Archive for the 'Wild Card' Category

…. Awful

Talk about letting your team down…. What a fail by Brian Wilson.

Clearly one of the worst losses of the year, simply because the

Giants were a struggling team, trying to win their third in a row, on the road, against a quality team, that now leads them by 6 full games in the wild-card chase.

They scored runs, their starter pitched great, and Wilson absolutely sucked balls.



…. 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.

…. YES, THEY CAN!!!!!!!!

The Giants win the NL West!!!

…. How the West was One

One game back with 18 to play. After last night’s statement win, the Giants are in position to do something special right now. Can they solve Richards (3-0 against them this season) tonight?

…. Stretch run?

So, the Giants didn’t do so well during their run of top competition. This isn’t as unusual as you might think. Often, the good teams beat you up in their house, and you beat them up in yours. The only team that is beating up the Giants everywhere is the Padres, who are making a run at best record in baseball right now, so, you gotta take their dominance with a grain of salt.

The Giants are gonna face off against the D’backs, then the Rockies, the Dodgers, and then take another crack at the D’backs. In fact, the Giants have as easy a finishing schedule as any team in the league. Seven games against the Padres, and the rest of their games are against teams with mediocrity written all over them, the Dodgers, Cubs, Rockies, Brewers and D’backs.

The Padres have a slightly more challenging schedule, with one series each against Cincinnati and the Cardinals added into the seven games against the Giants.

So, if you’re rooting for the Giants to win, they should. If you are hoping that a collapse will get us a new regime, well, if they do collapse with this easy a finishing sked, it probably will.

UPDATE: Well, that was just horrific. For those of you hoping for a regime change, if it happens, you can thank Lincecum, because, if the Giants fail to make the postseason this year, you can pretty much point to Lincecum’s last eight starts, in which he’s allowed an astounding 32 runs, not to mention having given up at least three runs before the end of the third inning in each of his last five games; all the while insisting that he doesn’t want to ask his Dad to help him figure out why he’s lost five miles and twelve inches off his fastball.

Fine, He’s been outrageous for most of the last three seasons. He deserves a little slack. I get it.

But, if you’re the Giants, and you just ponyed up $21 million, and your team is in the running for its first postseason game in five years, (or is it six?), I think you have the right to insist that your employee consider the needs of the team over his desire for independence. Lincecum has no command of his fastball whatsoever. He’s throwing it 89-91, instead of 94-96, and nowhere near the plate.

Listening to Bochy’s postgame interview, you can tell that he has no idea why Lincecum can’t find the plate. None. An organization that allows this kind of flailing to continue is just one more indication of how poorly the Giants are run. Between Sandoval weighing 270 pounds, and Lincecum’s unwillingness to seek out the help that he needs, the two players the Giants were most counting on this year have been essentially about 60% of themselves. Other than Posey, who the announcers are now telling us is hurt, the Giants best young players are apparently out of shape, unwilling to accept coaching, and absolutely killing this team.

And, by the way, if Posey is hurt, then I really do look like Nostradamus, because I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:

Buster Posey is too good a hitter to be behind the plate.

For the month of August, he’s running out a .283/.333/.435 .768 OPS line, with 2 home runs in 92 at-bats. Gee, I wonder if he’s a little banged up?

A couple of other notes:

For the month of August, Uribe is batting .233, with 2 home runs in 73 at-bats. Aubrey Huff has 2 home runs in 82 at-bats.

…. Letdown

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.

…. Upgrade

The Giants picked up Jose Guillen, a couple of days after landing Mike Fontenot. Both moves strengthen the team as they head into the stretch run. Guillen adds some pop, and Fontenot will allow Bochy to rest/sit/bury Freddie Sanchez. Kudos to Sabean, who makes a couple of smart-looking moves.

Back to Freddie Sanchez, who has been everything I expected, a solid defensive player with almost no offense whatsoever. As close to a pure singles hitter there is in baseball –outside of Ichiro– if Sanchez isn’t getting a couple of hits per game, he’s worthless. Having him demolish the top of the order every game is testament to Bochy’s inability to get with the times, as well as his preference to play veterans at all costs. At this point, Fontenot’s (.730 OPS in limited duty) represents an upgrade over Sanchez, who’s posting an anemic .651 OPS.

