Question: Are the Giants the only team in baseball that can lose a game in which their starter goes 7 innings, strikes out 10 batters, and only allows 1 hit — a non-HR hit, too.
I guess it’s supposed to be a rhetorical question. One I would rather not spend any more time thinking about. The Giants dropped to 8-6 on the young season last night after losing 1-0 to the San Diego Padres. Jonathan Sanchez pitched brilliantly but made a fatal mistake when he allowed a single to Chase Headley, who eventually came around to score on a stolen base, a pop-out that moved him to third, and then a sacrifice fly off the bat of evildoer Scott Hairston. It’s obvious to me that Sanchez has yet to learn how to win a major league game. A grittier, guttier pitcher would have never allowed such a sequence of events to take place.
On the topic of Sanchez, he’s pretty flipping good. In 19.1 innings pitched this year he’s already struck out 27 batters. That’s an eye-popping K/9 of 12.57. Sanchez was sharp for most of the night outside of the 2nd inning. Sanchez’s 2nd inning is classic Sanchez. If you could distill him into one single inning to represent him as a player, it would have been that 2nd inning. He threw 27 pitches, walked 3, and struck out 3 — leaving the bases loaded on a Matt Latos K to end the frame. Sanchez’s ability to miss bats is quite rate. How rare you ask?
From 2008-2010, starters ranked by K/9 with a minimum of 300 IP over that span.
|4||Jorge de la Rosa||9.22||333.0||2008||2010||102|
Rich Harden, Tim Lincecum, and Jonathan Sanchez are your top-3 pitchers that have been the hardest to hit since 2008. That’s a danged good list to be a part of. It’s amusing to see Jorge de la Rosa right behind Sanchez. He’s a hard-throwing lefty with control problems much like Sanchez and I think they are almost mirror images of each other as players. I think this list might surprise the average fan. And it goes to show what a talent the Giants have in Sanchez. Whether or not he ever “puts it together” and reduces his BB/9 is anyone’s guess, but on the level of raw talent, he’s up there with some of the top pitchers in baseball.
Unfortunately for Sanchez and the Giants, the game boiled down to the 8th inning.
Facing reliever Mike Adams, Nate Schierholtz tripled to christen the eighth before Whiteside grounded out, pinch-hitter Bengie Molina popped up and Velez took a called third strike.
In my opinion, this is a pretty poor job of managing by Bochy and it might be the 2nd time within the last week that he’s cost the Giants a game. With a runner on third base and zero outs, why let Eli Whiteside hit? Whiteside may possess supernatural magical game-calling abilities, but if it’s one thing we can be certain about Whiteside, it’s that he’s a poor hitter. How do we know this? Over thousands of minor league at-bats he owns a career slash of .244/.288/.393. As a 28-year-old in AAA, he was posting an OPS of .600. He’s just not good. And to let him hit, and then let Molina pinch-hit in the next at-bat is confusing to say the least. Why not let Molina hit for Whiteside? You end up not giving an at-bat to the poorest hitter on your team.
It seems clear that the Giants are still going to struggle to score runs. Renteria hit into two double plays in the game which helped him rack up a WPA of -.257. Since his HR off of Billy Wagner, Renteria has gone 5-38, .132/.171/.158. With Rowand and DeRosa banged up, the Giants have to hope they can tread water for a little bit until they get them back in the lineup. I’m still a little worried about DeRosa’s health. He hasn’t, to my knowledge, had hamstring problems before, but he seems to be hitting everything to RF softly.
The Giants will wrap up against the Padres tonight when Todd Wellemeyer (6.97 K/9, 6.10 BB/9, 8.82 FIP) takes the mound.