Tuesday, May 31, 2016

3rd inning: 15-3

4-0 win in Atlanta
Jake Peavy celebrated his 35th birthday with a major heaping of Veteran Savvy Clutchness, throwing seven scoreless innings of one-hit baseball. Not to mention showing even more VSC with a clutch hit and savvy baserunning in the 6th to score the only run that mattered. The Giants eked and squeaked and finally got a breakthrough in the 8th to make a 1-0 contest a no-contest. But the story was Jake Peavy having his best outing (by Game Score) since August 30th, 2014. Sure, it's the Braves. They've only won FIVE games at home this year. But good news and positive developments are always welcome. If the Giants can get adequate 4th/5th starter stuff from Jake Peavy that's a boon for the ballclub. Oh, and Denard Span had another great game.

1st inning: 8-10
2nd inning: 10-8
3rd inning: 15-3
 
Giants go 21-8 in May after a 12-13 April. I do believe the 15-3 seasonal inning is the best since I've started keeping track. I'm too tired to double-check that, but I will, though! We've got journalistic standards to uphold around here. Regardless, it's a ridiculous inning.

Albert Suarez gets his shot to start tomorrow.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Flat Giants Fall to Braves

5-3 loss in Atlanta
The Giants could not solve Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz nor relievers Ian Krol and Hunter Cervenka. Fabulous monikers all, something you might expect on Euro 2016 football jerseys, but they delivered eight innings of 3-hit ball for the home squad. Brandon Belt launched a solo homer--that was it. 100-mph closer Arodys Vizcaino was more the Giants speed--they sent seven to the plate against him in the 9th and eked out two runs to make the final score a little more respectable. 'Arodys' is a seriously cool name. Jeff Samardzija, who sounds like a teammate of the three above, did not bring it today. By GameScore (39) this was the worst of his 11 starts in orange and black. Just about a month ago he gave up five runs in five innings against the Padres. In the 38-1/3 IP over the next five starts The Shark allowed only six runs total.

Braves win their 15th game against 35 losses. That's .300 ball, the worst in baseball.

Jake Peavy tomorrow.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Vlog 13 : Double Vision at Coors

8-3 win at COL

JohnnyC did his usual high quality thing but real news was that the offense went wacky. In a good way.  Is an 8 double game less common than a 4 homer game? Hmmmmm.  This question and many others are not answered in the Vlog below:

Vlog 13 "Double Vision at Coors"

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.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Giants Get Two Runs

5-2 loss
In Colorado. In Nine Innings. Two runs is a three-inning jaunt in the Mile High City. At the very least a four-inning saunter. Two runs is entry-level, baby. The cut-off point. The Mendoza Line, man. Two runs is not acceptable. I don't care if Tyler Chatwood is pitching! I won't have it.

Albert Suarez was heroic in relief of injured Matt Cain. That's right, Cain was removed in the 2nd with an apparent hammy. That's right. I'm on intimate terms with the hamstring, the injury du jour of the clubhouse this season. I've nothing to add to that. We'll see what they say in the morning.

Suarez' Petitesque effort went for naught and the Giants lose for the first time in a while.

MadBum tomorrow.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Giants Go Samardzj-ing On

8-2 win in SF
The Giants win again against the Padres. That's 8-0 so far. Doing a little math, it seems the Giants are 21-19 against the rest of baseball. Hey, I'm not complaining. Good teams need to have some bad teams they can feast on. After tomorrow the two clubs don't meet again until the Giants go to San Diego right after the All-Star Break for three. They then have three in September at home before a four-game set over the penultimate weekend back in Petco. So there's a lot of ball left to be played between these squads.

Jeff Samardzija did his usual stalwart job hosting the Jeff Samardzija Show, with its panoply of cutters, high heat, and some sinkers, but it wasn't as good as the last episode. I'll think it'll be better next time. Overall, the Show looks like a winner. Good ratings. Critics are won over. Solid, prime-time stuff.

And the bats came alive at the end, I like to see that. You have to have some hitting, and they were hitting so well for a while there, and they have such a fun lineup, you really want to see some hits, so I was happy they delivered. But once again the game was decided by the run-prevention side of things, the extra runs were the icing on the cake. I'm not complaining.

