Tuesday, June 2, 2015

3rd inning: 12-6

Try not to think about how great this stretch of ball could have been without the four straight losses to get us to Game 54. The Giants played some good baseball in May, in fact they played some great baseball in May. They are 0-4 since their amazing 25-10 run--try not to let that get in the way. This team needed a hot streak and they got it. They look bad unfortunately against the Pirates, but the Pirates have that "lean and hungry look" and hell, they ought to. You get your ass whipped at home in a winner-take-all game and that winning team takes it all you got an axe to grind, wouldn't you say? I think the Giants got a good grinding from the Bucs these last two evenings. Let's hope they can get a win in the getaway game.

1st inning: 7-11
2nd inning: 11-7
3rd inning: 12-6

Total 30-23, .566 (92-win pace), 2nd place, 2 games behind, 6th-best record in baseball. We are exactly one-third of the way through the season, 54 games down, 108 games to go.

Obviously we saw an uptick in the scoring. The team now rates a roughly league-average offense at 4.09 runs per game. They are 13th of 30 teams with 217 runs scored. And we saw an amazing run of scoreless outings--the staff leads the majors with nine team shutouts. They are 11th from the top in runs allowed at 206 and their runs allowed per game, 3.89, puts them at 9th-best. That run difference, +8 after tonight, is good for 12th place. Not exactly inspiring, but the Giants play good defense and generally execute well and that's good for a few extra wins as we know.

We also know that consistency from the pitchers will ultimately be the key to this club's chance at a repeat, and we still don't know for sure what kind of staff the team has for 2015. OGC has done a more detailed analysis of the May starts on his blog, and I think I can say in summary that they are good but not great. We've seen better, let's say that. With Matt Cain and Jake Peavy still on the shelf the team could use a lift from a veteran. Hey, that Tim Hudson guy is going tomorrow--I nominate him for a dominating start. The Giants could use a win tomorrow.

Speaking of nominations, I think Brandon Crawford is the team MVP so far. He made that error in Sunday's loss and it was such a shocker because we are so conditioned to him making the big plays in the big moments. But he's my guy.

12:45 tomorrow. GO GIANTS!



obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Nice post and thanks for the plug! Yes, perfect summary, they are good but not great. Hudson needs to step up while Heston needs to just keep doing what he was doing before, hopefully yesterday was just growing pains. Hudson, encouragingly, had a dominating start in his last one, after none all season long (though often close), and it sure would help a lot if he went on a hot streak now like he did in the first half of 2014.

I would also note that Beede got promoted to AA yesterday, and as we all know, that is sometimes the last step before the Giants promote someone to the majors (or a short AAA spell), so we could be getting help in this regard within the next year.

I would add that, within the NL, the Giants were 8th out of 15 in RS, 5th out of 15 in RA (AL being more of an offensive league, due to DH, skews rankings some, in my view, so getting both views gives more context; also these are the teams we mostly play against).

I would also add that Bochy's ability to generate one-run wins above .500 helps with beating run difference. He's been averaging +4 over .500 over his career, and in nearly half his seasons (roughly 40%) as a manager, he's been 8+ games over .500 in a season and among the leaders in the NL in that. The team is at +4 right now, though that moves around a lot sometimes, like last season, he was positive for a while, but then eventually ended lower.

Yeah, totally agree, BCraw for team MVP, he has been a consistently good and contributing hitter since near the end of the 8 game losing streak, leading the way for Belt, then Posey, then Panik to also get hot, and drive a huge offensive output in May. And the pitching has been up and down throughout the season, hitting too, Brandon's been the steady force thus far. I still don't understand why UZR has him so low, but DRS consistently have him around 1.5-2.0 wins above average in runs saved, and that is what I believe, given what I've seen him do with the glove. Perhaps UZR punishes him a lot for blowing the easy play sometimes, but we've seen him make so many dazzling plays with RISP and the game on the time to not see the qualitative difference.

Zo said...

With today's loss, it's once through the starting rotation. Hudson did his job today, the offense did not do enough. Starters have chalked up the losses, although I think the inability to generate some offense with RISP had a lot to do with the 5 losses to end this home stand. Hopefully, a day off will help.

nomisnala said...

One game earlier in the season the giants made 4 errors but they still won the game. In the loss two days ago, Crawford made an error on a sure double play to end the game. Instead the giants fell apart, the floodgates opened and the giants lost. Also during one of the games in the losing streak the Duffy error seemed to hurt. Somewhat like April, the giants have been loading the bases, and even when they do so with not outs they often do not score. The June team is playing a lot like the April team, and the May team is what we want.