Results tagged ‘ Rafael Furcal ’
Tim Lincecum has a blister on his middle finger, and it still isn’t well enough to wear the Giants staff wants him to pitch in a real live game. Today’s game against the Indians will make for his second consecutive start where he will get scratched, the first being Saturday’s split-squad game against the Cubs. Bruce Bochy drives home the fact that “there is still time,” and you may be thinking, and quite fairly so, “How much?” Spring Training is a little longer this year thanks to the World Baseball Classic, and at this time last year the games were just getting started, so news of so-and-so getting scratched for precautionary reasons is not new to early March. The Giants regular season schedule for the first couple weeks looks like this:
One day off in the first couple weeks will cure our desire for regular season Giants baseball, but it also means that the last day the Giants will need a fifth start is Wednesday, April 10th. So that means Tim Lincecum has nearly five weeks to get into game shape if he even needs like long, and I’m guessing he won’t.
Tommy John surgery, man, it can take you out, and Rafael Furcal is its latest victim, so look for Pete Kozma to take his place. If you have a fantasy baseball draft soon, don’t take Furcal. That’s my pro-tip of fantasy advice.
Trevor Rosenthal of the Cardinals has also been moved to the bullpen, meaning that competition to make the St. Louis rotation becomes that much easier for guys like Joe Kelly and Shelby Miller, two postseason contributors who are obviously already on the 40-man roster.
The Sandman will do a Chipper
Buster Olney is saying that on Saturday, Mariano Rivera will announce he will retire after this year, which will set off a farewell tour like what Chipper Jones went through last year with the Braves. For relievers with more than 500 IP, Rivera leads ‘em all in ERA (2.05), FIP (2.65), fWAR (38.9), and yes, even those Saves (608). Truly a pitching great whose cutter we could marvel at, and in 2013, we’ll get one last chance to do so.
I’m not going to lie: I am out of touch with the public when it comes to the feeling of what the fanbase is feeling after this weekend’s sweep, essentially taking a break from Twitter to focus on getting married, and I also never look at fanboards and comment sections to boot. However, after sweeping an MLB team, even if it is the lowly Rockies, probably has people feeling pretty good, including the guys getting paid to play. Now they travel to St. Louis, known for their improbable run to euphoria back last year, and they get mocked a lot for having “the best fans in baseball,” but after seeing them do the wave, it was probably a different time when/if they had the best fans. Something you may have noticed, these squads sport the same record, and we know the NL West hasn’t been all too strong, and some may say the weather may be an issue. I think the Giants already had their bad hot trip, and remember all too well how quickly things can get bad when they start making excuses.
Monday, August 6th: RHP Matt Cain vs. RHP Jake Westbrook
One sentence summary: The sinkerballer Westbrook is prone to giving up runs, but will eat up innings while Cainer looks to find his stroke after a rough outing vs. the Metropolitans.
Useless trivia: Of the four times Matt Cain has thrown less than 100 pitches, three of those times he’s thrown 97 (the other at 91 in his duel with Cliff Lee).
Tuesday, August 7th: LHP Barry Zito vs. RHP Lance Lynn
One sentence summary: The last two times Zito’s been on the bump the team has seen their opponent score 9, and 10, respectively, while Lance Lynn has been getting some great run support to back his nice strikeout ratio, and win-loss record.
Wednesday, August 8th: RHP Ryan Vogelsong vs. RHP Joe Kelly
One sentence summary: In his 10 starts, Kelly has not seen more than 3 ER get tacked to his record, and Vogelsong still has his amazing streak of 6+ IP in his starts going strong.
Thursday, August 9th: LHP Madison Bumgarner vs. RHP Adam Wainwright
One sentence summary: Bumgarner has only allowed more than 2 walks once this year, and Wainwright has just come off a complete game as this game promises to be one that grabs the attention of baseball fans.
The Bare Bones of the Offense
Alex Pavlovic was talking about Buster Posey putting up video game numbers, and if you’ve taken a look at the last seven days it’s even more video game: .500/.600/.958 with a .629 wOBA including 3 HR — who does that? Melky and Pagan have been contributing lately as well, Pagan especially thanks to the three-game stat-booster in Colorado. It’s been reported Pablo Sandoval won’t be pushed to join the lineup at the tail end of the series, so we’ll just have to wait for the weekend. Gregor Blanco and Brandon Crawford’s bats have been slowing the boys down within the past week.
You know who else hits 3 HR in a week? Matt Holliday. You know who steals 3 bags in a week? Yadier Molina…. which is shocking because you’re just not used to seeing a Molina with a SB recorded after getting to watch Bengie for so many years. Old friend Carlos Beltran is also swinging the stick well at the moment. Somebody that’s had good numbers all year but you might not know unless you’re into the fantasy baseball aspect of things is Allen Craig, so keep an eye on him. Rafael Furcal has been ice cold with a .090 wOBA in the last 7.