Getaway game tomorrow at 12:45 Pacific. Jake Peavy tries to stave off the Heave the Peave Campaign. Wish him luck.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Vlog #12 : Another Typical Win

1-0 win vs. SD

OK, I like pitcher's duels as much as the next guy, but this is getting a little crazy.  Walk-off wins are totally bitchin' though.  Click below for the latest episode of joy!

Vlog 12

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Zerrbi

Wait.  Breathe.  Slow down.  That's zero runs and a run batted in for a 1 - 0 Giants victory.  Madison Bumgarner took the hill in the rubber match against the 29 - 12 Chicago Cuddlies this afternoon.  After Matt Cain's victory yesterday in which he allowed only 1 run in 6, Madison faced off against Kyle Hendricks.  Madison got himself into trouble right away, loading the bases in the 1st inning on a hbp, single and walk after getting the first 2 batters out before striking out Addison Russell.  But into trouble with no damage done.  Maddy then gave up one hit in the 2nd, then proceeded to retire the everyone until that consonant guy singled in the 7th.  In the 8th Maddy walked Anthony Rizzo after inducing 2 outs, 115 pitches in.  Cory Gearrin replaced him to get the final out in the 8th and Santiago Casilla got the save in the 9th.  Ben Zobrist sent one to the center field wall, but it was a long out.

Maddy's line: 7 2/3 innings, 115 pitches, 3 hits, 0 runs, 2 BB, 6 K, 0 runs and 0 runs.  That's 2 runs in his last 3 games (23.1 innings) and 8 earned runs in his last 7 games (50.1 innings).  Hendricks pitched well, holding the Giants to 1 run.

So, yeah, pitching.  But hitting, too.  In the 5th, Gregor Blanco walked.  Madison hit him home with a booming double to the base of the left field wall.  The Giants only had 4 hits, and another 4 walks, but they weren't bunched enough to affect the scoreboard.  Joe Panik had 2 hits, Matt Duffy had 1.

The Giants win the series against the team with the best record in baseball to follow their 7 - 0 road trip.  They are playing like champions.  The game was on ESPN Sunday night baseball.  And speaking of which, that was one of the worst broadcasts that I have ever seen.  ESPN wanted to show anything but the game.  They showed replays instead of plays, kept graphics on too long, and showed their idiotic announcers eating an Ike's sandwich named for Madison Bumgarner, which is totally appropriate, but not available at AT&T park.   And I didn't even listen to the audio.  Remember when this channel was about sports?  God, that was a long time ago.

The Giants are 9 for their last 10 (and 10 for 11).  San Diego comes to town tomorrow, having just played 17 innings against LA.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Giants Bounce Back Behind Cain

8-1 loss &
5-3 win in SF
After a disaster start from Jake Peavy on Friday night Matt Cain delivered not only six solid innings against the Cubs this afternoon but a two-run double as well. Jon Lester had the poorest start of his season so far: he left in the 3rd with his team trailing 5-1. It was the first time this year a Cubs starter has failed to go five innings. Buster Posey's two-run homer was the big blow. The Giants made the lead stand up despite the shaky bullpen. It took five guys to finish the final three innings. But after the thumping on Friday the team needed a big win and they hung on to get it. The pitching matchups were definitely in Chicago's favor: the Cubs have not lost the last 22 times Jake Arrieta has started, and Lester had been on a roll, too, allowing only 11 runs in his previous eight starts. Tomorrow the Giants get the advantage with Madison Bumgarner going up against Kyle Hendricks. It would be great to get a series win against the team with the best record in baseball!

But we are getting ahead of ourselves. It's nice just to savor a clutch win and especially gratifying that Matt Cain was on the hill for it. The Giants have not had much success from the no. 4 and no. 5 spots in the rotation. Things are looking better and better at no. 5 but no. 4 is still a question mark. You have to wonder how long the Giants will stick with Peavy if he can't find any consistency. Hard to say who would step in if that move has to be made. Weird lineup today--Kelby Tomlinson played LF and batted third, Gregor Blanco manned RF and Trevor Brown handled the catching duties. Hey, it worked!

