Friday, August 14, 2015

Giants Bats Subdue Nats

The Giants used every arrow in the quiver from infield singles and stolen bases to slashing doubles and booming homers to tally eight runs and hold off the Nationals for another big victory. Ace Max Scherzer got hit hard early and was done after only three innings. It was the worst start of the season for the All-Star righty. The Nats returned the favor and chased Matt Cain in the 5th, the death blow a three-run moon shot from Bryce Harper. That's 30 for the young lefty who is the obvious NL MVP at this point in the season. Cain was ultimately charged with all five runs in another ugly outing where he clearly lacked command. Fortunately the lineup was relentless and the bullpen superb (4-1/3, one hit, no runs) and the Giants prevailed.

The 1-2 punch of Gregor Blanco and Matt Duffy at the top of the order produced six hits, five runs batted in, and three runs scored to lead the way. I was particularly impressed that the Giants kept the pressure on and manufactured a couple of late runs to give the relievers a little breathing room. Tonight we got a big effort from the southpaws: three outs from Jeremy Affeldt, four from Josh Osich, and the final out (Harper) from Javier Lopez. Sergio Romo had another clean inning tonight and the other two outs came via George Kontos, thus saving Santiago Casilla and Hunter Strickland for tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow it's Jake Peavy's turn against Gio Gonzalez.




Zo said...

Make that 6 outs from Osich.

carmot said...

"To be able to have a guy like Scherzer come in, I just started laughing. I was like, 'Where's my ring?' It's absolutely stupid how good our staff is."

- Bryce Harper, February 2015.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Ugh, looks like Matty is having real problems. Wonder what is the difference between him before the road trip and him since, as he was old Cainer, dominating, previously, but now he's clearly lost. Maybe the muscle memory from throwing with the bone chips in his elbow is messing with him?

JC Parsons said...

Gregor Blanco certainly put on a display of baseball skills last night. Did he throw anybody out? I don't think so, but everything else was right there for all to see. When he is on a hot streak like this he is a rare pleasure to watch. Take your time, Angel, CF is well covered for the time being.

I'm still shaking my head over the Harper HR. I should just let it go but mental mistakes (which is what that felt like) are just so jarring. Sure, some common baseball thought says you never put the tying run by intentionally loading the bases. But this was not a common situation. I think we all know that Harper is in the middle of a Bonds-like campaign. There were two outs. First base was just made open by a poor throw by Pence that allowed the runner to move up. I remember thinking that may actually hurt since we have a more obvious place to stash Harper. The next batter, Zimmerman, had been struck out by Cain TWICE before. Ok maybe not an intentional walk, but you sure do not even think about challenging him. But Buster and Matt had another idea and BAM we have a close game. Matt may have gone a couple more innings and we would all be pretty pleased, except for that one decision. Now we are all still on the Matt Mystery Train

JC Parsons said...

I guess it shows that no one will ever be as feared as Barry was. No one.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I too was thinking "pitch around him" rather than "four wide ones." But you have to have command to do that. That pitch was BP location, man. If you throw a ball low and off the plate away and the guy still rakes it, fine. "Tip your cap" as they like to say. But don't make it easy. I hate IBBs and would rather have the pitcher nibble and tease and maybe allow a walk. At least there's a fighting chance the batter could make weak contact and you can get an out. Regardless, it was some poor execution right there! But the guys got it done anyway, that's what counts. Rack up them wins, baby!!

nomisnala said...

Scherzer knocked out early on Friday night, Felix Hernandez totally knocked out
early on Saturday. One had the 10th homer of the year hit by a giant, the other
had the 10th homer of the year hit by a former giants third baseman. Hernandez's
game score was minus six. Didn't he shut us out earlier in the season? Or close to

carmot said...

Hey J.C. I think we're all still shaking our collective heads over that pitch to Bryce. It was a BIG mistake. But there are a lot of things I find less forgivable... I dare say...

Pence's overthrow that allowed Fister to astutely take 2B. Pence recently admitted he can't overthrow the cutoff. Compare how astutely Fister took 2B to how Maxwell had already made up his mind to stop at 2B (on the throw that rolled into LF). At least Cain was backing up home. Every season- this included- we've seen pitchers not cover 1B or back up 3B/home. On-deck hitters not direct a base runner coming in from 3B. Things that are totally controllable. I absolutely cannot stand that lackadaisical crap.

