A Place To Talk About Giants Baseball

Lincecum is SOOOO Close…..

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 31, 2012

….to being a little better than Barry Zito.

In about an hour and a half, Kruk is going to do his show on KNBR and tell us all about *mechanics*, the absoluteness of *mechanics* and how Lincecum is THIS CLOSE to having it all fall into place. To me, that’s just another smoke screen. Lincecum’s start was average. He hit the showers with the team losing. He walked 5 guys. He had very little command all night long. And Goldshit toyed with him again banging yet another bomb off him.

And everyone thinks he’s *soooo close*? Hogwash.

I’ll give him one thing: he did seem to *battle* for once. But again, not having any command is another *Kruk-ism* that translates to his mechanics being all screwed up and that, according to Krukow, is the only thing wrong with him. So if he had no command last night, doesn’t that just mean he’s stuck with the same problems that have dogged him all year?

I’m not *putting the loss* on Lincecum as has been so easy to do in most of his other starts this year. We only scored 1 run, the loss is more on the offense than Tim. But I’m hardly falling into the trap that erroneously believes that he’s recaptured anything.

At this point, I honestly and truly would feel more confident with a Barry Zito start than a Tim Lincecum start. Maybe by a whisker. And when I say *confident* I really mean *diffident*. But don’t Zito’s pre-2012 starts feel a lot like Lincecum’s starts this year? It’s always the same formula: Everyone is playing tight–the team either doesn’t score any runs or they make mental mistakes. Lots of camera shots to the dugout where we see that pensive look on the faces of Bochy and Raggs. Krukow is busy churning out excuses a million a minute. And then it all ends with a loss.

So many of you will call me out for this thread saying I’m just writing it to create controversy but before you do that please refute what I wrote in the above paragraph. If you read it a few times you’ll get your *knowing dude head nod* going and realize that I’m right………

Great Game and Beat the Streak HEATS Up!!!!!

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 30, 2012

Quick post:

Great game.

For those of you who’ve had problems posting here: I’ve attempted to fix that by changing your status here. You have to accept the invitation I sent you via email.

If you are having problems posting here just shoot me an email.


Rock on.


I have added a “beat the streak” page to the right>>>>>>>>.  My streak hit 13 games at BTS. I am accepting nominees for who to add today (and going forward until my streak ends). I have to pick 2 players each day. If you have a nominee (or two) please put forth a thoughtful argument for why I should use your *pick*. I am going to hit 57 games and win the 5.6 million dollar grand prize. Book it. Anyway, if you’ve got literally nothing else to do, feel free to  voice your opinions in the new page>>>>>>>>>

Brandon Belt!

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 29, 2012

I haven’t seen all his at bats this year, not even close to all of them actually, but that triple he hit yesterday was the loudest hit I’ve heard him hit all year. And while it’s a little dreamy to expect that one hit could jump start a season mired in *underwhelmingness* it’s certainly possible that he gained enough confidence to at least take another step in the right direction.

While I’ve never thought he should be playing everyday, I did support a platoon between he and Pill. Unfortunately, Pill is 1 for his last 16 and despite earlier success at the plate he’s not doing enough to justify any starts at first base. And Aubry Huff is 2 for his last 15 since he got back from the DL. So however you want to break it down, it appears to me that Belt has emerged victorious in what has to be the worst battle for a position in major league history. At this point, I don’t think a platoon makes sense, they should just run him out there every day and I think that triple, along with multiple reports that Belt has *recently*made the necessary adjustments to his swing that the team deemed necessary (including standing more upright with a more open stance), will be enough for Bochy to finally start him even more regularly than he’s been starting him.

Although I heard a report on KNBR recently that Hector has been taking some ground balls at first base and I suppose that could be the final threat to Belt playing every day. Personally, I think Hector at first base would be a horrible idea but they’ve tried just about everyone else there this year, he might get a chance, too.

But not if Belt keeps hitting balls as loud as he hit that triple yesterday…….

Melky Could *Beat the Streak* all by Himself/Wine/Dirrrrrrrrty

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 28, 2012

Some of you may have noticed my references to a game at mlb.com called “Beat the Streak.” It’s a fun, free contest where the goal is to pick a hitter (two if you want to double down) each day who you think will get a hit. If you can nail 57 in a row you win 5 million bucks. Sounds easy, right? Well, in 12 years of the game being played no one’s ever done it. The longest streak ever is 49 games. This year it’s 36. I currently stand at 10 games. I spend 5 minutes each morning finding my most preferred hitter/pitcher match up. I take into consideration things like their history against, how they are hitting lately, the weather (thank you Blade), etc…..And if you pick a hitter and he doesn’t play or he pinch hits and goes 0-1 or the game gets rained out, you’re screwed. You don’t want to pick a hitter who’s *too* hot cause they usually get walked once or twice and that’s death to your streak. I steer clear of lead off hitters for the same reason. Anyway, my point in explaining the game to all of you is that I have never, not once, used Melky Cabrera as one on my picks. Look at what this beast has done over the last 10 games:

He’s got 22 hits in his last 10 games. You think he’d be a slam dunk pick at BTS, and he is for a lot of people, but I just keep waiting for him to cool off. Expecting it. He HAS to, right? And yet each game he goes out there and bangs out 2, 3, 4 hits. And I’m not using him today, by the way, for many reasons including the fact that I’m pretty stubborn…..

This guy is on pace to blast out 246 hits this year. Surprisingly, that would only be 9th all time. Ichiro had 262 hits in 2004. A bunch of players from the 1920’s make up the rest of the Top 10 All Time. Will Clark, my favorite baseball player of all time, never had 200 hits in a season. For a hit machine like The Thrill, that’s astounding to me…….

Bloggers love to try to tear Sabean down whenever they get the chance. Lately, it’s been about what an idiot he was to not sign Beltran. But when you look at the two trades he DID make (picking up Melky and PaGone! and trading away Dirrrrrty, Torres and Ramirez) it’s impossible to do anything other than bow down and honor Sabes for his amazing skill and acumen in securing these two fantastic players. Collectively, they are on pace to have 438 hits this year. Think about that: with two simple trades that were ignored by most of the baseball world, he might ultimately pick up 438 this year…

The Giants haven’t had that kind of offensive production from two hitters EVER in the history of their franchise (at least in terms of base hits)…..


I was at Whole Food yesterday and saw this: Anyone ever tried it? It was $30 a bottle so I passed.


And if you haven’t checked it out in a while, there’s a new sheriff in town at The Flap Fantasy Baseball standings. He’s Dirrrrrrty, he’s sooooooo Dirrrrrrty!


Happy Memorial Day.

Ricky Nolasco is a Pain in our Ass

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 27, 2012

It feels like he always dominates us and he does. In 7 starts, he’s 5-2 with a 1.56 ERA and we have hit .219 off of him. It has felt more like 7-0, 0.00 ERA .000 BA against.

