Monday, October 01, 2012

Your 2012 Giants: Beat LA!

I think that about says it all.  Well that and it would be a pleasure to push LA out of the playoffs by beating them in this series, especially in front of their home crowd.

I would also like to see our starters do well, but I'm not quite as down about everything as the media is.  While Bumgarner didn't have a great last start, he wasn't that bad, just a little HR-itis, I think Bochy just took him out to rest out, else with 2 more innings, he could have had a DOM start instead of a DIS start.  Lincecum, while the numbers don't look great, he had a DOM start in his last start and 5 in his 6 starts in September.  I think he is fine too.  Both Vogelsong and Cain ended the season with two DOM starts, so I think that they are in a good place as well.  And Zito, while not dominant, wasn't a disaster either.

Plus, Cain had a bad last start in 2010, while generally being good for September, and we all remember how he did in the playoffs...

Speaking of which, I find this both funny and sad, but the media announced that Lincecum will get a start during the playoffs.  I had no doubts, the question was where in the series.  As Shankbone noted, you got to dance with the gal that brung ya, and Lincecum is one of them to earn that honor and responsibility.  And, as I read somewhere else, we have no choice but to hope that he can still bring it.  But that is true of any superstar player on any playoff team who struggled some this season, those teams also have no choice either.

It looks like the Reds, and I like our chances, but will dig more into it once the team is set and I spend some time looking at the angles.

Beat LA!!!


  1. News on the playoffs.

    Bochy announced on Matt Cain's birthday (Hap-B-Day!!!) that he's the Game 1 starter. The game 2 starter won't be announced until probably after the season (and the second seed has been decided), but Schulman thinks Bumgarner is certain (so does Baggarly and I had speculated on that as well).

    Also announced the other day was that Lincecum would be getting a start in the playoffs. How crazy would that statement be before this season? Now, nobody bats an eye. Just shows how crazy baseball can be sometimes, one moment you are top of the hill, getting the largest seasonal salary ever for a RHP, the next, you have the worse qualified ERA in the NL and it is news when you make the playoff rotation, which was a no-brainer previously.

    More surprising news is that Bochy is leaning towards starting Crawford in all the games, including LHP, in an apparent nod to the need for up the middle defense in the playoffs. But that was counter-balanced by his even more surprising hint that Nady might be starting all the LF spots, even against RHP.

    Yet, not too surprising either, Blanco had chances to take and hold the LF starting position and failed, with Nady hitting .845 OPS in September vs. Blanco's .674.

    1. Also, Bochy had discussed the need for an additional bench player, with a nod to the Giants 2003 playoffs when the team went with an additional reliever instead of Eric Young. And that bit them in the rear end when they had Snow at 2B, needing to score, and they were then unable to pinch-run for him with the faster Young, and hence Snow getting thrown out at home when I-Rod held onto the throw.

      Part of that nod is probably the fact that right now, if the Giants carry Huff on the roster - and I think that is most likely - a fast pinch-runner is required in case he gets on, causing the media to speculate that maybe Burris or Christian might get the last bench spot.

      I would say don't be surprised if it is Peguero. He is 3 for 6 with 6 runs and 3 SB, as he was Huff's regular pinch-run buddy this month. Sure, he's not a vet, as the Bochy-haters think that is the only variable, but Francisco has played well in September, and frankly, neither Burriss or Christian has, their OPS is .400 and .347, respectively, and neither one has a SB this month (of course, they need to first steal 1B) whereas Peguero, in very limited playing time (7 total PA) is second on the team.

      And this move might also be tied to the Nady starting and Blanco sitting situation, in that in this scenario, Bochy would have a right-handed Peguero and a left-handed Blanco on the bench, both as potential pinch-hitters, as well as pinch-runners. Thus Bochy would have the flexibility to PH one of them with the platoon advantage and still be able to PR the other should Huff get on-base.

      Now I found that keeping another bench player shocking news because that means that a reliever will be left off the roster, because the seven I named had been regularly used in 2012, and thus one would lose their spot. Media speculation centered on Kontos because Mota is a vet and Bochy likes using vets. If anything, if that were true, I would think it is more that Mota in 7.2 IP in September has 12 K's and only 2 walks, while Kontos has 5.2 IP with 6 K's and 3 walks (and both ERA were around 4.7)

      But I would note that Kontos was here for the entire second half of the season and he had a 2.54 ERA with 31 appearances, 28.1 IP, only 19 hits and 10 walks, with 26 K's (8.3 K/9 and 2.6 K/BB), whereas Mota was sitting out his 100 games suspension for much of it.

      And maybe that's where the true deciding factor is, with the fact that Mota being around could result in the PED storyline being brought up by the media, taking focus away from the team. With this pinch-running theme and Kontos great contributions thus far this season (great first season for George, really), plus the extra starting pitcher who would be the long-man out of the bullpen, which has been Mota's role in his SF tenure, it would be logical to drop Mota from the roster for baseball reasons, even if the main factor might be that the Giants don't want the PED conversation to swirl like a wildfire during the playoffs. Much like how the Giants stated baseball reasons for not even having Melky as an option for the roster during the 2012 playoffs, when most people can see that it is because of his PED taint.

