Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Madison Bumgarner looked every bit like an ace tonight.  He was in command of a complete game Giants' victory to start the home stand after a wretched road trip.  The Giants are not close to being out of it - they picked up a half game yesterday on their day off - and they believe that they are a team capable of repeating as world champions.   No better way to start off the home stand against a string of tough opponents than with a 3 - 1 ATT park-style win.

Madison gave up hits to the first 2 batters.  Then, after Madison struck out the Astros' highly touted Carlos Correa, they were caught trying to double steal 2nd and 3rd.  Madison promptly struck out Evan Gattis (who would later score the Astros' only run) for the 3rd out of the inning.  That was a 20 pitch inning.  The number of pitches in the 1st is worth mentioning only in the context of what Madison Bumgarner accomplished the rest of the game.  Those 2 K's were the first of 7 consecutive strikeouts.  Madison struck out 12 in the game.  That would normally be a sign that a pitcher might be removed with about 116 pitches in the 7th inning.  Madison threw 9 complete in 105 pitches.  He gave up 5 hits, 1 run and did not walk anyone.  He has not issued a walk in 3 games.   What that complete game means is that our bullpen, chewed up and spit out on the road, has had 2 days of rest including the off day.  So they should be fresh and ready to go when needed.

Brandon Belt was the offensive hero on a night where the team only got 7 hits.  He hit 2 home runs, both solo shots off of a tough Scott Kazmir.   It is unequivocally good when Brandon Belt hits home runs.  The Giants added a run when Justin Maxwell singled, and then scored from first on an Ehire Adriaza hit and throwing error by Kazmir.  That was enough on a night when Madison was the kind of ace that we know he can be.


M.C. O'Connor said...

That was a hell of a performance from Bum--not just what he did in the game but the context, the team needing a big win in the heat of a pennant race against a quality opponent. Very nice!

So exciting to see Belt raking it. That second one was opposite field! The Giants are 20-5 when they hit two homers in a game.

M.C. O'Connor said...


Giants GM Bobby Evans talked about the team’s second base questions, as Carl Seward of the Bay Area News Group reports (links to Twitter). Joe Panik is at least a week away from beginning baseball activity, increasing the urgency of an addition. While Evans confirmed interest in Chase Utley of the Phillies, he indicated that the asking price remains above his comfort level. San Francisco is looking at multiple options to add depth up the middle, per the GM.

JC Parsons said...

What is it about the Giants and their nifty second baseball with yucky injuries? Was there a curse I missed? At least we know that WHOEVER we put out there at the end will probably play brilliantly. Isn't that part of the curse?

MadBum gave us one of the best pitched games of the year at one of the most crucial times of the year. He was the very definition of Ace.

Someone that I hardly ever say nice things about, Justin Maxwell, deserves a shout out. He didn't do anything flashy (like a pair of dingers!) but he did do something that this team is pretty great at. He took pitches and had tough AB's. His first two PA's ended in walks and caused Kazmir to throw almost 20 pitches doing it. This was a big reason that Kazmir got to >100 pitches in 5+ innings. Way to represent, JM

carmot said...

M.C.: "The Giants are 20-5 when they hit two homers."

Okay! So let use some *awesome* projections, shall we?

-- 7 of Belt's last 10 hits have been home runs. Woot! So... He could be on pace for 180 more PA's? Let's see... We'll call that 60 hits... 42 more home runs from Belt!

-- We can go 40-10 down the stretch. 100 wins! Just hit two dingers per game. (No, that purple dinosaur in Colorado doesn't count).

Seriously, though. Bumgarner was phenomenal. The man is a very special talent. I don't care if Houston is more prone to strikeouts. We saw how Bum was masterful at moving, locating, and shaping his pitches. His EIGHTH career 10-plus strikeout game without allowing a walk. That's a Giants' franchise record- and more than both Cain + Lincecum combined!

We've got Heston going, who had a dominant performance against the 'Stros already this season. And Heston's home ERA is sublime. Facing off against local kid Scott Feldman, who has never won against SF (0-4, 5.19 ERA career). I'll say I like our chances. Go Presto!

Zo said...

Madbum's 7 consecutive strikeouts ties a SF Giants record held by Juan Marichal (1964) and Jonathan Sanchez (2010).