A few years ago he was one of the *hidden saber stars* along with guys like Bedard and Harden. Like those 2, he never fulfilled his fantasy star promise but unlike those 2 it wasn’t because of injuries. He just never turned in a season that so many predicted he would produce.

Almost 30 years old, it’s it’s likely that this is who he is: a decent enough number 3 or 4 who will turn into a #1 when he faces the Giants…

Just once I’d like us to hammer this guy and send him out of the game in the 3rd inning………

Stop Calling This a Mechanical Problem

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 26, 2012

When Tony Gwynn Jr and someone named *Chris Coghlan* are the dudes who are beating you, you’ve got major problems. Mike Krukow keeps yapping about this being entirely mechanical and every time he says it I say “No, it’s not” out loud to myself in the car. Maybe I’m a *head case* because I talk to myself in the car?

If I called Timmy a *head case* many Giants fans would take a step back, gasp, and yell, “WHHHHAAATTTTT?!!?!?!?! How can you call Timmy a *head case*!!!! You’re calling him weak! You’re calling him crazy!!!! You know NOTHING about ANYTHING!!!!”

But instead, if I said to the same Giants fans, “A big part of pitching is mental” they would look at me calmly and in full *knowing dude head nod* approval say, “Of course Big Flavor, you’re right again.”

So whatever you want to call it, using a definition from the Urban Dictionary or Webster’s, I am saying that Tim Lincecum’s problems are rooted on the mental side *mas* than they are rooted on the physical side. And anyone who reads this blog knows that I’ve said this for weeks now…….

And now, to the trial. Wouldn’t it be great if they were all this quick?

“The prosecution calls Witness A (Tony Gwynn Jr) and Witness B (Chris Coghlan) to the stand, collectively.”

“Raise your right hand, do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?”

(They don’t say “I do” they both just give me a knowing dude head nod)

“Did you each get a hit off 2 time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum with men on base and the game on the line?

Both nod, knowingly.

“Have you either of you ever done this off a 2 time CY winner before?”

Both nod their head sideways.

“The prosecution rests……”


Here’s a chart of his game last night. As you can see, the FB was fine in terms of velocity.

Brandon Crawford

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 25, 2012

He scored 2 runs last night (who didn’t?) and he had a couple of RBI knocks. It’s impossible to deny he’s hitting better in the 2nd spot. It’s unlikely he keeps that up since most people think he’s not up here for his bat. But his bat has been unexpectedly productive in moments this year, while his glove has been unexpectedly bad. Some people have defaulted to the obvious, which is that his struggles at the plate have contributed to his struggles in the field. I don’t really buy that. There was no pressure on him to hit at this level and he knew that going into the season–just take care of left side of the infield and he’d be all good.

Kuiper, a former infielder, said his problems stem from the fact that he’s taking a step back on too many balls to ensure a better hop. Kuiper went on to say that when in doubt an infielder should always be aggressive and charge the ball. Not having played infield for a major league team before, I’ll defer to Kuiper that this approach is the best and would hope that Wotus would pass along this nugget to young Brandon.

But another theory for Crawford’s bad defense this year crossed my mind as I watched the game yesterday: maybe he’s just not that good defensively. There was a play in the middle of the game where someone hit a ball up the middle, Crawford went to his left and dove for it and it clanged off his glove into center field. I watched the replay a few times and noticed that this was a *reaction* play so it’s not like he had too much time to think about it or that he took a step back or anything like that. He just kicked the play. We’ve been sold the line that Crawford is a very good/elite shortstop defensively. But any elite shortstop that I’ve ever seen makes those diving plays to their left almost look routine. Whether they make the play or not, you’re never surprised when they dive and come up with it because that’s just what an elite shortstop does. They make those plays. And if you watch that replay, Crawford doesn’t really even come close to making it. The dive is awkward and he really barely even got his glove on the ball despite being there to make the play.

So all I’m saying is, maybe we should ratchet down our expectations for him defensively. And if we do that, what are we left with? Brian Bocock?

Selig Says “No” to More Instant Replay; I say “Eh, whatever…”

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 23, 2012

Well, of course he said *no*. Selig doesn’t change anything unless it makes money. If instant replay put a little more scratch in the owner’s wallets he’d be sending that through like Flannery wind-millin’ the winning run home in the 9th…….

And really, I don’t care one way or the other. If pressed to answer, I suppose I’d vote for replay on balls hit down the line as well as plays at a base. But baseball is a game based on linear perfection. It’s not like football which is all over the place at 5000 miles per hour. In baseball, there’s an umpire at every base, he’s right there to see the ball coming to a bag with an incoming runner—it’s not really a subjective call like in football or the NBA. You either make the call or you kick it.

And,  there are clearly defined lines for the HP umpire and the 1st and 3rd base umpire to stare down when a ball is hit down the line. Again, not that hard to umpire that call, at least when compared to the NBA or NFL……

I would tacitly support it coming to baseball.  But it would definitely change the pace of the game and for all you *pro-replay guys* you might want to consider that. There is no sport played on earth that is more dependent on pace than baseball. And for a long, long time it’s been a pretty nice pace for those of us who understand and appreciate the game……..

If instant replay WAS to ever come to MLB this is the format that I would support: Each team gets one challenge a game. If they use it and win it they get to use it again, otherwise it’s burnt. And there would be no challenges from the beginning of the 9th inning onward—any replay from that point would be at the discretion of a 5th umpire in the booth. Any challenge or *5th umpire ruling* would have to culminate within 90 seconds…….

One moderate gain from going to replay is that it might lessen the number of meaningless and long drawn out manager/umpire arguments. If there’s a close play at the plate, instead of a manager running on to the field, kicking dirt around and yelling at the ump close enough to smell his breath, he would simply toss a red flag on to the field and we’d go right to replay. No drama, no pomp and circumstance, just have the 5th ump make a decision in less than 90 seconds and it’s over. It would have a very clean and sterile feeling to it.

But there’s something awfully *base-bally* about a player or manager arguing with an umpire about a call. When it happens, we sit up in our chair with sharpened focus and start to wonder what’s going to happen next. We start to feel the same adrenaline that’s playing out on the field. Does ANYONE  expect the call to be changed? Heck no. Now it’s all theater. How big is this gonna get? And as the energy of the argument rises we all quickly wonder how spectacular the impending  toss will be….

And as I sit her thinking about some of the best “YER OUTTA HERE’S!!!!!!” of all time I really can’t imagine ever finding myself getting too jazzed up about Bud Selig ever deciding to bring  instant replay to baseball……

It’s pretty ok the way it is……..

RBI’s and Total Bases By Position

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 23, 2012

I think it’s fairly obvious what position Arias will be taking over when Pablo returns next week. Here are the RBI’s and total bases produced by the Giants this year by position:

Catcher: 31 rbi’s (2nd in NL), 78 total bases (2nd in NL)

1st base: 20 rbi’s (9th in NL), 62 total bases (12th in NL) Belt has had more starts at first base than any other player this year.

