Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Your San Francisco Giants: Team of the 2010 Decade

I was going to post this on a popular Giants community but then I realized that it would fall on deaf ears anyway and they would just attack with unkind words once more.

I'm Sad

Yes, sad to say, but even with the Giants SECOND World Championship in THREE years, I'm sad.  I know I'm odd.  I know I walk to the beat of a different drum.  I care whether my brothers are happy or not. And I consider my fellow Giants fans to all be my brothers (and sisters too, just don't want to repeat this every time).

And there are still clearly Giants fans who either are:  deluded, just can't enjoy themselves, or just can't let things go.  And I understand that last one, as I can't let it go either.

Grant (among others) railed into me a couple of years ago because I had the temerity to say that fans should thank Brian Sabean, or they don't deserve to enjoy that the Giants were in the World Series again (this was before the series started).  Afterward, he told me that I should be happy I was right - THIS TIME - and intimated that it would be different in the future.  After the Giants 2 of 3 mini-dynasty here, who's right now?

Team of the 2010 Decade

Part of being an analyst is finding something to either rally people together or to stick bamboo shoots under the nails of others.  I had already been feeling disenchanted with the Naysayers for a while when in the late 2000's decade, I thought of this term - Team of the 2010 Decade - as both an indication of what I thought the team could do if things went as they appeared to be going and a way to give the Naysayers something to feel uncomfortable with.

Honestly, I like to protect people.  I tried to protect my friends in the 70's when they thought that the Giants were going to have a good season, like they did before, and I told him point-blank:  no, they were going to be mediocre.  Not the worse, but not the best either.  I didn't want them thinking things were good when they were not.  I also tried to protect fellow fans today through the wonders of social media, that, hey, sure we've been going through a tough patch here in the mid-2000's, during Bonds' last years with us, but the pot at the end of the rainbow is coming near.  But I was a pariah for daring to be openly happy when Sabean got another two year extension.  And the future did look good to me, and I didn't want my fellow fans to lose hope and get their dauber down, because I felt that hope was around the corner, and soon.

We had Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, and there was Brian Wilson and Pablo Sandoval, plus Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey were rising up the farm pretty fast, and Jonathan Sanchez could be pretty good when he's not screwing himself up.  And the latest studies back then said that pitching and fielding, with a good closer and bullpen were the keys to going deep into the playoffs (and nothing new has come out since), and winning it all, wining that elusive World Championship that we all had been pining for.  Plus, my research showed that a good defensive team could win even with a poor (not the worse but poor) offense.  Then, any lineup with Sandoval and Posey in the middle could never be that bad, you just need to find some average hitters to surround them with, and the offense would be good enough.

It all made pretty good sense to me.  I knew that there was a good chance that I could have egg on my face for saying that the Giants were going to finally win a World Series with this core group, but I thought that the potential was there.  Analysts need to tread near the edge sometimes.

Faster to First Than Anybody Else

I'll admit that I never dreamed that it would happen so fast, in fact, the first year of the 2010 Decade.  And I never dreamed that it would happen twice in three seasons (and who knows what would have happened last season, with a healthy Posey and a still consistently great Lincecum, along with a hot Beltran).  Given the vagaries of the playoff system - see the Phillies in 2011 - I felt good that they would win one eventually because they had great pitching, but when was not clear both because other teams had good pitching too plus while a team can win with a poor offense, that don't mean that they'll win every time.  Still, it was clear to me that they should win one eventually, so I wasn't totally surprised by 2010's championship.

And now it is looking pretty good that the Giants will be the Team of the 2010 Decade.  They certainly have put their stamp all over it with two out of three years already.  And the core keeps on improving and improving.

That's because player development continued apace.  Just when I thought that Posey might be the last significant position player to be produced, Brandon Belt emerged from obscurity to be our version of Trout for the Angels - not as great, but just as impactful, for a Giants team that now had poor draft position.  Getting any starter from the draft is hard, but to get one who looks like he'll be a star player for years to come, from as far back as the 5th round is nearly impossible.  Then Brandon Crawford showed off great potential in the majors after being rushed up, and his defense is such that we can afford to carry him even if his offense is not great, and yet he has shown the ability to be a good hitter to boot.

Give It Up to our Scouts

Furthermore, the team kept on picking up key pieces through cheap free agents and seemingly minor trades. Andres Torres.  Juan Uribe.  Freddy Sanchez.  Aubrey Huff.  Pat Burrell.  Mike Fontenot.  Ramon Ramirez.  Javier Lopez.  Jose Guillen.  Cody Ross.  Santiago Casilla.  Chris Stewart.  Ryan Vogelsong.  Melky Cabrera.  Angel Pagan.  Gregor Blanco.  Joaquin Arias.  George Kontos.  Clay Hensley.  Marco Scutaro.  Jose Mijares.  Some were out of the total blue, like Torres and Vogelsong.  Others, like Casilla, Stewart, Blanco, and Arias, you look at their past record and wonder how the heck we got them, as they had good peripherals, some even good OBP, and yet they were desperate for a job somewhere, anywhere.

Our Giants scouts appear to have a long memory now, remembering players who were once good.  Like Crawford, who had a bad junior year but was expected to be a first rounder before his junior season.  Or Arias, who was a key player in the A-Rod trade with the Yankees, with Texas choosing him over Cano.  Over and over again, whether in the draft or signing minor league free agents, it seemed like our scouts saw something that nobody else saw, and pounced.  THAT is what Moneyball is really about, about seeing something that your competitors can't see and acting on your beliefs before the price got sky high.

The Future Looks Bright, I Gotta Wear Orange and Black Shades

Now the team is beyond what I could ever dream about.  Posey, according to the experts, was going to be a great defensive catcher but only a good, not great hitter, meanwhile Weiters was considered the much better hitter and for power, and the lesser on defense.  They couldn't be more reversed of the experts opinion.   And Posey is the likely MVP of the 2012 season, having already been voted that by two different organizations and likely to win the traditional MVP award given by The Sporting News.  And this was his first full season.  He's the offense's equivalent of Tim Lincecum, in terms of performance.

We still have Pandoval, but with Belt and likely Hunter Pence, long term, we have a great core for the middle of our lineup, for at least 3 if not more seasons:  Sandoval, Posey, Pence, Belt.  I can see Belt moving to bat 2nd once he can hit regularly and not strike out so much, as he has a high OBP, good speed, ability to steal bases, plus can hit for good power to boot.  That is a great middle of lineup.

