Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Giants Delay Dodgers Vacation

The Giants forced LA to play at least one more meaningful game by losing a nail-biter in the 9th last night. The fans have already left, the team is still packing. Matt Cain had his final tune-up before his playoff start on Saturday. Other than giving up a homer to his personal Goldschmidt, Andre Ethier, he looked a lot like Matt Cain. It was also his birthday (he turned 28), and Ol' Boch thoughtfully gave him a pitch limit. The Giants looked feeble against Aaron Harang, only managing two hits. They got four hits off three relievers, but it was all for naught as Santiago Casilla gave up three hits in his 1/3 inning.

I really really really really want the Giants to eliminate the Dodgers. That means a win. One measly little win. The Cardinals could win one of their final two and make it moot, and the Dodgers could sweep and still watch the post-season on TV, but it would be much more fun to stick the dagger in personally. So c'mon, Giants, get some hits and score some runs and beat those clowns down there.

Barry Zito goes tonight, and Ryan Vogelsong gets matched up with Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday. Zito, as we all know, was left off the 2010 post-season roster. Here's why: 199-1/3 IP, 184 H, 97 R, 20 HR, 84 BB, 150 SO, 1.344 WHIP, and 4.15 ERA in 33 starts. He's on the 2012 post-season roster with his much improved 178-1/3 IP, 180 H, 89 R, 20 HR, 69 BB, 108 SO, 1.396 WHIP, and 4.19 ERA in 31 starts He had 19 quality starts in 2010, with an average game score of 51.6, but he turned that around in 2012 with 16 quality starts and a 49.3 average game score. FanGraphs gives him 1.7 WAR for 2010, 0.6 for 2012, while B-R says 0.9 and -0.2 (that's right, negative WAR). The Giants scored 3.6 rpg for Zeets in 2010, but are on a 4.8 rpg clip this season. He's the same pitcher he was then, but the Giants do better when he's on the mound: 16-17 in 2010 and 20-11 this year. So, make of that what you will.




Zo said...

I guess I am now the only person on the planet worried about the Giants going into the post-season. We have Cain, and a bunch of question marks. Zito, among the question marks, has been the most consistent, although it is hard to see how his numbers have improved from 2010. If anyone remembers, it was his pitching at the end of the season that made the decision to leave him off the roster, not his season. This year, the pitching of Timmy, Ryan and Madison have been inconsistent (to be generous) in the latter part of the year, and Zito has been pretty consistent, which is why I find it inconceivable that he is not a lock for a start (obviously, days of rest matters). I don't know why these guys will suddenly be magically better in the post season, and "because they were in 2010" or because (in Tim's case) "he's a big game pitcher" just doesn't work for me. Vogie can show some consistency tomorrow (2 games worth), but with Tim and Maddy, we got nothing more than wishes.

Here are a couple more items: Pablo, 3 hits in his last 31 plate appearances, although 7 walks (yeah, I was shocked). Angel, 4 for 30, 2 walks. Our relief has been pretty good, thank god, because it looks like we are going to need a lot of it. Except here is what Casilla did last night: single, sac fly, single, three balls before the IW, single.

Ron said...

Your Zito analysis is quite clever (really). So, the issue is really the context. Aside from the Giants' better run support in his starts, as usual, the main variable is Tim Lincecum. In 2010, Zito was a member of a solid rotation which included a very strong (other than August) Tim Lincecum. In 2012, any Starter in baseball would look good next to the trainwreck that is the 2012 regular season Tim Lincecum. Don't worry, though. Mecha-Lincecum will be with us next week!

Brother Bob said...

I'm not exactly optimistic about our chances, but we do seem to be able to find ways to win. Maybe our shaky starters will rediscover their greatness when it matters. Maybe Sandoval or someone else will get hot and be the equivalent of Cody Ross. We shall see.

Zo said...

Well, on the plus side, we have a WAY better offense, and hitters seemingly can turn it around in a one-game span. Perhaps the adjustments when the issues are physical are much simpler or more observable. Here is a short list of guys who seem to be doing pretty well lately: Scutaro, Buster, Pence, Belt, Blanco.