Tagged: San Francisco Giants

You haven’t been imagining it: San Francisco Giants terrible against opposing pitchers

Chicago Cubs' Travis Wood, right, is greeted by teammate David DeJesus, left, after hitting a home run off San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum during the fifth inning of their baseball game on Sunday, July 28, 2013, in San Francisco. Giants catcher Buster Posey, center, looks on. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Chicago Cubs’ Travis Wood, right, is greeted by teammate David DeJesus, left, after hitting a home run off San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum during the fifth inning of their baseball game on Sunday, July 28, 2013, in San Francisco. Giants catcher Buster Posey, center, looks on. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Sometime between Travis Wood’s second-inning single and his fifth-inning home run in the Cubs’ 2-1 win over the Giants on Sunday, MoreSplashHits decided to do some research concerning how the Giants have fared against opposing pitchers.

It’s not good.

Wood’s home run was the fourth allowed by the Giants to opposing pitchers. No other team in the majors has allowed more than two (yeah, yeah, we know AL pitchers don’t usually face AL pitchers at the plate, but saying “majors” just sounded better than “NL.”)

Woods’ two hits on Sunday gave opposing pitchers 32 hits against Giants pitching this season. That’s tied for third-most in the NL, behind the Rockies (33) and Nationals (33).

And when you add in extra-base hits — the Giants have allowed 10 doubles (most in the NL) — it gives opposing pitchers 54 total bases against Giants pitching this season, the most in the NL in by LARGE margin. The Nationals (45) are next, followed by the Rockies (43).

Here’s the list (as of mid-afternoon Sunday)
HITS/2B/3B/HR (Total bases)

  1. Giants 32/10/0/4 (54)
  2. Nationals 33/9/0/1 (45)
  3. Rockies 33/7/0/1 (43)
  4. Diamondbacks 31/2/1/2 (41)
  5. Dodgers 28/1/1/2 (36)
  6. Mets 24/6/0/2 (36)
  7. Marlins 25/3/2/1 (33)
  8. Reds 23/6/0/1 (32)
  9. Brewers 30/2/0/0 (32)
  10. Padres 24/4/0/0 (28)
  11. Phillies 22/3/1/0 (27)
  12. Cubs 23/1/0/0 (24)
  13. Pirates 18/2/0/1 (23)
  14. Braves 18/1/1/0 (21)
  15. Cardinals 15/0/0/0 (15)

A glance at how San Francisco Giants’ top draft picks are doing

Christian Arroyo

Christian Arroyo

With the 2013 season quickly going nowhere, MoreSplashHits thought it was time to look to the future.

So we thought we’d take a quick look at how the top 20 players drafted by the Giants in the June draft were doing this season.

One thing to note — and I don’t know if this is a point of stress for the Giants (and if it is, good!) — but a lot of these young hitters appear to be showing signs of good patience at the plate

Second-round pick Ryder Jones has an OBP of almost .500. CF Johneshwy Fargas has an OBP of .417. SS Brett Kay has an OBP of .458.

These are small samples. And it also should be noted that almost three-quarters of the Giants’ rookie league roster is batting above .300. But it’s encouraging all the same.

Here are the numbers through Thursday (ages in parenthesis):

1 SS Christian Arroyo (18)

Arizona Rookie League — 20 G, 80 AB, 1 HR, 18 RBI, .300/.363/.463, 15 K, 9 BB

2 3B Ryder Jones (19)

Arizona Rookie League — 16 G, 57 AB, 1 HR, 9 RBI, .404/.493/.579, 10 K, 10 BB

3 RHP Chase Johnson (21)

Arizona Rookie League — 3 G, 5.1 IP, 0-0, 1.69 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 7 K, 1 BB

Short-A Salem-Keizer — 3 G, 3 GS, 14.0 IP, 1-1, 0.00, 0.64 WHIP, 13 K, 2 BB

4 1B Brian Ragira (21)

Arizona Rookie League — 15 G, 28 AB, 0 HR, 6 RBI, .357/.379/.464, 6 K, 1 BB

Short-A Salem-Keizer — 15 G, 54 AB, 1 HR, 7 RBI, .278/.409/.389, 16 K, 11 BB

5 RHP Daniel Slania (21)

Short-A Salem-Keizer — 1 G, 1 IP, 1 H

6 SS Brandon Bednar (21)

Arizona Rookie League — 1 G, 2 AB, 1 BB.

