Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Giants Dig a Hole

Will Rogers was reputed to have opined "if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging." The Giants are in a 4-1/2 game hole after last night's grueling 14-inning torture-fest and have now put even more pressure on themselves to win this series. It gets a little tougher with Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw on the mound for the Dodgers the next two evenings. Last night was all about missed opportunities, like this weekend in San Francisco the Giants just could not put it all together. They blew a 3-1 lead, managed to tie it late, but could not get the killer blow before they ran out pitchers. Rookie Mike Broadway was the victim at the end. He looks like he has deadly stuff if he could command it. The Dodgers used seven pitchers and all 13 position players and even used Kershaw to pinch-hit. They got a big effort from reliever Chris Hatcher who went the final three frames. (I only made it through the 12th.) The Giants used nine pitchers and all of their 12 position players. With the rosters expanding today we may see even longer box scores. Matt Duffy, Brandon Belt, Buster Posey, and Marvelous Marlon Byrd combined for 10 of the team's 13 hits in the 2-through-5 spots in the lineup.

Madison Bumgarner get his shot tonight. GO GIANTS!



Brother Bob said...

Peavy should never be allowed on the mound after the 5th inning. His failure last night was all too predictable.

Ron said...

Two comments:

- Leaving Peavy in to face Gonzalez was one thing - I was OK with that, as Peavy had gotten out of some jams with some good pitches, & the worst that could happen was a tie game. Leaving him in to face another left-handed power hitter, when Osich was ready, was stupid. I was cursing Bochy, before Ethier's HR, & was livid after the HR.

- Posey has nothing left in his legs. He is already in his late season power slide, which he inhabited late last season & for the entire 2014 Post-Season. Flaring short arm singles is OK, but, especially with no one on base for him, we need him in scoring position, or, preferably, in his HR trot. He doesn't look capable of reaching the fences, & that is likely to persist for the rest of the season. To make matters more complicated, we just acquired another OF, so the Belt in LF, Posey @ 1B lineup is unlikely to re-appear.

I made it to the middle of the 13th, so just a half inning further than Mark. Other takeaways:

- Aoki looks like shit, both at the plate & in the field (incomprehensible throw on Utley's '2B').

- Another Duffy Dash on the 2-RBI infield hit by Byrd.

- Good to see Romo & Kontos pitch effectively again. It would have been disastrous for the game to have ended on a balk by Romo, but, other than that, he looked great - even got a few lefties out.

Zo said...

Tired. Tired and discouraged. It is hard to have confidence in our (still depleted) line up when you compare it with LA's. They have power throughout and we have about half of that. We missed a lot of chances and eventually, our luck in getting out of innings with runners on ran out. Buster was, again, a god.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I too was surprised by Peavy pitching to Ethier. In the end, though, he made a fat pitch. He didn't execute. I think Boch wants his guys to go deeper. And he wants to show confidence in them so they will make the big pitches. It didn't work out, but it was defensible. (I rarely argue with Boch. I'm perfectly willing to go along with all his moves. After all, he's proven he knows more than I ever will, and that he's a winner. And part of that is his faith in his guys, even if that faith, to us, seems misplaced.) If you have to pull your starter after five every time you'll burn up your 'pen and never get anywhere. We are seeing that right now. The starters just aren't racking up enough outs. If the Giants fail to win the West it will be because of the lack of starting pitching. And the injuries, of course. Losing Pence and Panik at this last juncture has really hurt.

Two wins in LA will change our moods considerably.

JC Parsons said...

Couple hours til Round 2. I'm not sure I can take another one like that...if only I didn't have to get up so bloody early.

Bochy was not in post season mode but it seems that the rest of us were. It is an automatic pitching change in Oct but at this point, as MOC points out, the manager is still concerned about "confidence" and "burning up the pen." I was surprised that Bochy didn't go get him before Ethier, the stats are SO CLEAR that Peavy is not effective the third time through a lineup and Osich has been so nasty lately. Oh well, what can one say?

Aoki has looked quite shaky lately. I fear the beaning was harder on him than we know. Last night he got buzzed and looked a little rattled after wards. Of course, he is just a very expressive dude. Isn't he? Looks like the FNG has LF tonight. And Pagan is back in the lead off spot??? Really??? Do we always just assume veterans can always just take over their "traditional" spots? Well, good luck Angel!! Make Bochy look like a genius. MadBum bats 8 in front of the horribly feeble Adrianza. His lame pop up bunt and other over matched AB's were very sad last night (unless I missed something after the 12th). Speaking of sad, Andrew Susac has a serious problem with pinch hitting. Like 0 for 10 with 8 K's sad. Like three swings and sit down sad. Sure it is SSS and PHing is a bitch, especially against the relief beasts that every team has nowadays. But still, please, no more.