2nd base: 7 rbi’s (15th in the NL), 31 total bases (last in the NL. We are 19 total bases behind the Brewers who are in 15th place. Miami’s 2nd base spot leads with 82 total bases).

shortstop: 15 rbi’s (9th in NL) and 56 total bases (9th in NL).

LF: 17 rbi’s (13th in NL) and 80 total bases (surprisingly 5th in the N:)

CF: 15 rbi’s (7th in NL), 81 total bases (4th in NL)

RF: 18 rbi’s (11th in NL), 76 total bases (8th in NL)

If you compare how each position is doing vs other national league teams, we are good in two positions: catcher and center field. And from a *total bases* standpoint, we are also ok in LF and RF. I didn’t include 3rd base because it was near the top with Pablo in and has dropped since he left. I think everyone knows we are fine at 3rd when Sandoval returns.

And while we are below average at SS and first base we are beyond woeful at 2nd base. I recognize this isn’t news to anyone who follows the team. But it is crystal clear that when The Panda comes back next week Arias will move to 2nd base to fill the black hole of (un)production that we have gotten from that spot all season long.

Our offense will just continue to get better and for a team that has more than held it’s own since we lost our great 3rd baseman, that is outstanding news as we head into the Summer………

Giants Take Down Brewers in 14

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 22, 2012

The first two hitters in both of those line ups weren’t exactly *setting the table*, were they? Blanco, Crawford, Hart and Aoki combined to go 0-22. Yikes.

I didn’t have a problem with Bochy letting Bumgarner pitch to Braun. He had pitched brilliantly and if you think Bum is going to take the next step to where Tim Lincecum used to be then you leave him in those situations because those type of special pitchers will win that battle most of the time. I think Braun forgot what inning it was as well as the fact that his home run tied the game, it didn’t put them ahead. His celebration coming out of the box should be reserved for a walk-off hit, in my opinion…..

When Pablo comes off the DL I fully expect Arias to slide over to 2nd base with Crawford holding sway at short stop. Second base has been a black hole this year and Arias will fill it. Crawford has had his struggles periodically but he’s the best short stop we have and he’s a doubles hitting MACHINE—at least as far as our team goes. If he can take a few more walks and keep banging out the semi-regular double I don’t have a problem with him staying in the two hole for the rest of the year……..

Tim Lincecum Needs to Get His Head Out of His Ass

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 21, 2012

I love Tim Lincecum. He was *The New Beginning*, the little guy who put the team on his back and carried them out of the Bonds Era all the way to a World Series title. This image of him celebrating on the shoulders of his teammates is burned into my soul……

And for those reasons along with his 2 Cy Young trophies, I’ve cut him some slack when he has a bad start or two. But you earn slack with consistent performances. Bank it, and use it down the road some day if you need it. This season, he has been consistently horrible. The Giants are 2-7 in his starts this year and everyone is boo hooing about the Dodgers being 7 games in front. But if the Giants were 7-2 in his starts, a perfectly reasonable expectation given who he is, we would be right there and no one would be worrying about the Dodgers fast start.

So despite the injuries to Pablo and Wilson, and the fact that the Giants have gotten nothing out of Huff and Belt (two guys who were counted on by some to produce this year) the MAIN reason that the Giants aren’t close to being tied for first place in the NL West is because of one man: Tim Lincecum.

I don’t think it’s lack of effort. And despite his velocity drop I don’t think there is a hidden injury that’s looming. Some theories have focused on it being mental and I think there’s probably some validity to that. He’ll be sailing along and then always seems to hit an inning where he can’t throw a strike. And no major league pitcher, much less a 2 time CY pitcher in the prime of his career, should EVER get knocked out in the 4th inning against an A’s line up featuring mostly triple A players. He should be embarrassed by yesterday’s *performance*.

I still feel like he’s getting too cute with his slider and change up. He seems to be throwing them more often, especially early in the count, and the 2nd time through the line up the hitters are on to it and they let those pitches sail harmlessly by for balls. By the time he starts throwing the fastball again he’s down 2-0 or 3-1 and then they’re hitting it. And if you’ve walked a few guys that’s usually going to result in an output of runs. And when you’re ERA is over 6 after 9 starts that’s not bad luck. That’s *you*.

I also think it’s possible that he’s having trouble throwing his off speed stuff from the stretch…….

I’m assuming his dad has been a big part of the solution-finding process. Obviously no one knows what the problem is since he’s had 9 starts and I would argue that only 2 of them have been passable (at least from the standpoint of how we grade Tim Lincecum vs how we grade Barry Zito).

Regardless, the free passes are over for Timmy. At least from me. I am now dreading his starts the same way I dreaded Zito’s starts pre-2012. And while *ABZ* has been temporarily retired from my vocabulary, I am chanting *ABT* for every single one of Timmy’s starts until he gets his head out of his ass and starts pitching AT LEAST as good as Barry Zito. Good God, what has happened here?

The guy in the World Series image above is dead to me right now. Here’s the new guy: >>>>>

And I don’t like this guy………

Taking a Day to Appreciate Angel Pagan

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 20, 2012

He’s been sneaky about it, but pretty much any saberstat you want to use will tell you that Angel Pagan is having a very nice year. We could just compare OPS’ but that stat is a pretty flawed stat. I don’t want to get into an *OPS* debate today but if you’re interested in reading more (and there is a lot written about the limitations of OPS) you can start with this article:


I’ll compare Pagan to Ross, Blanco, Torres, Beltran and Nate using the following metrics: OPS, OPS+, wOBA and WAR. I’m not sure if there are 4 more universally accepted saberstats to use when evaluating player production but if I’m missing one (or more) feel free to note that in the thread.

Pagan: .815 OPS, 131 OPS+, .360 wOBA, 1.1 WAR

Ross:    .883 OPS, 135 OPS+, .372wOBA, 1.0 WAR

Blanco: .796 OPS, 130 OPS+, .367 wOBA, 1.0 WAR

Torres: .653 OPS, 88 OPS+, .290 wOBA, 0.3 WAR

Beltran: 1.036 OPS, 182 OPS+, .443 wOBA, 2.1 WAR

Nate: .779 OPS, 120 OPS+, .325 wOBA, 0.4 WAR

If you just look at Ross’ batting average (.271) you wouldn’t be too impressed with his year. But Cody is having a fabulous year in Boston. And it can’t just be attributed to his move to a more hitter friendly division/park since his OPS+ is at a very healthy 135.

Nate surprised me with his 120 OPS+ but his wOBA and his WAR are more indicative of his value.

Torres looks over matched across the board vs these guys but he has gone through a horrible slump over the last week (he’s 2 for his last 30). And he’s only got 66 at bats on the year. This thread isn’t an attempt to slam Torres at all, I fully expect his numbers to rise, and dramatically, once he breaks out of this slump.