Like I said MadBum goes tomorrow. It's the ESPN game, 5:05 Pacific.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Eight

3-1 win in SD
Jeff Samardzija did his best. Came close to matching his mates with another complete game, one-run performance. Ol' Boch had other ideas and pulled his man after eight with a 3-1 lead and 105 pitches thrown. I suppose he got to use Kelby Tomlinson and Santiago Casilla, both needing the work, but it was hard to swallow The Shark sitting in that situation. I don't normally question the boss but I'd have given him a shot to finish it. You could argue that it was his best start of the season so far, and that he'd yet to finish one, but the inscrutable big-headed one was happy with the three hits, no walks, and eight strikeouts.

As it was Lady Luck smiled upon the subs, Kelby whiffing but getting to first via the catcher mishandling strike three. Casilla, naturally, scared us crapless with his usual antics, blowing guys away amidst guys raking him. It took a snappy grab from Joe Panik (who had four hits) to get the final out.

Giants win their eighth straight with another fine effort by their starter. Clutch dinger from BCraw--again. Padres score one run in each of the three games. With the four wins in Phoenix the Giants come home with a clean road sheet: 7-0.

America's darlings, the first-place Chicago Cubs, come to San Francisco for the weekend. They throw über-ace Jake Arrieta on Friday night and fancy-pants southpaw Jon Lester on Saturday. The Giants counter with VSC-meisters Jake Peavy and Matt Cain. I say the Giants have them just where they want them! (Remember the goofy start times on the weekend to accommodate national TV.)

Way to go, Giants! Keep on rollin'!!

--M.C.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Vlog #11 : Cueto Delivers 7th in a Row

2-1 win in San Diego

Back to back complete games!?!  What do we even need a bullpen for?
Watch the vlog below and let's soak up some more of that JohnnyC love.  Will it ever end?  I sure hope not!

Vlog #11 Cueto Delivers 7th in a Row

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Dealin'

Madison Bumgarner on the hill, and the Giants made it 6 in a row in San Diego.   I don't know how to describe it, but Maddy looked his best this year on the mound.  He was somehow smoother, maybe not his delivery per se, maybe it was his rhythm between pitches that's smoother.  I love watching that long delivery that seems slow and watch batters miss a 91 mph fastball.  Madison threw a complete game and it took him 108 pitches.  A number of those pitchers were to batters who struck out - 11 batters, to be exact, including the last one of the game.  He gave up 1 run, a towering solo home run shot to Matt Kemp as the first batter of the 9th inning.  Only 5 hits, 0 walks and 1 issue with Wil Myers.  That's the Madison we have come to know and love.

Brandon Crawford was the other half of tonight's story.  He had 5 rbi in a 5 - 1 game.  A 3-run blast in the 2nd (after which Madison struck out the side), a sac fly in 6th to score Buster, and a double in the 8th to score Hunter (who had 3 hits and scored twice).

The Giants had a day off, and went to the zoo.    That is now the 6th victory in a row.  Let's rock.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Farewell, Freak

The venerated and celebrated pitching star of the Greatest Era in San Francisco Giants History has a new gig. If you missed it, Tim Lincecum has "agreed to a deal" with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Cataclysmic news, to be sure, mitigated by its inevitability. The math was not good in San Francisco, and perhaps his looming presence had as much to do with the Cain/Peavy recent resurgence as, well, Righetti voodoo, random variation, or country boy cussedness. I'll go with looming presence. The specter of a Tim-signing put a little extra giddy-up in the Matt & Jake pre-game prep. He wasn't going to be a super-reliever, even though we've all seen him do that, and do it brilliantly, and even though most of us probably think that's what he should do, he wanted to start.

And the Angels granted him his wish.

I'm gonna miss you, Tim. You were grand. Never to be forgotten.

