…what about what George Kontos did by throwing at the Pirates three times, twice hitting a player in Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen. While the Pirates didn’t retaliate against the Giants in the top of the 9th, Andrew McCutchen had a pretty aggressive slide into Brandon Crawford on a double play in the bottom of the 8th.
This seemed bad. That frustration and pain was scary for all of us to watch.
Now Kontos’ plunking seems even dumber, because now the Pirates are going to retaliate against someone since McCutchen will be hit, and I’ll give you one guess as to whom they will target. What if that intentional plunking of Buster Posey gets him on the DL? That’s the danger of all this immaturity and it is simply not worth it. Hopefully this doesn’t happen and the Pirates are the better people in all this… but after seeing McCutchen fly into 2nd, I’m not so sure we’ll see the Pirates ignoring the opportunity to get even.
Idea: Rank the best individual seasons of the 2012 MLB regular season (Spring Training, Minor Leagues, and Postseason are not included), while considering offensive and defensive facets of the game.
Consider: Using the individual metrics to measure individual performance; full avoidance of projecting results for shortened seasons, and past years performance to justify or dictate standings.
This is not: “Most Valuable” anything. Rather, this is “best,” like Baseball America does, so there is no confusion as to what I am ranking. It is also not a “this is a ranking of who I want in 2013, or wanted in any other year.”
This is: My opinion, and will be disagreed with by many.
20. R.A. Dickey (233.2 IP, 8.86 K/9, 3.39 tERA, 4.6 fWAR, 5.6 rWAR) – Had I considered age in this ranking, maybe Dickey would have been higher, but I’ll let someone else do that ranking. I think it’s still cool that we could have some more years to experience his dominance over hitters though.
19. David Price (211.0 IP, 8.74 K/9, 3.23 tERA, 5.1 fWAR, 6.4 rWAR) – Really had trouble ranking 19-21 with the three pitchers, but in the end, I just liked Price’s numbers the best
18. Aaron Hill (26 HR, 14 SB, .375 wOBA, 6.2 fWAR, 4.6 rWAR) – What a change of scenery can do for you, Aaron Hill looks like he’s found his comfort zone in Phoenix after being traded from Toronto.
17. Cliff Lee (211.0 IP, 1.19 BB/9, 3.21 tERA, 4.9 fWAR, 4.2 rWAR) – Poor Clifton didn’t get a lot of love because of the W-L record he sported, but it’s not his fault his team didn’t score runs for him, even if he was on for most of the season.
16. Michael Bourn (26 2B, 42 SB, .326 wOBA, 6.4 fWAR, 6.0 rWAR) – The speedy center fielder does his job tearing up the basepaths and covering his part out in CF. Jim Bowman suggested the Giants could be a fit, I think not. ($)
15. Felix Hernandez (232.0 IP, 8.65 K/9, 3.21 tERA, 6.1 fWAR, 4.6 rWAR) – The King may be the only true royalty in Seattle now, but he should have an army of arms coming to help out soon.
14. Aramis Ramirez (27 HR, 50 2B, .384 wOBA, 6.5 fWAR, 5.4 rWAR) – May be the most underappreciated season of the guys listed in this top percentage, but the BBWAA recognized it, and he finished 9th in NL MVP voting.
13. Yadier Molina (22 HR, 12 SB, .375 wOBA, 6.5 fWAR, 6.7 rWAR) – I know what you’re thinking: A Molina that steals bases, not just prevents SB? Yea, he does that, too.
12. Adrian Beltre (36 HR, 33 2B, .388 wOBA, 6.5 fWAR, 6.7 rWAR) – I felt Heyward edged the 3B of Texas in the way he manned his position, and in the way he contributed on the bases, but still a great year for the guy that loves the headrubs.
11. Jason Heyward (27 HR, 21 SB, .351 wOBA, 6.6 fWAR, 5.5 rWAR) – Should Heyward be able to step up his game to another level in his age 23 season, he could get real scary.
