Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Brewers Even It Up

Matt Cain encountered a determined foe tonight as it looked like the Brewers had a plan against the big righty. He gave up eight hits and four runs in his six innings of work, and they were all kinds of hits: opposite-field doubles, grounders through the hole, blasts off the wall, etc. Milwaukee was led by that paragon of peskines Gerardo Parra, and got a big start from the flamethrowing Wily Peralta. It wasn't the Giants night and their sparkling six-game win streak comes to an end. The final was 5-2 but it never felt that close. The Brewers get their first win against the Giants this season. The Dodgers lead stays at a half game as they were shut out at home 2-0 by Sonny Gray and the Athletics.

Jake Peavy tomorrow afternoon. Go Giants!



nomisnala said...

Cain really didn't look that sharp tonight and he is back to being a career 500 pitcher despite his career stats being very similar to Greinke's who is a career winning pitcher. He gave up a bunch of 2 strike hits, and only had about 2 innings when he really pitched like the Cain of old. Seems like we don't want first place!

carmot said...

I hope I don't upset anybody here for saying this... Cain's fastball just doesn't look like much to my eyes. He seemed to have a great curve tonight- as impressive as I thought it looked in Spring Training. That's the good news part.

There were some offensive chances. I sure thought Pence's AB in the 4th would've been key to turning the game's momentum. Duffy, Crawford, Adrianza, Maxwell had some nice opportunities. Oh man, Parra and Lucroy. Plus, Brewers pitchers definitely did well tonight and deserve some of the credit. Gotta keep moving forward. Here's to hoping Peavy can bring it domani. Oh, and our bats will need to show up, facing Fiers. C'mon Giants!

Panik likely to miss tomorrow with back stiffness? WTH? Is that contagious? And either no Posey (or Belt?). At some point we need more than a 2.5-man bench. It's three (if Panik is unavailable, right?), but we just don't use our 2nd catcher too often. I'm not sure we're good with giving more AB's to relievers like Kontos or Lopez (or Machi). Hey Bumgarner! Go get your lumber. Heh heh.

Go Giants.

nomisnala said...

Several of the hitters were going after first pitches. First pitches into outs. The guys did not work the pitch count in the manner they have been doing during the streak. Pagan was K'd on 3 straight pitches over the outside corner. He stood there with the bat on his shoulder. Maybe the first one or even the second were close pitches and could have been called balls. But after two straight, if you get a third one, at least attempt to foul it off, and live for another pitch. Being stubborn, and taking a pitch you think is a ball, but the ump has proven for tonight is a strike, is just being stubborn. On Wednesday's day game, the giants need to go back to their approach of having good at bats.

Brother Bob said...

It seemed like the first pitch Cain threw every inning ended up bouncing off the outfield wall. They knew what was coming.
Mostly the Giants just ran into a good starting pitcher. Let's hope it's not the start of one of those ugly no-offense streaks they seem prone to.

JC Parsons said...

We really need to avoid a bad losing streak now. Last time we closed in on the blue scum we fell flat and lost a boatload. We are about to go on a ten game road trip into HOT places. This stretch will tell us a ton about our chances, especially to avoid the wildcard.

It may be significant that Matt Cain looked so very hittable right at a time when we are deciding on a big trade for anoher ace. Let's face it, isn't this need for another starter largely because we still don't know for sure if Cain can return to, well being Cain? If Matt had faced off against that studly opponent and kept us in the game last night, Cole Hamels might not look so good this morning. But Matt did not keep it close at all...the line drives by the Brewers were early and often. I expect Matt to be a God every time out, unfair I know, but it is the price he pays for all those years of solid service. I figure he is still knocking off the rust but it was quite rattling to have him look so feeble. Good thing I'm not a GM.

I do hope we make a deal though. It is always exciting and gives us tons to discuss. Hell, I'm STILL more than willing to tell you all why getting Carlos Beltran is really a stupid idea. Yes, I got that one right. Maybe the only trade projection I EVER got right actually. I did like the Kent - Williams deal too ( were they swapped? my memory fails me)

The doggers are about to get Latos and Morse from the Marlins!! Gross, Latos as a dogger!!! I never much liked Morse ( I know that makes me a weirdo in this crowd ) and he seems to suck this year so I'm glad he is there to muddy their OF picture. But Latos...that's gross.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Yeah, their hitters had a plan. They knew what was coming and attacked accordingly. They were 0-4 vs. the Giants so I imagine they spent a little extra time on the scouting charts. To me it looked like Matty's command was off. Plenty of life on the ball, just not going quite where he wanted it to.

