Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Madison Bumgarner / Buster Posey

Madison Bumgarner was superb tonight.  He was almost perfect.  He faced 28 Colorado batters, and only one of them got a hit.  He had a perfect game through 7 innings, gave up only 1 hit, walked none and struck out 13.

Madison was economical with his pitches, throwing less than 11 per inning through the first 7.  He threw 103 pitches in total, and 80 of them were strikes.  He had seventeen 0 - 2 counts on the Colorado batters.  Think about that for a minute.  In 17 of the 27 outs allotted in a game, Colorado batters had 1 strike to work with.  His 13 strikeouts was a career high, and he leads the National League in double-digit strikeout games.  When Justin Morneau hit a double to lead off the eighth and break up the perfect game and no hitter, Madison responded by striking out the next three Rockie batters.

Buster Posey carried the offense on his broad shoulders.  He hit 2 home runs, the first with Hunter Pence on base, for the Giants 3 runs.  It was his first multiple home run game.  Gregor Blanco made several important catches, including a spectacular at-the-wall snag in the first.  As the radio spots say,  Mr. Bochy is a genius for starting Gregor in left field tonight.

This was a fantastic performance.  I wish I felt that it was the start of something big, but I have soured too much on this team in the past few days.  To elaborate on that seems churlish.  Madison Bumgarner is 25 years old.  Buster Posey is 27.


Brother Bob said...

Every time the Giants win a good game I get all optimistic, then of course they go and do something to send me back into despair.
But this time I know it's the start of a serious surge that carries them all the way to the Promised Land #3. I know it because Hunter Pence shaved off his beard and he's the straw that stirs the Giants' drink.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Seems like righties pull MadBum and lefties go the other way. I'm used to seeing Sandoval make half a dozen assists when he pitches so I wasn't surprised to see Blanco in left.

Terrific performance. Man I was bummed about the perfect game, I really thought he was going to get it.

I thought the guys on TV said it was Buster's 2nd two-HR game.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Hunter Pence gets on base so that others might hit homers.

Ron said...

Pence 2014 OBP - .339
Pence Career OBP - .339

It ain't .350 (the Gold standard), but it's still better any regular we've got except Buster.

M.C. O'Connor said...

To put that in context, among 19 qualified RF Pence is 7th in OBP, and 26th of 40 OF overall.

Interestingly, he's tied for 5th overall in hits and tied for 3rd in runs scored but does not get a lot of love in the WAR dept (3.4, 49th in ML). We see his value every day, esp. with the glove and on the bases. Prototype "all-rounder" wouldn't you say?

And I came up with that little line as tribute to all the funny Hunter Pence signs that were popping up a few weeks back. That was only his 41st walk (in front of Buster's HR) of the season. BCraw leads the team with 51. Giants seem to like guys who swing the bat and put the ball in play.

nomisnala said...

I know he plays in a very unorthodox manner, but Pence has been productive. I wonder if someone were to get him to be a little more under control as a hitter, if he would improve. Hard to tinker with success, but I wonder if he could just give a shot at polishing-up his game in the off season. It takes time to adapt, but the off season is already too long.

Brother Bob said...

Buster Posey is a God!

ogc obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Remember to thank the Rays!

They were torn between Tim Beckham and Posey, and ended up choosing, obviously, TBeck, instead of the obvious choice, I mean, Posey made his name in that area, so the marketing should be easy, Golden Spike winner, and the surer thing college kid vs. a prep SS, who I'm sure had a lot of tools but long way from reaching his potential, and they were getting close to being competitive. I mean, they took Longorio over Lincecum, the surer thing vs. Timmeh who was a wild thing at draft time.

Thank you Rays!

I don't think its a matter of loving guys who swing the bat and put the ball in play, though that is part of it.

One thing is that all the saber love for OBP and walks is a bit misguided: sure, there is value to getting on base, but unless the bases are loaded, that walk don't get you a run, nor do most outs, it is hits that drive in runs, and THAT is the most important thing.

Another thing is that the draft cannot provide for every need a team has, this is a fallacy. So the Giants has focused most of their best bullets - first round picks - on pitchers than hitters. Classic business strategy, focus on your core competitive advantages, fill in around that (hygiene as Geoffrey Moore put it).

But if you want hitters who can both hit and get walks, you need to use your first round picks to find them. Classic catch-22.

And you know the story of what then happens. We get the pitchers, but get key hitters like Posey. You fill in around your core hitters like Posey and Sandoval (low walk but high OBP) with hitters you take with lower picks or free agent signings, who have more warts like not being capable of taking walks (there are so many of them, but at least they can get a hit; see Brian Bocock, who could take a walk). You pick up guys who can provide value that your pitchers appreciate: good to great defense, but they aren't the best hitters or best at taking walks.

When you fill in your lineup as a later resourcing priority, your lineup will be filled with guys with warts generally. They grabbed Posey, and got lucky with Belt. And there is the matter that most teams like hitters who can hit and take a walk too and want somebody really good in exchange. Sabean could wait until such a trade happens, or he could take the next best thing, Pence for pieces that the Giants were not that positive about.

ogc obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

I think we saw what would happen if Pence would try to take more walks earlier this season when Pablo tried to do the same thing, on Miggy's advice over the off-season. I think that was what put Pablo in that big funk at the start of the season, for a month, until he gave up that approach, upon which he stopped taking as many walks and started hitting and hitting for power. He might have been taking more walks, but he was also striking out more, as well as not hitting and not hitting for power.

I would add that his out of control swings, while that's ugly when he (often) swings and misses, it allows him to blast those majestic homers as well, because he's swinging full throttle. And he's good enough of a hitter that while he strikes out more than a good hitter would, he's not that bad, around 80% contact rate most of the time. It works for him.

It is kind of like the story of the goose who could lay golden eggs...