Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Your 2012 Giants: Game 2 of the World Series

Wow, the Giants couldn't have had a better game.  A good Zito outing.   3 homer game for Panda.  As I documented in my other post, Verlander and Zito continued their trends with Umpire Gerry Davis.  Lincecum had a nice shutdown reliever appearance.  That is Giants wins in Zito's last 14 starts.  He now has 2-0 record with 1.69 ERA in 16.0 IP.

I'm a bit tired about the announcers talking about the Giants having no power.  Panda has power, he just was injured this season.  Plus Posey and Pence have a history of power, plus Belt some too.  I also noted a couple of other errors they made (and I only watched the last half of the game) via Sulia and Twitter.  And it sucks that we have to see A.J. Pierzitski on the crew, really, there was nobody else available?

Game 2:  Fister vs. Bumgarner
Doug Fister:  Fister has two no-decisions to show for 13 1/3 innings of two-run ball this postseason, but the Tigers have won both games. Detroit would gladly take more of the same from the righty who owns a 1.98 career ERA against the National League
Madison Bumgarner:  Bumgarner will start Game 2 of the World Series on 11 days of rest. In Game 1 vs. St. Louis, the left-hander allowed six runs, but he believes he's fixed a mechanical flaw.
Fister has no history against the Giants.  He has only faced Scutaro, dominating him, .091/.231/.091/.322 in 13 PA with only 1 strikeout, suggesting Marco was BABIPed and should hit him well enough.

Doug has been very good against RHB, still good but worse against LHB:  vs. RHB, .251/.299/.342/.641; vs. LHB, .257/.296/.405/.701.  He has also been worse on the road:  road, 3.96 ERA, .268/.313/.404/.716; home, 3.12 ERA, .244/.285/.357/.642.  With a lot of LHB (Pagan, Sandoval, Belt, and Crawford) plus Posey and Pence, both who hit RHP well during their careers, they should be able to hit him well enough in this game in AT&T.

Fister has a low career K/9, only 6.1, suggesting that he's not that great a starter for the playoffs, but he clearly is different with the Tigers, roughly 7.5 K/9, meaning his rate before was around 5.2, which is really poor.  His K/BB with the Tigers was 4.62, much better than the 2.76 he had before.

Madison also had no history against the Tigers.  But he has faced a lot of their players when with other teams:  Fielder .429/.600/.429/1.029 in 10 PA; Infante 3 for 9; Jackson 2 for 3; Cabrera 1 for 3; Young 1 for 1; Avila 0 for 3; Peralta 0 for 3.  Looks like he really needs to watch out for Fielder, Infante, and maybe Jackson.

Bumgarner is also better at home than on the road, 3.08 vs. 3.32.  And better against LHB than RHB:  vs. LHB .226/.268/.334/.602; RHB .259/.307/.400/.707.  The Tigers have not done that well against LHP, as I noted in the Game 1 notes, so Madison should have a good start.

However, he not been very good in the playoffs.  He has had two DIS starts so far, while Fister had two DOM starts.  During the season, however, Fister only had a 52% DOM and 20% DIS (relatively bad; best pitchers are in low to mid teens), while Bumgarner had a 65% DOM and 13% DIS.  So Madison has been a better pitcher than Fister this season, though Fister did miss a number of starts due to injuries.  He ended the season with 3 DIS starts out of his last 8 starts, so he was having some difficulties to end the season,

Neither pitchers have had Dan Iassogna as home plate umpire before.

ogc thoughts

If Bumgarner has fixed his mechanics as he and the Giants believed, he should be tough for the Tigers to beat.  But if he is off again, will Lincecum be ready to pitch multiple innings again for us?  But again, the Tigers have done poorly against LHP before, though they were .500 overall, roughly, so they still could win it, 50/50, given that, but they do generally hit worse against LHP.

Fister has  been great in the playoffs, but was struggling at the end of the season, so he could be due for a hiccup and a DIS start.  He might get nervous because he was a Giants fan growing up, pitching in the park of his youth, so perhaps he gets ampped up and over throw, leading to the Giants hitting him around.

Most probably the game should be a tight game.  But it won't be surprising if either pitcher just loses it and lose the game for their team.  However, the hitters have been hot for the Giants, scoring 5 or more runs in four straight games now, with Scutaro and Pablo forming a Venezuelan hitting duo supported by Pagan, Posey, Pence, Belt, Blanco, and Crawford, though the bottom four of the lineup was a combined 0 for 15, with one walk in the first W.S. game.  But they played well enough in the Cards series, particularly Belt, but also Crawford drove in 5 hits, getting his hits in key situations, second to only Pablo for the series.  And Blanco scored 6 runs (Belt too) and Pence 4 runs.

