Friday, August 21, 2015

Byrd is the Word

Marlon Byrd.  I have to admit, I was less than impressed when I saw the news of the Giants' trade for Marlon Byrd.  I am more impressed now.   Madison Bumgarner was on the hill tonight in Pittsburgh.  He struggled for the first couple of innings - 50 pitches in the first 2, but then settled down.  The pitch count got to him, though, and he surrendered the hill with 1 out into the 7th.

Madison's line: 6 1/3 IP, 109 pitches, 6 hits, 3 runs, all earned, 1 BB.  Sergio Romo gave us 1 1/3 and allowed the 4th run, Osich an out, and Santiago Casilla, after a tense walk, got a 4 - 6 - 3 ground ball double play and the final out for a 6 - 4 Giants' victory.

Marlon Byrd made an immediate positive impression with a 1st inning, hitting a home run with Matt Duffy on board for the 2nd and 3rd run of the game.  Buster Posey tallied the 1st rbi with a sac fly to score Nori Aoki.  Byrd, batting 5th, had a 3 hit night.  Nori Aoki, in the lead-off spot had a 3 hit night.  Giants chalked up 14 hits, most of them (11) against Pittsburgh starter Jeff Locke, who was responsible for all of the Giants' 6 runs.  Brandon Belt and Gregor Blanco both had 2 hits, and Belt had an rbi.  And, oh yeah, Madison Bumgarner hit a 2 run home run.

So the Giants could actually put together a winning record on this 7 game swing to the midwest, but they will have to win tomorrow and Sunday to do it.  Then LA (who is, by the way, sans-hit in Houston with only 3 outs left.


campanari said...


M.C. O'Connor said...

Jaysus Mary and Fookin' Joseph!! Madison Bumgarner is a god-damned beast! A god among men. And a lovely thing there by that new lad Byrd. And the poor sufferin' Dodgers get a grand shellackin' in Houston. Ah, it's beautiful, I can hardly contain myself.

Brother Bob said...

We should start calling him Babe Bum. It doesn't exactly flow off the tongue though, does it? The River Cats have a 12 game winning streak and just announced that there will be an exhibition next March at Raley Field between the Giants and the Cats. That should sell out fast.

M.C. O'Connor said...

The Bumbino!

JC Parsons said...

Can we now call Chase Utley the designated NO hitter? Compare his first start to Byrd's. A little different, huh?

MadBum is clearly an amazing fastball hitter. Every time he works that count and gets a fastball lately he has crushed it. Blanton took the right approach later in the game. Pitched him like a slugger, three soft ones and he swung wildly. It sure is a big plus to have that extra bat. And I really do think it might be good to hit him eight. Especially with Blanco in #9, that way we get a couple of lead off types together. A small silly detail but fun to ponder.

JC Parsons said...

Byrd is a nice pickup for certain situations. Last night was PERFECT. He pretty much owns that guy and is always going to be tough on lefties. Wonder how he does against Kershaw? When he is in against crafty righties (like Morton the other day, who had the best curve I've seen this year) I figure that .250 on base % will rear its ugly head. Today against Cole may very well be an example of that. Twenty homers is nothing to sneeze at though. I think Bochy will probably put him to real good use. Seems well worth the prospect we gave up too.
Maybe he will do a "Winn" on us. Remember that?

JC Parsons said...

Actually Byrd has pretty good ownage on Cole. 8 for 16 with some xbh. Once again a perfect game for him to start.

nomisnala said...

Strickland has found his home run pitch again. Byrd has always been a good mistake
hitter. The last 10 days Posey has had numerous RBI situations and has not come
through He has a sac fly and maybe another RBI, but nothing great. He is in a slump.
Has to stop pulling the ball and grounding out to third and short into DP;s. I know
catchers can get tired, but I think its more in his approach. It happens when Pence
goes down and Posey seems like he has to do too much.

carmot said...

Tough loss. Though I can't even be upset about this one. Good game, good competition. We had our chances. Pirates had theirs, too. I applaud being able to watch a GREAT baseball game.

Those little details. Lots of excellent baseballing. The jumps and steals off Cole. Blanco keeping his awareness, got to 3B on an errant throw by Stewart. Watching McCutchen's perfect pop-up slide form to stay in contact with 2B. Duffy (on 2B) drawing a hard throw on a fly ball to CF. Duffy aggressively testing the defense and a beautiful hook slide into 3B.

Defensive shifts played perfectly- and Belt hitting against one of them. Adrianza making a play from RF on another of them. Leake making sure to cover 1B, even though the ball was hit directly at Belt- ended up Mike was needed there for the unusual 3-1-3 putout. Some outstanding defense. We got a runner to 3B and got him in using small ball. Some very fine pitching all around. Kontos, much like Romo, used a fastball wonderfully in a key moment. Then, well... We lost.

I give respect to the Pirates, they're a team playing well. They played through a bunch of mistakes. I still really wish we had signed Kang. *sigh*.

carmot said...

Oh, and one thing that always gets me about The Babe... Didn't he have like 20 outfield assists 2 or 3 seasons? I know they didn't have internet back then to help scout... But... Everybody already knew he had a great arm- from his pitching. Just crazy to run on him, eh? LOL.

campanari said...