--M.C.


p.s. I can only wish the lad well. Except against the Giants, of course. Perhaps he'll whip the Dodgers in one of those Freeway Series, help out his old mates.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Five in a Row

 5-3 win Sat in AZ
& 2-1 win today
The Giants get some payback against the Diamondbacks and even up the season series with a sweet four-game sweep in the desert: 4-2, 3-1, 5-3, and 2-1. That's some Giants baseball right there! Check out the staters' run: MB 6-2/3, 1R; JC 7, 2R, JS 8, 1R; JP 6, 1R; MC 7, 1R. That's right, the team just got 13 IP and 2 R--and two team wins--from the bottom end the ro', the struggling former studs Jake Peavy and Matt Cain. Both pitched well enough to win, which is just what happened. The Giants relied once again on their superb fielding to back the solid pitching. The bullpen is still shaky (get well soon George Kontos), but five wins in a row is tonic enough for that. Since the 17-run disaster against the Rockies ten days ago, Giants pitchers have allowed 25 runs in the ten games since. The team went 7-3, the three losses were 2-0, 3-1, and 4-0. It took two shutouts and an epic hitting funk otherwise the Giants could have done even better! It's particularly satisfying to see both Peavy and Cain get good results. Let's hope they keep it going.

Big hits were also the theme in Arizona. Chase Field is supposed to be a hitter-friendly park and the Giants needed to counter their GIDP-fetish with some long balls. Joe Panik was the Big Stick against Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller both, earning MuscleMan Honors for the series. Way to go, Joe! Hunter Pence got his 200th career bomb off Patrick Corbin in the next game, and Trevor Brown launched one today off Rubby De La Rosa. The GI- portion of GIDP is pretty specific about ground balls, seems like fly balls are the necessary palliative. At least in homer-friendly parks!

Giants have a travel day tomorrow for a three-game set in San Diego. After that they are home for a weekend series with the high-flying Chicago Cubs.

--M.C.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Three in a Row

3-1 win in AZ
The Giants hit into FIVE double plays tonight but it turned out not to matter. After all double plays are a residue of lots of men on base, right? Giants put a lot of guys on and put a lot of balls in play. So what's a few dozen double plays? As long as someone in a double play spot cranks the occasional three-run homer it's all good! Assuming of course the pitchers hold the line and tonight Jeff Samardzija delivered his third straight strong start to lead the way. Final line 8 IP, 8 H, 1 R, ZERO WALKS, 3 K. That's Game Scores of 79. 63, and 65 for The Shark's last three outings, 23-2/3 and only four runs allowed.

Joe Panik was our three-run homer hero--I must say I like it when the Giants hit homers. Seems like they win when they do that. And when they pitch well, and a big part of pitching well is the team making the plays behind the pitcher. The Giants are playing much better baseball in the field and it is paying off, snuffing rallies and saving runs. Matt Duffy, in particular, flashed the leather tonight. There's a synergy, we all know it and feel it, when the pitchers and fielders are in sync, the one boosting the others game, and we got to see that in these last two wins. That's the formula, right? Though I have to say a few more runs to pad the lead a bit would be nice. Those nail-biters in the desert give me the heebee-geebees. They give me the creeps in Colorado, for that matter, and LA too, now that you mention it. Are a few 7-1 thumpings too much to ask?

Jake Lamb led off the 9th for the Diamondbacks and Boch called on Josh Osich to get him, and he did, thanks to a great play by Duffy. Then Santiago Casilla was summoned for the last two outs, and he responded with two strikeouts. Lamb was the man coming to bat last night when Boch pulled Casilla and used Javier Lopez instead, leading to a testy tête à tête. Seems all's patched up.

Goofy time tomorrow--5:10 Pacific.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Vlog #10 : Cueto in Command

4-2 win

He did it again. Right when we needed it.  Begs the question, who's the best free agent acquisition?
Watch below to find out. (Spoiler: It is NOT Greinke.)

Vlog #10 : Cueto in Command



2nd inning: 10-8

Following their lackluster opening inning of 8-10, the Giants stepped up their game and rolled out a rather, well, lackluster 10-8 inning. After 2/9 of the season the orange-and-black are a .500 club. Fortunately all the teams in the West are playing below par and the 18-18 record puts them in a virtual tie for first place with the 17-17 Los Angeles Dodgers. It was an ugly weekend for baseball in San Francisco. The team couldn't hit, score, run, field, or pitch in relief. That felt like a really big win yesterday, as ugly as it was.

In the big scheme of things, the Giants 167 runs scored puts them at fifth-best in the NL and sixth-best overall, which is just fine.This is despite the fact that Buster Posey, Joe Panik, Matt Duffy, and Denard Span are all under-performing. Interesting that only the Boston Red Sox at the top spot are from the AL. The other five high-scoring teams (Cubs, Cardinals, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Giants) are all from the NL.

