SF Giants Torture Report: Week 2

Strat

Photo: @SFGiants Twitter

The San Francisco Giants currently hold a 6-6 record, good for 3rd place in the NL West. Arizona leads the division with a 9-3 record, followed by Colorado in second place with virtually the same record as our Giants at 7-7.

There’s been 6 games since last week’s Torture Report, and continuing the theme on the season, the Giants went 3-3 in those games. The Giants have not been above or below .500 by more than 2 games either way so far this season. So, while they aren’t running away with anything, this team is not getting buried early on.

Last Friday, the Giants and Dodgers were rained out. It was the first rain out at AT&T Park since 2006. It gave the Giants 2 unexpected off days in a row before the quick 2-game set against LA. They’ll make up the rain out as part of a double header later this April. It will be the first double header at AT&T Park since 2013. That year, the Giants and Reds were rained out of a game in Ohio, so the Reds played one game of the double header in San Francisco as the home team.

The past week started with Andrew McCutchen’s 6-hit day in a game against the Dodgers that could be remembered for years to come. First, let’s just love Cutch for a moment.

That was McCutchen’s first ever 6-hit day, and he’s the first Giant to accomplish the feat at home during the San Francisco era. Over the course of the 14-inning marathon, Cutch raised his batting average from .083 to .258. I know it’s early in the season, but that’s ridiculous.

McCutchen’s 14th inning blast was one of 9 home runs the Giants hit on the 7-game home stand. In 2017, the Giants only had 1 home stand in which they hit more than nine homers, the hit 10 during a 7-game homestand last May that included the Buster Posey 18th inning walk off game.

The 7-5 victory on Saturday over the Dodgers is exactly the type of game we hope to see from the Giants all season. Everyone contributed up and down the lineup and the bullpen was lights out. Even when the Dodgers did manage to scratch across a run in the top of the 14th inning, the Giants took all of 3 batters to end the game with a win in the bottom half.

Special tip of the cap to Pierce Johnson and Reyes Moronta for each throwing 2 innings of shutout ball in extras against the Dodgers. Suddenly, the bullpen is a strength.

Debut x 2

Tyler Beede and Andrew Suarez both made their MLB debuts in back-to-back games against Arizona on Tuesday and Wednesday. Johnny Cueto sprained an ankle to make room for Suarez to get his shot. It brought this great little factoid about Giants pitching.

Beede was the Giants 2014 first round draft choice out of Vanderbilt. He made it through 4 innings on Tuesday and only allowed 2 runs in the first inning on a double to AJ Pollock. It was a mixed day for the right-hander as he threw 87 pitches and only 45 for strikes. Beede did not have stellar control and walked 5 DBacks hitters while striking out 3. Apparently it was enough for the Giants as Beede is in line to start Sunday afternoon in San Diego.

Andrew Suarez is a left-handed pitcher from Miami. The Giants drafted him in the 2nd round of the 2015 draft. Of the two debuts, his went a lot better. Suarez did not give up a hit his first time through the Arizona batting order. Overall, he struck out 7 without issuing a walk and generally looked fearless on the mound. Suarez attacked the strike zone and seemed willing to let guys hit themselves out. Frankly, he impressed the hell out of me and I think by the end of the year there could be a slot for Suarez in the starting rotation.

Unlike Beede, Mr. Suarez is not scheduled to make another start anytime soon. He’s been shuttled back to Sacramento, where he must remain for 10 days before the big club can call him up again. Johnny Cueto should be back to make his next start and shortly after that Jeff Samardzija could be ready to rejoin the rotation, so at the moment Suarez is out of luck.

Hey dummy, did you forget about Chris Stratton’s gem?

No, I didn’t forget about that. It just happened last night, so it’s still fresh in everyone’s minds. If you missed it, Stratton and Derek Law combined to 1-hit the Padres on Thursday night. And the one hit? Clayton Richard did the honors. The weird thing about that is Richard is a starting pitcher and didn’t even toss a single pitch in this entire game. He was just up there in the 3rd inning to pinch-hit for starter Bryan Mitchell who was horrendous. So, to not burn a bench player so early in the game, the Padres sent Richard up instead. And he happened to be the only Padre player with a hit all night. This produced my other favorite factoid of the week.

 

Pitcher of the week

Duh, it’s Chris Stratton. His pitching line from last night in San Diego was 7 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 3 BB, 4 K

Stratton also started the 7-5 victory over the Dodgers last Saturday. He left that game with the lead after 5 innings but was little more wild as he walked 4 and struck out 3. Still, he put the Giants in a position to win, and that’s all you can ask for from the #5 starter who has now become the #3 but looks like the #1.

Player of the week

Despite McCutchen’s 6-hit game last Saturday, I’m going with Buster Posey as my player of the week. Over the past 6 games, Posey has 9 hits, 1 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, and didn’t ground in to a single double play. Buster has hit safely in his last 10 games and came through with at least 2 clutch hits I can remember this week.

First, he tied the game on Sunday against LA with a single in the bottom of the 8th inning. Then on Wednesday, he hit a 2-run home run to tie the game with DBacks at 3. Both times the Giants went on to lose, but not because of Buster. He only struck out 2 times in 23 plate appearances and has now hit 2 home runs at home. One more homer at AT&T Park and Buster will match his total at home for all of 2017.

Coming Up

The Giants are on the first of four, 3-city road trips they will take in the first half of the season. They have 3 more games in San Diego before heading to the desert to play 3 with the first place DBacks. After that is 3 in Los Angeles, Anaheim really, against the Angels, but we’ll cover that series next week.

So far, the Giants are 3-2 on the road and 3-4 at home. They are 5-0 when scoring first and 1-6 when their opponents score first. So I guess the formula so far is, score early, please for the love of everything, score early.

Torture Level

I’d say the last week was a little higher on the torture scale. That game against LA was itself an 8. For the week though, I’d say the torture level was a 6 out of 10. There were 2 McCutchen walk-off wins along with a loss in 10 innings to the Dodgers. Every game with LA feels like torture so that kind of tips the scales.

Let’s hope the scale tips back down next week after a bunch of Giants blowout wins. I mean, a guy can hope, right?

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-Eric

 

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