Archive for the 'Bruce Bochy' Category
I was at last night’s game. Jesus, did Cain let the team down.
What a drag. By the time the crowd settled in, the game was over. Bummer.
I don’t know how this team can turn it around. From where we were sitting, (front row, right behind Bochy) it was painful watching Fontenot, Rowand, Ross and Huff, who all look completely lost at the plate nine swings out of ten.
Got to shake hands with Larry Baer and Bill Neukom, they were super cool and nice.
Seats were great, game was awful except for the rally, which wasn’t enough.
Tom Verducci chose the 2010 San Francisco Giants as his Sportsmen of the Year:
…. In three homes over 52 seasons did San Francisco follow this serial in wait for a championship. The Giants lacked the historical and literary embellishments of Brooklyn, Boston and Chicago, and so their suffering went underplayed, though much suffering did they know. Five times in those years they played a Game 6 or Game 7 with a chance to win the series, and lost every one of those games, getting shut out in three of those five potential clinchers.
The agony began with a 1-0 loss to the Yankees in Game 7 of the 1962 World Series, which ended when Willie McCovey lined out to second base with the tying and winning runs in scoring position. In the 1987 NLCS, up three games to two, they were shut out in back-to-back losses to St. Louis. And in the 2002 World Series, up 5-0 on the Angels with one out and nobody on in the seventh, they managed the biggest collapse in a potential clincher in series history, followed by a 4-1 whimper of an elimination in Game 7.
This is all you need to know about the cruelty of Giants culture: Charlie Brown is a Giants fan. Two months after McCovey’s lineout, Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz, from Santa Rosa, drew a strip in which Charlie and Linus sit brooding silently for three panels, only to have Charlie wail in the fourth, “Why couldn’t McCovey have hit the ball just three feet higher?”
…. Not only did the Giants give their fans a winner, they also gave them an unforgettable one, one with a Playbill’s worth of characters who exuded joy and thankfulness about what was happening. They are now characters, and not unlike the misfits and urchins Dickens himself gave us, who are established eternally.
Wilson and that frightfully awful beard. Aubrey Huff and the red thong. Lincecum and the hair. Cody Ross, the greatest in-season claim in the history of waivers. The prenaturally cool Buster Posey. The unflappable Matt Cain. The very roundness of Pablo Sandoval and Juan Uribe. The redemption of prodigal Bay Area son Pat Burrell. Watching these Giants, you half expected Jean Valjean to pop up in the on-deck circle at any moment.
Well done, Tom.
Same mistake Bochy made last time. He’s bringing in Wilson for
a two-inning save, but, once again, he waits until the winning run in on base, and once again, Wilson is facing the heart of the lineup. Jesus Christ!!!!!
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.
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:
THERE WAS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON IN THE WORLD TO BRING IN WILSON FOR A SIX-OUT SAVE!
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.
Once again, the Giants come up one run short of the Padres. Let’s see, who were the goats in this disgrace of a game…..
Jonathan Sanchez, who gift-wrapped two runs for the Padres in the top of the second, about ten seconds after the Giants ignited the crowd and took a two-run lead in the bottom of the first. Oh, and then failing to get down a bunt with runners at first and second and no out. Oh, and then allowing the Padres to score the go-ahead run with a double and a single on two pipeline, batting practice pitches to start the top of the sixth.
Pablo Sandoval, continuing his season-long exodus into flail-town. Here’s an idea…. Swing at strikes.
Bochy, allowing Freddie Sanchez to continue his season-long effort to kill the team. Here’s an idea…. Bench the worst regular in the lineup.
Aaron Rowand, for inexplicably running off second base right after Sanchez fucked up his bunt attempt, getting picked off and essentially ending a first and second, no out situation in three fucking seconds.
That is a buzz kill of a game. Fuck the Padres.
If I were the Giants, I’d be hitting somebody tomorrow.
UPDATE: What has to happen for Bochy to bench Sanchez? Sanchez is 22 for 106 since the All Star break, running out a .216/.277/.265 .542 OPS line, with just three extra base hits. During that time, he has scored 6 runs from the #2 slot while the Giants have posted their best offensive numbers in five years. By comparison, even with Sanchez doing everything he can to kill the team, Andres Torres has scored 20 runs, running out an outstanding .316/.370/.547 .917 OPS line, with 18 extra base hits. Put another way, Torres has almost as many extra base hits as Sanchez has hits.
Either he needs to be benched, or he needs to be dropped down in the lineup. Ideally, he needs to be sent down, but that’ll never happen. Sit him down.
UPDATE, Part II: Fontenot replaces Sanchez and goes 2 for 5, with a double, essentially making me look like Nostradamus.
