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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Giants 'Walk' Their Way to Loss

You aren't going to win many games where your pitchers can't find the strike zone. It hasn't happened to the Giants' arms often lately, but it did them in on Saturday.

After a couple impressive wins to start their big four-game set with Atlanta, the Giants ran into some rare pitching difficulties with their left-handed stopper Madison Bumgarner. It was a complete 180 from the previous two games as the Giants couldn't get anything going early and the top of the order was shut down by Mike Minor. Bumgarner, who's been so good at home with an 8-1 record heading into Saturday's start, just didn't have it Saturday. He walked 4 batters and gave up 4 runs in 6 innings of work in one of his more mediocre starts in recent weeks. He didn't have that uncanny command to the corners, especially with the breaking ball, that he did in LA during his last start and the Braves hitters waited him out and worked counts in their favor. The Giants walked 7 Atlanta hitters (including 2 more by the suddenly struggling Jeremy Affeldt) while Braves' pitching didn't walk one Giant. San Francisco did manage to get three runs on the board to move to within a run of Atlanta in the 7th, but their pitching just couldn't keep the Braves down on this day.

The Giants still have the series lead heading into Sunday's game in which they'll send out Matt Cain in attempt to seal it for them. It's not going to be easy though as the Braves left-handed bats are all heating up, and Gonzalez is going to make sure Cain will be seeing plenty of them on Sunday. The Giants ace needs to take a page from the book of Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong, who kept getting strike one on seemingly every batter Thursday and Friday and had tremendous success with that plan of attack.

Oh yeah, by the way, there was also a small deal made by the Dodgers this weekend, in case you didn't hear, and it has the baseball world buzzing. Since late July, the Dodgers have restocked their roster, and will have another new look to them when they come to AT&T Park in a couple weeks after swinging a mega-deal for Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto. Gonzalez will go right into the starting lineup for the Dodgers and provide them a massive upgrade over James Loney at first, but other than that, the other incoming players in this deal do not impress me much at all, and the Dodgers had to take on a quarter of a billion clams in order to get them all. Carl Crawford won't even help them until next season, and he's gotten so banged up the last few years that he's nowhere near the player he was coming up in Tampa Bay. Josh Beckett has been terribly mediocre as well in 2012 and isn't anywhere near the pitcher he was when Boston got him for Florida. He's had major injury issues as well. A-Gon will help them out, I have no question about that, but I don't see this deal at all as a division-clincher for LA. After all, you can't buy team chemistry, and that's an area the Giants have them beat, hands down.

As for what the Giants may do in response to this deal, they really don't have a whole lot of options. With the waiver process, all teams behind the Giants in the standings have first rights to waived players and I don't think LA will let a quality outfielder, or even a good late reliever just fall to them. The Giants are likely going to have to finish this off with the bunch they currently have, and they're more than capable of doing so if they stick to what's gotten them into this position in the first place; sturdy pitching and competent at-bats!
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Carl Eddison said…

    I really hope the Malins smash the smug Dodgers. I fricken hate LA. Are they wanting to become the Yankees of the West or what? 260 Million in payroll just to make sure they get Gonzalez!?

  • At 6:33 PM, Anonymous HoosierDaddy said…

    What about Heath Bell. You think LA would claim him if the marlins let him go on waivers? The Giants need a closer now more than ever. OR if not bell, what ever happened with Heath Hembree? Haven't heard his name since the beginning of the season. Thought he was going to be the Giants backup plan.

  • At 6:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Barf, Gonzalez 3-run dinger in first at bat with bums... Booooooooooooo:(

  • At 7:03 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Hoosier- Highly doubt the Dodgers let Bell slip to the Giants. He's starting to pitch well again, and after all, what's another 20+ Million in salary to LA at this point?

    Hembree got off to a slow start with Fresno, then got hurt and missed a few months. He just got back on the field last week, so it's unlikely he'll be ready to contribute much to the big club. Maybe in September if he finishes strongly, but not a candidate to closer for the G's this season.

  • At 7:58 PM, Anonymous Henry415 said…

    OK, Giants BUllpen is officially starting to worry me.

  • At 5:08 AM, Anonymous Social Networking Sites said…

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