Up top, we have Pagan, I believe, as I think he'll sign with us for a fair contract, and then when Gary Brown is ready, we'll have the best leadoff guy we have had probably since Brett Butler manned CF for us.

Meanwhile, both Blanco and Crawford look like they can be good hitters for us at some point.  Blanco is very good at getting on base already in his career, and he can loft the ball often enough to get extra-base power going for us.  Crawford definitely will develop some power, and looks like he can eventually learn to hit as well, and be both a great glove and a good bat at SS for us.  And both project, with the above hitters around, to be our bottom of lineup guys.  They can be real strengths for us there, giving us depth in our lineup, with no easy outs, much like the Cards this season.

And whether or not the Giants re-sign Scutaro - my bet is that they do - they should be able to retain Theriot, who was good for us when healthy during the season, bridging us from Freddy to Marco.  And I'm hopefuly that Nick Noonan will be able to provide some good performances here and there in the near future for us at 2B.  Plus, Joe Panik still is looking good for rising up to the majors and taking the starting 2B job in a couple of years or so.

So the offense looks really good, and look really likely to be good for at least three if not more seasons.  On top of that, Posey I'm still hoping can be a great defensive catcher, Belt, Crawford, Sandoval, and Blanco are already great fielders, so I expect another good defensive year from the Giants in 2013.  If anything, it should be better, as Crawford was really lost for a while in early 2012 and I think Posey's ankle recovery made him less able to do certain catcher tasks

Pitching, Pitching, Pitching

That has been my mantra for many years now.  And the Giants got pitching.  I totally believe that 2012 was just a hiccup that Lincecum had and he'll be fine going forward.  Plus Cain and Bumgarner will be our steady Eddie's in the rotation.  And Vogelsong, I think, will surprise with his longevity as a good pitcher, despite his advanced age, as he knows how to pitch, and when his velocity goes down, he'll still be able to sling a good start.  And Barry Zito, contract aside, is great for us as our #5 starter, and when he is on, he's as good as any of our other starters.  And they are all capable of throwing a DOM start regularly during the season and during the playoffs, and DOM starts are how, as my research showed, (one and two) a team can rush through the playoffs and win the World Series championship.

So our starting pitching looks good, barring injury, for at least a couple of years (and I think we can resign Lincecum to a contract similar to Cain, but bigger in terms of dollars per year) plus good prospects coming up.  They have young guys available near-term, like Eric Surkamp, Chris Heston, and Michael Kickham performing well in the upper minors, plus Yusmeiro Petit possibly around as well.  Kyle Crick, Clayton Blackburn, Chris Stratton, and Martin Agosta, are more far off, but they look like they have good potential for reaching up here and doing well, as their strikeout ability is good.  And the four of them have potential to be top of the rotation type starters, from what I've read about their potential.  True, many prospects die on the vine, but with four potential top of rotation starters, have to think at least one will at least be a good enough starter for the Giants.

The bullpen looks good as well, even if Brian Wilson don't come back (hard to tell with guys with their second TJS).  Obviously, Sergio Romo, Lopez, Casilla, Mijares, and Kontos is a pretty good core there.  Plus, I think that they will be able to resign Jeremy Affeldt to a contract for another couple of seasons.  And I think Runzler will finally be healthy enough to take a spot in the bullpen, though that would make it four lefties in the bullpen in 2013.

In the farm system, I think that Heath Hembree and Brett Bochy will be ready to contribute real soon, as soon as there is an opening.  And I still like Dan Otero for contributions at some point, Jacob Dunnington too.  Plus, Clay Hensley was good for us until he got injured, which blew up his ERA, which was in the 2's until that happened.  But there is not enough space in the bullpen, so there could be a trade, or they might let Affeldt go, but there is a lot of bullpen talent and not enough space for all of these guys.  And starters could always move to the bullpen and do well, as Lincecum so deliciously showed us in these playoffs, and as Eckersley showed long ago.

Dynasty, Dynasty, Dynasty

Based on the above, I don't see why, barring a huge catastrophe of some sort, the Giants can't continue to be competitive for the World Series championship every season.  They won't necessarily win every season, but with their core players all in their 20's, they should be more World Series games (and championships) in their future, creating a dynasty not seen in the NL since the Big Red Machine of the 70's or in the majors since the Yankees of the late 1990's (which had a core of Jeter, Posoda, Pettitte, and Rivera, all of whom were acquired by the Yankees under their then scouting director, Brian Sabean).  The Giants should be the Team of the Decade, Team of the 2010's.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Your 2012 Giants Are World Champions!!!

Epic!

Wow, what a game!  What a series!  What a season!

If ever there was a team effort for World Series MVP, this was it.  Sure, Pablo Sandoval gave the Tigers a gut punch in the first game with his homers and hit well all through the series, but what got lost among all that is that Barry Zito pitched a great game, to go with his other great game. Without Zito, the march to being the World Champions would have ended seven games ago.

And while Pablo won the game for us in game 1, it was Hunter Pence who scored the first run in the following three games, and without those runs, who knows if we would have scored the runs to win those games, and he drove in the second run in game 2, and the Tigers would have won in regulation in game 4.  And Buster Posey, delivering a key homer once again, that kept the game alive into extra innings.  Of course, Marco Scutaro again was in the middle of the action, driving in the winning run, and I thought it was apropos that he drove in Ryan Theriot, the guy he replaced at 2B, the guy who hit well for us starting at 2B after he healed up on the DL, and helped us bridge from Freddy Sanchez to Scutaro.  And back to the start again, Sandoval stout hitting in the series helped make that happen, as the Tigers had to pitch to Scutaro or face Sandoval with two runners on base.

And what about the defense?  Even though they did not hit particularly well in the World Series, both Angel Pagan and Gregor Blanco were making big plays in the outfield over and over again.  Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt as well in the infield, as well as Scoots.  And, in any case, when they did get hits, they got them in key situations, and really, when you are winning games by 1-2 runs, every run is critical and key.

What about the bullpen?  Tim Lincecum was so dominant in middle relief, probably the best middle reliever ever. Jeremy Affeldt and Santiago Casilla were great in setup.  Sergio Romo was great in closing out games, closing out the finale in exclamation with a called strike three on AL MVP Cabrera!  And that struck out the side.

