Friday, May 30, 2008
11 starts, 11 HRs allowed, 34 BB, 59 K (multiply by 3)
33 starts, 33 HRs allowed, 102 BB, 177 K (projected full season)
The numbers for 2006: 31, 18, 87, 179 (GS, HR, BB, K).
The numbers for 2007: 32, 14, 79, 163
I like to think he is underperforming over this 1/3 of the season and that he will go through a similar stretch on the "other side of the line." Teams are slugging .421 vs. M.C. in '08, fifty points higher than his career mark. Teams are putting the ball in the air more. A quick glance at the GO/FO ratio for 2007 shows 0.93 (230 GO to 247 FO). After 12 starts in 2008 it is 66/99 or 0.67. It was 0.60 (56/94) before tonight's strong effort.
How about that triple play? One pitch! Three outs!
Extra innings. Yikes. I'm going to bed.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Three stirring wins against the division leader in their yard was gripping stuff. Highlight of the season so far. Unfortunately, I think our brain trust will believe such events are the result of their roster-building brilliance. We know better. We all know a hot bad team can beat a cold good team. Memo to Neukom: we're the bad team, and p.s., what does "rebuilding" mean to you?
Here's an easy way to see it. Take The Enchanter, Timothy LeRoy Lincecum. Remove him from the team. He's 7-1. (We are 1-2 in his 3 ND). The 2008 SFGs are 15-30 without Tim. (And they say pitchers shouldn't be MVPs.) When you lose 11 of your 13 previous road series against a team, you are bound to win eventually. Great series, but a pyrrhic victory if we get excited about Randy Winn, Ray Durham, Bengie Molina, and Aaron Rowand. Sanchez was impressive in his start, and Wilson had two huge saves. Those are the kind of highlights we need to keep 2008 interesting.
Another highlight for me is Freddie Lew's .818 OPS, good for THIRD on the team. I know he is only 41st in the league, but I'm getting tired of Bonehead not letting him play against lefties. How the hell will he ever learn how to hit these guys? ZiPS projects Lewis at .722, admittedly with a limited sample size. I'd like to see if he can finish over .800. He'll have to keep up an OBA of .350 and slug at .450. He's got 20 XBH (11 2b, 5 3B, 4 HR) in 48 hits so far. Even if he slugs only .400, that .750 OPS is serviceable. Randy Winn has 10 years in the bigs with a .344/.424/.768 line. The average OPS in the NL is .743! As a team we are 9th in the league at .727, just ahead of the Mets. Molina's sizzling .903 (19th) and Rowand's gaudy .946 (13th) belie their career numbers, .729 and .814 respectively.
First 1/3, what's your highlight?
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Tonight we conclude our experiment here at RMC: henceforth the good Doctor, JCP, will return as The Linkman, and yer man here, MC, will be back on the MC wagon.
Special image (from a February 2007 Salem-Keizer Volcanoes newsletter):
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
UPDATE: Richie Rises! SOLO HR in the 2nd to make it 1-0 Giants! It's alive! It's alive! I can feel the Holy Spirit today, brothers and sisters. Only the Hand of God could Resurrect Rich. Ort walks. That's right, a Giant earned a "base on balls." Burriss grounds out, but at least it took 5 pitches. Matt Cain manages a 6-pitch swinging K. (M.C. on the hill so far: six up six down on 26 pitches including 2 K's on 96 mph heat.)
UP-UPDATE: Matt gives up a loooong fly ball to Alexei Ramirez. JT Snow (on the radio with Phlegm) compliments our boy for challenging guys with his smoke. He calls him "old school." High praise. AAAArrrrrggghh. Matt WALKS THE PITCHER! An AL guy who never hits (John Danks). But he gets Cabrera. 41 pitches, 10 batters, 9 outs.
UPPITY UPDATE: Ort hits one off the end of the bat to the warning track for the 2nd out in the 4th. Burriss hacks randomly but gets an infield hit with his blazing speed. Excitement plus! Cain K's again to end the "threat."