Beltran dominates all four categories and at this point it looks like the only thing that’s keeping him OUT of league MVP talk at the end of the year will be his health. If he stays healthy, he’s right there with Kemp (also injured).

Finally, there is Blanco, who compares quite favorably to both Ross and Pagan in terms of value and production.

Pagan has taken a lot of sh!t here at the blog this year. Most of it, in my opinion, has been unwarranted as the stats in this thread clearly show. In fact, if you take a look at the *Watch List* I have put Melky and Pagan in there just to compare them to all of the other Ex-Giants on that list. While circumstances influenced Ross and Beltran going elsewhere, it’s difficult to not be happy with what Melky and Pagan have done this year for the Giants………

Winning Smart, Not Hard………

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 19, 2012

If you subtract the game they got *Jaime’d*, the  Giants have taken 28 walks over their last 3 games. That is outstanding. For years I’ve wanted this team to take walks and for years they go up to the plate hacking at everything they see. I don’t think it’s as much of a philosophical change as much as adding new players who are deciding to take a smart approach to hitting (or walking).

When you have a powerless team that doesn’t really hit for much of a batting average either it’s imperative that you take walks and we’ve seen what happens when we do that. Besides an increased opportunity to score runs it serves another important purpose: it increases the starting pitchers pitch total and gets you into their bullpen earlier in the game. It also will put a pitcher in the stretch and that’s important to do if you’ve got an opposing pitcher who has gotten into too comfortable of a rhythm on the mound.

In short, walks are all good. When I see the Giants taking 8, 9, 10 walks in a game that darn near qualifies as decent porn in my book. And, on that note, on to another topic………

Brad Penny. I might have missed why we signed him and why Bochy says he’s going to be with the team soon. Is he going to take over long relief duty? Because with Mota gone and Edelfsen hopefully gone soon I don’t see where he fits into the scheme of things right now.

Outside of Bowtie not giving his full attention to this epic moment, take a look at this photo of ChiPower. If any of you have a better pic with the trophy I’d like to see it. As it stands, this one wins……

How Much Does *Spot in the Order* Matter to a Hitter?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 18, 2012

This is tricky since sample size is usually going to be an issue when analyzing the importance of a hitter’s *spot* in the order. Pagan was hitting .243 in the leadoff spot this year. After he moved down to 5th, he’s 15 for 31 (.484ba, .556 OBP and a whopping 1.136 OPS!). Of course, for his career, he’s got a .293 ba in the leadoff spot, .269 batting fifth. But, I’m always more about what a player is doing *now* as opposed to what he’s done for his career and you can make a reasonable argument that Pagan was pressing in the leadoff spot and fighting his way through at bats (ie, wanting to hack but knowing he should take pitches).

More important than how Pagan is hitting now, The White Shark is showing that he’s filling the major gap we had at the top of the line up. He’s rolling with a .394 OBP. Again, small sample, but still a fantastic development. For his career (475 at bats) he’s got a .362 OBP in the leadoff spot and that alone is a good reason to give this dude an extended shot in the spot……

Crawford has struggled this year but has shown he’s more than a *good at bat* at times. He’s currently tied for the team lead in doubles and no one’s tacking on *free doubles* to his stat line. But he made it clearly known yesterday that he prefers hitting in the 2 spot, it’s where he hit in college and the minors, and he offers up a completely reasonable suggestion for why he likes it better: he sees more fastballs in the 2-hole. One game means nothing but it sounds like Bochy is going to take a look at B-Craw in the 2 spot for a while………


The Giants are trying to Melvin Mora to fill in at third base. Yikes.

Making Due With a Triple AAA Infield

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 17, 2012

Well, they got *Jaime’d* by Garcia last night. It’s frustrating to watch them hack away at every pitch thrown their way; especially a night after they took 10 walks. Last night? No walks. In fact, there wasn’t a walk issued in the entire game. I’m not sure how often that happens. Anyway, if you are not a power hitting team you HAVE to take walks. They did manage 9 hits though very few of them were at the right *time*………

Now, to the headline at hand…..When you’ve got an infield that goes Pill at first, Culberson at 2nd, Crawford at SS and Burriss at 3rd, you are talking about an elite, potentially *all star* infield—-at least, an infield in Triple A. While there is a little to like about all 4 of those players, the fact is, at least 3 of them and maybe all 4 will find themselves back in the minor leagues this year—and yet that was our starting infield last night.

I realized how bad it had gotten when I was driving home from my softball game last night and bummin’ out on the fact that Arias wasn’t somewhere in the line up. Think about that: I was lamenting the fact that Joaquin Freaking Arias wasn’t playing. Again, nice player, he’s shown some skills and even won some games for us. But he’s another guy that could EASILY be playing in the minor leagues right now and probably still would be if it weren’t for all the injuries to our infield this year.

When you start dreaming about what Arias could be doing to save the offense it’s time for a major reality check: this infield, as presently constructed, needs some help. Pablo returning will help. Belt taking over first base and hitting like everyone says he will hit would help (he’s hitting .239 right now). Arias overcoming his injury and taking over short stop would help. Those are three extremely realistic expectations that would save us from ever having to take a gander around the horn and shuddering at the combination of Burriss, Crawford, Culberson and Pill………


Final Note: I wasn’t around to moderate the blog last night and don’t feel like doing it now since I have a new thread up and i have better things to do this morning than delete a bunch of posts. Let’s hit the re-start button today and get back to talking about baseball and steering clear of personal attacks. I don’t mind a little back and forth at all. In fact, it’s encouraged. But keep it somewhat respectful and then drop it after a bit. Another excellent tactic to practice is to ignore posts that you find offensive. For the most part, this blog runs pretty smoothly so I hope all I’m doing right now is sending out a *reminder* to everyone. Thanks…………

Tough Loss

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 16, 2012

But at least they put men on base. I love the 10 walks. And they battled back. Gregor Blano now has an OBP of .408. The White Shark is becoming “Torres 2010”. And with Nate brain-locking his end of the game at bat last night, I can’t imagine how Blanco sits in favor of a Nate start, unless he needs a day off or something.

I’m not really understanding what Bochy is going to do with Aubry Huff. Assuming Melky and Pagan are in the OF (and you can all stop dreaming about Pagan sitting, he’s 9 for his last 17) I can’t see how or why Huff would ever play in place of Blanco who absolutely has to be starting every game right now. And he wouldn’t start in front of Belt, would he? Maybe a spot start but what would be the point? Right now, Huff is just clogging up a roster spot.

Buster Posey is either hurt, hurting or coming up ant-small in the absence of The Panda. He’s got 4 rbi’s this month and hasn’t had an extra base hit since LAST month (he doubled on April 29th). Just a question, but who would you rather see hitting clean up right now? Posey or Pill?