Short-A Salem-Keizer — 30 G, 118 AB, 3 HR, 22 RBI, .280/.344/.415, 19 K, 10 BB

7 RHP Nick Vander Tuig (21)

Arizona Rookie League — 1 GS, 1 IP, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 K, 0 BB

8 LF Tyler Horan (22)

Arizona Rookie League — 13 G, 49 AB, 0 HR, 5 RBI, .245/.321/.388, 12 K, 6 BB

Short-A Salem-Keizer — 16 G, 61 AB, 0 HR, 5 RBI, .262/.333/.377

9 LHP Donald Snelten (21)

Arizona Rookie League — 7 G, 9.1 IP, 2-0, 0.96 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 12 K, 7 BB

10 RHP Tyler Rogers (22)

Arizona Rookie League — 6 G, 7.0 IP, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 13 K, 3 BB

Short-A Salem-Keizer — 3 G, 4.1 IP, 1-0, 2.08 ERA, 1.85 WHIP, 5 K, 4 BB

11 CF Johneshwy Fargas (18)

Arizona Rookie League — 13 G, 31 AB, 0 HR, 2 RBI, .323/.417/.355, 3 K, 3 BB

12 C Tyler Ross (21)

Arizona Rookie League — 3 G, 11 AB, 0 HR, 2 RBI, .182/.308/.273, 1 K, 2 BB

Short-A Salem-Keizer — 10 G, 30 AB, 0 HR, 2 RBI, .300/.382/.467, 4 K, 4 BB

13 RHP Pat Young (21)

Arizona Rookie League — 2 G, 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 1-0, 3.60 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 5 K, 1 BB

Short-A Salem-Keizer — 1 G, 1 GS, 3.1 IP, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 4 K, 0 BB

14 LHP Nick Jones (21)

Arizona Rookie League — 7 G, 5.2 IP, 0-0, 6.35 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 4 K, 4 BB

15 C Eugene Escalante (22)

Short-A Salem-Keizer — 25 G, 80 AB, 1 HR, 8 RBI, .300/.370/.388, 21 K, 6 BB

16 3B Jonah Arenada — UNSIGNED

17 C Rene Melendez (18)

Arizona Rookie League — 2 G, 1-for-6 batting

18 LHP Christian Jones (22)

Arizona Rookie League — 4 G, 5.1 IP, 0-0, 1.69 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 4 K, 2 BB

19 LHP Garrett Hughes (21) — UNSIGNED

20 SS Brett Kay (22)

Arizona Rookie League — 15 G, 41 AB, 1 HR, 9 RBI, .341/.453/.488

Loss to Cubs makes it official: Time for San Franciso Giants to look toward 2014

San Francisco Giants fans have been talking about rock-bottom for a month now.

Sergio RomoSome said it was when they got swept by the Dodgers after dropping three of four to the Marlins.

Others said it was when they got no-hit by Homer Bailey.

And more said it was when they got shut down by Zach Wheeler on a day when Matt Cain didn’t pitch out of the first inning.

Well, for MoreSplashHits, it was Friday night.

It’s rock-bottom because no matter how many games the Giants lose from this point forward, they won’t matter a bit. Because Friday night is when the last of my hope of the Giants making something out of the 2013 season when right out the window, or more precisely, right between our legs.

From this point on, it would take a miracle for the Giants to make the postseason. And, yes Al Michaels, I do believe in miracles. But they just don’t happen all that often.

The Giants lost to the Cubs after blowing a 2-1 lead with two on and two out in the ninth when Anthony Rizzo hit a ball right at Brandon Belt at first and the Giants’ sure-handed first basemen let it go right between his legs, allowing the Cubs to score the tying and go-ahead runs for a 3-2 win.

