Tag Archives: Dodgers

I’ll order the Sweep with the trio of Shutouts on the Side

What a way to greet the Dodgers on their first trip to SF this year. And who would have guessed that this would have been accomplished with Cain and Bumgarner in the dugout, patiently waiting their turn. Even before this series started, it seemed to me that the Giants were a better team than the Dodgers. (Note to self; record thoughts like this before they are mere hindsight.) In the last 30 games, the Giants have been a better team than the Dodgers, consistently gaining ground. On the chart below, that maps the winning %s of both teams, you can see the records slowly merging. The Dodgers have had two other major skids in that time. Whether or not the Giants are better than the Dodgers + Kemp is up for debate; but he will be on the DL for at least another 2 weeks, probably more.  And keep in mind that the Giants haven’t been without their own injuries this year. We lost Pablo for quite a bit, Vogelsong started on the DL, Theriot has been a surprisingly impactful player since he came back from his injury, and Wilson is out for the season. As Zito said, the Dodgers took advantage when the Giants were hurting, and now the Giants have to pay back the favor.

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Lately, Zito has been Zitoing. After such a strong start to the season, in his three appearances prior to Monday he was 0-3 and had given up 17 earned runs in 14.1 innings pitched, raising his ERA nearly 1.5 points. It was good to see him have another strong outing on Monday, particularly against the Blew Crew. Let’s be real, no one really expects Zito to finish the year 16-8 with a 2.84 ERA. That ship sailed long ago; or rather it sank under the weight of that contract. But so far this year, Zito is 4-1 against the NL West. The Giants play the majority of their games against those 4 teams, if Zito can always give them a chance to win against the division, he’ll be an impactful part of the team.

At the risk of sounding like a skeptic (which I am), I’m not going to say Timmy is back. On April 28th, he threw 8 innings giving up only one unearned run. The Giants lost the next 9 games Lincecum started. Frankly, he looked better on April 28th than he did yesterday. Yes, I know he pitched fairly well in Oakland and now has 12 consecutive scoreless innings, but his problem all year has been maintaining that focus for a whole game. So I’m not going to count the Oakland game since he wasn’t good for the whole time.

But I’m also not going to say that this was a huge step in the right direction for Lincecum. Admittedly, that wasn’t exactly a top notch lineup that Mattingly threw our way yesterday, but after 9 straight losses and a no decision, a solid win against the franchise rivals could do a world of wonder for him mentally. Daniel Brown of the SJ Mercury recently wrote an article in which he got Bengie Molina’s opinions on the struggling ace. Having caught both of his Cy Young seasons, Molina was of the opinion that it was a mental issue. Something like an important win against the Dodgers, putting the perfect capstone on a shutout sweep, could be just what Lincecum needs to “regain his swagger”.

As if going 30 innings without scoring, 125 trips to the plate without a run (almost 14 times through the lineup), stranding 23 runners on the bases, and going 0-19 with RISP wasn’t enough…the Dodger’s equipment truck broke down on the way out of SF. Something tells me that they aren’t looking forward to their next trip up north.

Anyone else going to follow the Dodgers game tonight to see how far they can extend their scoreless inning streak?

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Giants Beat the Dodgers!

Dodgers: 6  Giants: 2  Matt Kemp: 0/5

As far as I’m concerned, keeping Matt Kemp off the bases right now, particularly with the bases juiced in the 8th, is more impressive than beating the Dodgers, so I’m chalking this up as a win for the Giants. Kemp is putting up video game numbers (as Kruk and Kuip like to say) and he looked lost up there at the plate. Clearly he was expecting Timmy to be as ineffective as he has been in his previous starts, not the 93 mph fastball and a slider that got its bite back.

Aside from the obvious issue of losing to the Dodgers, there were some other concerns I came away with.

I’m a huge Nate Schierholtz fan and think the GMen are a better team with him in RF. I think he isn’t given fair opportunities at the plate. So I was overjoyed to see him in the lineup today. He continued his ownage on Chad Billingsly and went 1 for 3 with a walk. But his base running has gotten increasingly worse. I don’t know if the steal was his initiative or called, but that and overrunning second cost the team at least 2 runs.

Why is Posey striking out so much? Yes, he is under more pressure with no Panda in the line up, but his strikeout rate is way up from where it has been, roughly double what it was last year. Many of his swings just look ugly! Last night was just the third time in his young career that he had 3 strike outs. One of my favorite aspects of his game when he first game up was his plate discipline; he never seemed overwhelmed and was never pressing at the plate.

A positive note is that Joaquin Arias is killing it in the field. He reminds me of a less talented Jose Uribe. Doesn’t look good doing it, but somehow manages to pull of great plays. And he is nearly as ugly as Uribe as well (either Uribe).

I’m glad that Magic Johnson lowered the price of parking to $10. Now, why don’t they add a line item to the budget to allow the ball dudes to toss the foul balls in the stands. Just saying.

I guess if I’m going to blog about the Giants, I can’t ignore Tim Lincecum. His line wasn’t that great yesterday, but I feel good about what he did.

IP 5 H 8 ER 4 BB 2 K 8

He gave up some runs, but not in the first. 4 runs in 5 innings is and inning and a run away from a quality start. In the first three scoreless innings, he struck out 6, 8 overall; that’s the old Timmy we all know! Only 2 walks is a good sign as well. And most importantly, his fast ball was back to the 91-93 mph range. That is what was worrying me the most. I know, I know, his mechanics were off. But you see so many good pitchers turn bad, mostly because they lose velocity. Seeing his quirky motion shoot 93 mph fastballs and some sliders with good movement in the strike zone gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.

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