I’d love to see a lineup that looks something like this;

Torres CF .375 OBP
Sandoval 3B .328 OBP (.393 over his last seven games)
Posey C .383 OBP
Huff 1B .394 OBP
Uribe SS .321 OBP
Guillen RF .330 OBP
Burrell LF .388 OBP
Sanchez 2B .324

You could swap Sandoval and Uribe if you’d like, but I think a switch to the top of the order might be just the kind of thing that re-aligns Sandoval’s approach.

You’d be starting the game out right-handed, switch, right-handed, left-handed, right-handed, which is nice. There’s a decent amount of power all the way into the seventh slot, and Sanchez’s famous bat-control would be put to the test batting in front of the pitcher, which is exactly where he should be. Using David Pinto’s Lineup Analysis tool, that lineup should produce 5.1 runs per game. That ought to be enough to push the team to the postseason.

It’s gonna be playoff intensity tonight. First-place showdown. I’m looking forward to it. It’s been a while.

…. Sweep

Matt Cain earned his first career win against the Dodgers, and the Giants swept their bitter rivals to move one and a half games behind the Padres. Now the Giants must root for the Dodgers to beat up on the Padres so they can overtake them and surge into first place in the NL West:

…. The Giants, who welcomed Javier Lopez to the bullpen while welcoming back Brian Wilson, beat the Dodgers 2-0 on Sunday night in front of a vigorous, sold-out crowd and a national television audience, sweeping their rivals at home for the first time since 2004.

The team continues to play extremely well, just good old-fashioned, hard-nosed baseball, and is impressing the hell out of me. The packed house, playoff-intensity atmosphere yesterday was a sight for sore eyes. It’s been a while, that’s for sure, and I’m glad to see it.

…. Wild Ride

The Giants surged into the Wild Card lead with last night’s 7-4 win over the D’backs. Even without the red-hot Buster Posey, the offense continued to make me look like an idiot. Aubrey Huff hit two home runs, and Andres Torres got yet another big hit. All in all, the team is Generic levitra online playing as well as they have in years.

I had an epiphany during the ninth. Brian WIlson, who looks like he wants to rip someone’s arms out when he’s on the mound, finally rang a bell in my head. When he’s in that zone, he looks like Max Cady, the DeNiro character from the movie Cape Fear.

…. Shut down

Back to back shutouts essentially forces me to write something, busy as I am.

First Lincecum throws a six-hit shutout:

…. Even two-time Cy Young Award winners have to adapt, and Tim Lincecum has.

The main headline from his shutout of the Mets on Thursday was his control. He threw 77 strikes and 33 balls. Beyond that, though, Lincecum delivered on his goal of being less predictable.

Lincecum’s changeup is the pitch he relies on in two-strike put-away situations. Problem is, the changeup usually lands beneath the strike zone. Some hitters who knew it was coming stopped chasing it.

Against New York, Lincecum threw the changeup any time in the count. In the sixth inning, he caught Alex Cora looking at a third-strike fastball down the pipe that the Mets’ second baseman surely was not expecting. The next batter, David Wright, looked at a curve for strike three.

Let’s keep this in mind when talking about Lincecum, something’s different this year for him. His control is just off, his strikeouts are down his walks are up. His WHIP is 1.24, still among the best in the league, but a full 20% higher than last season. Maybe the league has gone to school and started to adjust, maybe he’s nursing some minor injury…. I don’t know. I just know he’s not the same. Still, 10-4, and 2.94 ERA in an off year is mighty impressive. Let’s hope his last start is the beginning of a dominant second half.

Then Barry Zito follows up with his best game of the season:

…. Zito won for the first time since June 12 and the second time in his last 11 starts. One of his best games as a Giant followed one of his most controversial.

The Giants were leading 6-1 in Milwaukee on July 8, when manager Bruce Bochy pulled Zito in the fifth inning. Zito needed one more out to qualify for a win, but he had just walked his fifth and sixth hitters to load the bases and had thrown 113 pitches in 4 2/3 innings. Compare that with Friday, when he threw 112 over eight innings.

Buster Posey continues to shine, throwing out baserunners (6 out of 15) and pounding the ball all over the ball park (15 extra base hits and .954 OPS). Aubrey Huff (17 home runs and a .939 OPS) has to be the best free agent acquisition Sabean’s pulled off in about five years. I rip the hell out of him for Sabean’s misses, I sure as hell better make note of it when he nails one. Good for him, good for the Giants.

The Giants are a half game behind the Rockie in a six team tangle for the Wild Card lead, and three and a half behind the Padres.

One generic cialis soft tabs more bat might put this team over the top. One more bat.

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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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