On the same night, the Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Rockies — the three teams ahead of the Giants in the NL West — won. The Giants are now eight games out of first place and 10 games under .500. They have the worst record in the majors over the past two months.

And the win allowed the Cubs to have a better record than the Giants. Ponder that for a moment.

After I pondered that fact for a moment, I discovered it was a good thing. Because I’m not looking at 2013 anymore. I’m looking at 2014. Here are the standings I’m looking at.

  1. Astros 34-68 .333
  2. Marlins 39-62 .386
  3. White Sox 40-60 .400
  4. Brewers 42-60 .412
  5. Twins 43-56 .434
  6. Padres 46-58 .442
  7. Giants 46-56 .451
  8. Cubs 46-55 .455
  9. Mets 46-54 . 460
  10. Blue Jays 47-55 .461
  11. Angels 48-53 .475

The Giants have the seventh-worst record in all of Major League Baseball.

That’s not so important to just pick up the No. 7 pick in next June’s draft. But remember, if the Giants go after a free agent next offseason who has been tendered a qualifying offer, it won’t cost the Giants a first-round pick to sign that player if the Giants have a top-10 selection in the draft. It will cost them a second-round draft pick.

It’s very likely the Giants could be looking to fill four spots on their roster vacated by free agents: a right fielder (Hunter Pence), two starting pitchers (Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito) and a reliever (Javier Lopez).

While it doesn’t appear there will be more than about a half-dozen players who will actually receive qualifying offers this offseason — recent trades of Ricky Nolasco and Matt Garza make them ineligible to receive one, and one of those qualifying offers may be made to Pence if the Giants opt not to trade him — it still takes a least one hurdle out of the Giants’ way if they want to go after a player like Shin-Soo Choo, who we fill would make a nice fit in right field.

And when you start looking toward 2014, these tough losses won’t seem so tough.

Anquan Boldin looks good in San Francisco Giants cap

Anquan Boldin

Anquan Boldin

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin talked to the media Friday at training camp … wearing a San Francisco Giants cap.

Uh oh. MoreSplashHits hopes he doesn’t get fined.

Actually, Boldin looked pretty good in a Giants cap (San Francisco Giants cap!). And wearing that sleeveless shirt, Boldin looks like he could hit a ball a loooooooong way.

Instead of asking Boldin how he is fitting in with the 49ers, maybe somebody should have asked him if he’d be interested in moonlighting as a baseball player.

He looks like he would make a great left fielder for the Giants.

At least we know he can CATCH THE BALL!!!!!!!!!!!

After another loss to Reds, time to take a look at starting pitching prospects for Giants

San Francisco Giants starter Eric Surkamp, right, is pulled from the game by manager Bruce Bochy during the third inning of the first game of a baseball doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday, July 23, 2013, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

San Francisco Giants starter Eric Surkamp, right, is pulled from the game by manager Bruce Bochy during the third inning of the first game of a baseball doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday, July 23, 2013, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The Cincinnati Reds have faced two San Francisco Giants pitchers who were called up from Triple-A Fresno this season.

The Reds lit both of them up for seven runs on nine hits in 2.2 innings.

The first was Mike Kickham on July 1 in Cincinnati. The second was Eric Surkamp on Tuesday’s first game of a doubleheader.

In fact, in four starts this season, starting pitchers called up from Fresno have given up 23 earned run 13 innings. That’s a 15.92 ERA.

If Kickham and Surkamp were the best two options at Fresno, and another — Chris Heston — was released by the club last weekend, we thought it might be time to take a look at the top-rated starting pitchers in the Giants’ system and see how they are doing this season. These ratings are set by MLB.com.


Crick, 20, was rated as the Giants’ No. 1 prospect by MLB.com. He lost two months of this season to an oblique strain. But since returning from the DL, he’s been awesome, allowing 3 ER in 25 innings over five starts (1.08 ERA). He was selected to the Futures Game and Baseball America had him at No. 49 in their midseason rankings of prospects. For the season, he has 50 strikeouts in 34.2 innings, but walks are a concern (24 on the season). Don’t look for him contributing to the big club until 2015.


