Monday, April 26, 2010

Hallelujah! Giants get to Halladay!

Harry Leroy "Doc" Halladay had given up only three runs in four starts (33 innings) before coming to San Francisco to face a Giants team that had scored only eleven runs in its last seven games. This being baseball, the Giants rapped out TEN HITS and scored FIVE RUNS off one of the toughest pitchers in the game and nailed down the best win of the young season. Jonathan Sanchez labored against the relentless Phillies, facing 24 batters and throwing 107 pitches to get 15 outs, striking out six but also walking five. Mota, Affeldt, and Romo combined to shut down the defending champs over the final three innings, with Sergio punctuating the dramatic finish by striking out Chase Utley looking to end the game. The Phils only managed four hits and struck out eleven times but still sent 39 batters to the plate and saw 162 pitches. Victorino was on base three times, Polanco twice, Utley three times, Howard once, and Werth twice--the top of their lineup is as good as any in the game and they make you work for your outs. But the Giants refused to break and showed they can play ball with the big boys. Swinging early in the count against Halladay, Renteria, Sandoval, and DeRosa combined for three hits and two runs in the 1st inning. John Bowker and Eli Whiteside smacked back-to-back doubles in the 2nd and it was 3-0 against a man who hadn't allowed more than two runs in a game yet this season. Aubrey Huff got an RBI hit in the 6th after another double, this one by the Panda, who seemingly can hit any pitch off any pitcher. This was a nasty-looking cut fastball that was low and inside, but Sandoval squared up on it nonetheless. Eli Whiteside wasn't done either, slashing a line-drive home run down the left-field line an on 0-1 fastball to lead off the 7th. There were a lot of great moments in tonight's game: Torres beating out a bunt for a hit after Halladay had mowed down ten in a row, Sandoval scooting home ahead of Victorino's throw on Huff's hit, and Sanchez striking out Howard, losing Utley to a walk, but getting Ben Francisco to pop up to end the 5th with two on and a run in. A terrific team effort to get a huge win against a great club. And with the production the Giants are getting from the catching spot (Whiteside .882 SLG, Molina .362 OBP), looks like Buster will stay a while longer in AAA. I suppose every silver lining has its cloud!

--M.C.


p.s. Padres lose, Giants tied for 1st place at 11-8.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful game and I made a new friend today (smile).

M.C. O'Connor said...

The Ryan Howard extension is a real head-scratcher. The Phillies seemed to be doing everything right these last few years and then all of a sudden they make a Sabean-like plunge into the financial abyss. Howard's a great player, but there's no way he gets better from this point forward. I don't understand extending guys who are under contract unless they are young and still have upside. I don't want to read too much into this, but NL fans have to like the savvy Phils suddenly looking like palookas. They are still the favorites this season, but with Utley, Howard, Werth, and Rollins all 30+ (and Werth a FA in 2011), it's "win now" and "pay later" in the City of Brotherly Love.

Bob said...

As the resident Sanchezologist I'm obliged to comment, I suppose. It's nice that he can have a mediocre performance and still get a W. Credit the offense for getting to Halladay early. It's very positive to see contributions from Derosa and Huff, and Torres seems to be well suited to lead off. Sandoval has been a machine lately. His average keeps moving up daily.
The best thing about yesterday's game is that Halladay is Lincecum's top rival so far as the best pitcher in the NL, and this takes him down a notch or two.

Scott said...

M.C. I totally agree, I have no idea why they would take on the risk where there is very little upside for the team.

I gues the only way this makes sense if they suspect that there will be huge salary inflation in the coming years.

When the extension starts he will be 32 years old, I would imagine that this would be the last of his peak years. At the end when he is making $25 million he will be 36 years old, there is not many people that old that can justify that salary.

This looks like it will be an albators on their books for years to come.

If he can remain a 4-5 WAR player through out the contract it may not be horrible but they would still be paying close to the marginal cost for wins and you would hope with some financial security you could get a break on the price.

That wouldn't be how I was spending my money but maybe that is why I haven't gotten any calls to be a GM.

Scott said...

My favorite thing from the game yesterday was Bowker getting a double. I am a Bowker pusher and would really like to see more of him in the lineup especially if that means less Velez.

I am savoring this, after the hard loss J-Sanchez deserved a sloppy win.

Anonymous said...

Well the strike zone was very inconsistent and he was facing the NL's most offensive team so even though the walks were a bit too much, he limited them to only 1 run and what like 3 or 4 hits? He did very good under pressure (facing a team with the best pitcher in baseball not named Timmeh and a great lineup to boot). I believed in him right from the start, I knew that we could beat them. I didn't need any statistics either. I loved the game. Hope today's doesn't go down like how I think that it will.

Zo said...

Bob,
I guess that, compared to a 1 hitter, Sanchez had a mediocre performance. He gave up three hits. Are we getting a little spoiled? The young man looked dominant, just not with every pitch. He outdueled Roy (Cy Young favorite) Halladay, fer chrisakes!

Zo said...

MOC,
By your logic, the Giants should NOT have made sure Barry Bonds was a Giant throughout the latter part of his career. That is what the Phils are doing - making sure that Howard remains the face of the francise. Bonds was superb at age 39. You are assuming that a) the Phils will not have the machine to replace Rollins and company around Howard (a very big assumption) and b) that Howard will be worth much less when he is 39. And yes, by any rational expectation, there will be salary inflation.

M.C. O'Connor said...

The Phils are certainly entitled to believe that Ryan Howard = Barry Bonds. I don't. Bonds slugged .812 when he was 39. Bonds led all of baseball in OBP and slugged .545 and .565 in his last two seasons (aged 41 and 42). Is Ryan Howard going to do that?

I like Ryan Howard. He's a great player. But I think it's a Zito deal--too much of your payroll tied up in one guy who isn't the best player on your team.