Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Busch Blues

It was an epic series in St. Louis topped by a great game tonight. The home crowd got the thrills with the series win, capped by Yadier Molina's 100th career homer. The Giants battled back from a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead in the top of the 7th but the Cardinals beat the youngsters in the Giants bullpen to prevail by a 4-3 score. Just when we gushed enthusiastically about lefty Josh Osich and righty Hunter Strickland they gave up the tying and go-ahead runs in consecutive innings. Welcome to the big leagues, lads. The Giants had plenty of chances and fought hard but couldn't quite pull it off. They scored 1, 2, and 3 runs in the three games. The Cardinals scored 2, 0, and 4 runs. I think you can do the math. It was frustrating in the end because the A's beat the Dodgers again in Oakland. The deficit stays at two games.

Two things were notable tonight. The first was the play by Juan Perez to take a home run away from Stephen Piscotty. It had to be one of the best catches of the year. Hell, as good a catch as a guy can make. He caught a ball that would have hit the top of the fence and gone out except that his glove was there before it came down. It wasn't just the long run, leaping climb up the wall, and two-handed basket catch. No, it was the effortless self-possession. He just knew he was going to make the play. It looked like he had worked on it before the game. "Hey Bam-Bam, hit me a few off the top of the right-centerfield wall, OK? I gotta work on my spectacular catches." Perez knew exactly where that ball was going and what he'd have to do to make the play and he executed it with grace and style. Way to go, Juan! It saved a run. Which brings us to notable item number two, Matt Cain. He got hammered in the first three innings and could have been behind by a lot more but he found a groove in the final three to conjure up a strong start. Matty even drove in the Giants first run with a long sacrifice fly to centerfield. That kind of result (6 IP, 2 R, 1 BB, 6K) is what we need to see the rest of the way.

Tough series coming up in Pittsburgh: four games starting tomorrow and spanning the weekend. Off-day Monday.




nomisnala said...

Great catch by Perez. Cain again does not get the win. Osich's inning
was wrought with inadequate fielding despite not an error committed.
The hitting star of the series was not Buster Posey, but Y. Molina.
Giants too often swinging for road dingers, and just kept hitting shots
to the wall, and not over. Pence, Pagan and Panik on the DL. Dodgers lost
to a last place club, it would have put a nice tough on things had the
giants beaten the team with the best record. Seems as if Strickland has
found his homerun pitch again. Seems as if the last road trip, and now
this one, the giants are losing games they could easily have won. I wonder
if Cain will ever win another major league game again.

Zo said...

The positive was Cain - after a rocky start he pitched great. He has simply not been able to locate his pitches and then, he could. The Giants have to be thrilled about that going into the last part of the season. This is a team built on pitching, and right now, we have Bumgarner, Cain, Peavy and Vogie pitching damn well, and Heston close behind. And our bullpen, in spite of tonight, looks good. If we are going to make a stretch run, it will be because of pitching.

The Cardinals have the best record in baseball. We won one, lost one and gave one away. We scored 6 runs, they scored 6 runs.

On the last out of the game though, Madison Bumgarner was used as a pinch hitter, again. The first time was cute and what's more, it worked. This was just stupid. The question is not whom you would rather see at the plate, the question is whom you would rather have hit by a Rosenthal 99 mph fastball and have their season ended with a broken hand? You're ticket to the playoffs? Unbelievable.

campanari said...

Well, once more nomisnala provides the dyspeptic take on things, so perhaps once again someone ought to rush up with the Tums or pinkly Pepto-Bismol counterview. Strickland's homerun was one of only two he has given up all year, I believe. If Cain can pitch to an ERA of 3, he is very likely to win lots more games; and in fact if the bottom of the Giants' current rotation--fraying Heston at 145 innings, ancient Vogey, and hitherto struggling Cain-- can keep pitching as they did, so that the team gives up only six runs in three games, the Giants will have an excellent chance to repeat in the WSeries. A rotation that does that well behind Bumgarner, Leake at his recent level, and Peavy at his recent level--that would be close to the top in the league, to go with what has been so far the league's best offense, or pretty close to it.