And, despite little usage in the World Series, George Kontos and Javier Lopez, without their work in the NL series, we would not have been here, at the end, Champions once more.  For those who didn't see the importance of spending $10M on both Affeldt and Lopez should see what happened to the Tigers with their bullpen, to see why we spent that money on proven players who the team's management knew, and could trust and rely on proven performance.

Most of all, the starting pitching:  Barry Zito, Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong, Matt Cain.  We got three DOM starts in the World Series, and as I noted in my research before, it is DOM starts by pitchers that helps their team win over 70% of the time.  They had 8 DOM starts between the NLCS and the World Series, helping the Giants win the World Championship.  Not that the Tigers fell down like the Cards did - only one DOM start in the seven games - as the Tigers also had DOM starts, in the last three games, but that is where the hitters come in as well as our pitchers, we scored just enough to win each game.  Hitting, pitching, fielding, everyone contributed their necessary contribution to enable the championship, nothing was too small to be of importance, each was necessary for that glorious second championship in three seasons.

San Francisco Giants:  Team of the 2010's Decade

I've been saying this since the late 2000's, that the Giants had the makings of the Team of the 2010 Decade.  Of course, there is the lovely and great starting pitching to start with, Lincecum, Cain, and, clearly, Bumgarner coming up.  Then Sabean has been great at putting together a great bullpen, as he has been able to for much of his time as GM, when the team is good, he is able to pull the trades to build up a great bullpen.  And they have been almost picture perfect for what Baseball Prospectus' study on success in the playoffs found:  high strikeout pitching staff (check!), great closer (check!), and great fielding defense also (check!).

But you still need some sort of offense.  Before this season, we had to accept imperfections because it took time to develop an offense after concentrating on the pitching for so long.  Talent does not come into any baseball system quick enough via the draft and international free agents to fuel a championship.  The Giants, to their credit, has supplemented well in finding gems among the minor free agents, with Andres Torres, Santiago Casilla, Ryan Vogelsong, Gregor Blanco, and Joaquin Arias coming in and contributing significantly from 2009 to 2012.  That is the to the credit of the Giants scouts.

Meanwhile, the Giants picked up offensive gems along the way, Sandoval, Posey, then Belt, Crawford, and Hector Sanchez.  These they grew along the way, while also picking up pieces like Theriot, Pagan, Blanco.  Then traded for the final pieces to this Epic Championship team, Scutaro and Pence, and they were what drove the offense to the championship, as they outscored the Cards and Tigers by a total of 36-7 in the last seven game, averaging 5.1 runs per game while holding the other team to 1.0 run per game in that stretch, keeping the opponents to 3 runs or under in each of the games in the stretch, reminiscent of their streak in late in the 2010 season.

The Giants, by winning their second World Series Championship in three seasons, has laid strong claim on this decade.  If ownership and management can keep this core going forward, this should not be the last of their championships, and hopefully just the beginning.  We should have the core players to at least mid-decade, and if the money can be ponied up, into the latter half of the decade as well.

Thank You Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy!

And we have Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy to thank for this.  Of course, they could not do it without their top advisers like Dick Tidrow and John Barr, Dave Righetti and Mark Gardner, Tim Flannery and Ron Wotus.  Still, they are the ones who get the public scrutiny.

Sabean, what a masterful job he has done, putting together all the pieces, first with the great pitching staff, then now with the great lineup.  Bochy, what a masterful job he has done, balancing the present and the future while steering the team to another playoff berth, then switching to cut-throat managing, managing as if each game, each win, was necessary to prevent elimination.  And, of course, that paid off in both the Reds and Cards series, as they faced six games of elimination and swept them all.  Hopefully the Naysayers can now see that it is not luck that the Giants won, but through excellent decision making on the parts of Sabean and Bochy.

I am thankful that we have the two of them employed for the Giants and hope that the Giants first moves of the off-season be to sign the two of them to another joint extension.  They have earned it, in spades.

Then I hope the next moves after that, in no particular order, be to sign Posey (ok he should be first), Pence, Pagan to long term contracts.  Plus sign Scutaro, Sandoval, Lincecum, and Affeldt to two year extensions.  I would not mind a long term deal for Belt if possible, Crawford too.

And there is money coming in to fuel all these contracts.  Remember, the new ESPN deal doubles the revenues delivered to teams, adding over $11M to each team's coffers each year.  And revenues from MBLAM has been growing each year, it is one of the great Internet e-commerce success stories so far.   And season ticket holders should expect prices to go up again, as well.  Plus there is usually a windfall from being in the playoffs as well.  Lastly, I'm still hoping the A's will pay at least $100M for the South Bay rights, which will pay for a lot of long-term player contracts.

Congratulations again to the 2012 World Champs, Go Giants!

Your 2012 Giants: Game 4 of the World Series

Wow, again, the epicness continues.  Ryan Vogelsong with his shutout performance continued some epic threads which I'll include in the comments when I have more time.  Suffice to say that Vogelsong, Lincecum, Romo's shutout of the Tigers was another Epic occurrence in these playoffs, this season.  Tim Lincecum has been totally dominant as a reliever in these playoffs, shutting down the other team when they might rise up, bridging the starter and the closer, getting the Giants that much closer.

And that is what has been missing from the media:  pitching wins in the playoffs.  The talk was all about the Tiger's mighty hitters, but nothing about the Giants shutdown pitchers.  As my research has shown, when pitchers dominate, that team normally wins.  Ironically, Anibal had a 5 PQS DOM start and Vogelsong didn't, only a 2 PQS, would have been 3 if he pitched one more out, so the Tigers actually had a better pitched game, but sometimes pitchers can will themselves to a win.  Vogie certainly did in this game.

3-0.  No team has ever come back from that, most end in 4 games, a handful to 5 games, but pretty much done.  Psychologically, that makes sense, but then again the Giants beat that TWICE already in the playoffs, first against the Reds, then the Cards, so the question is:  Do the Tigers have a Hunter amongst them who can rise them up and do the improbable?  From the media, I don't see anyone talking brave like the Giants did in the face of the impossible.  So I would say no, but you never no.  But I don't have anybody else I would want starting this game but Cainer.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Your 2012 Giants: Game 3 of the World Series

Wow, what a great game pitched by Madison Bumgarner!  He did so many epic things in this start, starting with two straight shutout outings in the World Series, see the comments for Game 2 for all the EPIC details.  He was able to figure out, for the most part, whatever it was that was causing him to not pitch well.

