Thursday, May 28, 2015

Fourth Straight Home Shutout

The Giants lead baseball in team shutouts with nine, just ahead of the Dodgers who have seven. Rookie Chris Heston bounced back with 7-1/3 scoreless, allowing only four hits and one walk. The closest thing the Braves had to a rally was Nick Markakis batting with runners on the corners and two outs in the 6th. Brandon Belt homered in the bottom of the 7th off a very tough Shelby Miller to make it 1-0 Giants. It looked to be another nail-biter until a six-run explosion in the 8th, one of those "hitting is contagious" events where the team batted around. The final was 7-0 and the Giants gain a half game on the idle Dodgers. That's the team's twentieth win in the month of May against only seven losses.

Heston gave up eleven runs in the two starts following his complete game gem in Houston. Tonight was the first time this season he has not allowed a run at all. The Giants beat Miller in Game Four of the NLCS last season when he was the starter for St. Louis. He also pitched in the 2012 NLCS against the Giants when he was only twenty-one. He went to the Braves as part of the Jason Heyward deal.

Tim Hudson tomorrow night. GO GIANTS!


p.s. Word on Jake Peavy is that he will require at least two more rehab starts.


nomisnala said...

Whose place in the rotation will Peavy take? Looks like Hudson.
Or perhaps the giants could temporarily go to a six man rotation.
Peavy showed last year that once he gets his mechanics set, he can
reel off a bunch of quality starts. Heck, Vogelsong showed that
this could be done from this April to this May. Hudson seems to
be significantly better at home. I hope that continues, as he looked
very bad during his last road start.

M.C. O'Connor said...

It's going to be an interesting dilemma. Hudson has been the weakest link, I agree. Maybe they won't rush anything and give Peavy lots of time to get healthy. And there's still Matt Cain out there!

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Peavy credited his catchers for his resurgence, if I recall right, not his mechanics.

I would not pay much attention to how badly pitchers did this last road trip, Colorado, rain delays, Colorado, Milwaukee, you got hitters parks, good hitters.

I agree with M.C., the Giants appear to be taking it slow and easy, and have to credit both Heston and Vogelsong for making that possible, they might be taking it differently with Peavy if they weren't.

Mets just went to a 6-man rotation. And the beat talk is that Hudson has not fully recovered from his 2014 extended run of pitching, he's never pitched that deep into the playoffs before. I think nomisnala asked about 6-man analysis, and I haven't, but the key point to me is that you only worry about reducing Bumgarner's number of starts if you throw in a true 6th man into the rotation, but if the 6th man is Heston or Vogelsong, right now, yes, some loss, but not that huge a drop, and if it saves our best arms for performance in October, I think we have to do it at some point.

In any case, as MC notes, Peavy is at least two weeks out, so a 6-man, say, to the ASB, is no big deal to do at that point, won't affect Bumgarner's # of starts much, then the Giants will have a decision regarding Cain around that time, if no setbacks, because then it would be 7 starters.

And here's something Krukow noted this morning: Peavy has been good his first inning or so, but his back has not been handling going deeper into starts. So maybe he can be a reliever when he gets back. Which got me thinking, he could take Vogie's role, pitch 1 to 2 innings, to bridge to Kontos, then to set up guys. Of course, in any case, Peavy's return would require opening a 25-man spot, which probably means DFAing Machi, who is handily losing his battle for a spot with Kontos.

And if Cain is ready, don't see much choice but to drop Heston to the minors, let him know he did a great job but the roster crunch forced this, but that with Hudson gone next season, he'll be the incumbent for that rotation spot, it'll be his to lose (with how well Vogie is pitching, don't see how another team don't give him a contract good enough to lure him away).

Zo said...

Heston will have to be resigned, he is only signed for this year. But, I agree that eventually, he will have to give way to either Cain or Peavy. Also not signed for next year: Hudson, Lincecum, Vogelsong, so there will need to be some starters from somewhere. Among the relievers, those not signed beyond 2015: Affeldt, Kontos, Petit, Machi.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Heston is a rookie, he's under team control and still in his pre-arb years.

I expect they will re-sign Affeldt, no one appreciates relief pitchers like the Giants! If Timmy finishes strong I'll bet they re-sign him, too. No one appreciates Timmy like the Giants do. Hudson has already said he will retire after this season. Kontos and Machi are 1st year arb-eligible in 2016 and not free agents until 2020. Petit is a FA in 2017, he has one year of arb left.

Cot's Contracts is one of the best sites out there for baseball nerds.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Yeah, I don't see Lincecum going away after the season. Other teams have got to be spooked by the past three seasons, no matter how good he is this season, particularly since he's not striking out that many. And the Giants probably gives him another 2-year deal, similar to Peavy.

I agree that the Giants do appreciate relievers but his struggles this season has to cause some doubt, he's 36 YO this season (meaning he's 37 YO next), so he's not young anymore, and he hasn't been this wild since his first full season only as a reliever (2007) and hasn't ever struck out this few, the closest season to this was 2006. Unless he corrects things by mid-season and ends the season on a high note, I wouldn't bet on him returning, especially with Okert, who I view as the replacement for his role of "lefty who can get out righties and lefties", probably ready for his close up either this season or next.

The good news is that much of his problems has been mostly at extreme hitters parks, Coors and GAB (he was OK in Miller, though). Take out those and his ERA is great, though his peripherals still aren't. Something to watch this season.

I would also note that at some point, a reliever will have to be let go if both Peavy and Cain returns, and right now that appears to be Machi, so he could be gone before the season ends.