It was thought that Stratton may be able to contribute soon for the Giants after being the team’s No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft. But that doesn’t appear to be the case. Stratton, 22, is 7-3 with 3.66 ERA in low-A Augusta. He has 92 strikeouts and 32 walks in 91 innings for the Green Jackets. He’s been hot and cold. Twice in his last six starts he’s given up 11 hits in a start. But also in his last seven starts, he has twice throw seven shutout innings and two other times gone six innings with one earned run. So consistency appears to be the key.


Agosta, the Giants’ second-round pick in 2012 out of St. Mary’s, is pitching very well at Augusta. He is 8-3 with a 2.03 ERA in 15 starts. He has 97 strikeouts against 34 walks in 79.2 innings. Over his last seven starts, he’s been even better — 5 ER in 39 innings (1.15 ERA). Perhaps a promotion could be in order.


Surkamp, a former top prospect for the Giants, had Tommy John surgery last July. He pitched well for Class A San Jose but he had a 4.79 ERA in four starts at Triple-A Fresno when he got the call to start Tuesday. Expect Surkamp to go back to Fresno to keep working. He might see him against in September and he could battle for a starting job next spring.


Acquired in a trade with the Rangers as an 17-year-old in April 2010, Escobar, now 21, has improved with age. He was an organization All-Star in 2012 after going 7-8 with 2.96 ERA for Augusta. He was promoted to high-A San Jose this season and went 3-4 with 2.89 ERA with 92 strikeouts and 17 walks over 74.2 IP. After being named California League pitcher of the week on July 8, he was promoted to Double-A Richmond. In three starts for the Squirrels, he is 1-2 with 4.32 ERA, but still throwing strikes — 17 Ks against 3 BB in 16.2 innings.


Blackburn is a big kid at 6-3, 220. He was drafted in the 16th round out of high school in 2011. He went 8-4 with 2.54 ERA at Augusta in 2012 and is 5-4 with 4.26 ERA in 17 starts at San Jose. But the 20-year-old has a 1.147 WHIP with 107 strikeouts against 26 walks in 95 innings.


It’s been a bumpy 2013 for Kickham. After a slow start in April for Fresno, he put together a nice string of starts (1.72 ERA over six starts) that earned him a promotion when Ryan Vogelsong went on the DL. But a poor start against Oakland got him a trip back to Fresno where he had some very mixed results. When Chad Gaudin went on the DL, Kickham was called on again. He had an so-so start against the Dodgers before getting lit up by the Reds. The Giants kept him as a long reliever before sending him back to Fresno in the middle of July. He is 3-6 with 5.12 ERA in 15 starts in Fresno this season.


Gregorio is tall — 6-foot-7 — but not a lot of beef (180 pounds). He was signed as a 17-year-old out of the Dominican. He had a bumpy season in 2012 at shortseason Salem-Keizer (7-7, 5.54 ERA). Now 21, he is 6-2 with 3.12 ERA in 11 starts for Augusta with 73 strikeouts against 13 walks in 60.2 innings.


Signed out of the Dominican in 2010, Mejia, 20, is on a faster track than Gregorio. He was 10-7 with 3.97 ERA for Augusta in 2012 and now he’s 3-3 with 3.51 ERA in 10 starts for San Jose. He has 50 strikeouts against 15 walks in 51.1 innings.


Drafted in the fifth round of the 2012 draft out of Creighton, Blach, 22, has been impressive in his pro debut in 2013 for San Jose. He’s 10-3 with 2.59 ERA with 95 strikeouts and 11 walks in 100.2 innings. He has pitched at least five innings and not given up more than two runs in any of his last seven starts.

