Friday, April 20, 2018

MacSmackdown

SF 8 LAA 1
The Giants called up the surging Mac Williamson and he did what they were hoping he would do: he hit a two-run homer to kick-start a moribund offense and the Giants walloped the Angels. Andrew Mac-Cutchen also delivered a home run, this one driving in three, and the Giants converted a six-run outburst in the 5th into an 8-1 victory. Jeff Samardzija had his first start of the season after a DL stint and looked good. He allowed only two hits and mostly had good command. In the bottom of the 5th he loaded the bases with three walks but sandwiched enough outs in between to walk off with a clean slate. 21 batters, 80 pitches, 63 Game Score. Reyes Moronta had another strong outing with six up and six down. Pierce Johnson (8th) and Josh Osich (9th) finished up, a Mike Trout homer in the 8th was the only blemish. A big win against a hot club.

Derek Holland tomorrow. Go Giants!

--M.C.

1st inning: 7-11

The story so far.
The Giants have scored 51 runs, or 2.83 per game, dead last in all of baseball. The Giants have allowed 68 runs, or 3.78 per game, tied for seventh (third in the NL). I think we can see the problem. It is not an encouraging start, but with 8/9 of the season left it is nowhere near time for despair. If the arms can hold on until the band gets back together I have to believe the lineup will start producing.

--M.C.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Blach - Blah - Bah!

For a team that puts more effort into their myriad of uniform color schemes than they do into their baseball, Arizona certainly has had their way with us so far.

That's a grand total of 2 wins for the Giants of 7 meetings between the teams so far this year.  Ty Blach on the mound, he pitched well enough to win.  Not well enough for the Giants to win, but for another team.  He allowed 2 runs in 6 innings, threw 92 pitches, gave up 3 walks and 6 hits.  That seems pretty typical of what we can expect from Ty - he can keep us close and generate a lot of ground balls by which to get outs.  He struck out 4 tonight, he only has struck out 13 in 5 starts.  Tonight's score in yet another losing effort was 3 - 1.  Moronta gave up a run - his first on the year.  Brandon Belt hit a solo home run.

This was the Giants' 18th game - 1 inning as it were.  I'm sure Mark has some thoughts to post about that.   Some brief thoughts of mine:  This was the 10th time that the Giants have not been able to score more than 1 run.  10.  Of only 18 games.  Is this team even capable of playing .400 ball?  I am finding it very difficult to watch Giants baseball.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

GIANTS WIN!

SF 4 AZ 3 (10)
I was OK with leaving Chris Stratton in to pitch the 8th, it was the bottom of the lineup after all, and it's not like the Giants bullpen was necessarily a better bet. It didn't work out--he gave up two booming hits and a run. And then it did--Tony Watson miraculously got out of the inning with a 2-1 lead. And then it didn't--Hunter Strickland blew the save in the 9th. And then it did--Brandon Belt launched a two-run blast in the 10th to make it 4-2 Giants. It was Belt's 100th career homer. Cory Gearrin tried to blow the save in the bottom of the inning, but held on for a 4-3 win. Evan Longoria was the other half of the Giants offense, he hit a two-run homer in the 6th.

I'm happy that Stratton has looked very strong in his last two outings: 14 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 3 W, 12 K. Tonight was only his fourteenth ML start--he's yet to top 100 IP for his career. We are just starting to see what the former 1st-rounder is capable of, at age 27 (28 in August) he seems to be putting his game together. That bodes well for this season and beyond, I think.

Ty Blach matches up with Zack Greinke tomorrow. Go Giants!

--M.C.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

2:05

AZ 1 SF 0
The Giants got a hit on a check swing and didn't get one on a screaming liner. Brandon Belt took advantage of the shift and half-poked a single to the absent third baseman in the 8th for the Giants only hit against Patrick Corbin. Buster Posey roped one to center in the 7th that had hit written all over it and only a lunging, spectacular play by A.J. Pollock made it into an out. It was that kind of game. Johnny Cueto was brilliant, fanning eleven over seven innings, but it was all for naught as that's all the Giants could get off Corbin--naught. It was the Arizona lefty's first career shutout.

Tony Watson gave up a run in relief of Cueto. He's pitched well so far this season. It was a grounder up the middle by a lefty (David Peralta) with two outs. That's exactly the kind of hit that has eluded the Giants, not that they had any chance of a RISP tonight. At least it was a quick death.

--M.C.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Tyler Beede, RHP

Bobby Bonds got tagged as "the next Willie Mays" when he broke in with the Giants. Now Bonds was a terrific player, one we were privileged to watch, and he had a great career. But comparing a rookie, any rookie, to one of the very best players in the history of the game is a comically limiting view. Bonds was Bonds. Not Mays. And to appreciate him was to appreciate his Bonds-ness and not his Mays-like-ness.

Which brings me to Tyler Beede. Tyler Beede was a first-round draft pick (2014). Expectations are higher for fellows with that sort of pedigree. After four seasons and 70 starts in the minors we expect our number one guy to be ready. We've been spoiled by Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, and Madison Bumgarner. We think all number one picks are like that. We forget about David Aardsma, Craig Whitaker, and Tim Alderson. And Zack Wheeler, Kyle Crick, and Phil Bickford have all been traded. Fellow first-round pick (2012) Chris Stratton is almost three years older and finally (we think) finding his groove. And he'll get there by being the Chris Stratton-est Chris Stratton that he can be, not some ersatz version of Matty, Timmy, or MadBum.

So Tyler Beede needs to become Tyler Beede, whoever that is. And we need to watch and appreciate his Tyler Beede-ness. What that will turn out to be is anybody's guess. Today was a little disappointing but it's only one day. There will be, we hope, many more.

Johnny Cueto is pencilled in to start Tuesday in Arizona. Hallelujah!

