Sunday, April 17, 2016

Maeda Stifles Giants

3-1 loss in LA
Jeff Samardzija pitched a good game. He made a couple of mistakes and got hurt by them, but mostly he pitched a good game. Unfortunately his opposite number, Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda, pitched a better game. The Giants could not solve the former Hiroshima Carp star and he left after seven with his team leading 3-1. Maeda's final line was four hits, three walks, and seven strikeouts on 98 pitches. He allowed a solo shot to Joe Panik in the 3rd which was the first run he's allowed in his three starts.

The Shark batted for himself in the bottom of the 6th with a man on and bunted into a double play to end the inning. When he came out for the 7th the Giants were down 2-1 but he could not get an out and LA tacked on the extra run. Yasiel Puig got a hit on an 0-2 count and stole second when Brandon Crawford could not get a handle on Buster Posey's throw. Puig later scored on a ball up the middle when Posey could not get a handle on Crawford's throw. Samardzija finished with six hits in six-plus innings, three runs allowed, three walks, and three whiffs. A two-run homer from Joc Pederson in the 5th was the difference-maker. It was a missed location and you could see the frustration from Samardzija who had been making all his pitches before that mistake.

Perhaps in another situation we would have seen Mac Williamson pinch-hit for the pitcher but I imagine Bochy was trying to get all the innings out of his starter he could. The 'pen is a little battered. Josh Osich, however, looked good tonight and that's encouraging. He cleaned up the mess in the 7th and got the first two in the 8th on only nine pitches.

Jake Peavy gets the call at home tomorrow night against the Diamondbacks. Let's hope we get a better result from him this time.




Ron said...

I may be forced to keep a running tally of how many times the Pitcher batting 8th bullcrap hurts us this year. Last night, there were 2 examples; for the Season, we are up to about 7 or 8. The metrics are stupid, because they are based upon such a small sample size (a few partial seasons does not constitute conclusive information, & the conclusion is so marginal that it is meaningless anyway). This is a case of legitimate baseball minds with dozen of years of keen intuition being misled by whiz kids with laptops manipulating statistics to say whatever they want to say. Phooey to the Pitcher batting 8th - I hate it.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I would be astonished if "legitimate baseball minds" were that easily misled. I think you are underestimating how close these pennant races really are, and how narrow the gaps between top teams and bottom are, and how quickly fortunes change from one year to the next. If the Cubs and Maddon use a strategy and they win 97 games then that strategy is at least worth looking at. Managers have to be flexible these days. I think Boch is showing he is tuned in and ready to grow with the times. (That's a good thing.) It may all go away tomorrow, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth exploring. In this era of parity 'keeping up with the Joneses' is the new motto. And it's the "whiz kids with laptops" who have counseled AGAINST the move as the analytics show the uptick in scoring is damn small. But in a low offense era like we are in now teams will try anything to add a few runs.

There really isn't a dichotomy between scouts and nerds any more, they are all part of the picture. Think of the defensive shifts we see all the time now. They aren't going to work forever as hitters will adapt. Then we'll see some new strategies. I think it is exciting--change and evolution are the stuff of life. And I don't think the Giants have hurt themselves with the lineup order. Poor fielding and the starter getting torched are much bigger culprits. Yesterday they could not touch Maeda no matter who was hitting. Buster Posey had one hit on the road trip. So did Duffy. These things matter a lot more.

Ron said...

The Cubs probably would have won 99 games, if they had the Pitcher batting 9th. I will never be convinced of the wisdom of having the Pitcher's spot come up more often & earlier, or of being forced into pinch-hitting for a Pitcher who is pitching well one batter sooner. If you really get off on having double lead-off hitters, the answer is obvious: Pagan, Span, Posey, Pence, Belt, Panik, Crawford, Duffy, Pitcher with Panik & Duffy being interchangeable, depending upon whether a righty or lefty is the opposing Pitcher. Or, you drop Pagan to #8, if he is in a slump, or if Duffy starts hitting like it's 2015.

M.C. O'Connor said...

When it comes to winning baseball games "never" is not in my vocabulary! My attitude is always "whatever works". And I know I'm boring and repetitious, but if Boch says "it's worth a try" I believe him since I know he knows a hell of a lot more than I do. I've no idea if this is a hare-brained scheme or not--I haven't crunched the numbers or talked to the players or watched enough of it myself to decide. But I'm willing to give Boch the benefit of the doubt. He's earned it.