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Showing posts from July, 2012

Giants Deal for Pence, Can't Land Reliever

 I woke up to some good news this morning, flipping on KNBR to hear the Giants and Phillies have agreed on a deal that will bring in a much needed impact bat. Hunter Pence Coming to Town After seeing their offense wilt over the weekend vs. the Dodgers, it was clear the Giants needed a boost. They got just that Tuesday, sending young catching prospect Tommy Joseph, Nate Schierholtz and an minor league arm to Philly for the guy I think was the best bat in this trade market, Hunter Pence. The thing I really like about this move is it's not a half season rental. Pence will be around for 2013 and could give the Giants a good security blanket in case they can't re-sign Melky Cabrera this winter. He's going to come right in and hit in the middle of the order and should provide a huge boost to the sputtering offense. Giving up Joseph certainly isn't easy to do, but the one area the Giants are pretty deep at is catcher so that was the area of strength to deal from

Bullpen Slips in Fifth Straight Loss

The Giants losing streak hit four games Monday night after losing a late one to the Mets and they've really seen their bullpen get lit up over the last few days. Now it's decision time! It was just 5 days ago everybody was talking about sweeping LA again and running away with the West but now just about 12 hours away from the non-waiver trade deadline, plenty of Giants fans are singing a different tune. The rival LA Dodgers further improved their team Monday night, acquiring a guy I was hoping the Giants would make a run at in Seattle closer Brandon League. The Giants sure could have used him Monday night too, cause their bullpen just couldn't get the job done in support of Madison Bumgarner and a gutsy offensive performance. The Giants got beat with their best as Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla each took turns surrendering a lead. Both gave up long home runs to infamous "Giant Killer" Scott Hairston and the pen just couldn't lock down the victory. It was

Is Marco Scutaro Enough?

The Giants made a move I'd been anticipating all month, adding some infield depth and another right-handed bat, sending Charlie Culberson to Colorado for veteran Marco Scutaro. Giants add Scutaro No, it's not a blockbuster move, but it will help. Scutaro is a solid infielder and has a clutch bat and should be a welcome addition to a thin San Francisco infield. With Pablo Sandoval and Hector Sanchez each on the DL, it has cut into the Giants infield rotation heavily and the addition of Scutaro should help out on that end. One thing I do like about this deal is the Giants didn't have to part with too much in order to add the middle infielder. I've always liked Charlie Culberson and he's still pretty young, but I don't think the Giants really saw him as a potential future starting second basemen. I'm just kind of curious to see how Bochy will work Scutaro into the lineup? We could see him move into third base, sending Pablo across the diamond to first whe

Another Series Win, Another Missed Sweep

Something about game three's are giving this team trouble as they failed to complete a three-game sweep for a third consecutive series. The Giants have won every single series since the All-Star break, but have swept just one team. Lincecum back-steps First off, the most important thing to point out is that they are managing to take each series they play, and are playing good baseball all in all. It's tough to complain too much when they're in first place and beating teams they should, but they had a great opportunity for a sweep today vs. San Diego and both their offense and pitching did not show up. Tim Lincecum took the hill again after two very impressive outings to start the second half, and he had his swing and miss stuff again Wednesday, but unfortunately his command eluded him. He managed to mow down 8 batters in 4 2/3 innings, but he also allowed 10 base runners and  two home runs in under 5 innings of work. On the other side, Jason Marquis, who's been so

Search for Bullpen Help Intensifies

The Giants have hiked up their efforts to find late relief help after losing in extra innings to narrowly miss sweeping the Phillies this weekend. Giants Interested in Perez A lot of Giants headlines Monday revolved around Cleveland Indians' closer Chris Perez. It's no secret the Brian Sabean has been searching high and low for relief help this month, especially late relievers, and apparently Perez may be the best, most attainable fit for this team. This really shouldn't come as a surprise though. Perez has been on the block seemingly every year since arriving in Cleveland via the Cardinals, and the Giants just happen to be the one contender searching desperately for relief help. I've never been overly impressed by Chris Perez, but he's had a solid year this season, converting 26 of 28 save opportunities. He's not a particularly overpowering right arm or elite closer, but he typically gets the job done. He's also been closing out games a lot longer tha

