Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Giants Outslug Reds

Speed demon Billy Hamilton wreaked havoc on the basepaths last night, and got three hits tonight, two of which did not leave the infield. And after a beautiful Vogie-to-Posey-to-Panda caught stealing sequence in the 3rd, the Reds scored two runs on a solo homer and back-to-back doubles. It's a funny game, this baseball. Hamilton runs like the wind and never crosses the plate. He makes an out at third and his team scores two runs!

Tony Cingrani kept the Giants off balance until the fateful 6th when he finally threw one to Mike Morse's liking and the big righty smoked it for a homer. His pitch count climbing, Brandon Hicks followed with a single and Juan Perez played hero with a two-run bomb right after that to take the lead. Four pitchers (Guiterrez, Lopez, Machi and Romo) made the lead stand and the Giants had a comeback win. Ryan Vogelsong deserves the most credit, though, as he labored early in the game and fell behind but in his doggedly determined way kept racking up the outs and pitched into the 7th. The Giants made three errors, two induced by Billy Hamilton, yet prevailed. B-Craw mishandled a ball in the 8th to put a runner on, but the strikeout from Lopez and a--what else?--double play grounder from Macho Machi ended that threat. Romo had a perfect 9th and the deed was done.

Giants pull off another road win to improve to 19-12 in gray. Only the 18-11 Dodgers and 20-10 A's are better. Early getaway day game tomorrow with Pitcher of the Month for May Madison Bumgarner getting the start. Matt Cain comes off the DL Friday at home against the Mets. Juan Perez is on the roster because of Cain's injury and you have to love a guy making the most of his chance to shine.




M.C. O'Connor said...

9 K for Vogie, ties a career high (Game 6 2012 LCS).

ogc obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Vogie appears to be back, after struggling his first four starts, he has had 6 quality starts (per PQS) in his last 8, which is an elite rate (albeit SSS).

And Timmy I'm not worried about, it's Cincy and he never been good there, plus Hamilton upset him with his speed.

So what we need is for Cainer to get on board with a nice start at home, and our rotation will be rocking!

Ron said...

How many years do we have to put up with garbage performances, before people stop writing things like 'Timmy I'm not worried about' & making up some new excuse for him such as that he can't pitch well in Cincinnati? Since the end of the 2010 World Series, he hasn't been able to pitch well just about anywhere (luckily, a brief pause in his ineptitude during the 2012 World Series + during his ill-advised 250-pitch no-hitter last year - not a smart move by Bochy leaving him in there so long).

I am insanely worried about Tim Lincecum's performance - if you're not worried, you are not dealing well with reality. On top of his other struggles, his completely controllable inability to hold runners on is just inexcusable.

I love the guy; I want him to succeed, both for the Giants & for himself. He needs to at least control the easy things, so that he can focus solely on tweaking the more subtle things.

Anonymous said...

Tim had four good starts in May. He does that every month he's valuable. He's not Cy Lincecum any more. But lots of guys aren't and can still contribute positively to their team. And I disagree about the no-hitter. Tim has never shown fatigue issues. He's wasn't hurt and wasn't throwing hurt. And it was awesome! You have to have great individual performances--that's what these guys live for. Part of a manager's job is ego massaging, and Boch is great at that. Sure the Giants paid a premium for Tim, but he's a huge fan favorite and that's worth a lot to the organization (yes, baseball is a business).

Giants are playing well without Cain or Casilla and Buster hitting .264--I think things are looking good. If they can keep the rotation healthy the rest of the way they could be very tough.

(It's MC by the way--I'm at work.)

Ron said...

How does that address the issue of holding runners on?

And, he gave up 29 hits & walked 22 guys in 35 IP in May (his 'good' month). That's a WHIP of 1.46. It's hard to sugar-coat that. (The Team average is 1.16 & the League average is 1.27.)

Ron said...

Bumgarner looked fantastic today - I got to watch several innings on MLB.TV.

Ron said...

In typical Jon style, I take credit for getting Vogelsong out of his slump by dumping on him. I would take even greater pleasure & credit for getting Tim out of his.

JC Parsons said...

You go Ron! Do what ever it takes to get our Freak back! Lord knows I've tried anger, denial, more anger, scientific analysis, exorcism, you name it!

Remember he is now a #4 starter. Aren't #4 starters usually pretty inconsistent or generally flawed?

Anonymous said...

Remember he is now a #4 starter

Regardless of his rotation spot, he's a #5 starter with no control or command of a dead-straight 90mph FB.

His terrible WHIP over his last 70+ starts says this is who he is.


ogc obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

I'm not worried about Lincecum because I accept that he's no longer what he was before, he is in a metaphorical cocoon from which he'll arrive, dead or alive, professionally speaking. He is what he is.

What he is, is now a #4, OK, technically #5 starter. I use #4 because that's a higher bar to hurdle. #5, look at pitchers around the league who are their team's #5, if you think Lincecum is bad, they are way worse. Compare him with the worse starter of any team and you will start to appreciate how good he is relative to the competition. I think he should come out good against #4 as well, but I'm not as sure of that.

I'm giving him this year to put together everything he's been learning over the last year or so. He was still good in 2011, I think his 2012 was screwed up by his ill-conceived idea to manage his weight on his own, losing all that weight, 2013 was actually not that bad - bad for Lincecum, but average roughly for the league, and an average #4 starter is actually a competitive advantage in baseball, see how we did all those years with Zito being roughly average ERA from 2009-2012. He has been transitioning and we have been fortunate to be in the position to ride through that, imagine if we did not have either Bumgarner or Cain.

And he hasn't been actually bad bad this season. Don't look at overall numbers, look at his starts, which is what ultimately matters in the team's success. I use a saber quality start measure called PQS, and he's actually tied with Vogelsong in the percentage of quality starts. That is why the Giants are 8-4 in his starts this season. If he were uniformly bad, that would not be our record.

Where he sucks compared to Vogie is what we all know: he folds in tough situations. He has a lot more of what PQS terms "disaster starts".

And this is something we knew of him from the start, his firsts of anything (start as pro, start in majors, start in opening day, start in World Series) have all been disaster starts, the adrenaline gets going, he starts overthinking each pitch. He was better when he was all about "Tim catch ball, Tim pitch ball, repeat, rinse".

So I'm giving him this year to "explore" himself. He's trying to learn how to pitch to crappy contact. When a pitcher is learning, you just have to accept the learning curve, there will be mistakes.

But to Ron's point, at some point, you have to give up. I'm giving him this year to figure it all out. He's been learning the past 3 seasons, he would have wild first halves, then he would have great second halves (2013 would have been much better if the bullpen didn't give up, like, 7 of his inherited runner, reduce that to average and his ERA was almost in the 3's). As they say, three strikes and you're out, this is his third year.

So as far as I'm concerned, he needs to be shipshape next season. And that works with all the pitching prospects we have nearing the big show (though most are struggling hard this season). If he hasn't figured out how to reduce the disaster starts, then I would like to switch him over to uber-reliever role, and give one of our best youngsters a shot in the rotation late May, early June of 2015.

Anonymous said...

switch him over to uber-reliever role

Always risky to disagree with OBM, but I can't see how a reliever with a 1.5 WHIP can be considered uber anything except terrible.