Matt Cain’s Future

by
Greek Giant

I love Matt Cain. For me, he will always have a permanent home in the Giants Pantheon for 2010, 2011, and 2012. When one of your home-grown starters pitches righteously and leads you to two World Series championships there is no debate. Matthew Thomas Cain (AKA The Horse) is now officially a living legend. Let us not forget.

The Perfect Game

Game 2 of the 2010 World Series


The past 4 years have not been kind to The Horse. Between injuries and general ineffectiveness witnessing one of our heroes fall from grace and suddenly become a mortal again is a painful phenomenon.

Watch that 2010 World Series video and note the exquisite slider: perfectly located in a paralyzing position to right-handers and sharply-breaking away from barrels of bats. The look of despair on the Rangers’ hitters is priceless. They were defeated. Cain was in command, though he was visibly nervous on the mound. His stuff was excellent. Matt Cain was that rare pitcher living up in the zone with his fastball and getting many weak fly ball outs while shifting eye levels to perfection with his slider and other off-speed pitches.

Matt Cain Today

While his velocity may be only 2-3 MPH down from his peak years, it’s enough to change the way hitters approach Cain at the plate. When you no longer fear the movement of a 93-94 MPH fastball up you can start to sit on breaking pitches. Cain’s slider has lost its slide and his fastball is not fasting as much as it used to. To make matters worse, The Horse has lost confidence in his pitches as a result. He is now prone to nibbling around the corners, often falling behind in counts. The same thing happened to Tim Lincecum, Javy Lopez and Ryan Vogelsong. When a pitcher knows his stuff is not as fearsome it becomes very difficult to attack the zone and challenge hitters early in counts.

The result for Cain in 2016 was a demotion to the bullpen and limited use as a middle reliever. It was a humbling demotion: from Ace to bullpen banishment in the span of three years.

Matt Cain in 2017

There has been talk around certain Giants circles (at least in my house) that Cain could be converted to a closer or set-up man for next season. While it is always exciting to theorize about a career resurrection for one’s heroes, it is unlikely the Giants will take this path. This is not to say that Cain cannot be effective somewhere in the bullpen and as a spot starter, in the mode of Albert Suarez or Yusmero Petit. I believe Cain’s arm still has plenty of bullets in it and his future may rely on him developing a lights-out change-up or some other off-speed pitch that he can command enough to get strikes with early on in the count. He appears to be a physically stronger and more durable pitcher than Timmy and I have a feeling he will find new life in his career, be it with the Giants or another team, before he retires.

  • BALDHEADSLIKK

    Matt Cain would be a pretty good long man out of the bp and thats about it! Morning!

    • Efrain

      morning Slikk! I need some excitement on this blog.

      • BALDHEADSLIKK

        Blame the blog silence on the Giants crappy bullpen

      • BALDHEADSLIKK

        Otherwise we could still be playing right now

      • Durant chose the Warriors …

  • Matthew

    I guess my issues as I consider Cain are really boiled down to a simple consideration: can he consistently pitch in any role?

    He has been a quiet soldier with long stretches of fantastic contributions. Like many pitchers, the injuries decimated that run. So, is he done, or can he pitch?

    I’m not mad, and I don’t blame the Giants for their difficulty in deciding. Matt has the brain, and had the arm…and that’s the question: does he still? Whatever role: starter, long man, closer…all the ideas we have bandied about are not the significant question. The significant question: can he pitch anymore?

    I know he will do everything in his powers to prove he can. I hope he can.

    • dgg

      Can Cain pitch effectively as a starter anymore? I’m doubtful. Ty Blach could earn the 5th rotation spot in spring training.

      • DrLefty

        Could and SHOULD. Blach’s earned being the frontrunner, I’d say. He’ll have to prove it again in spring training, but that’s as it should be.

        • totalfan62

          Agreed. I’m with those who think Cain can/should re-invent himself as a Joe Blanton-type middle reliever. That worked well for the Dodgers this year, might be a good tool for Bochy as well.

          • Bleacher Bob

            How long until we start evaluating pitchers by how many outs they can be expected to get? 3 out guys. 6 out guys. 15 out guys. 27 out guys.

