Sunday, February 27, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Spring Dreams

Analyzing Spring Training games is probably a lot like analyzing dreams: some "experts" think much can be learned, but most of us know they are just weird and meaningless. Since I'm no "expert," I'm going to take the "weird and meaningless" approach.

And yesterday, in the defending World Champions' Spring Training Opener, Tim Lincecum put on a nice little display of "weird." Unfortunately, it wasn't his usual freaky good "weird."

As I'm sure everyone has heard, Tim pitched poorly yesterday: 5 outs ( 1 K ), 5 hits, 3 runs. That's not really the weird part, after all the hits were only singles. The weird part is that Tim only THREW THIRTEEN PITCHES. In the first inning, Tim gave up 4 singles (the first 4 pitches!), a productive flyout, a sac fly, and a STRIKEOUT...all on NINE PITCHES. The next inning continued in the same way: first pitch single, then he THREW A BALL! (the only one), and finally 2 groundouts on the next two pitches. Thirteen pitches.

Didn't I tell you it was weird .........................................AND MEANINGLESS !!!!!!?????

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cardinals lose Adam Wainwright

The baseball gods are cruel, cruel beings. Adam Wainwright is a beast. It's a huge blow to St. Louis. Imagine the Giants without Matt Cain or Tim Lincecum! Wainwright was a 1st round draft pick (#29) in 2000, the same year that had Adrian Gonzalez at #1 and Chase Utley at #15. (Boof Bonser was #21.) Wainwright was born in 1981 and will turn 30 in August.

Pitchers get hurt. It's a fact of life. Let's hope our young studs stay healthy.

--M.C.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Run Prevention: cuz it works, bitches!

Bill Petti has an interesting piece at Beyond the Boxscore. In short, it says that if you want to be good, be good at run prevention rather than run production. We certainly saw the Giants do that last season. When you are 17th in the majors in runs scored, and win the World Series, it is obviously about pitching (and defense). I never thought it was possible to build an "unbalanced" winning team, but I was wrong. Obsessive Giants Compulsive chips in a comment on Mr. Petti's post that's worth reading as well. OGC has been saying much the same thing for quite some time now, and knows his numbers. Of course my mate JC has been hammering me with "it's all about the pitching" long before I was ready to believe it.

Here's a snippet from the article (emphasis mine):
As we've seen, run prevention can provide more of an edge to teams than run scoring. Add that to the fact that elite run preventing teams had the same probability of making the playoffs during the decade as run scoring teams (63%) and run preventing teams had a higher probability of winning the World Series (7% to 4%), and the Giants don't look quite so lucky--they just look good.
It's a great time to be a Giants fan.

--M.C.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Printable schedules! Printable schedules!

One thing that was certainly better back in the day was pocket schedules. Those great little tri-fold Giants schedules that you could pick up off a pile at your local Chevron or neighborhood liquor store. Then they got scarce--the small-time merchants didn't have them anymore. You had to go to the mall, or the dugout stores, or the ballpark, where you had to pester the ushers to bring you more. It used to be I'd whip out my wallet and Giants pocket schedule when anyone asked me "what'cha doin' this weekend?" I'd mull over the little color-coded boxes inside the big rectangles and mutter something like "well, they're outta town, back east, New York, that's three hours ahead, so the game's early . . . " and they would walk away, shaking their heads sadly. I'd barely notice that they'd gone, too engrossed in schedule/life/work permutations to care. Yeah, like I said, the good old days. One in the car, one at work, one on the refrigerator, one on the wall. I loved those things. Now they are twice as big and have four times the info! No one is going to whip out a double-layer six-fold schedule these days fer chrissakes, you need a goddamn clipboard to get the thing flattened out! An equivalent 21st-century fan would have his smart phone calling him with reminders to run his MLB app. Or something. I'm still not sure--my cell phone makes people under thirty laugh. But the internet has a way of coming up with new things to make technological immigrants* like myself feel more at home every day. I'm talking about printable schedules, of course. I love printable schedules. I put them everywhere. I don't carry 'em around in my wallet and whip them out anymore, which I'm sure makes the world a better place. But I've got one posted close by. And with DishTV and CSN-BA, I can always answer "uh, the game's on" and be mostly right about what my weekend looks like.

