Sunday, October 4, 2015

It's Over

The Colorado Rockies spoiled what looked like a lovely afternoon in San Francisco. Four Giants relievers combined to give up seven runs in the top of the 9th to turn a 3-0 lead into a 7-3 deficit. That's how it ended. Boch was playing for the crowd, giving all the guys in the 'pen a turn, but the whole scheme blew up in his face when eight consecutive batters reached base after the first one made an out. I don't usually get upset about meaningless games but this one had me hollering at the TV. Just a wretched way to end things especially after eight scoreless by the previous seven pitchers. Speaking of innings, the Giants end their final seasonal inning with an 8-10 mark.

At least we got to see Matt Cain look sharp for five. I hope that bodes well for next season. Boch was asked about the team's needs for next year and he said "starting pitching." Correct answer. Let's hope they can bolster the rotation for 2016. And get Hunter Pence and Joe Panik back fully healthy and able to play a whole season.

The Giants finish with the 12th-best record in baseball and the sixth-best in the NL. They beat out fellow under-performers the Washington Nationals (83-79) by one game.

The post-season starts next week. I'll be out of town for a stretch, including some time in the Nevada mountains, far from cell towers and wifi hotspots. Looks like the Mets will travel to LA to face the Dodgers in the NLDS and the Cubs will travel to Pittsburgh to face the Pirates in the Wild Card game. The winner gets to go to St. Louis for the other Division series. The Cardinals have a winning regular-season record against all the other NL playoff teams. With 100 wins and the best pitching they ought to be the favorites, but as we know anything can happen in a short series.

The AL got settled today as well. The Royals have the best record and will host the winner of the Yankees-Astros matchup in New York. The Blue Jays will face the Rangers in Toronto. Home field in the Series goes to the junior circuit once again.

Hasta luego, my friends. Unless something epic happens next week I'll be taking a break from posting. By the weekend we'll be camping and out-of-touch. Should be home by the following weekend.

Enjoy the off-season.



Zo said...

2014 Giants Record: 88 - 74.
Starter W/L: 55 - 56. Starter IP: 916
Reliever W/L: 33 - 18. Reliever IP: 570

2015 Giants Record: 84 - 78.
Starter W/L: 66 - 57. Starter IP: 883 2/3
Reliever W/L: 18 - 21. Reliever IP: 560 2/3

I teased out Vogie's starts/relief appearances. The Giants picked up a lot of wins in 2014 during relief appearances. This is obviously a flawed way to look at things, except in a most general way, because I don't have a stat for inherited runners scored and stranded. However, considering that the difference in reliever losses is not very large, and a reliever will only pick up a loss if the winning runs are not already on base or if he comes in to start an inning, it suggests that the problem is lack of hitting later in games rather than lack of pitching. I was a little surprised to see the starters W/L comparison, it was better this year than in 2014.

Zo said...

How did the Giants fare against whom?
W/L records
NL Western Division
Los Angeles: 11 - 8. Kind of a let down as we were up 7 - 2 at one point.
Arizona: 8 - 11.
San Diego: 11 - 8.
Colorado: 8 - 11.
A .500 record in your own division is not a good way to win a division. We had a losing record against Colorado. That's disgusting.

NL Eastern Division
18 - 15.
We actually beat Washington 4 - 3 this year. There was, however, that trip through Miami, Washington and New York that went 1 - 8. 3 and 3 against the Mets.

NL Central Division
15 - 18.
I guess not surprising considering that the top three teams have better records than the rest of the NL. 1 - 5 against Pittsburgh, 2 - 5 against Chicago, 2 - 4 against St. Louis.

AL Western Division - thank god for these guys.
13 - 7.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I was looking at the same stuff earlier, trying to work it into the post and not succeeding. T'anks, lad. I don't know what to think. Is this stuff just fluky random shit? Or is Krukow right ("ownage is ownage")?

That one-run thing bothers me, too. They've been such a good one-run team, it seems, for a while now.

I can live with seeing them lose tough games on the road against good teams, but it seemed like this year they couldn't finish off the bad teams. I guess we'll have time now to suss out all the numbers and see if they match up with our impressions of the team.

Starting Pitching. They Did Not Have Enough.

That's my line and I'm sticking to it.

Ron said...

Have a great trip to Nevada. I'm a bit disappointed that you didn't title this last post 'Giants Leave Caining to 9th Inning', or something of the sort. Matt was excellent, &, as usual, got jobbed by the bullpen later.

I, too, was screaming at the screen, as Bochy over-did the 'getting everyone in there' (except Strickland & Casilla) thing in the last few innings. He also missed the chance to have Bumgarner stride in dramatically to close things out. Bochy looked tired & ready to start fishing. At one point, I thought that, if it hadn't been the last game of the Season, he would have rushed out to argue just to get thrown out of the game. But, he seemed unwilling to go there due to either fatigue or some 'thing' about not getting thrown out of the last game.

