Giants Recap: Bochy Tries to Lose. Fails. Buster Posey Does Not.

On the surface, today was your fairly run of the mill baseball game. The Giants won. Zito was acceptable. The outcome wasn’t really all that important in terms of the W-L record, but it was in a number of small ways.

Buster Posey thanks you for helping him protect America from hung breaking balls. (Image via the fine folks at McCovey Chronicles.)

  • Bochy played a round of “how many places can I weaken the defense and still score more runs than the other team”, and he won. This time. Let’s all pray that the parade of less than ideal defensive alignment plus the ever present looming of Bad Zito today was enough to remind Bochy that this team was built around pitching, defense, and speed, and that weakening those, especially in MULTIPLE places, is not a good plan.
  • Buster Posey is now your NL batting title leader*. Whether you think traditional stats are particularly useful or not, you can’t deny that hitting 100 RBI and winning the batting title goes a long way towards his MVP resume in the minds of a lot of voters. (*If you grant that Melky can take himself out of the running for a statistical title and not a voted award, of course.)
  • Matt Cain said he wants another parade. The universe does not deny Matt Cain, so I’m feeling pretty good about the Giants’ chances as they prepare for the NLDS.

The Giants head to Southern California to wrap up their regular season, before (most likely) heading home next week to start their division series against (most likely) the Reds.

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Giants Recap: Giants Sweep The, Ha Ha, No.

So let’s talk about Tim Lincecum. Of course we’re going to talk about Tim Lincecum, what the heck else would we talk about? His line tonight was pleasantly mediocre – two runs, one earned, in seven innings, with four hits, five walks, and six Ks. It looked like a very good Jonathan Sanchez game, in fact! Which is not really something we want to be the gold standard for Timmy, but these days, that’s promising.

Examining it a little more, there’s things to be optimistic about. The point was made by someone on Twitter earlier today – I forget whom, my apologies – that thus far this year Timmy’s been absolutely disintegrating with guys on base. Going into this game, the splits:
-Bases empty: .244/.320/.400
-Runners on base: .287/.400/.474
-Runners in scoring position: .344/.468/.574

All of which adds up to a 59% LOB, third worst in the majors among qualifying starting pitchers. Timmy has been pretty close to league average with the bases empty, but he’s been very bad with runners on and unspeakable as soon as they get to second. But I promised optimism! Tonight, Timmy kept his composure with runners on. He did well out of the stretch, and almost escaped a leadoff double unscathed, giving up an unearned run thanks to a bobble by Gregor Blanco. After 6, he was at only 93 pitches, and when Bochy sent him back out for the 7th he worked his way out of trouble despite eminently hittable stuff. Continue reading

Giants Recap: The Melk Man Cometh

MELK TIME (Photo: Keith Allison/flickr)

Ryan Vogelsong did Ryan Vogelsong things. The bullpen did vintage bullpen things. Buster Posey did Buster Posey things. On a lot of nights, those would be the story. But it’s not every day that a Willie Mays record (even if it’s one of his “lesser” ones) gets broken by pretty much the hottest player in the National League.

When the Giants traded for Melky Cabrera, it was a high-risk, high-reward move. Jonathan Sanchez has tremendous raw stuff that he couldn’t quite put together despite always seeming to be on the verge, and Melky Cabrera was coming off an outstanding year that could easily have been an anomaly that the Giants would never see. It really could have gone either way. At this point, I think it’s safe to say things have worked out awfully swimmingly for the Giants, who have suddenly found themselves in possession of a .966 OPS, 170 wRC+ number three hitter who is not Pablo Sandoval. I don’t want to get premature here, but it’s pretty nice to think about this lineup with the addition of a healthy Pablo Sandoval, considering that they’ve managed to score some runs on a reasonably consistent basis even without him.

But for now, a win is a win, and that was a pretty nice one. Fingers crossed that tomorrow’s battle of struggling aces falls the Giants’ way.

Series Preview: Giants vs. Diamondbacks

The Giants look to face the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three game series home at AT&T Park.