We should have a good chance of winning but also a good chance of losing.  But if Bumgarner really is fixed up, I feel great about our chances, it should be a low score again for the Tigers, and Fister has not been a big game pitcher at any point of his career, though obviously a good pitcher, so I don't see him as a big game pitcher, and this is pretty much a must win game for the Tigers or they will return home down 0-2 in the series.  Add to that he was a Giants fan growing up, which could lead to over throwing and the Giants scoring a bunch of runs again.

I know Bumgarner burned me last time, but I have to think that the Giants would not have started him if they did not think that he made enough progress with his mechanics to pitch well. And if he pitches well, I think we have a good chance of winning Game 2, and by a good margin.

Go Giants!

24 comments:

  1. It was noted by the media that Lincecum said that he would be available if necessary for game 2.

    Wouldn't it be interesting if Lincecum pitched in every game of the series and was shut down good each time like this?

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  2. Kawakami transcribe a couple Sabean comments:

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2012/10/24/brian-sabean-on-the-roaring-giants-fan-base-the-passion-and-more-its-got-an-east-coast-vibe/

    I saw that Timmy is available again. I like it. Kudos to Bochy to realize he is better in the pen right now, and to reinforce that instead of trying more starting. Its a very exciting move, and at home it really fires up the crowd even more.

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    1. Thanks for pointing that out and providing the link.

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  3. Love these pre-series, pre-game pitching compare and contrasts. While it is impossible to foresee the outcome of any single game, it is possible to have a very good understanding of the odds if you understand the statistics. You do a great job of weighing the odds and end up being right much more often than wrong. Keep up the great work!

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    1. Thank you DrB. I've been trying, adding new twists since some of the beat reporters are copying what I'm doing. I will say that it has been fun, thinking of all the possible angles.

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  4. The thought of Karros and AJ sitting in LF, and the amount of abuse being thrown their way, mano... Couldn't happen to two better guys.

    The rep of the Giants new park being a cell phone corporate crowd is only partly true. Game 1 of the NLCS I was a wanderer, I started in the CF bleachers, made my way to the upper deck and then down to 1B. I saw a ton of aware, into the game fans. And dare I say, in them bleachers, I saw shades of the Old Stick crowd. Here's my point: the Giants have THE BEST crowd in baseball right now. They pack that place, the fans come to root and have fun, and its electric. Game 2, I didn't move from my seat, and this was prime corporate/cell phone territory, fans were giving it to Beltran and Holliday just like anything I ever saw at the Stick.

    Much has been made of our roster turnover, but its worth noting that just like Pablo and Zito had reduced and left off rolls in 2010, Huff and Freddy are the same, due to injuries. Whiteside is sitting there as the 26th man as well. As is Wilson. Sure there is turnover, but injuries play a part. I think the # of players is 12? The pen and the starters are almost the same, its just we have our young uns busting through. Belt and Crawford are handling the pressure of the postseason well. As is Blanco. This is fun!

    MadBum. Raggs. Pixie Dust. Let's see what's what tonight! I hope Bochy has a quicker hook than the earlier shots. Gotta keep the score close, grind it out, get to that soft Detroit bullpen. And wow, they looked soft last night.

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    1. I agree with your take on AT&T crowds. It is fair to say that there is some TGIFridays, chotchky mentality out there with all the Panda and Giraffe caps. But there is enthusiasm and knowledge.

      And the fans are bringing it during the playoffs in a big way.

      When we were down 6-0 in game 1 vs. Cards, the fans were making a ton of noise. (Compare with Yankee fans, down 2-0 late in game 1 vs. Tigers, and they were BOOing their guys. Unbelievable.)

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    2. Let's see: Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner, Zito (though going by 2010 playoff roster, I guess I should remove him...), Romo, Affeldt, Lopez, Casilla, Mota, Posey, Sandoval, Huff. That's 11 players returning from the 2010 WS roster.

      New guys: Belt, Theriot, Scutaro, Crawford, Arias, Blanco, Pagan, Pence, Hanchez, Kontos, Nady, Vogelsong, Zito, oh and Mijares. That's 14 new players.

      So you were close, and it is 12 if you include Zito as a returning player, though not returning WS roster player.

      I would also like to point out young guys Kontos and Mijares, they have also stood up and contributed too, during the playoffs.

      Well, you got your wish. :^) Bochy took Bumgarner out after 7 IP when he only had 86 pitches, though 8 K's! Oddly enough, only 63% of this pitches were for strikes, so he must have had the batters thoroughly mixed up on what he was doing.

      And you were right on getting to the bullpen, Fister should not have gotten the loss, but the Detroit bullpen allowed that runner to score and tacked on another run to boot.

