Tagged: Zack Greinke

After Saturday Goes the Way We Expected, Cain and #SFGiants Go For Sweep Against Greinke and #Dodgers

Saturday’s showcasing of Madison Bumgarner throwing double-digit K’s against Paul Maholm and the Dodgers, I was relieved that the Giants took care of a game they should have had. Maholm is a back-end guy that hitters can take advantage of, while your chances are normally fewer against a starter like Bumgarner. While the Giants bullpen isn’t perfect, they’re not an awful bunch, especially when you get into the higher leverage situations. Still, having a 7-1 lead when Bumgarner left and winning 7-2 is right along the lines of what I expect to see when the Giants throw out one of their top four guys and the opposition sends out someone that is not of the front-line variety. Tonight’s game will not fit that description, as Matt Cain and Zack Greinke are both solid #2 guys in a top-heavy rotation, and while I hope the Giants sweep and win 18-0, seeing a low-scoring one-run game should be the expectations of near everybody.

The Starters — A recap of their first games

Zack Greinke and Matt Cain both went five innings in their first starts, not really reaching the distance fans know they are capable of. Both saw their pitch counts get into the nineties at the close of the fifth inning and each walked two batters. Cain saw seven hits get allowed, but no home runs, while Greinke fell victim to only two hits, one of which suffered the wrath of the hot start by Seth Smith. Both are pitching on four days of rest.

The Bullpen — Who’s Probably Out

Santiago Casilla threw thirty-seven pitches for the Giants in five outs of relief, so I’d say he’s to be used in emergency situations only. For the Dodgers, Jose Dominguez has been used in two straight games, so I’d expect him to be in the same boat as Casilla. Jamey Wright has also pitched in two straight, but only needed two pitches to do his work on Saturday, though I’d imagine Don Mattingly would like to avoid using Wright tonight. Paco Rodriguez leads the league in appearances at five, and it’s not difficult to remember that Paco got tired at the end of 2013, possibly due to overuse. The Dodgers have played seven games so far, and I’d hope Paco is getting a day off.

The Lineups

For the sweep-minded Giants:

Thoughts on the lineup: A good lineup, I just might like Buster up in the 3-spot a little better. No Giants player has more than ten plate appearances against Greinke, so the players are still getting used to him, relatively speaking. That, as opposed to some of the Dodgers and Matt Cain, who’s been pitching in the NL West since 2005.  For the close-to-.500 Dodgers:

Thoughts on the lineup: Andre Ethier has a .441/.467/.574 career line against Matt Cain and Adrian Gonzalez has four career HR off of Cainer, so it’s no surprise that they are in the so-called “heart” of the lineup, but I don’t think I agree with him being this far down. I think you can take Dee Gordon and put him behind Juan Uribe and get better results.

The Prediction

The Giants have won five straight at Dodger Stadium dating back to September 13th of last season, and have won seven of their last eight meetings with LA. I think they continue to deliver the pain, winning tonight against Greinke with most of the damage coming against and often-used bullpen in a 4-2 victory on national television.


GIFPost: Tuesday Night Fights in LA

Just your average Tuesday night in LA between NL West rivals, and I guess you could say this all started when Ian Kennedy had a pitch hit Yasiel Puig in the nose. Zack Greinke would later hit Miguel Montero in the back and the benches would empty to nothing more than some words and some slowing down of the game. Then Ian Kennedy decided it was his turn to take matters into his own hands by throwing back at Greinke, whom would not start in the 8th inning… a curious move by Don Mattingly, to say the least.

You’ll see Miguel Montero below not really doing any loud shouting with Greinke, which shifts the focus more to Ian Kennedy.

Speaking of Kennedy, he’s just gonna casually walk outta here

Look for #31 and how he just kinda disappears while the Dodgers look for his head

Puig had some words

Ronald Belisario would get his swings in

Diamondbacks coach Turner Ward got some action with the banister of the camera well near the visitors dugout

And a close up for the coach

Mark McGwire also got steaming ma and Matt Williams had to receive the brunt of his words of rage

Something about road apples

Poor Matt Williams, just listening to McGwire vent

Here’s Williams getting Don Mattingly out of there.

