A four-game series with the Mets should be a welcome break from the tough competition that was over-.500 baseball teams. The Mets are 52-56, winners of three of their last four games, while the 58-50 Giants were just happy to salvage one against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday. Over the course of the season, the Giants and Mets offense match up with a .301 wOBA with a ten point difference in OBP .313-.303 in favor of the Mets. The Giants pitching has a thirty point advantage over the Mets 3.47-3.77 in FIP, and they have walked fewer batters, but struck out their opposition less than Mets pitchers have. New to the show are outfielder Jarrett Parker and infielder Matt Duffy, the latter of whom will get a start tonight batting second, because where else are second baseman supposed to hit in the lineup.
Tonight’s #sfgiants lineup: Pence RF Duffy 2B Posey C Sandoval 3B Morse 1B Perez LF Blanco CF Crawford SS Vogelsong RHP
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) August 1, 2014
The top three of the lineup in Curtis Granderson, Daniel Murphy, and David Wright may seem like the most formidable, but offensively speaking Lucas Duda in the cleanup spot has led the team with nineteen homers and a .375 wOBA. LHP Jon Niese takes the mound for the Metropolitans.
Ryan Vogelsong takes the hill for the Giants and I’m just hoping it’s better than his start two starts ago against the Phillies. That was dreadful.
On to news relayed from the beat writers, speaking of dreadful and Giants pitchers, Matt Cain‘s elbow has bothered Cain to the point of getting a couple of opinions on the bone chips in his elbow.
Cain threw from 60 feet today. Still deciding on surgery now or later. #sfgiants
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) August 1, 2014
Will wait to see how elbow feels. Re bone chips. “I’ve had them for 10 years. They’ve always been there. Now they’re mad and letting me …
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) August 1,
…. “know about it.” #sfgiants
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) August 1, 2014
Despite the throwing, manager Bruce Bochy laid out what was realistic: Cain’s probably done.
Bochy said Cain’s season is almost certainly done. Is deciding when/where have surgery but wanted to play catch one more time to test arm. — Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) August 1, 2014
Bochy said Cain will be sidelined three months when he has surgery. — Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) August 1, 2014
So, it’s a good thing the Giants acquired Jake Peavy to provide some depth and leave Yusmeiro Petit out of the rotation. As for Angel Pagan and Brandon Belt, by next Tuesday, we may see them back on the 25-man roster.
Pagan to Fresno tomorrow, could be back with Giants by Tuesday. Belt back on a field this weekend, but could be short rehab assignment. — Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) August 1, 2014
Brandon Belt feels great, said he’s completely back to normal. He wants to play this weekend but staff will make decision. — Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) August 1, 2014
The plan for Parker and Duffy, excited as they are to be with the big club, looks like this:
Bochy said Duffy will platoon with Panik, back up Crawford and Sandoval. Parker a bench bat until Belt returns. — Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) August 1, 2014
So, enjoy your time while you’re up with the big league squad Parker, because it doesn’t look like it’ll be long. Duffy, on the other hand, looks like he’ll get an extended look, which makes it seem like we should expect Marco Scutaro or Ehire Adrianza back anytime soon.
First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 PM PST. Happy Friday.
Tuesday has been a busy day for the Giants, and none of it even looks to have to do with the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline. First, we hear about Chris Stratton getting promoted, then we hear about a couple roster changes to the 25-man, including Tony Abreu getting designated for assignment, and then we hear Matt Cain is going to visit Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion on his elbow.
— 95.7 The GAME (@957thegame) July 29, 2014
Certainly scary, and you probably have some people already bracing for no Matt Cain until late 2015, maybe even 2016. With so much money owed to Cain, you’d hope the Giants have some insurance on that contract, so we’ll see how that determines their plan of action if Cain is indeed out through a good chunk of the 2015 season.
Good to have already acquired Jake Peavy for the rest of 2014 should the Giants be on a playoff push this year. Tim Hudson is on the mound tonight for the Giants so here’s the lineup of Pirates that he will be opposing:
You’ve noticed that Francisco Liriano and his left-handedness will be opposing the Giants today, who’ve really worked to “reshuffle the deck” today as Ken Rosenthal was saying. Gregor Blanco batting second, Andrew Susac gets his first MLB start, and Dan Uggla batting seventh.
