Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Vogie and Giants Complete Sweep

That's 11 wins in their last 13 games if you are counting. The hirsute Ryan Vogelsong was a disaster, the de-whiskered version has been a beast. That's five consecutive starts of two runs allowed or fewer and five wins by the ballclub. Number 32 allowed 22 runs in his first five starts and only five since. One of those first five was a good one against the Dodgers, in the other four he failed to get past the 5th. If he can hit those spots low on the outside corner with his two-seamer he can get grounders instead of fly balls and it sets up his slow breaking stuff for swing-throughs. That worked well today--he got outs on the ground and key strikeouts as well. Walks have been a bugaboo but no freebies were issued this afternoon. That's three straight effective starts on the road in hitters parks. We know the Giants can keep the lid on things in their big yard so it's extra sweet to see them do it in the bandboxes. When Jake Peavy gets activated, I don't think he's going to bump Vogie.

Big blast today from Joe Panik right after the Brewers scored their only run. His two-run bomb came after Nori Aoki's leadoff single. Angel Pagan, hitting in the 7th spot, doubled and scored in the 9th for insurance. All the regulars, including Gregor Blanco, are positive WAR for the season and the lowest OPS of the bunch is Pagan's .728; the ML average is .709. The worst OBP in the lineup today was Matt Duffy's .333, he hit eighth (the ML average is .315).

Giants don't get a break until next Thursday--they come home for four against the Braves and three against the Pirates. Chris Heston gets the ball tomorrow night.



p.s. Outstanding work, again, by the 'pen. My only concern is the usage--those guys are seriously racking up some innings! Let's hope Hunter Strickland can pick up some of the load. He looked good today and has done well (keeping fingers crossed!) since he was recalled to the bigs.


Zo said...

Is there a time limit for pitchers to spend making rehab starts? I would be none too quick to activate Peavy unless he looks ready (or, perhaps, Heston falls apart, but he hasn't done that yet).

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

There is some sort of rehab time limit, but I'm not sure what it is. I think I recall 20 days from Ishi and Cordier, but not really sure.

At this point, they probably could DFA Peavy, as no team will take on his whole contract without knowing that he's better, should he not rehab enough, given the chances they have taken with DFAing and possibly losing players, there is a new Sheriff in town with Evans, and he's much more aggressive (so far) in terms of releasing players.

Yes, I think most of us are counting. :^)

Yeah, Vogie has moved himself above at least Heston in the rotation hierarchy, and perhaps even Hudson, who has been somehow keeping a lid on things despite not being able to throw strikes (and strikeouts) as much as he used to, even just last season.

Panik and Duffy have been providing surprising power, between the two of them, they might total what Sandoval had last season plus a few extra.

I noted this somewhere, but Giants team OPS was much higher than any other team on the road, they lead by a large amount, and they are also one of the top teams in ISO on the road, so they have a very good offensive team, just not so good in SF.

Hence the move to speed atop the lineup planned for home, with Aoki, Pagan, Pence batting, but I'm hoping Bochy goes with Aoki, Pence, Pagan (come on, Bochy, use your usual "I like to keep guys where they are" speech - one of the phrases that comes with his pull string - and keep Pagan third, where he has been all season; most studies show #3 yields poor offensive return for power hitters there, whereas #2 is where you should put your better hitters, your third best guy ideally bats second, not third per old school baseball wisdom).

That would be quite interesting to have a running team up top, putting the pressure on the pitcher and defense, and setting the table for Posey, Belt, Crawford (!), then Panik and Duffy batting 7/8. Hope that works immediately so that Bochy will ride that winning hand.

I would note lastly that, for whatever reason, despite Aoki getting on base A LOT, in his short time with us, he's not scoring that many runs. For example, last 28 days, only 2 players have more PA (Panik, Belt), only two have more hits (Belt, Crawford), only two (Belt, Posey) got on base more, and yet 5 players score more runs than he did (10), Pence is tied but had less than half the PA, and Pagan had 9 but was on base only 25 times (Aoki 38 times, almost 50% more).

Maybe Panik and Pagan forced out Aoki a bunch of times? Also odd, Aoki leads the team in GIDP, maybe he's good stealing bases, but not that fast overall? Probably just hits into a lot of grounders probably, though. But normally a leadoff hitter getting on so much should be generating a lot more runs than that. He should have generated 71 runs given his OBP and SLG, he should have generated around 60-65 runs altogether, but he only has 33 so far this season. There would need to be a heck of a lot of force outs to make up the difference.

Wow, Strickland has been superb! Picking up the load, and how, basically been taking over Affeldt's job. The Giants were already needing to drop a reliever at some point when Peavy is ready to come off the DL, so one of Machi and Kontos has been among the walking dead since the season started, but right now, no choice, Machi should be the one gone, so they could DFA him at this point (given how Evans has worked this season, making the tough calculated move has been the norm) and maybe nobody picks him up given how poorly he has done this season, so that the Giants can carry Strickland a bit longer. Can't remember the last time Machi has pitched in leverage situation.

nomisnala said...

I really like the way both Panik, and Duffy approach their at bats. They are usually tough outs. Duffy sometimes is over matched the first time he sees a pitcher, but that rarely continues into a second at bat. These guys seem like grind it out, old time players in young bodies so to speak. In the meantime, Adrianza is on fire in triple A.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Yeah, it is like a clinic with both Panik and Duffy around, along with Aoki as well. Not that Posey, Belt, and Crawford didn't do good jobs of it themselves, either. But that is a good description, old time players in young bodies, this team is a bunch of grinders.

And yeah, Adrianza is finally fulfilling some of the hope I had for him. I'm glad we didn't lose him, I'm glad he's getting a lot of playing time to enable him to work on his bat more, I hope the Giants just keep him in minors all season until September, so he can work on his hitting, and get him ready to take over Arias role in 2016.

nomisnala said...

A switch hitting Arias would be good in Adrianza. We would not even have to change the
initial of the last name. Arias, is very streaky and at times he can be a very tough out. It usually takes him some time to get going, and with very limited playing time this year, he may rarely have a chance to get going. I truly hope that Crawford can stay on top of his game and not fade. He had some signs of a break out season last year but faded as the season progressed. But he did wake-up in the wild card game. Bochy said he would rest him a little more this year, in hope that he could stay fresh throughout the season. When the giant big guys, Belt, and Pence check their swings they rarely get the benefit of the doubt, and it is often called a strike. All that body movement leads the ump to be prone to calling the check swing a strike, even when they do not go around. This year in general the umpires have been calling very few check swings as strikes, but you wouldn't know it, watching how these calls continue to go against the giants.