So now that I have my printable schedules, what do I see? Pull yourself up to the computer and print one out and we can go over it together, eh? I like how the Giants open the season--four games in Chavez LAtrine, a day off, two in San Diego, a day off, and then home for three each against the Cardinals and those same LAtriners. Then another off-day, then on the road for six against Arizona and Colorado. That's the just the first inning, the first 18 games (1/9 of 162). Last season, the Giants set a modern record with a stupendous run of great pitching. It was 18 games where they yielded three runs or fewer to the enemy. I call it The Streak™. Have I talked about this already? Skipping ahead to September, I see 25 games, all against NL West teams. The Diamondbacks at home, the Padres on the road, the Dodgers and Padres at home, the Rockies, Dodgers, and Diamondbacks on the road, and the last three at home with the Rockies. That's going to be quite a stretch! Imagine that, the entire month of September against only NL West foes. I like it.

--M.C.



*I took my first computer class at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley in the spring of 1976 when I was a junior in high school. We sat at teletype machines and entered lines of BASIC. There were big rolls of yellow paper that everything printed on. I remember playing a Star Trek game where you got to fire photon torpedoes at Klingons. Later, as a Berkeley student, I learned how to punch cards with FORTRAN commands and hand them to an operator and wait in line for the oversized printouts on perforated folds of green-and-white lined paper. I remember using a modem (a foam-lined cradle for a telephone handset) in a dorm utility room to connect a remote terminal to the mainframe and bang out some crap in UNIX and then try to learn machine code. You had to log on after midnight when traffic was low. If it didn't work you hauled yourself up to the basement of Evans Hall (smack dab in the middle of campus) where all the other pasty-faced nerds were trying to get their CS homework done in the "off-hours." No wonder I got out of that field--it wasn't going anywhere.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

2011? I'm not done with 2010 yet!

 A fellow by the name of Mike Rodriguez is getting a big RMC "shout out" for bringing The Trophy to Siskiyou County. If you haven't heard of Siskiyou County, California, you can be forgiven. It's the 5th largest county in the state in terms of area, beaten out only by the ginormous SoCal counties of San Bernadino, Inyo, Kern, and Riverside, but its population (49,500) would mostly fit in AT&T Park. Nonetheless, The Trophy is coming to a lovely little burg called Mt. Shasta City on Sunday, March 20th. Apparently Mr. Rodriguez is a believer in the "ask-and-ye-shall-receive" school of thought. Mt. Shasta's Parks & Rec Director saw the trophy in Redding with 3,000 other faithful and said "hey, why not us?" I've been anxiously awaiting the announcement by the Giants that The Trophy would be in Southern Oregon, and the March 19th date for Medford was finally fixed! But then the story in the Mt. Shasta News was brought to my attention and I was ecstatic. Now I'll have two chances--Medford is 50 miles north of me and Mt. Shasta about 40 miles south. Thank you, San Francisco Giants. And extra-special thanks to Mike Rodriguez for representin' all us folks here in the 5-3-0!

In other news, the Giants are opening Spring Training this week.

--M.C.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Keys to The Streak™: Bullpen Quiz

Here's the rest of the cast. None of the answers are the three fellows I've already covered.



Q.Who pitched 7 shutout innings in The Streak™ and struck out 9?

A. This guy.


Q. Who made 6 appearances and got 15 outs facing 21 batters (5 hits, 1 walk, 1 run scored)?

A. This guy.


Q.  Who made 7 appearances but faced just 10 batters? Only one got on base.

A. This guy.


Q. Three others made appearances. Who were they?

A. This guy, this guy, and this guy.


--M.C.



p.s. OK, OK, I'm done with The Streak™. Look--it was the greatest stretch of pitching I have ever seen! I watched damn near every single pitch on my new HDTV, too. I'm obsessed with it. Obviously, clinching the West and running the table and getting The Big Prize was the highlight of the season--and the highlight of my entire life as a fan--but this run of outstanding team pitching was mind-bogglingly awesome. And I had to celebrate it. But I'm done. Time to talk about 2011.

Keys to The Streak™: Bullpen 3

One hit, one walk, zero runs allowed in 6 IP (20 batters). The Giants starters set the tone and did the lion's share of the work, but the guys in the 'pen were seriously clutch and consistently got big outs late in games.


