Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Peavy Looks Great, Giants Win Late

4-3 win (10) in SF
Josh Osich gave up a two-run homer in the 8th to turn a 3-1 lead into a 3-3 tie but the Giants hung on to win in the 10th and get their thirtieth win. As BroB writes below, Sergio Romo is rehabbing nicely. Perhaps we can say the same about Jake Peavy. "Rehabbing nicely", that is. On his way to cromulence! And all hail Brandon Crawford's clutchness.

Travel day tomorrow. Matt Cain in Colorado Friday.




obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

And imagine what might happen if the offense started hitting like we know it can! Go Giants!

M.C. O'Connor said...

They never really had all cylinders firing last season. This year I think they will get a real chance to do that.

Zo said...

Kontos looked good.

Jon Parsons said...

This winning streak is totally thrilling to me. Not just the wins, which is what it is all about, but rather HOW we are doing it. Pitching, Pitching, Pitching!!! Just enough offense, barely, is all we need. The key to our success (especially in the postseason!) is now, and always has been, PITCHING, PITCHING, PITCHING. I know MOC will respond with his "balance is the key" reaction but I still don't really buy that. We have shown pretty consistently that PREVENTING runs with great pitching and super defense is what makes us champions. Having said that, I still expect this team to hit better and end up with some pretty good balance, but if that doesn't happen, I think we can still be there at the end. That is how good our pitching looks.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I go back to the BEST pitching team the San Francisco Giants EVER fielded: 2009. They couldn't hit for shit! All they needed was to be close to league-average, but they were well below that. Their chief opponent was LA: that team had great pitching, too. But they also hit well and thus performed better over the long haul. I can't think of too many teams in the last 20 years that had dominant pitching without AT LEAST near league-average hitting that won the Series. If there are some, tell me. The other good team in the league right now is Chicago--they have great pitching AND great hitting. They look like a real contender. As long as the Giants can score runs at a league-average rate, I'm happy. I think this lineup will be much better than that, however.

The starters have been sensational. It was great to see five strong starts in a row. The shaky 'pen almost gave it away yesterday but I expect we'll see improvement there, too.

I think the word I want is "complementary". The fielding excellence takes the pressure off the pitchers to be perfect, and they will pitch with more confidence. They will also not worry about a few runs here and there because they know the hitters will get them back. When the pitching staff has to "do it all" they get worn down by the end of the season. Certainly pitching is the most important component of winning, but the rest of the guys have to do their part, too. 1-0 wins are certainly impressive but actually pretty rare. The 4-3 variety is a lot more likely. There will be stretches where the starters won't be as lights-out as they are now, so the offense will have to step up.

nomisnala said...

The hitting will get better, but the fielding will not always be as sharp. Span is no Willie Mays out their on defense in center. We have a 3 headed monster so far in our 1,2, and 3, starters. Posey has been less than admirable so far with runners in scoring position. I hope his two hits this week in those situations will help get him out of that slump. Hopefully when the pitching fails a bit, the hitting will kick into high gear and help us win. The one thru 3 starters are 20-5, the 4 and 5 starters are 2-10.

JC Parsons said...

I don't think I agree: the defense is for real and should stay a big part of our success. I'm especially surprised by comments about Span's weakness. I had been waiting to see if he was as good as advertised and it seemed like this last week finally proved it. Those two catches were quite impressive, maybe not graceful, but big plays. I remember a couple other times when he covered impressive amounts of space. And on the other hand, the offense may very well be league average , or a little worse. The key for the offense is Buster, if he continues what looks like a very average offensive season, it will be hard for us to be considered very potent. Likewise, if Duffy and Panik have not very surprising sophomore-ish slumps ( and we keep them in the two and three spots! ), our ability to score runs in bunches will be kinda weak. Which is exactly what is happening right now during this lovely winning streak. So go figure.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Span is solid overall, but not spectacular at any one thing, a very Giants-y kind of guy. Those catches were great, but I don't expect the other-worldly from him. Good range, solid glove, steady OBP at leadoff, some speed on the bases, I'm happy. I'd like to see more extra-base hits, but I always want that.

