First, Happy Mother’s Day! Second, I’ve been traveling the last couple of days — going home for mother’s day, of course — and I’ve only caught bits-and-pieces of the current Mets-Giants series. After reading yesterday’s boxscore, this might have been a good thing.
Some brief thoughts
* If you wanted to create a basic statement about the Giants’ offense in 2010 it would be this: when Pablo Sandoval is slumping, things are going to look bad. Really bad. SSS Alert™, since the start of the Philadelphia series, Sandoval is only hitting: .204/.216/.265 over 51 plate appearances. His current wOBA stands at .350. I was pretty shocked when Sandoval posted a league average walk rate last season — a league average BB% tends to be around 8% — but he’s still a player that’s going to rely on massive amounts of contact and base-hits to be productive. In two previous seasons, Sandoval has posted BABIPs of .356 and .350. This season his BABIP is a mortal .311, which while still above average, isn’t in the mid-300′s that he was in previous years. It’s not time to start panicking yet but Sandoval is the major cog in the Giants’ offense.
* Speaking of Sandoval, I caught most of Friday’s game and I thought Mike Pelfrey really tied Sandoval up by pitching him up-and-in. Check out his swing plot courtesy of Texas Leaguers.
Unfortunately for the Giants, it was a good game plan against the aggressive Pablo. Sandoval went 0-4 on the night and couldn’t do anything with the up-and-in pitches.
* The first person to disparage Sergio Romo gets a slider to the noggin. OK, maybe not, but fans might want to cool down and relax a little. Romo gave up the walk-off HR to Rod Barajas on Friday night on a hanging slider that Barajas hit into the LF stands. We know that Romo’s slider is a good pitch for him, batters often swing and miss at it, but the location on the HR was poor. If you look at Romo’s core components, they are still quite strong and indicative of a very good relief pitcher. He’s posting a 10.29 K/9 and a 1.29 BB/9 — those are excellent numbers. What has hurt Romo in this brief season has been the home run. He’s given up 3 in 15 innings pitched. That’s a HR/9 of 1.93 which is awfully high. Romo is definitely a flyball pitcher — 53.6% of his career batted balls in play have been flyballs — and sometimes heavy FB% pitchers will run into a string of bad luck. In short: Romo is fine.
* Speaking of Rod Barajas, he’s having quite the season when it comes to hitting for power. Barjas has always had above-average power — career ISO of .175 — but so far this year he’s been off the charts with an ISO of .354. Barajas has already amassed 9 HRs. He has 20 total hits, 9 of which have left the park.