7/29 @SFGiants lineup vs PIT Pence RF Blanco CF Posey 1B Sandoval 3B Morse LF Susac C Uggla 2B Crawford SS Hudson P
— MLBLineups (@mlblineups) July 29, 2014
Should the Giants lose tonight, they will be behind the second place Wild Card team, be that the Pirates, or the Cardinals if they win tonight. Meanwhile, the Dodgers have also had some news today, as their prospects have been pursued for Cole Hamels by Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr.
Time Warner Cable also got some intervening they were looking for as the FCC begins to do a little digging.
FCC letter to TWC: Give us documents showing exactly how much you are asking TV providers to carry SportsNet LA. No more talking points.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) July 29, 2014
@BillShaikin Smart PR move by TW. If DirecTV doesn’t agree to arb then TW can point finger even more than now.
— Debbie White (@rockiepie258) July 29, 2014
Of course the MLB is supportive of TWC calling for arbitration and a third party telling other networks what to do.
We’ve seen this drag on all the way to August, I wonder how much longer this goes for.
Brandon Belt is engaged in baseball activities again, which is fantastic news.
Brandon Belt is playing catch with Dave Groeschner. First baseball activity since concussion for Belt.
— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) July 29, 2014
Belt took some swings today, could be cleared to play by the weekend, either with Giants or on short rehab assignment.
— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) July 29, 2014
Off the non-baseball front, but on to the important-in-life area, reading the timeline of Bomani Jones from his 2:47PM tweet on July 29th onwards in regards to the mentions of ESPN employee Michelle Beadle, who spoke out on talking-head Stephen A. Smith’s remarks. Andrew Panos has compiled a list of men that are acting out in an uncalled for manner against women, especially the women sports personalities. This is troubling, and men especially need to take the time to reflect on what is going on here and speak out for the women that are getting so poorly treated.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:15PM PST.
The San Francisco Giants have lost consecutive games for the first time since May 16th-17th and are looking to avoid their second three-game losing streak of the season, the last coming April 17th-19th (the Giants don’t like playing on the 17th, evidently) when they lost the finale against the Dodgers and lost the first two against the Padres. To make matters slightly worse in this still very early stage of the divisional race, the Dodgers have won on both days the Giants lost to the Nationals. Tonight, it will be up to Matt Cain to shut down the Nationals and Tanner Roark will hope to continue the streak of holding the Giants under two runs. Here are the lineups for the two clubs tonight, starting with the A.J. Ramos-less Nats:
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 11, 2014
As beat writer Henry Schulman noted, Brandon Crawford gets a try at the six spot tonight:
Tanner Roark isn’t going to wow you with velocity, but he’s been able to produce some solid results for the Nationals so far, with only two poor starts to speak of:
I think he wants to pitch against the Padres more often. About 58% of Roark’s pitches are sinkers, mixing his secondary pitches fairly evenly, which can help us understand how he might keep hitters guessing. He will throw his changeup rarely to RHH and the slider rarely to LHH. Still, his slider has been the most punished pitch so far in terms of batting average against and slugging percentage against:
He shows nearly the same distribution when there are two strikes, which makes predicting Roark a little difficult. His fastballs will sit low 90’s, change and slider in the low-mid 80’s, and the curve sits mid-70’s.
Matt Cain just came off of the DL and performed well against the Mets, whom the Giants ended up sweeping.
Matt Cain hasn’t been 100% this year, so I’m just looking forward to him finishing consecutive starts. Here’s how his pitches have done this year:
Eight homers allowed in 53.2 innings pitched, not a good ratio overall. Broadcast analyst Mike Krukow tells his audience that one home run allowed for every ten innings is acceptable. Three of them have come after Cain cut his finger.
Other news from around the league:
Words circulated that once Matt Cain was brought back, the pitching staff would stay at a reasonable twelve-man pitching staff, and so those words were just confirmed by the Giants social media account.
RHP Matt Cain has been reinstated off the 15-day DL. LHP David Huff has been desginated for assignment. #SFGiants
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) June 6, 2014
David Huff pitched 20.0 innings for the Giants in 2014 in sixteen games, getting six walks, eleven strikeouts, with a .458/.519/.542 line against him in the last two weeks, which probably doomed him to the DFA trails. His two recent appearances where he got a combined eight outs and saw only two hits blemish his record were not convincing enough to keep him around. Yusmeiro Petit is another pitcher that is out of options, but Petit has been able to spot start at an acceptable level for a guy that’s been on three different MLB teams before he turned 30.
