Expert Analysis: Kevin Correia, he’s pretty good until that one inning where he’s not.
Here’s the pitch count by inning for Correia in last nights 7-6 win over the Dodgers. See if you can find where the trouble started.
Inning PC# 1 12 2 11 3 10 4 14 5 36 6* 7
* Didn’t pitch the full inning, retired one batter, gave up a hit and was pulled.
The Giants hung a 7-0 lead on the Dodgers by the 4th and Correia almost gave it all back by the end of the 5th. Like Correia’s last start, he wasn’t given any favors by the infield defense. Castillo made maybe one of the worst throws I’ve ever seen a major league baseball player make. I’m talking ceremonial first pitch bad. Photographic evidence below.
The picture isn’t of the best quality but can you see the tiny white dot in front of the first base umpire? That’s the ball. Also, notice the Dodgers first base coach doing some weird evasive maneuver to escape Castillo’s errant throw. Here’s the scene. James Loney is leading off the bottom of the 5th and he hits a chopper into the hole between first and second. Castillo ranges left, somewhat lazily, into the gap and gets enough glove on the ball to knock it down. He then, with his back turned to the infield, picks up the ball, turns around, and fires a rolling groundball past the first base umpire. The ball clanks around in the foul territory in front of the first base dugout as Bengie Molina scrambles frantically over to pick it up.
And that was just the start of the inning.
Bengie Molina made a very odd play on a Juan Pierre bunt that resulted in a throwing error. Pierre drops a short bunt right in front of home plate. Molina picks up the ball and looks straight at the runner on 2nd — who is half way down the line by this time — and fakes a throw to third base. It was clear that Molina had no shot at the guy moving to third but he tried his best stare down anyways. Molina then turns to first, after the pump fake to third, and fires the ball past Jose Castillo and John Bowker, neither decided to cover first base. The ball flies down the RF line and Pierre ends up on 2nd base. The Giants made two errors on the night, all in the infield, and all in the 5th inning.
Correia lasted long enough to qualify and earn his first win since April 10th. Bochy used Tyler Walker in the 7th inning — after he was quoted in the papers as saying that he would use the dreaded matchups to decide 8th inning work — and let Taschner handle setup duties. Taschner looked good, striking out two hitters in his scoreless inning of work. I still think Taschner is one of our most tradable bullpen pieces and if the Giants can find a match, they’ll move him.
Funny quote from Tasch in the SFGiants.com recap on trade rumors:
“I’ve been a Giant for 10 seasons, since before the turn of the century,” said Taschner, who joined the organization as a second-round Draft choice in 1999. “What happens, happens. That’s the part of baseball you have no control over. All I can control is what I throw for strikes and how good my beard looks.”
Nice. Brian Wilson finished the game with a 14-pitch 9th inning, an incredible economical appearance for Wilson who sometimes pushes 30+ pitches to get a save.
Trade Rumors Update: Light update this morning on the Molina-to-the-Marlins story that popped up earlier this week. The Marlins are believed to have narrowed their search for a catcher down to four targets: Bengie Molina, Gerald Laird, Ramon Hernandez, and Ryan Doumit. It’s believed that the Marlins would like to include Mike Jacobs in a trade for a catcher and the Giants reportedly had scouts at the Mets-Marlins game on Monday night.
I’m not big on Jacobs, his power is legit but he strikes out a good bit and has a bad defensive reputation at first. I’m not a believer in “must have JT Snow-like defense” at first base but Jacobs could be one of the worst fielders at that position — he had a -10 in ’07 by the Fielding Bible. In addition to his contact problems, he’s 27-years-old this year and could be theoretically peaking. Jacobs’ boost in power this year is largely due to an increase on his HR/F%. 19.3% of Jacobs flyballs have left the park this year. His ISO of .266 is a career high as well.
Pablo Sandoval’s success in AA could entice the Giants to conisder Molina trades but I don’t think it will happen for a couple of reasons. First, this team overvalues Molina to an extent. Especially in intangible areas like clubhouse leadership and other nebulous concepts. Molina, whether you want to believe it was a case of GM negotiation tactics or not, has landed on Sabes ‘Do-Not-Trade’ list along with Randy Winn. Statements from Sabean — ignoring the “His clock is winding down” blurb from this year — have tended to praise Molina heavily, he called him the team MVP of ’07. Second, as much as Bowker has struggled lately, I’d prefer to give him AB’s for the rest of this season than to transplant him to the bench to share time with Jacobs. Jacobs would be a poor platoon partner because he’s struggled to hit LHP in his career and the jury is still out on Bowker’s abilities to handle lefties at the plate. Jacobs would make a little sense for the Giants if the team could move Molina and Winn, creating an open spot for Bowker in the outfield, but I seriously doubt that both Molina and Winn will be traded this year.
The article also hints that the Marlins are looking for a lefty reliever and Taschner could be considered.