Archive for October, 2010

…. Boch-ed up?

First of all, pinch-running for Burrell was a pretty solid idea –albeit, a little early, which I mentioned to my buddy Joel as it was happening– as long as Lincecum shuts the Phillies down for another inning or two. Once Lincecum misses his spot by about 10 inches against Werth, now we’re looking at going to the bullpen here in the seventh, because it’s a one-run game, Lincecum has clearly been less than spot on, and there’s no reason not to use your completely rested and available bullpen.

Bochy gives up an out there, and after Torres gets a hit, you can see that he mismanaged the situation. Now, the Giants have to finish the game without one of their best, if not the best power hitter on the team, and Bochy is gonna try and coax another inning out of an obviously not his best Lincecum. The Phillies have all the momentum, and

Bochy is treating a three-run lead like it’s worth about twenty cents.

I’m not happy.

UPDATE: OK, I was wrong. Lincecum had another three outs in him. Halladay’s gone. Let’s tack on a couple, and make it easy in Wilson.

UPDATE: I still don’t understand why Wilson is needed in the eighth. I’ll ask again: Why have 11 pitchers if you’re gonna pull this shit? We have the best bullpen in baseball. THERE IS NO REASON IN THE WORLD NOT TO USE THEM!!

UPDATE: Wow. Sanchez is now 2 for 20 in the postseason. Terrific.

UPDATE: Check the ball!!!! His bat is black!!!

UPDATE: Giants win!!!!! Beating Halladay in Game One is huge!!!

…. Sanity?

Apparently, the Giants brain trust is actually exhibiting something resembling sanity. I just saw that the Giants were gonna swap Cain and Sanchez, allowing Cain to start Game Three (on I’m guessing four days rest?) at home, and having Sanchez pitch on his normal rest?

….There’s not much difference between Cain and Sanchez when it comes to who pitches better on longer rest, but Cain will wind up with 10 days off between appearances, double the norm. Sanchez will have six days of rest.

So, it appears it is simply a move to split up the lefty-righty starters, which (actually) makes sense. Anything you can do to derail the Phillies offense, which is outstanding.

Here’s Baggardly, for what it’s worth:

…. Plenty of reasons why this makes sense:

– Sanchez, not Cain will have to deal with Citizen’s Bank Ballpark, which is kind of a bandbox. The Phillies hit 94 homers at home this year, compared to 72 on the road…and Cain is slightly more of a flyball pitcher than Sanchez.

— Sanchez has been flat out better the last few weeks. He was 4-1 with a 1.01 ERA in Sept/Oct, compared to Cain’s 3-1, 3.29. Sanchez also struck out 11 and gave up just two hits

over 7 1/3 in a 3-2 Game 3 win in Atlanta (although Cain was very good in Game 2, as well).

— Bochy’s also mentioned that he wanted to “break up the righties.”

— Sanchez won in Philly in August, allowing one earned and two hits over eight innings.

I’m trying to arrange to go to one of the games. At the moment, it looks like the Wednesday game would be the most likely, but, until I get to the weekend, I really can’t say. Anybody who has an idea where I might get some good seats for me and one friend for any one of these three games, send me an email or a comment. I’d appreciate it. :-)

…. Speechless

As in,

I am speechless. The Giants are heading to the NLCS, something I simply didn’t even imagine was possible as little as five weeks ago. After sending out two left-handed pitchers in a row who threw 95-MPH, the Giants took the Braves best shot, in their own house, and stormed their way into the Final Four:

…. Madison Bumgarner, the youngest Giant ever to pitch in a postseason game, again showed steely calm in his six innings and beat 37-year-old postseason pro Derek Lowe. Cody Ross, the accidental Giant, homered to end Lowe’s no-hitter in the sixth inning, then singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh, his fourth big hit in a series defined by pitching and defense.

OK, they didn’t exactly storm their way in, but you get the drift.

…. Miracle!

The Giants came from behind with a two-run, ninth inning rally, after Sergio Romo likely pitched his way into oblivion:

…. Were the Giants lucky to win? It is hard to argue otherwise, though they engineered a terrific rally before the error to overcome a severe body blow: pinch-hitter Eric Hinske’s two-run homer against Sergio Romo in the eighth inning, which turned a 1-0 Giants lead upside


…. Game Thread

I don’t usually do this, but I’m taking the day off, so I figured I’d yell at you guys instead of the television….

Tim Hudson’s got some nerve bitching about those ball calls. He threw about four strikes that whole inning, and the ump gave him about five more as gifts.

UPDATE: Did Heyward hit his head? Fontenot (first AB) already surpasses Sandoval.

UPDATE: Sanchez has got to do better than that. He’s failed to get the bunt down at least three times this season that I can remember. Is Bochy actually managing in this game? Starting the runners, benching Sandoval…. Seems like he’s awake for the first time in a long while.

