Saturday, May 28, 2016

Buster Blasts Giants Past Rockies

10-5 win in Denver
Buster Posey has not been hitting like Buster Posey so far this season but being Buster Posey you knew it was only a matter of time. Fellow under-performers Joe Panik and Matt Duffy got on base together twice in front of Buster today and he delivered two massive home runs. The first gave the Giants a 3-0 lead in the 1st and the second recaptured that lost lead in the 8th and put the Giants up 7-5; they'd add on, hang on, and win from there. Two homers and six runs batted in is a good way to help the ball club. Way to go, Buster!

Madison Bumgarner worked hard through the first six innings and left with a 4-1 lead. He'd thrown 103 pitches to 25 batters, yielding five hits, two walks, and a run, striking out six. The bottom of the 6th was particularly stressful as he loaded the bases with no outs but managed a strikeout and induced a double-play grounder to slither out of the jam. The Giants bullpen had a meltdown in the 7th and gave up four runs. Out-of-form Javier Lopez walked two--they both scored--and erratic Josh Osich gave up yet another homer. It took five pitchers to get three outs.

But the Giants roared back in the top of the 8th behind Buster's bomb. They tacked on three more after that, a romp which included hit from reliever Cory Gearrin! The six runs made it a five-run lead. Good thing as the team didn't have much left in the way of bullpen arms. Gearrin, who got the last out in that ugly 7th, walked the first batter in the 8th but held the line and turned the ball over to Santiago Casilla for the 9th. A five-run lead is a "save situation" in Colorado. The closer got it done and the Giants won for the fourteenth time in sixteen games.

It was an epic fightback by the batters to bail out the still shaky 'pen, and a thoroughly Coors-ian win. But a win is a win is a win! The Giants 31-win total is second only to the Cubs 33 in all of baseball.

Johnny Cueto tomorrow at 1:10 Pacific.




campanari said...

And the Giants' .608 winning pct is the only one, other than the Cubs', over .600 in MLB. Were we to be able to maintain this rate, we'd end up with 98-99 wins--of course the Cubs at their present rate would win 114, allowing the hoi polloi to utter loud, indignant cries of Unfair when we run Chicago over like a juggernaut on our way to the NL pennant this Fall.

Javier Lopez, who will be 39 in a few weeks, has a FIP over 5 and a WHIP over 1.5 this season. I am guessing it's time, or past time, for him to lope off into the sunset, laden with grateful good wishes and a lifetime's LOOGY earnings. We're probably ready to let Okert replace him, or maybe even someone more versatile, certainly more reliable, than Lopez has become.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I'm not ready to cashier Lopez quite yet. He'll find his groove again. Everyone in the 'pen has hit rough patches. But it wouldn't surprise me if they went after a big-time reliever for the stretch run. Okert is still a rookie. Lots of inexperience overall in the 'pen. Once Romo and Lopez get back to full strength I think things will settle down.

campanari said...

They'd better do something. Baggs notes today that they are 11th of the 15 NL teams in bullpen ERA and in saves. The saves ranking is based on so small a sample as to be statistically negligible, but the bullpen ERA??!! Relief pitching is or was supposed to be a particular strength of ours on the team and in the farm system, and Bochy's management of his pen is supposed to be peerless. Last year the feeble performance of the rotation as a whole led to the pen's being overtaxed, but that doesn't obtain this year, or explain, or excuse.

You may be right, MC, about Lopez. But as a LOOGY he comes in mostly in actual or potential high-leverage situations, so that reliability is crucial. I don't cut a specialist, such as a LOOGY or closer, anywhere near the slack I'm willing to cut for relievers with broader duties.

nomisnala said...

Not ready to give up on Lopez just yet, but it would be nice to have a third decent lefty in the pen. Bochy throws 5 relievers in one inning, and they do so much worse in just getting a couple of outs, than Bumgarner did over 6 innings.

JC Parsons said...

Another great win! Very different from the way we have been getting it done lately, for sure. At the start I gave the TV-Buster a peptalk, told him it was might just be time to put us on his back for a while. Gee, he really listened! Those two homers were kinda effortlessly scary. Each time I watch I'm surprised they clear the fence and I'm reminded that Buster's center away power is remarkable, like a rare beautiful flower. If he can do some damage today and in Atlanta, that will definitely send a scare through the league. Our offense looked like it was falling into a disappointing yuck, but this infusion might change everything. Likewise, Hunter crushed a couple yesterday. We really missed him too. Atlanta seems like a good place to get fat...haven't they won like 2 of 20 home games?

Not sure I want to talk abut the bullpen. We are at a tough place in the season; early still but also enough in to sense weaknesses/strengths. Without all their info we can only use our super small sample sizes and our gut impressions. Both of those are fairly bad tools, but so what? Here goes: I am gravely concerned about Lopez. Last night was the worst thing a reliever can do, ever. But I am not giving up yet. He gets til ASB to fix it. However we need more arms! Kontos looks better and Romo is returning soon so that should help. Gearrin has done well enough, Osich too. But we need more depth. If we could get a closer type that would push Casilla down. Is it time to move Susac and/or Arroyo yet? They are clearly blocked and relatively valuable, so....

I can hardly wait to see the JohnnyC show today. In his 10 starts, we have 9 wins. That makes for easy blogging, my friends. I don't suppose it can last forever but you never know. His command has been impeccable so it will be interesting to see how he deals with it whenever it deserts him. If it ever deserts him.