    2. Ah, debate on the 25th man! Excellent. Will Manny Burriss have yet another chance, or will Christian be rewarded for good defense and attitude, or will the most tooled up guy in the system (well, now Gustavo Cabrera is coming to pull that ticket) be rewarded for some good cup of coffee baserunning. I think you might be onto something. Burriss getting thrown out with the game on the line does not do him favors. Having a 5th OF versus a 7th IF? I think they go with the OF in the end, although Burriss is a better bunter than Christian/Peggs.

      Having Theriot and Arias backing the IF makes me think they will go OF in the end. Pure speed, Burriss might have the edge, its close though. Peggs has looked good after recovering from those knee surgeries, but again, very limited action.

      Would have been nice to end the Bums season last night, now they have to go try again. Put the Zito theory's to the test. Can they score 5 for him? I will say, you give Zito a lead, he relaxes and good things happen. He has to pitch to match zeros, and the walks come out to play, and then it don't end well.

      On the pitching front, Kontos should get the nod, because of the built in long man in Vogelsong, making Mota a luxury for the moment.

    3. Good points Shankbone, thanks.

      Speed is no good if the guy don't know how to use it. Funny thing though, Peguero has more SB in September with limited time with the Giants than he did all season for Fresno. What is up with that?!? Maybe to your point they have been holding him back until now? But Burriss did not do that much this season with the SB either.

      I dunno, Burriss has more experience in the majors and thus not as cowed by the playoff atmosphere as Peguero might, but he has had a nice stint in September and getting opportunities to show that while Burriss isn't doing anything, again.

      But I think you make the good point about having two MI's already and thus they go with an OF, particularly since Huff cannot be considered an OF.

      Yeah, was hoping Cain could put them out of their misery, but I would rather rest him for the playoffs and be ready to put the Reds out of their misery. Zito at least has a chance to win, Capuano is not that great a pitcher, so the offense could get to him, though I think he does do well in LA, so there is that.

      I don't know if that is fair to say about Zito, but it sure feels that way. With the game in LA, it should be close and not put a lot of pressure on him . Though with a 3.91 ERA career there, he hasn't been exactly great there, particularly lately, as paradoxically he was great against them in his first season with us where he imploded mostly, and was good in 2008. Not so good in 2009 and 2011 (but I give him a gimme on that season) and an OK start this season. It sure would be nice to see a good start from him here.

      Good point about Mota, Vogelsong, and Kontos. Totally agree.

    4. I don't know if this is good or bad, but this is his first season with us where he pitched well overall without ever striking out that many batters in one game. In other words, less highs but less lows, resulting in a pretty OK season overall for him and thus for us.

  2. YES!!!

    In your face D-gers!

    Eliminated at home, in front of a huge crowd, great lead up to the playoffs for the Giants, sending home the D-gers to their off-season after tomorrow's meaningless game.

    Zito had a nice DOM start, 2 out of his last 4 starts, after not getting many for a long while, looks like he's ready for whatever his role is in the playoffs. That's 11 Giants win in a row, first since Swift in 1993.

    Posey! Words fail! Back spasm, "Maybe you should sit, don't push it, save it for the playoffs..." "I'm OK boss", WHAM! Homer! Plus another hit to raise his batting average lead, he should win the batting title, as well as OBP title, which, as I'll get into in the season ending post, EPIC!

    Scutaro! Words fail! Does it again, drove in 2 runs! He's been like the 2012 version of Renteria, kind of written away by baseball fans, aging, not doing well (really, couldn't hit in Colorado?), rejuvenated and hitting.

    1. You crack me up. Steve Finley game, that bill was 8 years due. Love giving the Doyers the shiv.

      I'd say Mota pitched himself off the playoff roster and Kontos got the nod.

      Donnie Two Times really isn't a good manager. Bochy runs circles around him.

      Barry Zito when he gets his curve going and some confidence, he can pitch. Give him a lead, and look out, he's above average. Gotta be a Yogi quote in there somewhere.

      Pagan and Scutaro both had mental gaffes but made up with hustle and flow. They are going to be huge for us.

      And Posey is Captain America, the Natural, Wonderboy, whatnot. Just an amazing ballplayer. Folks saying they don't like our chances this year... Sorry, as long as he's playing I love our chances.

  3. Ha ha, I like exorcising the past. Finley? That is just a drop in the bucket, I have had to see nearly 40 years of being the little brother to LA, until 2010, it is over when we win a few more of these!

    I was thinking the similar thing about Posey. I had been thinking about our pitching and really, with Timmy merely mortal, our rotation is not rock solid like it was in 2010, yet I am strangely at calm, but could not figure it out until he hit that homer. The juxtaposition was stark, and I realized that while Timmy was the invincible force last time, Posey is it this time. You hit the nail on the head, as long as he is playing, I love our chances too. That is why I have put so many of his quotes in my SBN signature. They have to sign him long term this offseason!



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