Monday, May 10, 2010

Your 2010 Giants are 18-12: Playing for First Place Versus the 'Dres

As disappointing as losing the series against the Mets was, I think people need to remember some things:

  • No bullpen is perfect, but the Giants bullpen is pretty good, if not great.  Sure, Romo lost a couple of games, but look at what he has done in his roughly 1.5 seasons worth of play:  dominance, as in 9.8 K/9, as in only 2.4 BB/9, as in 0.97 WHIP.  Get over it, relievers aren't perfect, sometimes the batter is going to win, otherwise the reliever would have a 0.00 ERA for his career.  
  • Sure, it hurt to lose games we could have won but these people are forgetting that we banked a few of those in our pockets during the road trip too, or perhaps they forgot that you normally cannot rely on Aaron Rowand to blast 3 home runs in a short 6 game road trip.  
  • The Giants were 6-4 on the road trip.  A winning road trip is always a good thing.
  • The matchups did not favor us, in any case.  It could have gone either way, and in this case, didn't go our way, whereas in prior series, it did.  
  • 18-12 is still a great record.  In a full season, that is 97 wins.
  • And it is not like the Giants are lucky to be this.  With luck, they could be 20-10, which is their Pythagorean record.  They have been this good so far.  
  • And all season long, when one guy in the lineup is scuffling, another hitter is hot enough to keep the team afloat.  Sandoval, Uribe, and Schierholtz were the very hot hitters in April, but now it is Rowand hot while those three are scuffling in May.  Molina and Huff have been pretty good for the most part (though it saddened me to see the media pick on the two of them when they were briefly scuffling, I think THAT was very insulting to both), and so was Rowand except when he was on the DL.  
  • DeRosa has been scuffling period, though he was adequate for the first half of the games so far (roughly .350 OBP), but horrible since.  I think it is getting time to let Bowker get some starts in LF - DeRosa has never been a full-time starter anyway, he's only been a mostly full-time starter, like Pedro Feliz was for us as our super-utility guy.  And DeRosa, while an OK hitter against RHP, probably would be better off sitting against certain RHP starters.  And Bowker appears to be showing some life in his bat that would be a welcome addition to the lineup, particularly since DeRosa has not delivered any power so far.  
  • Also, Sanchez has been recovering from a bad cold, much like Lincecum at the start of the 2009 season.  If he was full-strength for his last three starts (16.2 IP, 13 H, 11 BB, 13 SO, 3 HR, 4.32 ERA), like he was for his first three starts (19.1 IP, 11 H, 8 BB, 27 SO, 0 HR, 1.86 ERA), just imagine what our record would be now.
Game 1:  Wade LeBlanc vs. Zito

If there has been any pitcher who has as good or better than Zito for the past few starts, it is LeBlanc.  And, if anything, he had very bad luck with his BABIP so far!  He was a top prospect for the 'Dres when he was a rookie, and appears to be putting it together this season.  

Was not a highly ranked prospect, however, overall, so it is not like it is expected that he will continue at this low ERA, though if he can keep up his peripherals, he can.  So, did he discover a new pitch that propelled him above others (or finally developed that out pitch, like Brandon Webb did when he was so highly rated as a prospect his breakout year that he wasn't even mentioned on his team's prospect to watch article on their website that spring) or is he just very lucky?  Can't argue with his peripherals so far, you can't luck into that.

And what more superlatives can be thrown towards Zito's way that hasn't been thrown by the media over the past week or two.  Toss-up depending on who is better this particular day.

Game 2:  Clayton Richard vs. Cain

Unlike LeBlanc, not a highly ranked prospect, so he is doing better than the experts thought he would.  His stats and being a lefty, it reminds me of Kirk Rueter, low K's, high BB's, but somehow he crafts a low ERA for the season while barely getting his team into the 6th or 7th inning.  Plus, he handled the Giants in SD when they swept us.

