Tag Archives: San Francisco Giants

Once in a Blue Moon a Giantsy trade happens

BlueMoonCartoon

Was this deal you expected? Were you like me and holding out some rare hope that the San Francisco Giants would land David Price or Cole Hamels? Trading for Mike Leake from the Cincinnati Reds was an extremely Giantsy thing to do. He’s not the splashy front end starter type. Just a good, solid pitcher in his prime pitching years entering a rotation that has its home games at one of the more pitching friendly ballparks in all of baseball.

The price for Leake was not as steep as it would have been for one of the big names out there. The Giants gave up minor league RHP Keury Mella, and corner infielder Adam Duvall. Recently Mella played in the futures game over All-Star weekend and MLB.com rated him as the top prospect in the Giants organization. Duvall is a guy that needs to find regular playing time and there is no way he’s cracking that Giants infield any time soon. If the Reds want to get him at bats it may in the outfield. Duvall had 26 home runs and 25 doubles for Sacramento this season.

I liked Duvall as a Giant. He helped the team win a title last season. I love the fun fact that Adam Duvall’s first career hit was a home run off Mike Leake. By parting with Mella the Giants proved they feel comfortable with their organizational pitching depth. Tyler Beede, Phil Bickford, and Kyle Crick are probably at the top of the list now. Beede could be a part of the 2016 rotation.

This also means that Andrew Susac stays around. It’s clear there is no other player out there the Giants feel they need to trade for at this moment. Of course I wouldn’t argue with Aroldis Chapman coming to the Bay Area, but I don’t run the Giants or Reds. This is one of the best offenses in baseball and if they need to add depth to the bench it could come sometime in August by claiming a guy off waivers.

Tim Hudson is the odd man out in all this. He’s said that he’d accept a spot in the bullpen for the Giants. That starts another set of dominos. Who goes? Is it Yusmeiro Petit? It’s sure not Ryan Vogelsong who has been lights out since going back to the pen. We’ll see sometime today if Hudson heads to the DL or the bullpen.

I don’t know about you but I’m already thinking about Madison Bumgarner, Chris Heston, and Leake at the top in a playoff series. Every time one of those guys takes the hill it feels like the Giants have a chance to win that game. We’ve learned over the last few years that chance is the most important thing. Jake Peavy did the same thing in his start Thursday.

It’s crazy to think that Matt Cain is the biggest question mark in the rotation right now. Those words are strange to type. In fact typing Matt Cain’s name at all lately has been rare. He’s been missed and I hope he picks up where he left off at some point.

Wendy Thurm shared how Leake stacks up in the Giants rotation. I peeked at Brooks Baseball and it looks like Leake is relying on his Sinker and Cutter more than any other pitches lately. He throws one of those 2/3 of the time. It indicates he’s pitching to contact and getting ground ball outs. He should continue that trend because the Giants have a good defense that knows how to handle its home park.

Each of the past 4 years Leake has started a game at AT&T Park. In those 4 starts he’s gone 9, 8, 6, and 8 innings while only allowing 3 total runs. He never allowed more than 1 run in any start at 3rd and King. There was this one time, when he was a rookie, that Leake gave up 6 runs on 6 hits in only 1/3rd of an inning at AT&T. But we don’t have to mention that. Overall he has a 2.59 ERA in San Francisco in 31.1 innings.

How’s Leake pitching lately? He’s got a 1.25 ERA over his last 5 starts. Opponents are batting .183 against him with no homers and 7 doubles. He’s averaging just over 5 strikeouts a game and walking about a batter every 9 innings. Leake’s worst start this season came in Cincinnati against the Giants back in May. That was the game Brandon Crawford hit his grand slam.

Acquiring Leake was a good trade for the Giants. He’s a free agent after this season and GM Bobby Evans has already said that Leake was going to be a guy the Giants pursued this offseason. Now they have 2, hopefully 3, months to sell him on San Francisco.

