Baseball has started early as teams get ready for losing some of their system to the World Baseball Classic. All the seats may not be filled at the stadium, but some of the action is still worthy of many eyes being on it. Only some of the games right now are being televised, so there is a limit to what can be GIF’d at the moment. With that, here’s some of today’s good stuff:
Cliff Lee‘s cutter is working
Can’t wait to see the Giants face him, should greeeeeat
Catcher wanted low, ends up being up and away
Miguel Cabrera turns on a mistake from Pap
Catcher wanted it low, pitch thrown up and in, estimated distance was 440-450 feet.
Orioles turn a double play!*
*shouldn’t have been a double play
Juan Uribe shows you what a real double play looks like
Uribe just helping the slow Spring Training games move along a little faster
Marlon Byrd with the bat flip of the day
Love how you can see the bat flip when the camera from behind the plate goes on
Ross Ohlendorf with a sweet barehanded play
I’m just mad he did this after I posted the original article. Way to consider others, Ross.
One of three quotes of the day, this one from Zack Greinke:
— DKnobler (@DKnobler) February 25, 2013
The other ones from the Giants starting pitchers Matt Cain on how his knee is feeling:
Cain: “It feels like a knee.”
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) February 25, 2013
…and Madison Bumgarner on his pitching motion:
Bumgarner said he found himself turning too much in delivery last year. “Before I knew it, I was spinning around like Nomo.”
— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) February 25, 2013
Cue that “I think I’m turning Japanese” song our parents grew up on.
It’s easy to forget sometimes that there are other teams in the NL West besides the Dodgers, Giants, and Diamondbacks, but just because they’re at the bottom doesn’t mean they can’t derail your postseason plans. The Padres had an 8-2 stretch from Aug 3-13 before losing 3 to the Braves in Atlanta, so it’s not like they’re just lying down waiting for you to beat them. We all know the Giants will be missing their #3 hitter that’s played in 113 G this season, but with the Giants playing the Padres and the Dodgers traveling to Atlanta to play a good Braves team, there has to be a feeling that the Giants and Dodgers could still be within a game of one another when they meet up on Monday.
Friday, August 17th: RHP Matt Cain vs. RHP Ross Ohlendorf
One sentence summary: Four straight starts have seen Matt Cain watch at least seven hits get put on his record while Ohlendorf has seen 6 ER boost his ERA in two of his last three starts.
Saturday, August 18th: LHP Barry Zito vs. LHP Eric Stults
One sentence summary: Barry Zito hasn’t faced the Padres in 2012 and hasn’t had a streak of 0 HR games since May (0 HR in last start); Stults has been solid in his last two outings since being tabbed a SP again going 13 IP, 10 H, 1 ER, 2 BB and 8 K.
Sunday, August 19th: RHP Ryan Vogelsong vs. LHP Clayton Richard
One sentence summary: The big story last start was how Ryan Vogelsong stopped being new Ryan Vogelsong while Clayton Richard hopes to improve from his last start against the Giants when he got lit up at AT&T nearly a month ago.
Offense in the Pet Box
Buster Posey is having a great 2nd half to which you have been made aware on every night Buster Posey is in the batter’s box (.403 wOBA, 19 HR overall). Brandon Belt has been hot recently (.362 OBP, .339 wOBA overall). *By the way, a friendly reminder that if you are a Giants fan and actively root against Brandon Belt or Brett Pill, you need to re-evaluate yourself as a fan of the team.* Brandon Crawford with his PH-2-R bomb and getting on base hasn’t been too bad himself (.276 wOBA, 71 wRC+ overall). However, in the smallest of sample sizes at 13 PA in the last 7, Joaquin Arias has also been productive (.431 wOBA L7, .279 wOBA overall). If Angel Pagan (.247 wOBA L7) is going to be at the top, Hunter Pence in the thick of things in the lineup (.252 wOBA L7) and want to give the boys a chance to get over the Melky hangover, they’re going to need to turn up the production.
I look at the Padres and I feel kind of bad for how many people I’m seeing on their DL list. Guys that can do damage against opposing teams like Yasmani Grandal who’s on rehab, Huston Street, who can still put down batters, and other starting pitchers that have been shelved. As for the guys who are playing, Logan Forsythe (.524 wOBA L7, .323 wOBA overall) has been doing well at the top of the order lately, what we thought was an obvious trade chip in Chase Headley (.406 wOBA L7, .360 wOBA overall) has 4 HR in his last 7 (and 19 for the season), and more importantly is still with the Padres. Those two guys are really the only ones putting up big numbers within the past week, but remember this team has Carlos Quentin (12 HR), who has hits in 4 of the 5 games he’s played against the Giants, including his unforgettable 2-HR game. Their catchers Nick Hundley and John Baker have been ice cold and rather unproductive for the Padres in Grandal’s absence, with neither having a positive wRC+.
I’m going to go predictable here only because it just seems too obvious to me. This means my predictions should be wrong.
Friday: Giants win (Cain > Ohlendorf; Giants hitters rejoice)
Saturday: Padres win (Stults > Zito; Padres hitters rejoice)
Sunday: Giants win (Vogey shows it was just a blip)
All the while only gaining one full game on the Dodgers. Should be a decent weekend.