Friday, October 03, 2014

Your 2014 Giants: NLDS Round: Nationals

My thoughts on playing the Nationals.

ogc thoughts

Wow, this is like facing the Giants pitching in 2010, only probably worse:  each of the scheduled starters (Strasberg, Zimmerman, Fister) have over 70% DOM and under 10% DIS, the very definition of an elite starter's performance in a season.  On top of that, both Roark and Gonzalez are also above 70% DOM, and while Roark is under 10% DIS as well, Gonzalez is at 18% DIS.  However, two of them appear to be related to whatever health issue he had in May/June, as he has two bad DIS starts before being DLed, and if you remove those from his record, he's roughly there, at 12% DIS.

Of course, of our starters this season, we did not have a great season overall for PQS.  Bumgarner was the only starter here all season with DOM% over 60%.   Peavy was over 60% in his time with us. but not overall.  So we technically don't have anyone over 70%.

The silver lining is that Bumgarner did not wear his new mantle of Ace starter well in the early beginning, and Peavy took some time to adjust.  He had 20 DOM and only 2 DIS in his last 27 starts.   That is 74% DOM and 7% DIS for Bumgarner.  For Peavy, he had 6 of his last 8, or 75% DOM with no DIS.

Plus, assuming Petit starts game 4 (wondering why the delay, or is Bochy thinking of having Vogie start?), he's been excellent as a starter when he's the regular starter and not an emergency fill-in.  4 DOM of 6 since taking over for Lincecum.  

Only Hudson is a weak link, under 50% DOM for the season, and much lower in the second half, where he was faltering a lot compared to his early season dominance.  I'm hoping that the extra rest will help him revert back to early season goodness.  Plus, he did do great in his last start, he appears to have fixed his mechanics.  Hopefully he can rise to the occasion, because should we lose Game 1, we can't lose Game 2, Game 1 can be so pivotal most of the time (2012 being the exception).

Our hitters seem to be in the right place, except for maybe Pence, but he runs hot and cold, but he usually rises to the occasion when RISP.  It was good to see most of the lineup hitting on Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

Overall, this will be a tough series to win with the pitchers we are facing.  Peavy really needs to come through and win Game 1, otherwise we might be facing a 2012 scenario again.   Their pitchers have some experience in playoff pitching, so this will not be new to them for the most part.  Strasburg has not pitched in the playoffs, but he's been a great pitcher forever, so probably not a concern for him.  Matty will probably be choosing between Roark and Gonzalez, so that would be interesting, as Roark has no playoff experience and is a rookie, while Gio is a vet with some playoff experience.  Roark has pitched better overall, though, so if Matty chooses Gio, he's going with the vet over the performance.

Then again, we will have Bumgarner in game 3 and if we have Petit in game 4, that gives me hope of a game 5 should we need to go that far.

In addition, as well was Washington has played this season, they are only 23-23 against winning teams (though they were 5-2 against us).   But we were 27-31, so there is that as well.

But I think that with Belt getting hot, as he appears to be doing, that will give us a good chance to make this a good series and come up on top, along with other guys in the lineup doing what they have been doing, including Crawford.  But this series is probably as tough as they have come, in terms of winning it.

Go Giants!


  1. Sorry, I know game 1 had started but had to get lunch for my wife who just had a migraine, so I just finished this off afterward, nothing was changed from what I would have written, I don't think.

  2. Wow, Baggarly had these great stats on Hudson and Nats, of course, most were when he was younger and with the Braves, plus when he was going good for the Giants, but still, great stats:

    So now that we have established Hudson does not think the Nationals are eunuchs … what about the way he’s nipped them over his career? What about that 18-5 record and 2.35 ERA in 31 starts against them? What about the fact that the Giants went 2-5 against the Nationals, and their only two wins came in Hudson’s starts? Or that he held them to a run in 12 1/3 innings in those two outings?

    OK, with that type of ownage in his history, gives me a much better feeling about his start. Plus, now that the Giants won 3-2 in game 1, behind Peavy's sterling outing, we would have a huge advantage if Hudson can pull it off, especially with Bumgarner pitching in game 3.