Tonight we face Jaime Garcia. I’ll never forget that shut out he threw against us in the Summer of 2010. It was the last game of a long road trip, super hot day—I’ve never seen a limper, lamer collection of bats go down so meekly. I think he only threw like 84 pitches or something. Anyway, I’m hoping that our new found patience at the plate translates into something against this dude. He is not having a very good year and is giving up a boatload of hits (51 in 44 innings pitched)………

Left for Dead, Now Seizing Their Moment

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 15, 2012

Yesterday, I was all about the fringe guys who just get a taste of the big leagues and then disappear into the obscurity of an assignment designation. And then last night we see the flip side of that—Check out 4 players who are seizing their opportunity and not letting go….

1) Santiago Casilla. I know, I know, this is his 9th major league season so he’s not really an unknown guy *seizing* his one shot at the big leagues. But Casilla is a guy who was basically left for dead by the A’s. After he got released he had exactly one team call: the Giants. With the A’s, he was maddening to watch, his ERA with them was 5.11 and he seemed to walk most of the batters he faced. His bb/9 rate hasn’t gone down a lot with the Giants (it was 4.5 per 9 with the A’s, 4.2 with us) but he has harnessed his *stuff* and he is making the most of this opportunity as a closer. As I said last night, to ME it looks like he’s balking every single pitch but as Michael pointed out, he’s never been called for a balk. He seemed more wound up than normal last night. It’s something that bears watching as the pressure of closing can get to a pitcher, you have to have the right personality to succeed at that job. But success reinforces success, and from last Summer till now Casilla has come through almost every single time. He just needs to slow the game down—and shaking the ball (and his mit) before he pitches is something he might want to stop doing. I don’t know why that’s not a balk, he’s not coming to a complete stop, ever………

2) Brett Pill. Facing the right hander Belisle, Pill found a way to muscle a ball through a hole in the infield. This guy has hit timely bombs and now he’s coming through at the most important times. He can hit, and we need guys who can hit. Pill was another *left for dead* guy. Drafted in ’06, he toiled in the minors for nearly 6 years, going from prospect to suspect to AAA roster filler. He turned some heads last September, did what the team told him to do (learn new positions) and he’s another young guy who is seizing this moment. I still hold my breath when a ball is hit to left field but not when he’s hitting. That dude can flat out hit…….

3) Gregor Blanco— There is one fan in the world, outside of Blanco’s family and friends, who has been in Blanco’s corner from Day 1: The Flap’s own “Bozo”. That fucking Clown knew what he was talking about, didn’t he? He was touting him and predicting grand things (I’ll  look it up later if you like) from the first day it was disclosed that the Giants had signed him. After a brilliant spring, Blanco made the team. And then he sat on the bench while we went through the 36th Chapter of Nate starting in right field. Blanco seemed pretty glued to the bench and it was fair to wonder if winning the Venezuelan Winter League MVP is actually not all it’s cracked up to be. He got a couple of starts in early May but it wasn’t till May 12th, with the Giants desperate for offense, that Blanco took off. He’s had 3 fabulous games in a row and he’s our starting right fielder at the top of the line up from here on out. I can’t believe that there’s a 37th chapter in Nate’s underwhelming novel, but we’ll see. Blanco might turn out to be the reincarnation of *Torres 2010* and if that happens it will be so huge for this team that is choking on it’s own offense this year………

4) Joaquin Arias. The PTBNL in the A-ROD/Soriano deal, Arias found himself unemployed this Winter. The Giants took a flier on him and he nearly made the club coming out of spring training. What this guy has done has been just a huge as what Blanco’s has done. He hasn’t done the same thing offensively that The White Shark has done recently, but he’s brought at least SOME offense to spots in the LU where his predecessors were bringing no offense. And he’s won 2 games with his glove at third base. We found out what kind of a player Arias is last night after he bungled that simple ground ball that would have ended the game. He didn’t dwell on it or check out mentally, he stayed focused and when that slow roller got hit to him he made the play that he simply had to make in that situation. That play won the game.

And that’s what all 4 of these guys have in common right now. They are making plays st the most critical times that are contributing to us winning games.  No one expects them to succeed in every opportunity.  To me, it’s more important to watch how they respond after they fail. All four have been casting aside failure and succeeding at the times we need them the most and as a fan of this team that’s all you can expect from 4 guys who were left for dead at different points in their career……..

One Moment in Time

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 14, 2012

A couple of Winter’s ago, I did the Retro Giant of the Day thing. That was cool, especially as it morphed into me digging up the most random Giant I could find. It culminated with me crank calling Phil Nastu’s house one afternoon and his brother trying to score free beers from me at a common game we were both going to. Seems like a natural progression of a daily widget, right? LQTM……

The Culberson call up got me thinking again about just how close some of these ball players come to success. And I’m not just talking about making it *to* the big leagues, I’m talking about *makin’ it* in the big leagues. Yesterday, Charlie made it *to* The Show. His resourceful and well organized parents made it to the ball park in time to watch him play in what had to be his dad’s proudest moment as a parent. As Twin posted yesterday, his dad (a former Giants draft pick) never made it to the big leagues:


Mr. “Baseball’s Starry Night”, Pawlie Kokonuts,  posted a link about a guy named Rich Thompson who has had a single at bat in the major leagues in 13 seasons of minor league ball. He hit into a double play in his one at bat and has been trying to get back to the show ever since to avenge that failure. If you have the time, it’s an excellent read:


And then there’s guys like Coner Gillespe and Travis Blackley. Two guys who have had varying successes in the minor leagues were suddenly given the opportunity to play for San Francisco. Imagine how ecstatic they were to get *the call*. Probably as happy as Culberson was to get *the call*. Probably not quite as happy as Thompson will be if he ever gets *the call* again……

After some fairly miserable performances, both Gillespe and Blackley were sent back down (with Blackley being designated for assignment). Talk about your roller coaster of emotions. Neither has probably been able to sleep much this week, lamenting their few but failed opportunities.

I’m reminded of the beginning lyrics to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” song:

“Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?”

And whatever you may think about Eminem, that line applies EXACTLY to a pro baseball player like Gillespe, Blackley and Culberson. These players put so much time into not just becoming a major league player but STAYING one, too. Burriss had to watch Culberson stroll into the clubhouse and probably just shook his head sideways and quietly. He’s in a different boat, he’s tasted success far more than the other guys—but his *success* has been on baseball’s periphery, barely hanging on somewhere in the shadows of the clubhouse. Still, those 3 are probably envious…….

Sometimes you only get one chance. The failure and frustration rate is so great for some………

Weird Game in Arizona

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 13, 2012

Nothing like the opposing pitcher hitting your 2 worst hitters (after 2 were out and nobody on) and then giving up a double to your pitcher to kick start a dead offense. Couple that with his throwing error in the first that led to our first run and you have to wonder if Cahill had money on the *over*.