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  5. I'd be careful with Fister season numbers. His performance in the playoffs thus far was against teams that swung for the fences. Oakland was 2nd to last in team batting average. The Yankees are better, but then again they were hitting against Toronto and Baltimore all season. Toronto is an easy one, but Baltimore was starting Joe Saunders. I mean, I like the guy, but he wasn't good enough for the Giants to keep, nor the Diamondbacks. Take out Jeter and Suzuki, and the rest of the Yankees are strikeouts waiting to happen: Granderson, Martin, Ibanez under .250; Teixeira right near .250, Cano mired in a horrendous slump. Think how well the Giants would look offensively with 5 Hunter Pences in the lineup - PLUS a pitcher.

    Fister will do ok simply because of AT & T, and so will Bumgarner. The resulting defensive battle will again reveal the fundamental weaknesses of Detroit.

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  6. Thanks for the numbers and analysis OGC.

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    1. You're welcome, but you should thank Richard from Canada, I probably would not have started this up had I not happen to see his comment that he missed this commentary. And frankly, I don't normally read through the dross in the comment fields, just happened to read at the right time, at the right place. Fate, I love the serendipity of it all.

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  7. OGC! We're up 2-0! Played a tight old school Giants game, and came up shining bright. Time to head to Motown.

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    1. Yes indeed! I thought I had lucked out. I was flying back right during the game, and Delta had TV for each seat. I watched, I think, the third inning, the one where Fister got one bounced off his head. Man, wow, I thought it just missed his head, but when the replay showed that bounce - and I thought it hit his head pretty squarely too, that was no nubber.

      Then I had to move to my connector to get home and that had TV too, only to my dismay, the satellite TV was out, and it would have delayed the plane to get it fixed. As much as I wanted to return home, I did have a moment of "well, I would have been willing to wait", before my senses took over and realized it was better to be back home sooner than later.

      Atlanta's airport was just sad, here it was, exciting World Series game, and the SF gate to boot, and they are playing Thursday (THURSDAY) Night Football, between two relative nothing teams. Just sad...

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    2. Yes, standard Giants baseball, the way we have grown to love it: sterling starting pitching, good defense, and just enough offense to win it.

      Got to tip the hat to Fister. Not only did he battle the butterflies that has to be flying when facing your hometown boyhood team, in the hometown park, and dealing with all his relatives and friends wanting tickets, but he takes one off the noggin to boot, and still pitches a brilliant game.

      He did not deserve the loss, but as the saying goes in baseball, somebody will get the loss. But really, it should have been the bullpen to get the loss. Not sure how good that reliever was in the regular season, but he sure blew it for his team in game 2.

      And the Giants were perfect with their comments again, now on the opposite side of the coin, and not only that, they point to themselves as an example of how you don't count out the other team, even though, generally, such comebacks are rare, so they are giving the Tigers the respect they are due.

      And to my comment about this on another post (or was it DrB?), it is like Bochy has brainwashed the team into this unified, cliche spouting team, saying just the right things, having the right attitude.

      I don't think my love for Bochy can be any higher than now.

      Delete
  8. Some EPIC moments from this game.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/small-ball-giants-win-2-031742193--mlb.html

    Bumgarner struck out Austin Jackson and Omar Infante to start the game. Two other Giants fanned the first two batters in a Series game: Christy Mathewson (1905) and Carl Hubbell (1933).

    Posey has a hit in all seven World Series games in his career.

    And then there is this: http://blog.sfgate.com/giants/2012/10/26/bird-poops-on-world-series-tv-anchor-live/

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    1. http://www.csnbayarea.com/baseball-san-francisco-giants/giants-talk/EXTRA-BAGGS-Giving-rope-to-Bumgarner-etc?blockID=793745&feedID=10850

      Zito and Bumgarner are the first lefty teammates to start and win the first two games of a World Series since 1981, when Ron Guidry and Tommy John did so for the Yankees.

      [Note: Of course, having two lefty teammates starting a series is pretty rare in itself to begin with, but still something I would note.]

      The last eight teams to go up 2-0 in the World Series have gone on to win the championship. In fact, 14 of the last 15 teams to meet that criteria have emerged with the flag-studded trophy.

      The lone exception is the 1996 Atlanta Braves, who dropped their next four to the Yankees.

      --
      The Giants, in case you were wondering, have gone up 2-0 four times in franchise history. They won the World Series all four times: 1922 vs. the Yankees, 1933 vs. the Senators, 1954 vs. the Indians and 2010 vs. the Rangers.

      --
      The Tigers, meanwhile, are down 0-2 in the World Series for the first time since 1908. The Chicago Cubs went on to beat them that season.