Barry Zito faces Trevor Cahill this afternoon. Ryan Vogelsong goes on Tuesday against Joe Saunders. On Wednesday, Tim Lincecum goes up against Ian Kennedy.

It’ll be interesting to see if Melky Cabrera can continue his milk-bottle-shattering numbers throughout the homestand. On the road trip, he was getting hits after hits after hits. On the season, he’s got a line of .369/.412/.556, wOBA of .417, ISO of .187, and a BABIP of .406.

Please don’t let the regression bus stop by anytime soon. This whole having-a-competent-hitter-thing is swell.

Giants Recap: Matchups Suck

Or: Play in VS mode, sacks.

Tonight’s recap is brought to you by Google translator.

Bruce Bochy is that his left-handed left-handed lineup to hit there tonight can not be put,Brett Pill, because it is not a solid outfielder, it completely backfired. He is also the defense of some authorities to have something to hurt you, play it through a giant, but it is not above average outfielder. Too high.

(Bruce Bochy put his lefties can’t hit lefties lineup out there tonight and it totally backfired because Brett Pill is not a solid outfielder. He’s not even an above average outfielder, so having the matchup thing out there over having a COMPETENT DEFENSE hurt the Giants. Too much.) Continue reading

Post-Game Recap: Buster Posey is Risen, Giants Score Six Runs, Somehow Still Manage to Lose

My thoughts exactly, Buster. (photo: Dirk Hansen via Flickr)

Welp, that was not the way any of us would have written that one up. Buster Posey reminds us all that our personal baseball messiah truly is risen with his first regular season home run since LAST Easter Sunday, Matt Cain avoids the curse of the first inning dinger, and yet, somehow, through the cunning combination of RISP fail, a truckload of defensive errors, and Lyle Overbay looking like the long lost Hairston brother, the D’Backs still managed to pull off a sweep to start the season.

On the upside, Melky Cabrera continues to look like a pretty darn nice payment for the loss of good ole Slingin’ Jonny ‘Chez, the offense is more alive than I even would have cautiously believed likely, and Buster Posey hit a dinger today.

On the downside, the pitching has been a kind of a hot mess aside from Sergio Romo and his ninja sliders, Aubrey Huff is continuing to be Aubrey Huff, Brandon Belt seems like he’s pressing (surely at the fear of having to make that lonely drive down 99 again and stop to eat at the Perko’s in Turlock), and the Giants are 0-3.

But it’s a long season, the pitching is too good to not settle down and find their groove pretty soon, and the Giants’ personal hell of live parks and hard infields will be done soon enough.

And hey, guys? Buster Posey hit a dinger today.

Opening Day Lineups. Also, OPENING DAY.

Good morning, Giants fans and exceptionally lost Saints Row players! This is Lies and Perfidy, new to the staff and very pleased to be here. A couple times a week I will be joining y’all for game recaps, series previews, or examination of whatever Giants-related nonsense happens to cross my mind. I hope that you all enjoy it as much as I am going to.

Today, I have the pretty sweet privilege of writing my first post for Opening Day. Besides filling me with unquenchable glee, Opening Day always makes me think of lineups past; in the Giants’ case, lineups past and how little resemblance they usually bear to the lineups that dominate the season. I started wondering how the Giants’ lineup continuity compared to their division rivals and if there was anything interesting to be gleaned from such a comparison. 

Of course, this isn’t exactly hard-hitting, in-depth analysis. A team is not defined by their Opening Day lineup, especially a pitching-heavy team like the Giants (who have had impressive rotation & bullpen continuity.) But there’s some powerful symbolism in being the Opening Day starter at your position; look at recent quotes from young players around the league, giddy about their first day on the diamond in front of the crowd for Game 1 of 162. I think it’s worth a look. Continue reading

Enemy Territory: Three Things To Know About NL West Rivals

With Opening Day upon fans (again), the new race begins for the Giants.

Of course, many fans want to know what’s going on in the NL West — who’s the team to beat? Which team is concerned about what?

Well, the MLB gals of Aerys Sports have put together lists of three things about their teams that the fans in the division should know.

The list is below the jump. Continue reading