

Tim has done this to Utley for a while, something like 2 for 23 lifetime against The Franchise. Just another aspect of the Freak that is a little hard to fathom. By the way, Utley immediately roped an RBI double after Lincecum left the game. Dude's a stud...Tim's just better.

I guess I should make note of Carlos Beltran's debut. From first glance, it would seem like he really wants to fit in this lineup. After all, it would be rude to show everybody up right away. Personally, I think sacrificing a nifty 32 consecutive game streak of reaching base is a little too nice. Striking out twice against a guy he had faced 20+ times previously with only one strikeout was a nice touch though. Good job, Carlos. Today you looked like you've been batting third for the Giants all year long.

It's alright to stick out a little bit next game, OK?


Anonymous said...

Awesome post, already a possible highlight of my day (it's Friday now in NJ). I've seen Beltran play for quite some time since the Mets were my initial favourite team. Great player. The stats could tell you that, but even so, he was my favourite to watch. If we were going to unload our top pitching prospect for someone, I'm glad that it was Carlos.

That being said, I wasn't too surprised to see him go 0-4. IIRC, it seemed that Carlos took quite a few pitches, just couldn't do anything with them. I'm confident that once he adjusts to the team and winning, he'll be fine.

Timmeh had a great game, especially considering his recent illness. What a trooper! It didn't even feel like he gave up 4 walks.

I'm a little mad that I missed seeing Pablo's homer live, but oh well.

All in all, a great game and a satisfying series victory.

*I seemed to have missed all the ruckus with the trade the other day. I might as well throw my two cents in. I've seen footage of Wheeler, read some scouting reports, etc. and I have to say, it looked like he would have easily joined Timmeh, Matteh, and MadBum as our four-headed-hydra of a rotation. But it was not meant to be. However, many seem to forget that it was not pitching alone that won the World Series. It was balance...and some unlikely candidates stepping up. By the time we entered the playoffs, we were not only the best run preventers in the league, we also, finally, had an adequate lineup to supplement the pitching/defense.

Prior to the trade, we were sorely lacking in the balance department. Whether the loss of offense was due to injury, regression, bad luck, old age, etc. we were in desperate need of some. Although we traded Wheeler, we already have great, young pitching. I'm glad to see us address a need. Besides, I've always been more of a Surkamp fan m'self.

We won't know the effects of this trade for some time, so in the meantime, let's just see what happens. Go Giants!

JC Parsons said...

Thanks for the heckle and the kind comments. I pretty much figure you are talking about me when you say "However, many seem to forget that it was not pitching alone that won the World Series. It was balance..." (Yesterday I was called an idiot and it was no big deal, but thanks for the civility.) That statement IS still something I contest heartily. The post season MVP list has at least four pitchers on top before Ross, Renteria, etc. show up. We got there largely due to The Streak (well documented here at RMC). That team had little or no balance and we won it all. This year we have little or no balance and (despite HUGE injuries) we are ARE STILL WINNING. Ask the Phillies if they think we have no balance. They don't care...they can't BEAT us like this!
I know I'm crazy, an idiot for pitching. But I love this team the way it is. I love the future we have built. Why do we have regress to "common wisdom"?

If I hear that we are in "desperate need" of something again I may scream. Not that anyone but I will hear it.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Great game. The Phillies showed some shaky "D" and gave up those two big runs. I love how they can use Lopez one night and then Affeldt the next to get through the 8th.

I say bring on Lee and Halladay. I know they are great but our guys match up with any of them.

Ron said...

Today's Oregonian carried the AP story about last night's game (front page of the Sports section). This is an awesome quote - also, a very strange quote, given a 2-1 series in July:

"We can beat them," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "I know we can. They're not in our head."

A sure sign that we are in their heads, I'd say.

Also from the same story:

'The Phillies hadn't lost consecutive games since June 4. They went a club-record 45 straight games without dropping two straight.'

Great series win - need to bop them again at home, after taking care of Cincinnati & Arizona.

Bill Hall DFA'd & Burriss optioned is an interesting set of moves. Burriss can't have too many more options at this point.

JC Parsons said...

I heard somewhere that Zito is not pitching on Sun? Anybody know?

The streaks that were broken last night are (were) impressive. Beltran reaching base in 32 straight games, then SNAP. Maybe Murphy puts something weird in the laundry. Phillies going 45 games without consecutive losses, then SNAP. They are really feckin' good ( I hate Ruiz ) so I hope we are in their head.

