Several thoughts from last night’s loss against the Rockies: Tim Lincecum throws a seasonal high 122 pitches, Angel Pagan’s defense still looks Benardian, and Emmanuel Burriss isn’t very good at the game of baseball.
First thing is first: Tim Lincecum. You know, I’m not even sure what kind of start I would call last night’s. It wasn’t necessarily bad; and, it wasn’t necessarily good, either. In true 2012 Giants fashion, Lincecum was victimized by the defense a few times on the night (more on that to come) and while he cruised through the first few innings, he seemed to hit a wall in the 4th inning. Nothing terrible, he didn’t start manically chucking fastballs into the crowd, but he didn’t have the same crispness that he did in the first part of the game.
In terms of velocity, it was a mixed bag (Brooks Baseball had him at an average of 89 mph). In Tim’s last start, he had some of the best, consistent velocity that we’ve seen all season long. In last night’s game he was generally 89-90 with the heater.
However, the pitch count was a tad frustrating. During the 6th inning, Lincecum pitched in and out of trouble, throwing 18 pitches total in the inning. Bochy ran Lincecum back out for the 7th to predictable results. He struggled. Gave up a couple of runs. And left the game with a 122 pitch count for his effort.
Pagan would eventually tie the game in the 7th (good) with an RBI single, but his defense has been … bad.
Here’s Pagan misplaying a Tulowitzki single into a triple. Mind you, Tulowitzki was running on one good leg all night and he still made it to third base. If he’s even 70% healthy with his legs, that’s an easy inside the park home run.
Defensive runs saved (DRS, based on John Dewan’s plus/minus work) currently has Angel Pagan at -6 runs on defense in center field; that rating places Pagan as the second worst CF in baseball right now — he’s tied with Curtis Granderson for second place. Pagan has shown excellent foot-speed while in center, but his routes, man, his routes are something terrible. It might not be Benard level bad, but if Pagan’s defense was house shopping, he’d probably be a few streets down from casa de Benard. Pagan’s speed often helps him recover from bad routes and initial missteps, but he’s looking like a below-average CF right now. He’ll need to improve if the Giants want to contend. This team can’t keep survive with its current defense. It just can’t.
Emmanuel Burriss is a convenient punching bag for fans. After watching a game recently with my wife, I started to grouse about Burriss: he can’t hit, he’s not that all that good, etc. And, like clockwork, at that moment, Burriss was picked off from first base. It was like a cosmic event, adjusting everything in the universe to its proper order. Something like: Burriss gets picked off like a goofball and in India a butterfly flaps its wings, or something. Burriss is the only player in baseball that has accrued at least 70 PAs without getting an extra-base hit. His current slash-line is .221/.284/.221. In Spring Training, the team tried to convince itself something fierce that Burriss would be OK — this headline, in particular, is amusing to me — but Burriss is not a good major league player. He doesn’t hit; he doesn’t play excellent defense; and, he seems to do a lot of bonehead things.
Here’s a sad statement: Mike Fontenot would really improve this team right now. I’ll leave you with that.