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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Giants Can't Handle Angels

The Giants had been on a roll coming into their recent 3-game set with the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night, riding a 9-3, 12 game stretch to start June. However, the Giants are still a flawed team, despite their play of late, and the Angels really exposed their weaknesses, and swept the NL Wild-Card leaders in their own house.

Now, in two of those games, it was really just bad outings by the starters. Barry Zito has his worst start of the season, giving up 7 runs in the fourth inning of Monday night's ballgame, and despite a nice offensive charge late in the ballgame, the Giants just couldn't make up the deficit. Jonathan Sanchez followed Zito's rough outing with almost an identical line, giving up 6 earned runs in less than 4 innings of work, while yielding 10 base hits.Tim Lincecum did provide a nice start in the final game of the set on Wednesday afternoon, but the Angels got to him in 8th inning, and gave the '08 NL Cy Young winner his second loss of the season. The Giants offense really didn't do much to help Lincecum's cause either. They scored only three runs, and missed out on a few different opportunities to get some insurance runs in, and just couldn't get it done. One positive sign though, was Travis Ishikawa, who homered for the second time this season as part of a 2-3 afternoon for the Giants' first basemen. Despite sporadic playing time, Ishi's quietly raised his average about 60 points in his last 10 games, from .219 on May 23rd, to .276 on June 18th.

The starting pitching was really the problem in the first two games of the series though. Zito has been throwing the ball pretty well for the most part this year, so I'm not overly concerned with his start, but Sanchez is a different story. He really just can't seem to find any kind of groove this year whatsover. Sanchez has only had two "quality starts" this year, and none since May 20th. Things are progressively getting worse for the Giants 26 year-old lefty, and it's starting to cause some talk of possibly removing him from the rotation. Bruce Bochy said that's not going to happen quite yet, but did imply that things need to get better in a hurry for Sanchez or else there would need to be some changes made. If Sanchez has another rough start or 2, in which he can't make it through the fifth inning, the Giants may turn to another option.

A few guys who could be in line if Sanchez is moved to the Pen or down to Fresno for a while are Kevin Pucetas and Henry Sosa. Pucetas is 6-2 with a 3.40 era and .244 BAA in Fresno right now, but has really been nails in 4 of his last 5 starts. In that span, he went 26 innings, allowing only 1 run. Pucetas isn't really a guy who's going to blow his fastball by hitters and doesn't strike many batters out, but he's got 23 strikeouts over his last 30 innings pitched, so that are is improving as well. In 12 starts in AA Connecticut, Henry Sosa has gone 6-0 while sporting a 2.61 era and .237 BAA. He's also starting to go 6 innings with more consistency, after hovering around 4-5 innings per start in the first month of the year. I think the Giants would lean towards Pucetas, just because of his control and success at Triple-A, but Sosa could very well be second on that last. And I don't think the Giants are quite ready to bring top prospects Madison Bumgarner and Tim Alderson up to the Major League level quite yet, despite their success in AA.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 12:28 AM, Blogger TWolff said…

    I would love to see Pucetas brought up. He was in contention for the 5th spot in spring training and Sanchez just doesn't appear to have found his groove. There has to be something wrong in his brain. He pitches amazing some innings and horrible in other innings. In his last couple of starts, his first 2 innings have been decent. After the first 2 innings, he goes downhill. Plus, having a whip of 1.73 is disguisting. He's LEADING the NL with 43 walks when he is #60 in the NL with only 61.1 innings pitched. Pucetas as a whip of 1.2 in Triple A so why not give him a chance? Sanchez has been known to pitch very well in June and so far in June, he's been disgusting. Maybe Sanchez coming out of the bullpen a couple games will get his head straight. I truly think Sanchez in his career is destined to be a 7th inning or setup man. He's capable of getting strikeouts and with his deceiving delivery, he could fool some hitters late in the game. He throws a lot like Brian Fuentes, who himself has proved himself a capable closer without being a fireballer. He hasn't mastered starting pitching and with Bumgarner and Alderson working their way through the minors, along with his sinking trade value, he needs to find a role in the Giants pitching staff. We'd be lucky to trade him for the Marlins bat boy now let alone Uggla.

  • At 12:45 AM, Anonymous 49erminer said…

    They may split at some point, but the American League is stronger.

  • At 12:46 AM, Anonymous The Beast said…

    I wish the Angels were able to play in the N.L. West. So far this year, the Halos are 8-1 against the NL Worst.

  • At 3:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Why not bring up Bumgarner if he'd obviously do better than Sanchez? I don't get the philosophy of keeping guys in the minors just because, when they're clearly ready for the big leagues. I just think the Giants would be a better team with Bumgarner taking the ball every fifth day over Sanchez!


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