Sunday, July 12, 2015

Rookies Take Care of Business

Chris Heston pitched well and Josh Osich came in to get four big outs and the Giants prevailed over the Phillies, 4-1. Andrew Susac's three-run homer was the back-breaking hit--he and Osich were teammates at Oregon State. Veterans Angel Pagan and Buster Posey were the rest of the offense with six hits between them. It was a good day at the yard. I like what I've seen from the flamethrowing southpaw. The 'pen can use a lift from a lefty with Jeremy Affeldt on the DL. The Dodgers got a late homer to fuel a comeback win in Milwaukee and close out the first half 4-1/2 games up on the Giants, that was the only blemish on the day.

Last night I went to a boxing match for the first time in forty years. Locals, all pros, we saw seven fights: two KOs, two TKOs, two unanimous decisions, and one split decision. Something for everyone. It takes some cojones to stand within arm's length of another fellow knowing he is going to hit you and try to put you down with blows. I had to admire their guts. In the end, if the fighters were even, the one with more stamina--more heart--prevailed. I kept thinking about the Giants. Our boys have shown tremendous resilience and determination in their championship campaigns. If they hope to prevail in the second half they will have to play their best ball. They've got 73 games left and the team ahead of them is on a pace for 92 wins. That means the 46-43 Giants will have to play .630, 46-27, to tie. Win as many games in the second half as the first. That's a tall order. Certainly the Dodgers could fade and fall like a glass-jawed amateur, but you can't count on that. No, the Giants will have to get in close and counter-punch. And no, I haven't forgotten how well that second wild-card worked out last season.

Enjoy the All-Star Break, everyone!



Zo said...

So, since I have been away, apparently the team beat the Rockies, then went on a road trip and couldn't win at all, then came home and dropped 2 to the Mets, then finally won against the Phillies. All the Tims are hurt, Casey McGehee is no longer a Giant, we have a new pitcher guy and the net is about 4 games further back than we were two weeks ago. That about cover it?

On the plus side, if you happen to be in Hoquiam, Washington, check out the 8th Street Ale House. Good food, excellent beers, a few outstanding whiskeys, and a barkeep who was raised a Giants fan.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Yup, that covers it. See what happens when you leave town and abandon the Giants?

nomisnala said...

McGehee is hitting again now that he is back with the fish.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Mcgehee was actually hitting for us after returning from the minors, it was just masked by his poor numbers he had compiled while injured. So I was not surprised that he would hit for his next team, and it makes sense that the Marlins got him back, they believed in him last season, they only traded because they upgraded.

nomisnala said...

So the giants played an injured McGehee and allowed him to hit into 14 double plays before giving Duffy a shot?

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Players play with injuries all the time. The beats reported that McGehee had a huge bruise covering his whole leg still late in April, so he couldn't have been 100% for most of April. The Giants had no real viable replacement for him at that time, just an unproven and unheralded rookie in Duffy (BA ranked Duffy 9th behind Strickland and Blach on their Top 30 prospect list, and nowhere on their Top 100 list) and a vet in Arias who hasn't hit for much in two years. So he sucked it up and tried to play with it.

And it's easy to forget, now that he's hitting really well, but Duffy was not hitting the ball very well either for much of the season, he still only had a .683 OPS when he was given the starting 3B job in late May, it was not like Duffy's hitting was forcing the issue, it was the 14 double plays and lack of hitting by McGehee that forced the issue. In fact, for the month before he got the starting job, Duffy was hitting .286/.310/.321/.631, which is worse than Neifi, but still better than McGehee. If Duffy were hitting .800 OPS to start the season, where he is now, the Giants wouldn't have taken as long as they did, I believe.

And since taking over the starting job, Duffy has hit .298/.342/.511/.853, we haven't seen such extended good hitting from our starting 3B since probably 2011. They could have replaced McGehee with Duffy sooner, sure, but Duffy wasn't killing pitchers either for most of the season up to that point, but in the two weeks or so before he got the starting job, he hit .368/.385/.421/.806 and finally wrested the starting job away. But at the point he started hitting, he was only hitting .220/.273/.320/.593, so one would have to be very strong with their convictions to suddenly start a .593 OPS hitter.