      Delete
    2. http://blogs.mercurynews.com/giants/2012/10/25/postgame-notes-giants-deliver-another-punch-blanco-defies-att-park/

      In two career World Series starts, Bumgarner has pitched 15 scoreless innings and given up just five hits. Only Christy Mathewson has started his World Series career with similar numbers as a Giant. Mathewson is in the Hall of Fame. Bumgarner is 23.

      [I would note that Big Six was 24 when he did that in 1905. I would also note that Cain could do the same with his next start. No pressure, Matty! :^)]

      Since 1950, only three pitchers have had 7+ scoreless innings in a World Series game while giving up just two hits and striking out eight: Bumgarner, Tom Glavine and Roger Clemens.

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  9. Want to give props to Hunter for providing the Just-in-Time offense that the pitching needed, first scoring the run, then driving in the second run. And key runs indeed, without them, Bumgarner's great effort would have gone to waste.

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    1. That was a gritty at bat, the sac fly. Hunter has had a rough series, but just like Pat the Bat, I am rooting for him til the end.

      Delete
  10. Baggarly (some are repeated, but what the hey, it's fun!):

    The Giants head to Detroit with high beams on, but the sedan is far from assembled. Teams that hit the road after winning the first two World Series games at home captured the championship on 29 of 36 occasions.

    The Giants also extended their postseason winning streak to five games – the longest in franchise history.

    Combined with his Halloween night start in Game 4 of the World Series two years ago, Bumgarner became the first Giant to toss back-to-back World Series starts without allowing a run since Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson in 1905. He also became the first major league pitcher to begin his World Series career with 15-plus scoreless innings since Boston’s Bruce Hurst in 1986.

    Bumgarner’s start began well enough. He struck out Austin Jackson on a called slider and got Omar Infante to foul a third-strike slider into Posey’s glove, making the left-hander the third pitcher in Giants history to start a World Series game with two strikeouts. The others were Mathewson (in 1905) and Carl Hubbell (in 1933).

    The Giants are 8-0 in the postseason when leading any time after the fifth inning.

    First base umpire Fieldin Culbreath blew a call on Scutaro, though, when he tried to dive headfirst to beat out an infield single. Scutaro was called out; he was clearly safe on the replay.

    There are repercussions. Denied his rightful hit, Scutaro’s postseason hitting streak ended at 11, tying him with Irish Meusel atop the Giants franchise list.

    Gregor Blanco wasn’t shocked by Pablo Sandoval’s three-homer performance in Game 1. Blanco watched a few years ago when Sandoval crushed pitch after pitch to win the Pepsi Home Run Derby as part of the Venezuelan winter league.

    Sandoval beat Miguel Cabrera in the finals.

    Zito and Bumgarner are the first lefty teammates to start and win the first two games of a World Series since 1981, when Ron Guidry and Tommy John did so for the Yankees

    The last eight teams to go up 2-0 in the World Series have gone on to win the championship. In fact, 14 of the last 15 teams to meet that criteria have emerged with the flag-studded trophy.

    The lone exception is the 1996 Atlanta Braves, who dropped their next four to the Yankees.

    --
    The Giants, in case you were wondering, have gone up 2-0 four times in franchise history. They won the World Series all four times: 1922 vs. the Yankees, 1933 vs. the Senators, 1954 vs. the Indians and 2010 vs. the Rangers.

    --
    The Tigers, meanwhile, are down 0-2 in the World Series for the first time since 1908. The Chicago Cubs went on to beat them that season.

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  11. Great win. I'm glad Doug Fister is OK, and I salute his being a Warrior. Great pitching against us, and his pen lets him down. Fister, local kid, was a 49th round draft pick by us in 2004. I usually shy away from liking tall pitchers, but he is a good one. Love to have him on Los Gigantes some day.

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    1. I agree, nobody wants to see anybody hurt like that. I'm just more worried about long-term effects, just because you are OK initially does not mean something was set into action by the ball.

      For example, forgot her name, but an actress reluctantly went to a skiing lesson after her son begged her (was married to Liam Neeson), she struck a tree, refused treatment and the advice to go to the hospital, and she died hours later when something went horribly bad for her. I felt so terrible for her son, the guilt he must have now, living with that. So, sure, Fister was fine now, but what about later?

      I am glad he still appears to be fine, but I think caution would have been warranted in that situation, though I do understand that some players would rather die with their boots on, or rather say they would, but if actually having that choice, would not. I'm just glad he's OK now.

      Wait, he says that he was a Giants fan growing up and had a chance to sign with them, and then he threw that away? Given the odds of actually making it as a ballplayer, that's a tough choice to make.

      But obviously, it worked for him, and he started game 2 of the World Series, congrats to him.

      Unfortunately, by the time we can get our hands on him, he'll probably be pretty old by then, by baseball standards, so I don't know about that.

      Delete

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