  3. Oh, and here is the 25 man roster:

    They will enter the NLDS with 12 pitchers, two catchers, six infielders and five outfielders. The roster includes:

    Pitchers (12)
    41 Jeremy Affeldt LHP
    40 Madison Bumgarner LHP
    46 Santiago Casilla RHP
    17 Tim Hudson RHP
    55 Tim Lincecum RHP
    49 Javier Lopez LHP
    63 Jean Machi RHP
    22 Jake Peavy RHP
    52 Yusmeiro Petit RHP
    54 Sergio Romo RHP
    60 Hunter Strickland RHP
    32 Ryan Vogelsong RHP

    Catchers (2)
    28 Buster Posey C
    34 Andrew Susac C

    Infielders (6)
    13 Joaquin Arias IF
    9 Brandon Belt IF
    35 Brandon Crawford IF
    50 Matt Duffy IF
    12 Joe Panik IF
    48 Pablo Sandoval IF

    Outfielders (5)
    7 Gregor Blanco OF
    56 Gary Brown OF
    45 Travis Ishikawa OF
    8 Hunter Pence OF
    2 Juan Perez OF

    Big news here is that Brown got the call for a roster spot. Wow! Given how little he was used during September, they must have really liked what they saw of him in his one start. They could have taken Quoroz so that Susac could PH more, but he would not have been a bat off the bench. They could have taken Duvall, who has a lot of power off the bench, but nothing much else. Dominguez seemed to do well, and got some good base path instincts. Appears that Bochy wants Brown around to be a great pinch-runner when Ishikawa gets on base late, plus great defense in LF as well. .

    Also, Vogie made the playoff roster, over Gutierrez, so he could still start in Game 4, though I still expect Petit to get the start. Frankly, it would surprise me if Petit did not get the start, he's been much better going down the stretch, and Bochy definitely takes that into account in giving out assignments.

  4. Wow, what a Game 2! Petit did get a start in extra innings, he would have earned a 5 PQS DOM start with those stats. Hudson did too with his even better outing, I guess the extra rest helped his hip heal so that he can pitch like he did earlier this season, what a masterful outing.

    And Belt! Wow, that was a stunner! And he knew it too, he just dropped his bat and trotted.

    So I guess it is Vogelsong in Game 4, should it be necessary. We got Bumgarner vs. Fister on Monday first to see if it is.

    That's 10 straight playoff victories for the Giants, extending their NL record, and now they are two wins away from tying the AL record.

    The 18 innings of this game tied the record many moons ago where, wow, serendipity at work, Hudson was the starting pitcher in that game too.

    Dodgers unfortunately won, I was hoping they would have extra innings as well, tire out both their staffs. As it was, only Petit got extended for the Giants, while the Nats had their whole bullpen in there for an inning, plus Roark for two innings, meaning he probably can't start game 4, making Gio Gonzalez the starter, if necessary. Petit should be well rested in time for the next round, should we win one more game in this series. After seeing what happened to the Reds in 2012, and especially after this season's June swoon, nothing is a sure thing other than if you win, you did your job.

    1. THat's why I love Bochy, he knows that each and every playoff game is a MUST WIN game. He played to win for the most part in this game (I've seen some complaints about not pinch running for Posey, but the odds were good for a tie but not for a lead, so you would want Posey still around for extra innings, getting more ABs and handling our staff), throwing out Petit for a start, and having Lincecum in reserve as follow-up, instead of saving Petit for game 4, which could conceivably be an elimination game.

      Matt Williams, in interviews after the game, said that he replaced his starter because that's what he did all season, bring in the closer when you get into such situations. Unsaid, but without regard for how your starting pitcher was doing. Also unsaid, but these are playoff games, do or die, win or lose. It is not a regular season game where if you lose, you got another ton of games to play still in the season, for the most part during the season. If you don't win, it means that you lost and are one game closer to elimination. This fact is much clearer in the Wild Card game or in round robin tournaments, but it is also true for 5 game series, and it is especially true when you are already down 1 game in the 5 game series.