He had some bad pitches, leading to a lot of balls, but he was baffling them enough that they could not do anything with his pitches.  And it probably helped that their one big rally ended with Fielder out at the plate, don't know what the coach was thinking there, but that was huge, it probably knocked the Tigers back on their heels, took a little air out of them with that gut punch.  Still, that was the only major threat where they came close to scoring.

So he had a 5 PQS start, a DOM start, and Fister did well do, a 4 PQS, also a DOM start.  That is five straight DOM starts for Giants pitchers, and 7 of 8.  And fifth straight games that the Giants pitcher out-pitched the other team.
Gotta give props to Hunter Pence too.  He was involved in both runs scoring in the game, first as the runner scoring, then as the RBI guy with yet another sacrifice fly by the Giants (they were the leaders by a margin in this particular category).  Some fans seem tired of him and what not, but he's been a really good hitter throughout his career, and I think he'll bust out for us at some point, but for not, I'll take this, because without both runs, Madison's great outing would have been wasted and who knows then what would have happened.  Instead, Giants victory, now up 2-0 in the series, needing only two more.

But, like many of the players have cautioned, you need four to win, and look at what the Giants did in the playoffs, the Tigers could do the same.

Pablo Sandoval is HR Power Hitter

I had a longer post I wanted to write and detail the data, but I just had to get this out:  Sandoval is a legit homerun hitter.  I am getting so tired of seeing the Fox and ESPN "analysts" harp on and on about Sandoval only having 12 homers this year.  HELLO?  Do any of you do ANY research at all about any of the players?  He was clearly injured and you would think baseball people would know that the hamate bone surgery saps power, but no.

DrB once posited that he thought that Sandoval is going to reach 40 homers one year.  I then did the research on his homerun rate and determined that he has shown enough homerun power that it would not be surprising if Sandoval did reach that figure one of these days.

And what I did did not take a lot of brain power or effort.  It is embarrassing in today's world of the internet, lots of free information, and easy analysis, that people going on TV as "experts" and spouting drivel like this.  They are such mediots!

I'll post my analysis another day, when I have more free time...

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?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Your 2012 Giants: Game 1 of the World Series!!!

Wow, the Giants win the pennant and they are in the 2012 World Series, getting home advantage due to the good performances from a number of Giants players, including Melky, Cain, and Sandoval.  However, the Tigers having Verlander pitching games 1 and 5 probably evens up that advantage, as the Giants burned Vogelsong and Cain needing to win the last two games, leaving Zito and Lincecum as the starters with enough rest to start game 1 with regular rest.

In fact, if the Giants hope to pitch both Vogelsong and Cain twice in the series, they would need to start Vogelsong with only 3 days rest, not his usual 4-5 days.  Bochy had noted the poor results for starting pitchers who were given less days of rest as a reason not to push Vogelsong for game 5 (Cain too for a start as well).  Vogelsong has never pitched on 3 days rest.

Well, that is all moot now, Bochy has named the playoff rotation:  Zito in game 1, Bumgarner in game 2, Vogelsong in game 3, and Cain in game 4, with Lincecum out of the bullpen.  If that holds, that means Zito in game 5, Bumgarner in game 6, and Vogelsong in game 7, presumably with Cain also available out of the pen in game 7, if necessary.

In any case, it's Verlander against Zito.  Not really what Giants would want to see in Game 1.  Or is it?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Your 2012 Giants ARE GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES! EPIC!

The Giants completed an EPIC comeback in the NLCS, coming back from being down 3-1 in a seven game series and beating the Cards 9-0, behind the stout pitching of Matt Cain, 4 PQS DOM start (one out away from a third 5 PQS start by Giants starters, he clearly yelled "NO!" when Bochy came out, and he most likely would have been given the chance to do that by Bochy if 1) the Giants weren't leading by 7-0, 2) Cain was already at 102 pitches, and 3) Bochy wants to save Cain for the World Series).

He continued a streak of three DOM starts by the Giants starting pitchers, and they had DOM starts in 5 of the 7 games, a stark and necessary change from their 1 DOM start in 5 games in the NLDS against the Reds.  They should not have been put into the position of needing to win the last three games, they outpitched the Cards by PQS in 5 of the 7 games, but the win by Lohse in game 3 made it necessary.  And  Cain delivered like he did in the 2010 playoffs, shutting out the Cards, winning easily.

Of course, it helped greatly that the Giants scored runs in their first three innings, including 5 in the third to take a 7-0 lead, with Pence delivering a key hit, driving in two of the runs, and ended the day with 2 hits.  Belt belted one deep into the RF stands for a homer and 9-0 lead.

They are the first team since the 1985 Royals to come back in two series down by two games and winning three straight to win each series.  They are the only two teams to do that since the MLB expanded the playoffs to four teams in both leagues in 1969.

And, in any case, any way you write it, winning six straight elimination games like that is EPIC no matter how many or little teams in the past have done that.  It takes a lot of cujones to do that, and Posey and Cain, to me, are the leaders who instills this sense in the team that anything is possible.  After all, it was the two of them talking at the celebration parade about returning to the World Series and winning it again.  It was Cain who earlier this season exhorted his teammates: "Here, I'm going to keep battling for you. You keep battling for me."  The Giants have been 85-56 since Cain made that statement, and won the NL Championship and earned another trip to the World Series.

Finally, it was very fitting that Holliday popped up to Scutaro for the last out.  His dirty slide really pissed off the Giants, particularly Scutaro, who did not hit well against the Reds.

Also, Marco Scutaro won the NLCS Most Valuable Player Award for his stellar hitting, 14 hits in total in the  NLCS, 6 runs scored, 4 RBI, and he struck out only one time in 27 AB, he had 2 walks.  He's the second consecutive late season pickup to win the NLCS for us, Cody Ross being the other one.  Speaking of Ross, Marco tied Ross's team record of hits in 10 straight games.

This is the 19th time the Giants have gotten to the World Series, second only to the Yankees.  They get home advantage because the NL won the All-Star game

To quote Shankbone and repeat the sentiments, "The Giants Win the Pennant!"

As I've been saying for a number of years now:  The Giants are the Team of the 2010 Decade.

Go Giants!  Win it again!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Your 2012 Giants: Game 7 of the NLCS

Wow!  When your team is against their backs by a lot, all you can really hope for is that they win the next game and live to see another day.  That was true for the Giants in Cincy, that was true now.  Yet here we are, tied 3-3 in the 2012 NLCS, now with both teams against the backs, and the Giants one win away from a historical, epic playoff run to the World Series.

