Thursday, August 06, 2015

Your 2015 Giants: Some Notes on Cubs

I haven't had time to delve into series for a while, but thought I would throw down some info.  Go Giants!


ogc thoughts

Cubs are only 27-24 at home, while the Giants are 29-25 on the road.  It was noted by one of the beat writers that the Cubs luck out by missing Bumgarner, but they are 14-9 vs. LHP, 44-39 vs. RHP.  Giants are also better against LHP, 15-9, than RHP, 44-39.   Lester is a LHP, facing Vogelsong, who is taking over for Leake, who has a strained hamstring, in game 2.  Both are above .500 vs. winning teams, but Cubs are 27-21 while the Giants are only 17-15.  Lastly, Cubs have been 12-8 while the Giants were 15-5 in their last 20 games, but both are 17-13 in last 30 games.

Looks like it will be a tight series.  Giants are hoping to at least split the four game series, which would make this a 5-5 road trip, which is OK.  Ideally they win 3, to put some distance between the two teams, who are battling for the 2nd wild card spot at the moment.  And, of course, that would help in getting closer to the NL West lead as well.   Likewise, they cannot lose 3 games or more in this series, or the Cubs would put some distance between the two teams.

Looking at the below, looks like it would be tough to win the series, and possible we lose the series. But Wrigley has been playing like a pitcher's park this season, while it was neutral in prior seasons, so their home numbers are skewed some, as can be seen by their 27-24 home record so far, in spite of the nice starters numbers below.  Both teams' bullpens are about equal, 3.77 ERA for Cubs, 3.84 ERA for Giants.

However, the Giants have been 29-11 in Pence starts, 17-6 since he returned from the DL, 8-4 on the road since returning from the DL, 10-5 in his last 15 starts.  Go Giants!

Game 1:  Heston vs. Hammel

Heston only has a 3.98 ERA on the road (includes his no-hitter vs. NY Mets) but 6-1 record.  Hammel has a 3.08 ERA at home in 9 starts but only 1-2 so far, and the Cubs were only 3-6 in his home starts.

Game 2:  Vogelsong vs. Lester

Lester has 3.27 ERA at home, but the Cubs are 6-7 in his starts in spite of that.   He's getting extra rest than normal because he was scheduled to pitch on Monday August 3 but not his start is on August 7, that's 8 days of rest.  More rest generally leads to better performance, but when it has been so many more days, could put him out of rhythm (one can hope).   But 0.52 ERA in two starts against Giants.

Vogie has had a 3.48 ERA in starts after getting placed in the rotation regularly after Peavy was DLed, with a 3.98 ERA on the road in starts after getting place in the rotation.   Giants are 9-7 in his starts, 4-4 in road starts.   He has a 3.86 ERA vs. Cubs since returning to the Giants.

Game 3:  Cain vs. Hendricks

Hendricks have never faced the Giants before.  He has a 3.23 ERA at home this season.  Cubs are 6-3 in his starts at home.  He is getting 7 days of rest between starts.

Cain has not pitched much this season, so everything is extreme SSS.  He has a 6.00 ERA in 4 road starts, and one good start out of four.

Game 4:  Peavy vs. Arrieta

Arrieta has gone 6-1 with a 1.37 ERA over his last 9 starts.  He's 1-1 with 3.46 ERA in two career starts against the Giants.  3.07 ERA at home this season, though the Cubs were only 4-6 in Arrieta starts.

Peavy has a 4.37 ERA on the road this season in 4 starts, but if you count only his road starts since he returned from the DL, he has a 3.37 ERA in 3 road starts, where the Giants were 2-1.   He has a 3.78 ERA in 9 Wrigley starts, 4.15 ERA in his last 3 Wrigley starts.

6 comments:

  1. After the last couple of days, I don't have much confidence we'll even split the series. Peavy might have a chance, but Cain isn't pitching better than a #5. Heck, he's not pitching better than Vogelsong right now.

    So while I was really hoping for some semblance of Cain of Old, we just seem to be getting a continuation of 2013/2014 Cain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the astute observations.

      Yeah, it certainly does not feel good right now for a split, we would have to win these next two, and Cain has not been at his best yet, and especially given how well Hendricks have pitched, plus the fact that he's new to the Giants, they appear to go through a sharp learning curve with new guys.

      Peavy on the other hand has been pitching the way I was hoping Cain would, he has 5 DOM starts out of 6, and that 6th one was not far from a DOM start, just some bad luck with the HR ball.

      Cain on the other hand has been up and down, which was what I was expecting out of Peavy because of the comment early in the season that they were working to get him pitching, not to get him to 100%. The good news for me on Cain is that after his first start hiccup, which could be expected, the adrenaline probably was off the charts for him after being out for so long, he has not had a disaster start since except for his last start, which I would forgive because of the heat and the erratic strike calls of the umpire. If we call that a MID start instead (he had a shutout for 5 IP before it all went awry, only a clean inning away from 2 PQS), then in 5 starts, he had 2 DOM and 0 DIS starts, or 40% DOM/0% DIS.

      Which to your point, is no better than a continuation of the Post-Perfecto Cain of 2013-2014.