Giants have a very difficult August ahead. 17 road games and tough opponents like Chicago, Houston, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Washington. They've had a nice run here, let's hope they keep the mo' going!

M.C. O'Connor said...

Dodgers get Mat Latos--that I get, he's a good pitcher and they need another arm. Maybe this means they won't get Hamels? Even if he does not come our way (unlikely, I think) I hope he goes far, far from LA. And the Dodgers get Mike Morse? What? They have more outfielders than they need and they have a great first baseman! Morse is there to pinch-hit and perhaps DH if they make the Series? Huh? Now I will always love Mike Morse, that's a given, but this is a really weird fit. Maybe they intend to trade Ethier or something.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Matty could indeed find himself as the "fifth wheel" if they get another starter. He is still working out the kinks--this is Spring Training/April for him. I expect he'll find his groove soon.

Zo said...

Surprisingly, Matt only threw about 80 pitches in 6 full innings. That is, however, because many of his first pitches were tattooed by the Brewers. Matt was lucky that they stayed in the park, as Bob says, the hits were hit hard. Much different than his last time out. Haven't we had trouble hitting his Wily guy before? If any Giants pitcher looked good, it was Vogie.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Cain looked like he could have gone two more innings, it's just his turn at bat came up and he got pulled for Blanco (who got another pinch-hit).

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

If the Giants didn't want first place, they wouldn't have bothered to win 12 of their last 14 games to move from 5.5 games back to 0.5 games back.

Maybe they are hoping Morse can still play SS? :^)

Kent, Vizcaino, Taverez (who had a lot of potential) and Roa were traded to the Giants for Williams. I was initially upset when I first heard of the trade (no twitter then :^), but once I looked at Kent's numbers, I thought he would be good now that he was getting regular starts instead of being yanked in and out of the lineup. He turned out about right for the homers I saw, but way better in everything else.

I was OK with the Beltran trade because I wasn't impressed with Wheeler and we could use another premium hitter. Unfortunately, and that was my fear, he Beltraned an injury and was the opposite, worse than replacement initially, then too little too late when he got back. Seems like most of Boras' clients are a bit of a baseball loser, all about the money and Boras' process (he probably would have returned to us for the contract he got with the Cards, I think the Giants would have paid it, but he insisted on going with Boras protocol and not negotiate until January, and Sabean don't play that! All's well, we ended up getting Pence). But I was way wrong about keeping Brown over Wheeler, with 20/20 lens, but I would still do that deal, it was the right move, it just didn't work.

I understand the consternation over Cain but I'm treating his situation as an older pitcher who missed a lot of spring training and trying to get his mechanics back in early season. The Giants have gone through something like this in recent years, where the starters struggle (even Bumgarner) to find their mechanics in the first month, before stringing a lot of quality starts like they are expected. So I'm giving him a month, and if he's still struggling in August, there are always pitchers the Giants can pick up on waivers to replace him, hence why I'm not too concerned about the Giants picking up somebody now.

Apparently the Dodgers still want Hamels, but I think that is like saying the Giants want Hamels too. The problem is the Phillies are probably trying to get Seager and/or Urias from the Dodgers for Hamels, and that is the right move to do for them, ask for the moon. Twitter says that Phillies are asking for best offers today and that they will then work with the best offer on finalizing a deal. We'll see what happens, the rumors have the Rangers making the best offer, but I wonder if that is a leak by Phillies to get LA to pony up one or both of them.

nomisnala said...

Catching the dodgers is one thing, getting past them into first place is another. Many of the well hit balls off of Cain did come from the lead off hitters of various innings, but often they were not on the first pitch, but after Cain had gotten two strikes on the hitter. Looks like he had the stuff to get two strikes, but not the stuff to put a lot of those guys away. Physical? Mental? Pin point control problems? not sure. Time to get back on another winning streak. The Morse to Dodger move almost seems like a move to block Morse to somewhere else. Morse this year is essentially Maxwell, without the speed, and a little more infield than outfield.

nomisnala said...