If the Giants sweep in St. Louis that’d be fantastic, but against a team like St. Louis, it’s an incredibly greater task than against a minor league team like the Rox.
Monday: Giants win (Bats still warm)
Tuesday: Cardinals win (Zito’s outing too demoralizing)
Wednesday: Giants win (Joe Kelly gets Cain’d)
Thursday: Cardinals win (Vintage Wainwright)
No more blog posts this week, so enjoy your baseball!
We are approaching a third of the season gone by, so it’s becoming about time to consider All Star Game roster considerations. The sample sizes are larger, but I’d still prefer MLB wait to open voting until mid-June since so many people have access to the internet the general public is perfectly capable of voting for their favorite player 25 times in a span of 2-3 weeks. These picks consider numbers up until today, and are not projections as to what they’ll do through June/July. I promise this post won’t be all Giants. Promise.
C: Carlos Ruiz, Phillies
I’m going with the guy with more HR, a lower K%, higher SLG%, wOBA, and wRC+ than AJ Ellis, who gets a lot of attention in this region.
Reserves: Jonathan Lucroy (only his BB% and OBP are worse than Ellis), AJ Ellis
1B: Joey Votto, Reds
Don’t mind him, he’s just walking around (21.0% of the time) beasting the competition. .321/.465/.590 line with a .447 wOBA and a 185 wRC+.
Reserves: Bryan LaHair (10 jacks, but a 30% K% rate), and yes you’re reading this right — Adam LaRoche (the only other NL 1B with over a .500 SLG%)
2B: Omar Infante, Marlins
This guy had a hot start and he’s actually been holding up his numbers, since he’s the only NL 2B with over a .200 ISO, .500 SLG, and .400 wOBA
Reserve: Jose Altuve, who I stupidly traded away in my fantasy league
SS: Rafael Furcal, Cardinals
The BABIP may be up there, but he’s leading the pack in a lot of categories like the batting line except for SLG (3rd), and I know he doesn’t have the pop that someone like Troy Tulowitzki might have
Reserves: Jed Lowrie, Ian Desmond, Tulo
3B: David Wright, Mets
He’s blowing everybody out of the water WRIGHT NOW (HA!) with his numbers — .390/.489/.604 with a .453 wOBA, 194 wRC+. It’s beautiful. Yes I know it will regress but still.
Reserves: Pablo Sandoval, Chipper Jones, David Freese (OK I might have too many guys on the roster, so sue me.)
OF1: Matt Kemp, Dodgers. You haven’t forgotten about him, have you? .368 ISO, .726 SLG%, 12 HR, .473 wOBA, 207 wRC+. Wowzers.
OF2: Ryan Braun, Brewers. 13 HR, .300 ISO, .612 SLG%, .425 wOBA, 172 wRC+.
OF3: Carlos Beltran, Cardinals. omg he hatez the giants how could you include him u looser. 14 HR, .304 ISO, .422 wOBA, 172 wRC+. Will need an injury replacement.
Reserves (5): Andre Ethier, Andrew McCutchen, Martin Prado, Melky Cabrera, Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton off your bench. OFF THE BENCH.
Not a bad roster, if I do say so myself if it had to be made today.
So Game 1 was 3-2, Cardinals. Game 2 was 2-1, Rangers. This obviously sets up a 1-0 Cardinals game. Kyle Lohse vs. Matt Harrison in Texas? Yea, I know. Crazier things have happened. Like the first two games having a combined 8 runs. Both games being one run games isn’t a horribly big surprise, I just thought at least one of the teams would have scored 8 runs in one of the games. I’m sure there will be at least one of those games that one team wins like say… 16-4, or 11-8, or 9-0. You know, something like that.
From what I’ve heard, the managers have overmanaged both games in some way: Ron Washington in Game 1 using German in a PH role, Tony La Russa pulling Motte in the 9th. Do I agree with both of those decisions? No. But I understand La Russa’s more than Washington’s. However, Washington has led his team to back-to-back World Series and TLR has been in quite a few and won some himself. I stop short of saying things like “these guys obviously don’t know what they’re doing.” They obviously do.
Some guy with two first names was the hero in Game 1 while small ball and a cutter from the CF that Albert missed in the 9th in Game 2 has the world talking. Should it be an error? Debatable. All that matters is that Elvis Andrus was on 2nd and the Texas Rangers took advantage of pitches in bad spots (up to Hamilton; away in the zone to Young where he can extend his arms).