Silver lining: Tim Lincecum’s outing was not the worst no-hitter follow-up in baseball history

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum walks at the end of the second inning where he gave up two home runs to the Cincinnati Reds during a baseball game on Monday, July 22, 2013, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum walks at the end of the second inning where he gave up two home runs to the Cincinnati Reds during a baseball game on Monday, July 22, 2013, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Johnny Vander Meer didn’t have to wait long to pop that champagne bottle in heaven.

There would be no repeat of Vander Meer’s back-to-back no-hitters when Tim Lincecum took the mound on Monday against the Reds.

It took six pitches before Shin-Soo Choo lined a double to left on a 3-2 pitch to open the game to record the game’s first hit against Lincecum.

And unfortunately for the Freak, there would be eight more hits by the Reds before Lincecum was lifted from the game in the fourth inning.

In the end, Lincecum got tagged for eight runs (all earned) on nine hits and one walk in 3 2/3 innings. He also gave up three homers, a far cry from the no-hitter he tossed in San Diego nine days before.

So he went from one of the best starts of his career to one of his worsts. It was the first time in his career that he got tagged for eight earned runs.

It was not his worst start, statistically speaking. That honor would go to his April 11 start of last season, when he got tagged for six earned runs in 2.1 innings in Colorado (a 23.48 ERA for that start). But Monday’s start (19.62 ERA) would rank as second-worst if you used ERA as the measuring stick.

And before you start thinking it, Monday’s outing was also not the worsrt ever pitched by a pitcher coming off a no-hitter.

I started research the 273 starts the followed no-hitters in baseball history (I excluded no-hitters thrown by combined pitching efforts), and I only had to go back to 2008 to find a start worse than Lincecum’s follow-up effort.

That belonged to Carlos Zambrano of the Cubs, who on Sept. 19, 2008 — five days after he no-hit the Astros — got tagged for eight runs on six hits and three walks over 1.2 innings against the Cardinals.

Philip Humber of the White Sox got tagged for nine runs in his starter after no-hitting the Mariners last season, but he did that over five innings.

I don’t know if Zambrano’s start is the worst following a no-hitter, but you’d be hard-pressed to find one worse than eight earned in 1.2 innings.

So now, naturally, come the questions of whether than 148 pitches Lincecum threw in his no-hit effort against the Padres played a role in Monday’s start.

Lincecum said no, and I tend to believe him.

“I mean, I felt just as normal as I have in recent starts,” Lincecum said. “So there’s no toll.”

If you’re looking for another culprit, you might look at the eight days off between the two starts.

Lincecum is a prisoner to his unusual mechanics. And we’ve seen him get out of whack repeatedly over the years. And that’s what happened Monday.

“I think just repeating, you know?” Lincecum said. “I wasn’t consistently hitting spots with my fastball so that meant I had to go to my secondary pitches. I think I just used them up a little too much early and let them see them a little too much.”

Also circumstance had a hand in the debacle as well.

Choo’s lead-off double looked like the kind of ball Giants fans had gotten used to see Gregor Blanco catch in left field. But he didn’t and it went for a double.

The Giants then didn’t pounce quickly enough on Derrick Robinson’s clear sacrifice attempt and the speedy Robinson beat it out for a single.

After Lincecum struck out Joey Votto, he got Brandon Phillips to tap back to the mound for the second out.

Then he got up 0-2 on Jay Bruce before, in a very Lincecum fashion, couldn’t put him away and walked him.

That was followed by a hit-me fastball to Todd Frazier, who hammered it over Andres Torres’ head for a bases-clearing double.

The 31-pitch first inning likely led to more trouble later in the game for Lincecum.

Lincecum gets the Cubs at home this weekend, and Giants fans can only hope to finds his mechanics again and gets a little help along the way.

San Francisco Giants’ win over Arizona brings memories of 2012 playoff game

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain throws to the Arizona Diamondbacks during the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 20, 2013, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain throws to the Arizona Diamondbacks during the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 20, 2013, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The San Francisco Giants are 2-0 after the All-Star break.

We knew the series against the Diamondbacks was going to be big. And these two games had the feel of October baseball.

In fact, Saturday’s 4-3 win by the Giants over Arizona felt a lot like Game 5 of last October’s NL Division Series against the Reds.