Cain has been his usually good self, though he has kicked it into a higher gear his last two starts.  But so did Richard in his last start too.  Cain also has done better at home than on the road, so that helps too.  However, this is probably a toss-up as well.

Game 3:  Matt Latos vs. Sanchez

Latos was the highest ranked prospect among this trio of young starters, not high enough to gain top 100 status, but he was San Diego's #2 prospect a couple of years ago, so he's pretty good.  Like the other two, if we based things on prospect status, none of the three would have a chance against our pitchers, but so far this season, the three of them have been pitching great.   Yet, he has the worse ERA of the three.  I think that he is closest to his theoretic skill level, based on their prospect status, and he handled the Giants easily when the 'Dres took all three games, as well as pitched his best game of the season in his last start, a superlative game in all ways.

Sanchez has been scuffling due to health problems (very bad cold), but, while his last start did not start out well at all, he was able to regroup and pitch 7 relatively effective innings overall against the Mets.  He should be healthy for this start, should be a good game, another toss-up.  In any case, I think the experience of gutting out the games at less than full strength, particularly the Mets when it was so bad initially that he often tanked afterwards previously, were good character building exercises for him.  

Giants Thoughts

The pitching matchups look like each team has roughly the same chance to win, so this series look like a toss-up, it can go either way.  Thus, I think the key will be our hitters.

The 'Dres have been winning solely because of their pitching.  As great as our pitching has been, their staff has put up comparable if not better numbers (mainly because we have Wellemeyer as our #5 starter) and their hitters have not been doing much of anything.  Only A-Gon and Headley has done much of anything offensively, in terms of OPS.  The rest have been pretty bad and their lineup reminds me of how the Giants lineup looked like last season.  I think that is why their team has gone overboard with their stealing, to compensate for their lack of hitting.  They already have 37 steals, which is probably what we might get in total for the whole of 2010.

So the key for us to win is our hitting, as I think our pitching should be able to keep up their side of the bargain.  San Diego was lucky their first time around because our top of the lineup was messed up by losing Rowand and starting Velez, and Bowker was still not hitting for us.  Now they get to face Rowand while he's hot.  And there are two LHP and Torres has been hot, finally, so that would set up scoring opportunities for the middle of our lineup.  However, Sandoval has been in a slump for the month of May, basically.  

Still, we have been scoring runs relatively easily lately.  Both Molina and Huff has been hitting well, and Schierholtz (and others) have been delivering from the #8 spot enough that Rowand drove in 4 runs in the 6 game road trip besides the 3 runs he drove in via homers.  They averaged 4.7 runs scored off the Mets at their pitchers park home and while they have been hot at home (Giants win snapped a nine-game winning streak at home for the Mets).  If these hitters can keep up what they have been doing, I think they can score enough runs off the 'Dres pitchers to win the series.  

And the winner of the series is who will be in first place afterward.

Go Giants!

4 comments:

  1. The Giants just seem to play better at home. That's what I'm counting on to be the difference in this series. The Padres are for real though, so you are right to project this as a tossup. Hopefully that means one team will win 2 of 3 and it will be the Giants.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was surprised the Giants didn't bring up Joe Borchard from Phoenix when they sent Velez down. Borchard was once a VERY high rated prospect, a switch hitter with power. His Avg, HR and RBI's leads Fresno and he is actually hitting slightly better than Posey. I know he's not on the 40 man roster but neither was Denny Bautista and they brought him up. He's about 7 or 8 years older than Borchard too. Wake up Sabean!!! You have power on the farm, use it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yeah, DrB, hopefully the Giants!

    Anon, Borchard is in his 31 year season: he better be beating up on AAA pitching, else he should be out of the game. He is like Brian Dallimore for us a few years back, looks great in AAA but comes up and can't do anything well enough to stick.