UPDATE: There’s such a thing as being too patient. Huff (unlike virtually every other hitter on the team) is taking too many pitches. So far in these playoffs, he’s been in a two strike AB about 90% of the time. Huff needs to swing the bat.

UPDATE: Hudson vs. Burrell, third inning, strikes him out despite not throwing a single pitch in the strike zone. Between the ump calling anything with six inches of the strike zone a strike, and Burrell bailing him out by swinging at three balls, there is no way the Giants can beat him playing like this. The Giants should have about four runs already, but between the awful umpiring behind the plate, and the hitters –like Uribe– swinging at every pitch, they cannot score runs playing like this.

UPDATE: Sanchez looks terrific. Giants starters so far, 19.2 innings, 9 hits, 1 run.

…. Me complain here

They lose this game, it’s on Bochy. There was absolutely no reason to start Cain in that top of the eighth. (OK, seventh! Doh!) There was absolutely no reason to let him get into that much trouble, (anyway).

OK, so, I was working and watching, and working and watching, and I lost track of the situation. Once they lost, I was just ranting. Sue me…. ;-)

The fact still remains that the following sentence is dead-on:


The Giants only have the best bullpen in baseball. There were only about four different pitchers Bochy could have used in that eighth, before he stupidly wasted Wilson.

UPDATE: Bases loaded, one out, a major league team has a runs scored expectation of 1.65 runs. Without looking it up –since I have no way of doing so– I would guess that the Giants are somewhere around .90. Simply awful results in critical situations. Posey is so obviously exhausted. Bochy completely fucked this game up. Horrendous decision to go to Wilson with no outs in the eighth. Fairly terrible/possibly defensible decision to allow Romo to face another batter after the first one smoked him. And now the Giants, who haven’t had a real come from behind win in I don’t know how long, have to score at least one to avoid a loss that would rank among the worst in their history. Tonight immediately brings back memories of their folderoo loss to the Mets in 2000, about seven seconds after JT Snow’s miracle three-run home run.

I’m sorry, but this is just atrocious.

UPDATE: No pinch runner for Uribe? Is Bochy trying to get fired?

UPDATE: Awful, awful loss. Bochy failed his team in just about every way possible. For every mistake he made –as in, with a bullpen that had allowed something like 5 runs in their last 60 innings, there was no reason to pull the parachute cord like that. If you are gonna be decisive, you pull Cain (Romo) the minute a man gets on. You don’t wait until he puts the tying run at the plate, and then ask Brian Wilson to do something he’s NEVER DONE BEFORE IN HIS LIFE!!!!– even with all that failure, the team still had the tying run on first with one out in the bottom of the 11th.

Of course, Bochy –stunned into submission by his earlier blunder– for some reason, didn’t even consider the possibility of, oh, I don’t know, trying to steal second and: a) get into scoring position, and, b) avoid the double play. Instead, Bochy decides to do nothing. Of course, since a Giant wasn’t on first with nobody out, he couldn’t automatically bunt, so all of his decisions were essentially made for him.

The move to Wilson spoke of panic, and desperation; not decisiveness. And then, in the bottom of the tenth, the Giants loaded the bases with one out, which raised their expected winning percentage at that point to around 90%, failed to score. Just prior to the moment that Posey grounded into the five-hundreth double play of the Giants season, wasn’t something creative needed? Given what we all could see with our own two eyes, that the Braves were planning on trying to double up Posey –even though that decision meant that they would be giving up the chance to preserve the tie in order to end the inning– the question that occurred to me immediately was; why didn’t Bochy call for a squeeze play?

The reason? Because he is a button pusher. He is destined to fail in these kinds of pressure situations. And, let’s be clear, when the pressure was on, Bobby Cox put the game in his players hands, and said, do the hard thing, and let’s see if we can win. Bochy told his players, his fantastic bullpen, that they couldn’t be trusted to do what they had done better than any bullpen in baseball history over the last six weeks, not to mention that, over the course of the season, they had been one of the top two or three in the entire league.

No, Bochy tried to be Joe Torre, and he asked Brian Wilson to be Mariano Rivera. Except that the Giants bullpen isn’t Joba Chamberlain, or Phil Coke, or Ramiro Mendoza. And Bochy didn’t need to be Joe Torre. And Brian Wilson should never have been asked to be Mariano Rivera.

And when the Giants lose this series because of this loss, remember that this idiot will probably get a contract extension.

UPDATE: Here’s Andrew Baggardly:

…. If anyone had a problem with Bruce Bochy going to Brian Wilson for a six-out save, they haven’t been paying attention to the way Wilson has pitched this year. He made one mistake fastball, and Alex Gonzalez got his bat started early enough.