No BCraw :( Any news? Did he reinjure? He looked rusty for sure but we need him ASAP.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Yeah I think Aoki is still suffering from the concussion. Too bad, I like him. BCraw is day-to-day, probably not available tonight. I feel for Adrianza--he's been in the system for a long, long time and finally gets a real chance and can't seem to get it done. He looks like he's having a hard time in the field, which is his strength. I don't know what to say about Susac, he's an automatic out at this point, which is far from what I expected. Well, they've got to make it happen with the guys they've got. Go Giants! WIN!!

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Concussions affects the most delicate thing: the brain. So it would not be surprising to me if he's still being affected, still, 3 weeks later. I've noticed a degrade in my brain-hand coordination since my concussion a couple of years ago (I'm thinking one thing, typing another sometimes) and it hasn't gotten better (I'm a bit older than Nori though :^).

His strike zone discipline seems to be fine: he only has 6 K's in 49 AB vs. 4 walks. But he has not been making good contact, though oddly he's been making harder contact at times: his batting average is done way low, leading to low OBP, but he's gotten a bunch of XBH, so his SLG/ISO is up some.

I know people don't like to talk about this topic, but when are we going to make other teams pay for hitting and injuring our players? Is it a coincidence that so many of our best hitters have been incapacitated to varying extent by HBP this season? Pence, Aoki (twice!), Crawford.

Adrianza seems to have lost his batting touch. That happens when you sit around and can't keep sharp, as you are not starting. I don't blame Bochy for that, Kelby earned the starting spot, it is what it is.

But when Ehire was starting at 2B, he batted .237/.356/.316/.671, which is not bad for MI, people demand more, but that's slightly below what the average 2B and SS hits in NL, and, furthermore, is great to get from the 25th man on the roster, an average MLB batting line while getting good defense from him. And by the major advanced defense metrics, he has been delivering very good defense, more than enough to make up for his offensive deficiencies. During this dry spell, his contact rate still looks good, his problem is making good contact, and he's not a vet, he's still a young rookie unused to coming off the bench, he loses his touch and needs time to get it back.

Regarding Susac, I think that he's still suffering some ill effects from spraining his thumb. I recall BCraw hurting his finger sliding into a base in 2013, and he came back too soon (he said later), before it healed fully, and that affected his hitting for the rest of the season. Susac came back within a month, so that seems kind of fast for a sprain. But it's do or die time, and the boys are trying.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Oh, regarding BCraw, he was not reinjured, he was HBP by the Evil Doggers in Monday's game, and it sounded like from the pre-game Bochy update that he'll miss the rest of this series, then re-evaluate.

Yeah, I felt the same regarding Bochy not pulling Peavy, for some reason he was not in Oct mode. Not sure why, the Cubs were in Oct mode when they swept us in Chicago, I noticed Maddon pulling out all stops to beat us (and which made sense, we were then battling for the last WC spot). But afterward, it was not like Peavy was that far out in pitch count, he was probably around high 80's pitches then, and Bochy and gang should know his pitcher.

But now, I'm back to wondering why he didn't bring in Osich. Not quite must win game, but would be great start especially since we're facing Greinke/Kershaw afterward, plus we were leading 3-1, and Peavy does implode, sometimes, in the 6th and beyond. And while as a good SP, he has a pretty good handle on LHH, the past three seasons, he's been not as good as he was earlier in his career in handling LHH. On top of that, LA had a bunch of LHH coming up, Utley, A-Gon, Ethier, Crawford, with just Justin Turner in the middle, then Grandal and another lefty, Peterson. Plus, if you want to give rope, both Rollins and Utley hit the ball hard against Peavy, so maybe bring in Osich for A-Gon.

I agree about trusting in Bochy. I like how he handles his players, and, as much as people complain about his love for vets, he's actually approaching it like a saber. I was just reading a saber article and it discussed (over and over, this guy loves to pound people over the head) how you should never look at pitcher-hitter matchups, too much SSS, you look at long-term, overall stats and make your decisions that way. That's exactly what Bochy does for the most part, while trying to play the hot hand sometimes.

Though given that a study of managers found that veteran hitters who joined Bochy managed teams added around 1 WAR to their production when they join vs. expected production, perhaps Bochy has a much better eye for his hitters than most people, and is a much better hitting coach than he's been given credit for. So he's not being mean to young hitters, or too trusting of veterans (stereotypes that still exist even though Sandoval, Belt, Duffy, and now Tomlinson, basically hit their way onto the Giants lineups over vets), but maybe he sees things others don't.