Kirk Gibson would be ejected since there were warnings issued, and Joe Paterson would hit Mark Ellis later in the game, although nothing in terms of brawls or ejections happened. The lesson to be had here is Ian Kennedy could have really hurt Zack Greinke, and if Greinke’s aim isn’t slick, he could have hurt Miguel Montero. This is not something that is good in baseball. It will grab the headlines, generate site hits, but happy will I be when the day comes that I don’t blog about this anymore.

Depth at SP for #Dodgers once was amusingly deep, now it’s mostly used up

This morning’s news from LA Times beat writer Dylan Hernandez:

There has been speculation even before now that Chad Billingsley might need Tommy John surgery, and if that turns out to be the case, chances are he’s done until 2014. Stephen Fife has been called back up to the big league team to help fill the gap for now.

Remember when the Dodgers had something like eight starting pitchers? It was pretty funny, especially because people knew the Dodgers would have a tough time getting rid of the extra pitchers that might be able to help out a second-tier major league roster. But they had depth! That depth can come in handy if there’s an injury, or somebody needs to make some mechanical issues. The original roster of pitchers looked as such:

Clayton Kershaw

Zack Greinke

Chad Billingsley

Josh Beckett

Hyun-Jin Ryu

Chris Capuano

Aaron Harang

Ted Lilly

Now, Greinke’s out after his unforgettable shoulder drop vs. Carlos Quentin, Bills could be done for a couple weeks, or a whole year,  Harang was traded to the Rockies for Ramon Hernandez (and then Harang was traded to Seattle), and Lilly should actually be coming up this week to give the Dodgers a fifth pitcher. Oh, and Capuano also has a strained left calf, so he’s on the 15-day DL. Funny how baseball can work, it can give so much, and it can certainly taketh away so much more.

Questions are coming around from Dodger fans to their favorite Dodger bloggers when they can expect from the estimated time of arrival for their top prospect Zach Lee (a break from all the Yasiel Puig questions!), and the consensus seems to be that it’ll be later (2014) rather than sooner (2013) that he’ll be able to contribute to the club. This of course assumes Lee is still a Dodger in 2014 and not in somebody else’s minor league system. I’m not sure if fretting about other former prospect Allen Webster, whom was called up to pitch for Boston today, is all that worthwhile, since he did help LA land Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford (and those other guys). Giants fans will show no sympathy for that “should have kept” complaining.

The Dodgers rotation will be interesting to watch in the next month, as their one ace works, Ryu has looked decent so far, Beckett doesn’t, Capuano will probably be pulling his weight for the most part, and Lilly is likely going to be getting calls for the DFA from fans. It’s gone from having two strong figures standing tall to protect the glory of Los Angeles to having Kershaw and him wondering what they’re going to get out of the other four, hoping things don’t go as bad as most baseball fans think they will.

Adding another opinion to last night’s mess

I made a GIF post of the fight last night, but I’m not going to pretend that watching the whole video of it wouldn’t be better, so

You know the story about Zack Greinke and Carlos Quentin, and now there’s an added bit to hearing Matt Kemp and Quentin met in the hallways towards the player parking lot on their way out and got face to face. @ProductiveOuts was able to make some pretty funny commentary out of peacemaker Clayton Richard and Matt Kemp getting up in one another’s space

Then, before everybody went to sleep, and actually before the hallway meeting, the Dodgers official account tweeted this

Were there San Diego fans, and maybe a player or two backing Quentin last night? Absolutely. Quentin does say Greinke says something to him, so until we know what that is, it’s hard to deliver a clear judgment on the rush that led to Greinke’s broken collarbone. However, my opinion is that the Dodgers account stepped over the line in not helping relations with San Diego. Do they care? Probably not. Should they care? Absolutely. I’m not saying they should have said, “Good game, Padres, see you next time! xoxo” but giving just the official recap and notes from the press conference would have been enough. I’m not sure why it was necessary to create more bad blood between teams and fanbases, because you know San Diego fans probably didn’t enjoy seeing that.

