Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Your 2012 Giants: Game 5 of the NLDS: Matt vs. Mat

Wow, what an exciting game that was!  Again!  The difference was really this:  Bochy knew when to take out his pitcher before the game got out of hand and Baker did not.

The heroes of  the game were the offense and Tim Lincecum.  Angel Pagan led the way with his lead-off homer, the first time in Giants franchise playoff history (they also set a playoff record with 8 extra-base hits in the game).  Gregor Blanco also had a 2-run homer later and Sandoval put the exclamation point with his 2-run homer on a pitch that most hitters would not swing at, which must have made the Reds' pitchers cross-eyed and bewildered looking at that happen.  Pablo had 3 RBI total.  Joaquin Arias, who was not even in the starting lineup, started two rallies resulting in 5 runs, doubling twice, scoring twice, while playing sparkling defense again.  Amazingly, Hector Sanchez had 2 walks in this game, after singling in his first AB.

Wow, Lincecum came through again, 4.1 IP, giving up only 2 hits and 0 walks, striking out 6, as he shut down the Reds' offense, holding them at bay while the offense added more runs.  He did it all coming out of the stretch, as well.  He looks like he's back.  And the other relievers did well too, Kontos, Mijares, and Casilla.

Now the Giants are tied with the Reds 2-2, and play tomorrow for the right to advance to the NLCS.  Do or die now for both teams, and the Giants performed while the Reds did not, as the pitching shut them down.

Game 3:  Cain vs. Latos
Matt Cain: In Game 1, Cain's streak of 23 1/3 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run in the postseason ended Brandon Phillips slugged a two-run home run in the third inning. All told, Cain allowed three runs on five hits over five innings.
Mat Latos:  Since they didn't have any text yet, I thought I would put his picture.
Cain did not really have that bad a start in the first game, he was just 1 IP away from a DOM start (he ended up with a 3 PQS).  He just ran into a lot of bad luck with the homers, something that normally does not happen to him in his career.  He has a 3.44 ERA in Cincy's GAB, in 5 starts, 34.0 IP, giving up 37 hits and 12 walks, striking out 24, giving up 3 homers.  He had a DOM start here earlier this season.

As noted in his first start, a lot of the Reds hitters have hit him well.  Phillips (.818 OPS in 33 PA), Votto (.760 OPS in 30 PA), Ludwick (1.164 OPS in 29 PA), Bruce (1.565 OPS in 19 PA), Cozart (1.178 OPS in 10 PA).  But he generally works both LHB and RHB very well.  But he has done worse away:  3.61 ERA on the road, 2.98 ERA at home.

Latos came in relief in the first game, helping the Reds win a game that, by rights, they should have been down given that they lost their best starting pitcher within 8 pitches.  And that just continued his great pitching against the Giants this season for the Reds, 2 starts, 0.56 ERA, 16.0 IP, giving only 6 hits and 2 walks, striking out 10.  And he did well against the Giants when he was with the Padres.  Plus, he has a 3.05 ERA career in GAB in 21 starts there, 2.82 K/BB, so he has been dominant here.  And he stops both LHB and RHB, and he is really good against RHB.

He has really shut down the Giants.  Only Posey (.979 OPS in 16 PA) and Belt (.879 OPS in 12 PA) have good batting lines, Sandoval, Huff, Pagan, Crawford, Pence, Nady, Scutaro, Hanchez, Blanco do not.

The Giants have the momentum, but the Reds are at home and Latos has his great history against the Giants.  But the Reds are on their heels now, and it is up to their pitcher, Latos, to shut down the Giants and allow their offense to try to get to Cain.  And it is up to the Giants offense to get to Latos, but as my research showed, it is mostly in the hands of the starting pitchers and he has dominated the Giants previously.  But if the Cain of the 2010 Playoffs is back, this could be a well-pitched game of the ages, much like yesterday's game, only both would go deep into the game.