As to the Giants' losing games that they easily could have won, surely that's better than their getting blown out. Even the games they lose are close, up to the last out. Unless one believes in some malignantly chuckling avatar of Lasorda who delights in dashing the cup of sweet victory from our lips at the ultimate moment, one should be pleased, I would have thought, that our team is never hopeless, demolished.

campanari said...

As to zo's fulminations about using Bumgarner as a pinch hitter, all his vehemence strikes me as pretty unbelievable. We send vital players to stand in the batter's box against fastball pitchers thousands of times a year, and send Bumgarner there every five days. We send vital players on the basepaths, where they can jam fingers (Crawford last year, Susac this) and twist ankles; and we send them to bat and to run still more as they are in fact more vital, for the best hitters are the ones we send to the plate the most and the ones on base the most. That sending Bumgarner up to bat one extra time, given this context, is "stupid" and "unbelievable" when we have a one-run game . . . !?!?!?

carmot said...

I've been one of the few who has long supported Juan Perez, so really nice to see his performance today. Stole a home run, hit, drew a walk, and scored a run. Crawford keeps hitting, that's fantastic. Kelby's hit tool looks very good. Cain? I just can't figure out. His command certainly looked better. Less 'casting' or 'sling.' Probably just enough that the brass will want to keep getting "one more look." Again, not making a hard decision.

Didn't we hear Kuiper explain how ALL the Giants prospects gained a lot of hope from Lollis earning the call-up? Yeah. It makes a difference for the kids. So? Take it a step further. No need to get a guy up, it's only ONE game (two, if you count yesterday). Waste a roster spot, play a man short. Dang. So, Bumgarner.

I HATE this stuff about our Giants front office. It's like saying, "it just doesn't matter. It's only one game, you're not going to help anyways." Geez. During a playoff push. With boatloads of injuries. Against the best team. On the road. I'd bet that ANY minor leaguer would want that ONE game opportunity. Even if they're only sitting on the bench.

JC Parsons said...

A great catch but the story of the night, and maybe the best development of the entire season: Matt Cain looked one hell of a lot like Matt Cain. He absolutely knew what he was doing and was in control. That is HUGE. I'm a little surprised people are not more excited...

Using MadBum at the end was sort of sad. Like we said yesterday, it is more a reflection of our bench than anything else. I don't want to see it again, not too worried about the injury threat, it is just such a low % crap shoot that it smacks of playing a hunch. Not like Bochy at all.

carmot said...

Hey JC. I'm still a bit skeptical about Cain. It's not just about the clean-up surgery, it's about that danged flexor tendon strain he had. I do want to say that I LOVED watching his front door curveball (right on the outer edge) to LHB today. To my eyes, that looked precise and fantastic. To you,too? Cheers.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I went through all the emotions about the MadBum pinch-hit appearance and I think, in the end, Boch played it straight. He had a thin bench but he still had to assume the Giants might tie it in the 9th and go to extras. Thus, keeping a position player (Lollis) ready for a double-switch or pinch-hit/pinch-run later. And the fact is that Bum has a lot more ML hitting experience and success than Lollis!

I liked what I saw from Matty later in the game. We'll see if he can keep it going. These things are so hard to call. But it was certainly encouraging. Now if we can just get the team HEALTHY!!!

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

We played the best team in baseball, the best home team in the NL, to a 6-6 run differential, so it was really a coin flip as to who won the 3-game series, and given that the Cards are 46-19 at home and 28-19 in one-run games, most probably they were going to win. On top of that, we faced Wacha (2.85 ERA), Lynn (2.94 ERA), and Garcia (1.94 ERA), so if you didn't expect a battle on the road, if you thought we would surely win the series, I don't know what you were thinking.

