There’s nothing good to blog about after the Giants got swept by the Brewers in a series in which Buster Posey continues to struggle, Barry Zito got lit up for the first time in a long time , and Matt Cain got lit up AGAIN.
So there was only thing that Giants fans could smile about from the three-game in Milwaukee and it came compliments of Jean Machi.
During Tuesday’s CSN Bay Area broadcast, announcers Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow were talking about a Giants transaction that day which brought reliever Jean Machi from Triple-A Fresno to fill the roster spot of Jeremy Affeldt, who went on the DL.
So the camera naturally cut to Machi in the bullpen, sitting next to Jose Mijares. And we got this:
And lingered into Wednesday.
So when Machi actually got into the game Wednesday, it set off a wildfire of flatulence tweets on Twitter.
And MoreSplashHits will admit that we got into the act.
Here are our Machi tweets @Moresplashhits on Wednesday
“#SFGiants call on Jean Machi, because they seek some relief.”
“In case you were wondering, Machi wasn’t praying behind the mound there.” (Machi squatted down behind the mound after making his warm-up pitches)
“When the catcher visits mound to talk to Jean Machi, the catcher covers his face with his glove.”
“Krukow after that last pitch from Machi ‘That was nasty’ and he wasn’t talking about the pitch.”
“When Jean Machi is pitching, #SFGiants infielders refuse to play in.”
“Giants lose to Brewers. Didn’t matter. With Jean Machi now on team, it wasn’t going to be a happy flight anyway.”
MoreSplashHits had two thoughts when watching Saturday’s win over the Cubs (and others may have had the same thoughts).
“I wonder if, somehow, Xavier Nady may be the second coming of Pat Burrell (circa 2010)?”
“And if that’s true, why the hell didn’t the Giants bring up Nady in August to make him eligible for the postseason?”
The answer to the first question has yet to be revealed. The answer to the second question is that the Giants know the rules better than MoreSplashHits.
Nady made his Giants debut Saturday wearing No. 68, which of course was worn by other Giants greats like John Ayers. (No, wait a minute, that’s not right. I’m thinking about the 49ers).
Nady made a splash in his first at-bat Saturday, by raking a bases-clearing, three-run double down the third base line in the first inning.
When Nady came to the plate in the first inning, the Giants were just 1 for 45 with the bases loaded and two outs this season. Yikes! I just had a 2011 offensive flashback there.
To make matters worse, the Giants has fanned 21 times in 53 plate appearances this season with two out and the bases loaded. They have also drawn five walks in those situations and have been hit by a pitch once (on Saturday by Hector Sanchez, right before Nady’s hit).
So it was certainly an instant impact. Manager Bruce Bochy was impressed enough with that he’s putting Nady back in the lineup Sunday against the Cubs and Monday against the Diamondbacks.
So can Nady pull off a repeat of the Burrell performance in 2010? Well, Nady was hitting .157 with three home runs and six RBI in 40 games with the Washington Nationals when he was released on July 29. Nady spent a month on the disabled list with a wrist injury before being waived by Washington. He hit .158 in 12 games with Class A Potomac as he tried to work his way back from the DL.
The Giants signed him on Aug. 4 and sent him to Triple-A Fresno, where he hit .270 with 6 HRs and 18 RBI in 25 games. After starting very slowly with Fresno, Nady heated up late, batting .371 with 3 HR and 8 RBI in his final 10 games with the Grizzlies.
By comparison, Burrell hit .202 in 24 games with the Tampa Bay Rays before being released in 2010. The Giants picked him up and he hit .266 with 18 HR and 51 RBI in 96 games with them that season.
Like Burrell in 2010, Nady is 33 years old.
So if Nady can get hot like Pat the Ball in September, why wasn’t he with the Giants in August, making him eligible for the postseason.
Well, as it turns out, the Aug. 31 postseason roster deadline applies only to players being acquired from other organizations.
The rule states that any player on a team’s active 25-man roster, disabled list, restricted list or suspended list on Aug. 31 is eligible for the postseason.
For the Giants, that would include these 35 players:
- PITCHERS (17): Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner, Barry Zito, Ryan Vogelsong, Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla, Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez, Guillermo Mota, George Kontos, Jose Mijares, Shane Loux, Brad Penny, Clay Hensley, Eric Surkamp, Brian Wilson.
- CATCHERS (3): Buster Posey, Hector Sanchez, Eli Whiteside
- INFIELDERS (9): Brandon Belt, Marco Scutaro, Ryan Theriot, Brandon Crawford, Joaquin Arias, Pablo Sandoval, Aubrey Huff, Freddy Sanchez, Angel Villalona.
- OUTFIELDERS (6): Angel Pagan, Gregor Blanco, Hunter Pence, Francisco Peguero, Melky Cabrera, Justin Christian.
However, if any of those 35 players are injured at the start of the postseason, any of those players can be replaced with any other player who was with the organization on Aug. 31, whether on the 40-man roster or not.
So with Cabrera on the restricted list and Freddy Sanchez on the DL, those are two players Nady could easily replace in the postseason.
So that’s good news.
Now all Nady needs to do is peform like Pat the Bat, circa 2010.
Sunday was another trek down improbability lane.
The Giants moved to 0-8 in games started by Lincecum since May 4. They are 22-5 in all other games.
That stat is simply staggering.
Lincecum’s state line Sunday fell right into his normal pattern this season: five runs on nine hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings. He gave up five singles, three doubles and a triple.
Unlike some of his past outings, it wasn’t one bad inning. He gave one run in the third, two in the fourth and two in the sixth.