But what a series so far!  Can the Giants do the unprecedented and come back down 0-2 to win the series on the road?  Our fate appears to be in Cain's able hands.

Go Giants!

8 comments:

  1. The series is over when its over! Game 5 with it all hanging out. Should be epic.

    I caught a bit here and there, gonna go back and watch it all. Bout time the Giants get some breaks and put wood on the ball. Blanco's swing was very very nice.

    Mainly I am so excited for Timmy. Great, great postseason for him.

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    1. Yes, yes, yes! Yes, finally hard hit balls are landing fair somewhere, though it would have been nice if the baseball gods would have even things out instead of putting 8 of the extra-base hits into this one game. Hopefully we are not lacking tomorrow.

      Very nice to see Pablo sting some balls around, I should have noted that he was 3 for 4, with a double, homer, and 3 RBI. If he breaks out like this, he could be this year's Cody Ross homer barrage. I still can't believe people want to trade him away, you just can't give up on a hitter like this until after at least a couple of bad years, and he's really only had that one, in 2010.

      Since Pence gave the speech this time - Renteria gave it last time - does that mean he'll hit a 3-run homer at some point and have a monster series too? :^D

      About Timmy, what do you think, is he mad, fine, happy to help? I would still like to sign him long term to a deal. Hard to tell from the media exactly what his thoughts are, he seems to be OK from the remarks I have read that he said about the situation.

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    2. I go back and forth about Pablo. I have been trade em lately, but he does have so much talent.

      Timmy looked very cool in an interview I saw on MLB network. Just talked about the team chemistry. Its just great to see him aggressive, not spacey, and dealing.

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  2. Interesting factoid from Pavlovic:

    Kontos and Lincecum were teammates in 2005 in the Cape Cod League, but Kontos was the starter and Lincecum was the closer.

    Also, Lincecum said that he's available to pitch tomorrow as necessary. Pagan's response to that: "All right baby!"

    What can we say but the obvious and the true: he's a Freak. But he's our Freak.

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/giants/2012/10/10/postgame-notes-giants-ignore-tradition-history-while-forcing-game-5-lincecum-finds-form/

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    1. I should also have mentioned the superstitions the Giants are following. Mota is taking the backpack filled with goodies because the team won when he briefly took them when he got back. Pence is giving a sermon before every game now. And I recall something about not changing their clothes. Now that's obsessive and compulsive! :^)

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  3. I should also link to the Pence speech that he gave to the team before Tuesday's game.

    http://www.csnbayarea.com/baseball-san-francisco-giants/giants-talk/Pences-passionate-pregame-speech-inspire?blockID=786749&feedID=2796

    "Get in here, everyone get in here. Look into each other eyes. Now! Look into each others eyes, I want one more day with you. It's the most fun, the best team I have ever been on and no matter what happens we must not give in. We owe it to each other. Play for each other. I need one more day with you guys, I need to see what Ryan Theriot will wear tomorrow, I want to play defense behind Ryan Vogelsong because he's never been to the playoffs. Play for each other not yourself. Win each moment. Win each inning. It's all we have left."

    Amazing speech, I get all verklempt reading it, much like when I hear Dave Fleming's voice cracks calling Renteria's HR in the clinching game. Let's do it, Giants!

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    1. Another thought that I had was that Pence's hobbling when he singled reminded me of Kirk Gibson's homer when he was hobbling.

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  4. A thought that came to me while reading about Pence was a comment about the Giants coming back, was one of my oldest memories as a Giants fan.

    As I used to do back then, I would have my Japanese transistor radio under my pillow, listening to games, and it was a game against Pittsburgh, where they were leading, like, by 8 runs, and the team scored 9 runs to win the game.

    Now, I know how unlikely that is, but it has colored the way I approach Giants games, that I generally have a positive attitude towards the Giants possibilities of winning. Sure, my dauber would get really down at times, but there will always be a part of me that thinks, "maybe they can pull off the improbable this time."

    ReplyDelete

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