We left 17 men on base. 0-4’s up and down the line up. Pagan got on base 5 times and never scored once. Brandon Crawford, inexplicably, tried to bunt for a base hit with a man on third and two out. Seriously, if YOU don’t even believe that you can get a hit then it’s time to stop playing baseball for a living. Anyway, just a weird but welcomed game. Winning that one got the dirrrrrrty snakes out of our head a little bit…….

Zits going today against fellow lefty Saunders. More weirdness is probable……



Flailing in Arizona

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 12, 2012

Soooooo……THAT didn’t go very well, did it? This is a weird year. For some reason I am more hopeful about this offense than I was about last year’s offense (where I had zero hope). This year, when I look at each player individually I usually say “I like him offensively.” (with the exception of Crawford though I really do like his swing and he HAS had at bats that were productive and not just *good at bats*) However,  when you put them all into the same line up it just doesn’t work. The other day I said “…but this team is a group of guys who are more worried about playing time and just doing enough to stay at this level—they’re worried about just surviving. And that’s no way to play team ball………”

And I feel more and more like this is where the problem lies. Everyone is playing *tight* on offense and defense. Outside of Melky, no one is hitting. And look at the list of guys who are not guaranteed a roster spot for the entire year:










Some of those guys are safer than others.  But would it surprise you if ANY of those guys were sent down? Maybe Nate wouldn’t go down. Maybe. None of them are taking walks because they’re all up there trying to *make something happen*— and when you try to force something at the plate you usually fail. With each failed at bat you get a little tighter. And pretty soon you’ve got a line up of guys freaking out about their livelihood and wondering if they’re about to get *the call* into Bochy’s office. Also consider that a couple of those guys are playing out of position and that can affect your performance at the plate, too. A final consideration of that list is that a few of them might just not be good enough to succeed at this level. Maybe more than a few……

So I am still hopeful about this O because I do like everyone on that list. It’s 9 guys who step into the box who I say “Ok, let’s see what happens here.” But success reinforces success. And none of them are engaging in enough successes to build off of. I’m staying hopeful; mostly because I have to be……



Taming Those Dirrrrrrty Snakes

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 11, 2012

How quickly things can change in a year. The D-backs were rolling last year. They had tight starting pitching, a stud closer, hitters getting timely hits up and down the line up– I was so certain they would come back to the pack and they never did. Well, things haven’t been so easy this year–at least since we left town and gifted them a 3-0 record to start the season. Strangely, we are back in Arizona again, they don’t come to our yard until the end of May.

Let’s take a quick looksie at their gaps, shall we?

1) Last year Paul Goldschmidt looked like the second coming of Mike Schmidt. This year he’s been more like *GoldBelt*. Or *FoolsGold*. Take your pick. He’s only got a single bomb on the year, and while that bests our *good at bat* first baseman, he’s still coming up ant-small so far this year. Luckily, he doesn’t get to face Lincecum this series to fatten up that .611 OPS……..

2) JJ Putz has got some problems. And they are hard to identify. He’s got a 9.00 ERA in 10 innings and batters are hitting .333 off of him. Normally, I’d suspect a hidden injury from a guy who’s been injured as often as Putz in his career but he’s got 12k’s and no strikeouts. Still, he’s off and apparently imminently hittable these days……

3) Justin Upton is not competing for the NL MVP as so many predicted he would do this year. In fact, at .235 and a .679 OPS, he’s been horrendous. He had a couple of minor injuries so maybe he’s sludging through those, but he’s not someone to fear at the plate right now……

4) “Paging Trevor Bauer. Trevor Bauer to the white courtesy telephone….” Their starting pitching has been flat out bad this year. Ian Kennedy, so good last year, has been getting knocked around this year. Collmenter has already been replaced in the rotation due to general suckitude and the back end of that rotation is shaky at best. Two Winters ago I blogged about an unreal prospect that I had the pleasure of watching pitch at Sunken Diamond vs the Cardinal. This guy was 50% Lincecum, 50% Cain and 100% Nasty. Trevor Bauer was his name and I was devastated to see the D-backs draft him with the third pick in the 2011 draft. He will be up soon enough and while I’m happy to see the Giants and their rack of limp bats miss him in this series I am looking forward to seeing this guy pitch in the major leagues. He’s sickening……..

5) Ryan Roberts has sucked this year. Mr *Neck Tat* who came out of no where last year has been quite beatable this year. In fact, the corner spot OPS’ put up by Roberts and Goldy add up to an uninspiring 1.243. Not good from 2 spots that should be close to 1.600 combined….

6) On the plus side, Cody Ransom seems to be taking a nice cocktail of something. He’s twice the size as I remember him to be and he’s crushing the ball since he got called up a few weeks ago. Take a look at this guy this weekend and tell me he isn’t getting injected with something……

Hey, we are in a hitters park, right? So all these dead bats should start hitting, right? That’s what everyone is telling me so I am hopeful to see it happen this weekend………

Where is the Offense?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 10, 2012

We scored 5 runs in three games. We are lucky to have won the single game we did win. A disturbing theme of this series was our inability to score in multiple innings in any game. Last night we scored 2 in the 2nd inning, none after. Tuesday night we scored 2 in the 2nd inning none after. Monday, we scored 1 in the 6th, none before or after. And the Dodger pitching staff just isn’t THAT good. Outside of Melky, every single hitter on our team has laid an egg in this team wide attempt to make up for the loss of The Panda. Pathetic.

I don’t seem to mind a pitcher failing as much as I do an entire offense. I don’t know why that is. If a pitcher fails it’s just one guy and it’s easy to spot the problem and the possible solution. When the offense limps it’s tough to point a finger anywhere. And that’s irritating. And it’s harder to find a solution.

But I will suggest 2 reasons why we aren’t hitting and am happy to be right or wrong about either:

1) There’s no leader. Tolbert brought this up a week ago and I kinda blew it off but I now think he’s right. You look up and down that line up and there just isn’t a guy to carry the team as a leader. Buster is *the bat* but he’s hardly a vocal leader. Same with Melky–that guy is all business, focused on himself, etc. And that’s fine on a team of veterans but this team is a group of guys who are more worried about playing time and just doing enough to stay at this level—they’re worried about just surviving. And that’s no way to play team ball………

2) The other reason I think the offense is struggling is because there’s been no continuity to it. If Bochy would stop playing match ups constantly and started just going with a consistent group we might see more, uh, *consistency* from that group. Again, with a young group of players I think you might get more out of them if they knew they were playing everyday. Baseball players are all about routine–all these young guys played full time in the minors and they benefited from the routine of playing everyday. The flip side of that is you risk ruining their confidence by running them out there to play everyday and fail everyday. Still, it’s possible the uncertainty of playing time is contributing to players playing *tight* in the field and at the plate. And the results in the field and at the plate support that theory……..

Whatever the reason, the hitters need to step up. And I’m not talking about just one of them. Multiple hitters need to start hitting or we will be 12 games back by the time The Panda comes off the DL–still doable, but why make it harder than it needs to be?