Yet with good defense, Lincecum could have escaped with just one run allowed. With great defense, he could have not allowed a run at all.
Let’s take a look back:
In the third with a runner on third and two out, Adrian Beltre sent a one-hop bullet past Pablo Sandoval. It was hit so hard that it went for a double despite being hit to Sandoval’s left. It was a clean hit, but with quicker reflexes and range, it could have been an outing.
In the fourth with a runner on first and one out, Craig Gentry hit a sharp grounder to Sandoval, who went to backhand the ball. But it hit off the heel of his glove and went for an infield hit. Now with two one and one out, Alexis Ogando tried to bunt the runners over. His bunt was hard and to the left of Lincecum. Instead of charging the ball, Sandoval retreated at first to cover third. By the time he recovered, Ogando was safe with another infield hit. Ian Kinsler then pulled a double down the left-field line to score two.
Now some may say that even if Ogando had been thrown out, Kinsler’s double still would have scored two. But with two out and first base open, Lincecum may have taken a different approach with Kinsler. The bigger play was Sandoval’s inability to field Gentry’s grounder. If he does that, Lincecum like gets out of the inning by getting Ogando out.
In the sixth with one on and no out, Sandoval fielded Robbie Ross’ bunt. But his throw to second required an extra effort by Brandon Crawford to catch the ball and eliminated any chance at a double play. Kinsler then grounded to Crawford, who in his haste to try to turn two made a bad exchange from glove to hand. So instead of getting one out, or maybe even two, both runners were safe. It was ruled a hit. Then Elvis Andrus hit a one hopper right at Sandoval, who did not field the ball cleanly and was only able to get the force out at second, instead of an inning-ending double play. So Lincecum got three straight infield grounders, but only two outs. Then Josh Hamilton hammered a two-run double to end Lincecum’s day.
So with some defensive help, Lincecum’s day could have been much different. But the Lincecum of old would generally find his way out of trouble, even if the defense helped create the mess. But not this Lincecum.
Lincecum gave up four extra base-hits. Three of them came with two outs and runners on base, leading to all five of his runs allowed.
Not that much of this mattered Sunday. With the Giants’ inept offensive effort Sunday, all the Rangers needed was that first run.
But we grow tired of making excuses for Lincecum. He needs to get this figured out and soon.
The schedule is there to help him. His next start will come Saturday in his hometown (hometownish, he’s actually from Renton) of Seattle against the weak-hitting Mariners. Then, he’ll face another weak-hitting team — the Athletics in Oakland.
Of course facing a weak-hitting team in a pitcher-friendly park didn’t help Lincecum last week against the Padres, so we’ll see.
Well, it was a quality start for Tim Lincecum. We can at least say that.
For only the second time this season, Lincecum notched a quality start, giving up two runs (one earned) in seven innings. He walked five and struck out six, giving up four hits in a 112-pitch outing.
But as it turns out that wasn’t enough to get him, nor the Giants, a win.
While Lincecum avoided the big inning that has haunted him so much this season, he was again bitten by poor pitch selection.
With two out in the sixth, Lincecum was facing Paul Goldschmidt, a hitter who is 6 for 11 with three home runs off Lincecum.
Lincecum started off by throwing a high hanging curveball. Then with the count 1-0, he tried a low curveball, which Goldschmidt dug out and drove over the left-field fence.
It would have been better for Lincecum to work around Goldschmidt and instead go after Chris Young, a batter Lincecum has had better success against. And if he decides to pitch to Goldschmidt, don’t give him anything he can hit out to left … like a curveball.
It should have been fastballs and changeups away. Make him hit it out to right.
Some may say with the Diamondbacks adding on two runs in the seventh and the Giants held to one run, it didn’t really matter.
But if Lincecum gets out of the sixth still tied at 1-1, it’s likely the Giants would have gone with someone other than Steve Edlefsen out of the bullpen.
Lincecum can at least take this outing and build off of it. He’ll get the Cubs next on Monday. Another chance for another solid outing.
Melky Cabrera collected his 51st hit of May in the ninth to tie Randy Winn for the most by a San Francisco Giants hitter in a month.
The Giants take Thursday off before opening a four-game set with the Cubs.
There wasn’t much to talk about this game, as the Giants sleep-walked through a loss to the Reds.
But they got a wake-up call in the ninth inning by what only can be described as baseball stupidity.
It all started in the seventh when the game got away from the Giants.
Trailing 3-0 with two on and two out, rookie reliever hit Joey Votto in the backside with a pitch.
A perfect time for a purpose pitch to a guy who was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts, right?
The HBP on Votto led to another five runs in the inning for the Reds. So anyone could see that Otero wasn’t throwing at Votto.
Well, anyone but the Reds.
The Reds wanted to make it clear that you shouldn’t unintentionally throw at one of their players.
But they didn’t send their message by throwing at Otero, who was left in the game as a sacrificial lamb to save the bullpen and batted for himself to lead off the eighth.
Nor did they throw at any of the next three players who came to bat for the Giants.
They had Sam LeCure throw a pitch behind Buster Posey with one on in the ninth.
Posey was able to avoid the pitch. Then got his revenge by taking LeCure deep for a two-run home run, helping the Giants avoid being shut out for the first time this season.
I guess it could have been worse. They could have thrown at Pablo Sandoval, who could have been hit by the pitch, costing him a final chance to extend his 16-game hitting streak.
As it was, Sandoval singled in the ninth to push his streak to 17 games.
The Giants send Barry Zito vs. Bronson Arroyo at 4:10 p.m. Wednesday.