Friday, September 11, 2009

Your 2009 Giants are 76-64: Beat LA! Beat LA! Beat LA!

Really, we basically need to sweep LA or at worse win the series. Then we need to sweep Colorado in order to get back into the wild card race, and if we did the job against LA, would be in the division title race again probably. Then we need to win the series again against LA, again a sweep would be nice if not mandatory.

Is a 9 game win streak possible? Not really since the best the Giants have been able to cobble together is a 5 game winning streak, early in the season. So 7-2 is probably what they can best hope for, 6-3 or 5-4 or 4-5 are the more likely outcomes playing at home for 6 then 3 in LA.

Thus, it's mano-a-mano time, boys and girls, time for our offense to man up or shut up. So far, unfortunately, they have shut up. They really should have won the series against SD, that was really shameful that they didn't, though the 'Dres do have A-Gon and he singlehanded took it to the Giants.

But that's water under the bridge now, the gaunlet continues and LA is up next in our gun-sights. Humm Baby, don't let your dauber down now! You gotta like these Kids!

Game 1: Cain vs. Kuroda

Kuroda has had a nice season, but horrible last start, his first after taking a ball off his head. Hopefully that will continue in this game. He has had an odd-ball season in that his road ERA (3.94) is way better than his home ERA (4.37). So which is real? With a 3.78 ERA on the road last season, 3.68 ERA at home, plus 4.14 ERA in second half vs. 3.43 ERA in first half, it could be either, and with a good K/BB ratio, it would seem that we should lean towards the better side.

But his K/9 has been much under the 6.0 that most good pitchers need to do in order to be regularly effective in keeping his ERA low. When it is below that, random defensive fluctuations just seem to do in the pitcher regularly. And with Manny in LF, Blake at 3B, Hudson at 2B, Loney at 1B, Ethier in CF, and Kemp in RF - all either slightly below or above average on defense - that probably happens to their pitchers more often than to the Giants (LA allows 0.30 unearned runs per game, Giants 0.22).

Still, 0.93 ERA in AT&T Park in 3 starts suggest that the Giants will have their hands full against him. Doesn't look good for the Giants, but Cain can deal too, 3.23 ERA at home lifetime, 2.53 ERA this season, 3.97 ERA against the D-gers for his career.

Game 2: Sanchez vs. Vincente Padilla

Amazing how Padilla recovered from his horrible stats in the AL and playing in Arlington, a severe hitters park, when he joined the D-gers, who has as extreme a pitchers park. Didn't take much to see that would happen, given that his ERA on the road was about one run better than at home in Arlington. And he has pitched well, though lucky (only 11 strikeouts in 29.1 IP with 8 walks), with a 3.38 ERA.

Jonathan Sanchez, however, has been just about as good since his no-hitter, so this should be another tough game, another one too close to tell who is better.

Game 3: Penny vs. Chad Billingsley

Billingsley is as good on the road as at home, which is pretty good overall (high 3's). He's been even better in SF, 2.67 ERA. But Penny has been pretty good in his return too. Another toss-up, though I hope Penny brings things up a notch and shut them down.

Giants Thoughts

The Giants need to at least win the series, ideally sweep, as I noted above. Neither seem likely as a possibility right now. It's do or die time now, we need someone to step up, whether it be via homeruns or advancing runners when the time is right and getting the timely hits. Then the Giants will have to do it again against the D-Rox, then the D-gers again.

This is a rough stretch and should determine whether we are out of it or back in the thick of things. None of the hitters are particularly hot and the pitchers have been vulnerable this month after being almost untouchable in August. If the offense had been doing at least as well as it was in previous months, they would still be in the thick of things, but the offense started sputtering once Garko was placed in the lineup regularly, as he was cold with us plus he took the relatively hot Ishikawa out of the lineup. Franchez being out of the lineup didn't help either.

Unfortunately, their inability to put away the 'Dres is what is costing them big this season. They are 6-9 against the woeful 'Dres. If they were instead 9-6, the way they should be, they would be only 1 game behind Colorado and 3.5 games behind LA. Otherwise, they have done well against everyone else, except for the D-gers, but at 5-7, that is nothing to be ashamed up, change one loss and they are 6-6.

The good news is that they have 6 more games against Arizona, against whom they are 8-4 this season. They are the one team that the Giants have been able to beat up on this season. And they were 2-7 over their last stretch, though admittedly they did that against LA and Colorado. However, they beat out 2 of 3 in their last series here a month ago.

The Cubs are improved this month, 6-3, but that was against the Mets, Pirates, and Astros, and they were lucky to do that too, as they did not score a lot of runs, so they could have been 5-4 just as easily. By the time we meet them, they should be getting ready for the off-season mentally, so we should have a pretty good shot at winning the 4-game series, but by then we could be out of it too.

Which just circles back and shows how critical these 9 games against LA, CO, LA is for our very slim playoff hopes now. The good news is that Tulowitski should miss their series this weekend, helping us maybe catch up a game this weekend if we can win against LA. Unfortunately, he should be back by the time they face us, and in any case, they are playing the 'Dres, so it could be that the D-Rox could sweep the 'Dres, even in SD and without Tulo, and put us back too far to come back, as there is virtually no chance of us sweeping the D-gers.

Beat LA! Beat LA! Beat LA!

Go Giants!

2 comments:

  1. This has been one of the most enjoyable season for me because I see the team that this group could be in a season or two, and how that success could extend for years, perhaps to the point when the park gets paid off.

    Thanks to the Giants for a wonderful season, and, who knows, there are still enough games to still put some pressure on Colorado, though unfortunately, the conductor is cueing the music for us to get off the stage and it would take a massive win streak to do that, and to do that, we need some hitters to step up and start taking over games. Right now, that means Sandoval, Bowker, Schierholtz, Garko, Ishikawa, as they are the ones with the power to change the games for us.

    At minimum, we have the chance to beat LA four straight and allow Colorado to humiliate them by winning the NL West. With Penny on the mound, I'm sure he will want blue blood to be spilled.

    Beat LA!

    ReplyDelete

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