I find that people often pick on 'the most obvious.' Hector's strikeout, Cain's cookie, if only Mo Speights had made that dunk in the Finals. lol. There are always things that seem "obvious" to me, but seemingly not so to others. For a defensive "wizard," I don't like many of Adrianza's actions. I really didn't like that throwing error from him, for instance.

To all who want Hector gone... I'm certain the Giants consider pitcher ERA with each catcher. I posted the splits on a previous thread here. It's no surprise Sanchez catches Peavy. Let's hope the 0.00 ERA continues for another 6 IP.

Peavy: Sanchez 6.0 IP/0.00, Susac 16.1 IP/2.20, Posey 28.0 IP/5.46

JC Parsons said...

I'm sorry but I just have to call SMALL SAMPLE SIZE on all those Sanchez catcher ERA. In every case it would take one bad inning and his ranking would change. Besides which it takes a very little time watching him to see that he does nothing to help his pitcher, no framing, no blocking, no throwing ability, all are replacement level at best. If his hitting was replacement level, we could talk, but his defense will never keep him in the game. He currently is #70 out of 84 in WAR for 2015 catchers. I will be surprised to see him on the roster at the end of this season, even as a #3 catcher.

carmot said...

J.C. we can agree to disagree on this. I'm not one who tries to convince others that my opinions are right and should be adopted by all. I respect that you see things differently. I look at overall catcher ERA and Hector is very much a defensive help to our team. You paint him in a very rough manner. I have *never* been a big fan of Hector, but I am still willing to recognize what he offers. Especially as the #3 catcher. All those who blasted his strikeout? Where is the praise for drawing a fantastic walk against Gio? Hey, fair is fair. If not for Sanchez and Peavy... That huge rally doesn't happen.

Sanchez has a 2.51 catcher's ERA this season. I've followed catcher ERA's for a number of years, do you also? You seem very convinced in you stance. "Nothing... no, no, no, and never ___ ..." Ouch. Fine, claim it is a SSS. But then, I might counter by saying that all your judgements are only based on same. It's cool. I sure as heck hope we don't trade Susac- especially not for 3 weeks of Utley. Gawd no. Sanchez as our #3 is fine w/ me (for now), but as our primary back-up I've always had concerns. YMMV. Cheers.

JC Parsons said...

@ carmot Boy, we must be nerds if we can discuss this silly topic for this long! What can we say, every detail of our beloved Giants is beautiful and crucial, right? This couple weeks before the roster expansion are massively important though. So hashing out these details are really not that silly. Right? Right? Ok, it's silly.

Final (probably) Sanchez point: I get a Joaquin Arias vibe here. He has had many chances, the team is sticking with him, yet he is playing himself off the roster. Just a matter of time until a better option appears. Of course, that is true of all of them!

Also: I confess that catcher ERA is not a stat that has much persuasive power over me. After all pitcher ERA is kinda hinky, especially with relief pitchers. There must be a comparative version, like the effect a particular catcher has compared to the league average, adjusted for Everything. You know, a +ERA. I shall keep my mind open to the value of that particular stat. Thanks for the input

BTW. That was a truly great walk.

carmot said...

Hey again, JC. It's all good. I know we're both discussing things only because we both want our Giants to be at their best. So, we share that commonality. For the past 2 seasons, I've been following catcher Ben Turner with specific interest. I think of him kinda like a John Jaso type, with a high OBP and a better throwing arm.

The way I see things... Posey won't get moved to 1B until we have a starting catcher worthy of displacing Buster (could be Susac) *AND* a back-up catcher to regularly fill in- could be Turner, Jeff Arnold, or Aramis Garcia. Could be a couple years from now. Then, Posey can recognize his value is just as great or greater at 1B. Maybe Belt is traded, gone to free agency, or moved to LF permanently?

Who knows exactly? But, *if* the plan were to TRY to move Posey soon, I figure Morse would've been retained. Perfect fit to play mostly 1B, be an emergency LF, and also DH/PH when Posey "got rest" by playing 1B. We obviously didn't do that, when Belt's value would've been high enough to help get us a young #2/#3 starter via trade. Yeah, I agree... Hector is a place-holder. He takes a beating for the team. He's been a great Giant, but not an especially good catcher. Soon, he becomes even more expensive in arbitration, and we'll also figure to have our new #3 catcher ready. That's just my more complete take on things. Every stat and metric is imperfect, but IMO catcher ERA holds *some merit*, just as RBI or whatever else, yeah? It's just context. Nice conversation. Cheers.