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Showing posts from June, 2009

Sanchez Bounced to Bullpen

It's been under consideration for the better part of a month now, and on Sunday evening in Milwaukee, Bruce Bochy finally made the decision. Jonathan Sanchez is temporarily out of the Giants' rotation, and will pitch in relief for the time-being. Filling in for Sanchez on Sunday was 26 year-old Ryan Sadowski, and he was brilliant in his big league debut. Sadowski shut down one of the best hitting teams in the NL, in one of the toughest parks to pitch in. The right- hander gave the Giants 6 solid innings, in which he allowed just 4 hits, while striking out 2 batters and keeping the Brewers off the board. The quality start was good enough to give Sadowski, who's been in the minors since being drafted by the Marlins in 2003, his first big league victory, and also saved the Giants from being swept by the Brew Crew. Not only was Sadowski impressive, but the guy who's spot he took, Jonathan Sanchez, was pretty darn good out of the pen in his own right. Sanchez pitched the 9th

Giants Still Need 2 Bats

We're just a few days away from July, and about 5 weeks from the MLB , non-waiver trade deadline. The Giants have been discussed a lot over recent weeks, as they try to find another bat to help their below-average offense, but I think that they need more than just one stick. Sure, bringing in a guy like Nick Johnson, or Aubrey Huff (two potential rent-a-players who the Giants could probably attain without parting with one of their premiere prospects) would give a boost to the clubs offense, but I don't think that an addition of one solid bat alone, unless on course it's a game changer and premier bat, will put this team over the hump. So I have been scanning the league a little bit, and found a possible trade partner for the Giants, in which they may be able to realistically add a couple of impact-type bats without giving up Bumgarner , Alderson or Posey . That team is the Baltimore Orioles. The O's are in last place in a tough AL East division, and probably will be l

Lincecum Dominates The A's

After losing game one of the second Bay Bridge Series of 2009, the Giants took game two, ensuring their season victory over their cross-bay rivals. The star of the show was once again, '08 Cy Young winner, Tim Lincecum. "The Franchise" threw his second complete game of the season (fourth of his career) en route to beating the A's 4-1. Lincecum struck out 12 batters, while walking just two, and needing only 108 pitches to get through the 9 innings. There were a few times late in the ballgame in which the A's put some runners on base with less than 2 outs, but Lincecum had the double-play ball going for him when he needed it as well. The only run the A's mustered off of him was a mistake fastball that he left up to Jason Giambi, in which Giambi put in the right-field bleachers. Other than that, the kid was once again nails, and furthered his case for starting for the NL in the All-Star game, which is just 3 weeks away. I think Timmy should get the nod for a coup

Giants Back on Track, Sweep Texas

The Giants reverted to their early-season form during their previous series with the Angels, but definitely got back on track vs. Texas over the weekend. The Giants swept the Rangers and put themselves back atop in the NL Wild Card standings. The Giants received some rock-solid pitching over the 3-game set with Texas and got just enough hitting to make that pitching stand-up. The two starting performances that really stood out were Matt Cain's 8 inning, 3 hit, 1 run, 9 strikeout performance Saturday, followed by Barry Zito's 7 inning, 2 earned run, 8 strikeout performance. Unfortunately, as was the case in so many of his starts over the last 2 seasons, the Giants offense couldn't come up with enough support to supply Cain with the victory, although they did end up winning the ballgame. It wasn't just the starters who carried the team this weekend though, the relievers played a big part as well. The Giants bully provided 8 1/3 innings of scoreless relief this weekend, wi

Giants' Draft Interview

For the final chapter of our 2009 MLB amateur draft coverage, I had a chance to catch up with Brian Foley of The College Baseball Blog for our annual draft recap interview. Brian's been extremely busy over at the College Blog, covering the CWS, but made some time to answer a few quick questions on some of the college kids the Giants drafted: Q : There were some other polished college arms (Aaron Crow, Alex White and Mike Leake etc..) and a 5-tool shortstop in Grant Green available to them. Who would have been your pick at 6 if you ran the Giants? BF : I would have picked Alex White as I think he was the best college pitcher available after Strasburg . I saw Leake's performance against Texas in the College World Series and was less than impressed as he is undersized and really doesn't have the front of the rotation stuff to be worth the eighth pick like he was. Q : I know you've seen a lot of the Giants third round pick, third basemen Chris D omi nguez from Louisvil

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 8 th inning, and gave the '08 NL Cy Young winner his second loss of the

Sandoval an All-Star?

