Well, glad that’s over with. Ten first inning runs coughed up by Vogelsong, Bumgarner and Zito combined. Watching this team all year, you don’t get a sense that if they go down multiple runs from the get-go that they have a legitimate chance to come back. The Giants scored a whopping four earned runs in this series with three of them coming in the opener. The Reds were reeling going into this series, getting swept in four games against the Mets. We had just forced the first series lost upon the Phillies since May. It doesn’t add up.
Teams will go through their ups and downs and obviously this is a questionable down for the Giants. They came in with their trade deadline gem, praised among many as viable National League Champions come October and then the sub .500 Cincinnati Reds come at them like their leading their division by ten games. Giants will collect their losses and will come home to their biggest homestand (pressure wise) until probably the end of September. The Giants can beat the Diamondbacks. The DBacks have a hard time matching up with the Giants top pitchers, as most teams do and the Giants offense has for the most part been able to handle the Diamondbacks so I’m looking for a series win at home coming up for the Giants.
Barry Zito is owed about $50 million for the rest of 2011, 2012 and 2013.
The rest of the Giants rotation combined salaries remaining on their contracts is significantly less than $50 million. I don’t have any miracle suggestion, nor does anyone else in or around the organization. Best, most viable option is really just to DL him again and deal with the issue further down the roat into late August. Zito was nails for the Giants after coming off the DL with his foot problem so I think doing that again would be an easy way out for the Giants. Putting him the bullpen doesn’t seem viable after that stellar middle relief outing by Mota in the 13 inning marathon. In lue of the recent games against the Reds, last season when Zito was banished to the bullpen for a short time he got the call to come during later extra innings in that game where the Giants came back from a 9 run deficit. Zito got the loss in that game. We’ll see what happens in the coming days but folks, don’t expect to see Barry Zito on the found for a little while.
Carlos Beltran went 10/24 in his first six games with the Astros in 2004 after he was traded. Seven years later if you can believe it, it’s been a different story. Now it’s only been three games. So if he can pull off going nine for his next ten at bats, I’ll shut up. All of that jokingly, of course. I think everything will come into focus for him after he comes home for a game or two in front of the fans. Surely he’ll get a massive standing ovation and I think he’ll enjoy hitting her, even if he’s not depositing balls into the water that often.
If someone would like to explain to me what the reeling Reds are doing beating up on Vogy and Bum after getting swept by the New York effing Mets, feel free to beep me. I’ll be honest, looking ahead to a game I’ve never felt more in doubt of a win then I do about tomorrow. Zito against the little red machine that could last year but not this year I don’t like our chances. Although I do think Bochy should stick with the same line up it really is what looks best out on the field with the exception of our newest acquisition…
The ageless slugger stands at a .244 average with four mammoth home runs and a clutch 38 runs batted in. He should fit in perfectly with Crawford, Tejada, Fontenot and Keppinger. They can have their own little coffee clutch before each game listening to each other reminisce on ground balls they could get to in eons past. In all seriousness, beat writer for the SJ Merc, Andrew Baggerly, speculates this move could hint the end of the season for Freddy Sanchez as he was on the cusp of a decision on his season and it appears he will go for the option including season-ending shoulder surgery. What made Orlando Cabrera such a valuable commodity that Sabean needed to add him to the middle infielders party? Well it’s that playoff experience of course, that every single member in the starting line up now has with the exception of Jeff Keppinger. If you didn’t get vibes about this trade yet, quite frankly, I think it’s pointless. Cabrera is a minimal upgrade at offense from Crawford and it’s likely there will be some downfall at defense from the shortstop position with Cabrera holding down the fort.
The slugfest kicks off tomorrow at 10:10
Tonight the Giants played about as well as you can to lose a game. Six scoreless innings by the ‘pen tonight not including Wllson’s outing tonight. Moreover; the winning run scored by the Reds tonight was just the second earned run given up by the Giants bullpen since the All Star break. In the Giants past two series they have lost the first game then gone on to win the next two against both the Brewers and Phillies so they look to continue the pace against the Reds who currently sit 6.5 games out in the NL Central in fourth place.