Matt Cain has not made a start since May 21st when he left after three innings with a hamstring strain. He will start tonight against the Mets, whom just got done with being swept by the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley.
I wish David Huff and his family the best whether or not they stay in the organization.
Matt Cain, welcome back.
After a Tuesday comeback walk-off by the Colorado Rockies over the San Francisco Giants, having Matt Cain on the mound on Wednesday seemed like a promising chance for a bounce-back in the standings. Unfortunately, despite the 5-1 victory on Wednesday by the Giants thanks to many dingers (and not that annoying dinosaur), the Giants are left waiting for status reports on the hamstrings of Matt Cain and Santiago Casilla.
Matt Cain removed from Wednesday’s game with right hamstring strain: http://t.co/GRy2VzSsnw
— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) May 22, 2014
Cain felt injury on his final pitch. Has an MRI tomorrow, said he’s unsure about next start.
— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) May 22, 2014
Just waiting to hear on the severity of the strain, maybe we’ll hear tomorrow during the pre-game, the same time we’ll probably hear about the move for Casilla:
Right hamstring for Casilla, MRI tomorrow. Likely to DL tomorrow, Bochy said. He’s talking to Sabean about roster now. — Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) May 22, 2014
There are always times you hope the people that watch baseball for a living are wrong:
Gosh. That might be an Achilles rupture for Casilla. Season-ending, if so. — Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) May 22, 2014
May be the most maddening part of Casilla’s injury is the recklessness/selfish behavior of ignoring signs/orders and busting his tail down to first on an infield grounder:
Bochy told Casilla not to swing. “It was a shock he was running like that … I don’t know what got into him.” — Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) May 22, 2014
So, really, Casilla brought this on himself, because a reliever really doesn’t need to exert the effort to swing, or sprint down a basepath because his skills are needed on the mound. Sure, it might be fair to question why was Casilla batting at all, though a four-pitch outing in the eighth seemed to be low enough for manager Bruce Bochy to say, what the heck, pitch the 9th, too.
Bruce Bochy acknowledged Santiago Casilla is “likely” going to DL with right hamstring injury. MRI tomorrow. “We need him,” Pence said. — Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) May 22, 2014
Sorry, Hunter, the Giants are going to have to look elsewhere.
The depth of the Giants farm system can handle a blow to the bullpen, even though Santiago Casilla has been the most-used reliever in terms of innings pitched for the Giants. He has 26.1 IP through 47 games, which easily puts him on pace to break his 63.1 IP season-high he set in 2012. Casilla was being used a lot, but Jean Machi could step in to be that 8th inning guy with the start to the season he’s brought. You also have Heath Hembree, Derek Law, and George Kontos doing just fine in the minors. One of them could see a promotion if the Giants decide to hold on to their probably-not-a-good-idea-thirteen-man-bullpen. Heaven forbid one of the out-of-option relievers get designated for assignment, though. Giants are squeezing every last bit of usable talent out of some of those relievers.
The depth of the Giants farm system for the 2014 season cannot handle a loss of Matt Cain. Has he been #1 starter Matt Cain this year? No. You know what he can be, and he can be better, which we may not be able to say the same of Yusmeiro Petit, David Huff, or even Edwin Escobar in being able to produce that kind of efficiency. If Matt Cain is out for a long period of time, I’d say that big lead in the West starts to fall and you’ll watch three teams jockeying for first place between the Giants, Dodgers, and Rockies. Losing a starter doesn’t just affect the games they’re supposed to pitch in, it can affect strategy of games after that due to bullpen usage, as good as the Giants bullpen has been it doesn’t necessarily trigger a “no big deal” mindset. I don’t trust Petit to keep dealing, though I will hope he does well! That health of the rotation, it is a big key to the Giants going far while their young guns continue to be molded into being more-or-less ready for the bigs.
The Giants and Rockies will conclude their three-game set tomorrow with the final game of the series beginning at 12:10 PM PST. They will then be happy to get out of there and come back home to begin a six-game homestand with the Minnesota Twins and Chicago Cubs.