      The key to me is that he had two DOM starts out of three after his first start, so the question is how to look beyond the extreme SSS of a MID start followed by the last excused start. The thing is that in spite of the umpire drunk calling his last start, he had a shutout going into the 5th before it exploded. I think people can only stand so much incompetence before they lose it, and he probably reached that point in the 6th. He was not that far from a 3 PQS, and with some luck, a 4 PQS, so I'm hopeful that he can do well in this start.

      Thanks for the comments.

      Delete
    2. OK, now I'm worried about Cain. His velocity is back to his old norms, apparently, but his control is all over the place, nothing like the Cain of old.

      I'm still thinking it's a matter of time before he figures it out, but I don't know that it's happening this season. I'll still hold out hope for 2016, and certainly I'm not in the same boat as those thinking Cain's contract is a boondoggle: what he has done for us in his career earned him that contract, I'll never begrudge him that.

      But that don't solve our problems now. Both Bumgarner and Peavy are doing great as 1-2, but Heston, Cain, and Vogelsong are all pitching like #5. If they could only be middle of rotation, we would be fine. During our long winning streak that put us up this high, we had Bumgarner, Peavy, Cain, and Heston pitching like #1/2 starters. Heston and Cain hitting the wall didn't help much at all on this trip.

      The hope on my end is that the heat of the trip is what contributed to their meltdown, and getting home to SF will rejuvenate them. But it could also be the ups and downs that a pitcher recovering from injury goes through and the ups and downs that a rookie pitcher goes through.

      At least the offense has been chugging along with no problem averaging 6 runs per game, roughly. If the pitching - both starters and relievers - were up to the task, we would have won a lot of games in this stretch, not lose.

      Hopefully Peavy can keep on pitching well and keep things going for the team to end the series on an up note. Even with all the worry people have, if Peavy can give us a good game, we end this road trip 4-6, which is not that bad, lots of luck went against us this series, plus the injuries to Leake and Panik didn't help.

      Delete
    3. So I'm not worried. It's tough to win on the road, and there will be ups and downs. We are currently in a down period. We will be getting home soon, and hopefully some home cooking will do them well.

      The Astros have been stumbling lately, 14-16, though 12-8 in last 20, the trades have helped them right their ship But they are 23-32 on the road.

      The Nats have been doing even more poorly lately, 7-13 and 13-17, and they are 26-30 on the road.

      So things could get well in a hurry at home and get us to the next road trip against St. Louis and Pittsburgh. The Pirates have been stumbling lately as well and are slightly over .500 against winning teams.

      The Giants were above .500 against winning teams until this Cubs series pushed them under, so it should be a good fight against them at home and on the road. But both the Cards and Pirates are very good at home, among top 3 in NL, so it is going to be very tough in that road series.

      So the Giants need to make hay in this next home series, so that we can stay in competition for a playoff spot after the next road trip.

      All in all, we are still only 3 games behind LA, and 2.5 games behind the Cubs, those are not insurmountable leads with so many games to play. The team needs to hang tough and recover at home, which is hopefully possible.

      It should be possible. The offense has been going gangbusters since Pence returned, he was the missing link in the offense. Hopefully the cooler weather and home cooking will help the pitchers, plus the day off as well. Together, the team would do well.

      But to get through the rest of the month OK, I think we need Leake to return soon and to pitch as well as he had been doing for the Reds and Giants.

      And now I'm worried a bit that Leake won't return, the beat reporters noted that he's interested in testing the free agent market. Ironically, the Giants trading for him probably helped in his excitement to go free agent, since the trade removed the possibility of a QO for him.

      But one worry at a time. For now, I think we are still in the hunt for a playoff spot, but that won't happen until the pitching rights itself.

      Delete
  2. Giants never seem to have a complete healthy lineup. Pagan is definitely playing hurt, and we would probably do better with Blanco for now but Blanco needs to stop swinging for the fences. Aoki was doing the same this series. Then Blanco gets nailed in the noggin. A healthy lineup of Aoki, Panik, Duffy, Posey, Crawford, Pence, Belt, (pagan/Blanco/Maxwell) and our pitcher should help us get back on track. We also need our best 5 starters healthy. Right now I think that would be Bumgarner, Heston, Leake, Peavy, and Vogelsong, Anyone who wants to step up, Cain, Lincecum, or Petit, you are darn welcome. Anyway, if anyone noticed, the dodger bullpen is starting to fall apart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it seems to be another one of THOSE years again. I know it's all random, and I was hoping that the Giants could avoid it so that people don't attribute it to that, but sie la vie!

      Thanks for the news on the Dodger's bullpen, that is a welcome thing to hear. Unfortunately, our bullpen did not fare so well in the Cubs series either.

      I agree that right not, it seems like our best five starters are Bumgarner, Heston, Leake, Peavy, and Vogelsong. Despite Cain's blow up, I'm still hopeful that he can return to some semblance of goodness this season, I just believe in Cain.

      I'm wondering if after Leake returns, if Vogelsong could take Cain's spot for a start or two, let Cainer regroup/refresh some, and get back to where he was early after returning. While Vogie is among our best five right now, I still think Cain can be part of our eventual best 5 at some point.

      A healthy lineup would indeed get us back on track. The lineup was good enough in the Cubs series, but our pitchers, both starters and relievers, as well as our defense, were not. I still think the heat had something to do with our problems on the road this time, and that returning home and playing in more reasonable environs like home would help a lot. We'll see.

      Thanks for the comment.

      Delete

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