I haven’t seen a Giants game in days. It was partially because of the long weekend — and having better things to do than watch a .400 baseball team get beat — but also because I’m burnt out on the Giants right now. I haven’t caught a game since Lincecum’s one hundred and glickity glick billion pitch performance against the Rockies way back on last Wednesday.
What did I miss over the last four games?
~ Sparkles, professional male pitcher, threw 3.1 innings of 8-run ball against a depleted Reds offense that has lost both Adam “I Hate Baseball” Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. The loss dropped Zito’s ERA+ to 76 and puts him just two scant losses behind Ray Sadecki’s 18 loss 1968 season for the most losses by a Giants starting pitcher since the team moved to San Francisco in 1957. Remember that the Giants mercifully pulled Zito from the rotation earlier this year and if they hadn’t, he might already be at 17 losses.
~ Touching on Zito again, most of his success has been against very poor offensive teams. Here’s some numbers on the teams that Zito has beaten:
|Team (Wins)||Runs Rank||OPS Rank||EqA|
I included EqA because it’s park adjusted. The Padres are 15th in the National League in runs scored but if you look at Petco’s Park Factor of 0.90 (1.0 is neutral) you’ll see that they play in the toughest park in the majors to score runs in. Their EqA of .255 isn’t good but it’s a lot better than just looking at unadjusted park numbers.
Zito has beaten the Nationals and Padres twice. The Nat’s, who’ve been decimated by injuries, have the worst offense in the game. Any team that’s playing Paul Lo Duca at first is hurting badly. The Padres haven’t been a good offensive team but they’re closer to average than you might think. The Dodgers have struggled to score this year, currently ranking 13th in the National League in runs scored. The best team that Zito has beat this year was his win against the Marlins on May 23rd.
~ I lied above when I said I haven’t seen any Giants baseball over the past 3-4 days. I did catch about 10 minutes of yesterday’s game against the Rockies. I was interested to see how Sanchez looked in his first start back from the Disabled List. The final line for Sanchez was: 7 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO. Not too bad and it looked like was showing good velocity. Hopefully Sanchez gets 1-2 more starts and then finishes the season, no need to push him.
~ As the rosters expand for September call-ups, the Giants have called up RHP Brad Hennessey, 3B/1B Scott McClain, and C Steve Holm. Hennessey is the highest paid bullpen member this year but he barely pitched in the majors after getting knocked around to start the season; he’s been in Fresno ever since as a starting pitcher. McClain is having his usual 30+ HR Pacific Coast League campaign and Holm returns to the big club after drawing 82 AB’s earlier in the year. The Giants released C Guillermo Rodriguez in order to make room for McClain. With the sudden increase in catching depth in the Giants minor league system, G-Rod was expendable.
~ The Giants might adjust the rotation but at the moment, aren’t concerned with Lincecum and Cain’s workloads.
Asked if these changes are being considered to lighten the workloads of Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, who are virtually assured of topping 200 innings apiece, Bochy said, “Right now, no.”
Might as well keep packing on those innings in a desperate attempt to stay above .400 /sarcasm. Lefty Malo has a good take on the rotation and bullpen, he figures that the rotation is already set for ’09 and with the bullpen being one of the biggest concerns for the team, why not cap the starters to 5-6 innings and then use the rest of the game as a time to audition relievers? I like it because it’ll both reduce the innings for the starters and let the Giants get some time to examine potential cogs for next years bullpen. It’ll never happen (too progressive of an approach) but it’s a nice idea.
~ I’m very happy that the Giants have been playing Manny at short lately. He’s started 4 straight games at SS. Good Giants, good. He’s shown some ability to get on base with a line of: (.286/.363/.332) but his power is nonexistent. His bat plays much better at SS and the Giants should leave him there for the rest of the season. I’m hoping he can be something of a David Eckstein (career line: .286/.351/.362) with a stronger glove and better baserunning. Maybe some weird Eckstein-Izturis combination?
Comment Starter: Guess Lincecum’s pitch count for tonights game after throwing 132 pitches in his last start.