Brother Bob said...

If Wheeler is the Mets #1 starter next year and Beltran is a Yankee, then JC is a genius. (Well he is anyway) That was just blog hyperbole between BB & JC.
So are Bob & Jon still on for a game Monday?

Ron said...

Baggarly goes off on Charlie Manuel:

You had to wonder if the Giants would be able to get into the Phillies’ heads by winning a series here. After all, the Phillies still have more of a track record. Their top starting pitchers (Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee) have dominated for a longer period than Lincecum and Cain. They should be confident, right? One series shouldn’t put them on edge, right?

Well, it’s means one thing when you think those things. The truth might be something altogether different when you say them in front of a microphone at a podium, in front of a bunch of reporters on deadline.

With no further delay, I give you Phillies manager Charlie Manuel:

“They’re not in our heads. I don’t think so. Really, I don’t think so at all.”

“I think we can get ‘em, if you want to know the truth. I know we can get ‘em. It’s just a matter of us putting it together and for us to play the right way. And that’s pitch, hit and play good defense. Yeah, I think we can get ‘em.

“They’ve been playing us tough. They’ve got a good team. They’ve got good pitching. So do we. It’s just a matter of us outplaying them. Basically, the last two nights they took it to us.”

Last year, during one of the NLCS workout days, Manuel got very defensive when asked another question about the Giants pitching staff. He didn’t like all the praise he was hearing from his own hitters. He thought maybe they were psyching themselves out, building up legends in their minds.

He might be thinking that still.

Asked how you solve great pitchers like Cain and Lincecum, here’s what Manuel said:

“They’re good pitchers. You say they’re great pitchers. To me, I don’t know how great they are. I think as they move on into their careers, there’s the longevity part and things like that. I think that’s when the greatness might come by. This is a consistent game. When you say somebody is great … tonight I saw 90 fastball, 92 at the best. I saw a good changeup. I saw a breaking ball. I saw a cutter. Good pitching, but at the same time we can beat that. I’ve seen us do that.”

“We can beat them. I know we can.”

There’s a reason they call it “quiet confidence.” When spoken aloud, it seldom seems to feel genuine.

JC Parsons said...

@ Bob: To tell you the truth, I am thinking the bigscreen at Steve&Melodee's is looking good. Am I a Feeb? For me to go on Mon means I leave for Sac a day earlier or the crack o' dawn, so how about a party at their house (nice of me, huh?) instead??

Zo said...

Perhaps Jon and I should spend more time on the IFP website (Idiots for Pitching). Here's what the Phillies have going for them: more cum stains all over a list of their starting rotation from the big, bad, eastern-biased media. If that translates into confidence, well so be it. Of course the Phillies can beat us. There are no sure things in baseball. I would say, however, that the odds that the Phillies WILL beat us went down a notch or two.

Brother Bob said...

mmm, cum stains... now that's some fine blogging.

Ron said...

I might as well chime in on today's big Giants' mystery (Zito's possible non-start on Sunday).

I think that he is about to be traded. Of course, we'll have to eat nearly all of his salary, but we may be picking up a Catcher. J. Sanchez is apparently just about ready.

My scan of potentially-available decent Catchers yields the following names:

Olivo (Seattle)
Wieters (Baltimore)
Soto (Cubs)

Wieters would be my favorite, by virtue of his being another switch-hitter. Olivo has good power. Soto is a good choice, too.
Would you trade Zito for any of these guys?

JC Parsons said...

At this point I trade Zito for a bag o balls. He's a sunk cost and we are rich, right?
I agree we should get a MLB catcher. That would address a real need.

Wow, Zo. Wow. I'm still a bit in shock. Uhhh, well said.

M.C. O'Connor said...

There's some talk about Giants being interested in Ramon Hernandez, but that's not new.

Ron said...

Supposedly, as of just a little while ago, the Reds aren't going to be sellers. Given their 4-game home beatdown by the Mets, their suddenly crappy record, & their impending tough series against our boys, maybe that attitude will have changed by Sunday.

I'd rather have the guys on my list, but Hernandez would be OK, too. And, then there's Chris Ianetta, who is apparently being shopped to other teams. Would Colorado ever trade with us at this point in a season?

Anonymous said...

The Phillies have basically sleepwalked to the best record in baseball thus far. When this team wakes up, look out.