Wednesday, September 09, 2009


The Mad Bum, A Phantom Injury, and a Bad Loss

Tim Lincecum missed yesterday's game with a "back injury", scaring many Giants fans and even leading some to post frothy diatribes about how he's been overworked (I'm not kidding). I'm not buying it. Pardon me for being a skeptical bastard, but I'm guessing the Giants just wanted Lincecum starting against the Dodgers and the Rockies so they made up the injury as a smokescreen to push his start back a few days. And wouldn't you know it...Timmy is feeling fine. I'm shocked...shocked, I tell you. My guess is that Lincecum magically feels good enough to start Friday's opener against LA and then comes back to pitch the closing game against Colorado.

Why start Madison Bumgarner in his place, then, opening the team up to all kinds of criticism about service time and whatnot? Probably because the Giants felt that Joe Martinez or any other AAA filler-type wouldn't be able to stop even the Padres' meager attack, and Bumgarner was ready after tearing through the minor leagues. He ended up pitching well enough, before the bullpen had an uncharacteristic blowup to send the Giants to a rough loss that put them three games back of the Wild Card.

Bumgarner pitched pretty well and even got one good swing off, taking a Kevin Correia fastball to the warning track, but all the attention seemed to be on his lowered velocity. The scouting reports had Bumgarner throwing in the range of 93-95, but last night he showed up throwing 88-90, as ghosts of Jesse Fopperts past began swirling around. Worrisome? Well, yes. Bumgarner's strikeout rate in the minors also was less than inspiring. Maybe he was pacing himself, but Giants fans don't really want to stomach another pitching prospect with overhyped velocity. That was almost certainly his only start of the season, so we'll have to wait a while to see if the decreased velocity was the real deal or just a nerve-induced fluke.

This just falls into my belief that Giants fans (and in general, Bay Area sports fans) are crazy. Win two games? GIANTS IN THE PLAYOFFS!!!! Lose two games? FIRE BOCHY/SABEAN!!!! And so on...

The best is probably the 'short series' expectation of making the playoffs. I mean, I get how good pitching beats good hitting, but no matter how good the Giants staff is, they'll likely draw the Cards in the NLDS... When a hitter is considered a success at 30%, and the Cards have all those really good or really hot hitters? Yeah...

The team is 27-25 since the All-Star break. That might be enough to eke out a playoff spot in a week division, but it won't help them if they can't score runs when it matters most. Especially on the road against teams that have their own good pitching.
Most fans tend to be knee-jerk. Have you ever heard New York fans? Good God.

As for the "short series" thing, I've never really bought the "pitching wins in the playoffs" argument. I'd rather go into the playoffs with Lincecum, Cain, etc. than not, obviously, but you've also got to score runs. Maybe you have to do the little things, but the Giants don't even do that well.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?