The first half of Monday nights Giants-Angels game wasn't pretty. The Giants were down 8-0 in the fourth inning and those not at the ballpark probably started looking for something else to watch on television. However, even though they still lost, the Giants showed some fight by coming back and making it just a 2-run ballgame, something they haven't really done over the last few years. A big reason for that comeback was Pablo Sandoval. In the last post, I talked a little bit about how Sandoval's kind of taken over as "the man" in the Giants offense, but on Monday night, he really proved it. The Giants' rotund third basemen/first basemen/catcher had himself his best night as a Major Leaguer. Sandoval went 3-5, with 2 jacks and 4 RBI and almost single handily brought the Giants back into the ballgame. With 3 more hits in the game, Sandoval raised his average to a season high .332, good for second amongst NL third basemen. With the way he's played lately, San

Cain's Gem Sweeps A's

The Giants had been floating at around .500 for most of the first half of the season. However, since June hit, they've been on a tear, going 9-4 through the month's first 14 days, and raising their record to a season-high, 6 games above .500. Matt Cain upped his record to 9-1 and helped the Giants defeat the A's for the third straight time, completing the sweep of their cross-bay nemesis on Sunday. If there were any doubt as whether or not Cain deserved to be an NL All-Star before this start, it was all erased today. The 24 year-old allowed just 4 hits over the complete game masterpiece, striking out 9 A's en route to the victory. The big stat for Cain on this day though was the goose egg in the base on balls column. That was the reason why he was able to finish this one out. If he had walked 3-4 batters like he normally does, he wouldn't have lasted through the 8 th , as he had to still throw 119 pitches to complete it. With the outing, Cain dropped his season era

Lewis, Sanchez Struggling to Reach Potential

The Giants have a few guys on their roster with very high ceilings, but are just not getting it done right now. Those two guys are Fred Lewis and Jonathan Sanchez. To a lesser extent, you can also throw Nate Schierholtz into that mix. Fred Lewis started off the year on a tear. He was hitting over .350 for the better part of April, while getting on base around %45 of the time. Lewis looked like a prime candidate for the lead-off spot, cause he really wasn't driving in runs in the middle of the order, even with the high average. However, ever since the Giants moved him around, he's hit a wall. His average has been steadily declining since early May, and he still isn't really producing any runs (only 8 RBI through June 12). He's now sitting at .256, and the lack of run production is really starting to hurt the Giants lineup. Nate Schierholtz has gotten a few shots to get himself some more PT in the outfield, but he's done very little to prove that he deserves it. Schie

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Giants Find Value In Day 2

After grabbing the top prep arm in the draft, and a couple of power bats on day one of 2009 MLB Amateur draft, the Giants entered day two looking for the best possible value they could find. They grabbed one of the best closers from the collegiate level over the last few years, a high school power arm that could develop into another hard-throwing, elite starting pitching prospect and a few big bats that could inject the organization with some pop. With their first pick in day two, the Giants took RHP Jason Stoffel , a hard-throwing closer out of Arizona. Stoffel was considered a possible first-round pick coming into the year, but he wasn't as effective this year as he was the last few which was why he fell to the Giants in the fourth. Stoffel throws 91-94 MPH with good command and a decent, hard curveball. He's pitched in some big games and chaotic atmosphere's over his years at Arizona and he's shined in those situations, which should translate well into late relief in

Giants Take Zach Wheeler At 6

Well, the 2009 MLB Amateur draft has officially begun, and the Giants first pick is in the books. I think they were really hoping that either Tyler Matzek or Zach Wheeler ended up falling to them at 6, and when the Orioles surprised by taking Matt Hobgood at 5, the Giants then had their choice as to which prep arm to take. Goes to show you just how unpredictable this MLB draft can be. I talked a little about Zack Wheeler a few posts back here but I really thought they were leaning towards Tyler Matzek, especially after the lefty from Capistrano, California touched 99 mph on the gun in a recent high school playoff game. However, Wheeler was generally considered to be the slightly better arm of the two, and I think the Giants may have been leaning toward Matzek thinking that Wheeler would be taken between picks 3-5. Wheeler is a big, power arm from Georgia who was widely thought of as the best high school pitcher in this draft (and there's about 6 of them that are all really close).

