Thursday, August 6, 2015

Sixth inning: 12-6

The Giants came up short in their shot at sixty wins in the first two-thirds of the season: that's a ninety-win pace. They settle for 59-49 and with the Dodgers win they fall to three back. Their .546 win percentage puts them on pace for 88-1/2 wins, perhaps best said as not-quite-ninety. With one-third of the season to go, or 54 games, a .600 pace from here on out would mean 32 more wins or 91 total.

Six innings of the season have elapsed and this last stretch of 18 games produced a 12-6 record matching their season high. Here we have it:

1st inning: 7-11
2nd inning: 11-7
3rd inning: 12-6
4th inning: 8-10
5th inning: 9-9
6th inning: 12-6

If you prefer to divide the season by months, a quick look at the Baseball-Reference page will give you the following:

April: 9-13
May: 21-9
June: 12-14
July: 14-10
August: 3-3

The Giants are hitting the ball well scoring 4.4 runs per game which is good for 7th-best in the majors. Their 3.8 runs allowed is 11th-best overall. As we've seen they have stretches of effective pitching and also take advantage of their offense-suppressing park. As we know the team's championship hopes depend on the dependability of their pitchers. Tonight Chris Heston had no idea where his pitches were going and got tagged for five runs right away. The team battled back to make it close, getting two-run homers by the Brandons, but the damage had been done. Heston had not allowed a homer since the 23rd of May when the Rockies tagged him for three.

If the Giants expect to finish the year with a West title or a Wild Card berth they will have to be able to count on their pitchers. I'm not picking on Heston, he's had a couple of poor outings but has otherwise been superb, just pointing out the obvious. We saw them lose a game in Atlanta with two blown saves. The staff has to step up here in the final three innings. In the bad news department FNG Mike Leake will not make his scheduled start due to a hamstring injury. Ryan Vogelsong gets the ball tomorrow instead.

This season will likely come down to the final week. The Giants have peeked at first place a couple of times, a half game up and a half game down, but have mostly resided in second and stayed within striking distance of leaders Los Angeles. I expect the close race will continue until the end. The Giants have the intangibles like Veteran Savvy Clutchness and championship DNA and all that. The questions are about the tangibles. Do they have enough pitching for the final push? Will they survive injuries and bad luck the rest of the way? It's going to be fun finding out, eh?



p.s. I'm really digging Kelby Tomlinson's geek-chic spectacles. Wouldn't you know I switched to a similar look just this week? Indeed, I ditched my usual wire frames for horn-rims. Fashions in "eyewear" (we used to call them "glasses") have ebbed and flowed between the two since I was a lad. I don't know what inspired the change for me, just a random "that one looks good" spoken to the optician at my fitting session a few weeks back. If I'm accused of being a Kelby copy-cat I won't mind!


M.C. O'Connor said...

Leake on 15-day DL.

JC Parsons said...

Yikes. Two tough losses to an impressive Cubs team. Do all of their bullpen guys throw 95+? One thing that is different about the Cubs compared to almost every other team we play: they have a good manager now and he knows how to do playoff baseball. Hell, Maddon totally managed Thur like the post season, yanking his starter with a big lead, 75 pitches in, and 2 outs to go for the win. It was the right move but not one many make, unless it is Oct.

Today is huge. Not so much because of falling behind, there is plenty of time. More because of Matt Cain. We can't do it this year without him. He must show up NOW. His history at Wrigley is wonderful so if he sucks today I will be very scared. If the Matt Cain of old shows up today that will be a huge statement about our chances and the Cubbies know that. Look for a playoff atmosphere and Maddon pulling out all the stops again

M.C. O'Connor said...

Every team that wants to make its mark has to beat the defending champs. The Cubs want to be taken seriously--here is their chance. The fact that Maddon played the game like a playoff shows how much they need to make an impression on the league and the national audience. I love it! You want legitimacy? Beat the Giants!! Our favorite team is the 'gold standard' of how to do it right. I pinch myself every day with that fact.

Yup, a big start from Matty would be sweet.