Sure it would have been better to win, but the Giants came in here, facing the best NL team with the best home record, and played them to a standstill. Add to it the context that the Giants have beaten them twice in the playoffs in the past three seasons for the right to play in the World Series, the Giants have to feel good about their performance, and the Cards have to worry some about the Giants when the playoffs come. Both teams came very close to being swept, easily swept, so it was a close, tight series, as @CandlestickWill tweeted, best series in the season. These were great baseball battles that any baseball fan should and can enjoy.

What's sad about using "Babe" Bumgarner, hitting .770 over the past two seasons at the time of his AB (.763 after the AB), as a PH? That's not a low percentage crapshoot, unless you are saying Hunter Pence batting is a low percentage crapshoot. How many starting position players in the NL hit that well, let alone bench players? In the NL, only the average 1B and RF have hit better than Bumgarner.

And honestly, given Madison's "red-ass" rep, which pitcher would dare buzz him close and risk setting off the bull in the china shop? Have we really gotten to this point where we treat all pitchers like they are china dolls who will break? Instead of lifelong baseball players who live for this type of competition?

I've shown how having a replacement level hitting pitcher could shift one loss into the win column, so I would estimate that having a pitcher hit like Bumgarner probably shifts another over. So a pitcher who should have a 16-16 (.500) team record over the course of a season would be 18-14 (.563 or 91 win record) instead. And Bumgarner is more like a 19-13 pitcher, so his hitting would move him to 21-11.

There is nothing wrong with having a pitcher who knows how to hit well. If you are going to be afraid of the danger, then why play baseball? Put them in the china cabinet so that they stay pristine. This reminds me of all that PAP crap that BP has been shoving down our throats for decades now, every team hews to the 100 pitch limit as if every player was PeeWee Herman or Don Knotts or Wally Cox.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

I'm plenty excited about Matt Cain! People have such short term memory, he only had the last three really bad peripheral games, he also had two really good starts early on as well, his second and fourth starts of this season. Per PQS, after a horrible first start, which I chalked up to nerves (hits the best of us), he had four OK to good starts (3-5 PQS) then three disaster starts before this gem of a 5-PQS start.

I'm not sure why anyone would be worried about a flexor strain now. I'm no doctor, maybe I'm missing something, and I never took physio, but to me, if the strain is something to worry about now, why didn't pitching roughly 800 pitches over the last nine starts do something to that tendon? If recurrence is a worry, I don't think the Giants would be starting him right now, but maybe someone can correct me? Seems more like worry for worry's sake, at least without some medical prognosis that a flexor strain is that worrisome.

Cain, as Krukow's been saying, has a new arm. So he's learning to use it again, repeatedly. I'll admit that I've underestimated the difficulties of him re-adjusting to life with a healthy arm. I forgot that his muscle memory of dealing with the chips for at least 5 years, if not 10, probably left his arm used to being limited in his ability to throw. Which makes his improvement as his career progressed so much more impressive. This is probably why he has struggled to find the right arm slot, and why he goes from game to game a bit lost as to finding that slot. But it was really encouraging to see him go from struggle to command/control in his final innings.

I don't know if this is a return to Cainer or another up in a series of ups and downs. I think it's like a 12-step program, one game at a time, and we have to celebrate the battles won, like this start for him. The great thing was that it was a high quality start overall for him, 5-PQS, but unfortunately, it was another high BABIP start for him, he has had only two starts with less hits than IP, so that's a negative. But at least he's minimizing WHIP by being stingy with the walks, 7 of 9 starts with 2 or less walks.

And he had 65% strikes thrown and 22% strikes looking, he had 19 strikes looking, tied for most in his starts this season, and he did that in two of his last three starts. He also had 11 swinging strikes, tied for second most this season (12 is high). Looking at strikes looking and swinging, that's 30 of them, high for the season, high of 28 before, had 27 two games ago, so that was good too, he is on uptrend. In 2012, a season split by his Perfecto, before 30 was good but not great, but after, 30 would be a top 5 performance. So he's getting closer, but still has some way to go before I would say he is back.