10. Clayton Kershaw (227.2 IP, 9.05 K/9, 2.95 tERA, 5.5 fWAR, 6.2 rWAR) – I also struggled between JV vs. CK, but in the end, felt other peripherals not listed evened things out, giving the edge to Justin over Clayton with IP being the tiebreaker.
9. Justin Verlander (238.1 IP, 9.03 K/9, 3.43 tERA, 6.8 fWAR, 7.5 rWAR) – I really struggled where to start to include the pitchers, but here seemed like a good spot. Verlander is still good.
8. Chase Headley (31 HR, 17 SB, .378 wOBA, 7.5 fWAR, 6.0 rWAR) – If this were a “best second half of 2012” post, Headley might be #1.
7. David Wright (21 HR, 15 SB, .376 wOBA, 7.8 fWAR, 6.7 rWAR) – If this were a “best first half of 2012” post, Wright might be #1.
6. Miguel Cabrera (44 HR, 40 2B, .417 wOBA, 7.1 fWAR, 6.9 rWAR) – The dude’s just oozing power, and while the change of positions is a great story, the playing of the position itself must be considered in this ranking.
5. Andrew McCutchen (31 HR, 20 SB, .403 wOBA, 7.4 fWAR, 7.0 rWAR) – Worthy of being on the cover of a video game, I’m just glad Pittsburgh has had someone to cheer about.
3. Ryan Braun (41 HR, 30 SB, .413 wOBA, 7.9 fWAR, 6.8 rWAR) – Probably got a lot of flack for the PED-related stuff at the end of the season in 2011, but a 40-30 season will never stop being impressive.
2. Buster Posey (24 HR, .406 wOBA, 8.0 fWAR, 7.2 rWAR) – It’s no secret that the catcher position is an incredibly important one, and when your backstop is producing at the levels Posey is, well that warrants some respect. Bias possible.
1. Mike Trout (30 HR, 49 SB, .409 wOBA, 10.0 fWAR, 10.7 rWAR) – If 21 year olds are just getting started, in the Majors, it’s difficult to fathom where he goes from here.
Today is a showcase of talent. Not all of the best talent are here, but there’s still going to be some amazing players on display like there were in the Futures Game, except of course at the MLB level, where a lot of these guys have for the most part put it all together.
Jeff Passan’s piece on Mike Trout vs. Bryce Harper is something we probably don’t talk enough about, but the Giants have now had the opportunity to see both, and were we ever disappointed. Disappointed that they did so well against our teams, but as a baseball fan, blown away by the fact they’re only 20, and 19 years old, respectively and why the heck couldn’t I do that at 19-20 years old 😦
All told, there were 38 players named or voted to the All Star team for the National League, and 36 voted for the American League squad. 16 National Leaguers are taking part in their first ASG, and for around 10 of them, I’d say this is just the beginning for them. You’d think the American League would be full of non-newbies, but even they have 10 guys new to the festivities and fanfare, with maybe 6 of them figuring this will not be their last trip to the All Star rodeo.
If you add the years up for the number of ASG the rosters have played, you would get 194 ASG played between the 74 players on the roster. The AL has 112 of those years, averaging 3.1111111111111 ASG/player, while the NL only has 90, averaging 2.36842105 ASG/player. There are five players in the ASG that have made 7 or more ASG rosters, can you name them? Think about it… OK I tell you now: Beltran 7; Miguel Cabrera 7; Chipper 8; Papi 8; Jeter 13. The people love them some gift baskets.
A Melky Cabrera homecoming should be heartwarming because Melky’s on record saying he did enjoy his time there, and Royals fans love the guy on their roster as they showed with Wil Myers (oh you thought I was going to talk about someone else, didn’t you?). Chipper Jones should have a nice final All Star Game, whether he plays or not, while Japan should be abuzz that Yu Darvish has the possibility of strutting his stuff on the international stage. Names like Chris Sale, Mark Trumbo, Aroldis Chapman, and Andrew McCutchen should hopefully become bigger household names as I believe all are special players.
