I’m drinking a jug of coffee and trying to turn on my brain. So, please, forgive me if my writing is a jumbled. I’m getting married in October and every weekend until the Big Day™ is filled with places to go, things to do, and people to see.
But, despite my zombie-like state, a lot of interesting Giants happenings this weekend. Let’s check some of them out:
1. You can come out of your panic room, Buster Posey has indeed signed a contract to play baseball for the San Francisco Giants. Early rumors had Posey inking a major league deal for $7.5M clams, but as it turns out, Posey didn’t actually sign till the end of the deadline. The down-to-the-wire nature of contract negotiations surely had many Giants fans in full panic mode. As it happens, Posey didn’t get a MLB deal but he did get a $6.2M straight signing bonus, the largest in baseball history for a bonus. Welcome to the fold, Buster. If you’ve seen my previous posts on the Giants Top-10 Prospects, I have Posey ranked as the #2 talent in the G’s farm system.
2. After watching Brad Ausmus — The Evil One — slam a line drive off of Tim Lincecum’s leg in his last start, I was waiting and watching with bated breath for his next start against Atlanta. Would he be OK? Would the knee hold up? I’ll let his pitching line do the talking:
7.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 10 SO
I’m not thrilled that he ended up throwing 119 pitches in the start. For PAP believers, Tim ranks #5 and Matt Cain ranks #8 for starting pitchers in the majors. The Giants seem semi-cognizant of the idea of pitch counts, but I’m not sure how cognizant they are.
The hilarity evaporated when Escobar walked and Jones singled with two outs in the eighth, ending Lincecum’s afternoon. He had thrown 119 pitches, which was enough for Bochy. Although Lincecum leads the staff by averaging more than 106 pitches per outing, the Giants remain wary of taxing his arm. Had he elected to leave in Lincecum for the ninth inning, Bochy said, “you’re looking at 135, 140 pitches. We still don’t think that’s worth it.
I know because of Lincecum’s style of pitching — lots of strikeouts with some walks mixed in — that his PC will get pumped up sometimes before the 6th or 7th inning, but my god man, I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face: Please, protect the young arms. Please. As I demonstrated in my post on Wins Above Replacement, Lincecum is by far the best player on the Giants, and the amount of value he provides for what he’s being paid is astronomical. To ensure that he can continue to pitch well isn’t only good baseball sense, it’s good economic sense.
Blogmates RMC drop some Lince-knowledge on us after his 13th win on Sunday against Atlanta:
- 13-3 is the second best start in SF history (5 occurrences). Only a couple hacks named Perry and Marichal were better at 14-2. I venture to guess they had better teams playing behind them, ya think?
- With his sixth double digit strikeout game this year (8 in his career), he ties Marichal (1966) for number 4 on this all time list. Only Schmidt (9 in 2004), Sadecki (8 in 1968), and Montefusco (7 in 1975) are above him. With at least five or so starts left, Tim has a good shot at taking over the lead of that list.
- The Enchanter has limited opponents to 3 or fewer runs in 40 of his 49 career starts, including 21 of 25 this year. The Giants are 26-14 in those forty games. Tim is 17-0 (29 starts) when the Giants score at least three runs for him.
Yeah, he’s OK.
3. Speaking of protecting our young guys, Sanchez is on the 15-day DL with a strained throwing shoulder. Sanchez has blown past any previous innings total in any season for his career and his 2nd half has been bumpy. A result of his workload? Maybe. If the Giants are smart, they’ll shut down Sanchez for the rest of the year. There isn’t much he can gain by trying to continue to start. If the Giants shut him down now, he would miss about 7 starts, which in the big picture, seems pretty insignificant. The Giants have called up Sergio Romo and Matt Palmer will probably take Sanchez’s rotation spot for the near future. Palmer struggled in his first start, but the Giants should give him a few more chances. He has no upside, but if he could just eat some innings from the back of the rotation, the Giants would be happy.
4. Travis Ishikawa hit his first major league HR on Sunday. Since his promotion, he’s 5-13 with 2 2B’s and a HR. Ishikawa should start against all RHP in the majors and the Giants can push Sandoval over to 1B when a lefty is on the mound. Sandoval’s versatility is nice because he can get time in at catcher when Molina needs a break and the occasional start at first when a southpaw takes the hill.
Not a bad weekend.