Momentum is truly on the Giants side plus they are playing at home.  In fact, 13 of the 14 teams to force a Game 7 has won that game.  However, as we know, the Cards have been pushed to the brink themselves and have come up big before, first winning their playoff play-in game against Atlanta in Atlanta, then wins the NLDS even though they were behind 6-0, coming up with the improbable win against the Nationals.  So here we are with two teams that has both beaten the immense odds over and over again, but in this game, one will continue to claim divine providence, while the other will be left wondering how it could have gone so wrong at the last moment.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Your 2012 Giants: Game 6 of the NLCS

Wow, now that was ALL-TIME EPICNESS!  Barry Zito going 7.2 shutout innings, racking up a 5 PQS DOM start for us, the first in the playoffs for the Giants, and it was Zeets delivering!  That is a huge paydown on what he has owed us from his big contract, and it was so exciting listening to the game.  What an epic start!  I think that was his first 5 PQS start since the 2003 playoffs, almost ten years later.

And Brandon Crawford delivered another key hit for us.  True, it was not the first and winning run, but at that point, a 1-0 lead is nothing against their tough team, but his working the count and getting the pitch he wanted extended the lead to a more sturdy 3-0 and allowed Zito - who had his FIRST EVER bunt single in his career - drive in another run, for a strong 4-0 lead, given how Zito was pitching.  After that, Zito was 3 up and 3 downing them.  Crawford has shown a lot in these playoffs, that is one clear lesson of these playoffs, he's going to be a guy we can rely on in tough situations, offensively as well as defensively.  Thank goodness he had that down Junior year, else another team would have drafted him in the first round, as he was projected to go, instead of back in the 4th round where the Giants got him.

And Sandoval's homer - second in two games - sealed the deal at 5-0.  I can't believe I saw some people want to sit Sandoval down in order to play Arias.

As a contrast in managerial style, a couple of years ago, in the same situation, Bochy told his team not to pack just in case and they won.  In this game, Matheny told his team to pack just in case they needed to get to SF.  That might have subconsciously affected the team - the manager isn't confident that we can beat Zito and the Giants and not have to travel back to SF.  Or maybe not, either way, we WON!!!

Your 2012 Giants: Posey MLB.com Comeback Player of the Year

As reported (Schulman, MLB/Haft), Buster Posey won the 2012 Comeback Player of the Year Award for the National League, by vote of MLB.com reporters.  Amazingly, he only got 27 of the 30 first place votes.  Kris Medlen got 2 votes and Adam LaRoche got the last first place votes.

As Schulman noted, this is not the more prestigious Comeback Player of the Year Award that has been given by The Sporting News since 1965, but he expects Posey to win that one too.  Why the MLB decided to muddy the waters by having their own separate award and vote, I don't know (OK, I do know, Dough-For-MLB).

Also, Schuman wrote:
The big prize for Posey would be NL Most Valuable Player, which will be announced Nov. 15.
Also, Haft wrote:
Posey is the first Giants player to earn the Comeback Player honor since Major League Baseball instituted its award in 2005. Three Giants have been named Comeback Player of the Year by The Sporting News: Left-hander Mike McCormick in 1967 for his Cy Young Award-winning season, first baseman Willie McCovey in 1977 for hitting 28 home runs at age 39, and Joe Morgan in 1982, when he hit .289, a 49-point increase over the previous year.
ogc thoughts 

Medlen?  Sure, he had a great season, but he didn't really have anything to come back from, his first two seasons were good but nothing compared to a starting catcher's first season, great hitting, plus leading his team to a World Series championship in 2010 like Posey.

LaRoche, I can buy, but again, given what Posey had to overcome PLUS his position PLUS how he outperformed what he did before, really, these three voters should have their voting privileges revoked, much like I think Hall of Fame voters who just don't get that Willie Mays is a Hall of Famer should have lost their vote as well.

Congrats to Posey, hopefully he can celebrate at the plate tonight!!!

Go Giants!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Your 2012 Giants: Game 5 of the NLCS

Wow, Zito gets an NLCS start.  Before the start of this series, it was a toss-up between starting Lincecum or Zito in Game 4.  Instead, Bumgarner pitches his way out of the rotation - he says that he has fixed something mechanically that is off, but now need to "form a habit" (i.e. make it like breathing in and out so that he won't need to find it during a game) - and Lincecum and Zito will start consecutively instead of either/or.

But with Lincecum's DIS start, Zito's story becomes that much more magnified because the Giants are on the brink of elimination - again - and our 2012 fates rests on the last starting pitcher that most Giants fans would least like to see starting in this elimination game.  Will he finally give us the big dividend we were hoping to get when we first signed him.  Will it be like how the Renteria story went in 2010?  Will he be able to heed Reverend Hunter's exhortations to see each other tomorrow, to play again together tomorrow?  Because, you know, together we're Giants.

That's the $126M question.

Your 2012 Giants: Game 4 of the NLCS

Wow, Cain pitched a DOM game and Lohse had a DIS game, and we still lost.  Based on PQS, we should be ahead 2-1, not behind 1-2:  that's baseball.  My study of PQS found that generally the team with better starting pitching generally won the game, generally won the series, but as we all know, BABIP can really help some teams and hurt other teams.  And we got hurt, both ways, in yesterday's game.

Looking at the ER, one might have thought the opposition about the two starters.  When Lohse needed to quell an uprising, he did, while Cain made the wrong pitch to the wrong batter, but was otherwise superb.  Take that pitch and result out, and it's still tied 1-1, bottom of the ninth.  Add a key hit in almost any inning, and the Giants win.

Coincidentally, this is reminiscent of the first game with the Reds, when Cueto went down:  when Beltran went down with his knee injury, I thought, alright, that improves our chances, then when I found out it was Carpenter taking over, I got all worried before he was 4 for 4 against Cain during his career, and worried that might be the key to the game.  And like Cueto going down, Beltran going down helped our opponent, rather than helped us.  But if he's out for the series - no news yet, but it sounds like it is not that serious, day to day, but it has been something bothering him all season, so who knows - Carpenter's very, very, very, very poor defense in RF should hurt them at some point.  He could be the Brooks Conrad of this series.