As far as the flip side goes, runs allowed, the Giants stink. Their 171 runs are 11th out of the 15 NL teams and 24th of the 30 MLB teams. The Giants average 4.75 runs allowed per game! Like I said, that stinks. This is despite the fact that Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, and Jeff Samardzija are all pitching well. Interesting that the top three spots for fewest runs allowed (Cubs, Mets, Nationals) are NL teams, while the next six (Indians, Orioles, Mariners, White Sox, Rays, Blue Jays) are all from the AL. They are having some fun in Chicago as the two teams have the best records (Cubs 25-8, Sox 23-12) in baseball.

It's a team game. You have to catch the ball, throw the ball to the right guy, and not make outs on the bases. The Giants are usually really good at those things, it seems like they haven't been so good this season. I expect that to improve. Bullpen roles have been a little fluid, it's taking some time to sort out who's who and what's what. But it looks like they have good enough arms although it would be nice to get George Kontos and Sergio Romo back. The continuing Jake Peavy-Matt Cain saga at the bottom end of the ro' obviously needs a rewrite. That would certainly pick up the win pace. Boch is standing behind his guys--what else can he do?--so I expect I will, too!

Time to win some games against Arizona. GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Hit By Pitch, a Bobble, a Wild Pitch, an IBB, a Walk - We'll Take It!

Ai, yi, yi, yi, yi.

What the Giants have to go through to get a win.

Another 13 inning game.  A win, not really of the Giants making.  Beats hell out of another loss, though.  On to Azirona!

Madison Bumgarner on the hill.  6 2/3 innings, 3 hits, only 1 run, 4 walks, 5 K in 116 pitches.  Madison does not quite have the pinpoint control that we are used to from years past - he would frequently go 8 with only 1 BB.  Not that the ump was very helpful in this regard, a small and not particularly consistent strike zone was not helpful to either pitcher.  The Giants took a 4 - 1 lead into the 8th and I was thinking, "See, see what you can do when you score a couple......" but then, Cory Gearrin allowed 2 to put the Giants in need of a save by Santiago Casilla.  They didn't get it.   Giants had their chances.  They put runners on every extra inning, but could not push one across.  I guess that should not have come as a surprise, the Giants were 2 for 16 with RISP in this game and 4 for 33 (I think) in the series.   Buster, who hasn't had a hit in days, got the gwrbi for not striking out.  Bloogies get a day off, the Giants don't until next Monday.  Giants used 8 pitchers and Albert Suarez got a win.  4 games in Az, where the Giants have been able to hit in the past.  Time to act like we have some cajones in this division.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Cain will not quit,

the Cain will not die. [Joe Kapp: mea culpa]
 
. . . and the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who came upon him should kill him. [Genesis 4:15]

Matt Cain pitched like Matt Cain. For the first time in a long time. The Giants lost the game. That has an oh-so-familiar ring. But Matt Cain. They have tried to kill off Matt Cain. But they have not. Matt Cain lives. There is a mark upon him. He cannot be killed. Matt Cain. Matt Cain!

--M.C.


4-0 loss in SF
 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Rockies Rookie Stymies Giants

2-0 loss in SF
Two games in a row the Giants have been shut down by a Colorado rookie hurler. Two games in a row the Giants starters have been excellent. You could almost say the Giants were lucky to get a split. The Rockies got to Samardzija right away with a couple of hard-hit balls, then tacked on with an array of soft stuff to lead 2-0 after three. Those were the only blemishes on an otherwise fine effort. I was happy to see that The Shark followed a good start with a good start. He'd been on a bit of an off-on-off-on pattern, it seemed to me, but today he was solid, whiffing nine with eight hits and one walk over 7-2/3. Most days he gets himself a pitcher-win with that kind of performance, today he gets the pitcher-loss. But I think you have to blame the hitters for failing to get anything going. Not to mention some poor base running, which ruined potential rallies. We'll call that getting "Smarjzed" or something. Rhymes with "charged".

