Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bruce Bochy, Morse Whisperer

A struggling Mike Morse got a message from the skipper:
“I’ll remind him that we’re in this position with a lot of his help,” Bochy said. “At times he was carrying us with big hits, not just home runs, but big hits. He’s got to relax and back off and have some fun with this.”
Sure enough the big right-hander delivered two RBI singles to lead a resurgent Giants attack in a 7-4 win in Milwaukee. Ryan Vogelsong battled most grittily for six innings and kept the Brewers in check. A rare shaky inning by the 'pen let them back in the game, but a clutch blast by Pablo after a clutch hit from rookie Joe Panik sealed the deal. It took almost four hours, but the Giants got a big win against a tough opponent. This series has been like a couple of heavyweights leaning on each other, clinching, working the ropes, hoping to find an opening for a knockout blow. The final round is tomorrow and it's all even on the judges' cards. Jake Peavy gets the ball at 12:45 Pacific.

Henry Schulman had more to say, this time about Matt Cain:
In other pregame news, Matt Cain made a rather startling revelation. He said he has not been able to extend his right arm fully since as far back as high school, and he has learned to throw without full extension. The bone chips in his elbow, which will be removed in an operation Monday, have worsened the condition.
The Giants will have to win the West without Matt Cain. All of us were counting on Matt Cain to be Matt Cain, something he was not. Jake Peavy is better than the Matt Cain we saw in 2014. Matty has thrown 1800-plus innings including six consecutive 200-plus seasons. It took its toll. It's not as fun watching with my favorite player sidelined, but it has been an amazing run--30 or more starts for eight straight seasons--and it is noteworthy that he hasn't been hurt until now. When Cain came up he was the youngest player in the big leagues and doesn't turn thirty years old until this October.
 "It'll be nice to know going into next year that I should be good to go and won't have to worry about anything," he said.
Cain also said he didn't want to get surgery but realized he had no choice if he wanted to pitch again. So it's 2015 for Matty. Let's hope everything goes well and he can be back to full strength.

The team is 62-52 or .544 and will finish with 88 wins at that pace. To get to 90 wins means 28-20 (.583) the rest of the way and 92 wins will require 30-18 or a .625 pace. No matter the math they have to play good ball. Getting 14 hits tonight is certainly a start!




Zo said...

I think that should be 11:10 Pacific Daylight Time.

JC Parsons said...

Notice that Joe Panik got a third consecutive multiple hit game. Something like 8 hits in last three games. I'm getting a little excited that he may have a big league bat.

Peavy tomorrow will be fun. Sheesh he's a bit intense. Last start he dropped a huge f-bomb on TV. Of course, right after that he made a bad pitch and let a close game slip away. It really was a classic example of why ball players have to keep their cool. Jake may be taking Matt's place but he sure does it with a different style. Don't think I've ever seen Matt be as uncool as Peavy. Oh well, wins are all that matter now. Sure hope we stop treating Peavy like Cain and score a few runs for him.

ogc obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Yeah, Panik has actually been showing he has a MLB bat from the beginning, he has had a good contact rate and walk to K ratio from the start, but been over powered by pitchers up to now, leading to poor BABIP.

But as you noticed, he has been good with the multi hit games, I think he has nine in 24 starts now, showing he has some pitchers figured out already.

He still has some to go though, his power needs to improve some in order to become a regular. But at min, he should be a very good utility guy, and good platoon player.

I have seen Peavy described as Pence if he was a pitcher, Bochy called him Full Throttle too. He seems to be going thru something like Lincecum, his PQS quality starts have actually been better than Lincecum in recent years but just giving up too many hits at key times and homers, too many to maintain low ERA, but NL should help him drop a ERA, familiarity plus Bochy is mentor and buddy. I see us signing him after the season.

Brother Bob said...

I loved "Morse Whisperer". Good one. Morse is a good guy and had much to do with team's great start this year, along with Pagan, who is coming back today, and I'm super-psyched about that.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Link bait. (must click)

JC Parsons said...

It is an excellent title and I know how hard that can be. I must admit I would have given up long ago on Morse if I was managing. Of course, I probably wouldn't have him on the team in the first place; one dimensional sluggers piss me off. But I must say he is incredibly likeable and very positive so I am not sorry he is on the team, kind of. If he makes Hunter happy, he is worth it. This last couple months of ZERO PRODUCTION with no injury excuse has been scary. I don't think I have ever seen a #5 hitter go so useless for so long. Oh well, I suppose he is just another crazy streaky hitter so maybe good times are ahead.
And my sister can go gaga over his smile once again.

JC Parsons said...

Robyn and I saw the signs together when they first came out. I think it is awesome and I love that it gets Hunter this kind of attention. Sure he's a great ball player, we have seen many of those over the years, but NOBODY is like Hunter. Genuinely motivating. How often do you see that?

JC Parsons said...

It was a true pleasure to listen to the Mets and then Brewer announcers get all flustered and basically angry at the signs. They did not get it AT ALL. Then on the next day when they show them again it was all haha how clever.

JC Parsons said...

Today's lineup is one step closer to 5 letter P name perfection. (You can use either Pablo or Panda!) If he put Perez in for Morse, that would be seven, with Petit in the bullpen! This kind of stuff is important! Is Nick Punto available?

M.C. O'Connor said...

Peavy gets Cained.

Hmmm. Peaved?

M.C. O'Connor said...

Thoughtful article about playoffs and pitching rotations. One of the nice things about the internet age is the ability to quickly and easily research your ideas in baseball. If you think A results in B, you can actually check it out and see if it can be backed up by historical results, i.e. evidence. Or, you can ignore that and just yell louder. (Use ALL CAPS.) Not that I mind a good rhubarb, but a good argument will make me happier. I used to tell my students I never mind being wrong because it means I'm learning something new, which is the best thing of all.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Another good article, this one about the enigma that is Pablo Sandoval and his impending free agency.

What I like the most were the first two paragraphs which sum up the bipolar 2014 Giants perfectly:

"The San Francisco Giants currently sit comfortably in a playoff spot in the National League. They are but 3.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West race. Only two teams in the NL have more wins than the Giants’ 62.

And yet, the Giants are probably not a great team. They project to land square in the middle of a Wild Card dogfight. They are either the worst good team in baseball or the best bad team in baseball. Sometimes they look the part, other nights their lineup betrays the mediocrity lurking within."

Maybe when all the pieces are back together they can find their early-season mojo again and start winning consistently.

Zo said...

The Giants need to start winning. We crept up to within 1.5 of LA but have slid back to 3.5 due to the haplessness of Anaheim.