I happened to be able to see the last part of the game on TV and when I saw Carpenter, I couldn't believe how puny looking he looks (wow, TV sure does shrink people, he's 6' 3" and 200 lb according to baseball-reference.com; he looked like this slim guy on TV), and yet he took Cain yard.  As much as I want to blame the offense for not doing more with all the hits and walks they produced, Cain should also take blame for letting this slight of build non-homerun hitter - he only had 6 HR in 296 AB during the season - beat us.  He wasn't even that good a prospect in the minors, old for the league, didn't hit for that much power, struck out a little too much, but did walk a ton, he's a Moneyball type hitter in that way.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Your 2012 Giants: Game 3 of the NLCS

The series now move to St. Louis and their pitching oriented ballpark.  Vogelsong is our ace of the playoffs, that's two DOM starts from him, and nobody else has even one.  He gave us our first 7.0 IP start, giving up only 4 hits and 2 walks, striking out 4, giving up only 1 run/ER.  That is a 4 PQS DOM start.

Still, you can't win a well-pitched game without some offense.  And the Cards woke up the Giants when Matt "Take a" Holliday rolls into 2B, taking out Scutaro with a legal but nasty slide.  For a while, it was not sure if we had lost Scutaro.  But he came back, and that might have inspired the team or also the fact that Holliday pulled that dirty move, as first Pagan hit that lead-off homer (second in the playoffs) the team scored four runs in the bottom of the 4th, with Scutaro getting the key hit, driving in two runs, with a third run coming in on Holliday's fielding error.  Later, Scutaro had to leave the game and his replacement, Theriot, formerly a Cardinal last season, singled to drive in two more runs for a 7-1 lead, which was the final score.  Both Affeldt and Romo pitched one inning and shut out the Cards.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Your 2012 Giants: Game 2 of the NLCS

Wow, couldn't call it any better than that:  both teams were mostly shut down offensively, but when the runs came, they poured, as the Cards had uprisings of 2 runs and 4 runs, then the Giants matched the 4 runs, but never could get across another run, losing game 1 to the Cards, 6-4.  My only question was why wasn't Bumgarner taken out earlier, that was ultimately the difference there.  I don't have my dauber down, based on what I saw with their pitching, it just looked like a tough series. But as Vogie noted, they don't want to be coming back from down 0-2 all the time, as that is a tough row to hoe.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Your 2012 Giants: Game 1 of the NLCS

Wow, isn't baseball amazing?  Every game, you see the same old, same old, but in spite of how long the history is, there will always be something new - or something Epic -  under the sun.  What a contrast the two game 5's were for the two teams:  the Giants took a seemingly commanding 6 run lead and unfortunately for the Reds, they ran out of innings to catch up, while the Nats took a seemingly commanding 6 run lead and unfortunately for themselves, the Cards had just enough innings to catch up.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Your 2012 Giants: NLCS Rosterbation


I might be jumping the gun here, since we don't even know who the Giants opponent is yet, but I thought I would run by some thoughts on the possible roster for the NLCS.  At minimum, I wanted to show off this picture that the Giants are putting on-line at their Facebook page.  Nice, huh?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

EPIC!!! Your 2012 Giants Win the NLDS!!! Makes History!!!

"We will see you tomorrow" Hunter



EPIC!!!

The Giants set history by winning the NLDS!!!  First NL team (out of 22) to come back from 0-2 to win a 5 game series!!!  First time any MLB team has come from behind 0-2 in a 5 game series to win three on the road to win the series!!!  The Giants are just the fifth team to come back from 0-2 to win the playoff series!!!


(got gif link from a comment on MCC)

Barry Zito ended up on the good side of history this time, as his A's were the loser in the last two times this situation has come up, losing to the Yankees in 2001, Red Sox in 2003, but now winner with the Giants in 2012.  They survive the gauntlet to see each other for another day, another series.  They will, indeed, see each other tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Your 2012 Giants: Game 5 of the NLDS: Matt vs. Mat

Wow, what an exciting game that was!  Again!  The difference was really this:  Bochy knew when to take out his pitcher before the game got out of hand and Baker did not.

The heroes of  the game were the offense and Tim Lincecum.  Angel Pagan led the way with his lead-off homer, the first time in Giants franchise playoff history (they also set a playoff record with 8 extra-base hits in the game).  Gregor Blanco also had a 2-run homer later and Sandoval put the exclamation point with his 2-run homer on a pitch that most hitters would not swing at, which must have made the Reds' pitchers cross-eyed and bewildered looking at that happen.  Pablo had 3 RBI total.  Joaquin Arias, who was not even in the starting lineup, started two rallies resulting in 5 runs, doubling twice, scoring twice, while playing sparkling defense again.  Amazingly, Hector Sanchez had 2 walks in this game, after singling in his first AB.

Wow, Lincecum came through again, 4.1 IP, giving up only 2 hits and 0 walks, striking out 6, as he shut down the Reds' offense, holding them at bay while the offense added more runs.  He did it all coming out of the stretch, as well.  He looks like he's back.  And the other relievers did well too, Kontos, Mijares, and Casilla.

Now the Giants are tied with the Reds 2-2, and play tomorrow for the right to advance to the NLCS.  Do or die now for both teams, and the Giants performed while the Reds did not, as the pitching shut them down.

Your 2012 Giants: Game 4 of the NLDS: Zito vs. Leake

Wow, what an exciting game that was!  Obviously, very nerve racking for both sides, as both teams were pretty much shut down, the Reds after the first inning, the Giants until the 10th, by great pitching.  So obviously, the pitching was the heroes in this game, both the starter, Vogelsong, as well as all the relievers who came in, in particular, Affeldt and Romo going for two innings each (and each will be expected to be available to pitch tomorrow if needed; though both were very efficient, Affeldt only threw 22 pitches, Romo only 15).  Even Lincecum was up warming up late:  had the game continued, Lincecum would have come in the 11th.

Of course, when there's hardly any offense (scored one run with no hits), the key hitters are clear, but no doubt that Posey and Pence were the players of the game for the Giants, both for offense and defense.  If Posey didn't have the presence of mind to throw a strike to 3B when Phillips tried to take third on the wild pitch, the Reds would have scored more than one run most probably because there were two hits and a walk afterward, and then they would have won in 9 innings.  Pence helped with his sliding catch in the third.  And, of course, their two hits in the 10th set up the winning run for Arias to drive in.

