Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Cubs Stomp Giants

I had to drink myself into a stupor after that debacle. I like a little George Dickel No. 12 when Matt Cain pitches, some Tennessee whisky for the Tennessee Stud. Lately these nips have been anesthetic rather than celebratory as Matty has played the Tennessee Dud instead. And the worse it got last night, the more I got. By the time he was done, so was I. Think about Tim Lincecum for a second. We watched him throw more and more breaking balls as he could not throw his fastball for strikes. Matt Cain is throwing more breaking balls for the opposite reason--he always throws his fastball for strikes. Unfortunately those fastballs are right down the pipe. In the wheelhouse. On a platter. Batting practice. T-ball location. Yikes, it's ugly. The Giants don't know what to do. They figure it's only a matter of time before he figures it out. After all, he's got a brand new elbow and has to learn to throw all over again. The problem is there is no time left. It's a pennant race and it's increasingly likely that the only way the Giants make the post-season is to win the West. So, what to do with Matt Cain? Like I said the Giants don't know. So I sure as hell don't. I do know that it's painful to watch him struggle.

Speaking of things that leave me speechless: Jeremy Affeldt.

Home cooking is supposed to be better for you, right? So let's see some championship ball from the home squad instead of from the NL Central.




obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Yeah, it was pretty sad. And it wasted a great comeback by the offense on the Cubs bullpen, 5 runs normally good enough to win with.

There are no days off so the Giants can't just skip his start, which falls on the last start of this homestand. I can see him getting a short leash, with Bochy quick to hook him if necessary, since that is on August 30th, and fresh arms can be brought up to the majors in two days. Basically, to do that, he would probably have to hold back Petit, just in case, and hopefully our other starters can go at least 5 IP over the next four games.

The beat writers were hinting that Cain could be DLed, but Bochy is quoted as saying that he's healthy, so there would have to be a sudden "injury" for this to happen.

Next two games we face Hendricks (Peavy) and Haren (Bumgarner). Both Hendricks and Haren have not pitched all that well in the past month or so (28 days), 5.23 and 6.05 ERA, respectively. Both should be good battles, we should have a good chance of winning them.

However, wow, the only Cubs starting pitcher really pitching well in the past month is Arrieta (0.92 ERA). Hammel is next at 4.01, Lester 4.44, then those two. For them to go 20-4, the Cubs batters basically is duplicating that Bugs Bunny cartoon where the hitters have a Conga Line from home to all the bases and then back to home to score.

If we can shut them down, we should be able to win. But we were unable to in Chicago. However, Peavy was one who was able to in Chicago, so we have some hope there with him, and Bumgarner has had string of DOM starts for about a month, so we have a really good chance to still win the series. Unfortunately, needed to sweep to stay in WC chase.

That's OK, should really be focusing on NL West division title anyway, WC is only if we are out of West race, and we are still very much in it. But it can turn very quickly in the next week, we got two tough series in Cubs and Cards, while Dodgers are only facing Reds right now but then get to face Cubs too: hopefully we can beat them, but not cool them off enough so that then they continue to stay hot in LA. Then we get 3 in LA, and obviously we need to win that series, anything less and our chances will be hurt a lot, there are not a lot of games left by then, roughly 30 games, 4 weeks (right now 2.5 games back, if stay there and lose LA series, then we would be 3.5 games back, tough to make up in 4 weeks).

nomisnala said...

Sometimes the best thing to do, is put the guy in the pen for a few games, and tell him
that when he comes in, "no holds barred" "air it out" and lets see if he can go a few
innings without giving up the long ball. Early in the game last night, on a gift 3-2 count, because Posey was struck out on the 2-2 count, he swung at a ball in the dirt, messing up a chance to put Arrieta in the stretch earlier in the game. In the ninth with one on, behind by 3 runs on a full count, Maxwell swung and missed at a pitch at least a foot and half outside and almost in the dirt. In each case the giants gave them an out, when they were giving us a base. These guys need to stop trying to do the impossible, and just do what they can to move the line along. Not sure if Crawford is able to suit up tonight.

Zo said...

Andrew Baggarly opines that Matt Cain will never be an above average pitcher again. I am not buying that and think that it is way too soon to guess at that. Matt Cain is coming off of an injury. He has command problems. It looks to me like he has his pitches, he is just not locating them, or is not locating them at times when he needs to even though he is at other times. This might mean that he will not be able to contribute meaningfully this year, but ever again? I wouldn't hang my hat on that. Crawford is out tonight. Gosh, we could sure use a healthy Hunter Pence back.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Cain has a new elbow. It's going to take some learning time. I think he can be a good pitcher again, but not the one he was. Everybody peaks out and enters that decline phase. Some guys manage to extend that period, flatten the slope of the line if you will. It sure looks like Matty can still throw major-league stuff. And he's a big strong boy, thick in the middle, built to last. It seems like all he needs is time, something tough to spare when every game counts. Then again, he'll be 31 in October and has logged 1864 innings facing 7701 batters. That's some mileage, man. It's really hard to say! Of course I hope he figures it out and turns into one of those guys like Bartolo Colon or Rick Reuschel and pitches into his 40s.

carmot said...

So... Our ENTIRE bench tonight consists of? Maxwell & Susac? Oh, that's just great.

More relievers possibly getting AB's. It's like 1.3 players, since Susac is our back-up catcher. We're carrying 13 pitchers, and somehow Bochy thinks Hudson *might* be activated earlier than Sept. 1st? Should I interpret this to mean maybe Cain goes on the DL? Or they're going to DFA somebody (Petit?)? Or what? Send Osich or Broadway back down? No way, they'd better not.

Oh man, it would really be something if this current roster can take even one of two remaining against the North Siders. Of course, we've got Peavy & Bumgarner going for us... One can only hope. Or DREAM... big.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

I know I'm in the minority, but I think Cain can come back as good as he was before. I think he just needed more time than everyone thought, and part of that, I think, was not being able to pitch for so many months.

What I hang my hopes on is that his arm is healthy and his arm feels the best it has since he was in high school. So I think that with more practice over the off-season and then spring training, he can be good enough next season to hold a rotation spot, and sometime during his contract he will return to his former goodness.

If he could figure out how to be an ace with an arm that could barely bend because of bone chips, I have to think that with an arm that is healthy and able to bend normally, he would be able to be an even better pitcher in other ways. But I'll take what he was before his Perfecto, I'll even take what he was before he found better control and took things up a notch in his seasonal performance, that pitcher would still be very valuable.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

If Posey is batting and his instincts tell him to swing, I trust him, he's earned that with me with all his years of great hitting, that's 6 seasons of good hitting, including one MVP season and one that will get him votes this season, he's human, I am not going to let one random AB in an seasonal ocean of AB's get me down on him.

Maxwell swinging at a pitch way out of the zone? That's why he's a career .222 hitter, that's why he's hitting .209 for the season, that's why he's the 5th OF. Expecting him to be better than that is not realistic.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...
This comment has been removed by the author.