    2. In addition, you do not get tossed in a playoff game, that was a rookie mistake. Cabrera was already tossed, complaining until YOU got tossed did not do anything to protect your players, and now your bench coach is managing.

  5. One of my latest curiosities is how well a team did against winning teams during the season. Cards are top with 39-33 record. Nats are tied for second at .500 with 23-23 record, a whole 26 less games played against top teams, not even a third of their games. The Giants were 5th overall in the NL at 27-31, just two games away from .500, just barely past a third. Pirates were 6th with 33-39. Dodgers were 8th, median point, with a 26-33 record, a whole 13 less wins than the Cards while losing the same number.

    Of course, these dichotomies is crafted by the fact that the Nats were the only team above .500 in the NL East, Dodgers and Giants only teams in NL West, while NL Central had three winning teams.

    Of course, if this was a sure indicator, then the Orioles and Tigers would be facing off next, not Orioles and Royals, as the Tigers had the second best record against winning teams in the AL.

    Still, good indicator for making the playoffs, in AL 5 of top 6 in record against winning teams made the playoffs, in NL 5 of top 8. Seattle didn't make the playoffs despite a great record against winning teams because they were horrible (.500) against losing teams.

  6. Dodgers out of the playoffs! Kershaw not invincible! Puig sits on the bench, only PR, to no avail.

    Of course, Giants threw away the game yesterday, looking to try to close it out behind Vogelsong tonight. I have confidence in him delivering another good playoff game, like in 2012.

    In addition, Gio Gonzalez has had two wild outings for the Nats in 2012's playoffs, looks like he has trouble controlling his adrenaline.

    So I expect Vogie to keep the damage low until Gio cracks and gives up some runs, and then once there is any sign of tiredness, Bochy will go to the bullpen and close it down.

  7. Go Giants! What a win! Congrats to the Giants for winning their NLDS series!

    Ultimately, there was not a lot of difference between the two teams when you compared their win/loss record against winning teams. They were around .500, we were slightly under. They were just much better at beating up the lousy teams. They were 34-11 against D-backs, Marlins, and Mets, 23 games above .500, leaving them to go 62-55 against the rest of the league, or .530 roughly, or an 86-76 type season. Or around as good as the Giants were.

    And looking at their pitching, they had much better starting pitching during the season, most of their guys had quality starts at least 70% of their starts, the Giants were in the 50's and 60's, good but not great like their pitchers.

    Still, some of their goodness was built on crushing bad teams, and based on their record against winning teams, means they are probably around as good as we were, in terms of starting pitching.

    I thought we would give them a pretty good battle, but I just wasn't sure about Hudson or Vogie. Looks like I was way wrong about both, with rest, they both were on the top of their games.

    But like other series the Giants have won, they won because they had a better back of rotation starter than the other team, in this case, Petit was much better than Roarke.

    Oh, and congrats to Hudson for his first time moving past the NLDS! He made a good choice between Oakland and SF. The A's couldn't even get past the WC, they basically bet their future on winning it all this season, and they could barely hold on to a playoff spot, and didn't even make it out of the Wild Card, let alone make it to the ALCS.

    Yet, I'll bet Beane will get glorious articles written about how he made all these great moves, while a major Giants watering hole continues to lambaste the GM who made all of this possible. How is it possible that fans could be so blind? After all this time, they still won't thank Sabean for all that he has done in the past five years. Instead, even after the second one, Sabean is given backhanded compliments by a major baseball analytical organization and that major watering hole poobah. The sabers are just as bad as the old timers that they complain about being too stubborn to change their ways, and yet they think they know all the answers when really, they are just wearing the Emperor's New Clothes, only they they too blind to see.

  8. Interesting factoid on Vogie, probably earning his next big salary from some team with his great performances in the playoffs:

    In October, he is extraordinary. Armed with his best fastball in two years, he became the first pitcher in major league history to allow one run or fewer in each of his first five postseason starts. The Giants are 5-0 when he takes the mound in October...



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