Of course, Dusty helped with some questionable managing, which harkens back to issues that I had with him when he was the Giants manager.  Most of all, I would have left in Homer Bailey.  He was dealing, his pitch count was only 88, I would have left him out there longer, which would preserve my ability to use Marshall and Chapman later.  Moreover, Marshall and Chapman was last used Saturday, 3 days before, after 4 days rest from the regular season, they should have been able to go at least two innings each, much like how Bochy used his top relievers.  Close out SF now, can rest until the next series.

I was OK, however, with him pitching to Arias instead of Sanchez, I view Sanchez as the more dangerous hitter to drive in a run plus even if the Giants took out Romo, then Lincecum would have pitched and he did well against them on Saturday, that must have been fresh in his memory.  And they got what they wanted, a groundball, but Rolen just muffed it and Arias' speed legged it out.



Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Sickel's Prelim 2013 Top 50 Hitters and Pitchers

John Sickels recently published his Preliminary 2013 Top 50 Hitters and Pitchers lists on his blog.

No Giants hitters made the list, but two Giants pitchers did:
  • #36:  Kyle Crick, RHP
  • #38:  Clayton Blackburn, RHP
He also reviewed his 2012 lists (Hitters 1, Hitters 2, Pitchers 1, Pitchers 2)

Here are the descriptions he gave on the one Giants prospect that made last year's list:
  • 20) Gary Brown, OF, San Francisco Giants, Grade B+: Hit .279/.347/.385 with 40 walks, 87 strikeouts in 538 at-bats for Double-A Richmond. Stole 33 but was caught 18 times, way too many for a guy with his speed.

Your 2012 Giants: Game 3 of the NLDS: Vogelsong vs. Bailey

Wow, that did not go well at all, part two.  The team spiraled from that poor first game to the even poorer second game, as Arroyo, who Giants hitters had hit well against previously, had a perfect game no-hitter going into the 5th inning and didn't walk anyone until the 6th inning.  He and the Reds handed the Giants their worse playoff shutout loss in franchise history (Baggarly) and it reminded me of the Mets' win over the Giants in 2000, when Bobby Jones shut the Giants out, a junk-balling pitcher who got it all together to shut down the Giants pretty good offense.  The Giants are on the brink of elimination already, as their starting pitching, bullpen, and offense has not performed up to their prior performances when things were going good.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Your 2012 Giants: Game 2 of the NLDS: Arroyo vs. Bumgarner

Wow, that did not go well at all.  I was so excited for our chances when Cueto left the game, but then Cain gave up those dingers - first runs ever given up in the playoffs - and the Giants could not do anything much against the Reds' relievers.  As the team motto goes, they have to move on... to Game 2.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Your 2012 Giants: Game 1 of NLDS: Cain vs. Cueto

Wow, exciting to be back in the playoffs again.  As DrB noted in his great post about Posey, clearly, based on what he did this season, Buster was the reason why we made it into the playoffs in 2010 and 2012, and why we didn't get in 2011.  I view him as the heart and brains of the team, driving the team to greater heights.  I still can't believe - and yet am glad he did - that he actually said at the victory parade, why don't we go back and do it all again in 2011.  So young, so precocious, so naive to a certain extent, I suppose, and yet, so much of a leader.

The Reds will be in SF for the first two games, so it will be deja vu for Dusty (who is manager of the Reds), who had the same disadvantage as the Giants skipper long ago against Miami.  Ironic that he is facing the Giants now.  The Giants don't have a history against the Reds in the playoffs or battling for anything really, so the Dusty vs. Giants angle is the best from the Giants fan viewpoint.

I'm still thankful for all the good years he put in as Giants skipper for us, but by the end, I was glad to see him go, and happier to welcome back Felipe Alou back into the fold.  It was just time, from my viewpoint, there were many things about Dusty's management that I didn't care for and mistakes that boggled my mind (much like the things the Bochy-haters ascribe to him, but I disagree, Dusty actually does those things, like favoring vets and doing things detrimental to winning, like playing Lofton in CF and making Shinjo the DH.  Or throwing Feliz in there as DH when he hadn't played in ages.)

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Your 2012 Giants are 94-68: NL West Division Champs, 2 of 3 Years

What an EPIC season!  I've been covering that aspect of the season starting around the time that Matt Cain had the first ever Perfect Game in Giants franchise history.  A simple search of my blog will bring up many of them, so I won't cover them here.

EPIC:  Posey Batting Title

But I will cover recent ones that have happened.  First and most of all was Buster Posey winning the official 2013 NL batting title, with the removal of the extra AB that would have qualified Melky for the title.  Here is coverage from Baggarly, Schulman, and Pavlovic.  He won with a .336 batting average and a strong push in the second half where the batted .385/.456/.646/1.102 (very Bondsian numbers) overall and finished much at the same pace, as since August 31st, his batting line is .382/.434/.527/1.062, which propelled him to the title, while McCutchen faltered and fell a lot and Melky was suspended and asked not to get the benefit of the rule that makes ineligible players eligible for the title.

It was an amazing end to a season where Bochy and the team had been hoping to get 100-110 games out of him IN TOTAL (he ended with 148 games:  111 at catcher, 29 at 1B, 3 at DH) because of his severe injury last season.  Amazing also because this is his first full season as a player, after having last season taken away from him violently and unwarrantedly.

Buster became only the fourth catcher EVER in the NL's 137 seasons to win the batting title and the first NL catcher since Ernie Lombardi (a SF Bay Area native) in 1942.  He is the second catcher in the majors since Lombardi to win it (Mauer has won it twice in the AL).  He is the first Giants player to win the crown since Barry Bonds did it in 2004, here is the list of Giants who have have won the title (from Mercury):
  • Roger Connor, 1885 (first Giants career leader in homeruns in the NL; see my article on that here)
  • Jack Glasscock, 1890
  • Larry Doyle, 1915
  • Bill Terry, 1930
  • Willie Mays, 1954
  • Barry Bonds, 2002
  • Barry Bonds, 2004
  • Buster Posey, 2012
He is the 7th Giant to win the title, second SF Giants to win, third title for SF Giants.  He is credited in the media for leading the league in OBP (baseball-reference.com is showing Joey Votto as the leader, but with added oh-fer phantom plate appearances; I guess Posey leads for those with actual PAs).  I went through the leaders and the last catcher to lead the league in OBP was Chief Meyers (one of the rare non-whites to play in the majors before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier) in 1912.