When the work week began, the Miami Marlins were a half-game ahead of the Washington Nationals by a half game, but after losing two of three from the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chavez Ravine, they sit in third place, a half-game behind the Nationals. No doubt, you’ve heard by now Jose Fernandez has been sidelined, and he’s scheduled to have Tommy John surgery tomorrow. Definitely a big loss for the Marlins, obviously because he’s a top MLB talent, and you consider he pitched into the sixth inning in six of his eight starts.The Fernandez-less Marlins still have the scary Giancarlo Stanton, who has enjoyed his time at AT&T Park:
It’s like a second home for the 24 year old from Sherman Oaks, CA. A safe over/under on the amount of times Stanton will dinger is 1.5, and I’m kind of surprised he’s “only” homered four times in fourteen games at AT&T.
As for the lineups, here we go for the Marlins, the team that is 4-15 away from Marlins Stadium:
5/15 @Marlins lineup vs. SF Yelich CF Dietrich 2B Stanton RF McGehee 3B Saltalamacchia C Johnson LF Jones 1B Hechavarria SS Eovaldi P
— MLBLineups (@mlblineups) May 15, 2014
The home team Giants, six games above .500 at 12-6 at AT&T:
Tonight’s #SFGiants lineup: Pagan CF Pence RF Posey C Sandoval 3B Morse 1B Colvin LF Crawford SS Hicks 2B Cain RHP
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) May 15, 2014
Nathan Eovaldi, former Dodger, throws a pretty fast fastball. I had no idea until I looked at his player page to take a look at some of his averages on Brooksbaseball.net:
So hitters will probably be looking fastball-slider the first time around, especially if Eovaldi isn’t getting ahead in the count. In his last game against the Padres, Eovaldi actually had a streak broken when he did not complete six innings pitched, only going five in that outing. Every start in 2014 thus far had seen Eovaldi complete those six innings. Eovaldi walking four in his last outing, when he had not walked more than two in previous outings, probably did not aid his cause. For the season, his 56.3% ground ball percentage is tied for sixth-highest amongst qualified MLB starters. If you’re curious, Tim Hudson is third-best at 61.7%.
Here’s the number of runs scored in each of Matt Cain‘s start in support of the horse: 4, 2, 0, 1, 12, 2. Two-thirds of his starts have been typical Matt Cain run production, and to ask Cain to allow 0 or 1 run(s) in his outing is a tall order to ask of most MLB starters. Today’s Matt Cain stat to note would be his splits:
So far, so good against LHH. Not so much against the same-side.
Game time is 7:15PM PST, looking forward to the Marlins continuing their losing ways away from Miami.
The title says it all in terms of roster moves, and so does the initial tweet from beat writer Andrew Baggarly:
Cain placed on DL retro to April 24. Jake Dunning to be recalled tomorrow. Travels on 6am flight from Albuquerque.
— Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) May 5, 2014
Update: DL can only be retroactive for ten days, as beat writer Hank Schulman notes, so the DL move would be beginning April 25th:
Cain’s DL stint can be retroactive 10 days, to 4/25. Making him eligible to take next turn Friday in LA if healthy. #SFGiants
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) May 5, 2014
Well, maybe not everything. The part about Yusmeiro Petit taking the spot start for Matt Cain wasn’t in there as the Giants begin a three-game set against Pittsburgh starting Monday. You’ll remember that before his start, Matt Cain cut his finger making a sandwich. At the moment it is speculated that the cut hasn’t healed enough, though beat reporter Hank Schulman heard Cain expected himself to pitch on Monday. Jake Dunning, whom Giants fans should have some memory of, has thrown 14.1 IP in Triple-A Fresno this season, notching eleven strikeouts with seven walks and a .163 batting average against.
Here’s a video review of Petit’s last spot start against San Diego when the Padres didn’t seem to be ready for him, maybe the ol’ pitcher-switch got ’em good. Or maybe they just had a bad night. Or maybe the Padres have a .266 team wOBA (ranked last in MLB) after their game on Sunday for a reason.
The Pirates have a .304 team wOBA (just eleven points lower than the Giants), so you would guess that the Pirates would put up more of a challenge. Once 4:05 p.m. PST rolls around, we’ll see. Cain would be eligible to come off of the DL in time for his next scheduled start. Might not be a good idea to get comfortable, Jake Dunning. Not while most of the people in the bullpen are doing just fine.