Saturday, July 16, 2016

Slow Return/ Hated Dubs?

In their first two games back against a sub-.500 team they'd dominated so far, the San Francisco Giants looked like they weren't over the All-Star break.  Less than usually brilliant starting pitching, throwing and fielding errors, bad at-bats on Friday, more of the same Saturday until the bats perked up, but--real bad omen-- another blown save by Casilla, this time causing the walk-off winning run to come in on a balk.  Casilla started the 10th inning up 6-5.  He ended it the losing pitcher, 7-6.

The Giants lost both games, with an ailing Johnny Cueto scheduled to start in Sunday's afternoon game after Saturday's evening 10 innings.  Not sure who steps in if he can't go since Bochy used Suarez Saturday.

Only silver lining is that the Dodgers lost their tough one on Saturday, so the Giants don't lose additional ground to them.  These games probably indicate just a slow second half start, but for all the talk about the Giants being favorites now--especially with their position starters on the mend (though Pence may have had a setback in his first rehab game)-Saturday's ending doesn't quell that nagging suspicion that the Giants don't have the bullpen--especially the closer--to go as far as they'd like.  Although the rest of the pen did well on Saturday.

I suppose the speculation starts soon about which rooks the Giants keep after the starters come back.  I'm particularly curious about how they evaluate outfielders Williamson v. Parker.

Sunday Update: Cueto pitched, but not so well.  The Giants were very nearly no-hit by a guy who was brought up from the minors in the morning, for his last shot as a big league pitcher.  It's a nice story of redemption for him, but the Giants were terrible again, as they were all series long and as they are from time to time--in not bringing in those runners on base.  Their only hit was a three-run pinch hit homer by Connor Gillaspe. (This kid has a future.) Cueto, Belt, maybe even Posey--some kind of All Star jinx going on.

Once again they lucked out however as the Dodgers lost.  But what should have been a tune-up in San Diego turned into being outplayed and swept, and it doesn't get easier.  With cross-country travel to Boston and New York, this could turn out to be a disastrous road trip.

The game of the day however was the Pirates beating Washington in 18 innings, 2-1 on Starling Marte's home run.  No All Star jinx there, but then he didn't go.

As a result of Durant's decision, apparently Golden State Warriors are to be the league's most hated team, or at least that's what sports media are trying to gin up.  From the most loved to the most hated?  Because they added another dynamic, exciting, likable star?  Makes no sense to me.

This article however makes sense of the new Warriors team v. last year's.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Our Star

Sunday Madison Bumgarner had his curve working for 14 strikeouts in a complete game shutout.  He was so dominant that the D-Backs went hitless for 7 plus, before Jake Lamb hit a clean single.  It was only the second ball to get to the outfield--the first was also by Lamb and went for an error.  That broke up the perfect game.

The Giants won 4-0, the last two runs driven in by Brandon Crawford, the team RBI leader.  Crawford helped turn double plays in the 7th and 9th.  In the Giants' 4-2 win on Saturday, he turned a play that probably turned the game, winning it for Jake Peavy.

Crawford leads all infielders in the category of runs saved with 19.  So mostly what people talked about this weekend was: why isn't he on the All-Star team?

The All-Star balloting is bullshit.  The fan component, with unlimited votes, is bullshit.  That it's an elaborate marketing device for an insurance company is really bullshit.

The Giants have the best record in baseball, and are sending two position players and a pitcher to the All-Star game.  The Chicago Cubs, into the famine side of their early feast, are sending practically the whole team.  Bullshit.

In the past few days the Golden State Warriors have lost Speights, signed McAdoo and Ian Clark, and acquired veteran forward David West.  Meanwhile somebody said that Jerry West told him the Warriors might add another name to the team soon.