    Bautista, however, is only 27 YO, was a top prospect who has a lot of heat in his fastball. If he figures it out now, that is normal for some prospects, particularly fireballers, and that would be a huge plus to our bullpen to have someone of that ability there (in addition to the other guys).

    So I would say that Sabean did the right thing, Borchard hasn't been a prospect in 5 years, while Bautista is still young enough to be very useful and very good.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ugh! And the hot Astros come in for three next...

    Outside of the series, they are 16-12 while the Giants are 18-9, but like last season, losing to the 'Dres are costing the Giants the lead in the NL West again.

    ReplyDelete

Labels

1984 Draft (1) 2007 Draft (15) 2007 Giants (52) 2008 Draft (22) 2008 Giants (53) 2008 season (6) 2009 Draft (18) 2009 Giants (87) 2009 season (24) 2010 Decade (10) 2010 Draft (11) 2010 Giants (137) 2010 NL ROY award (1) 2010 season (19) 2010's (3) 2011 Draft (9) 2011 Giants (84) 2011 season (8) 2012 Draft (11) 2012 Giants (93) 2012 season (11) 2013 Draft (3) 2013 Giants (39) 2013 season (5) 2014 (1) 2014 draft (5) 2014 Giants (69) 2014 season (16) 2015 season (1) 25 man roster (7) 3B (1) 40 Man Roster (4) 49ers (1) 6-man rotation (1) 89 Quake (1) 89 World Series (1) A's (6) A-Ball (1) A-Gon (1) A-Rod (3) AA-Ball (1) Aaron Rowand (25) accomplishments (1) ace pitcher (1) Adalberto Mejia (4) Adam Duvall (3) AFL (4) Alex Hinshaw (3) All-Star Game (1) almost perfect game (1) Amphetamine (2) analysis (6) Andre Torres (14) Andres Torres (2) Andrew Susac (5) Andy Baggerly (2) Andy Sisco (1) Angel Joseph (1) Angel Pagan (10) Angel Villalona (29) Anniversary (1) appendicitis (1) Aramis Garcia (1) Arbitration (12) Armando Benitez (5) Armando Gallaraga (1) art of failure (1) assessment (1) At the Rate They Are Going (1) ATT Park (1) Aubrey Huff (20) Award (4) BABIP (2) Barry Bonds (29) Barry Zito (77) Baseball America (2) Baseball Prospectus (2) Baseball Prospectus Bias Against Giants (3) baseball strategy (5) Baseball Study (14) baserunning (2) batting peripherals (1) batting stance analysis (1) batting title champion (1) Beat LA (6) bench players (1) Bengie Molina (14) Benjamin Snyder (1) Bert Blyleven (1) best manager (1) Beyond the Box Score (1) Bias Against Giants (1) Big 6 (7) Bill Hall (1) Bill James Handbook (2) Bill Mueller (1) Bill Neukom (21) Billy Beane (2) Blog Philosophy (2) Bob Howry (2) Bob Mariano (1) Bobby Evans (1) Brad Hennessey (5) Brad Penny (2) Brandon Bednar (1) Brandon Belt (38) Brandon Crawford (18) Brandon Hicks (1) Braves (5) breakout (1) Brett Bochy (3) Brett Pill (9) Brian Anderson (1) Brian Bocock (2) Brian Cooper (1) Brian Horwitz (3) Brian Ragira (2) Brian Sabean (42) Brian Wilson (14) Bridegrooms (2) Bruce Bochy (23) Bucky Showalter (1) bulllpen (1) Bullpen (23) Bumgarner (1) Business Plan (13) Buster Posey (92) Byung-Hyun Kim (1) Cained (4) call-ups (3) Candlestick Park (1) Cards (13) Career Prospects (3) Carl Hubbell (1) Carlos Beltran (4) Carlos Gomez (1) Carney Lansford (2) Carter Jurica (1) catcher injury (4) catching (1) CC Sabathia (1) censorship (2) CEO (2) Chad Gaudin (5) Charles Culberson (5) Charlie Culberson (3) Chase Johnson (2) Chillax (1) Chris Brown (1) Chris Gloor (1) Chris Heston (3) Chris Lincecum (1) Chris O'Leary (1) Chris Ray (4) Chris Stewart (4) Chris Stratton (8) Christian Arroyo (3) Christmas (1) Christopher Dominguez (4) Christy Mathewson (1) Chuckie Jones (2) Clay Hensley (3) Clayton Blackburn (5) Clayton Tanner (3) Closer (7) closer by committee (3) Coaches (3) Cody Hall (1) Cody Ross (8) Col (1) Comeback Award (1) Commissioner (1) comparison (1) competitiveness (1) Conor Gillaspie (22) contender (1) contract negotiations (2) contract signing (4) Cory Hart (1) Craig Whitaker (2) cuts (1) Cy Young Award (5) D-backs (14) D-gers (31) D-Rocks (3) D-Rox (16) Dallas McPherson (1) Dan Ortmeier (11) Dan Otero (2) Dan Runzler (6) Dan Uggla (1) Daniel Slania (2) Darren Ford (1) Dave Roberts (11) David Aardsma (1) David Huff (2) David Loewenstein (1) Decade of the Giants (10) decline (1) Defense (8) Deferred Money (1) deleted comment (1) Derek Law (4) Detroit Tigers (1) DFA (3) DH (2) Dick Tidrow (1) Dirty (1) DL (1) dodgers (6) Donald Snelten (1) Draft (3) Draft Analysis (8) Draft Bonus (7) draft list (1) draft signing (3) Draft Strategy (11) Draft Study (2) Draft Success (2) drafting (1) Dres (16) DRS (1) Edgar Renteria (13) Edwin Escobar (5) Ehire Adrianza (14) Eli Whiteside (4) Elimination game (1) EME (2) Emmanuel Burriss (18) epic season (6) Eric Byrnes (1) Eric Surkamp (6) Erik Cordier (1) Eugenio Velez (12) evaluation (1) extension (6) fanfest (1) Fielding (4) Fielding Stats (4) finger injury (1) first post-season press conference (2) Francisco Peguero (4) Fred Lewis (3) Freddie Lewis (17) Freddie Sanchez (4) Freddy Sanchez (7) Free Agency (4) Free agent possibilities (17) Free agent signing (4) Free agent signings (21) gamer-tude (1) Gary Brown (23) Geno Espinelli (1) George Kontos (3) Ghosts of Giants Drafts (1) Giants (1) Giants blogs (2) Giants Chat (3) Giants Defense (1) Giants Draft (7) Giants Drafts (2) Giants Farm System (29) Giants Franchise record (2) Giants Future (62) Giants GM (4) Giants Greats (2) Giants hitting manual (1) Giants No-Hitter (4) Giants Offense (23) Giants Offseason (21) Giants Pitching (1) Giants Strategy (34) GiDar (1) Gino Espinelli (1) glossary (1) good will (1) Graphical Player (1) Gregor Blanco (13) Gregor Moscoso (1) Guillermo Moscoso (2) Guillermo Mota (2) Guillermo Quiroz (1) Gustavo Cabrera (3) Hall of Fame (7) Hall of Shame (3) Hank Aaron (5) Happy Holidays (2) Hate mail (1) heart-warming (1) Heath Hembree (8) Hector Correa (1) Hector Sanchez (9) Henry Sosa (8) HGH (1) high expectations (1) high school focus in draft (1) Hitter's League (1) Hitting (15) Hitting Coach (1) hitting mechanics (3) hitting pitchers (2) hitting streak (1) Hitting; (1) Home Run Career Record (7) Home Run Hitting Contest (1) Hunter Pence (20) Hunter Stickland (1) Hunter Strickland (2) Idea (4) improvement (1) Indictment (1) injury (2) instant replay (2) instructor (1) Interesting Question (1) International Free Agent Pursuits (3) International Signings (5) interview (3) Investment (1) Ivan Ochoa (2) Jack Taschner (4) Jackson Williams (2) Jacob Dunnington (1) Jacob McCasland (1) Jake Dunning (1) Jake Peavy (9) Japanese Starters (1) Jarrett Parker (5) Jason Heyward (1) Jason Stoffel (1) Javier Lopez (5) JC Gutierrez (2) Jeff Kent (1) Jeff Suppan (1) Jeremy Affeldt (10) Jeremy Shelley (1) Jerome Williams (1) Jesse English (2) Jesse Foppert (1) Jesus Guzman (4) Joaquin Arias (9) Joe Panik (12) Joe Torre (1) Joey Martinez (2) Johan Santana (1) John Bowker (22) Johneshwy Fargas (2) Johnny Bench (1) Johnny Monell (1) Johnny Rucker (1) Jonah Arenado (1) Jonathan Mayo (1) Jonathan Sanchez (48) Jose Canseco (1) Jose Casilla (1) Jose Guillen (3) Jose Mijares (3) Jose Uribe (2) Josh Osich (3) JT Snow (1) Juan Perez (5) Juan Uribe (9) Juggling Monkey (1) Just Say No (1) Kendry Flores (1) Keury Mella (1) Kevin Correia (2) Kevin Frandsen (22) Kevin Pucetas (10) Kung Fu Panda (30) Kyle Crick (10) Larry Baer (2) Larry Ellison (1) Lead-off (2) left-handed (1) Lew Wolff (1) LHP (1) Lineup (17) lineup construction (1) Lineup position (1) Long-Term Contract (21) long-term planning (3) luck (1) Luis Angel Mateo (2) Mac Williamson (5) Madison Bumgarner (133) Mailbox (1) Malcolm Gladwell (1) management change (3) management issues (5) managerial value (3) Manny (1) Marc Kroon (2) Marco Scutaro (11) Mark DeRosa (8) Martin Agosta (6) Marvin Miller (1) Masahiro Tanaka (1) Mason McVay (1) Matsuzaka (1) Matt Cain (130) Matt Downs (2) Matt Graham (1) Matt Holliday (1) Matt Morris (2) Mechanics (4) Media (15) Media Bias (17) Media Trade Idea (3) Medical (1) Mediocy (10) Mediots (4) Melk-Gone (1) Melky Cabrera (14) memories (1) mental (1) Merkin Valdez (8) Message in a Bottle (1) Michael Main (1) Michael Trout (1) Miguel Cabrera (2) Miguel Tejada (5) Mike Fontenot (3) Mike Ivie (1) Mike Kickham (9) Mike Matheny (1) Mike Morse (8) milestone (1) minor league (1) minor league contract (1) minors (11) mismanagement (1) misnomer (1) mistakes (2) MLB (2) MLB stupidity (2) MLB Success (6) MLB Trade Rumors (1) MLBAM (1) MLBTR (1) MLE (1) Mock Draft analysis (4) MVP (1) Natanael Javier (1) Nate Schierholtz (45) Nathanael Javier (1) Nationals (1) Naysayers (1) Negotiations (1) Nick Noonan (26) Nick Pereira (1) Nick Vander Tuig (2) NL Champions (2) NL West (21) NL West Division Title (16) NL West Future (1) NLCS (22) NLCS MVP (2) NLDS (7) Noah Lowry (14) non-roster invitees (1) non-tenders (1) NPB (1) Oakland A's (4) OBP (1) oddities (1) Offense (3) offensive era (1) Omar Vizquel (3) one-run games (1) Opening Day (4) opening day pitcher (1) opening day roster (3) Optimism (1) Osiris Matos (2) Outfield (1) Ownership (7) Pablo Sandoval (88) Panda (6) Pandoval (1) passing (1) Pat Burrell (15) Pat Misch (5) Payroll (8) Pedro Feliz (12) PEDS (10) Perfect Game (2) perjury trial (1) Personal Reminiscence (2) Pessimism (1) Pete Rose (3) Peter Magowan (2) Phillies (7) Phoenix Theory of Rebuilding (1) Pitch Count (3) pitch value (1) Pitchers League (1) Pitching (14) Pitching Rotation (59) pitching staff (1) plate discipline (1) Play Ball (1) player budget (2) player development (2) playoff (2) playoff hopes (25) playoff roster (2) playoff rotation (3) Playoff Success (18) Playoffs (33) postmortem (1) PQS (72) press conference (1) pressure (2) priorities (1) Projected Record (4) projection (2) promotion (1) prospect (2) prospect analysis (1) Prospect of Note (3) prospect study (1) Prospects (42) questions (1) Rafael Rodriquez (8) Rajai Davis (2) Ralph Barbieri (1) Ramon Ramirez (3) Randy Johnson (9) Randy Messenger (2) Randy Winn (14) Rangers (5) Ranking (4) raspberry (1) Ray Durham (5) re-sign (2) Rebuilding (4) Rebuilding Myths series (1) rebuttal (1) Reds (5) Relocation Concession (2) Research (2) resource scarcity (1) Retired (3) Retirement (1) return (1) RHP (1) Rich Aurilia (7) Rick Peterson (1) Rickie Weeks (1) Ricky Oropesa (3) right-handed (1) risk mitigation (2) risk profile (1) Rod Beck (1) Roger Kieschnick (13) Roger Metzger (1) Ron Shandler (2) Rookie of the Year (1) Roster (4) ROY (2) Royals (1) Rule 5 Draft Pick (3) rumors (9) runs support (1) Russ Ortiz (11) Ryan Garko (2) Ryan Klesko (4) Ryan Rohlinger (2) Ryan Theriot (3) Ryan Vogelsong (73) Ryder Jones (2) Sabean Naysayers (4) Sabermetric Thoughts (5) sabermetrics (3) Salary speculation (3) SALLY (1) San Jose Giants (1) San Jose Relocation (3) Sandy Rosario (1) Santiago Casilla (8) Scott McClain (2) Scott Shuman (1) Scouting (1) Sergio Romo (13) SF Giants (2) Shilo McCall (1) Shooter (1) shutouts (1) Signature Song (1) signing (12) Silly-Ball (3) South Atlantic League (1) South Bay Rights (1) Spring Training (15) standings (1) starting lineup (14) starting pitching (54) statistics (2) STATS (1) Steroids (5) Steve Edlefsen (4) Steve Johnson (3) Steve Okert (1) Sue Burns (1) sunk costs (1) superstition (1) Team Speed (1) Team Support (1) Thank You (1) The Giants Way (1) The Hey Series (15) Thomas Joseph (3) Thomas Neal (9) Tigers (4) Tim Alderson (17) Tim Hudson (23) Tim Lincecum (166) Todd Linden (3) Todd Wellemeyer (6) Tommy Joseph (3) top prospect list (4) Trade (9) Trade Analysis (15) Trade Idea (7) Trade PTBNL (2) Trade Rumors (28) trading (1) training staff (2) Training Tool (1) Travis Blackley (1) Travis Ishikawa (44) turning point (1) Ty Blach (2) Tyler Beede (2) Tyler Horan (1) Tyler Rogers (1) Tyler Walker (2) umpire mistake (3) Umpires (3) USA Today (1) Voros McCracken (1) Waldis Joaquin (5) walks (1) WAR (1) Warrior Spirit (1) Wendell Fairley (10) What-If Scenario (3) wild card (1) wild card race (1) Will Clark (1) Willie Mac Award (1) Willie Mays (1) Winter League (1) World Series (21) World Series Champions (10) WS Ring Bling (1) Yusmeiro Petit (26) Zack Wheeler (9)