Tonight Ryan Vogelsong was quite simply blowing cheese at the Reds hitters tonight, and boy they sure didn’t make him pay for it. Eight runners reached in the first two innings and only three of them came across to score. Vogelsong wasn’t fooling anyone at the onset but he walked the tight rope out of danger and all in all settled down nicely to continue his streak of 15 consecutive starts of three earned runs or less pitching five or more innings. How about Guillermo Mota tonight? The relief job of the year for the Giants, getting the shallow fly ball and some major league help from Schierholtz to complete the double play at the plate to nab Joey Votto. Vogelsong by the way has reclaimed his National League ERA title with his six innings pitched to re-qualify for the position, he currently stands at a 2.23 earned run average.
Eli ‘grandpa’ Whiteside sure pulled that eighth inning two-out, game-tying double out of no where. Dusty Baker showed no respect for ol’ Pops by leaving the lefty in to face him and Gramps drove an 0-2 fastball into the bowels of the left-center field gap scoring Aubrey Huff by a breath or two, or three for Huff. Carlos Beltran is fitting in perfectly with his new teammates, going 1/5 tonight driving a belt high pitch by Dontrelle Willis into left field to score the games first run. After that however; Beltran walked once and struck out three times. He’ll come around, rumor has it John Bowker left some of his kool-aid some where in Murph’s sewing kit.
My beef I have tonight is with Aubrey Huff, or rather it might be Bruce Bochy. Huff this past month is hitting .224 with one home run. Brandon Belt is hitting .308 (4/13), also with one home run this month. Belt is younger. He fields better. He hits better. He’s younger. He hits better. He chews sun flower seeds and drinks Gatorade better. And he also hits better then Huff. Need I say more? The Giants aren’t exactly neck and neck with the Dbacks, they have a four game cushion and it’s like they think Belt is capable of ruining all of that like he’s Armando Benitez. Right now the Giants have nothing to lose by playing Belt except his own development as a player.
In other news Hunter Pence will depart from the lowly Houston Astros to the lower Philadelphia Phillies. Or at least yesterday they seemed like it. Pence hasn’t been lighting it up since the All Star break but he’s a solid .285-.290 hitter who can shoot balls all over the field and definitely a pick me up for a struggling line up if that’s what you really want to say about the Phillies lineup. Shades of the Jason Bay trade the Red Sox made a few years back.
Tomorrow it’ll be two youngster toeing the slab for the Reds and Giants. Bumgarner and Leake, 4:10 first pitch
As if it needed to be said, tonight felt like a big game for the Giants tonight’s. A statement game. The Giants, still the underdogs in this series even after ousting the Phillies last October, were looking for a road series win in Philidelphia as if to say: “Hey, see you guys in the championship series. Twice is indeed nice.” More on this being a statement game, the Giants had their flu-ridden ace on the mound tonight and their trade deadline gem to show off to the most electric crowd in all of baseball so it’s safe to say this game meant a little extra to the organization tonight, and they did indeed deliver
Tim Lincecum tonight sure did look like his body wore the benefit of those extra days of rest. Lincecum’s off speed stuff tonight was terrifying in the eyes of hitters. On 101 pitches tonight Lincecum struck out six batters, surrendering only three hits in six innings of work. Lincecum certainly wasn’t at 100% tonight but like an ace should, he used his stuff he brought to the mound tonight and effectively used it to minimize the damage and shutdown the opponent.
As Chronicle beat writer Hank Schulman has been tweeting, the “#beltraneffect” has already taken place within the team. Reportedly, today during BP he told Sandoval to go to left field more and wouldn’t you know it Sandoval went oppo-taco and tucked a ball just inside the left field foul pole. All six hits tonight by the offense were scattered throughout the line up with a notable ‘ofer’ by the newest Giant Carlos Beltran.
The Giant’s as we know don’t need 10 runs a game to win, usually 2-3 are sufficient enough to hold over the pitching staff and it has been this formula that has bright this team to where it is today, 61-44 leading the NL West by four games. Giants looking to rub salt in the wounds of the reeling Cincinnati Reds who might even try and show off catcher Ramon Hernandez who the Giants havebene linked to in a flurry of trade talks. 4 more against the Phillies in the coming week the Giants should roll out Bumgarner, Zito (?), Cain and Lincecum in the 4 game series while the Phillies most likely will showcase Lee, Worely, Kendrick and someone yet to be named. Bottom line is that they will yet again miss the start of Roy Halladay.