MLB Network is doing a great Diamond Demo on Rafael Furcal’s positioning on tagging Ian Kinsler in that Raffy should’ve straddled the bag and maybe the outcome would’ve been different. Didn’t think anyone would get a SB on Yadier in this series. I have a lot of respect for that arm. Credit Kinsler for a ballsy and successful SB. Also, how about Elvis tonight? Nice. No question in my mind when Neftali came in.
By the way, I’m sure if you’re at least… 10 years old and are a rabid sports fan, you’ll notice the conversation about the series always stays the same no matter what.
Team A up 1-0: “Team that wins the first game more likely to win the series! This could be the year!”
Team A and B tied: “Team B has the momentum now… can Team A fight it?!?! I think Team B will win!”
Whoever goes up 2-1: “I team (winning team)’s chances to win. 2 wins away, they have their ace going in Game 5 and their Game 6 starter is next in line in case things get a little crazy. That team is my favorite to win now!”
The only annoying part about the playoffs. Outside of the obvious sports people and football music network that broadcast the World Series.
Discussion and disagreement are part of sports life, and after reading a post from @BayCityBall (http://www.baycityball.com/2011/10/02/my-postseason-rooting-order/) I thought this would be a good post for today. The idea is of course, there are eight teams in the postseason and if we had to rank who you would root for, what would that order be? Everyone’s list will be different and who can blame them? There’s some attractive talent (both on the field and in the dugout) for us to be amazed and stupefied at.
1. Tampa Bay Rays – expansion team, lost to the Phillies in 2008, came from a huge deficit to defeat one of the more despised franchises in baseball. They have lovable characters like Evan Longoria, One-A-Day 50+ sponsor Joe Maddon, Madison Bumgarner pitch-a-like Matt Moore (alike in that the Rangers couldn’t touch either of them). Shoot, their version of Eli Whiteside even hit two HRs against CJ Wilson. Awesome
2. Texas Rangers – When the Giants and the Rangers met up last year in 2010, you had a ratings nightmare: no Yankees? no Red Sox? no Phillies? We’ll just have Joe Buck and Tim McCarver do this one. Nobody’s watching, anyway. You also had two franchises starved for a World Series trophy. The Giants got their portion in 2010, but the Rangers were left hanging and from what I heard, the Rangers were very classy in defeat. Their exciting players are mostly hold bats and hit HRs for a living, their staff has the experience of winning so the jitters should be mostly out of the way.
3. Detroit Tigers – The playoff team I probably know the least about. I guess they’re like the Tampa Bay Rays or a Texas Rangers-lite on offense and some other team with their pitching. Justin Verlander? Hot. Jose Valverde? He should make a dance instruction DVD. As for everyone else? Whatever, just beat the Yankees.
4. St. Louis Cardinals – Just beat the Phillies, Tony La Russa. Use your craftiness when you get back home to even the series at 2 or something. Sprinklers, stadium lights, rain dance, Buffalo Wild Wings commercials, whatever. I laugh a little that Rafael Furcal is on this team.
5. Arizona Diamondbacks – They’re not far down on the list because I despise their team; really, I’m OK with them. Justin Upton, Chris Young, Aaron Hill, Kirk Gibson. I think he’s done a great job with the team and GM Kevin Towers a wonderful job rebuilding the bullpen. I don’t want them winning the World Series because I don’t know why, but I don’t. I may have this fear that winning the WS would convince idiots to vote Ian Kennedy for Cy Young even though it’s just a regular season award. Edit: Forgot that ballots are submitted before the post-season. Therefore, Kennedy performance in post-season will not change likelihood of getting Cy. Their twitter account is annoying as babies on a plane, by the way.
6. Milwaukee Brewers – I am very not fond of a certain player on their team that claims to have an alter-ego that rhymes with “Phony-Flush.” I do not want to see him happy. Does that make me a bad person? Probably, but no one’s perfect. I’m not too fond of Prince Fielder, either, but TofuMan doesn’t both me as much as the current CF. I like Ryan Braun. I like John Axford.
In between 6 and 7, please note that there’s a gap larger than the 6 hour drive from Long Beach to San Jose I have to endure at least twice a year.
7. Philadelphia Phillies – I have a strong dislike for the Phillies. They have become the Yankees of the NL. I will laugh at them in 2015 when they are still paying Ryan Howard $25MM to strike out with a sandwich in his mouth.
8. New York Yankees – Look, they have exciting players. They’re the freaking Yankees. But the only time you want a team like that to win is when: a) it’s your team or b) you’re playing a video game and you’ve constructed a super team that isn’t possible in real life and you don’t have to worry about hurting other people’s feelings.
In 2012, the list will be different. Buster ain’t havin’ it.