Archive for August, 2012
Barry Zito was handed a 4-0 first inning lead, and still failed to get out of the 3rd inning, as he allowed 7 hits and 3 runs in 2 1/3 innings. Bochy wasted no time running out to the mound in the third, after watching the anemic Astros light up the
The bullpen was stout, especially George Kontos, who got the win, after he retired all eight batters he faced. The Giants go for the sweep tonight, after holding on for a 6-4 victory.
Several Giants hitters have had an excellent month of August:
Angel Pagan .349/.421/.604 1.025 OPS (league leading 37 hits and 29 runs scored)
Joaquin Arias .426/.448/.704 1.152 OPS (league leading OPS)
Buster Posey .354/.466/.646 1.112 OPS (only 5 games without a hit this month, 61 hits the last two months)
Brandon Belt .338/.407/.455 .862 OPS
In fact, thank God the hitters have been as hot as they have, because they’re carrying the team.
On the pitching side of the rubber, it’s pretty much been Cain, Bumgarner, and the bullpen. Lincecum’s allowed 12 earned runs in 29 innings, and he’s the third best starter this month. Vogelsong and Zito are both sporting 6-plus ERA’s.
Let’s hope the pitchers get settled down, and fast. One more game with the Astros, a three game set at Chicago, and then the entire rest of the season is all NL West, all the time. 7 games with the Rockies, and 6 each with the D’backs, Dodgers and Padres.
Once again, Tim Lincecum fails to provide anything resembling a solid start. In fact, he was so wild, it was embarrassing. Missing his spots by as much as two feet, he allowed two more runs in the first inning, bringing his season total to a worst
in baseball 25. With the way the Giants looked against a stellar Tim Hudson, the game was over right about the time that 454 foot home run landed in dead center.
Today’s loss to the Braves kept the Dodgers 2 games back, but Lincecum’s performance brought into stark focus
just how much he’s letting the team down. Anything resembling his usual standards, and the Giants would have a playoff spot all but locked up. Instead, not only are they in a fight to the death with a now completely revamped and rejuvenated LA, but Bochy and Sabean have to wonder if they can even keep Lincecum on the playoff roster if they make it. What a stunning
fall from grace fail for the
two-time Cy Young winner.
His season stats aren’t just worse than Barry Zito’s, they’re a lot worse. Unbelievable.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox appear to have completed a blockbuster trade, one that could/should be en
ough to push the Dodgers ahead of the Giants down the stretch. Although some analysts, like David Pinto, have concluded that the trade should only be worth a couple of wins for the last 35 games or so, I’m very concerned.
Adrian Gonzalez’s bat alone could add 2 wins. With
Billingsley heading to the DL, Beckett doesn’t add as much as he would have, but still. If he pitches three times at Chavez Ravine, he could be a difference maker. And the Giants still have six more games against the Dodgers, including the final three of the season in LA.
As for the Giants, Angel Pagan continued his recent stretch of torrid hitting with a four hit game last night. The Giants offense has come to life, averaging an NL-best 5.8 runs per game in August. Posey has cooled off a bit, hopefully his hamstring holds. Sandoval absolutely has to lose a bunch of weight this off-season. He’s not just
big, he’s fat.
Still waiting for Hunter Pence. He’s 18 for 91 in August, with 1 home run. He looks a little lost there. Well, that’s being kind. He looks awful, really. Maybe a day off is in order.
UPDATE: Well, there’s one of the two wins I literally just suggested Adrian Gonzalez might add to the Dodgers. While Hunter Pence continues to look like a complete bust, in the “you’ve got to be fucking kidding me” category, Adrian Gonzalez hit a three-run homer in his first at bat with the Dodgers, leading them to an 8-2 win, cutting the Giants lead to 2 games.
Seriously, Pence has to get a day off. He looks ridiculous out there. He is swinging at everything. It’s as if he’s never played baseball before.
The Melk-Man for President campaign has hit a huge snag, as Carbrera has tested positive for using testosterone, and now will miss the Giants n
ext 50 games. This is a huge setback for both the team and the player. Melky was on his way to a second consecutive 200-hit season, leading the team back to the postseason; and more than likely a huge contract, and the team was perhaps moving towards a chance at another title. Now, it appears that all of those possibilities are in jeopardy. Immediately, questions about Cabrera’s late career turnaround have begun, and he is facing a tough road to a new contract.
As for the Giants, there’s no getting around the fact that this is a major setback. Whether they have enough offense to get through this remains to be seen, with Melky being first or second on the team in virtually every offensive category.
It also begs the question as to whether Sabean knew this was coming when he swung the deal for Hunter Pence, especially considering Hanley Ramirez was probably a better fit for the team.
UPDATE: This goes from bad to worse:
In a bizarre attempt to avoid a 50-game drug suspension, San Francisco Giants star Melky Cabrera created a fictitious website and a nonexistent product designed to prove he inadvertently took the banned substance that caused a positive test under Major League Baseball’s drug program.
But instead of exonerating Cabrera of steroid use, the Internet stunt trapped him in a web of lies.
Wow. Now he not only looks like he flat-out cheated and used steroids to get better, he also looks like a fool. This pretty much means he won’t be back next season as a Giant. The last thing the Giants are gonna put up with is another player in their clubhouse being investigated by Novitzky.
What a stunning fall from grace for a fan favorite, and a player who was a couple of months away from a huge payday.
After last night’s home run, here’s what Buster Posey has done since the end of the All Star game:
9 home runs, 32 RBI .443/.509/.79
4 1.303 OPS
With 23 home runs and 75 RBI, season averages of .330/.401/.546 .947 OPS, and all the intangibles of a real leader; and with the Giants continuing to hold off the Dodgers and D’Backs, he’s emerged as a clear MVP candidate.
Only Andrew McCutcheon has an edge on him, and with the recent struggles the Pirates have had, Posey might even be ahead.
The Giants are just pounding the ball on this road trip, and after last night’s insane 15-0 shellacking of the Cardinals, they now lead the NL in runs per game on the road, at an unbelievable 5.18. Buster Posey has put himself in the MVP conversatio
n, and soon the Panda returns. Hopefully the team can continue to perform at a high level as they try to hold off the Dodgers and D’backs.
UPDATE: Well, I’m not jumping off or on the Pence bandwagon just yet. Let’s see.
He could have a knack for triples alley, he could go all en fuego for the rest of the season…. Anything’s possible. The Giants didn’t trust Schierholz, and they (among many of us) failed to
see Carlos Beltran’s resurgence (27 home runs and an NL-leading 80 RBI).
Pence seems like a good fit, although as I said earlier, I would have jumped at Hanley Ramirez instead.