Tim Lincecum broke out of his slump yesterday, or so we’re told in this piece of puff pastry:
…. The Giants not only won the game, they also captured their third road series of the season. Beyond that, this might be remembered as the day Tim Lincecum took a giant step forward.
Lincecum allowed three runs in seven innings, ending a string of three starts in which he failed to complete six innings. After walking five in each of his previous four starts, he walked two in this 113-pitch no-decision.
“I think he’s pretty close to being back to the Timmy we all know,” catcher Bengie Molina said.
Yeah, the Timmy we all know. Like, the guy who was 5-0 with 80 strikeouts and 10 walks before being told he needed to focus more of his attention on holding the runner on first? That guy? I don’t know, maybe that guy should have been left alone. Just maybe. Because in Lincecum’s five starts since Bochy decided that his pitching staff was allowing too many stolen bases, he’s looked completely lost, as lost as he has since he’s been here. So, maybe, just maybe, Bochy and Righetti should have just left well enough alone.
Buster Posey comes up and delivers a three-RBI night, and all the Chronicle writers want to make sure we all know that he is not here to steal Molina’s job, that he’s not here to stay, that he is only spelling some injured guys, no one has anything to worry about…..
It’s simply ridiculous, the way these sportswriters seem to be falling all over themselves to parrot the company line:
…. Buster Posey’s long-anticipated promotion might mean a lot of things but, for now, it does not mean the end of Bengie Molina as the starting catcher.
Molina met with manager Bruce Bochy on Saturday. Though most of the talk involved Molina’s batting stance, Bochy also reassured Molina about his job status.
“Bengie knows he’s going to be the guy catching back there,” Bochy said. “This doesn’t affect Bengie in any way.”
Bochy said Posey “primarily” is here to play first base. Molina, though slumping, will catch most games, including today’s, and Eli Whiteside will continue to catch Jonathan Sanchez.
“How much time (Posey) will get behind the plate, I can’t say,” Bochy said.
Molina said he was fine with Posey’s presence and told Bochy, “I can’t say anything. I don’t feel I’ve done anything this year. I haven’t earned anything. Whatever you want to do, go ahead. I tried to make the point that this is not Bengie Molina’s team. It’s their team. Whatever they’re going to do, do it. I’m not upset.”
Posey has maintained since he was drafted that he loves to catch and said Saturday that he hopes his everyday role at first base is a “short-term thing, but you never know.”
First of all, if he’s the kind of hitter everyone hopes he is, he should be moved to first anyway. Catching just destroys players, and, for most teams, a defensive catcher who hits poorly isn’t a liability. Molina isn’t a poor hitter, he’s just a poor cleanup hitter. Posey’s future should have already been decided, but that would involve the major league team having a clue, which, of course, the Giants do not.
Posey should make the choice himself. Get a first basemen’s mitt, and make the transition. His career will be longer, his offensive production higher, and his overall value as well.
As for the bumbling front office, well, does anyone think Captain Queeg can handle this well? He hasn’t so far…
The Giants scored 4 runs in one inning to beat Livan Hernandez, and end their 5-game losing streak. After a 24-inning scoreless streak, the team put together a two-out rally, sparked by Todd Wellemeyer’s bat. The rally gave everyone a reprieve from the pressure of a May that was threatening the team’s aspirations of being a playoff club.
However, the win came with some bad news, as Renteria came up lame, and once again, the Giants will be forced to play shorthanded:
…. In the seventh inning, as the Giants tried to add insurance, Renteria sacrificed a pair of runners and felt his right hamstring grab halfway up the line. Two games after he came off the disabled list with a groin injury, the shortstop is headed back to an MRI machine today. He will not play tonight, and Bochy was bummed.
Another sweep at the hands of the best record in the NL Padres. Another one-run loss, another offensive display of offense. Another bunch of bullshit excuses and explanations telling us how this shit just happens, it’s not our fault, everybody is trying real hard:
…. As for DeRosa’s signing, team sources said the Giants did an extraordinary amount of research. They consulted the doctor who performed DeRosa’s surgery and the medical staffs of his two 2009 teams, the Indians and Cardinals. When DeRosa and the Giants came to terms, he flew to San Francisco for a physical that included an examination by team hand specialist Dr. Gordon Brody, and X-rays and an MRI on the wrist.
At the time, the Giants believed the surgery worked.
“Anyone can get hurt in any game,” Groeschner said. “All the guys have a history of things. We’re aware of it. It’s something we research thoroughly. This is something than can happen when a guy plays baseball.”
The team’s position is that all signings carry risks that are weighed against a player’s potential benefit. The Giants understood the risk when they signed DeRosa. Right now, they are losing their bet. But in their view, the game is still on.