There is something about watching Madbum pitch when he is on - he is just incredibly smooth. I mean in viewing him from the centerfield camera on the tv - it almost looks as though he is pitching in slow motion. Obviously it does not look that way to the batter. He has this smooth, slow delivery and you are almost tempted to think that the ball is just a lazy, slow pitch. Then the batter whiffs. He didn't look like that at the beginning of the year and I'm not sure I could tell by watching two side-by-side clips, but it looks different.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Did you hear MadBum grunting in Atlanta--they have a mic real close to the field and you can hear the ump talking, etc., and they captured Bum's "uhhhhnnn!" every time he threw a pitch. Like you say he has that smooth motion and it looks so effortless (but we know it isn't). When Cain got pulled in his game you could clearly hear him drop the f-bomb!

Carmot, I love those goofy stats--esp. the ones like "the giants are 53-9 when so-and-so gets a hit, or starts in LF" or whatever. Two homers a game is all I ask, is that so much?

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Adrianza as starting 2B: .273/.368/.364/.732 in 38 PA/33 AB, 4 walks and 4 K's. Has scored 5 runs and drove in 3 runs for a total of 8 runs produced in 10 starts.

Has not been that good fielding 2B, particularly this season, but he's only had 5 whole games played in the minors at 2B in his career, then 24 starts (and 34 total games) at 2B in the majors. And overall, his UZR/150 is basically 0, his RTOT is about +1 WIN and his DRS is -1 WIN, so one could say that he's about average, as probabilities affect these metrics a lot and with SSS he's got going, will get wild swings back and forth.

Looks like his problem is that he has not gotten many remote or unlikely plays, and the misses he has had with those few is hurting his UZR, as otherwise, he is great with Routine plays. He's been considered a major league defensive SS since he turned pro, so I would bet that he will figure out 2B with experience and an influx of tougher plays to handle to show what he can do.

carmot said...

Hey again, M.C. Did you view my post? I'm not one to want to self-promote, so I don't usually bring this up. But I tossed a few more crazy quips in there you might like. Such as... Belt is the first LHB to hit 2 HR in the same game against one LHP since Barry did it to Mike Hampton in 2001.

Anyways, I hope you don't think I was trying to mock you (and, in turn you feel some need to justify). Nope, not at all. My intent was to join in the fun! I love the craziness that baseball offers, too. Weird things. Beisbol. Cheers.

Ron said...

Jon Paul Morosi thinks that its getting serious, so, maybe it is. Wonder who we're thinking about giving up.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Mark Polishuk at MLBTR thinks like you, Ron:

"The Giants’ interest in Utley surfaced when Joe Panik hit the DL with an ongoing back problem. Utley could fill in at second and then, once Panik returns, shift into either a bench role or a part-time role at first base (though since both Utley and Brandon Belt are left-handed hitters, it wouldn’t be a perfect fit)."

That would be a hell of a compliment to Panik, sitting down Chase Utley! I still think the Giants are feeling "the World Champion second baseman bad-back curse" from Freddie Sanchez and Marco Scutaro like JC said. It's like keyboardists for the Grateful Dead--don't take that job, man. I am indeed worried that this means Panik's health issues are more serious. We'll see. They were willing to part with some talent to get Leake, a move for Utley is big.

Bummer game today, no offense (at least through 8).

And Carmot, I did not see your post but I will check it. And self-promote, please. It's nice to have lots of stuff to talk about. And no offense taken, pile it on. Fun is why we are here. Well, agony and torture and drama I suppose, too!

M.C. O'Connor said...

Mostly agony and torture today. Heston pitched well but the other guy pitched better and they got the big hits. That's a good team--they play defense and have a tough 'pen. Baserunning looked a little shaky, maybe.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Or the drummer on Spinal Tap, who was replaced over and over, if I'm not mistaken!

I'm hoping that it's more that having Utley removes any incentive to try to bring Panik back before he's fully healthy, he can rest and rehabilitate without feeling the pressure to return faster than nature will allow. That's usually on the player (I recall Schierholtz and Crawford admitting in interviews that they rushed back, Peavy did that earlier this season, and Pagan

Plus, if Utley is hitting well again, that's another potent bat in the lineup, and would help hide Maxwell in the lineup while Aoki is out (again! We need to start hitting back, if you know what I mean). Plus, when Panik returns, Utley can probably play 2B, 1B, and maybe some 3B (he played there a lot only in his first pro season, though). And, should we be fortunate again for the fourth time in six seasons, gives us a great DH bat, like we had with Morse last season.

JC Parsons said...