Ron said...

In the spirit of many a Chuck Norris joke, "When a pitched ball hits Madison Bumgarner, he doesn't get credited with an HBP; the ball suffers an HBB."

In all seriousness, there is always a lot of talk about Pitchers who bat opposite to the way that they pitch, & the exposure of their throwing arm that that creates. Injuries to Pitchers batting are very rare, though. I agree with Jon (as I often do) - having to use Bumgarner repeatedly as a PH makes a big statement about the weakness of our Bench.

JC Parsons said...

Thanks for the Cain data, that gets me even more excited about his night. We just saw about the closest series you can play. And since the pitching match ups greatly favored the Cards (and they are clearly the best team in baseball) I'm feeling pretty good about our guys. This stretch is truly awful ( while the doggers get days off and play the A's! ) and getting through this at .500 is actually going to be quite the accomplishment. As long as we stay real close to the doggers. And is it too much to ask for the Cubs to do what the Brewers did last year? Remember they had to crash and burn for us to even have a chance.

Pinch hitting is a weird skill base; even great hitters can suck at it. MadBum is now 1-6 for his career. Sure, he is a good hitting pitcher but to think he is more likely to get a hit than a player that actually takes batting practice everyday and has played regularly (hitting well) in the minors, Well, that is not very likely. Also, isn't It true that a guy that has a few years in the minors will have way more batting experience than any ML pitcher. Batters get hot, and MadBum looks that, So that is why it feels like a hunch. Bet we don't see it again once we clear an injury or two. It is a fun thing to talk about though...

Zo said...

I guess the thought was that Bumgarner was the best candidate to knock one out of the park and tie the game. But the percentage that he would get a hit over some other guy has to be very small. So if there is any injury risk AT ALL, you don't take it. I know that the guy bats against other pitchers. This is like sending Buster from 2nd to run into a play at the plate. Sometimes, you protect your super valuable assets because there is ALSO SOME percentage that they will get hurt. I am not convinced that it was not really dumb. I conclude that Madison won a bet with Bochy on his last pinch hit.

JC Parsons said...

I told you this was a fun topic. Here's another thought about MadBum. Since he is now a regular bat off the bench, should we expect him to hit further up the lineup during his own starts? A couple teams bat their pitcher #8 already, so that might be a good idea. Or maybe even higher, if you really think he is such a power bat. Any thoughts?

Also, do you guys follow "Minor League Lines"? It has undergone a big upgrade. Check out the homer that Williamson hit the other night. If you have ever been to Raley Field you will really appreciate how massive it was. The River Cats have won NINE in a row! Some guy named Jordan Johnson (in SJ, I think) sounds like a total stud too. Ty Blach threw a three hit shut out the other day. Lots of good news. Who will be the next guy that you have never heard of to blow us all away? Any predictions?

nomisnala said...

There are several problems about pinch hitting Bumgarner in that spot. On the road you usually play to win not to tie. So Bummy if he had a chance against their closer would most likely be to pop one out for a tie, but extremely unlikely. Maybe if he were a lefty pitcher a slightly better chance. If Bummy gets lucky and gets a hit, he has to use someone to pinch run, or you have Bummy running again on the bases, as slow as molasses, and a potential injury. The someone to pinch run either uses up another hitter, or pitcher. Just was not a great move, except to boost Bummy's ego. He went down like Casey mighty Casey. As far as St. Louis being the best team, and the giants should lose the series, than by that logic the giants should have never been swept my the Marlins. Another case of the Giants playing close but just not good enough to win. Pitching to Bohr who had two hot spells all year without any protection in the lineup, and being beaten by him game after game in Miami, was just nuts. Its baseball and this stuff happens. On our 3-7 road trip we also had at least two victories snatched away into the jaws of defeat. My hope was that the world champs would go into St. Louis and show them why they are world champs. Both teams are suffering from many injuries. We lost, but we are still only 2 games behind the bums. The bums keep giving us chances, but we seem not to want to take it.

nomisnala said...