Name this pitcher:
                                                      
Date    Opp Rslt Inngs  IP H R BB SO HR HBP BF Pit Str
Sep5    LAD W3-0   8-8 1.0 0 0  0  2  0   0  3  10   9
Sep6    ARI W2-0   8-8 0.0 0 0  1  0  0   0  1   4   0
Sep7    ARI W6-3   9-9 0.1 1 0  0  1  0   0  2   9   6
Sep10   SDP W1-0   8-8 0.1 0 0  0  1  0   0  1   5   4
Sep12   SDP W6-1   8-8 1.0 0 0  0  1  0   0  3   8   6
Sep14   LAD L0-1  9-GF 0.2 0 0  0  1  0   0  2   9   7
Sep15   LAD W2-1   8-8 1.0 0 0  0  0  0   0  3   6   6
Sep18   MIL L1-2   8-8 0.2 0 0  0  1  0   0  2   7   5
Sep21   CHC W1-0   8-8 1.0 0 0  0  1  0   0  3  14   9

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/12/2011.

Keys to The Streak™: Bullpen 2

Three hits, two walks, zero runs allowed in 7-2/3 IP (27 batters). Another wow!

Name this pitcher:

                                                       
Date    Opp  Rslt   Inngs  IP H R BB SO HR HBP BF Pit Str
Sep6    ARI  W2-0   10-10 1.0 0 0  1  3  0   0  4  20  13
Sep8    ARI  L1-3 8-GF(8) 1.0 0 0  1  0  0   0  3  10   5
Sep10   SDP  W1-0     6-7 1.1 1 0  0  1  0   0  5  28  18
Sep14   LAD  L0-1     6-6 0.1 0 0  0  1  0   0  1   5   3
Sep16   LAD W10-2     8-8 1.0 0 0  0  1  0   0  3  18  12
Sep17   MIL  L0-3     9-9 0.2 1 0  0  0  0   0  3   8   7
Sep19   MIL  W9-2     7-8 1.1 0 0  0  0  0   0  4  21  13
Sep22   CHC  L0-2 8-GF(8) 1.0 1 0  0  0  0   0  4  14  10
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/12/2011.

Keys to The Streak™: Bullpen 1

Two hits, one walk, and zero runs allowed in 8-2/3 IP (26 batters). Wow!

Name this pitcher:
                                                        
Date    Opp Rslt   Inngs  IP H R BB SO HR HBP BF Pit Str
Sep6    ARI W2-0     8-8 0.1 0 0  0  0  0   0  1   6   5
Sep9    SDP W7-3    9-GF 0.2 0 0  0  0  0   0  2  14  10
Sep10   SDP W1-0     7-7 0.2 0 0  0  0  0   0  2   8   5
Sep11   SDP L0-1 8-GF(8) 1.0 2 0  0  0  0   0  5  21  15
Sep14   LAD L0-1     7-8 2.0 0 0  0  1  0   0  6  19  13
Sep18   MIL L1-2     6-7 2.0 0 0  1  0  0   0  7  28  21
Sep21   CHC W1-0     7-7 1.0 0 0  0  1  0   0  3  11   8

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/12/2011.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Keys to The Streak™: Madison

Madison Bumgarner emerged as the secret weapon in the Giants stretch run, making an impact on the club every bit as valuable as fellow rookie Buster Posey. The Bumgarner-Posey battery in Game Four of the World Series (on Hallowe'en) put on a riveting show of baseball excellence, dominating (with a little help from Aubrey Huff, Andres Torres, etc.) a very tough Texas lineup and gave the Giants a commanding 3-1 lead. It will be interesting to see how the Giants handle their young lefty (he'll be 22 in August) and his increased workload in 2011. They seem to have done everything right with Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, and Jonathan Sanchez, so I'm pretty confident MadBum will be treated right. I'm certainly excited about full seasons from both Bumgarner and Posey.

--M.C.

                                                     
Date    Opp  Rslt  IP H R ER BB SO HR  ERA BF Pit GSc
Sep6    ARI  W2-0 7.1 5 0  0  1  7  0 3.44 28  98  74
Sep11   SDP  L0-1 7.0 3 1  1  0  4  1 3.28 23  79  71
Sep17   MIL  L0-3 5.2 9 2  2  1  5  0 3.27 29  97  47
Sep23   CHC W13-0 7.0 7 0  0  1  9  0 3.06 28 103  71

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/11/2011.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Keys to The Streak™: Barry

Poor Barry Zito--I suppose "poor" is a poor word--he was the guy who ended The Streak™ and the guy left off the post-season roster in favor of a 20-year old with 120 innings of ML-experience. Nonetheless, he lowered his ERA in his three starts. And he's a valuable guy, just a tad overpaid. Let's hope the Giants don't mind shelling out $20M/year for a 4th or 5th starter when they have to give raises to Tim and Matt and Jonathan.