To make my stance clear, I agree with Don Mattingly that Quentin shouldn’t play before Greinke does, but I realize that’s probably not going to happen. This is MLB’s chance to take a stand on the matter, but I don’t expect them to start now. The MLB might also want to have anger management classes for all of its athletes before the season, because maybe it might prevent another broken collarbone, or any other injury. All in all, this is not a good thing for baseball, and I’m just hoping Quentin gets his suspension, Greinke recovers quickly, and the fans from different teams don’t start hurting each other.

The season series resumes on Monday at Dodger Stadium.

GIFs of the Shove and Shout-Fest in San Diego

Maybe it didn’t all start with a Jason Marquis pitch to Matt Kemp in the first inning. Maybe this goes further back. There was a game recap from 2009 (credit to Bill Shaikin for reminding the people) where Carlos Quentin and Zack Greinke met when they were with the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals, respectively:

An instance between Carlos Quentin and Greinke with one out in the fourth stood out as the game’s only real fireworks, and even this uprising didn’t amount to much. Quentin was hit squarely in the back by a Greinke pitch and immediately took a couple of steps toward the mound.

Home-plate umpire Bill Hohn stepped in front of Quentin and catcher Miguel Olivo quickly restrained the slugger. Television broadcasts showed Quentin telling Olivo that he was all right, and Quentin moved down to first base.

By Greinke’s estimation, it was a first-inning pitch that got away and almost hit Quentin in the head causing the residual anger three innings later.

“He had a reason for [being upset],” said Greinke of Quentin. “Any time you throw it that high, it’s justified. You’ve got to be better than that and not pitch like that. You’re going to make mistakes, but the last thing you want to do is hit someone where it could seriously hurt them. As soon as I let go of it, I was scared for him.”

So there is history that goes back as far as that. On to the GIFs:

The delivery from Greinke

You’ll notice AJ Ellis yelling “HEY” to Quentin because really, nobody wants to risk injury or suspension of anybody else

Another view, complete with Greinke glove drop and taking the hit

The pile that ensued

From the home plate camera now

The bullpen getting their exercise

Matt Kemp was very angry, and was protected by multiple Dodgers to not get any further involved. As of this moment, it’s unclear if by this point he was already ejected.

Then Jerry Hairston runs to the Padres dugout, a la Jorge Soler minus a bat, and gets another scrum started

The bullpen comes back out to get their jogging in

Greinke would leave with the team trainer, and his departure was called an injury, but we will not know the extent of it until after the game.

Matt Kemp, what do you think of this whole thing?

It’s “mother father bull kit?” I’m not sure I understand. It’s ok, no need to clarify.

Suspensions are likely for Kemp (allegedly for touching an umpire), Hairston, and Quentin. Not sure about Greinke, but that’s also possible. This could be trouble for the Dodgers if Greinke’s actually hurt, but we’ll wait to talk about all that until news is released post-game.

Some of February 25th’s Action in GIFs

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

Alex Castellanos punishes a Jonathan Papelbon pitch to RCF

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:

The other ones from the Giants starting pitchers Matt Cain on how his knee is feeling:

…and Madison Bumgarner on his pitching motion:

Cue that “I think I’m turning Japanese” song our parents grew up on.

The Best Individual Seasons of 2012: 21st through 40th

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.






40. Jimmy Rollins (23 HR, 30 SB, .322 wOBA, 4.9 fWAR, 2.3 rWAR) – You’ve got the picture now that I love HR and SB when put up in big bunches, and J-Roll, though 33 already, still’s puttin’ out.

39. Miguel Montero (15 HR, 25 2B, .364 wOBA, 5.0 fWAR, 3.7 rWAR) – Wouldn’t be surprised if Arizona fans feel MM is underappreciated. Definitely not talked about as much when we talk about “good catchers.”

38. Chris Sale (192.0 IP, 9 K/9, 4.06 tERA, 4.9 fWAR, 4.2 rWAR) – Turning 24 at the end of March, some scouts worry about this guy’s delivery, but hopefully Sale will continue to produce and not get injured.

37. Prince Fielder (30 HR, 33 2B, .398 wOBA, 4.9 fWAR, 4.4 rWAR) – Yea, defense kills him also, but that offense is just so hot, it’s no wonder he’s locked up through 2020.

