Sunday, October 14, 2012

National League Championship Series, Game 1: Cardinals

Madison Bumgarner didn't have it tonight.  He gave up 8 hits and 6 runs in less than 4 innings, his command was poor and he didn't have much working.  In the second, following a Yadier Molina single, David Freese homered.  Madison gave up another single to Redwood City product David Descalso before retiring the side.  He made it through the third, giving up only one more hit, but the real trouble came in the fourth.  Two doubles, Descalso and Pete Kozma, added a run.  Then, John Jay singled Kozma home followed by a Carlos Beltran home run.  It was 6 - 0 and looking bleak.

But the Giants did some damage in the bottom of the fourth, as Lance Lynn, who was untouchable in the first three innings, gave up a single to Marco Scutaro and then retired Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey.  Hunter Pence came up and singled, sending Scutaro to third.  Brandon Belt, eeked out a single, sending Scutaro home and Pence to third.  Then Gregor Blanco came up, and hit a triple into deep right center (where else?) to bring the score to 6 - 3.  Brandon Crawford, desperate to get in on the action, followed with a double to score Blanco, 6 - 4.  Aubrey Huff walked and that was all for Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn.  Joe Kelly retired Angel Pagan and that was it for the Giants' scoring with a parade of Cardinals relievers keeping the Giants scoreless for the rest of the game.  Bummer.

Madison has not looked particularly good for a while now, with some exceptions.  The young man may be worn out this season after 208 innings in the regular season.  He threw a couple of crackerjack games back to back in August, a nine inning game in which he gave up 1 against Washington and an eight inning game against LA in which he gave up none.  Since then, he threw 6 innings giving up 1 run on 4 hits against the Rockies but has been less than sharp since.  Lance Lynn made it no further into the game than did Madison, and the Cardinals used six relievers.  One might argue that Madison had been left in too long.  After George Kontos finished up the fourth, Tim Lincecum pitched the fifth and sixth and only used 24 pitches.  It was far from mop up duty, though, as the Giants seemed poised to catch the Cards at some point.  Didn't happen though.  It is not clear to me that Tim will not be starting game 4 or 5, even if he is used in relief again before then. 


M.C. O'Connor said...

Starting pitching? Yikes. Let's just bullpen them to death! I was happy to see the comeback and really thought they would break through on a couple more of those chances but it didn't happen.

How is that every team in America can hit homers in SF but the Giants cannot?

Ron said...

Our starting pitching is a shambles right now. Luckily, the most recently reliable guy is going tonight.

If Pagan hits the ball in the 4th that he hit in the 9th, we would have had another run, & our rally could have continued. I thought that that was the key play of the game. Descalso came up with it &, luckily for him, had the option of the short flip to Kozma. With no force at 2nd, it would have been an infield hit.

We are not a lineup that can turn around serious heat. Panda-Posey-Pence have looked susceptible to high 90's fastballs. Arias & Crawford look to be the only ones who actually enjoy seeing the heater. We are more of a whack-the-breaking-ball-or-mistake-to-location type of outfit. The Cardinals' bullpen is a parade of serious flamethrowers. Therefore, it is imperative that we get to their starting pitchers. Our history this post-season is that it takes several innings (often, quite a few) for our hitters to wake up. We've got to shake off the cobwebs earlier & come out with some disciplined at-bats.

As great as Lincecum has looked in his current role, he needs to start a game. The fact that no one else, other than Vogelsong & kinda Cain, seems capable of sustaining a good start just underlines the need for Lincecum to get the ball & go. I want him to start Game 4.

Zo said...

Cain, game 3. Zito and Lincecum, games 4 and 5, not necessarily in that order, and depending on whether Tim gets used in relief and when. That leaves Vogie and Ryan for 6 and 7 (unless, of course, we just take this thing in 5).

Ron said...

I assume that you mean Cain in Game 7. Otherwise, Vogie & Ryan are pitching back-to-back games. Interesting idea, though.

Zito v. Cardinals' right-handed power is pretty scary. The Reds were even more right-handed power laden, & that didn't go too well.

I understand the predicament - Bumgarner is not trustworthy, so, how can we figure he could go in Game 5? I don't have a solution.

Vogelsong, Cain, Lincecum, Vogelsong, Cain, Lincecum w/ Bumgarner & Zito available for rescue duty?

Like I said, our starting pitching is a shambles - who would have thought that that would have been our main worry?

Zo said...

Uh....yeah. What he said.