Thursday, August 4, 2016

6th inning: 5-13

3-2 win (10) in Philly
The Giants have won FIVE games in the last three weeks. At the All-Star Break they were the best team in baseball. Over the last 18 games they've been, along with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the worst. On the bright side the Giants are still in first place. The margin is a wee bit closer, but to play .278 ball and not lose the top spot is a miracle of sorts, perhaps the baseball gods decided our suffering would only go so far. They stuck the pin in the doll and gave it a good twist but didn't apply the killer blow.

Matt Moore had his Giants debut and he delivered six quality innings. That's eleven straight starts for the new lefty in which he has recorded at least 18 outs. Keep that up, bro! That's just the kind of steady consistency the club needs. Denard Span hit a homer in the 10th to break the deadlock--that's right, a Giants player hit a homer. That's pretty rare. Close games often get decided late with a big fly, especially in a bandbox like Citizens Bank Park. This time the Giants got what was needed. A resurgent Santiago Casilla, lashing out like a cornered beast, nailed down the save with a brisk 11-pitch 1-2-3 "see ya" after an equally clutch effort the previous night. It's been hard times and increased scrutiny for the embattled closer, it's nice to see him respond with the kind of performances we know he's capable of. Maybe a little F.O. and fan base doubt was just what he needed to get fired up. Whatever works! In fact the entire beleaguered 'pen showed up this afternoon and got it done. Tip o' the cap to Derek Law for a particularly stout 10-pitch 1-2-3 8th frame.

Here's the tale of the season at the 2/3 mark:

1st inning:  8-10
2nd inning: 10-8
3rd inning: 15-3
4th inning: 12-6
5th inning: 12-6
6th inning: 5-13

That's 62-46 (.574) and a two game lead over LA in the West. Only the Cubs and the Nationals have more wins. If the Giants play .574 for the season they will finish with 93 wins. That means 31 more wins over the final three innings. It's a trip to Washington, D.C. next with the mercurial Jeff Samardzija getting the call. You have to think his run of poor starts since his May surge convinced the club they needed another starter. Say it ain't so, Jeffy-boy. Take it as a challenge and show 'em you still have the stuff for a championship run.




Zo said...

This has been a terrible inning. 2 losses to Philadelphia before we took it to the 10th to eke out a win. Or is it eek? Eek!

carmot said...

Well, howdy hey. Previously... I didn't understand why Terry Collins left Cueto in to face a LHB in the All-Star game. I mean, all those elite arms at his beck and call. Oh well... Sure, sometimes Bochy makes a judgement based on "loyalty." Wanting to give a pitcher a chance to get a "win," trying to "ride" a pitcher through an inning where his spot is due up in the next half inning, or whatever else.

Dodgers are practically treading water right now. They're 8-8 since the ASB? Welp, our Giants are now at 5-13. Darn.


Every win helps/matters. Matt Moore. THREE leadoff walks? To me, it remains undeniable that dude's got some filthy stuff, so I hope this was just a case of getting himself settled in. New catcher, new team... Speaking of catchers, good for Tommy Joseph: 14 HR in less than 225 PA's this season.

My hope is Samardzija can return to pitching like his premium potential suggests. Maybe everything is relative? Trying to go out and do too much much can take its toll? Hopefully our bullpen can stay fresher in the future (uh, not after consecutive extended games on the road, I know!) with Moore here. Much like I wonder how much this affects Posey: without other key bats for long stretches this season.

Playoff push is ramping up. Mr. Smith errr... Sanfkmaradnjfdjza Goes to Washington! Go Giants.

campanari said...

Cueto: in each of the half innings before C ran into trouble, the Giants' batters went down very rapidly, giving him little intra-inning rest. When a pitcher has thrown over 90 pitches, I would think, his intra-inning recovery period probably needs to be longer, his arm's being iced somewhat longer. Cueto didn't have that. Maybe the Giants thought he was doing so well so easily that he didn't need a respite, or that the game was so clearly in hand that it could be brought to a happy end quickly and carelessly. But--if my supposition about rest/recovery time is valid--I believe that the strategy error of too much reliance on Cueto was compounded, perhaps caused, by too little regard for what his arm needed.

Glad to see Moore's success today. His record suggests that he won't remain this wild and that he may very well remain this effective in keeping the opponents from hits and runs.

carmot said...

campanari: Yeah, I agree that arm rest (for a pitcher) between innings is one factor. There are so many nuances that can make baseball a really fascinating study. For example, I was always really optimistic about Juan Perez. But how is any young player supposed to come off the bench for one PA every three days and produce? I mean, MANY relievers have ERA's below 3.00 facing EVERYBODY in MLB. There are so many factors involved. I don't think Bochy has an easy job balancing everything.