36. Bryce Harper (22 HR, 18 SB, .352 wOBA, 4.9 fWAR, 5.0 rWAR) – Kid turned 20 in October. Really tried to not use his age to rank, but I might be guilty of that here.

35. Yu Darvish (191.1 IP, 10.4 K/9, 4.02 tERA, 5.1 fWAR, 4.0 rWAR) – Not a bad campaign for the “rookie” out of Sendai, and this is probably the guy I wish I would have watched more of. Maybe this year I’ll do that.

34. Joe Mauer (10 HR, 31 2B, .376 wOBA, 5.0 fWAR, 4.1 rWAR) – Just hoping Head & Shoulders is back in the game and ready to mash, especially with that monster contract of his.

33. Matt Holliday (27 HR, 36 2B, .378 wOBA, 5.1 fWAR, 3.9 rWAR) – Who’d have thunk that Holliday would be higher on this list than old buddy Pujols in 2013? Certainly not me.

32. Stephen Strasburg (159.1 IP, 11.13 K/9, 3.34 tERA, 4.3 fWAR, 2.7 rWAR) – Ranking SS was very tough because it’s not his fault the Nats shut him down, and I tried not to extrapolate what he was going to do and just take what he did and rank that. Could be too high, considering most everyone else got through the full season. Maybe it’s just right.

31. Carlos Ruiz (16 HR, 32 2B, .398 wOBA, 5.5 fWAR, 4.4 rWAR) – For how long he was using a substance to help him focus is unknown to me, and maybe it was helping him all year, but that’s not something I feel comfortable speculating on.

30. Torii Hunter (16 HR, 24 2B, .356 wOBA, 5.3 fWAR, 5.5 rWAR) – I do feel kind of bad for him with how things ended in Anaheim, but I think he’ll be happy in Detroit.

29. Austin Jackson (16 HR, 10 3B, .371 wOBA, 5.5 fWAR, 5.2 rWAR) – Someone said to me in the midst of the World Series the Tigers only had two guys in their lineup to fear. Austin Jackson then started his Rodney Dangerfield act, pointing to his regular season numbers.

28. Ian Desmond (25 HR, 21 SB, .362 wOBA, 5.4 fWAR, 3.2 rWAR) – Really difficult to decide between him, Jackson, and Hunter, but the 20-20 thing is just too sexy.

27. Giancarlo Stanton (37 HR, 30 2B, .405 wOBA, 5.8 fWAR, 5.4 rWAR) – He will enter his age 23 season in 2013, and he did all that in 501 plate appearances. Scary to think that he could get stronger.

26. Martin Prado (10 HR, 17 SB, .345 wOBA, 5.9 fWAR, 5.4 rWAR) – Often overlooked because he doesn’t clear the fence more often, Prado is a solid utility player that hasn’t quite seen his payday yet, but hopefully he will get his.

25. Alex Gordon (14 HR, 51 2B, .357 wOBA, 5.9 fWAR, 6.2 rWAR) – I could see people having a beef with me ranking Gordon too low, but if he gets stronger, those doubles might be going down and turning into dingers.

24. Zack Greinke (212.1 IP, 8.48 K/9, 3.58 tERA, 5.1 fWAR, 3.3 rWAR) – The lefty has a new home in LA, but made due with the Milwaukee and other “LA” team he worked for in 2012

23. Ben Zobrist (20 HR, 14 SB, .365 wOBA, 5.9 fWAR, 5.5 rWAR) – Another year of Ben playing multiple positions, and he still churns out the numbers that make him a solid attribute to the club. Good thing they have two team options on him for 2014 and 2015.

22. Joey Votto (44 2B, 19.80% BB%, .438 wOBA, 5.9 fWAR, 5.6 rWAR) – Even if he wasn’t 100%, he still ended up being a big contributor to the NL Central Champs.

21. Gio Gonzalez (199.1 IP, 9.35 K/9, 3.34 tERA, 5.4 fWAR, 4.5 rWAR) – Homey needs to bring that walk rate down, but to have this guy and him not be the #1 in your staff is pretty telling of what the Nationals have.