Tuesday, June 26, 2012


That's 18 scoreless innings in San Francisco for the first-place Dodgers. Ten runs in two nights for the Good Guys, zero for the Evil Ones. Melky Cabrera stroked a home run to left-center against the still-almost-unbeatable Clayton Kershaw in the 4th to open the scoring, and the Giants scratched out another with stolen base by Angel Pagan and single from Pablo Sandoval. The 2-0 lead would be the final score as Ryan Vogelsong once again pitched seven strong and relievers Jeremy Affeldt and Santiago Casilla got the final six outs without too much drama. The running game giveth and it taketh away--Ryan Theriot got a little too excited and tried to score from third on an infield squibber in the 5th. The play is in front of the runner there, I don't get the "go on contact" mentality. Make the damn pitcher or catcher field the ball and throw to first, that might make an opening to go home. Or stay at third, fer chrissakes, and give the next guy a chance to drive you in. It turned out that the blown scoring chance didn't change the outcome. Kershaw was tough (8K in 6 IP) like always, and would not give up the big hit and kept it a nail-biter.

Not much more we can say about Vogie that we haven't already said. He pitched another great game, this one with the biggest stakes of the season so far, especially when you consider he was matched up with their no. 1 and the reigning Cy Young Award winner. The Voge-ster gives up his share of hits and walks, but he makes big pitches when he needs them, and he keeps the ball in the yard. The Dodgers got mostly ground ball hits and couldn't muster a killer blow. And you have to love Buster Posey nailing Dee Gordon (NL leader in SB and CS) trying to steal in the 5th inning: "I'm not havin' it!" I bitch and moan about stolen bases a lot, and it's not like I don't like them, it's just that I hate that CS in the box score. Nothing kills rallies like outs on the bases. (It was that classic "run" situation, leadoff hitter on first with two outs.) I note, however, that Pagan is 14 for 16 on the basepaths, Gregor Blanco is 13 for 16, and Melky Cabrera is 10 for 14 (the team is 59 for 78, or 77%). I like to see guys be 4 for 5 when they run--that's the break-even for my taste. If you are going to steal, make it count. And get extra-base hits while you're at it, that's even more my taste. But I'm quibbling. It was great win and the Giants flashed both power and dash to up end the Mighty Clayton.

Giants are once again in position to sweep a series. This time it is Tim Lincecum who has to follow a couple of dandy opening acts. Hey Timmy Jim, this is why they call you "Big Time."



campanari said...

Tom Tango et al.,*The Book* pp. 333-39, points out that gross figures about stolen bases aren't v informative. It's vital to know the inning and score at the time of the attempt. Overall, the break-even point is just under 70%, however, so that the Giants seem to be doing pretty well; and it may be that when one takes inning and score into account, they're doing better than pretty well.

M.C. O'Connor said...

FanGraphs has a good piece as well:


A baseball season is about 6 months/26 weeks long. If you attempt a steal once a week and are only thrown out once a month, that's 20/26 (77%). I can live that.

The problem with all baserunning analysis is that the value of the extra base is so dependent on the situation. Late in a close game a one-run strategy could be the difference-maker. Risking an out at second with your best power hitter up probably isn't worth it. Pitchers vary in their ability to hold runners. Running to stay out of a DP is different than stealing, as is forcing the infielders to move to make a hole for a hitter. Etc. Etc.

One thing the Giants seem to do, which I like, is taking the extra base on hits. I like to see pressure put on OFs and relay men to make good throws. The steal, to me, is a specialist's weapon. But ALL players can hustle and be "heads up" on the bases and try to get an edge. Well, maybe not Bengie.

Ron said...

If you caught the statement by Kuip at the end of the game & the graphic they showed, it was the first back-to-back shutouts of LA by the Giants since August 15 & 16, 1987. Dravecky beat Valenzuela, 5-0, in the first game. In the second game, after outlasting Welch, the Giants won 1-0 behind a 10-inning complete game 3-hitter by Mike 'The God' LaCoss!

Here are the box scores for those games:



Can Tim extend the honorable streak? We'll find out shortly. The Giants need to bring out the lumber & get some of the heat off of him.

nomisnala said...

Tim with a game score of 75 tosses 7 shutout innings, and the giants finally sweep a 3 games series, and they did it with a series shutout. How many series shutouts have there been in the last few years, of series at least 3 games long?

M.C. O'Connor said...

Oh man, THREE STRAIGHT SHUTOUTS against the Dodger Scum!!!!!!!!