Yeah, right. Edgar Renteria, Freddie Sanchez, Edgardo Alfonzo, Moises Alou, Rich Aurilia (version 2.0), Randy Johnson, Ryan Klesko, Ray Durham (version 2.0) Mark DeRosa, I mean, come on. How about Dave Roberts or Mark Sweeney? Two guys that had never been everyday players signed to be everyday players for the Giants. How about Steve Finley? We only signed him about five years after he was washed up. Michael Tucker, anyone? How about signing Jeffrey Hammonds at 33 years old?
Here’s the line that Neifi Perez posted in 2002, .236/.260/.303 .563 OPS. Since Triple-A stats don’t mean anything, I’m guessing that major league stats must not make too much of an impression on Captain Queeg either, because the hitter that posted that line got a two-year deal for $14 million dollars, and a declaration from our estimable GM that Neifi was already penciled in as our starting shortstop and top of the lineup table setter.
The simple fact is that the Giants, that Brian Sabean decided that these guys, these washed up, has beens and never was’s had to be Giants, and he ignored, in fact, he flaunted his ignorance and his stubborn unwillingness to acknowledge what was known in baseball at the time; that old players tend to decline, that old, injured players tend to get injured, and that signing old and injured free agents to fill your entire roster has to be the worst possible way to do so. This is all on him. Brian Sabean built this team, has been building this team for going on fifteen years.
The number of acquisitions, trades and free agent signings that have worked out for the Giants can be counted on your fingers. The number that have been failures, not just so-so, but flat out colossal busts, is staggering. We’re talking millions, millions of dollars thrown on the ground as if there was no way to know what to expect with these players, as if we were still in the 1920′s, when all you had to go on was a game or two when your scout saw a player hit two home runs.
“…. team sources said the Giants did an extraordinary amount of research”
Yeah, well, that’s only part of your job. And, by the way, who’s getting fired for all the terrific “research” the baseball team has done with the last five or ten free agents we’ve signed?
Nobody. In the world of the Giants, it’s always bad luck. It’s always somebody else’s fault. There’s always a team that is chasing the superstar Brian Sabean wants, so he has to overbid, overpay to get them. There’s always a reason. And in the words of a fairly famous mentor of mine, “You either have reasons, or you have success. You can’t have both.”
Every time you read a Sabean quote, or hear him talk on the TV, he’s explaining how these things happen all the time, or he’s telling you how he doesn’t need statistics, or some other bullshit how he just has to be patient, that the hitters will come around. Here’s an idea: Go get some real baseball players, players who are young and good, and we won’t have to wait for them to finally get the rust out of their ancient bones, and we can stop hearing how unfortunate it is that another 35-year old is hurt again.
UPDATE: Just to be clear, I’m not blasting these players. These players are who they are. They are probably good guys. They work hard. They have integrity. It’s not their fault they are being asked to be the second, third and fourth best hitters on a team, instead of the sixth, seventh and eighth best. It’s Brian Sabean’s fault.
Buster Posey has now played essentially one full season in the minors. Here’s what he’s done so far:
158 Games 585 AB 120 Runs 194 H 46 2B 2 3B 24 HR 110 RBI 89 BB 92 SO .332/.425/.544 .968 OPS
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, those numbers are inflated, or better, will be depressed some 15%, maybe even 20%. That guy’s not ready? Really?
Bengie Molina, last season:
132 Games 491 AB 52 Runs 130 AB 25 2B 1 3B 20 HR 80 RBI 13 BB 68 SO .265/.285/.442 .727 OPS
Are you kidding somebody? How can anyone who knows anything about the game of baseball think that Posey couldn’t match that production? That Posey couldn’t have saved the team the $5 million we gave to the out-maker, and used it to land a real hitter?
Here’s the BP boys talking about Posey and Sabean:
…. Giants general manager Brian Sabean insists that Posey has work to do in the minors, but at least he doesn’t pretend any of that work involves his hitting. With last night’s outburst, he’s batting .355/.448/.579 for the Grizzlies. Instead, Sabean insists that Posey’s receiving skills still need work, despite the fact he’s played errorless ball so far, been charged with just one passed ball and nailed half of all stolen base attempts. Just admit you are managing his service time clock, Mr. Sabean, we’ll understand–kind of.
Well, first off, he is pretending that his offense is an issue, absolutely and constantly. And, even if he is only managing his service time clock, that is still pretty much inexcusable, given how poorly Sabean’s efforts to improve the offense went this off-season, highlighted –lowlighted?– by the fact that he brought back Molina to bat cleanup again.
This is a joke, that’s what that is. A joke.