Wednesday, August 26, 2009

That Was a Nice Comeback, Shows a Lot of Fortitude

Wow, yesterday's game was very interesting because it shows the mettle of the team and their state of mind. They clearly didn't let Monday's game get into their minds. They lost the lead, came back to tie it, then took the lead decisively, then held on to gain the victory. That's a pretty good gut check.

That bodes well for the future. For better or for worse, the team we have now is what we have next year, with a few big changes here and there, depending on who the Giants let go, sign as a free agent, or bring up to the majors. These little battles and big disappointments will make them more prepared in the future for such situations.

D-Back Series

The pain of Monday's loss and the series loss kept me away from commenting but even against the hapless D-backs, this series did not look like the slam dunk it should be. Obviously, Cain vs. Haren, it could go either way, but luckily it went our way. Ishikawa was our hero for this game, and according to the sfgiants.com account of the game, Bochy acknowledged that Ishikawa is very comfortable hitting at home, so hopefully that will mean that we see more of him on the home stand against the RHP we face.

Today's game pits Sanchez against Doug Davis, probably their #2 starter currently, and he's been pretty good this season too, so it is going to be another tough game. Davis had a string of five good starts before his last start but even there he wasn't that bad (5.0 IP, 5 hits, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts, but 5 ER) so it could have just been bad luck there.

In any case, he pitched very well earlier this season in AT&T (8 shutout innings) though not so well previously (5.22 ERA) but then again, we had a much better offense (Bonds and Company) previously. His ERA at AT&T post-Barry is very low, but he had only one start last year, 5.1 IP, 6 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 2 ER, and it would have been worse had the bullpen not bailed him out last year.

Sanchez, of course, have been great since rejoining the rotation. Including the no-hitter, 8 starts, 49.2 IP, 27 hits, 22 walks, 60 strikeouts, 2.90 ERA; since no-hitter, 7 starts, 40.2 IP, 27 hits, 22 walks, 49 strikeouts, 3.54 ERA, .193/.307/.336/.642 with 5 HR. He pitched well lastyear agasnst them early at home when he was going good. So it looks like it could be a tough game for either side to score.

Out of our hitters, Frandsen loves hitting against Davis, but of course, he's not here. Same for Freddy Sanchez. Molina loves hitting against him, 4 HR in 44 AB, 1119 OPS. Winn has done nicely against him too, 2 HR in 44 AB, 848 OPS. Lewis (4 for 9). Plus Schierholtz, Rowand and Sandoval have been OK against him too. And Velez 2 for 3. Probably Winn, Rowand, Schierholtz in OF, Garko, Velez, Renteria, Uribe in the infield, with Molina catching. They could have Rohlinger start at 3B - he was called up after Freddy Sanchez was placed on the DL - since Uribe is no great shakes against Davis or LHP, but most probably not.

Tomorrw, Joe Martinez faces Yusmeiro Petit. The Giants have knocked him around previously (15 ER, 13.2 IP in 4 games, 2 starts). Looks like Martinez is up against the right guy, we should have a good chance of winning this game.

With yesterday's win, we just need to split to win the series. Right now, it looks like a split is all that we will get, but a sweep is probably what is necessary to get the sting of the weekend out of our wounds and to put us back into the race for the playoffs. While no game by itself is significant - as I had noted in a post over the weekend, losing the series would not be the end of the world - each game is playoff pressure packed because, being 4 games back, we cannot afford to fall behind any further and still hope to make the playoffs.

Ishikawa in 2009

A look at our hitting hero yesterday, for the 2009 season:
  • Ishikawa is hitting .262/.324/.410/.734 for the season, with 9 HR in 256 AB (29 AB/HR)
  • He is hitting .269/.322/.429/.750 as a starter, with 9 HR in 238 AB (27 AB/HR)
  • He has 35 RBI as a starter in 69 starts and 238 AB, which is not that bad, around 82 RBI in a 162 game season or 88 RBI in a 600 AB season. According to baseball-reference.com, he is right about average for RBI gained in RBI opportunities: 32 RBI vs. 32 RBI for the average MLB player in the same PA.
  • He has had 4 3-RBI games and 2 2-RBI games in those 69 starts, 9% of his starts he had multiple RBIs. For comparison, in 116 starts, Sandoval has had 8 2-RBI, 5 3-RBI, and 3 4-RBI games, 13% of his starts. Molina in 103 starts, has had 7 2-RBI, 4 3-RBI, and 3 4-RBI games, 14% of his starts.
  • He has batted mostly 6th and 7th this season and has had most of his success hitting in those positions. It appears possible that he puts extra pressure on himself batting higher, as he has hit better in the 7th and 8th positions.
  • Since May 9th kick in the butt, .287/.353/.468/.821 with 9 HR in 188 AB (21 AB/HR)
  • Still striking out too much: 47 K's in 188 AB with 17 BB and 2 HBP.
  • However, since his early hot streak, .254/.307/.400/.707 with 5 HR in 130 AB (26 AB/HR).
  • Since Garko joined the team, .216/.356/.405/.761 with 2 HR in 37 AB (19 AB/HR) but 7 walks vs. 10 strikeouts, improving his walk rate greatly, in 23 games, 7 starts. For the month before that, he hit .294/.310/.435/.746 with 3 HR in 85 AB (28 AB/HR) in 23 games, 22 starts.
  • Still he has hit roughly .800 or better whether starting or sitting: initial kick to May 27, .385/.478/.487/.965, 1 HR in 39 AB; from May 28 to June 16, sitting for Sandoval, .333/.429/.500/.929; starting again June 17 to July 26, .274/.294/.481/.775, 6 HR in 106 AB; Garko arrives, since July 27, .216/.356/.405/.761, 2 HR in 37 AB, he hasn't done as well hitting since but better at walking and power. Probably due to all his coming into games cold, he has hit better when starting.
  • His current hot streak is since August 10th, .208/.345/.500/.845 with 2 HR in 24 AB (12 AB/HR).
  • His current cold streak is since August 15th, .190/.227/.381/.608 with 1 HR in 21 AB.

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