Getting back to the Beltran trade, I would have been more OK with that trade if the giants could have signed him for two additional years. I was impressed with Wheeler, although I did not know when he would be major league ready. With all the starters the Mets have now, one has to wonder what they will do with Wheeler when he comes back.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Belt and Heston came out of the same draft class as Wheeler (2009). Looks like he's throwing again after TJS, but won't pitch this season. So, four years later and the Mets have about 2 WAR from the guy, I'm sure they expected a lot more. You never know when the injury bug will bite!

I do remember the Williams trade as it happened on my birthday (11/13/96)! Some friends called to say "sorry" and I told them at the time--and I was--that I was happy about the trade because it was obvious the Giants needed to remake the team. Sabean made quite a splash. Turned out pretty well with Kent, of course, and both Vizcaino and Tavarez contributed to the turnaround. Trades are easy to evaluate in hindsight, of course!

The Beltran thing was disappointing but I was all for it at the time as the team could pitch like hell but could not hit. He didn't get it done for the Giants, but they desperately needed a middle of the order hitter and he should have fit the bill. Giving up #1 picks is always tough, but take some time and look at the draft boards on B-R. Lots of teams have made #1 picks and watched them flounder in the minors or never succeed in the bigs. No first-rounders are guarantees--the success the Giants have had with theirs is pretty incredible. Since Panik in 2011 we've got Chris Stratton, Christian Arroyo, Tyler Beede and Phil Bickford. Which one of those guys--if any--will be a winning pick?

nomisnala said...

Look where Tim Alderson is today. Still in the minors pitching
for Washington's farm team now. AT one time, it looked like we
were going to have two aces in Bumgarner, and Alderson. Glad
that Bumgarner worked out. Unless Beltran would not play for
the giants, I thought two years of him at under 30 million,
would have been great at the time. As far as the Williams
trade goes, I did not like it because at the time, Matt Williams
was my favorite player, but I did think that Kent was an under rated
talent with power. I thought from reputation though, that Williams was
a great club house guy, and Kent was not. But I could not really know
that for sure. Tavarez initially as a giant had a so called "rubber arm"
and was needed. It seemed as if the giants needed to field a full team, and
the only way to put a full team of major league talent on the field was to
trade Matt Williams. I am glad it worked out with Kent.

campanari said...

I favored the Beltran trade at the time because the Giants looked like an excellent bet, even minus Posey and Freddy Sanchez, to make the postseason. If we hadn't had an eye-rollingly extraordinary series of injuries, including some that took out Beltran and Sandoval at the same time, we might very well have done that. As to more Beltran at whatever price, the Giants made the right decision in taking the loss of Wheeler as a sunk cost and replacing Beltran first with Melky Cabrera, who both hit and fielded a lot better, and Pagan, while acquiring Pence to fill the outfield. The result was a championship, with upgrades from Beltran, Torres, and Schierholtz, all three.

In retrospect, the Wheeler for Beltran trade was useless, and maybe harmful, if Wheeler starts to be more than a mediocrity. But no one lives in retrospect. Did the trade make sense at the time? I'd say yes. Did replacing Beltran with Melky Cabrera in the offseason, and Pence in the summer, make sense? I'd say yes, demonstrably.

carmot said...

I might be late adding a comment here... But I think back to a lot of prospects I held hope for. Remember when Shawn Payne had 50+ SB? There were guys like Evan Crawford, Thomas Neal... I never really cared for Kieschnick or Peguero, but they also put up some nice MiLB seasons. Kickham, Fitzgerald, Westcott... Guys like Edlefsen and Runzler. Gary Brown. Galindo. Ford. Perez. Pill.

Dang. I love our prospects. When they break through to SF, it is one of the great things to behold. But the odds are so stacked against them. Trade? Sure. But I don't like the overpay concept of trading for rentals. There is cost savings, opportunity value, and a myriad of "escape clauses" from these players (like options, DFA, non-tender, change-of-scenery trades) that allow lots of 'outs' that pricey, aged, free agents just don't allow.

I really wish we'd target Danny Salazar. Oh well. Cheers.

nomisnala said...

I was not unhappy when they traded for Beltran. Look what he did for St.Louis
for not that much money over the next two years. He surely outproduced what
Pujols did for those two years at a much lower price. I just wanted the giants
to keep him for two more years.