    • Efrain

      The Cain situation, what I like to call the “Timmy factor”, is a concern. What situation can he really pitch in? The problem is the team will most likely keep him (contract the primary reason) which will most likely mean once again a 13 man pitching staff and once again a create an imbalanced team.

      I still hold that last season the team was dragged down by Lincecum being on the roster. This year Cain did very little to help, and the teams desire to make it work dragged the team down, basically trying to put a square peg in a round hole.

      Next season? With Cain on the roster its likely the team will once again go with a 13 man staff.

      You know what you need with 13 man staff? You need a solid if not spectacular bench, which the Giants have not had in quit some time. You basically need a couple of Ben Zobrists on the bench to solidify the team. Once any injuries happen….well you get the point.

      • Matthew

        I’ve always felt the Giants show a different level of loyalty to players who earned it. All of us can agree that is admirable, and we would all want to work for a team like that if the opportunity had been there.

        But, it’s clear that there is the risk you point out…that loyalty can end painfully. Cain is the biggest example. I honestly worry what the final couple of years of the Posey contract.

        For me -different than you – I don’t worry too much about the money part. In Cain’s case, I worry about a wasted roster spot (Posey is a player-manager and will contribute). The theory of 13 pitchers, to me, is absurd. You are spot on about the increased importance of the bench spots given the roster construction.

        If Cain can’t pitch AND is the 13th pitcher, there will be consequences that hurt the team.

        I’m not rooting against Cain. I just haven’t seen even a remote sign of consistency for 3 seasons.

        • Efrain

          atta boy, good stuff.

          Actually I’m with you that the wasted roster spot is more concerning than the money.

          I only mentioned the contract because the Giants have a history of keeping such player around longer than perhaps other teams who may just cut the player and move on.

          THE TIMMY FACTOR (lol is scares me to even write it)

      • DrLefty

        Lincecum didn’t pitch for the Giants after June 27, so it’s hard to see how “the team was dragged down” by him being on the roster. That’s half a season that he didn’t throw a pitch. I think it’s fairer to say that the rotation as a whole (except Bumgarner) was extremely weak from the outset. They looked awful on paper, they looked awful in spring training, they looked awful in April, and they were pretty much awful the whole season.

        There was Hudson, great guy but past his expiration date. There was Vogelsong, who’d pitch a nice game every now and then but was wildly inconsistent. Cain was on the DL for half the season and then bad when he came back. Peavy was bad, on the DL, and then had a decent last couple months. They traded for Leake, and he was a bust, too. If it hadn’t been for a AAA emergency guy, Chris Heston, things would have been even worse. Lincecum actually had among the better stats on the rotation before he was injured, but that’s not saying much.

        I know you strongly dislike Lincecum, but making him the single scapegoat for a bad rotation in 2015 doesn’t match up with the facts. In my opinion, the front office knew full well they were punting the season with that rotation but figured they’d get away with it because of the surprise 2014 championship.

        • Efrain

          The Timmy Factor is real and as Matthew pointed out the need for a 13th pitcher is a drag on the team and causes an imbalance to a roster with a crappy bench.
          Your focusing on the wrong part of the argument, the roster spot could have been utilized better. Next season if we have to drag Cain all season and his production stays the same AND we have a 13 man staff ONCE AGAIN, well you see where I’m going…..THE TIMMY FACTOR

          • DrLefty

            Again, he “took up a roster spot” only for half the season. He made 15 starts and went 7-4 with a 4.19 ERA…and he was the third-best starter in the rotation after Bum and Heston. Hudson, Peavy, Cain, Vogelsong and Leake after he was obtained were all worse dead weight for the 2015 Giants than Lincecum was. And it’s not like they had some rockstar starter being blocked in the minors by Lincecum, either.

            It was a bad rotation. He was part of it. He wasn’t the weakest link, either. But I get your point that excessive loyalty can weigh down a roster, and I agree that Cain is part of that pattern, too.

    • Bleacher Bob

      I’ve never liked Cain much. He’s a flyball pitcher. If you’re a flyball pitcher you’re a swing away from either a line drive or a HR. Groundball pitchers have more leeway. That said, Cain has been pitching effectively with those chips in his elbow since he was a teenager. I like to think he’s still relearning how to pitch without the chip pain. With all his MLB experience, maybe his brain can connect again with his new arm and he spent last season relearning how to pitch.