Giants Peaking Again

Just about a month ago, the Giants were playing very similar to the way they are right now, and took over first place from the LA Dodgers. Now it will be interesting to see if they can hang onto the lead this time around. Lincecum gets back in W column San Francisco just got done taking game two of their three-game set with the Phillies, after another valiant effort from Tim Lincecum Friday night followed by a comeback win in extra innings Saturday. That gives the Giants another shot at a sweep on this road trip that they've absolutely dominated. This team has shown they can beat you in a variety of ways, especially since the break, and that's what makes them such a tough matchup right now. The difference between their play now and their play a month back is that they finally appear to be getting some consistency out of Tim Lincecum. His start on Friday again was reminiscent of his Cy Young-winning form and defeating Philly should be an even bigger step in the right direc

Trade Chatter and Deadline Obstacles

The Giants couldn't quite pull of the sweep of the Atlanta Braves Thursday afternoon, but they'll head to Philly with a firm 2.5 game lead on the Dodgers and are reportedly expanding their search for outside help. Pablo Getting Looks at 1B With the Trade Deadline inching closer and closer, the rumors have started to run rampant regarding the Giants and who they could target in the next 10 days. One of those players is said to be in Philadelphia, as numerous sources have them interested in third basemen Placido Polanco. I came to the realization this team needed another infielder when it was clear Freddy Sanchez wouldn't be returning, but I still don't see a terrific fit out there for this club. I'm sorry, but the aging, slow Polanco isn't what this team needs and I can't understand why Sabean would even pursue that target. Didn't he learn anything last year with the Orlando Cabrera deal? Plus, Polanco has been playing third base for Philly, and unl

Break Out the Bats!

In what could very well be a preview of an upcoming playoff matchup in Atlanta, the Giants got off to a perfect start. They backed Barry Zito's excellent performance with a hit parade, scoring 9 runs by the fifth and knocking Jair Jurggens out before he could exit the fourth. Posey Leads SF with 52 RBI Buster Posey again was the offensive catalyst Tuesday, going 3-5 with 2 doubles and 5 RBI. The Giants' catcher has been on a tear since the Giants came out of the break, single-handily carrying the offense in their sweep over the Astros over the weekend, and has carried that right into the Atlanta series. The difference between last weekends games and Tuesday night's affair was that he wasn't the only one doing the damage. He did drive in half the teams runs but was only able to do so because the top part of the order got their job done. The top of the order has been a bit of an issue lately, but they showed what will happen when they get on for the middle part of t

Giants Alone in First After Sweep

The Giants went limping into the All-Star break last week, but they've come out sprinting in the second half. After sweeping the Astros at AT&T this weekend, the Giants moved back into sole possession of first place in the NL West. Lincecum Shut Down Houston This team certainly looked like a rested bunch for this weekends set, especially in the starting pitching department. They got terrific starts out of all three starters in the series, including a 7-inning, 2-hit victory by Madison Bumgarner Friday night, and a strong start by Matt Cain in the finale Sunday. Oddly enough, the most dominant outing came from the guy that absolutely needed to start the second half off strong, but didn't even factor in the decision (Tim Lincecum). Granted, it was against the Astros, hardly the most imposing lineup in the NL, Lincecum looked like a completely different pitcher than the guy who was knocked out in the 4th inning in Washington during his last start. The one big difference

