Friday, September 26, 2014

It's official

Last night's game was like a thumbnail sketch of the season. They took an early, seemingly insurmountable lead. Then they blew it, free-falling to an apparent defeat. Finally they recovered and scratched and clawed their way to victory. A post-season berth, no matter how ugly the means to get there, is a victory. The Giants had already clinched a spot before the game but they picked up the win they needed anyway and got to celebrate. I can't watch those visquine-and-goggles things anymore but I was happy the team got to whoop it up. We'll see if they can get back to the business at hand tonight.

I started thinking about the 25-man playoff roster. Angel Pagan's injury opens up an outfield spot. I get the sense that Mike Morse won't be available, either. Boch used Travis Ishikawa in left field--I wonder if that was a post-season audition. Tim Lincecum got a win by throwing two pitches, I think he's going to be the swing man. Hunter Strickland cranked up his 99-mph cheese and got a big out. I think he'll have a spot.

IF (5): Belt, Panik, BCraw, Panda, Posey.
OF (3): Pence, Blanco, Perez.
Bench (4): Susac, Arias, Duffy, Ishikawa.
Starters (5): MadBum, Peavy, Hudson, Petit, Vogie.
Bullpen (7): Lopez, Affeldt, Machi, Romo, Casilla, Strickland, Lincecum.

That's 24. I know that it's a four-man ro' in the playoffs, but I don't see them leaving Vogelsong off the roster. And I don't think you need Gutierrez if you have two starters who could be called upon in garbage time. And that leaves out Kontos as well. So the 25th man would be Dominguez? Duvall? Am I missing someone or something? Help me out.

Vogie makes his career-high 32nd start tonight.




Brother Bob said...

First of all, JC should have written this, since it was a Lincecum win (#100, BTW)But that's okay.
Second, kudos on the "thumbnail sketch of the season" line. I was thinking of something along those lines myself. You nailed it.
Third, when the Giants fell behind I was furious. I was ready to say, "Fuck it, fuck this team, fuck this season. I hope they lose Wednesday so this bullshit comes to an end."
Then they came back and won it, so I'm back to giving a shit again.
I was feeling the same way about Belt just before he splashed one.

Ron said...

Given the way that Pence is hitting lately, that is one pathetic starting outfield for a playoff team.

Next season, he needs to get over himself & take a day off, here-&-there. He is so out of gas, it's ridiculous. And, like the radio guys said last night, he seems to swing harder, the worse he's hitting.

Last spot for Dominguez, I guess.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Picking on Pablo I can understand. I think his hitting numbers are a disappointment. Pence, on the other hand, could be the team MVP. And I will argue that he ought to receive NL MVP votes--he has been the best clutch hitter in the league as well as being a versatile all-rounder with good glove skills and baserunning skills. Posey has had a ridiculous 2nd half, but hits much better as a first baseman than a catcher, and much of his value comes from the fact that he's a backstop. Yeah, Pence is in a slump, but ALL players have slumps, even Golden Boy Buster Posey (take a look at his April and May stats). And with the limited playing time for Angel Pagan there was little or no choice but to leave him out there. If you think Pence, Blanco and Perez is weak, imagine it without Pence.

Ron said...

Picking on Pence is totally legitimate, even though I love the guy. I could even be convinced that he is still the Team MVP, although Posey & Bumgarner should be in that mix. However, he has sucked recently & in big games. Mostly, I am not a subscriber to the 'he's a big hero, because he plays every game & almost every inning' philosophy. Aside from burning himself out, it means fewer at-bats & chances in the field for key bench guys, who need to stay sharp for whenever they are needed. A good, strong Hunter Pence gives us a much better OF, but he had better show up, because, just a few days ago, Perez wasn't even considered good enough to be our 6th outfielder, let alone a starter on a playoff team. Maybe, he'll turn into the next Bucky Dent or Denny Doyle - hope so.

M.C. O'Connor said...

If you think Pence is "tired" from all the innings, OK, I can buy that. I disagree, but it's a reasonable contention. I disagree because Pence was awesome in Aug and Sep last season (in which he played 162 games). He also had his best month of the year this August--shouldn't he have burned out before then? I'm calling September a "slump." Players have slumps. You can't expect an .800+ OPS every week. Buster Posey didn't do shit in LA or SD, as I recall, and those were the six biggest games of the season.

But blocking playing time? From whom? This is a team with a starting CF who has played in 96 games and is out for good. This is a team with a LF that may be out for good and has fewer than 500 PA. I see exactly the opposite: Pence is a godsend who can be out there every damn day. I don't see a bench performer who has been short-changed. In fact, with all the injuries, our bench guys have had to be quasi-starters! I suppose you could argue Gary Brown has yet to get a shot, but he's a rookie who was not exactly setting the world on fire at Fresno.

There are a lot of players who should "shoulder the blame" for coming up short in the West. Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum come to mind. A full season of expected performance (say 3 WAR) from either would have been huge. It's amazing the team made the post-season without either being close to their past form! Angel Pagan has yet to deliver what he's paid to do. (Imagine if he had Pence's track record of playing time.) The injuries to Belt were catastrophic--he had an .841 OPS last year. Sergio Romo hit the skids at the worst possible time. Sandoval has not hit as well as we thought he would. There are a lot of guys at the head of the line--I just can't see how you can put Pence there.