--M.C.

                                                    
Date    Opp Rslt  IP H R ER BB SO HR  ERA BF Pit GSc
Sep8    ARI L1-3 6.0 4 2  2  3  7  0 4.14 24  95  60
Sep14   LAD L0-1 5.2 1 1  0  3  5  0 4.02 21  82  67
Sep19   MIL W9-2 6.0 3 2  2  1  3  1 3.98 22  85  60

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/10/2011.

Keys to The Streak™: Jonathan

Jonathan Sanchez started the whole thing off and racked up four starts in the 18-game span. Check out those strikeouts! What I like is the three walks in three starts (19-2/3 IP) and the seven walks in one start (5 IP). That sums up our goofy lefty. If he doesn't make you miss then he will probably miss you. His last three starts in the post-season, after the brilliant effort against Atlanta in the LDS, is what lingers in the mind. That's unfortunate--this guy is a hell of a talent. He threw 30 more innings and faced 100 more batters in 2010 than in 2009 before adding another 20 IP in the post-season. JSanchez led the league in fewest hits per nine innings. His 6.6 H/9 in 2010 followed 7.4 in 2009 and 8.8 in 2008. His ERA+ is trending the other way, from 88 in 2008 to 101 in 2009 and 133 in 2010. I can't wait to see what he can do in 2011.

--M.C.

                                                     
Date    Opp  Rslt  IP H R ER BB SO HR  ERA BF Pit GSc
Sep5    LAD  W3-0 7.0 3 0  0  1  9  0 3.39 25 112  79
Sep10   SDP  W1-0 5.0 1 0  0  7  4  0 3.29 22  88  62
Sep16   LAD W10-2 7.0 4 2  1  0 12  1 3.21 26  90  75
Sep22   CHC  L0-2 5.2 4 2  1  2  6  1 3.16 23 102  59

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/10/2011.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Keys to The Streak™: Matt

I'll see your Lincecum and raise you a Cain. How about 21 innings, 10  hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, and 15 strikeouts? A day after The Streak™ ended, Matt Cain threw a 3-hitter in Colorado (Game Score 80). What a beast! After his terrible start against San Diego in Game 160, he made three starts in the post-season an gave up one unearned run in 21-1/3 innings. Did I mention this guy was beast?

Matt Cain turns 27 in October and has made 170 starts. Check out his comps page at B-R. John Smoltz and Don Sutton? Wow. ZiPS, on the other hand, says Charlie Lea and Ben McDonald. It seems no one can quite figure out our big right-hander, especially major-league hitters!

--M.C.

                                                   
Date    Opp Rslt  IP H R ER BB SO HR  ERA BF Pit GSc 
Sep9    SDP W7-3 8.0 5 3  3  1  8  2 3.19 30 117  67
Sep15   LAD W2-1 7.0 3 0  0  0  5  0 3.08 24  91  76
Sep21   CHC W1-0 6.0 2 0  0  1  2  0 3.00 21  82  69

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/9/2011.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Keys to The Streak™: Tim

The Streak™ is the product of many impressive contributions from the National League's best pitching staff. As always, a conversation about Giants pitching starts with The Freak. Not surprisingly, Lincecum lived up to his billing as the "Ace." During the 26.2 inning stretch, Tim collected 32 strikeouts while giving up 3 walks. Opponents hit .202 and slugged .303. Not bad, huh? Remember that Tim had just suffered through a frightening August, so this stretch was especially significant to the team's immediate future. The other noteworthy aspect of these starts seems to be the regular appearance of Tim's newest weapon: a slider. He may have thrown it earlier, but this was when the radio boys began talking it up.
                                                          

Date Opp Rslt Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA BF Pit GSc

Sep 7 ARI W6-3 W(13-9) 6.2 5 3 3 0 11 1 3.69 25 94 63

Sep 12 SDP W6-1 W(14-9) 7.0 7 1 1 1 9 0 3.60 29 109 67

Sep 18 MIL L1-2 L(14-10) 5.0 6 2 2 2 3 0 3.60 23 72 48

Sep 24 COL W2-1 W(15-10) 8.0 2 1 1 0 9 0 3.51 26 106 83



Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/8/2011.