I think the largest compliment you can give a Giants move is that is was a Giantsy thing to do. This trade fits that definition perfectly.

– Eric

@2outhits

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Extra SF Giants notes

Earlier today I wrote about how great the San Francisco Giants offense has been during their recent run of 11 wins in 12 games. Here’s some extra notes I picked up while digging around.

  • The Giants are in the middle of a 21 game stretch against teams below .500. The average winning percentage of the 7 teams combined is .449. That means their competition is basically playing like the Reds (.448 win pct).
  • Flip it over. The next 26 games for the Giants are against teams over .500. That equates to playing the Yankees (.567 win pct.) for the next month.
  • Out of the top 14 teams in the majors in runs scored only 4 teams are from the NL. They are all from within the Giants division. 5. Colorado 6. Giants 9. Arizona 13. Dodgers.
  • The Toronto Blue Jays have scored 528 runs, he most in baseball. The Rockies lead the NL with 436. That’s almost a 100-run differential.
  • Nori Aoki leads the team with 12 stolen bases even after he’s missed 28 games. Brandon Belt and Angel Pagan are tied for second with 5 each. Calk that up as another reason I want to see him batting 1st when he returns.
  • Every game in which the Giants have had a 3 run lead this season they have gone on to win the game.
  • I didn’t even mention the Hector Sanchez grand slam at San Diego that made all Giants fans squeal with delight.

-Eric

@2outhits

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Orange Crushing

Buster Posey

It’s a lot of fun to watch the San Francisco Giants offense these days. They’ve managed to hit their way back into a race for the NL West crown. After falling to 5.5 games back of the Dodgers on July 10th the Giants now sit 1 game back of their rivals. In the race for a Wild Card spot the Giants are 2.5 games ahead of the Cubs for the final slot. Pittsburgh holds the lead by 3 games for home field in the coin flip game.

As a result of being pretty much the best offense in baseball lately the Giants have won 11 of 12 games. If you want to push it a little further they have gone 12-2 since the return of Hunter Pence.

The offense just keeps going. The Giants are 1st in hits, batting average, and on base percentage in the NL. They are second in runs scored, and have the 3rd best on base + slugging percentage. Over the last 12 games the Giants are averaging 6.3 runs a game and 12.2 hits. My dad used to tell me you should average 2 hits for every run. His story checks out.

The guy going bananas right now is Buster Posey. During this 12 game stretch he’s batting .511 with an OPS of 1.066. He’s driven in 10 runs and scored 7. It just seems like he’s always on base. Posey doesn’t have any homers over this span but he hasn’t needed them. It looks like late 2012 without the power.

Angel Pagan has been a nice surprise in the leadoff spot during this run. He’s batting .315 and has scored 10 runs. With Nori Aoki coming back he’s made a bid to stay at the top of the lineup. For my two cents, I want to see Pagan dropped back down and allow Aoki to take the top spot in the order again.

It’s not the Pagan at bats leading off an inning or game that scare me. He has been pretty good at getting on base early. It’s the ones when he comes up with 2 outs and runners on that freak me out. And so often it seems like he swings at the first pitch in those situations. When Pagan works a count he’s usually trying to get an inning going. Maybe he thinks that every pitcher wants to throw a get me over pitch to start him off. I don’t know. I just know I want Aoki batting more than Pagan. Give me the guy with a .383 OBP which is second on the team behind Posey. Pagan has just a .304 OBP and that’s the worst of any regular player the Giants send out there.

Let’s go back to Hunter Pence. The first thing that jumps out is that the Giants are 30-8 in games he’s played. In those first 18 games he played between DL stints the Giants went 12-6, in the 14 games since Pence came back this time the team is 12-2.