So what are we we giving up in this odd deal for Utley. Can we eat his deal and not part with any good prospect? Or do we give top tier in any case just to be in the conversation? Don't the big spending Angels and Yankees have a need? Does it come down to Utley getting to choose? And why does he want to leave Philly? Isn't he like Rocky there? You can see I have many questions. Anyone have some answers?

Heartbroken, again, about Aoki. When he was hit I told the wife that he MUST go on that concussion DL thing, at least. But NOOOO. Some how he passed a concussion test and he is right back out there. I was very surprised that we got such good reports. When it happened it was clear that he was on the verge of vomiting and/or passing out. I bet it will be a long time until we see him again, sad to say.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Ain't no easy answers, my friend. What are YOU willing to give up for an Utley rental? That's about all we can speculate on as we have no idea how much the Phillies expect. Mike Leake, as I said before, was not cheap. I thought it was a fair deal at the time, though, and I was happy to see the Giants make it. Him getting injured really soured the thing, but that's baseball. I think Utley will cost at least as much.

Yeah, Aoki-san going down is a real bummer. Such a fun player and a great contributor--he was having his best season. Giants are hurting!

Zo said...

The Chronic today says that Leake is running full speed, so is looking good to come off of the DL when his 15 days are up.

carmot said...

J.C. I agree. I thought it would be medically negligent to NOT place Aoki on the concussion DL after seeing how he took it right off the forehead of his helmet. But I don't trust our medical staff. Long history there. I'm sure some will disagree with my opinion, fine. But review the history and there's no way I can feel they are highly competent. My guess is the bright light of a day game affected him- more than 'bumping' into the padded wall on that catch. Plus, just the higher heart rate of playing in a game. Sure hope he heals up, we need him.

What to give up for Utley? Maybe two reliever prospects like McCormick and Slania. That's about it, IMO. No, that won't get it done. Not for an icon in the Phillies organization. Fine. Then don't do it. We understand it took two of our Top-10 BaseballAmerica ranked prospects to get the 4.72 ERA Jake Peavy from Boston. I'm sure Ruin Tomorrow will try to extract something ridiculous for Utley. Pass. If we get Utley, I sure hope we get PHI to "kick in" Cody Asche. He might be able to help us for the next few years.

Why the heck is middle infield our biggest target? We could look for a 3B, and have Duffy/Adrianza/Tomlinson to cover 2B until Panik comes back. Maybe find some more power at 3B than we'd find at 2B (Utley? lol). We're in dire need of a starting pitcher- even once Leake is back, IMO.

Ryan Raburn from CLE. Why wouldn't we be inquiring on him? Could play 2B or LF, maybe some 3B in a pinch. Justin Ruggiano from SEA. Brock Holt from Boston would be a dream. Drew Stubbs just got D'edFA by COL, if we want to take a chance there.

Pitchers? Only gonna get more challenging since the non-waiver deadline passed. You got guys like Garza, Lohse, Edwin Jackson, John Danks, Bud Norris. All of whom I wouldn't want. NO, no thanks. Personally, I say hell-to-the-no on James Shields at this point. I would've been happy if we'd signed him in the offseason... But now? Tying up BIG money to get him for 9(?) starts? Costing top-tier prospects? Nope. I'd rather we have a chance on somebody like Price, Cespedes, or Heyward this winter. YMMV.

Ron said...

Prado supposedly also available. Decent fit, too.

M.C. O'Connor said...

However, Miami’s price tag on the veteran appears to remain exorbitant, as Frisaro notes that interested teams would have to overpay in order to acquire him.

Prado's a good player, though certainly not in Utley's class, so one would think he could be had much more cheaply. Who knows what these damn GMs think? All we have is "reports" and "rumors." Getting kind of sick of the talk. Let's get a goddamn deal done or play the goddamn hand we've got.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Seems there may be playing time issues for Utley.

The ideal scenario for the Giants is that Panik is back soon and 100%. If I were Utley, I'd want to play and not sit. I wouldn't go someplace that was hoping their All-Star second baseman would be returning ASAP! There are a lot of teams in the playoff mix right now. Even the damn Dodgers need a second baseman now that Kendrick is DL'd.

campanari said...

Prado is doing better than Utley this year, is under contract for less money next year, and is more versatile. He's also younger and hasn't, I believe, spent anywhere nearly as much time on the DL as Utley. I'd be pleased if we got Prado and can't, myself, see much reason to spend much for Utley. I'm wholly with carmot on this one. But I'd be just as glad to see us play the goddamn hand we have.