Since the game sucked so badly, let's pile on about something else.Wanna know what else is not pretty? The latest in a series of ugly, uglier, & now ugliest of all Diamondback uniforms. What an atrocious looking abomination. Who came up with those? Yikes.Law for Closer ... now!
Those were regrettably horrid unis, to be sure.
Law, eh? Sack Casilla before the end of the month? Replace him with a guy who has two relief appearances in the bigs? Man, that's a quick hook. Guess he joins Tomlinson on the shit-pile. We are gonna run outta guys at this rate.
Casilla has never been overwhelmingly confidence-inspiring as a Closer - I don't consider this to be a quick hook. He's been the Closer, only because we have had no one better. We used to think that it was Strickland, but it turns out that he is still very unreliable & inconsistent (e.g. last night). Who better to throw into that role than a green rookie (too numb to feel the pressure - we've seen this story before)? Casilla & Tomlinson will still be big contributors to success - Casilla can be the new Strickland, & Strickland can step back a notch. I'm really worried about Heston - we've had the luxury of a Petit in that role for a few years - it's a vital role. We may need to try a call-up for that.
the first blown save by Casilla was on a double play ball muffed by the infield. Giants could not hit in extra's and lost. this one was payback from Casilla as he gave up a two strike homer to blow the lead and again the giants could not hit in extras. Worst AB of the game for me was Blanco with runner on third and one out he swung at a ball in the dirt. I thought 4 called strikeouts against our orange and black, two on high curves and 2 on low outside sliders were painful as those pitches sometimes could be strikes but they were not strikes all game except in key spots against us. The missed catchers interference also hurt, as did the caught stealing in the first of Span. Span to me, does not look as if he is playing a great center field. He looks pretty bad out there. I thought he was going to be a big improvement on the defense. So far he has been a downgrade. No errors but sloppy play by our infield also contributed. We also had a knack of hitting hard shots down the line just foul in key situations. I hope the giants have not gone home run hitting happy. We need Pence and Duffy to start hitting. Pence has not been that bad but not that great either the last few games. Duffy is almost making one pine for Pablo.
Casilla is a fine closer, just made one bad pitch that their guy did not miss ( /tipo'cap ). He doesn't get enough respect...probably because he doesn't get that many K's.The move that I didn't agree with was keeping Strickland in so long. Law was ready ( and God-like ) and I would have used him right away but definitely after it was clear that Hunter's FB wasn't fooling anyone. I guess they didn't want to put him into a big leverage situation that soon.This is a bad spell, fo sure, but it will pass. We have too much talent.
The way I see it, Strickland got BABIPed. It happens and Bochy is loved by most of his players because he don't give up on them as fast as fans do. It's still April, now is not the time to give up on players because of any minor scuffling because nobody has a perfect view of whether it's a decline or just baseball, except for coaches, and even then, sometimes a player needs to battle through it, like Duffy this season, or Bumgarner in prior seasons, struggling to find his form in Aprils past. And Casilla is fine as closer. He has been arguably the worse of the Core Four, but that's OK, the wins he loses are made up for by the more wins that Affeldt, Romo, and Lopez secured by shutting down the high leverage situations in the 6-7-8. And I like Strickland, Law, and Osich firing up things in set-up roles for now. If he continues to have problems come June though, I can see Law or Strickland taking over the role, or even Romo if he's back by then.Nobody mentioned Kontos strained flexor and going on DL. Will be interesting who is next to come up, Okert or Broadway would seem to be the names at the top of the list (Bochy loves having lefties in there), but maybe they decide they want to see what Black can do up here instead, though he hasn't been that great so far, way too wild. Slania is probably the most interesting in the upper minors, Bickford in the lower, in terms of SSS so far, but neither are on 40-man and the Gardeck 60-day spot is probably being saved for an MI reinforcement at some point.And with Heston struggling in relief role, could see Blackburn, Blach, or Stratton called up to take the long relief spot.