So while we may be upset that the likes of Ryan Vogelsong, James McDonald, Johnny Cueto, and even yes, my favorite reliever, Sergio Romo did not make the squad, and others are upset over Matt Cain being chosen over R.A. Dickey and Stephen Strasburg, this should still be an excellent display of the talent that is flourishing within The Show. If you’re going to spend the whole time fuming of this or that, your appreciation for what’s being put out on stage tonight will likely go down, and as a baseball fan, this should be a moment for you to soak it all in, and appreciate some of what today’s game has to offer.
Another day, another series against a division-leading opponent. Although the Giants play in a division that’s sub-par, these are the games you want to play if you’re anything like Ryan Vogelsong to prove you’re worth taking seriously. The Giants have the bats to win games, and they certainly have the pitching, and the bullpen, it’s just a matter of execution, which over the past 6 games, the Giants have had trouble doing. Things won’t get easier against Pittsburgh whose pitchers do oddly well at home, a trend that hopefully take a turn towards regression while the boys are in town.
Friday, June 6th: LHP Barry Zito vs. LHP Erik Bedard
One sentence summary: This will probably be labeled as a “must win” game for the Giants, but keep in mind there will be 78 games after this one.
Saturday, June 7th: RHP Ryan Vogelsong vs. RHP James McDonald
One sentence summary: This should be an intriguing one to watch as McDonald, like the other Pirates, does very well at home, and Vogey always seems to do more to impress.
Sunday, June 8th: RHP Tim Lincecum vs. RHP A.J.Burnett
One question summary: Lincecum faced a very good lineup in the Nats and didn’t fare well, but how will he do against one that’s not as strong… but still kinda hot?
Small Sample Sizes (Last 7 Days) and Overall Numbers
You may find it no surprise that Andrew McCutchen has been lighting the ball on fire with his bat lately (.646 wOBA, 2 HR), but Garrett Jones (.548 wOBA, 3 HR) has also been making some loud contact (the two have 16, and 12 HR, .428 and .348 wOBA overall, respectively). Drew Sutton has been enjoying his time thus far with his .434 wOBA overall but that’s just in 37 PA, and with a .522 BABIP, I think it’s fair to say this honeymoon won’t last forever. Remember when the Giants went into the Nationals series and most of their lineup was hot? Same thing with the Pirates: Alex Presley (.484 wOBA L7, .290 wOBA overall), Neil Walker (.467, .322), Pedro Alvarez (.456, .332), and Casey McGehee (.414, .315), and all of those guys but McGehee has HR’d in the L7.
Meanwhile, the Giants have only had 2 guys with wOBA over .340 in the last 7 and kudos if you can name them: Pablo Sandoval (.509 with 2 HR, .372 overall), and Brandon Crawford (.405, .271). That’s it. However, unlike going into the Dodgers series, no one is hitting below .200 wOBA in their L7 — progress and consistency! If you feel like Belt has been striking out a lot lately, he has done it 5X is his last 20 PA. Belt also has the night off tonight, punishment for not being named Hector Sanchez, personal catcher to Barry Zito. This though, may not continue in the second half, as Bochy has implied, but I don’t see it happening right away as they continue to monitor and be careful with Buster Posey, All-Star actor.
This is the last series before the All Star Break (some of them need it more than others, for sure), and I don’t care where the Giants are in relation to whom, all I care is that they win the series in Pittsburgh.
Friday: Giants win (Erik Bedard and Barry Zito will battle for who walks more people tonight, don’t worry, should be fun)
Saturday: Pirates win (James McDonald gets his revenge and shows his All Star case)
Sunday: Giants win (Giants confuse this day for last day of the season and explode for runs)
I know we’d all love a sweep, but I’m pretty sure anybody would take 2 out of 3 from a division leader.