On the personal stat side, I was disappointed that Duffy ended up below .300, but that's a minor thing.

Ron said...

And, I must take delight in noting that media darling & GREATEST PLAYER OF ALL TIME, Mike Trout, is going to enjoy the post-season from the comfort of his home. Apparently, not even Trout can carry any roster into the playoffs.

[This is not a statement of any particular dislike for Mike Trout - he'd make a great Giant. It is about how sick I am of the Messianic levels of praise heaped upon him by MLB Network & others on a nauseatingly repetitive basis.]

Ron said...

And, in very unsurprising news, Matt Williams is out as Manager of the Nationals. His demise started last Season, when he was woefully out-managed by Bochy in the NLDS. His facial expression during that pasting indicated that he never 'got it'. Then, this Season, with seemingly one of the most talented Rosters in baseball (including Free Agent acquisition & 2-time no-hit Pitcher, Max Scherzer), he couldn't stop a rotten slide & failed to make the Playoffs. The Nationals failure to qualify was a huge disappointment, as, unlike the Giants, they were only beset by an average number of injuries.

Does Matt Williams have a managerial future? Not sure about that

Although they like to bring back old-time heroes of the organization, I don't think that the Giants are too impressed. When Bochy is ready to retire (2 or 3 more years, I'd imagine), I have a feeling that we're getting Matheny (Wotus to get dissed again?).

Zo said...

Williams was a disaster. In part, the fault was with Rizzo, their GM, for signing Papelbon. The Nats demise coincided exactly with that desperation move. The criticism of Williams started well before last year's pulling of Zimmerman in the NLDS, primarily bullpen management and lacking creativity. Williams, during the press conference afterwards, seemed unaware that Papelbon was fighting with (choking) Bryce Harper about 20 feet away from him. Also, the Nats already picked up Williams contract option through next year, and also already (when he was acquired) picked up Papelbon's. Apparently there is an open area for the public to watch the after game press conferences with the manager. Well, there was, until people were booing Williams, audible on the televised conference. Although Matt was a much-beloved Giant, his heart was obviously in Arizona. Let them have him to mismanage their team.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Boch said he wanted Kontos to finish the game--i.e., throw the last pitch--as an "honor" for how well he'd done all year. Good idea, didn't work out. The guys have to execute, the manager can only do so much.

I don't watch MLB hype so I don't hear the Trout worship. Boy, he's sure good.

Some guys are poker players and thus can be managers. Williams was a good guy and fine player but probably over his head in DC. I don't think Boch is retiring any time soon, think about how long Torre managed. And he's still in the game. Matheny leave StL? Why? Maybe if they lose the WS again. Hmmm, firing a guy for winning pennants . . . how Steinbrenner-esque. And we have Wotus, who would be great. I think Bob Melvin over in Oakland might be available down the road. Ol' Billy likes to change his roster a lot. But that's some pointless speculation.

Starting Pitching. Starting Pitching. Starting Pitching. I'd like to see the Giants sign a starter. The rest of the positions are fine, they can make work what they have, mostly. A few odds and ends will be needed, of course. I think they will pick up Aoki's option. Pagan will probably have to move from CF. I hope Gregor Blanco is back to full health. He was having a career year. Maybe they can pursue another CF type. Rajai Davis is a FA, I think. Someone who can bring some glove and speed and platoon w/ Blanco.

Zo said...

Beltran came to the Giants in an odd year in a desperate bid to make the playoffs, got hurt and didn't contribute much. He was the target of much ire.
Leake came to the Giants in an odd year in a desperate bid to make the playoffs, got hurt and didn't contribute much. It seems that everyone wants him on the team.
If someone could kindly explain, I would appreciate it.

We live in an age of celebrity worship. That is why ESPN, as the leader in mindless fawning over stars, is unwatchable. There may not be a choice in some of the playoff games, and that is unfortunate.

Zo said...

Here is on thing the stats suggest, although trying to draw conclusions out of finely cut stats is a fools errand: the 2015 Giants had 32 1/3 fewer innings from starters. That is 4 games, the difference between the 2014 record and the 2015 record. The Giants, however, need to do better than sneaking in as a second wild card team. They need to take the division and let other teams hope no one finishes with a better record. We need to beat the west, especially the fucking Rockies.

Ron said...