The Rockies have a new team strategy, it's called 'Nolan Arenado-vs.-SF' and it seems to be working. To be fair, they played well as a team. The Giants looked a bit like they'd been out-scouted. The boys will be in Colorado at the end of the month and the Rockies are back in San Francisco in July just before the Break. So they get a couple more shots at these pesky purple-clads. I expect it will be more of the same: close, hard-fought games. They seem to have a particular spark against our lads.

The Toronto Blue Jays come to town for three games, Monday and Tuesday night with a getaway game on Wednesday afternoon.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Vlog #9 : A Nice LONG Visit

I went to SacTown for Mother's Day and had the distinct pleasure of watching the game with my Bro and Sister.  It was a long visit that ended well.

Vlog #9

Is the "Hook Shot" the coolest play you have just about ever seen?

Friday, May 6, 2016

Madbum Grits Teeth, Giants Get Win

It looked ugly in the 2nd inning - like Coors Field ugly, like last night's ugly.  The Giants bumbled their way to giving the Roxies 4 runs.  A double, a single, a couple of errors by Joe Panik (only one of them was charged), a sac fly, and what do you know - the Giants are looking like crap again.  I will say that I have come to believe that Colorado is a much better team than the preseason hype would have led you to think.  It is always a question as to how their pitching can hold up, but their defense is good, and their hitting is superb.  They were pretty much universally picked to finish last in the division, but have showed no inclination to do so thus far.  They won the season against the Giants last year and were looking like they fully intended to do so again this year.  But Madbum was having none of it.  He got LeMaheiu to line out, then struck out Trevor Story to get us out of that mess.  In the bottom of the 2nd, Belt walked, Pence singled and then Brandon Crawford homered to make it 4 - 3 Rockies.  You had to have some hope at this point - and Madbum delivered.

Madison picked away at the Rockies for 7 1/3 innings, striking out 10 in 108 pitches, giving up 7 hits and leaving them with those 4 runs (3 credited to his era).  Cory Gearrin took over at Bochy's insistence, finished the frame and Santiago Casilla struck out 2 in his save.   Much needed.  We cannot be in contention at the end of the season by losing to the Rockies.  It has a peculiar kind of adverse impact that another club just might not have.  This is the team that couldn't be bothered to beat Atlanta ONCE all season, and the Giants with 103 wins were denied a playoff spot, and no, I have not forgiven them for it.  We need to beat them in our park.

Ugh

17-7 loss in SF
When I was hoping this Giants team would make history this season the 12- and 13-run innings were not what I had in mind. The Rockies had their highest-scoring inning ever last night; you may recall the Mets had their highest-scoring inning ever just short of a week ago. That's 25 runs in two frames which is about 1/6 of the team total in runs allowed (153) for the year so far. Matt Cain was the starter last night, Jake Peavy was the starter in New York. Both guys are pitching about as poorly as it is possible to pitch. Matty's line is 44 hits (including 6 HR) in 31 innings with 29 runs scored. There's no way to make that pretty. He's had one good start--his first--in six chances. Peavy's line is scarily similar, 47 hits (including 6 HR) in 29 innings with 29 runs scored. He's had one good start in six chances.

"We're standing behind these guys," Bochy said of Cain and the struggling Jake Peavy. "These are guys who are capable of getting back on track. They have been around. They have the experience."

Well, god bless him, that's why I love Bochy. Mr. Positive. I don't know how long the team can afford to have two starters that are among the worst in all of baseball. If you sort by FIP you might be surprised to see that there are A LOT of guys worse--Shelby Miller, Jorge de la Rosa, Jon Niese, Doug Fister, Colby Lewis, just to name a few. Peavy is still striking guys out and Cain has kept his walks down, I imagine those help a bit. Cain is rated at -0.1 fWAR while Peavy is 0.0, the worst is the aforementioned Miller at -0.5, the best being of course Kershaw at 1.9. Sorting by xFIP Cain's 4.98 puts him at 14th-worst (of all 142 pitchers with min. 20 IP) and Peavy's 4.74 makes him 27th-worst.

So it there light at the end of the tunnel? I can hear the distant clamor of "Timmy, Timmy, Timmy" growing slowly as we get closer and closer to the much-hyped showcase (supposedly today). Alas, I don't think the Giants are making any moves soon. They're our guys and we are sticking with them!