Over the most recent 14 games Pence has driven in 15 runs. He’s homered 3 times, the most important one was in Arizona that tied the game right after the All-Star break. Pence is batting .321 since his return with an OPS of .948. In his first 18 games that was a .282 BA and .780 OPS. He’s also managed 5 doubles and that’s come primarily from Hunter’s right field approach. He’s been looking away recently and only turning on a pitch if it drifts to the inner half.

The 2-3-4 hitters in the Giants lineup are all batting over .300. There are only 14 guys in the NL doing that and the Giants have 3 of them. Posey is 4th at .328, Joe Panik is 8th at .311, and Matt Duffy is sitting 12th with a .302 average. Panik is 3rd in hits with 113 and Posey has 110 hits which places him 5th.

There’s also length in the lineup. Brandon Belt is 2nd in the NL with 26 doubles. That surprised me a little. Let’s not forget Brandon Crawford who shares the team lead in home runs (14) with Posey. These guys help keep the line moving after the top guys are getting on base.

I know this post is all about how kick ass the Giants offense is but I can’t let 2 pitching notes go by. First, I tip my cap to Tim Hudson. With the Giants 4-3 victory over the A’s on Sunday he’s now beaten all 30 MLB teams. He’s the 15th pitcher to do it. Hudson is the 4th one of those pitchers to spend time with San Francisco. The other three are Terry Mulholland, Barry Zito, and new Hall of Famer Randy Johnson.

The other great pitching note of late is the bullpen. Over the last 14 games Giants relievers have allowed 6 runs in 45.1 innings. A miniscule 1.19 ERA. They have a 2-0 record and are 7-for-7 in save chances.

The orange and black are streaking and tearing the cover off the ball in the process. The next 3 games are at home against the Brewers, a team they swept in 3 games while scoring 17 runs back in May at Miller Park. The Brewers are not scoring runs. They managed just 5 total this past weekend in 4 games at Arizona and were shut out each of the last 2 days. Hopefully this all means the Giants can keep up their winning ways the next 3 days at AT&T Park.

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-Eric

@2outhits

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SF Giants thoughts and notes

Getty Images/Rob Carr

Getty Images/Rob Carr

Much like Willie has his stream of consciousness posts after we cover a game in the press box, I’m going to share some thoughts and notes about the San Francisco Giants today.

It’s been a while since I’ve (Eric) popped in for a post so let’s see what’s been going on and what’s coming up for the Giants

  • Heading in to Monday night’s game against the Padres the Giants have won 6 straight and are now 49-43. They closed out the 1st half with a sweep of the Phillies. After the break they came out swinging and swept the D-Backs in Arizona behind 35 hits and 16 runs of offense.
  • It’s not just pitching for the Giants anymore. Right now they lead the NL in hits (866) and batting average (.272). They are second in on-base pct. (.373), and third in slugging pct. (.407) and runs scored (393).
  • It extends to the road as well. The Giants rank first in the NL on the road in runs per game (4.82), batting average (.278), OBP (.334), slugging pct. (.428), and OPS (.762).
  • Buster Posey has been red-hot lately. He’s had a hit in 17 of his last 18 games and is 15-for-26 (.577) with runners in scoring position during that time. He’s driven in 24 runs in those situations during that time.
  • Hunter Pence has also been a key contributor lately. Since his most recent return from the DL, Pence is batting .333 with 2 HR and 11 RBI. He’s tied with Mike Trout for the most runs driven in during that time.
  • There’s a great piece on Fox Sports by Owen Watson exploring Matt Duffy and how he’s one of the best rookies in baseball this season.
  • If you missed it last week Jonah Keri of Grantland looked at how the Giants have the best infield in baseball with homegrown talent.
  • We’ve all seen lately that Angel Pagan has lost a step or two out in center field. There’s talk on social media about moving him to LF but Bruce Bochy has said that a move like that will not happen during the season. Personally I think the Giants are better with Gregor Blanco in center, but that won’t happen as long as Pagan is “healthy”. Maybe we’ll see a DL stint for him once Nori Aoki returns.
  • Speaking of Aoki, we heard on Twitter earlier today that he’s beginning his rehab assignment in Sacramento tomorrow. And he could be back as early as the weekend series against the A’s.
  • Looking ahead the Giants play their next 5 series against teams currently under .500. At the moment they sit 3.5 games back of the Dodgers for the division and 1 game back of the Cubs for the Wild Card.
  • I’m standing by my pick of the Giants winning the NL West. I wouldn’t be surprised if they catch them for the division lead by the first week of August.
  • Tim Hudosn is back tonight and Jean Machi has been DFA’d to clear room for him. That’s probably the end for the Giants resident fart master.