Duffy had a ridiculous .336 BABIP last year, this year it is .277, that tells me he's having some bad luck and that defenses are more hip to where he hits the ball. If he has a health issue affecting his ability to hit the ball hard, then that's a concern, but if not I think it is just a matter of time for him. He'll adjust, just like the league adjusted to him after his big year last season. ( FanGraphs has some observations on Duffy.)

Panik (330/.257) has a similar spread. Again, I don't think there is anything wrong with their games. The pitchers know these guys better and don't make the same mistakes to them. I have faith that they are talented enough to make the needed adjustments. And there is no reason to think Posey will stop being Posey (other than an injury). There are very few things in life I have absolute faith in, but one is Buster's ability to hit!

We are not even 1/3 of the way through the season. I don't think we've seen what this team can do. This has been an incredible stretch from the starters, esp. The Big Three, and they've carried the club through the hitting slump. It's not going to be like this all year--the Giants will have to play other teams besides San Diego!

But I'm happy. They are winning!

M.C. O'Connor said...

I've been thinking more and more about this "pitching wins" notion and can't really argue with it, obviously, but I also can't separate it from defense. Giants fielders really do make a huge difference, esp. in close games. How many times have we seen BCraw save runs, or infield shifts that turn liners into outs?

And I know that offense is not AS important, but it is not insignificant, either. That's really my point: "not insignificant." The 2011 Giants had killer pitching but no hitting at all. They were a winning team but I think we'd all call that season a disappointment. If they'd had Buster Posey . . .

If that team had made the playoffs, I'll bet they'd have done OK w/o the offense, as playoff games tend to be low-scoring and pitching-dominated. But they did not have enough to make the playoffs. I think that's really the crux of it for me. Over 162 games it takes a whole village to win.

I don't think, JC, that we disagree. I really don't. Pitching+Defense is the first priority of any team. I'm thinking that "P+D" is really the proper term, though, much like "space-time". Those two things can't be separated. And I think it is especially true for guys like Samardzija and Cueto who rely a lot on weak contact and ground balls. When Tim was at his dominant best, like when MadBum is really smoking, an NCAA team could probably play the field behind them and those two guys would still shut down opponents. But those kinds of pitchers are truly few and far between.

I'm also interested in second-half, post-ASB effects. Seems to me most pitchers (again, the super-aces may be exceptions) experience an uptick in RA in August and September. Whether it is fatigue, or the warm weather increasing the speed and distance of batted balls, or just that old canard "regression to the mean" I don't know. Right now, with 10 starts, the Big Three are 7-1 (JC), 7-2 (JS) and 6-2 (MB). After 30 starts do we expect them to be 21-3, 21-6, and 18-6? (Maybe!). But it sure seems like that last 1/3 of the season it is much tougher to keep up the pace. That's why I want the team to have good hitting, so they can 'pick up the slack' in the 'dog days.'

Jon Parsons said...

I told you I would get MOC all fired up! And, yes, of course we are almost entirely in agreement (but what fun is that?) I completely agree that defense is impossible to separate out; lucky for us we have a kick ass defense. I think the biggest advantage that a P+D emphasis team has is in a meaningful short series, i.e. the post season. Those games all seem to be 1-0,2-1. Since we are all about winning the big prize it makes sense that we are constructed in this way.

I love the W-L projections. They are wonderfully high but not unbelievable. Is this a year where we will have a 20 game winner? Not crucial, obviously, but hella cool.

Hope the post ASB isn't too bad. I do think that Cueto is regularly hot in April/May, so I fear a bit of a let down. Hell, they are so good now, there pretty much has to be some regression, right?

God, I hate baseball in Denver. You never know if a pitcher really sucks or is just the altitude.

M.C. O'Connor said...

God yes, Denver sucks!

Brother Bob said...

I love it that Matt Cain is so very relevant once again. Tonight's game (just underway as I type) will be a serious test. If he can hold his shit together for a while his comeback will be legit. Ready for some schpilkas? That would do it.