I employ my 'broken record' technique: Any Team with the resources of the Giants should not just accept an OF which includes, as a starting position player, Aoki or Marlon Byrd or Rajai Davis or any other Player possessing significantly sub-par tools. If you're going to be a slap-happy ultra-low SLG guy in the OF, you sure as hell better be a '+' defender. Give me a break ... since when are 2-tool Outfielders Plan A? I know that they can't all be 5-toolers, but 3 or 4 tools would be nice. This is the early post-Season ... we need to have BIG expectations, not mediocre ones.

I don't expect Matheny to be fired. I expect Bochy to retire one day, & the Giants to request permission to speak with Matheny. Wotus has seemed obvious to all of us for a long time, but the Giants have passed on him, & other Teams have, too. There must be a reason. Maybe, he's just the World's Best Bench Coach. Not a bad gig on a serial World Series Winning Team!

M.C. O'Connor said...

The Giants HAVE good players. What they need is starting pitching. We can talk about OFs when we get a starter. OF problems are easy. And 5-tool players don't exist except for a few freaks out there who won't be Giants any time soon. So I don't worry about outfielders. Plus the Giants have exceptional infielders. Like I said before, and it'll be my broken record, it ain't worth the risk to spend high on outfielders--it IS worth the risk to spend high on starters.

And if Brandon Belt can play LF then the problem is solved.

M.C. O'Connor said...

And I was one of the few who did not bitch about Beltran. Good move, didn't work out. Lots of moves--most of them--don't work out. You look at the +'s and -'s and take a reasonable chance and hope for the best. It's called "real life." Baseball is played by real men who have variations in performance, just like the rest of us. So much of team success is due to timing and luck, two things sports-writers and talking heads hate. Far easier (and a lustier narrative, to be sure) to ascribe superior virtue and manliness to all winners and pusillanimous conduct to the losers.

I don't buy the Beltran narrative that everyone parrots about him not being a passionate enough player. Christ, he's HoF material. Just because he doesn't jump up and down and grimace and wave his arms doesn't mean he isn't playing hard. Time to leave the schoolyard BS in the damn schoolyard.

On another note, what did everyone think of Jarrett Parker? Does he have a future with the big club? He sure has some Big Stick Skills. Does he have enough of the rest to cut it?

nomisnala said...

The last game was against Colorado. It had to end the way it did. Luckily for us it was not a do or die game for the playoffs. It could have been Nefi Perez up there for Denver in the 9th inning, and he would have hit a home run. The giants next year need to seriously figure out how to beat the bad teams. They cannot go into a Stantonless Miami, and let the only guy who can beat them beat them 3 straight games, a rookie no less, a first baseman, perhaps the only power hitter on the team at that point. Matt Cain needs to look at tapes of the one year older Mr. Greinke, during his 31 year old year. Prior to this year, Cain and Greinke had very similar stats, except for win and loss percentage. Perhaps he should study some tapes of Greinke and see how he does it. Cain for much of his career was almost an ace. Will a rotation of Bumgarner, Cain, Peavy, Leake, and (Heston/Petit) be enough, or do we need someone like Cueto, or someone from our own minor leagues. Would a healthy outfield of Pagan, Pence and Aoki, be enough with Blanco, and Byrd, or do we want someone like Parker to get a chance? What about trades or free agents? I think a healthy giant team could have eked out a division this year, but it seemed the entire team had a giant concussion, sometimes I think bochy included. Next year is away from our odd year jinx, so expect another world series ring in 2016, by hook or by crook. Maybe next year the umpires wont be on a mission to screw the giants.

Ron said...

Note that I did not insist on a 5-tool OF - I said that 3 or 4 tools would be nice. However, my main point is that, especially in Week 1 of our preparations for 2016, our thinking shouldn't be 'well, let's just settle for mediocre', when this Team can afford so much more.

No argument from me on the Belt to LF, Posey to 1B move. Then, though, we will need a Catcher. We have some OK-ish in-house options, but we could also try to bring someone in ... someone who is a good receiver, a good handler of Pitchers, & can hit a bit, too.

Matt Wieters is a FA who is coming off of a couple of down years, so will be a) cheaper than he would have been a couple of years ago; b) itching to re-capture past glory; c) a switch-hitter! Alex Avila is a solid Catcher, although his hitting has gone downhill recently. Others could be available via trade.

Zo said...

I'm not yet sold on Parker. Not yet. Although intrigued. He hasn't shown enough to convince me that he could be as good as he looked for a season. He might make a good 5th outfielder, though (assuming Blanco as #4).

nomisnala said...

Blanco and Parker are both lefties. If we keep Aoki, lefty, Pence righty, Pagan, switch hitter, Byrd righty and Blanco lefty. Parker a lefty. There are some free agents out there. Posey could play more games at first, but I still expect him to catch. Belt should be ok as a left fielder but he needs some playing time. He is tall, has decent speed, and has a good arm.