MadBum tonight. GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Shark Bites

3-1 win in Cincy
Kelby Tomlinson, pressed in to service for the ailing Joe Panik, delivered two infield hits, one of them driving in the go-ahead run in the 8th, and played flawlessly in the field behind Jeff Samardzija. Gregor Blanco, filling in for the ailing Angel Pagan, had a clutch RBI hit right after Tomlinson to give the Giants a two-run edge. That was enough. The team had ten hits total, and five walks, but was 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position. The game was closer than it ought to have been. Lefty John Lamb kept throwing his goofy slowballs and they seemed to work as the Giants could not capitalize on their many opportunities. The first run scored in the 1st and was a Buster Posey-Hunter Pence double duet. Buster would hit two more two-baggers; looks like he's finding his stroke. Baserunning blunders from Denard Span and Brandon Belt derailed rallies as well, and when former Giants prospect Adam Duvall hit a solo shot in the 5th it was a nail-biter all the way.

But the night belonged to starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija who was up to the challenge and mowed down the Reds over eight strong. He's an up-and-down character: his Game Scores for his six starts are 43, 65, 48, 68, 44, and 79. But tonight he was in command the whole way using his big heat to pop 96 mph on the gun and a gnarly 92-93 cutter that bedeviled lefties and righties alike. He even got some sinkerball action going and the Reds made 11 ground ball outs. The Giants flashed their usual stellar leather, but even so Samardzija was getting a lot of weak contact. His final line was 3 hits, 2 walks, with 9 strikeouts (115 pitches, 29 TBF). Home plate umpire Chad Fairchild liked what he saw from The Shark as there were 26 called strikes. Santiago Casilla finished up for the third straight game.

Tomorrow morning (9:35 Pacific) is the getaway game and then Giants will come home to face the Rockies for four starting on Thursday. Jake Peavy takes the hill in Cincy--let's hope he can pitch a little better than last time.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Vlog #8 : The Brandons Rip the Reds

9-6 win

Is JohnnyC's one flaw the big inning?  We all saw 5 in one frame. Tonight it was 6...  Oh well, all is forgiven when the offense dismantles a shaky bullpen.  Click below for the lovely details:

Vlog #8

Sunday, May 1, 2016

An Ace Steps Up

The San Francisco Giants shook off their 2 losses in New York, the first horrible, the second merely a defeat, and won the finale today by the impressive score of 6 - 1 behind Madison Bumgarner.  Noah Syndergaard, for the Mets, throws hella hard.  His sliders average 92 mph.  The Giants managed 8 hits though, led by Hunter Pence with a 4th inning 2-run homer and a 6th inning single that scored Matt Duffy.   Brandon Belt and Angel Pagan picked up rbi, and Buster Posey added an 8-inning solo home run for the 6th run.  Angel's rbi hurt, though, as he seems to have a slight left hammie strain.  Joe Panik was out with a slight groin strain.

The Giants needed an ace, and Madison was it.  He stepped up with a great game against Syndergaard, the ace of a very strong Mets' pitching staff.  Madison had control of his fastball, which seemed to be the root of his early season problems.  He gave us 112 pitches and 6 innings, struck out 7, walked 3 and allowed 6 hits.  Those hits were spread out well enough so that he held the Mets scoreless.  Derek Law followed him in the 7th, gave up the Mets's sole run in 2 hits and got 0 outs.  Javier Lopez had one of his classic 1 pitch, 1 out appearances, followed by Cory Gearrin (1 inning), Josh Osich (2/3 inning) and Santiago Casilla (1 inning).  Madison's era is falling, now at 3.03.

The Giants are now a .500 team.  That puts them in 1st place, at least temporarily.  The Giants have played 26 games.  Here is how it has gone, series by series:
Won 2/3 a
Won 3/4 h
Lost 2/3 a
Lost 2/3 a
Got Swept 4/4 h
Won 2/3 h
Swept 3/3 h
Lost 2/3 a
So, 5 for 7, then 2 for 10, then 5 for 6 before this Mets series.  Pitching needs to improve.  Matt, Jake and relief.  Also, Vin Mazzaro is now in the Giants' pen, Mike Broadway has been sent down.