In Cain's previous outings, he did have some control problems, but at least twice in his poorer games, he essentially only had one bad inning. Yes in his two worst outings, he just did not seem to find anything at all. But he had two outings that looked bad on paper, when in actuality he pulled a Tomko. Yes cruising along nicely and then have an inning from Hell. I have kept my hopes up for Cain, I am just surprised it has taken him so long to figure it out. I like ObsGiComp's comments about muscle memory.

Ron said...

Not Dexter Fowler ... instead, please welcome Marlon Byrd. All-in-all, a decent pick-up, under the circumstances. More pop, less speed. Right-handed, instead of Switch-Hitter.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Yes, on the road, you play to win. At that point, you need one of two things: either get on base or a HR.

Bochy's choices at that point was to either PH Lollis, Adrianza, or Bumgarner (Pence unavailable, Blanco already PH). Lollis is a raw raw raw rookie, and you don't want to put him in a high pressure situation (like Dusty did so many times). Adrianza gets on base about the same as Bumgarner, so far this season, but Bumgarner has a lot more power, and hence greater OPS. Plus Ehire has really sucked as PH so far in his career (no shame, happens to most). Bumgarner was the better option to get on base as well as for power.

And that's no shame to Ehire or to the bench, it just shows how good Bumgarner is as a hitter.

I see people complain about getting a better bench. It's hard to get a strong bench, most are not like Blanco - we've been blessed - most will complain if they are playing well enough to start. The Giants have chosen strong defensive benches over strong offensive benches, thus far, from what I've seen. I think that is the best way to provide depth on the bench, offense comes and goes in SSS, but defensive value is almost always there, less of a decline when the Giants lose someone because of this emphasis, the way I see it. I think that's why they've kept Maxwell even though he hasn't been hitting that well for much of the season.

Byrd appears to be an offensive upgrade, so that's good, though he's more a replacement for Pence than a bench player, the way it looks right now, oblique strains are never good nor short DL stints, it seems to me.

The Giants are going through a very tough month, the beats have noted how the Giants are facing all these above .500 teams this month (though ironically, because the Giants swept them, the Nats fell under .500). Sure the Dodgers have not been running away with the division lead, and it would be nice if the Giants took advantage of that. But this is a very tough stretch, so hard to blame them for that, from my view.

All that is noted is the bad series, like the Marlins, you seem to forget that they have one of the better records in the NL, winning many series, and no team have great series all the time, even the Cards probably have bad series, that's life.

I feel it is best to be cognizant of the task ahead of them, and expect accordingly, the Cards series no matter what was a tough series to win when you fact that high a caliber of SP, and it would have been better to win, but then you can say that about each and very series, and put yourself through misery that you don't need to by taking such an attitude. And the Giants are winning this season!

M.C. O'Connor said...

It's funny, I was thinking of Byrd the other day and thought he might be an OF the Giants would go after, sure enough here he is. You know who his comps are in B-R? Roberto Kelly and Angel Pagan!! Seriously I think he'll have to hit for power to help the team, but with 35 XBH in 359 AB he might just be able to do that. His .448 SLG is above his career average so perhaps he's in a good spot to contribute. I'm leery of his glove, but that's the risk they'll have to take. Maybe he can get on a roll like Burrell or Ross in 2010 and smack some big ones. I miss Hunter Pence, man.

Ron said...

Yes - you hit the nail on the head - the accurate comp at this stage of his career is Burrell. Lots (I mean, lots) of whiffs, but a large number of extra-base hits. Burrell was a big plug-in to a historic Team, so a similar performance would be great!

nomisnala said...

Byrd an excellent mistake hitter. A professional hitter, a little over the hill. I still think you put a professional hitter up in that spot instead of Bumgarner, rookie or not. I am not saying you shouldn't use Bumgarner to pinch hit ever, just that it was not the best choice, at that time. If you are losing by one run, do you put in your best outfield arm to pitch to hold the opposition, or a professional pitcher. If Bumgarner is that good a hitter, and maybe he is the next Babe Ruth, He should bat 4th or 5th when he pitches instead of ninth.

nomisnala said...