OH, I HATE TO UPDATE: Almost-Giant Joe Crede hits a solo HR off Matt to tie it up, ruin the no-hitter and the shutout. Looked like a fat pitch--out over the plate. Through five: 18 batters, 68 pitches, 2 hits, 1 run.
OH, I LOVE TO UPDATE THE UPDATE: The stiffs make a run. 2-1 Giants.
OH, JAYSUS, MARY, AND FOOKIN' JOSEPH UPDATE: Matt gives up a solo HR to Cabrera, and AJ Pureshitski gets a damn hit, and now Carlos Quentin brings the hammer down. 4-2 Sox. Here comes Righetti. Now my day is ruined. I'm officially blaming Bengie for "calling a crappy game." On the plus side, Captain Gamer and The Ort-ster make a run, so it is 4-3 bad guys after six. Matt has thrown 95 pitches so I expect he'll get a chance to finish the 7th and that's it.
ORLANDO CABRERA IS A BLEEDIN' GOBSHITE UPDATE: The wheels come off the M.C. wagon. A walk to Thome and another goddamned homerun to the 5'9" 185-lb. leadoff hitter with a.720 lifetime OPS. 6-3 Sox.
In San Francisco on Trinity Sunday: 30 batters faced, 21 outs. 115 pitches. 6 hits. 6 runs. 6 strikeouts. 3 walks. FOUR HOMERUNS. A tale of two Matts: twice through the lineup, total dominance. Third and fourth time: batting practice.
The good news? The stiffs are fighting back! BENGIE ties it up! M.C. is "off the hook." Thank you, Satan. Wow, am I the ballgame prognosticator? Did I make the right lineup call, or what? You wanna go, Bruce? Eh? You wanna go?
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
In the next few minutes the Giants will lose a game they shouldn't have. A lovely starting job against a red hot team was wasted. A chubby four run lead after 7 innings was not enough to withstand some impressively choke relief pitching. (Come on, a 3 run pinchhit homer by Erstad!! His first ever!! Disgusting.) A knowledgable Giants fan (is there any other kind?) would probably assume that Matt Cain was the unlucky starter, but NO! The Franchise is the victim this time.
Tim Lincecum continued his string of quality starts (he is now 8 for 8 in that category!) yet he will get no decision. It was the fourth time he has "Ked" ten batters in a game. His 3 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks caused his ERA to "balloon up" to a gaudy 1.92. He is second in the league (behind a Red named Volquez) in that category. I do not remember another Giants pitcher maintaining this level of consistency at the start of a season. Anybody out there think of another great Giants start? Didn't Vida start hot?
As a true baseball fan, I have to admit I enjoyed watching Lance Berkman. The guy is unreal right now. An easily over looked important at bat happened in the fourth. With a six run lead, Tim challenged Lance with two runners in scoring position and first base open. Berkman, currently on an epic hot streak, delivered. I know going after him was the right thing to do but sometimes you just have to give someone their due and pitch around him. I wonder what Tim would do the next time?
- The Giants hang around .500 until August or so.
- Only Arizona is significantly ahead of the Giants, because the rest of the west is kind of sucky, too.
- The Giants are not 20 games out in the wild card race (although this doesn't seem likely, it is possible - the NL Central may be a real dogfight between the Brew Crew, Cards, lovable Cubbies and Houstros; and the NL East could be a showdown between the Metropolitans, Philthies, surprising Flomars, and maybe even Atlanta).
- Then, and please have sensitive children out of the room before reading further, we trade for or sign a wily veteran to help us in the stretch run. Reggie Sanders?
- Wily veterans clog up the offseason basepaths, as it were, to complicate development of a good, young, truly competitive team. Aaargh! Fans implode! Brian Sabean makes famous speech, "I am not a health hazard."
Rebuild, rebuild, rebuild!
Also, I thought Misch pitched pretty well last night. The Giants left 10 runners on base, for chrissakes, feebly missing a bunch of run scoring opportunities.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
n.b. Big D of GIANTS WIN points out that M.C. leads the team in SLG!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
(Both these images are taken from Wikimedia Commons and are in the public domain.)