12-6

The Giants went 12-6 during The Streak™. It seems like they should have done better than that, especially in light of the numbers. Take a look:

161 innings, 605 batters faced, only 90 hits (23 for extra-bases--15 2B, 4 3B, 8 HR)

2319 pitches thrown, 1536 strikes (that's 66%--2 out of every 3 pitches were strikes)

155 strikeouts, only 36 walks (the Giants had 578 BB in the season, 4th-worst in baseball)

25 runs allowed (21 earned runs, a 1.17 ERA) or 1.39 rpg

The Giants were 18-8 in September after a sizzling July and a lackluster August. They gained 2-1/2 games on the Padres during The Streak™ and finished the month by sweeping Arizona (4 runs allowed in 3 games) to go up by 3 with 3 to play. They were in 2nd place, 3 games back, at the start of the month.

We all watched the Giants pitch like hell in the post-season and beat three quality opponents, throw four shutouts, and win six games in which they scored three runs or fewer. That was some serious pitching! In 15 games, the team went 11-4. They gave up 41 runs, or 2.73 rpg. No matter how you slice it, The Streak™ was something special. I said it before and I'll say it again: it's the best pitching I've ever seen.

--M.C.

p.s. Baserunning? I'm glad you asked. There were only 6 attempted steals in the 18 games and only 2 were successful. The opposition also hit into 9 double plays.

Monday, February 7, 2011

18 games in September: XVIII

On September 18th the Colorado Rockies were 82-66 and in 3rd place, one game behind the San Diego Padres and a half-game behind the San Francisco Giants. Jhoulys Chacin and his mates had just clobbered the hapless Los Angeles Dodgers who had fallen out of contention way back in the month of August. It looked like the Rockies were finally putting it together (they won 10 in a row in early September!) and would be in the hunt for the NL West title. The Dodgers won the getaway game on the 19th, preventing a sweep, and the Rockies headed for Arizona. They would be swept by the lowly Diamondbacks, and come home to a big series with the Giants on Friday, September 24th. They were 3-1/2 games back at that point and needed a push. The Giants were clinging to their 1/2 game lead and needed to keep the pressure on the Padres (who were hosting the Cincinnati Reds). Jhoulys Chacin pitched a great game but gave up a late 2-run homer to Pat Burrell and saw his 1-0 lead become a 2-1 deficit. He had the misfortune to be matched up with Tim Lincecum that night in Denver, and The Freak had his A-game going, giving up only 2 hits, walking none, and striking out 9. It was the last game in The Streak™. Barry Zito would get hit hard the next day and Brian Wilson would blow a late lead and the Giants would lose the game. On Sunday, Matt Cain would flirt with a no-hitter and bury the Rockies for good. The Giants would go up by a half-game on that day and not look back. The Rockies would go 0-7 in their final stretch, and the Padres would go 3-4 in the same span. The Giants would take it to the last day but their 4-2 record would prevail and they would win the title by 2 full games.

--M.C.

                                                           
Pitching                  IP H R ER BB SO HR  ERA BF Pit Str
Tim  Lincecum W (15-10)    8 2 1  1  0  9  0 3.51 26 106  74
Brian  Wilson S (45)       1 0 0  0  0  1  0 1.82  3   8   7
Team Totals                9 2 1  1  0 10  0 1.00 29 114  81

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/6/2011.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

18 games in September: XVII

The Giants blasted the Cubs with 13 runs and shut them out. It was a good day as the Dodgers beat a fading Mat Latos and the Giants reclaimed first place by a half-game. The Streak™ reached seventeen games! Here's what I said then:
 It's the best pitching I've ever seen.
Not very deep or original, I grant you. But true! True enough to win the World Series!

--M.C.
                                                              
Pitching                     IP H R ER BB SO HR  ERA BF Pit Str
Madison  Bumgarner W (6-6)    7 7 0  0  1  9  0 3.06 28 103  73
Guillermo  Mota               1 0 0  0  0  1  0 4.59  3  10   6
Dan  Runzler                  1 0 0  0  0  2  0 3.16  3  15   8
Team Totals                   9 7 0  0  1 12  0 0.00 34 128  87

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/5/2011.
 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

RMC & BBA

Raising Matt Cain joined the Baseball Bloggers Alliance. Here's their constitution. I stumbled across BBA on Crazy Crabbers and felt like a kid who goes out to play and discovers everyone else in the neighborhood has new Keds and so wanted a pair of his own. Alas, there goes my "I'd never join a club that would have me as a member" New Year's resolution. Have to remember not to make New Year's resolutions.