Watching tonight's game vs. Pittsburgh, what happened to the giants being the
best away hitting team in the N.L.? Peavy doing a decent job. It seems no
longer can we say the giants are getting Cained, I think this year it is more
appropriate to say they are getting Peavied.

Anonymous said...

And their loyal fans are getting peeved instead of gloomy ("Win? They jes' cain't!)?

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

I don't see anyone clamoring to bat Adrianza or Lollis 4th or 5th, so why should Bumgarner bat there?

There's risks in all parts of life, stats shows that bathrooms are the most dangerous place to be, should we not let the players go to the bathroom then? It is just one AB. We needed base runners in that situation or a bolt in the sky, and could have delivered both. Adrianza may or may not have been better in getting on-base, but he certainly has less power. Lollis is not the right guy at that point.

Did I mention that Bumgarner has hit .770 OPS the past two seasons? That's way better than either, and that's nothing to blame them for, if they could hit that high, then they would be starters, not bench players.

It's called good pitching. If the Giants could beat good pitching all the time, they would be 121-0 right now. In particular, Morton, for whatever reasons has the Giants number all the time. Hopefully Bumgarner has the Pirates number and pay them back tomorrow.

And to continue the Burrell/Byrd angle, Byrd will be playing LF too.

Ron said...

If you want a good laugh after last night's sucky result & either enjoy English Premier League Football or enjoy funny & creative writing, read this commentary on the American lifestyle:

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

And just because a player who has been a professional hitter for years does not mean that he will be a better hitter than a pitcher who has a gift for hitting. Else you might as well have kept Mike Trout in the minors while giving a professional like the 28-30 YO hitters we have been carrying in our AA/AAA teams, who have thousands of professional ABs, the starting position.

That's just a ridiculous notion, some just have the skill, and some can get thousands more ABs and never develop, and so being a professional don't mean that somebody who has the gift can't be better with less repetition. I'm not saying Bumgarner is Babe Ruth, I'm just saying that he was the better option at that time. Had Byrd been on the bench at that time (or Pence was available without injuring himself), yes, they would have been better options.

But that's life with a short bench made even shorter by Pence's injury and the Giants decision not to call up anyone else for just one day (and I have no problem with that, because once sent back down, you can't bring him up for another 10 days). It's also life when you have to carry Adrianza in the majors and not the minors and you still think he can develop some and add value. That's also life when you already are starting two main bench players because of injuries. You can't plan for every circumstance (nor buy your way out of it either).

Thinking about it, if you are going to worry so much about a pitcher hitting - it was only a couple of ABs - then may as well go DH in the NL now. Is that what you want? I certainly don't.

I think if the NL does go DH, I'll probably not watch for a while until I can't stand it anymore, as I love baseball. But that's not real baseball to me, I would rather not have the DH at all. It was an abomination to me when the AL instituted it - why couldn't they have implemented Charlie O. Finley's other idea, using yellow balls at night - and I still hope that the NL can eventually convince the AL to return to the right way.

One rumor had it that the tradeoff with the players union would be expanding the roster to 27-28 players from the current 25, in return for eliminating the DH. But unfortunately, I haven't heard anything about this idea for years, so it could have just been a balloon floated. And I see why they wouldn't want it, that's trading in a huge starter's salary in the DH for 2 or 3 bench salaries. Still, I hope to see it gone in my lifetime.

carmot said...

Distraction! Thanks Ron.

I used to follow futbol quite closely, when I played. Over the years, it's severely fallen out of favor with me. A couple years ago I tried to watch an international match between England and Italy. In about a 12-minute span, I think I counted over 15 players fall over crying out for a yellow card to their assailant. Oh dear. I've just never thought it could "get mainstream" enough in the U.S. BIG advertising money is too hard to fit in, without tv timeouts. We'll see. But that massive NBC contract is nice for futbol fans across America.