Think about it.

Matt Cain gets the start, pitches well early, is given the lead, but can’t get through the sixth inning.

Jeremy Affeldt gets injured.

Buster Posey hits a big home run in the fifth inning to extend the Giants’ lead, and the homer represents the last of the Giants’ scoring.

The bullpen runs the gauntlet in the late innings, escaping jam after jam and hanging onto the lead.

Sergio Romo gives up a one run in the ninth, but locks down the victory.

CAIN’S START: After an ugly outing in St. Louis on June 1, Cain posted a 1.84 ERA over his next five starts, lowering his ERA from 5.45 to 4.29. Then he had two ugly starts vs. the Dodgers (2.1 IP, 8 ER) and Mets (0.2 IP, 3 ER) and his ERA was back at 5.06. Cain came out Saturday and threw up four zeros before getting charged for single earned runs in the fifth and sixth. He should have escaped with another zero in the fifth when he got Eric Chavez to hit a double-play ball to second. But shortstop Tony Abreu, playing in place of the mildly hurt Brandon Crawford, threw the throw to first away, allowing a run to score. At the time, the run was unearned, as it scored on an error. But when Cain followed with back-to-back walks, it turned the run into an earned run. But if Abreu makes the play he should have, no runs score. He opened the sixth by giving up back-to-back singles and exited with 102 pitches in five-plus innings. Again, the Abreu error in the fifth led to Cain throwing an extra 15-18 pitches in the fifth.

AFFELDT HURT: Last October in Cincinnati, Affeldt suffered a minor injury when he tried to avoid a foul ball in the dugout. Saturday’s injury was a bit more severe. Affeldt suffered a strain groin and is likely headed to the DL. It’s quite possible Affeldt may be out a month. Jean Machi likely will get recalled to fill Affeldt’s spot, but when does Dan Runzler get another shot in the bigs? He’s a lefty, even though the Giants have lefties Javier Lopez and Jose Mijares in the pen.

BUSTER’S BLAST: After Andres Torres singled with one out in the fifth, Buster Posey blasted a shot over the center-field wall for his 14th homer of the year. It gave the Giants a 4-1 lead.

BULLPEN STARTS, THEN PUTS OUT FIRES: After Cain got the hook with two on and no outs in the sixth, George Kontos gave up an RBI single to Martin Prado to make it 4-2, then got Cody Ross to line out to second for the first out. Affeldt was brought in for Kontos and got Cliff Pennington to fly out to Pence in Triple’s Alley. But then strained his groin on a 2-2 pitch to A.J. Pollock and Jose Mijares was called in. Mijares walked Pollock to load the bases, but struck out Adam Eaton to end the threat.

In the seventh, and Santiago Casilla pitching, Aaron Hill got a two-out walk followed by a single by Miguel Montero. So again, go-ahead run came to the plate. But Castilla got Martin Prado to ground out.

In the eight, Sandy Rosario came into pitch and gave up a lead-off single to Cody Ross that glanced off Rosario’s ring finger on his pitching hand (X-rays after the game were negative). After Rosario got Pennington to fly to center, Javier Lopez came in. Wil Nieves reached on an error by Crawford, again bringing the go-ahead run to the plate. But Eaton made the second out on a comebacker to Lopez and Gerardo Parra grounded to second to end the inning.

In the ninth, Sergio Romo came in and gave up an infield single to Paul Goldschmidt off Romo’s glove. Hill flied to center, and Montero grounded to first with Goldschmidt taking second. Prado hit a bloop single to right to score Goldschmidt, but Romo struck out Cody Ross to end the game.


Now, the Giants clinched the series win they needed to get. They are 4.5 game out of first place, four games behind the second-place Dodgers. A win tomorrow will get them at least within four games of the lead, maybe 3.5.

This is an opportunity with All-Star Madison Bumgarner on the mound. The Giants need to seize on these opportunities. And it would be nice if they could do without going too deep into the bullpen that used seven of eight pitchers in the pen on Saturday.