Monday, May 12, 2008
UPDATE: check out yer bhoyo M.C. on ONLY BASEBALL MATTERS!!
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
--Jose Castillo batting 2nd (.287 OBP, lifetime .296). Reeks of Bonehead-ism.
--Rich Aurilia playing at all. Put Lewis in LF and Ortmeier/Bowker at 1B. Send Richie away.
--Special Agent Jack finally got dinged with inherited runners. Bound to happen.
I sure hope Tim Lincecum pitches well tomorrow. There's not much else worth watching with this bunch. But we knew that. I really hope we get to see Matt improve steadily the rest of this season. I'm getting tired of seeing those "L's" next to his name.
Monday, May 5, 2008
END RESULTS: Hopefully in a couple years we will be back to this being the ONE measuring bar, but that sure is not the case now. (If you used this for Matt Cain, he looks a lot like Zito.) Bottom line, Tim definitely kept us in the game, as he has EVERY START SO FAR.
STATS: We all love the numbers, don't we? Six innings AGAIN and NO EARNED RUNS. Can't complain there. Only six hits, 3 for doubles though, no home runs, which is great in that park. Five strikeouts and two walks (one intentional) is not too exciting, but gets the job done. The two wild pitches that figured into the scoring are bad. I didn't see them and I wonder if Holm was a little overmatched. The worst number (AGAIN) is probably pitch count - 110 for six innings. However, much of that is due to errors that extended a couple innings and contributed to...
STRESSFUL SITUATIONS: This may be one of the most over looked aspects of evaluating pitchers, yet I feel it is crucial. Especially with our youngsters, it is all about MATURATION and these situations are where it happens. Tim was in an almost constant state of stress. Four of his six innings started with baserunners, twice with leadoff doubles. He responded wonderfully, especially against the amazing Utley, which he struck out looking and popped out twice, all in big situations. The best example of Tim's continuing maturation came against Jenkins, a pretty good veteran hitter. Lincecum went back and forth between fastball and changeup masterfully and the helpless Jenkins was no match.
All in all, if our defense had dealt with stress as well as our boy, we probably would have taken the series. An exciting weekend of close baseball against a very good team. Maybe we can build on it.
I know Tim will.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
10th inning: Brian Wilson Friday night redux; 1st batter Pat Burrell, a walk, 2nd Geoff Jenkins, a blown DP but got the lead runner, 3rd Carlos Ruiz, K, 4th Eric Bruntlett ground out! A SAVE! A BLOODY SAVE! (See, I do care.)
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Continuing our series on the New Young Bucks, Mr. Fred Lewis has found himself in the middle of all things good and bad about the 2008 Giants. Our Little Engine That Could has been chugging along with an impressive .337/.419/.533 line over 29 games. The 300-400-500 (avg-oba-slg) plateau is the Holy Grail for a hitter. I think it is safe to say Fred is not going to slug .500 for a season, but I think he has shown a consistent ability to get on base. He has a patient, cerebral approach at the plate that will pay off in the long run, as long as the brass doesn't push him to "be more aggressive." Right now he leads the team in walks--a good thing for a leadoff hitter. I think his stroke will improve and I expect to see him develop into a solid all-field line drive hitter. The knock on Lewis is his age--he's played almost 600 games in the minors, and got tagged as an AAAA type. If you look at the stats, his strikeouts and lack of power have been his Achilles heel, but you can't complain about the .377 OBA. As we have seen, Fred has a raw, unpolished look on the bases, despite his speed. He has shown flashes of brilliance in the outfield alongside some real boners. I like to think those are just rookie lapses, and that his mental game in the field and on the basepaths will improve as well.
Fred is a former Southern University Jaguar. This Baton Rouge Historically Black University also produced the Brewers Rickie Weeks. The most famous Jaguar in MLB history is a fellow who was known for defensive and baserunning excellence, as well as a lot of strikeouts but little power from the leadoff spot. I'm talking about Hall of Famer Louis Clark Brock. I don't expect Fred to get 3,000 hits or 900 SBs, but I think he can be a solid player. If we can get some power hitters in the lineup, he could be a real asset at the top.