Raising Matt Cain debuted on the 25th of September, 2007. Matt Cain threw 7 innings, gave up 2 solo homers, walked 1, struck out 8, and logged another ND. He "lost" 16 games that season. Now Matt Cain is an All-Star and a World Champion.

Blogging about the Giants has not only been more rewarding than I expected, but considerably more work as well. What an amazing cast of characters out there! All sorts of smart, funny, and interesting folks with boatloads of original stuff. I like the variety of styles and outlooks--you never know what people are going to see in a game or a ballplayer. I used to really enjoy sitting in the bleachers at Candlestick (LF, Sec. 30) and bullshitting about our favorite team and out favorite sport with my pals, with other regulars, and with complete strangers. Running this blog has been much like that, just without the spilled beer. It has been a great ride, thanks for tagging along. Game XVII tomorrow.

--M.C.

18 games in September: XVI

There were 9 shutouts during The Streak™. That's 18 games, 9 shutouts. Five by the Giants and four by the other guys. Fantastic stuff--you couldn't make up baseball stories this good. The Giants and Cubs combined for three shutouts in the three-game set. Riding high off the momentum of the 1-0 win on Tuesday, the Giants responded with a lackluster 6-hit effort against Randy Wells and Carlos Marmol. The brisk (2:22) 2-0 win for the home team along with a San Diego win in LA meant the Giants fell a half game back.

The 1963 San Francisco Giants had a streak of 15 games in which they allowed three or fewer runs. The 2010 Giants broke a club record with Game XVI.

There were 10 games left in the season.

--M.C.
                                                               
Pitching                      IP H R ER BB SO HR  ERA BF Pit Str
Jonathan  Sanchez L (11-9)   5.2 4 2  1  2  6  1 3.16 23 102  65
Chris  Ray                   1.1 0 0  0  2  2  0 3.63  5  27  16
Santiago  Casilla              1 1 0  0  0  0  0 2.02  4  14  10
Team Totals                    8 5 2  1  4  8  1 1.12 32 143  91

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/4/2011.
 

Friday, February 4, 2011

18 games in September: XV

Buster Posey was the hero on September 21st in Chicago, belting a homer to give the Giants a 1-0 win. That was the fourth 1-0 game in The Streak™. The Giants split back-to-back 1-0 games (VI & VII) against the Padres and then lost 1-0 to the Dodgers (IX).

Carlos Zambrano was pulled for pinch-hitter Sam Fuld leading off the bottom of the 6th, and Matt Cain was pulled for pinch-hitter Travis Ishikawa leading off the top of the 7th. The Giants won the Battle of the Bullpens--Buster Posey hit his winner in the 8th off Andrew Cashner, who was in his second inning of work. Another outstanding pitching performance kept the Giants a half-game ahead of the Padres.


--M.C.
                                                          
Pitching                 IP H R ER BB SO HR  ERA BF Pit Str
Matt  Cain                6 2 0  0  1  2  0 3.00 21  82  49
Ramon  Ramirez W (1-3)    1 0 0  0  0  1  0 3.09  3  11   8
Sergio  Romo H (18)       1 0 0  0  0  1  0 2.30  3  14   9
Brian  Wilson S (44)      1 0 0  0  0  0  0 1.84  3  12   8
Team Totals               9 2 0  0  1  4  0 0.00 30 119  74

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/3/2011.



p.s.  Triples Alley takes a look at Matt Cain, FIP, and xFIP. Cain is the poster boy for sabermetric debate--he consistently "outperforms his peripherals" which is Saberspeak for "we don't get why he is successful and think he might just be lucky." It's interesting stuff. Here, here, and here are some examples of the digital ink spilled on our All-Star World Champion pitcher.
 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lou Piniella Joins The Organization?!?

Did anyone else find it a bit strange that Lou Piniella is now part of the organization as some sort of 'advisor' lacking any clear role? Lou is supposedly in S. Florida helping his aging & ailing Mother which sounds noble & humble & all, but, also of a potentially limited duration.