--M.C.


p.s. boxscore for today's debacle

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Collapse

SD 5 SF 4
Derek Holland started the 5th with a 4-2 lead on the strength of homers from Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen. He unfortunately could not get through the inning, allowing another run, and had to be relieved with two outs and the bases loaded. Reyes Moronta got the final out as well as the first two in the 6th but it took both Josh Osich and Cory Gearrin to get the third out. In the 7th Joe Panik tripled with one out and the Giants had a great chance to pad their tenuous one-run lead. McCutchen, up next, smoked a liner to right that was caught. Panik, tagging up, was thrown out at home on a relay. It was a disaster. Getting thrown out at home is always a disaster, but this was a particularly egregious disaster. Sure enough Gearrin gave up a single and a homer to the first two batters in the bottom of the 7th and it was 5-4 Padres just-like-that. Another discouraging loss--a collapse, really. I thought the team would put on a much better show in San Diego.

Rookie Tyler Beede gets the ball tomorrow afternoon. Go Giants!

--M.C.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Stumbling Along

Ty Blach on the mound for his 4th start in this season of 13 games thus far.  Ty has been good, poor, good again, and less than good tonight.

Ty gave us 5 IP, he pitched in the 6th, but was done for and removed for Pierce Johnson.  Through 4, Ty did not allow a man to reach base.   In the 5th, a hit, a fielder's choice, and another single put men at first and second.  A possible double play ball was erred upon by Brandon Belt, leaving bases loaded.  Then came a single, a fielders choice at home to prevent a 2nd run, and another single to score a 2nd run before the inning ended.  None of those balls were hit particularly hard, but after a fairly quick top of the 6th, that changed.  Two doubles and a single put the Padres up 4 - 0 before the Giants transferred mound duties to Johnson who retired the next three batters. 

The Giants scored (Panik rbi, Blanco scoring) in the 7th.  To get that, Padre shortstop Freddy Galvis had to blow a double play ball from Sandoval to put Gregor on second.  The Pads tacked on a solo shot off of Dyson to make the final a loss for the Giants 5 - 1

So in 4 starts, Ty has given up 10 earned runs in 20.1 innings.  He has given up 24 hits and walked 9.  That suggests that the 10 earned runs (11 total) could have been worse.  That masks 2 excellent games, though, both against Kershaw.

The Giants actually had 10 hits tonight, more than the Padres.  Every one of those hits was by a left handed batter.  Who the fuck is Tyson Ross?  I had to look it up - he was an A, a Pad previously, and a Texas Ranger last year.  But really, making mid-level pitchers look like Cy Young is getting old.

Here's the thing.  The Giants have played 13 games.  In 7 of those games, they have scored 1 or 0 runs.  I would say that they are lucky to be 1 game under .500.   We have faced some tough pitchers, but you know what?  The NL West is full of tough pitchers and we are going to face them all season long.  Figure out how to get some runs on the board.  Now.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Back to .500

SF 7 SD 0
Giants bounce back from their 3-4 homestand with a big win in San Diego. Chris Stratton held the Padres to only one hit in his seven innings of work. Except for a 32-pitch, two-walk 5th he was in command the whole way. The lineup jumped on Padres starter Bryan Mitchell immediately, scoring three in the 1st, and then added four more off Colten Brewer in the 6th. When Mitchell was pulled in the 3rd Andy Green called on Clayton Richard to pinch-hit. His single was the one Padres hit!

That's the third team shutout. The first was Blach/Osich/Gearrin/Watson/Strickland. The second was Cueto/Watson/Strickland. This one was Stratton/Law. Derek Law was just recalled today as Andrew Suarez (who showed some moxie in his debut) was sent back down.

Ty Blach tomorrow. Go Giants!

--M.C.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Snakebit Giants Still Prevail!

SF 5 AZ 4
The Giants didn't need more bad news but they got some anyway--starter Johnny Cueto hits the DL with an ankle injury. Rookie Tyler Beede made his ML debut a night earlier than he expected to and had a rough time of it. He gave up two quick runs in the 1st and labored (20 batters, 82 pitches, 5 walks) through four. Reyes Moronta added two scoreless. Down 2-0 in the 6th the Giants rallied against Patrick Corbin who had been overpowering to that point. Up 3-2 a two-out hit by Brandon Crawford sent Andrew McCutchen home with what looked like run number four. The safe call, alas, was overturned by replay and some of the happy buzz from the rally was killed a bit. The Diamondbacks tied it up immediately against Josh Osich but fine relief work from Cory Gearrin and Tony Watson kept it knotted 3-3 into the 8th. In the bottom half, a walk to McCutchen and a single by Buster Posey put men on first and second for Evan Longoria with one out. He struck out, but with the runners going, Alex Avila chucked it into centerfield and Cutch came around to score to make it 4-3. The old double-steal/catcher-error play! Hunter Strickland got the first two outs in the 9th but gave up a bomb to--who else?--Paul Goldschmidt and the game was tied, again.

That crushing blow merely served to set up the winning rally in the bottom of the 9th. A walk to Kelby Tomlinson, a sacrifice bunt by Gorkys Hernandez, a walk to Austin Jackson, and a walk to Brandon Belt loaded the bases for Cutch. He delivered the game-winner on the first pitch and the Giants had a dramatic, hard-fought, much-needed victory.

On the radio Flemm said at the end of the game "in the NL West this year there will be a lot of games like this." I think he's right. This Giants team has a chance to be really good. They are holding their own with three starters and two relievers on the shelf and a team OPS in the bottom third. If they can get the offense warmed up a bit imagine what they could do. The pitching has been very tough overall considering the injuries, and the fielding looks very good. Rookie Andrew Suarez will most likely make his ML debut tomorrow. We wanted the team to get younger, didn't we?

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.