Keys to the Second Half

The second half of the baseball season kicks off Friday night, with the Giants hosting the Houston Astros for three at AT&T Park. With the Giants still a game out in the West, and the Dodgers still missing their top hitters, first place is easily reachable, but they need some things to change. Lincecum Key to 2nd Half First and foremost, obviously, they're going to need Timmy to be solid if nothing else in this second half. I'm not expecting Lincecum to all the sudden find his groove and become the ace of this staff again overnight, but he's got to start stringing some quality starts together. Not only does he need to get off to a good start for his own sake, but I've said all along that this team isn't a serious playoff threat with Lincecum throwing the way he has been. The Giants are losing every game the guy pitches and it's got to start taking a toll on the everyday players too. It's a shame this is happening to Tim this year too, because all t

Melky Takes All-Star Game MVP

If your a Giants fan, you had to love how things turned out in Kansas City Tuesday, with the Giants four starters stealing the show from right out of the gate. Melky Gets MVP Trophy First off, for all the New York Met fans that were very bitter over the fact that Matt Cain and Pablo Sandoval beat out R.A. Dickey and David Wright to start the game; time to start singing a different tune after the way those two played. In fact, all the Giants' All-Stars proved their worth and were instrumental in helping the NL beat the AL for home field advantage in the Fall Classic. Melky Cabrera got the NL going in the top of the first inning with a bloop hit to left field, a knock we've seen regularly from the all-star right fielder. That really opened things up for the National League, as they started roping Justin Verlander. The biggest blow though didn't come until Pablo Sandoval stepped up and cleared the bases with a 3-run triple that scored starting catcher, Buster Posey. The

Giants Fade Into All-Star Break

The first half of the baseball season officially ended Sunday, and the Giants finished just about as badly as they could. They lost 5 of their last 6 games and have seen their pitching come unraveled a bit here in July. Lincecum Running Out of Rope After a rough three game set in Washington, I knew the Giants were heading into Pittsburgh needing a series win for morale, but they didn't fair much better vs. the Pirates than they did in Washington. They did manage to squeak out a victory in the series opener with a nice offensive output, but their offensive output Friday night was about the only positive thing to come out of this series. Tim Lincecum took the mound in the rubber match Sunday after a solid outing from Ryan Vogelsong in Saturday's loss, but Lincecum was again atrocious. If there's one Giant who needs these next 4 days off more than anyone, it's number 55. I've said since the day Lincecum started struggling that they Giants would need him to turn i

Giants Go Winless in Washington

In a series that many baseball people were calling a potential NLCS Preview, the Giants certainly didn't look the part in their matchup with the East-leading Washington Nationals. Even Cain couldn't beat the Nats The Giants were blown out in the first two games of the series, then had a late 5-1 lead in Thursday's finale that they coughed up. The pitching in Washington was just brutal all series, outside of Matt Cain's first 6 innings on Thursday. Tim Lincecum started things off in Tuesday's rainy mess by taking a huge step backward after a couple consecutive promising starts, and that really set the tone for the series. The Giants looked lost at the plate and especially out on the mound. The starters, Lincecum and Bumgarner really were responisble for letting Washington get out to huge leads early on in Tuesday and Wednesday's game, but Matt Cain did a pretty good job of giving the bullpen some rest and giving the team a quality outing Thursday, only to s

Giants Sending Four to All-Star Game

It's been a while since the Giants had three starters in an All-Star game, but that's exactly what they'll have next week at the annual mid-summer classic in Kansas City. Posey Led NL in Votes Pablo Sandoval was voted in as the starting 3rd basemen, Buster Posey as the starting catcher and Melky Cabrera as a starting outfielder. Those names really shouldn't surprise anyone, as they were at the top of the voting at their respective positions for a while now, but the one that does kind of surprise me is Pablo Sandoval. He's been solid when he's been out there, but to miss a month in the first half and still get voted in takes some help on the fans behalf. Melky was leading the league in hitting for a good portion of the first half and certainly deserved the nod, so it was good to see the fans show up late and help get him in. Buster has been the leading catcher for the NL since balloting opened up (finishing with an NL-high 7.6M votes) so he'll be attend