Let's take his "confidence-building" assurance to Nunez, about being the everyday 3B. But wait, he wasn't in the starting lineup (again)? Seems like double-speak. But then, he came in and made a great defensive play. Huh, go figure. Or how about the constantly, consistently "revolving door" of closer between Casilla and Romo these past few seasons. As Giants fans we should (and have!) come to LOVE that there is no drama and they aren't divas about getting the closer role. But, when Casilla learns of the front office's interest in acquiring a closer? The man steps and and says how much he wants it. What a weird fine line to walk. These are still humans. And, golly, do we love our Giants.

What do y'all think of Moore? Filthy stuff, eh? One start does not a judgment make on the trade, but I like what he's already got. The pure optimist in me wonders if our talented staff can help him develop another pitch. I think back to how Bumgarner got his cutter (granted that was from a journeyman pitcher, Horacio Ramirez, in AAA Fresno. Odd tidbit: Horacio is a distant relative of Sergio Romo).


campanari said...

With much grumbling about the Giants' trades, plus maundering about sweet, sweet Matt Duffy, to be found on line, it's worth noting that Jon Heyman gives the Giants an A for their deadline transactions. This is the best for any team but Texas. Heyman begins by saying that the Giants "always do something smart . . . . They are gosh-darned geniuses." He highly praises the trade for Moore in particular.

carmot said...

Nice. Not as though I agree with the talking heads about many things. Take Rusney Castillo, for instance. All along I felt "meh" and highly overpaid on the coattails of guys like Abreu, IMO. But, I'll be plenty happy if these guys are right!

Man, Evans got crushed by Giants fans all over the interwebz. I've read plenty saying Duffy >>> Nunez. Uh, except for the fact that Duffy is currently dealing with an Achilles injury. Fans wanted some elite arm for Duffy, like Chris Sale? How many are even considering the fact that the Giants "supposedly" have tough relations and with many MLB front offices? I'm still shocked we even matched up BEST for Moore.

Eked out the win! Eek-a-Mouse!


For more than two years I've felt that Shohei Otani would come over to MLB AFTER the 2017 season. But, oh my... If he and his agent just look at the weak free agency list after 2016- going into the 2017 season... How'z about it?

Bum - Cueto - Moore - Otani - Samardzija?

Anybody think we could outbid other NL teams like the Cubs and Dodgers? A shiny 2.02 ERA in 116.0 IP and 140 SO. Oh, and .353/.459/.676/1.135 line in 209 PA this 2016 season. Dude just turned 22. Any thoughts, anybody? I might write this up over the weekend. Ha ha, cheers.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I'm not surprised by the negatives on the Duffy trade, he's a popular and likeable player. And I think people tend to vent and rant on-line and then "sober up" later. I think the Giants got some good talent and made a real effort to plug some holes. Whether it works or not remains to be seen!

Wins, man. I want to see WINS!!

El said...

Home plate ump was terrible. Kruk mentioned that he wouldn't call any pitch above the belt a strike. Ridiculous.
MLB needs to define the zone and remove any ump who can't / won't conform - Their union be damned.

I appreciated that Moore was able to pitch thru it.

Ron said...

This used to be the definition of the Strike Zone. You can still find it defined as such, when you do a simple Google search:

'An area over home plate extending approximately from the armpits to the knees of a batter when in the batting position. The ball must be pitched through this area in order for a strike to be called.'

This is the current definition of the Strike Zone, as defined by MLB (latest modification was in 1996':

'The Strike Zone is that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the bottom of the knees. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter's stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball.'

The Strike Zone is clearly not being called this way, especially on the upper end. In fact, the perversion of the upper end of the Strike Zone has become so ingrained that ESPN's little graphic that they annoyingly super-impose during every pitch shows the upper end of the Strike Zone at the belt(?!?). And, the Umpires seem to be more-or-less calling it that way. The high strike has been taken away completely, although apparently not officially.

JC Parsons said...

Yuck. We lost 5-1 and it never felt that close. What has happened? They are so clearly better than us in all parts of the game right now. And today we face Strasburg! Our best hitter now is clearly Angel Pagan, which is really kind of scary. I don't like watching an offense that has that as a high point. Sorry.
It will get better. I keep saying that but I am seriously starting to wonder...

el said...

Imagine for a second if NBA refs decided that any shot that hit the rim before going in was no good.

Or NFL refs denying a 1st down because the back was hit behind the line before getting the necessary yardage.

We're talking pitchforks & torches in those scenarios, but MLB?