There’s probably more to get into and I’ll be back later this week during the Giants off day Thursday with some more thoughts about the boys.

You can like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or check out our YouTube channel.

-Eric

@2outhits

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Episode #90: Duffman

I wonder how many beers Duffy can actually chug after a game while holding Skeeter?

Download Episode 90 here, or stream it below!

The Giants went 4-2 for the week, which is something amazing considering they were under.500 at home. Despite a 12-13 June (ok, they can still be .500 with a win tonight), the Giants are only 1/2 game back of the Dodgers. Chad and Ben discuss the month of June, the All Star game voting, Duffy and more!

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Episode #89: The Almost Sweep

    Former Giant OF Darryl Hamilton

Download the podcast here, or

Click below to stream it:

The whole gang is back together to recap the week that was in the land of black and orange. Who’s out of the rotation when Peavy and Cain return? Is Crawford an All-Star? Is Pete Rose really that big of a douche? (answer: yes).

Ben was AT Citi Field for Heston’s no-hitter.   Jerk.

We also take a moment to remember former Giant Darryl “Hambone” Hamilton, who was tragically killed early this morning. Once a Giant, always a Giant.

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Episode #88: DubNation and #BeatLA

The Giants welcome the Warriors. Now, please give us some of that odd-year mojo!

Download the podcast here, or stream it below!

We had a power outage that prevented our last podcast, then acts of God that prevented our next scheduled podcast, but with the Giants entering Chavez Ravine, Chad decided it’s about time we talk Giants ball!

Oh, and THE WARRIORS ARE NBA CHAMPS!  and stuff

Chad catches up with the Giants “meaty” season, their road domination and underwhelming home performance. There’s also catching up to do with Heston’s no-no, the Giants’ visit to the White House, the draft, McGehee coming back, Scutaro re-signing, Scandoval, MLB canceling 60 million votes, and what in the hell do the Giants do when Cain and Peavy come back?!

Oh, and the Giants beat LA tonight 9-5 and are 1 1/2 games back.

Enjoy episode 88 of the TortureCast!

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Out of Left Field

Before I joined TortureCast in August 2011, I regularly contributed a segment on the show called, “Out of Left Field.” It was usually a short 60 seconds of me rambling on about some esoteric stat, streak, or oddity of the Giants’ season.

I’ve decided to resurrect it, and potentially in audio format once again. Because, who doesn’t like listening to themselves? Ok, I don’t, so here it is in digital print. At least most fonts aren’t embarrassing. Except for Comic Sans, of course.