Here's my (semi-weird) theory: The Giants are concerned that big money teams will come sniffing soon for Bochy. It may be in 2011/2012; it may be later. They want a back-up plan & are still unconvinced (God knows why) that Ron Wotus isn't the guy. They now have Lou to turn to, if needed.

Anyone want to comment on this? Signing up Lou justs seems like a strange move, if there is no other aspect.

18 games in September: XIV

What does a contending team do when it loses back-to-back seppuku-inducing games at home to an inferior squad? It turns to savvy vets to right the ship! Barry Zito and Jose Guillen were the stars on Sunday in San Francisco. The Brewers got clobbered and The Streak™ reached 14 games. The Giants built a championship season on pitching, and the record-breaking run of games where they gave up 3 or fewer runs to the other team has not been fully appreciated by the rest of baseball. The Padres lost in St. Louis and the Giants went back on top by half a game.

--M.C.
                                                         
Pitching                IP H R ER BB SO HR  ERA BF Pit Str
Barry  Zito W (9-13)     6 3 2  2  1  3  1 3.98 22  85  57
Santiago  Casilla      1.1 0 0  0  0  0  0 2.06  4  21  13
Jeremy  Affeldt          0 2 0  0  0  0  0 4.13  2   6   6
Chris  Ray             0.2 0 0  0  0  0  0 3.73  2   6   4
Javier  Lopez          0.1 0 0  0  0  1  0 2.25  1   6   4
Guillermo  Mota        0.2 0 0  0  1  0  0 4.68  3  12   7
Team Totals              9 5 2  2  2  4  1 2.00 34 136  91

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Generated 2/2/2011.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

18 games in September: XIII

There was nothing lucky about the 13th game of The Streak. Yovani Gallardo did not allow a run in the first four innings of Saturday's game. After Friday's shutout by Randy Wolf that meant 13 scoreless innings for the Giants! They finally broke through in the 5th on an RBI ground out by Mike Fontenot. The only other offensive highlight was Buster Posey's epic 11-pitch strikeout AB against John Axford in the 9th. The Freak was pulled for pinch-hitter Nate Schierholtz in that same 5th, and Mr. Olympian's walk ahead of Fontenot kept the inning alive. Halving the deficit wasn't enough. The Brewers threw their two best guys at the Giants and they gave up one run in 16 innings. The 83-66 Giants fell a half-game behind the 83-65 Padres.

--M.C.

                                                            
Pitching                   IP H R ER BB SO HR  ERA BF Pit Str
Tim  Lincecum L (14-10)     5 6 2  2  2  3  0 3.60 23  72  48
Ramon  Ramirez              2 0 0  0  1  0  0 3.14  7  28  21
Dan  Runzler              0.1 0 0  0  0  0  0 3.26  1   2   2
Sergio  Romo              0.2 0 0  0  0  1  0 2.34  2   7   5
Brian  Wilson               1 0 0  0  0  0  0 1.87  3  16   8
Team Totals                 9 6 2  2  3  4  0 2.00 36 125  84

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/1/2011.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

18 games in September: XII

I think I wrote a hell of a piece the first go-round--you should read it again. It is nice to relive those heady days. The Giants won the World Series, but they had to lose to the Brewers along the way. Randy Wolf shut out the Giants on Friday night in San Francisco, the third time in a six-game span the team had failed to score. But The Streak is all about pitching. The Giants critical mass of above-averageness in the lineup managed to work, in the end, but the team relied on pitching, pitching, pitching, and more pitching to win. The staff gave up 18 runs in the first 12 games and the team went 8-4.

--M.C.

                                                                
Pitching                      IP  H R ER BB SO HR  ERA BF Pit Str
Madison  Bumgarner L (5-6)   5.2  9 2  2  1  5  0 3.27 29  97  71
Chris  Ray                   0.1  1 0  0  0  0  0 3.78  2   4   2
Guillermo  Mota              0.1  1 1  0  1  0  0 4.74  3  12   7
Jeremy  Affeldt              1.2  0 0  0  0  1  0 4.13  6  21  11
Santiago  Casilla            0.2  1 0  0  0  0  0 2.12  3   8   7
Javier  Lopez                0.1  0 0  0  0  0  0 2.26  1   2   2
Team Totals                    9 12 3  2  2  6  0 2.00 44 144 100

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: utm_campaign=ShareTool#SanFranciscoGiantspitching">View Original Table
Generated 1/31/2011.