Kang's a fine player. Wish we'd signed him? I don't know. At which IF position would we be better off with him than with the players we have, Duffy, Crawford, Panik? That is, what would the incremental value of Kang be for the Giants?

carmot said...


Well, during the period when Kang was signed... We hadn't a 3B. And I'd watched plenty of Kang's KBO games. I'd strongly felt 3B would be his strongest defensive position in MLB. Granted, this was before we'd traded for McGehee, before Duffy broke out. At that time, I'd said "if Kang gets 500 PA's, he'll hit 18 HR." He's got a strong arm and the range for 3B. Not really an MLB SS, IMO.

At the bidding price, it was a great value proposition I would've liked us to take. I am quite certain he could even play LF, with practice. Potential 3B starter, back-up middle infielder/LF. All for less than 4/20M in his prime years. Clutch hitter: bases loaded, 2 outs, high-leverage, extra innings, etc.

That's fine, YMMV. No matter now, we didn't even place a bid. Cheers.

Ron said...

Another take: sickening loss. Strickland & Kontos BOTH give up no-doubter HR's. Buster suddenly is reaching to pull outside pitches. We have lots of messed up opportunities. We look ridiculous against Melancon - ultra-feeble. We could give ground back in the Standings. No time for days like this - it's late August.

Spare me the feel good crap - that was a terrible loss.

And why do they insist on calling Kang 'Dong' or 'Gong'?

M.C. O'Connor said...

Apparently his name is actually pronounced "gong" but for some reason the transliteration is spelled "K-a-n-g."

It WAS a sickening loss. It was ALSO a great game between two great teams. Kind of like wave-particle duality, man.

Every team out there wants to beat the Giants. That's what happens when you wear the shoulder patch. I have faith the boys will bounce back. That's what they do. After all, they got their asses kicked in Game 6 of the World Series and the very next day played a beautiful game to win the championship. These guys know the stakes. Boch doesn't panic or get down after a loss and I'm doing my best to emulate Boch.

Ron said...

When someone's native name is written in another alphabet, their name in this alphabet might as well be phonetically accurate. This is speaking as the Son of someone whose name spelling makes total sense in Hebrew letters, but whose Father was assigned a ludicrous spelling by the US Immigration authorities leading to a lifetime of tedious explanations.

campanari said...

I am going to guess that it is phonetically accurate, Ron. The difference between K and G seems to be that the G is voiced and the K isn't. But in English we can't easily pronounce K without aspirating it, whereas we can pronounce an unaspirated G. My guess is that the name Kang begins with an unaspirated K in Korean, and that English speakers can't pronounce it without sounding sort of strangled or pretentious. The most recent version of Chinese transliteration deals with this by using the voiced consonant, B instead of P, D instead of T, and so on; its predecessor, the Wade-Giles system, tried using an apostrophe: Tang and T'ang. At least this is what I remember from a class I had sixty years ago, in college, and therefore may be grossly inaccurate.

JC Parsons said...

I like MOC 's "wave particle duality" position. Two good teams, two great starters, there was a lot to appreciate from the purest POV. Of course, skanky relief, no big hits and a blind Posey are all in the "sickening" category. What really hurts is that they made some BIG mistakes and still won. All we did wrong was give up three solo shots and fail with RISP. This is why the chicks love the dinger I guess.

I didn't agree with the Tomlinson pinch hit. At the start they made a point of saying that Leake had NO RESTRICTIONS, he was rested and could go all day. After, the story changed to he had to come out after 77 low stress pitches because....? My thinking was 1) the only advantage we had was pitch count, Cole had to leave after 6 but Leake had at least one more inning and I feel one less reliever is HUGE, 2) Leake is good hitter actually, probably a fine bunter, which I thought was important cuz we could try a squeeze. Gee, guess what, we did try a squeeze. It was a great situation for it. Ah well, Kelby almost made it pay Off. A tough call, and the right one if Strickland doesn't get lit up.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I have a feeling that the "no restrictions" was propaganda. You have to put your best foot forward and SAY that your guy is ready to go toe-to-to with their guy, even if it is bullshit. I think they were happy to pull Leake and save him to fight another day, after all he hadn't pitched in a long time. He sure looked good! Alas, the 'pen didn't get it done, but Kontos and Strickland have been the Giants best guys all season, so I can't bitch too much. The boys need a win today, though. Dodgers are sinking and I'd sure love to see the Giants hold their heads under until they quit kicking, but it may take another month of watching them squirm before they finally expire. Just gotta be patient, man.

I'll post later today after Vogie does his ass-kicking VSC thing.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Whoops! ESPN game tonight--5 pm Pacific. My schedule says 10:30 am. Yeah, I still look at the printed schedule, you know, the foldable ones on magazine paper with the orange boxes for home games and a Coors Light ad. Should have figured the game would get moved to prime time as the Pirates are hot. A little lèse majesté for the national audience, they hope? A good story line: flashy upstarts v. flinty veterans. Those guys over there know who blocked the door to the dance last year. They know their path to glory is wide open this year. They have a right to think they've got a good chance to do well in the post-season tournament, should they make it. It makes for some compelling baseball, that's for sure. I'm a Giants fan. I'm greedy. I want to stomp all these other motherfuckers into the ground and leave their fans weeping and gnashing their teeth. But I think greed is bad. Bad for the soul, that is. Best to think of what a great ballclub we have and what a joy it is to watch them play.