  • The Giants finally broke their 9 game skid at home, which was the longest losing streak since 1940 at the Polo Grounds. I mean, that’s when gas was 18 cents a gallon and my grandmother was still in France about to hide from the Nazis.
  • Despite tonight’s 2-0 loss, MadBum pitched well and was perfect for 4 2/3 until a cleat-made divot caused a ball to bounce at Crawford’s insured face, necessitating the scorekeeper to laugh diabolically and mark it as a hit. Maybe that had a butterfly effect on the Giants’ offense. No, wait, no, that had about as much affect on their offense as I do screaming at the TV while I tear the wings off of a butterfly.
  • The Giants are 5-12 since their high-water mark of 30-20. After starting the season 4-10, that means the “meat” of the season sandwich was 26-10.
  • Giants are 8 GB of last year’s record after 67 games. In fact, they haven’t been worse at this point over the last 5 seasons: 2013: 0 GB, 2012: 2 GB, 2011: 3 GB, 2010: 2 GB
  • Marco Scutaro was symbolically re-signed by the Giants and immediately placed on the 60-day DL. He can now retire a Giant. And to think that I truly believed (last year) that he would certainly come back at some point to relive his glory days in 2012 and 2013. Sadly, he’s rehabbing his 2 fused vertebrae and hoping to “live a normal life, pain free” with his family. Egad. He might not ever play even beer league softball. I’ll stop my bitching about my injured wrist that prevents me from cleaning and jerking in my CrossFit sessions. And jerking.
  • Matt Cain and Jake Peavy are close to coming back into the rotation, but the Giants have stated that they will not go to a six man rotation, which begs the obvious, “who’s out?” I’d say take out Mike Murphy. There are no alternatives.
  • As of today, the Royals would have 8 starters in the All Star Game. If this holds, it’ll be the National League vs. the Royals, plus Mike Trout. I “kind of” want this to happen, if only to force MLB into changing this ridiculous ASG voting by the fans. Ok, well, Aoki is currently slated to start for the NL (being a former Royal), so maybe just this year…. In fact, wouldn’t it be something if Giants fans propelled 8 Giants starters to the final ballot? Man, the Royals could get their revenge…
  • Don’t look now, but Arizona is only two games back of the Giants. I thought Diamondbacks were not allowed to pray to their snake goddess.
  • Chris Heston was named NL player of the week. I wonder if anyone HASN’T been named that after a no-hitter. Glad someone else didn’t throw a perfect game that week, I suppose.
  • Maybe the Warriors can win every odd year championship.
  • Javier Lopez: 0.96 ERA, 0.64 WHIP. Dayum.
  • Giants are hitting .284 as a team on the road, which leads all MLB, 12 points higher than the next team. Can haz hitting at home? (.249)
  • Despite the last few downturns, they’re only 2.5 games back of the Bums. Could be worse. Let’s get back to that meat I mentioned earlier. Maybe it was grand salame?

Chad

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Duffy v Sandoval

Duffman rules so far....

Duffman rules so far….

Just some quick thoughts on the departure of Panda.

First of all, his replacement, Casey McGehee, isn’t even on the Giants roster, he’s in Sacramento, and yes, he may come back up, but the impetus for his demotion is one Matt Duffy.

So, Duffy isn’t exactly raking in the leaderboards, but let’s look at how he compares to Panda (Duffy v Sandoval):

AB: 137, 176 (Duffy has 39 fewer ABs, which is to be expected since McGehee had more ABs earlier)

AVG: .270, .239 (advantage: Duffy)

HR: 3, 5 ( (advantage: Panda, but he has more ABs)

RBI: 22, 17 (advantage: Duffy)

OBP: .313, .306 (advantage: Duffy)

SLG: .380, .352 (advantage: Duffy)

OPS: .692, .682 (advantage: Duffy)

Errors: 2, 7 (advantage: Duffy)

Fielding Pct: .972, .935 (advantage: Duffy)

Considering Pablo is making $17 million this year, and Duffy is making $509,000, I think this is a win-win so far for the Giants. Of course, Pablo doesn’t have a Skeeter, so can he really win?

Chad

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Episode 87: “a-MAY-zing”

Ryan Vogelsong helped steady the Giants rotation in May with a sub-2 ERA.

Download episode 87 here, or stream it below!

The Giants pulled off an incredible 21-9 record in May, despite losing the last 2 games of the month, and a heartbreaker at that. Ben, Eric and Chad discuss the Giants’ meteoric rise to 1st/2nd place, all star candidates, all the DFA’d Giants that have roosted in Sacramento, and as always, our new favorite guys, guys we should hate, and why we’ll win it all.

Chad

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