Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Your 2010 Giants are 14-10: Catching Some Marlins

The Giants just finished off probably their best homestand of recent years and yet many fans, including me, felt unsatisfied. They beat three projected playoff teams, winning each series, 2-1, finishing a nice 6-3, which could not have been foreseen, but because they had the "gall" to win the first two games of each series, we all were thinking "sweep" and ended up with the bitter taste of losses on our tongues.

Still, as I've been preaching, look at the final results: 6-3 homestand against tough playoff-bound projected teams, and even if they were hurting a little, so were we, Rowand was DLed and Sanchez has been battling a tough cold. Our offense took on Halladay, as well as other tough pitchers in Garcia, Wainwright, Penny, Hamels, Cook and Chacin, and they did well overall. Now they go on a road trip, starting out in Florida against the Marlins.

Game 1: Anibal Sanchez vs. Lincecum

Sanchez has been one of their prospect that they have been waiting on. His problem had been too many walks and homers, and while he got both of those way down, to acceptable levels, now his strikeout rate is too low. He appears to have been lucky so far.
Still, he'll have to be really good if he hopes to beat Lincecum and the Giants. Should be a Giants win.

Game 2: Nate Robertson vs. Zito

The worse pitcher on the Marlins staff, facing Zito coming off his best April ever. Should be a Giants in the win column type of day.

Game 3: Ricky Nolasco vs. Cain

The Giants at least avoids Josh Johnson, who has been the best Marlin's starter this season, but do face Ricky Nolasco, who was pretty good in 2008 but was lost in 2009, and probably is around where he should be this season, around high 3 ERA. That is basically Cain's area of talent, so it should be a close game, particularly since we are on the road, too close to lean one way or the other.

Giants Thoughts

An amazing factoid came out from SF Chronicle: the Giants had a streak of 13 games in which their starters gave up two runs or fewer. According to STATS, Inc., that 13-gamer was one shy of the best such streak in the majors since 1952. The 1965-66 White Sox and the 1968 Pirates each had a 14-gamer. The 13-gamer tied the San Francisco record set in June of the pennant-winning season of 1989. The Giants' starters in that stretch 21 years ago: Dennis Cook, Don Robinson, Scott Garrelts, Rick Reuschel and Atlee Hammaker. As infrequent as these have occurred in the past, I think the Giants will be regularly doing this, particularly once Bumgarner joins the rotation.

Looks like the Giants should win another series.  The Marlins have not been that good at home, though their run differential tells a different story than their W/L.  Still, we got our best pitchers so far going against them and we avoid their best pitcher, Johnson.  Also, Huff's bat is waking up, he is a notorious slow starter, with bad April stats, and seems to heat up with the weather, which should be good in Miami.

However, I read somewhere the Hanley Ramirez's bat is starting to wake up, and given the team's problems with preventing base stealers - I mean, really, Jason Giambi got a SB? - if he's getting on and running amok, that could spell trouble for our pitchers.  It should be tight games, but the Giants should have the edge this series because of our pitching.

4 comments:

  1. Great win yesterday, disappointing that we haven't been able to get tim W's in his last two dominating starts, He could easily win 20+ if our pen could hold it together

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yeah, Lincecum would have been at or near 20 wins the past two seasons if not for bullpen blown saves.

    But that happens to other starters too, I wonder how often that happens, is Lincecum the norm, low, high?

    My guess is that he is low. The Giants bullpen is much better than most other teams and thus should be doing well for the team in general.

    Still, baseball-reference.com has the stat on this and he lost 3 wins in 2007, 6 in 2008 (23-5 instead!), 3 in 2008, and 1 this year.

    Seems to vary. Check Phillies in 2009, Blanton only lost 1 in 31 starts, but Hamels lost 5 in 32, Happ 2 in 23 starts, Moyer 3 in 25 starts, and Myers 0 in 10 starts, as well as all the other starters.

    But the Yankees, mostly 1 start blown, only Pettitte had 2 in 2009, rest 0 or 1. That seems to be Best Practices in the majors.

    LA in 2009, Billingsley lost 5 in 32 starts, Kershaw 2 in 30, Kuroda 2 in 20, Padilla 2 in 7, Weaver 1 in 7, and Wolf 4 in 34.

    In the NL, the average team suffered 12 such blown wins for the starter, the Giants had 11 in 2009. Cub and Cards were leaders, with 8 and 7 respectively, so Cards best in NL in 2009.

    In the majors, average was 13 and Yankees, Cards, and surprisingly, Blue Jays, were tied with 7. Worse by far was Mariners with 23; next was 18, Astros, bunch at 16-17.

    There are also losses saved, and the Giants had 13 of those for their starters, which more than balance out the 11 they blew. However, because our offense wasn't that good, 13 is pretty low, the average was 21 in the majors, 22 in NL. Reds tied Giants for low in 2009 with 13.

    Oddly enough, in 2009, the Giants had more cheap wins, when the pitching failed (13), than tough losses when the pitching did well (9). Average was 13 cheap wins and 14 tough losses. The Giants led the NL in 2009 with 9, a couple had 10. That probably explains why BP's stats said that Giants should only have won maybe 83-84 games instead of the 88 they had.

    Balanced off their 2008, I guess, they had 18 tough losses that season (14 avg). Only 5 cheap wins (well, it was a bad offense; avg 13).

    In 2007, 19 tough losses (12 avg) but 12 (!) cheap wins (avg).

    In 2006, Giants exactly average 13 cheap wins, 14 tough losses.

    For this 2010 season, 1 cheap wins (2 avg) and 1 tough loss (2 avg), with 3 wins lost by starters (2 avg) and 3 losses saved by bullpen and offense (4 avg).

    Baseball Reference rules! http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/NL/2010-starter-pitching.shtml

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, the average suggests that the average starter pitching in his slot all season (32-33 starts) suffers roughly 2-3 wins blown per season.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The Giants win the series again, behind Zito's great effort and Rowand's offense up top.

    It would be tough to sweep though, Nolasco's a tough pitcher, and while Cain is good, they are about equal.

    I don't know how some players get pointed out and others just skate under the radar.

    I've noted how the media pointed at Molina and Huff (and now Romo), over a few games of non-performance, when overall they had been productive for long stretches.

    However, Juan Uribe escapes the media's sharp glare for some reason. After his hot start, he cooled off greatly. Since April 20, about when he took over for Renteria at SS, he has hit .219/.242/.375/.617, but the media hasn't picked on him.

    He's actually been OK in terms of bat discipline, only 3 K's in 32 AB vs. only 1 walk though, so it appears to be a bad spell of balls not falling in, but that was true of Molina and Huff and they got called out for it almost immediately, whereas Uribe has been unproductive for 2 weeks now and I see people wanting to move him up in the order.

    Still, Molina and Huff did about the same but got called out for it while Uribe has been bad too but, if anything, felt the love.

    ReplyDelete

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