And the tying run was Melky Cabrera, who reached on Pablo’s throwing error. Wilson couldn’t do anything about that.

Wilson also looked pretty darn good as he struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth inning. So again, it’s nonsense for anyone to pin the loss on Bochy for bringing in Wilson when he did.

No, it’s not. It was a panic move, plain and simple. The best bullpen in baseball, sitting there, fully rested. I’m too busy to sit here and dig it all up, but I’d hazard a guess that Wilson’s DP% is the worst of any of the Giants relievers….

There, satisfied? I looked it up. Wilson induced 2 GDP in 74 innings this season. Romo induced 3 in 62 innings. Mota 3 in 54 innings. Casilla, 8 in 55 innings. Affeldt, 4 in 50 innings. So, exactly as I ranted last night, the Giants did, indeed, have four guys who were better suited to solving that eighth inning, and they were all rested and available. The first one –Romo– got his chance, and allowed another hit.

OK, great, (well, not so great, but you know what I mean) bring in Casilla, who has induced a total of 17 GDP’s in his last three seasons, over a total of just over 150 innings. Why have 11 pitchers on the roster if you are going to ignore what you’ve done all year long, if you’re gonna ignore the stats, the tendencies, and the scouting?

UPDATE: Got a quick break from work…..

Wilson had two six-out appearances this season. In the first, June 1st against the Rockies, he allowed 4 hits and a walk, and apparently no runs, but the Giants lost the game. On August 25th, he did it again, and he allowed 2 hits, 2 walks and a run, and the Giants lost again. Last season, he went at least 2 innings six times, and won twice and got a no-decision the other four times. So, I was wrong about that.

I’m not wrong about using him the way he did. If Bochy wants to hammer the Braves, end it right now, (insert appropriate sports cliche here), then bring Wilson out to start the eighth. Let him face the hitters doing what he does best, striking guys out. With men on first and third, Wiloson has to be slightly less aggressive, because a wild pitch (0 this year, 4 last) is a disaster. A flyball, which he, like most strikeout pitchers, is prone to, is probably gonna score a run, and he’s still facing the tying run in the next guy…. I mean, come on.

Bochy fucked up. It is on him.

…. Me fan here

Seriously. I have no analysis. I have no detailed reports of pitches thrown and what not. That was simply one of the celebrex without prescription most dominating pitching performances I have ever seen.

Unbelievable. Enjoy the moment.

…. New era?

The Giants have made their decision:

The Giants this morning will announce a Division Series roster that does not include pitcher Barry Zito, the team’s highest-paid player, a source said Wednesday night, several hours after manager Bruce Bochy said either Madison Bumgarner or Tim Lincecum would start a potential Game 4 in Atlanta.

Zito’s exclusion is not surprising, given his performance in Saturday’s possible division-clinching game against San Diego at AT&T Park. In a broader sense, this is stunning for a player who was given $126 million over seven years not only to pitch the Giants into the postseason, but also to be a face of the franchise in the post-Barry Bonds era.

It’s only stunning in that it is an admission of failure by Brian Sabean and team ownership; something that we Giants fans are hardly accustomed to. The outrageous contract they gave to an already declining Barry Zito four years ago –a contract that was an albatross almost from the minute it was signed– represents the very worst trait of Brian Sabean; he over-values proven major league players. This issue is one of the biggest complaints you’ll hear at OBM, so, for him to admit failing is pretty surprising. He never admits failure.

Kudos to Sabean and the rest of the Giants braintrust for being willing to bite the bullet.

UPDATE: Speaking about the use of replay….

There is no doubt that an effective and timely use of replay is available. It is phizer viagra as easy as having an umpire in a booth watching a HD broadcast. One of two simple options are available under that scenario. Either the HD ump has the ability to notify the umpire crew chief of an obvious mistake, (such as Torres’ foul/triple), or each team is allowed two challenges per game. That’s it. You could limit the challenges or not, it doesn’t matter, because each team is only allowed TWO PER GAME.

{Of course, the NFL chooses to limit what is challengeable, which is not only absurd –as it serves no real point– but, in fact, acts to undermine the effectiveness of the challenge system. Any play could change a win to a loss, and a phantom holding call on an 80-yard touchdown run is just as damaging/rewarding as a missed catch or fumble.}

Don’t bother talking to me about the time of the games, or the integrity of the game, or the built in fallibility of the men in blue. All of these arguments are flat-out absurd. There would be no significant impact to the length of the games. We already have delays when the umps gather together to discuss their limited ability to recall what they may or may not have seen; and these delays are happening while Tim McCarver is on television showing us over and over that the call was obviously and completely wrong, and anyone can see that it was.

