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Friday, September 11, 2009

Giants Fading In September

The Giants are losing ground on the Wild Card leading Colorado Rockies, and they're doing so very quickly. They've gone just 4-5 in September thus far, and are getting banged up a little in the health department which has led them to 4.5 game deficit of the wild card leading Rockies heading into play this weekend.

It's still a little unclear when the teams ace, and most important player by far, Tim Lincecum, will make his next start after aggravating his sore back in his last outing. He's tentatively scheduled to make the start on Monday, the opening of an extremely important series vs. the Rockies, but that is anything but guaranteed. The Giants called up Madison Bumgarner on September 8th, which was Lincecum's last scheduled start, in order to give Timmy a few extra days to nurse the back along. Bumgarner threw pretty decently in his major league debut, going 5 innings vs. the Padres, allowing 2 runs on a couple of solo jacks, and just 4 hits while striking out 4 batters. He showed enough to get another nod and will start on Monday if Lincecum isn't ready, or ends up going in one of the weekend games vs. the Dodgers (highly unlikely). The call-up of Bumgarner now gives the Giants 6 starting pitchers for Bochy to use, and allows him to give some guys an extra day if needed. Even if he doesn't stick in the rotation for the final 3 weeks of the season, he provides the team with another power-armed lefty they can use in middle or long relief along with Dan Runzler.

The September downfall of the Giants hasn't been just about the team being a little banged up. They flat out aren't hitting, and they are really struggling to score runs, even vs. teams and pitchers that they shouldn't have trouble with. They just lost 2 of 3 at home to the San Diego Padres, who are 15 games below .500 and trotted out to the mound guys like Wade LeBlanc and former Giant castoff, Kevin Corriea, and both had their way with the Giants hitters. Freddy Sanchez, who cost the Giants Tim Alderson at the trade deadline, has been a major disappointment so far, I don't care how you sugar coat it. He cost the Giants their second best pitching prospect, and although he's still sporting a respectable average, the dude has been anything but clutch and has been an injury waiting to happen since dawning a Giants uniform. In fact, their isn't one particular game in which I've felt Sanchez has impacted enough to help determine the outcome of. Even Ryan Garko has had a few clutch hits which have helped the Giants pull out victories late in games, but I've yet to see that happen with Sanchez. I may be a tad over-critical of Sanchez right now, but I know what kind of value Alderson had and I certainly feel Sabean could have turned him into more than just Freddy Sanchez. Oh yeah, the Giants are just 8-8 with Sanchez in the starting lineup since he arrived in San Francisco and 12-9 without him. Not a drastic difference, but not the type of impact you'd want out a guy you dealt a top-3 prospect for.

Extras: The next 6 games could really ultimately end up deciding the Giants fate as far as their wild card chances go. They have 3 with the Dodgers this weekend, then host the Rockies for three next week. If the Giants lose ground on the Rockies by the end of that series, they'd essentially need to be perfect for their remaining games and hope that the Rocks hit a rough patch. One thing the Giants do have in favor for them as far as their schedule goes, is that they'll play 12 of their remaining 18 games at home, where they're the best team in the NL.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 2:51 PM, Blogger Schruender said…

    I hated the Alderson trade the moment they made it for the Giants. If they were willing to trade a prospect like that, they probably wouldn't have been too far from getting someone like Cliff Lee who would have helped a lot more.

    By the way perhaps the Giants are chasing the Dodgers now. They lead the Rockies by only 2 games all of a sudden.

  • At 8:33 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Yeah Schruender, I agree %100. I was thinking more along the lines of the two pitching prospects they traded and what they possibly could have gotten had they packaged those 2 together. Looking at what the Red Sox gave up for Victor Martinez, I'm sure the Giants could have gotten Martinez themselves if they started a package with Tim Alderson and Scott Barnes instead of dealing each of those guys individually. I could be completely off base on that assumption, but the Red Sox had to part with only Justin Masterson and a couple of pitching prospects that weren't even in their top-5.

    But that's all said and done with, so we can only dwell on that so much. Let's just hope the Giants go ahead and finish off the season in the same style they finished off the first half of the season (10-5 over their last 15 before the AS break).... And I really hope this is the end of the run for Brian Sabean with SF.

  • At 10:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Why don't the Giants put Sandoval at third, Uribe at short and put Ishikawa and Garko back at first. They started losing once they switched sandoval back over to first, so they should go back and see what happens.

  • At 4:50 PM, Blogger Schruender said…

    You're right about the Red Sox not giving up much for VMart Trevor. The Sox are my team, so I've Masterson a good deal on tv and at the park, and I don't think Masterson will amount to anything more than a number four in his career. The other players they gave up were very high risk and relatively little reward.


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