Lincecum/Giants Shine Through Rain

Today's going to be a little unique here at the Giants Baseball Blog. Since the Giants have been on a roll, I wanted to definitely get a post out discussing what's been going on with them this weekend. However, since the draft takes place tomorrow, this is my last chance to get my final take in on that, so I will post a mini-mock draft post in addition to this one, so be sure to scroll down and check that out. The Giants took t he third game of the Giants/Marlins 4-game set on Sunday, waiting out an hour long rain-delay and getting a gutsy outing from "The Franchise". Tim Lincecum went 7 1/3 innings on Sunday, allowing two runs in the eighth inning on a rare mistake to Chris Coghlan hit out of the yard. Lincecum didn't necessarily have his best stuff on Sunday, as he walked 4 and only struck out 4, but he figured out a way to get out of trouble when he had to and really was cruising until Coghlan ran into that hanging breaking ball. Timmy's recent outing final

Giants Mini-Mock Draft

The MLB Amateur draft starts Tuesday afternoon, and this will be the last chance I get to touch on the draft before the Giants take their first pick tomorrow. Since I'm not too familiar with all the prospects entering the draft, and really only have seen stuff on the top 200 or so prospects, I can only project out the early part of the draft. And since we're a Giants blog, I'm going to stick with strictly Giants picks, so here we go: Giants Early-Round Mock Draft : Pick #6 : LHP Tyler Matzek , Capistrano HS, California : There's a chance both Alex White and Matzek will both be available here, but after seeing how high- schooler's Tim Alderson and Madison Bumgarner responded after being taken early in 2007, the Giants may want to go that route again. Matzek is clearly the best high school arm available in the draft. He's got picture perfect mechanics and already throws 93 mph with consistency. Oh yeah, he's got a nasty curve to go along with it. He&

A Look Beyond Round 1: MLB Draft Talk

The MLB draft is quickly approaching, as there are only three full days left for teams and a scouts to finalize their respective draft boards and start putting their plans in motion. I talked a couple posts back about a few guys who very well could end up with the Giants at pick number 6, so in this post we were going to look beyond round one of the draft look at some guys outside of the consensus top-30. OF's Kent Matthes and Marc Krauss : These two are a couple of the biggest college power hitters in the draft and both are coming off of big seasons. Matthes , from Alabama, hit 28 bombs in 2009, to go along with 81 RBI and a .365 average in just 197 at-bats. He was widely thought to be the SEC's most dangerous hitter in '09. I know it's only college, but his HR ratio translates out to nearly a home run every 6 at-bats, which is ridiculously good no matter what level your at. Baseball America has Matthes ranked 63rd in the overall draft pool, so if he were still aro

Johnson Goes For 300

The only thing that's holding The Big Unit back from getting that elusive 300 th victory was some wet weather in the Nation's capital, but it looks like they will get the games in on Thursday. Now, I'm writing this post just before the first game of that double header is starting, so I will probably add a foot note to this post, or maybe add another quick post with the results of the Johnson game when it finishes, so check back after the game. However, I did want to touch on Johnson here just a little bit since I haven't really discussed him much in recent posts. Johnson has been very inconsistent in his brief Giants' career so far, but he's turned in a couple of gems his last 2 times out. Over his last 2 starts, The Unit has pitched 11.1 innings, allowing just 9 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 12 batters. Randy Johnson is 45 years-old, so he's not going to pitch into the 8 th and 9 th innings any longer. I think he's starting to realize that and

Prospect Discussion

FantasyBaseballHotStove caught up with me yesterday and had some questions about some young Giants' farmhands. Here is a transcript below: FBHS: What are the chances of Tim Alderson getting called up this season? What about Madison Bumgarner ? How excited are you for the point in time where the name "Madison Bumgarner" is a household name? TC: There is a very slight chance they come up in September when the rosters expand, but I wouldn't hold my breath. With the Giants' current starting pitching depth, there is really no reason to rush them either. If I had to guess as far as when they'd make their major league debuts, I'd say we're probably looking at June 2010. That said, they've been doing all they possibly can to fast-track themselves at the minor league level. Bumgarner's gone 4-0 in four outings since his promotion to AA Connecticuit. He's also striking out over a batter an inning, good for a 4:1strikeout/walk ratio, while carryi