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Showing posts from September, 2009

Giants Notes

The Rockies magic number for clinching a wild card birth is down to just 1 with 6 games remaining, so the Giants should be mathematically eliminated either today or tomorrow. And, although the season ends in a week, there are still some things I'd like to see happen with this club before the book closes on the 2009 season. We talked a bit in the last post about giving Buster Posey some playing time behind the plate to see if he may be ready to take reigns of the Giants catching position at some point in 2010. Posey has actually started 2 of the last 3 ballgames, but hasn't done much with the bat yet. He's just 1-10 in his first 10 big league ab's. This is exactly why I wish they would have started playing the kid a couple weeks ago. If he finishes off the season struggling, it could very well mess with his confidence level coming into spring training next year. I don't think that will necessarily happen with Posey, but it's no secret that a positive showing in

Giants Un-officially Out of Race

After making a nice push last week after they beat the Rockies in 2 of 3 games in San Francisco and moved to within 2.5 games of them, it looked like the Giants were going to take this race down to the wire. However, they've really started to fall apart on their recent road trip, and sit 5 games back of the Rockies with just 11 games to go. Now, I've seen weirder things happen than a team overcoming a 5 game deficit with just 11 to go, but the Giants seem to be struggling more and more each day while the Rockies look determined to seal this thing up. After Tim Lincecum got roughed up by LA on Sunday, and then seeing Matt Cain get pounded around by the D-Backs in Tuesday's loss, I think it's finally sunk in that the Giants are not going to be a playoff team in 2009. They just don't look like a team that's playing with urgency or are fighting for their playoff lives. Maybe it's just me, but I'm really not seeing it. Their starting pitching, which has been

Johnson Returns As Reliever

Randy Johnson hasn't thrown a pitch for the Giants since July 5th, but the lanky left-handed legend has been activated from the 60-day DL and the Giants expect him to contribute out of the bullpen for the rest of the season. With Brad Pe nny now in the rotation, and Jonathan Sanchez and Barry Zito each pitching very well, there really wasn't a spot in the rotation for the Big Unit anyway, so bringing him back in relief is actually a plus for this team. Right now, Jeremy Affeldt is the only left-handed reliever who Bruce Bochy really trusts with the game on the line, and now Johnson gives him another. Dan Runzler, who was among the September call-ups, has thrown very well in his limited appearances, but those have been in lopsided games and I don't think Bochy has the confidence in the young lefty to throw him out there with a game on the line in the middle of a pennant race. I'm stoked to see how Johnson does out of the pen and I have a feeling he's going to be ligh

Giants Need To Win This Series

A lot of people are already writing the Giants off in the NL Wild Card race. They're offense seems to be getting worse as the season draws near the end, and it almost seems as if they're just playing out the year, rather than fighting for a playoff spot. This post will be a little shorter than our normal posts here at the Giants Baseball Blog, just because it won't take a whole post to say what needs to be said. The Giants have Tim Lincecum going tonight, in his first start since September 3rd, and it's anyones guess as to how his back will hold up throwing for the first time in 10 days. The Giants need him to be his dominant self though, as they'll need Matt Cain and Barry Zito to be as well. The Giants have it set up to where they'll have their three hottest arms going against the Rockies, and they're really in a great position to sweep this series if they can somehow manage to get the offense going early. One tip I'd have for Bochy is to give Andres T

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 nex t 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

Penny Proving Pivotal

The Baseball world didn't take too much out of the Giants signing of Brad Penny last week. He struggled through most of the season in Boston and I don't think anyone really expected much out of him the rest of the way. However, he's shown up in San Francisco and has gone above and beyond the expectations which the Giants had for him over his first two starts. Penny followed up his Giants debut start last Wednesday (in which he held the potent Philly offense scoreless over 8 innings) with a 7 inning, 2 run, 6 strikeout victory over the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park on Monday afternoon. Penny is looking very comfortable back here in the NL West, and has really solidified the back-end of the Giants rotation with Randy Johnson on the shelve. The big right-hander looks strong and motivated and I'm really expecting him to keep up his solid performance over the season's final 3 weeks. In fact, he's looked so strong in his 2 outings with the Giants, that he's go

Interview with SI's Tom Verducci

We recently had a chance to catch-up with SI's senior baseball writer, and one of the best baseball minds in the media as far as we're concerned, Tom Verducci. We talked to Tom a little bit about the Giants chances at the postseason and got his views on what the future holds for some of the younger players on the roster, so here it is: Q1: How do you see the NL Wild Card playing out? The Giants had the lead for a while there to start the second half, but their offense has gone stagnant and the Rockies are really heating up. Any chance the Giants re-gain their momentum over the last month and re-take the lead, or do you see the Rockies (or Dodgers if they continue to stumble) staying atop the bunch in the NL? A: I'm guessing it's going to take about 92 wins to win the wild card. The Giants would need to go 23-12 to get there. Can they do it? Sure. They've already had a 23-12 run this season. We know they have the pitching to do it. But the injuries to key offensive p

Giants Add Brad Penny

We talked about it in our last post on Friday, and it came to fruition on Monday evening. The Giants had been looking for another starting pitcher to help for the stretch run for the last couple of weeks, and signed Brad Penny on Monday, giving the team another veteran presence in the rotation as they try and push for a playoff birth. Penny didn't have the best year in Boston, his first season in the American League, but he feels good and he did scatter a few decent outings in there over his last 5-6 starts. Regardless of what he did in Boston, the Giants are hoping a return to the National League West, where he had tremendous success as a Dodger, will re-focus the big fella and get him back on track. It looks like Penny will likely take the fifth spot in the rotation behind Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, the new Barry Zito and Jonathan Sanchez. I am not expecting too much out of Penny, but I really do think he has the chance to make a big impact on the Giants chances if he can revert ba