The integrity of the game is harmed by allowing mistakes by umpires to be treated as a part of the game. The reason umpires are part if the game at all, is because the players, acting in their own self-interest, cannot be trusted to always tell it like it is. The objective umpire is the arbiter of whether the man is safe or out, whether it was a ball or a strike. There is no value added by allowing an umpires mistakes (or God forbid, his bias) negatively impact a game.

It is stubborn, pig-headedness that is preventing MLB from resolving this glaring problem, and the game is suffering because of it.

UPDATE: Via Baseball Musings, there has been an effort to set up a meeting between MLB officials, umpires, and the players:

…. Umpires’ profiles have increased in the past year, largely due to a series of missed calls in last year’s playoff games. This season, umpire Jim Joyce’s call denied Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game only added to the focus and reignited a debate about expanding instant replay. Nearly a dozen players interviewed for this story told that relations between the two parties are deteriorating.

…. What the players would like to address, two player representatives said, is the growing concern among players about poor communication with umpires and what players see as a failure of accountability and transparency in the grading and evaluation of umpires.

…. (The Philadelphia Phillies’ Jimmy) Rollins said he’s noticed a change in the umpires’ patience this year. Often, he said, players aren’t allowed to question a call or get clarification about a rule because the umpire refuses to engage in conversation. Rollins also said that if players show too much emotion, like flipping a bat or shaking their head, they are much more apt to be thrown out of games than in past years. Other players echoed his thoughts.

“We’re supposed to yell at you, you know that?” Rollins said of the umps. “We’re trying to get every inch we can. You make the call, but you don’t have to keep looking back at me or antagonize and throw me out from the field while I’m in the dugout.

“It’s like umpires are taking it more personal these days. I don’t know what it was like back in the day, but looking at the footage, they’d get in these guys faces and ream them out. And umpires would stand there and when it was over they’d walk away. You’d really have to do something to get thrown out.”

…. YES, THEY CAN!!!!!!!!

The Giants win the NL West!!!

…. Could they?

Tim Kawakami wonders if the Giants can complete one of the most unprecedented and frankly improbable collapses in baseball history:

…. They can’t run and they had better not hide.

The Giants and their fans are backed into a corner today, the final day of the regular season, and there is no denying the anxiety and fear that accompanies this situation.

Could they really blow this?

Well, yeah, they could. The failures of the Giants’ brain-trust are catching up to them all at once.

The failure of Bochy and Sabean to adequately prepare Matt Cain for his penultimate start, allowing him to come into the game amped out of his gourd, unable to corral his emotions and his pitches.

The failure of Righetti and Bochy to figure out a way calm him down once the game began.

The failure of anyone on the team to recognize that the Gonzalez at-bat was the game-decider, and that, in that moment, an unintentional-intentional walk was the way out of that early jam.

The failure of the Giants starters in these first two starts is simply staggering. The Padres came out of September having scored 81 runs in the entire month of September, and to buy amoxicillin no prescription allow them to hang up a 10-spot in the first two games in as unexpected and disappointing as I can imagine.

The failure of Bochy and Sabean to realize that they had to set up their rotation so that Zito wouldn’t pitch again this season has come back and bit them in the ass, bit them hard.

Much like Dusty Baker’s decision to start Livan Hernandez in Game Seven of the 2002 World Series, a decision that ignored statistics and instead was based on “veteran” bullshit and favoritism; the “decision” to allow Zito to start that game yesterday was wrong-headed, wrong and foolish and lazy. And, just like Hernandez, Zito put the team in an immediate hole, one that they could not overcome.

And now, the Giants send out Jonathan Sanchez, who will almost certainly lead the league in walks –coming into today, Sanchez is second to Ubaldo Jimenez 91-92– against a team that has proven to be willing to take pitches from the Giants pitchers all season. This game will be decided by strike one, simple as that.

It is worth noting that –for whatever reason– the umpiring in the season series between these two teams has been one-sided and inconsistent. The Padres starters have benefited from a far more generous strike zone than the Giants starters have, these last two games have been no exception; and consequently the Giants hitters have had to expand their strike zones in a way that the Padres hitters simply have not had to deal with.

Given that, Sanchez will have to give in right from the start. Just throw the ball right down the pipe and get that 0-1 count. Otherwise, the Giants will lose this game. Simple as that.

If Sanchez is electric, or, God forbid, the hitters erupt, these faliures will all be forgotten. All will be right in the world of the Giants. If the Giants have to go to San Diego, well, it’ll be Lincecum, at least. But it would still be an unprecedented and historic collapse.

UPDATE: Posey goes yard bottom of the eighth, Giants lead 3-0!!!

UPDATE: One out in the ninth!!

UPDATE: Two down!!

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All commentary is the opinion of John J Perricone unless otherwise noted.
None of the opinions expressed should be construed as being endorsed by the
San Francisco Giants, Major League Baseball, or any other organization mentioned herein.

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