A Necessary Win Keeps Everyone off the Ledge

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 9, 2012

Yesterday, Murph and Idiot were quizzing Kuip about the state of the team, how much to worry or not to worry, is it not our year, etc….On May 8th, this is what they were hand wringing about. May Freaking 8th….Kuip countered with a weird answer that included a reference to “hanging around till Pablo gets back” and that fans should be optimistic because of the extra playoff spot to shoot for this year. Huh? We’re already ratcheting down our goals this year to raising The Wild Card #2 Flag? What the hell is that?

Last night’s win should go a long way to keeping the dream alive of winning the division. With such a long season I don’t understand how anyone could be so pessimistic as to even have thoughts about conceding the division to the Dodgers. And what if we had lost last night’s game? What if Pill hadn’t hit the bomb or Casilla had given up one? Would it be “wait till next year” on KNBR this morning?

Today I expect to hear lots of people excited and talking about what a big win tonight would be–the *message* it would send. The only message getting sent and received should be to not freak out over single game results in the beginning of freaking May.

Last year, when all the injuries hit, it was harder to be optimistic about the team. We had a bunch of aging vets who were clearly done or near done—Tejada, Burrell, Rowand, DeRosa, etc. This year we have a bunch of young guys who are still finding their production ceiling. I don’t cringe when Arias or Blanco (or even Crawford or Belt) come up to bat—Last year, even the sight of Miggy or Rowand sitting quietly in the dugout would erase my *knowing dude head nod* and be replaced by a furrowed brow and a crooked frown……..

So I’m glad we won last night but it was hardly * must win*. Tonight would be a great win, too, but if Timmy comes out and lays another first inning egg and we lose 5-1 I’m not gonna trip on it. Arias, Casilla, Belt, Crawford, Blanco, Pagan, Melky, Posey, Pill…..all these guys have an upside and there’s more reason to believe they’ll succeed then to worry that they’ll fail. Throw in a rock solid pitching staff and the impeding return of The Great Panda, and I’m very confident that we’ll win the division this year………

Buzzkill Beginning to Series

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 8, 2012

Lots of attention paid to Mota’s positive PED test. That’s a non-issue in terms of how this effects the team. Tolbert calls guys like Mota “5-guys”—you see him when the team is up 5 or down 5. That doesn’t reflect Mota’s contributions, especially last season, but Mota has been less than *contributory* this year. Zito said “We just keep taking blow after blow” but not all blows are created equal. The Giants will get by without Mota…….

We saw a few more glimpses last night of the dangers of the *all offense* line up. Did anyone catch Pill’s *stagger-catch*? I forget what inning it was, maybe 4 or 5. As I’ve said before, for what you give up on defense you just aren’t getting THAT much more in offense with that LU. And we haven’t even seen the great defensive implosion yet from the *No Defense* line up–but it’s coming if Bochy keeps running that crew out there together……..

At this point, you have to play Arias every day. He should be starting in front of Crawford but if Bochy decides to keep giving Craw starts then Arias should slide over to 3rd base in place of C-Gill. That guy is not a major leaguer………

Huff is back and while I’m happy for him personally it doesn’t do much to help the team–in fact, it probably hurts us if it means Blanco is going to lose starts.

Our bullpen is looking…..shady. Here’s a surprising ranking. This is the bullpen batting average against stat:

Normally, I just look at NL stats but when you’re last in all of mlb that’s worth noting, too. For what it’s worth, opponents were batting .310 off Mota this year so the upside is that our current .281 baa is likely to get better just with his subtraction……

Zito was pretty below average last night. When you drop a 2.00 WHIP on your stat line there’s not really any other way to view it. But we still could have won that game if we hit a little bit. Unfortunately, the Dodgers had their way with us. Lots of areas  to improve starting tonight……

How Legit Are The Dodgers?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 7, 2012

18-10? .645 winning percentage? I would predict right now that the Dodgers will finish the year under .500 except I think they’re going to be close enough at the break to probably decide to make a move or two to win *now*. But otherwise, just looking at their team, I am largely unimpressed.

They have Kemp and Ethier. And, that’s it. There isn’t a single member of their offense that I would want except maybe a little Dee Gordon just to make sure there is someone on base when Kemp hits his bombs. Our old friend Juan Uribe continues to pay off  for us with a second season of uninspired play. Considering Loney at first base and that corner infield combo might be the most impotent in either league.

Their starting pitching is led by Kershaw but he hasn’t been consistently dominant this year. Two of his six starts he’s been hit pretty good and he’s only got 2 wins this year. Lady Billingsley is having a decent enough bounce back year but nothing to fear. Capuano, Lilly and Harang? Resounding “no” to all three. I think I used Capuano as an example of who the Giants should start signing in the coming year’s as a number 5 guy. But that’s all he is. Same with Harang. Lilly is hit or miss. In fact, the only arm I really fear from that staff (besides CK) is Kensley Jansen–now he is one fun dude to watch pitch. That guy strikes out at least a couple just rolling out of bed in the morning. Impossibly, Guerra is still the closer. That will be changing soon……..

I don’t think this series will be a cake walk but I’m not looking at this team and going “Uh oh, we are in big trouble.” Wait a minute, who’s pitching for us tonight? 🙂 🙂 🙂

Pujols hits his first bomb of the year on the same day I climb out of last place? Coincidence? Happenstance? Eerie…….

Weirdo Stats More than a Month into the Season

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 6, 2012

There are some head scratching stats out there:

Chris Perez is leading MLB in saves with 12

Matt Kemp has 12 bombs. Pujols has 0.

Jason Hammel leaves Colorado for a much tougher league/park and he’s 4-1 with a 2.09 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP

13 teams have already changed their opening day closers (due to injury or ineffectiveness). THIRTEEN!!!!!

The Indians are in first place

Jon Jay is hitting .405

Joses Reyes and Elvis Andrus have 13 steals combined. Emilio Bonifacio has 13 steals all by himself.

There are still 23 batters (who qualify) hitting .200 or under. Last year not a single player ended the year hitting under .200

I’m in last place in The Flap Fantasy Baseball League

This madness can’t continue……..

Derby Day! And Where are the Bombs?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 5, 2012

I was fairly surprised to see the Giants mid-pack in the NL in total team bombs. I’m going to attribute some of that to fewer number of players using steroids. It seems like the Giants never hit any home runs. Pablo hit a couple over the last week. Buster hit one around a week ago, I think. I remember Pagan’s game winner.

The dearth of bombs isn’t a huge concern since we have a team built for speed. Except we don’t ever seem to use it. It’s a weird team this year. Tolbert went on and on (and on and on and on and….) yesterday on his theory of what’s missing on the Giants this year: a vet leader. He pointed to Burrell, Huff, Uribe, Ross etc… on the WS team and then tried to find one on the current roster. He went through every single player and mostly just found a bunch of guys who were more worried about playing time and keeping their roster spot. And I would tend to agree with him…….