And a nice, feel-good moment out of this was that Pence rounded up donations across the team to buy Posey an unspecified gift to commemorate his accomplishment (despite prodding from the media - Baggarly asked if it got good gas mileage -  it was never disclosed what was given).

EPIC:  Pitching Staff

Had we known that the 2012 Giants would have the first Giants staff since 1962 to have four 14-game winners (Vogelsong was one win short of making it four 15-game winners;  he certainly did well enough on Wednesday), it would not have been too big a shock.  That it happened without Lincecum is the big shocker, as it was Cain, Bumgarner, Zito, and Vogelsong who made up that quartet.

EPIC:  Hitting Streaks

As reported by Baggarly, Scutaro's single in the last game of the season gave him a 20-game hit streak, the third such streak by a Giant this season - previously done by Pagan and Sandoval.  This gave the 2012 Giants three players with 20-game hit streaks, the first time in any season in franchise history that such an event has happened (at least back 94 years for which there is full season date, so notes Baggarly).  It was also the first time in the majors since 2003, when the Pirates and Blue Jays had those feats.

EPIC:  Winning Streak Fluky But Still Interesting

Zito and the Giants had a streak where the team won his start for 11 straight starts, the first since 1992 when Bill Swift did it.  While an oddity like a no-hitter where a confluence of events could lead to it happening for Zito and not one of the other starters, still, given his travails while a Giant, still, it is a nice streak, better than him losing 11 straight, for certain.  And he did pitch well in 7 of those 11 starts, compiling a 3.92 ERA during that streak, so it is not like he didn't pitch well during that streak, he did OK.  Still, 10 of the 11 games, the offense did its job and scored at least 4 runs in support.

Baggarly reported some interesting facts about Zito that I've seen for a while and finally touching on in my blog.  He is now 125-7 in his career with at least four runs of support, including 40-3 as a Giant (means he was 85-4 with the A's).  Unfortunately for Zito, our offense has not been that great for most of his time as a Giant, but it has been pretty good this season, even better in the second half.  As Baggarly noted, Zito was 13-1 in starts with at least 4 runs of support in 2012, 14 games in total:  he only had 37 of these starts over the previous five seasons as a Giant (meaning he was 27-2 previously with the Giants).

Other Tidbits of Info
  • The Giants 94 wins match the seventh most wins in the San Francisco era, as they finished eight games ahead of the D-gers.  It is the fifth time the Giants have won the title in Sabean's tenure as Giants GM (16 years) and the eighth time in San Francisco (meaning Sabean is responsible for 62.5% of the divisional titles in the 44 years we have had divisions).  Sabean teams have won at least 90 games in 8 seasons out of 16, Bochy 2 of 6, but more importantly 2 of the last 3, and looking to do this for many more seasons.  The San Francisco Giants have won 90+ games in 18 total seasons.
  • Bochy noted, when asked by an LA writer about Posey's athleticism at 1B, "Oh, I believe he could play third base.  He's got good hands with his athleticism, and he's got good awareness."  That was an idea I had earlier this season, which makes more sense than having Posey play 1B, as many have suggested.  For one thing, as well as he has hit this season, Posey is not considered above average as a bat at 1B.  His bat is way above average at catcher, hence a lot of value is created in that way.  He would also be as above average if he could play 2B, but one has to wonder how his severe ankle injury affected his movement plus, more importantly, 2B have been injured in plays before, and we have Panik looking good at coming up and being our starter there.  Corner OF would also be good, as he has a great arm, but we would have to wonder about his mobility there.  However, many a catcher have made the move to 3B OK, given arm and handling of speeding balls coming off bats, and his bat would be way above average there as well.  Most importantly, Sandoval most probably will eat his way over to 1B at some point, and if not that, then it would be better to play Posey at 3B and keep Belt at 1B for his stellar defense there.
  • Lastly, I wanted to end by pointing out DrB's great post on Buster Posey.  I was going to write something similar, but more along the lines of how Posey is such a great leader.  But heck yeah, DrB hit the nail on the head, Posey is a special player, and that example he used, of Pence and the team giving him a special gift, is exactly what illustrates this concept.  It is, to borrow DrB's words, remarkable.   I've never heard of this before either, not especially since the batting title winner usually wins some sort of car, so I have to think it was something very personal, as DrB says.  Posey is an EPIC player, and it is most certainly a privilege to watch him and to be able to root for the young man.  That is why I am hoping the Giants sign him to some huge long-term contract buying out a couple of his free agent years, though I'm not hopeful that it'll happen, as Posey is keenly aware of his value and that is why he ended up getting $6M for his bonus even though he was the 5th player selected in the draft.  I just hope the two sides can come together and get it done, something long-term like the one Longoria got from Tampa Bay, but which will probably cost a lot more.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Your 2012 Giants: AFL Roster

Baseball America recently published the full rosters for the AFL teams from each MLB team, announcing final additions (mostly the pitchers, of which none were named last time) to the preliminary roster published earlier.  Here are the players who will be playing for the AFL from the Giants this fall, barring injury:

Monday, October 01, 2012

Your 2012 Giants: Beat LA!

I think that about says it all.  Well that and it would be a pleasure to push LA out of the playoffs by beating them in this series, especially in front of their home crowd.

I would also like to see our starters do well, but I'm not quite as down about everything as the media is.  While Bumgarner didn't have a great last start, he wasn't that bad, just a little HR-itis, I think Bochy just took him out to rest out, else with 2 more innings, he could have had a DOM start instead of a DIS start.  Lincecum, while the numbers don't look great, he had a DOM start in his last start and 5 in his 6 starts in September.  I think he is fine too.  Both Vogelsong and Cain ended the season with two DOM starts, so I think that they are in a good place as well.  And Zito, while not dominant, wasn't a disaster either.

Plus, Cain had a bad last start in 2010, while generally being good for September, and we all remember how he did in the playoffs...

Speaking of which, I find this both funny and sad, but the media announced that Lincecum will get a start during the playoffs.  I had no doubts, the question was where in the series.  As Shankbone noted, you got to dance with the gal that brung ya, and Lincecum is one of them to earn that honor and responsibility.  And, as I read somewhere else, we have no choice but to hope that he can still bring it.  But that is true of any superstar player on any playoff team who struggled some this season, those teams also have no choice either.

It looks like the Reds, and I like our chances, but will dig more into it once the team is set and I spend some time looking at the angles.

Beat LA!!!

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