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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Giants Off to Philly for NLCS

In another tight, tense game, the Giants took care of business and Braves' mistakes in game 4, clinching themselves the series, and a spot in the NLCS!

Once again, the Giants got another great outing out of their starting pitcher, as rookie Madison Bumgarner went 6 strong, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits while striking out 5. The bullpen actually did their job this time (Romo was not used), and held the game for the rook, as Santiago Casilla was brilliant, going 1.2 innings, allowing just 1 base-runner while striking out 2. I think Boch has to roll with him in the 8th inning set-up role to Wilson until he proves otherwise, as he's been downright nasty lately. Over his last 7 innings, he's allowed just 2 hits and a walk with 7 strikeouts, and was really nails all season long. Both Bumgarner's start, and Casilla's relief effort were somewhat overlooked by Brian Wilson's tight-rope save, and the clutch game played by Cody Ross, who went 2-3 with a homer and 2 RBI, and in my mind, was the series MVP. Ross has gone from a late-season pick-up in which kind-of caught people off guard after they just added Jose Guillen, but Ross has worked his way into the lineup and is now one of the teams most important pieces. That said, he better be hitting higher than 8th in game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday. Not that I think Boch should make a bunch of lineup changes, but I'd like to see him move Ross into the 6th spot behind Burrell, and just drop everyone else after that down 1 spot (Uribe to 7th, Fontenot/Sandoval to 8th).

Now, Bumgarner has given Bochy, and himself the confidence that he can pitch in the postseason, and that may be the leg up the Giants have on the Phillies. The Giants have 4 really tough starters and can use the 4-man rotation in the postseason, whereas the Phill's might go with the 3-man rotation, using everyone on short rest. Not too mention, the Giants will be bringing two strong lefties, against a left-handed heavy Phillies lineup. Otherwise, this series is lining up to be a tremendous one in terms of starting pitching match-ups. Not too mention, both of these teams will try and beat you the same way, and that's with the long ball. I'm a little worried about the Giants' offense, who will be going up against a tougher starting rotation than what they saw in Atlanta's (which isn't a bad 3 by any stretch), cause they seemed to have trouble getting to the Braves' starters. The Phills bullpen is a pretty good one too, and is slightly stronger than Atlanta's as well, even with a healthy Billy Wagner.

NLCS Roster Decisions: I'm curious too see if Bochy may want to add either Barry Zito or more likely, Dan Runzler to the roster in order to have another lefty for all the Phillies tough lefties (Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard). And I may think about replacing them with Sergio Romo, who I'm sure Boch has no confidence in using in a tight game right now. For more flexibility, they could go with just 1 catcher in Buster Posey, and use Pablo Sandoval as a back-up if needed for Buster. I don't foresee Eli Whiteside getting any PT in this series anyway. Only thing is, Sandoval has caught just 3 games since the start of 2009. Still, as I said, I don't think the Giants will be needing a back-up catcher all that much as Posey is pretty much going to play every inning of every game... The next roster question would be whether or not Jose Guillen is ready to play or not. If he is, even at just a pinch-hitting/part-time level, and if they have to drop Rowand to add him on, then I'd do that in a heartbeat. There's positives to having Rowand on the roster like his career #'s agains Philly, and the fact that he played there for a few years and knows Cole Hamels and a lot of their relievers... Other than that, I think everything else is fine. So here is the 25-man that I'd roll with If I were Boch and Guillen/Runzler are healthy:

OF: Torres, Schierholtz, Ross, Guillen, Burrell, Rowand

IF/C: Huff, Sanchez, Uribe, Sandoval, Fontenot, Renteria, Ishikawa, Posey

SP: Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez, Bumgarner

RP: Wilson, Casilla, Lopez, Ramirez, Affeldt, Runzler/Romo, Mota
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yeah, I think the Giants outfield is set for next year already.

    Burrell in left, Torres in center and Ross in right. I think all but Burrell are under contract, and you have to think the Giants will re-sign him, right?

  • At 4:06 AM, Anonymous Big Mike said…

    Ross was good, but I'd lead towards Posey as my pick for MVP. Or Just the Giants 4 starters could all share it too. they're the ones that really deserve it. Why don't they make a DS MVP anyway?


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