I’m back and better then ever ready to get this blog back on it’s feet again. Nothing worth explaining except this happens to be around the one year anniversary of the blog and over my hiatus I realized I missed sharing my thoughts on the team and while I’ve been inactive there’s been of flurry of changes within the organization. I start tonight with my first post game blog tonight in a while with the debut of the newest Giant, Mr. Beltran. First this first though:
The Midterm Report on the 2011 San Francisco Giants
On Field Play and Operations: The pitching and definitely lived up to the expectations that came along with it after winning it all last year. Their 3.09 overall ERA as a team ranks best in the National League. The Giants also lead the National League with opponents only batting .228 against the staff. Fear the bear Mr. Brian Wilson has done his job in terms of the most important stat as a closer, the Giants lead the National League with 39 saves. However; the 76% save completion rate and 12 blown saves (team stats not just Wilson), are not so stellar numbers. In comparison, the Phillies have blown three saves all year. The rest of Brian Wilson’s counterparts in the ‘pen sport the second best ERA in the National League for any bullpen, a 2.87 bullpen ERA. Onto the well-known weak spot of this team, the bats. 373 runs scored ranks second worst in the National League and 66 home runs ranks 13th in the NL, by far the worst for any first place team, probably worst since the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals. The Giants .306 on-base percentage and .666 on base+slugging% are are ranked 14th and 15th respectively in the National League. What does this all mean, you ask? This all means that the Giants pitching has quite obviously, been better than almost every other team they have faced this year which explains their current position atop the National League West. Consequently the offense has seemingly been overmatched by nearly every other offense they face. However the Giants pitching overcompensates and allows this subpar offense to get away with 2-3 runs a game and that’s how the 2011 San Francisco Giants are winning baseball games.
The Current Roster: Up to date with the newest acquisition, Carlos Beltran. The Giant that never was, Bill Hall, has been taken off. The DL and released from the ball club. Now here are the players on this roster where I believe their spot is/should be in jeopardy. (Rowand, Torres, Burriss, Zito, Sanchez, Burrel, Tejada) In a perfect world this is what needs to happen: Emmanuel Burriss is sent down to the minor leagues. Burrell is released and Aaron Rowand is content as a bench player or as a late defensive replacement role. Zito is sent to the bullpen to become a lefty middle reliever or as an emergency starter. Tejada is released and somewhere in this mess Darren Ford finds his way to the ball club because he is absolutely electrifying. It might not all make sense but I believe these moves would put the club in a better position to win and make Bruce Bochy’s job a bit easier.
The Giants as of July 28, 2011: Since the All Star break, the Giants have played stellar baseball. The same formula that trans,aged for them in the first half has carried over and will probably stay to true to the end of their campaign whether it be in September, October or even November. Pablo Sandoval has been the teams best hitter statistically and I believe the protection with Carlos Beltran will benefit both Sandoval and even Aubrey Huff. I’ll even go as far to say the addition of Carlos Beltran will make the entire line up better hitters. Jeff Keppinger needs to be playing every day as the teams best hitting middle infielder. Schierholtz, Ross and Torres all need to rotate playing time and Bochy will stay true to that as he loves playing the hot hand. Fontenot should get the majority of the time at shortstop and I think this puts the team in the best position to win every day.
So this is where the Giants stand as the final two months of the season are dead ahead. the NL West seemingly is no competition in my opinion and if it’s one thing I can guarantee, the Giants will sure make these final two months a wild an crazy ride. Post game tonight recapping the debut of Carlos Beltran, the return of Timmy the kid and analyzing the rubber match of this important 3 game series in Philadelphia.
The blog has suffered from recent inactivity by myself in recent weeks, frankly just due to the amount of school work and sports I’ve had. So the blog will remain inactive for the remaining two and a half weeks I have left of school and then I’ll be back for summer. First place baby, lets keep it there.
OVerloaded by school at the moment, not enough time to produce any sort of post game wrap. All I have to say is, when you know the offense is struggling, take whatever measures necessary to score that run. (BUNTBUNTBUNTBUNTBUNTBUNTBUNTBUNTBUNTBUNT) Morning baseball tomorrow, hopefully the boys can put it together.