It’s Derby Day and I am out the door in about 20 minutes. I’m a little behind on my Derby cappin’ this year and haven’t gone through the thoro-graph figs yet (an essential exercise before I bet any money on a big horse race) but I will release  my best-bet and best-long shot for the Derby later today (probably from my phone at the track). Good luck to any and all who are wagering today on what I consider to be one of the top 5 greatest days in sports each year…….

Making Due Sans Panda

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 4, 2012

Andrew Pavlovic’s blog at the Merc has really been seamless in it’s transition from Baggs to post-Baggs. He covers almost everything. I have to consciously prompt myself to read Baggs at Comcast and I’d say I probably only even do that once a week. Anyway, last night he trotted out the 25-16 stat that I was not aware of (the Giants record with Panda down last year). And look at the crew we have this year that we did not have last year: Posey, Melky, Pagan, Blanco and Belt. Those five dominate a list from last year that included Tejada and Whiteside.

I really hope Blanco is going to get a run in the OF in place of Nate. Bochy HAS to see how critical that is, especially with The Panda going down. He and Pagan should be at the top of the line up. If I were managing, I would encourage those two to run wild on the base paths. They did it all spring training, why stop once the regular season starts? Speaking of Pagan, can anyone recall a softer or quieter 17 game hitting streak? He has no 3 or 4 hit games, 6-2 hit games and 11 1-hit games. He’s not exactly tearing the cover off the ball.

I’m not that worried about this offense. I think the Marlin series was just a weird 3 game misstep that can be attributed to playing lousy against a team we usually play lousy against AND the fact that there might have been a bit of a *lost Panda hangover* yesterday. The three pitchers we’re facing this weekend are no picnic’s but I am hopeful that the bats get going again. It will be nice and warm and sometimes a weather change like that can light a fire under a guy………

One Loss + One Broken Hand = Big Problems

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 3, 2012

I’ve decided I really hate the Marlins. In ’97, they took us out of the playoffs from the wild card slot. In 2003, the image of JT Snow laying face down at the plate as they eliminated us again is burned into my brain. Last year, Cousins effectively ruined our season by taking out our catcher. And during last night’s frustrating 3-2 loss,  Sandoval apparently broke his hand swinging a bat. Throw in the fact that Ozzie Guillen is a moron and I just don’t like it when we play this team……

Assuming the xrays come back positive, the replacements for Pablo are dubious at best……

On the current roster, you get your pick of Burriss, Pill, Arias and Theriot to fill in for The Panda. From that list I think I’d go “Arias/Pill/Burriss/Theriot” in order of my preference. Arias seems to be able to hit well enough to play a corner position when compared to Burriss and Theriot who do not. Pill might hit well enough but defensively I think the concerns are obvious…….

Coner Gillespe, in his 5th year with the organization, is having his best year so far. In 104 at bats he’s got 3 bombs, he’s hitting .362 with an OPS of .935 in Fresno. I don’t know about you, but I have never looked at Gillespe and said “We gotta get ourselves some of that.” But who knows, he’s at least a natural third baseman and the Giants might give him the first shot as they withstand the shocking blow of losing the Panda for an extended period of time……..

Two longshots:

1) Buster Posey. Hey, if you don’t want to see to big of a drop off in offensive production, Posey could fit the bill. He player shortstop growing up and into college before he shifted over to catcher. And the Panda’s defense would be easy to replace, at least what we’ve seen this year from him. Posey could do this, in my opinion, if he had more time to get used to the position. If this were spring training, I could see it as a viable option. Right now? Unlikely….

2) Aubry Huff. Despite being currently on the DL and not having played the position in years, third base IS a position that Huff is familiar with. He’s played 2,900 innings at third base. I can’t imagine the Giants turning to Huff to play 3rd with all the stuff he’s got going on right now, I’m just throwing it out there—he knows how to play third base……..

All in all, pretty ugly options. Let’s have  a vote and I’ll pass the results on to Bochy later this evening to give him the best chance of making the right call. 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 2, 2012

Well, we got *Nolasco’d” last night. He does it to us every time. It’s probably a combination of Nolasco’s confidence and bad luck. These aren’t the same guys he’s faced before but we *looked* the same against him. Besides Panda, it was an impotent attempt.

I am hopeful that Nate’s 1 for his last 21 will finally wake Bochy up and get Blanco out there for a few starts. Ugh, there I go again, complaining about the LU. I have to keep reminding myself that it really doesn’t matter what the LU is. There is no way to know what a replacement player would have done against Nolasco in the same situations.

Maybe it’s just the combo of Nolasco and Cain. Matty has pitched 23.1 innings over his last 3 starts and he’s gotten 1 run of support from the offense. That’s a joke.

Pa(Gone!) extended his hitting streak to 15 games, the longest current streak in either league………

An Off Day That Felt like An Off Season And Miami Rolls Into Town

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 1, 2012

I noticed myself, at different points in the day yesterday, feeling *irritated and edgy* about the Giants *off* day. It’s funny, during the off season I can do months on end of no baseball and barely flinch, but during the season when an off day hits I’m *irritated and edgy* that they aren’t playing. There were 12 other games being played and the freaking Giants are off? Absurd! Actually, it was only 11, KC and Detroit got postponed so I guess there were a bunch of baseball fans in Detroit who were also driving around *irritated and edgy*. Although if you’re living in Detroit I’m guessing you have other things to be *irritated and edgy* about.

Anyway, Miami is in town. Easily the most interesting team we’ve faced this year. It’s safe to say that the Marlins are not meeting expectations this year, either at the plate or at the gate. They changed their name and their uni’s, they moved into a brand new stadium and signed Reyes, Bell and Buerlie. Mike Stanton summoned his *inner bull fighter* and proudly introduced the world  to *Giancarlo(!)* Stanton. Everything was in place. Except that so far it’s all been in the wrong place.

Jose Reyes won the freaking batting title last year hitting .337. This year, healthy and rich, he’s hitting .220 with an unhealthy OBP of .293. *Giancarlo* (sorry, I can’t say that name without LQTM a little bit) who hit 34 bombs last year and set his sights on hitting 50(!) this year has a long way to go to reach that goal. He hit his first on Sunday. So he’s got 1. Heath Bell? It’s not good. He’s been horrible and would have lost his job by now if not for his big contract and the lack of a suitable replacement in the bullpen. I still think Mujica will get a shot to close for them this year, possibly soon. Bell could use a break right now…..And then there’s Ozzie Guillen at the helm. He’s trying to manage the team while simultaneously trying to explain his fondness for Fidel Castro to the good people of Miami–they’re not buying it and the fallout is that no one is going to their games (30K a game, that’s about right in the middle of mlb attendance but quite poor for a team with a new stadium).

Nolasco vs Cain tonight. It seems he always pitches well against us. Time for some *PaGone(!)* action at the top of the line up to shake that trend up a little……..