Oh, breadcrumbing, eh? IIRC, I recently read a baseball twitter feed that referenced "chicken-fried lobster" in a visit to Texas. Can't recall who it was. LOL. But, hey... A British article that didn't use the "American-English" distinction for our spoken language? Interesting. And who are THEY to judge about food? I mean... Spotted di__ and "Brown sauce?" Oh. Yeah. Riiiiiight. Hey, maybe we can breadcrumb some of those blood sausages. Ick.

Zo said...

To equate the riskiness of using the bathroom to a disagreement over using Madbum to pinch hit in that situation is a leap of illogic. And this,"Thinking about it, if you are going to worry so much about a pitcher hitting - it was only a couple of ABs - then may as well go DH in the NL now. Is that what you want?" is, frankly, insulting.

Bochy in today's Chronic: "I'll be honest, I wasn't really excited about putting him in there. I had a little fear something would happen."

Anonymous said...

@Ron: "But the fact remains, compared to most sport, and indeed to most things on television around the world, the Premier League is a brilliant spectacle."

Okay, fine. No.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Remember to play nice, boys.

I like Premier League football, but the spectacle is not on the pitch. Guys like Jose Mourinho are the spectacle. He's fucking hilarious! And FIFA is the real spectacle. It's like a goddamn banana republic. I expect them to roll out their own air force real soon.

Ron said...

Although all of your comments are appreciated, my intention wasn't to pitch the merits of the Premier League (which I enjoy weekly, both the spectacle of Mourinho & the spectacle of the matches themselves) or of British food (which I also enjoy). I had just had a few hearty guffaws this morning due to the writing style & creativity, which I always appreciate.

El said...

It wasn't so much the MadB single as a PH - but when he got to 2B, who among you wasn't thinking about the next hit and possible play at home. Roberto sure as hell was. That's your season playing out before your eyes.

Sure, bathrooms are dangerous, but you have to use 'em, the same way Mad's gonna get ABs when he pitches. You do what you have to do.

The danger comes when you stand on a slippery seat to peer into the next stall.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

That is the leap of illogic that I'm getting at Zo! It was just a couple of ABs. Clearly it's not a regular thing, but borne of the lack of a bench when your main bench players have been forced into the starting lineup due to injuries.

I'm not surprised that Bochy was reluctant to want to use his pitcher, that's normal human reaction, but that doesn't mean that the vast majority of the time nothing happens. Doesn't prove anything, managers still think that sacrifice bunts are the way to go when almost every study finds that the loss of an out is not worth bunting a guy into scoring position (except in very specific circumstances late in the game given certain scenarios).

Injuries will happen, whether batting or going to the bathroom (or driving, if that floats your boat without insulting you), it's something that normally does not result in injury in the vast majority of times, and the same goes for running on the bases, and thus using Bumgarner in that situation is not something to be lambasted vs. using a lesser hitter instead, because these are games we should be giving extra emphasis on trying to win.

Honestly, don't see the difference, sorry that insults you, but if you all are so worried about a pitcher taking one AB, how is that any different from a pitcher taking AB's in the NL? That's roughly 100 ABs every season, 100 times the more reason to worry each and every time.

And if running the bases worry you, why bother have them swing, cause if they get on base, then they'll have to run the bases, no different a situation from what Bumgarner was facing.

Then this becomes a matter of just going with the DH, that is the consequences of worrying about one AB, one baserunning from 2B, because that worry is multiplied greatly over a full season for any pitcher who bats regularly during a season. I see no difference, so if you'll explain it to me, what I'm missing, then perhaps I'll understand. But it is not a matter of Bochy using him to PH, this applies to any situation where a pitcher bats, these worries exist all the time, the way I see it, and if you worry about it there, you should be worrying about these same concerns each and every time a pitcher is batting, a pitcher is running.