Our relief pitching is now averaging 5.00 runs per game. Surprisingly, the Giants are not the worst team in this department. Arizona is worse, as is, in order, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Milwaukee and the leader, with an even 6 runs per game, Colorado. Of course, Cincy, Atlanta and Milwaukee have punted this season. They are "rebuilding" or just shitty, if you prefer. Colorado, of course, plays in Colorado. We are currently leading the league in relief innings, with 51 (ahead of Arizona with 49). We are slightly better than the league average in inherited runners scoring. We allow 30%, the league average is 31% We have converted 50% of save opportunities (3/6). That save % is a pretty small sample size, but the runs per game is concerning. It would have been higher, but, as you'll recall, we left our starter in to tie a MLB record for extra base hits. Much of the Giants success in recent years has been directly attributable to their pen.
ps. I am unclear on whether that % of inherited runners scoring is based on runners inherited from starting pitchers (which I believe to be the case) or runners inherited from any pitcher (like, other relief pitchers). If we only allow 30% of inherited runners to score of those inherited from starters, but allow 5 r/g in relief, then that indicates that the first relievers in tend to do their job, thus far. But I don't know what it means if it is inherited runners inherited from any pitcher.
Watching Casilla is torturous. He takes way too long between pitches, throws too many balls, & walks too many guys. He creates his own jams, then usually finds a way to wriggle out of them. It is very hard to enjoy watching him pitch. I want to see someone efficiently blow people away, or induce first pitch ground balls. Law is currently in the 'efficiently blow people away' mode - I say give him a chance to do it in the 9th inning.
I thought he left Strickland in too long also. He had velocity and almost decent placement, but he did not seem to have great movement on his pitches that the sometimes has. I kept thinking when is Bochy going to take him out? I suspect that if this game were after the all star break, he would have been taken out if we had a rested replacement. Early in the season he will give these guys a chance to get out of trouble. My way to go about it is take each game as an entity, and do what you need to win each game. Perhaps the long view is more successful. I think Dusty and Bochy during the regular season take the long view in how they manage. That makes them players managers. Bochy has been better in the post season. I think Alou on the other hand, managed almost from pitch to pitch. All were effective managers. Only Bochy got us 3 WS wins.
According to Baggarly, Broadway and Okert have been called up and Heston has been sent to AAA.
I remember when we were at the Park and the Giants were behind 5-0 in what seemed like just a few minutes and Ron said "the best time to be behind 5-0 is the bottom of the 1st inning." Well, the best time to be .500 is in the first two weeks of the season!Giants pitching sucks right now but it will get better. We are going to get a whole slew of FNGs to check out straight away!
nomisnala, I agree that Dusty and Bochy are player managers. But I disagree about when Bochy changes that mindset. I think he has a spectrum of how he manages. Early on, it's showing confidence in guys and letting them show what they can do, managing as a player manager. In addition, he doesn't always put players into boxes or doghouse forever, as some do, he will sometimes give players chances to succeed or fail early on, even if that player had failed a lot before. He realizes that it's early in the season, no time for knee jerk reactions, and he doesn't focus on the negatives about what a player does, but appreciates the overall positives that he can provide. He's managing to get through the first half or so of the season, until the stretch run.Around mid-season, that's when he starts to get his ducks in a row, as he heads into the stretch run. Roughly half the season is gone now, should have a pretty good idea of where you stand in the battle for the division title. Also pretty good idea of who is producing. He starts lessening the flexibility and experimentation that characterizes the start of the season, and starts to stick with set roles and lineups. He will bench people (Rowand, Tejada) and starts to manage for the win more often. He will, as I would characterize it, go for the kill more often, in order to get the win.By the playoffs, the transition has reached the other end of the spectrum. He don't care who you are, he will manage to win each game, then worry about the next game. He will bench people (Zito) or demote them (Lincecum), as necessary. He usually goes by merit who gets to be on a playoff roster, with Lincecum in 2014 as the exception, due to his stature and ego, most probably. He will bench people (Sandoval) while starting others (Renteria) who had done much up to then. He will take them out very early (Hudson) and use them in roles they hadn't been used in all season (Lincecum, Bumgarner). And it's all hands on deck to win the series (Phillies, Royals).
What sets Boch apart for me is what you described--going for the kill in playoff or what I like to call "tournament" baseball. He understands that is a different animal and requires "outside the box" thinking.Bobby Cox was famous for being relentlessly positive. Ex-Braves always talked about how supportive the environment was in that dugout. It's a quality I've come to really appreciate. Baseball is failure; keeping the focus on the next game, staying confident, these are great challenges. We as fans have the luxury of grand emotional swings, players and coaches can't afford that.
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