Sunday, August 24, 2014

Disaster Inning Sinks Giants

It was the right move to bring in a rested Jeremy Affeldt in the 6th in relief of Ryan Vogelsong. With one out and no one on it should have been an ideal situation for the lefty who consistently gets strikeouts and ground balls. And has been a top-flight reliever since joining the team in 2010. Alas, he couldn't get anyone out and the Nationals poured it on and turned a 6-3 deficit into an 8-6 lead (the final result was 14-6). Maybe with Gregor Blanco in left instead of Mike Morse, Bryce Harper's double is an out instead, but Boch didn't have the luxury of a defensive replacement with Angel Pagan getting the day off. In the end, Morse's misplay mattered little as the stalwart 'pen finally faltered. Sometimes you make the right move but get the wrong result. Washington is suddenly on fire, winning 12 of 13 and streaking their way to the best record in the NL. The Giants found that out the hard way this afternoon. They've never hit Stephen Strasburg before, and shockingly lit him up early and chased him after four, but it didn't hold up. The lineup flashed both power (two homers, double, triple) and situational hitting (two sac flies) but it was all for naught. Vogie is starting to get some real run support these days--the team has been shut out in five of his starts and had zero on the board when he left on four other occasions.

I have a rule about reading too much into one game. That is, I don't like to do that. Especially in baseball where any team can have a rotten game, weekend, or road trip and still be a contending club. But this game was a soul-crusher. Seeing them come home after taking two of three from a first-place team would have been wonderful. Even if they had lost two of three I would have been OK if the games were close. Hold your own against good teams and thump on the bad ones is an excellent way to win a division (q.v. OGC's latest). Now the onus is on the Giants to stomp the Rockies this week at home where they are 32-32 for the season and have not played well lately (4-8 in the last two homestands). The Giants have already scored more runs in August (92) than they did in July (85) and should pass their June total (93) easily. They also have seven games left in the month and with 10 wins have tied their June total and are only two from July's, so you have to like that trend. They gave up an astonishing 116 runs in June and improved that in July to 92. Today's ridiculous game pushed their relatively stingy 68 runs allowed up to 82, but that's still not too bad. I'm trying to see the positives here and look for improvement! Maybe I'm reaching, but after a horrid, gut-punching loss like this one I need a lifeline.

Jake Peavy gets the ball tomorrow night in San Francisco.



p.s. Great games today from Gregor Blanco and Travis Ishikawa and three hits for BCraw who looks like he might be reversing--finally--a long hitting slide. Interestingly, his OPS has gone up each year since his debut. We'll see if he can finish the year on a high note.


Zo said...

"Especially in baseball where any team can have a rotten game, weekend, road trip, month, two months or season and still be a contending club." Oh wait, not a whole season. Bah.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Tim vs Yusmeiro makes Hardball Talk.

Shankbone said...

Worst loss of the season in my book. Still time to go get em. Back further in 2010 for example. But this team just seems to reject all opportunities to get big streaks going.

OGC's post is good stuff. the whole talk about the Giants not being able to hang with winning teams isn't the story. Its about mashing on the easy marks. 2011 we got done in by the Cubs and Astros. In 2013 it was the Mets and Marlins. (At home I might add). Got to win the winnable games. And should have won today.

Gotta get some good juju at home going, somehow. This has been insane lately. Bumgarner especially.

nomisnala said...

Although I Affeldt has pitched fairly nicely for the most part this season, I never, ever, trust him with a lead. Sign stealing was involved, but it is part of the game. I just hope Blanco does not become homer happy. Giants need to go on a long winning streak.