Monthly Archives: July 2012

Giants Not “Pence”-ive as a Free Agent “Hunter”

Right park, different uni (manginphotography.net)

First of all, I apologize for the title, but I was in the NY Post spirit with the Mets in town.

Hunter Pence is the player that many Giants fans have been drooling over for quite some time, and in all honesty, the Giants didn’t give up as prized of a prospect as they did last year as they jettisoned Zach Wheeler for a Beltran rental (btw, can we have him back, now?)

It’s not generally recommended to react to trades completed by your divisional rival, but in this case the Giants had to put at least one more bullet in the chamber as the Dodgers put a few (Ramirez, Victorino, and almost Dempster). Alas, the gaping bleeding hole in their lineup is a right handed bat, and much as I like him, Brett Pill ain’t the medicine for that ailment. Pence is a nice fit, an energetic player with pop and speed. He reminds me a little of Eric Byrnes; very awkward in the field, not majestic in his mechanics, but god damn if he doesn’t just get the job done, he does it better than most.

Shierholtz had a nice tenure with the Giants; a player that always aspired to do more, yet was solid in his contributions, despite not getting as many opportunities as he’d hoped for. His comments in the Chronicle a few weeks ago essentially put an “X” on his back regarding trade bait. His comments may not have been detrimental to the clubhouse, but perhaps you want to change the scenery for that player in the interests of both parties. Heck, he’s even reuniting with one of his best buds, Kevin Frandsen, who was recently promoted from AAA. Frandsen was even in Shierholtz’s wedding. Tommy Joseph is a promising talent, but the Giants are flush at catcher, a position that teams generally have a paucity. San Francisco still has Hector Sanchez, Andrew Susac, and some guy wearing number 28.

Unfortunately, the Giants will have to deal with arbitration with Pence this offseason, and if Beltran is any indication of how he feels that AT&T Park is a black hole that just sucks power numbers away from any bat that lingers near its center, Pence may come to find that the next 30 odd games played in this pitcher’s haven are not kind to the stat sheet. Nonetheless, if they get into October, he could smell the allure of a triples record next year?

-Chad King, @chadk21

 

 

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Mitch Williams has a 23 year old grudge against the Giants

ImageToday’s game felt like a lock for the Giants after Cain went deep, even after Hamels matched him in the next inning. That in itself, was entertaining, the first pair of pitchers to go deep off each other since 2002. I just re-read that last sentence, and it sounded dirty. I’m too lazy to re-construct that pseudo-erotic writing. However, after Howard put the Phillies ahead, I figured that might be it, “eh, they’ve had a good road trip, guaranteed .500, I need to forage for a warm beer anyway.”

I suppose this year has a different vibe than last year. The pitching is still there (sans Lincecum, plus Zito), but the offense has improved, despite their situational hitting failures (although they’ve been excellent since the break). So, a few sips into my warm cerveza, the Giants indeed pulled off the comeback, starting with solo Melk delivery in the 8th. Cain really only made one big mistake (to Howard), which was three out of the 5 runs. Take that away, and his line is great. Nevertheless, he kept them in the game with 8 innings, despite his un-Cain-like 3 homeruns given up.

Posey is a beast, he is “en fuego” with an accelerant added on top. Over his last 9 games, he’s hitting at a .531 clip, with 2 homeruns and 13 RBI. His average has soared from .288 to .314 in that span. He’s hitting the ball to all fields; much like my son throws objects to all corners of my house. Tonight, he was 4 for 5 with a homerun and 3 RBI. He also read a suicide squeeze correctly that Blanco did not, and he was hung out to dry.

Casilla is a man of mystery. He doesn’t always save games, but when he does, he does it with torture. After blowing 5 of his last 8 save opportunities, and stirring the trade speculation pot, he allowed a one out walk and a streaking rocket to Theriot at second to end the game. Not a masterpiece, but something to build his confidence on, as baseball is a fickle game. Maybe Casilla plays fantasy baseball. I miss Brian Wilson’s torture.

Even if the Giants lose tomorrow, they have secured a 4-2 road trip, the antithesis of their previous road trip that closed out the first half at 1-5. If they can muster a sweep tomorrow, the Giants will be 5-1 on this road trip and 8-1 since the break. Even if they lose tomorrow, 7-2 is slightly passable.

Let’s hope Kemp and Either don’t heat up too much.

– Chad King

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