A Look At The Giants Roster: The Infield

(Flickr/sjsharktank)

It’s January, which means it’s a slow month for baseball news. Many of the biggest free agents have signed, the winter meetings are finished, and the major transactions are wrapped up. Except for a waiver claim here and a minor league free-agent signing there, the Giants are ready to go for Spring Training.

So how is the roster shaping up, anyway? The good news is that you’ll recognize most of these players. The bad news is that they’re all a year older, and that could be a big deal. Continue reading

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Giants Recap: Giants Don’t Score. At All.

The San Francisco Giants returned home tonight for the first of six games in a seven day homestand, taking on the Texas Rangers. Yup, those guys. The two teams came into the game tied with the 3rd-highest winning percentage in MLB, at 33-25 each. Who could have predicted that?

Let’s just rip the band-aid off of this one. Here’s the starting lineup for tonight:

Yuck. Just yuck. Continue reading

Giants Recap: Every Day I’m Sweepin’

(Photo: rocor/flickr)

Essentially, the story of this game is Ryan Vogelsong. Not because he was amazing – it was, basically, a quality start with a little mustard on it – but because A) the rest of the Giants scored their runs in hilarious fashion B) Ryan Vogelsong turns in these “6 or 7 innings, 2 or 3 runs, no problem” starts with such stunning regularity that I’m beginning to take him for granted.

Don’t let me take Ryan Vogelsong for granted, readers. Remind me that the fact that he is a major league starter in 2012 is an awesome story. That he is a major league starter of this caliber in 2012 can only be a testament to the ineffable grace of the Baseball Gods, praise be unto them. Every time Aubrey Huff grounds out to second base, or one of the indistinguishable shortstop options (Failed Prospect Guy, Handsome Guy, and Useless Guy) flails at a pitch somewhere in the vicinity of his eyeballs, or a reliever explodes into fleshy shrapnel and that shrapnel is hit into the gap for a double – Ryan Vogelsong. Yeah. Continue reading

Get This Lind/Pill Platoon Talk Off The Internets

And now, a change from your regularly scheduled series preview post (it’ll be back for the next series).

So just as I go about every morning whilst on summer break, I check Twitter for the latest in whatever it is people are talking about on the Twitter machine. Then I come across the following tweets:

So Adam Lind is the new player that everyone wants.

Okay, yeah, when in the world did THAT happen? Continue reading

Giants Recap: The One Where Bumgarner’s Streak Ends

Coming into tonight, Madison Bumgarner had a streak of winning in his last 8 starts at home, dating back to August 9, 2011. By the end of the game, the streak was broken.

The Giants lost 4-1 to the St. Louis Cardinals, who didn’t even need to deploy Carlos Beltran and his barking knee to beat the home team. The team continues to be mystified by runners in scoring position, going 2-for-11 in such situations. Maybe Bam-Bam needs to have guys stand on base during batting practice, since obviously the guys have no idea how to hit in games when presented with extra guys standing around out there.

How to summarize the Giants batters tonight? Maybe something like this:

This includes two strike-outs each for Charlie Culberson, Brandon Crawford, Nate Schierholtz and Emmanuel Burriss. Yikes. Continue reading

Post-game Recap: Giants Grit Teeth And Hang On

The Giants and the Rockies have a weird relationship. I don’t know that they’ve often been rivals, competing head-to-head in the same season, but they’re always orbiting around each other. One’s playing spoiler for the other, or they’re both chasing the wild card only to fall short, or the Rockies can’t win a single frigging game against the Atlanta Braves and the world collapses around my 7 year-old self.

Anyway, I’ve always found wins against the Rockies to be satisfying for some ephemeral reason. Maybe it’s all that Coors Field trauma. First-round pick Christian Friedrich embarrassed the Giants on his first go-round through the lineup, but he was unable to join the hallowed ranks of “random rookies who have totally dominated SF’s lineup,” because no sir Gregor Blanco was not having any of that. Blanco is probably going to be the leadoff hitter for a while now, and I’m okay with that. Especially if he keeps inexplicably crushing dingers.

(Seriously, watch that clip if you didn’t see it, Blanco hit the crud out of it. In fact, watch it if you did see it. I’ll still be here.)

Ryan Vogelsong did not look sharp, but he wriggled out of trouble and retired ten straight to end the game, so it was the Jekkyl side of the “Giants pitcher struggles early” standard. Brett Pill looked positively awful for most of the night and then some idiot threw him a fastball and he smoked it, because Brett Pill eats fastballs like mere mortals eat nachos. Turned out that insurance run was really important, so good on him, but still, he had some bad ABs. I mean, wow. Brandon Belt is still alive, etc.

In the interests of completion, I should also add that that Buster Posey guy’s pretty good, and that Sergio Romo faced his daily allotment of one batter and made poor Michael Cuddyer rethink this entire “baseball” thing for at least a few minutes. Yeesh.

That last inning, man. I almost had to rewrite this stupid thing. A little sloppiness from Casilla, a defensive lapse from Arias (who promptly made up for it!), and suddenly it’s a whole ‘nother ballgame. If Troy Tulowitzki hadn’t gotten beaned by one of his own teammates, we’re probably still playing. But hey, whatever, baseball gods, we’ll take it. It worked for the 2010 Giants, it’ll work now. Timmy goes tomorrow to try to sweep a stupid two-game series.

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

Giants Recap: Whoa, They Beat Kershaw

So the Giants actually beat LA today with Ryan Vogelsong on the mound. Brett Pill hit a two run homer in the second inning and that was all it took for them to win — offensively, at least.

The defense worked hard tonight. Hey, it’s amazing what players can actually do when they’re playing the positions they’re supposed to play. Amazing, innit? Continue reading

Post-game Recap: In Which a Boring Game Gets Interesting Until It Isn’t

And again. (Illustration by Mac)

Barry Zito. As soon as you start to think “Oh hey, he doesn’t suck that much”, he sucks that much.

How much, you ask? This much.

How much, you ask again? Zito also walked 7 of the 20 batters he faced. Up until now, he’d walked 6 batters in his previous 4 games. The 7 BBs is a career high. Continue reading

Post-game Recap: Tim Lincecum Ruins Perfect Game, Brandon Belt Ruins Everything Else

Tim Lincecum

photo by Dirk Hansen/Flickr

There was a part of me – a morose, miserable little part – that was already warming up for getting perfecto’d by the Padres. There but for the grace of Eli Whiteside went the Giants once before, so of course with the New Improved Offense, against, uh, some guy, why not? After the first three innings (23 pitches!) I was starting to think about it. It would’ve been ugly, but maybe it would be the spark the offense needed.

As it turned out, the spark the offense needed was an infield single by Tim Lincecum. And if that had been it for the Giants – if he’d been the James McDonald to Anthony Bass’s Matt Cain – I could have lived with that. I wouldn’t have been happy about it, but the Eternal Hunger of the Narrative would have been placated for one more day. Tim Lincecum has his first good start of the season, gives up no earned runs, and loses because he is the only baserunner for his team. It makes so much sense. Continue reading