      • channelclemente

        IMO, you have to further define what you mean by ‘flyball’ pitcher. If you mean he yields to many line drives, then of course…but if you mean just balls hit in the air, some guys who can avoid the LD are among the best pitchers to be found. It’s not so simple as in the air or on the ground, the issue is avoiding hard contact. A discussion of those issues, if you’re interested.

        http://www.fangraphs.com/library/which-is-better-a-ground-ball-pitcher-or-a-fly-ball-pitcher/

        • Bleacher Bob

          That link defines it well. At his best, Cain couldn’t locate and miss bats like Maddox could. At least he couldn’t before the chips went away. Still waiting to see if he will be an MLB pitcher without the pain.

      • paul in p.v.

        BB – that ‘flyball pitcher’ got his arse kicked for years when the team didn’t score any runs and he was one of the best starters in the league. It all paid off in 2010 and 2012, and 2014 without Mattie’s assistance. No regrets.

  • dgg

    The bone chips had been floating in Matt Cain’s elbow for about 10 years. Giants docs and management were right to be cautious, and they were cautious for a long time. Then, I don’t know, they all got collective amnesia about the tick-tock floating bone chips, and recklessly signed Cain to this albatross of a contract, with a full no-trade clause and a vesting option in 2018.

    • PerSpeier35

      We’ll see if the Giants brass has learned it’s lesson about reward contracts soon enough with regard to Bumgarner. Timmy’s reward contract was bad enough but not nearly the disaster that Cain’s has been. I know Cain had those chips but I always felt he would have been better for longer if not for the crazy contract. Losing the edge happens naturally with that kind of guaranteed wealth, not really that many guys who ever end up being worth it in the long run.

      • dgg

        I see things differently with Bumgarner.

        • PerSpeier35

          How so? He does have more fire than Cain but he is human. Those enormous contracts hit players subconsciously, even if they think they can keep their edge they can’t. That 1-1 slider in the fourth inning on August 7th that used to dart to the outside corner and results in a foul ball or a routine grounder now rolls in there without the same bite and is drilled in the gap even though the guys arm is the same and he thinks he is concentrating just as much.

          • dgg

            Call it my Montanan gut. He works his ranch in the offseason.

          • dgg

            Ranching, farming, and homesteading keep you grounded no matter how much money you have, dealing with unpredictable weather and winds and circumstances.

          • Matthew

            I think money changes almost all…but it doesn’t change EVERY athlete. They are all ” competitive”, but some -like Bumgarner – seem to have such a deep competitive fire that money changes nothing. I agree with dgg in that I see Bumgarner different – he’s one of those who I feel will never lose that fire no matter the circumstances

          • Bleacher Bob

            Bum seems to have a realistic perspective regarding money. He knew how much it would take to be set for life in rural NC. Once that was settled, he was able to focus on his true lifes purpose – dominance on the mound. Legacy means more to him than more acreage or trucks. What the heck will he be able to do with $35m/year that he couldn’t do with $1m/year?

      • totalfan62

        I think the Giants owe Bumgarner no matter what happens over the next few years. He has been one of the five best starting pitchers in the NL for the past four years while being paid less than half of his market value. To his credit, he has never once complained about being underpaid (how refreshing and unusual!), in fact he has said more than once he considers himself fortunate and well rewarded.

    • DrLefty

      That’s a good point and it made me think back to early 2012 when that deal was struck. Lincecum and Cain had both had outstanding 2011 seasons. They were 27 and nearing free agency. The first thing that happened is the Giants offered Tim a five-year 100-million extension and he said no, signing a two-year deal instead that only took him up to his original free agency date.

      That had to be a blow to management. Tim was an icon, a wildly popular hero to the fans, and he wouldn’t commit to the team long-term. Meanwhile, Cain was coming up on his last year before free agency. There were a lot of rumors and statements to the press in the weeks before the deal was finally struck. I remember local radio at the time–sports talk hosts and call-in fans wringing their hands about maybe losing both homegrown aces, and why is it that the Giants can’t even keep their own guys?

      I think those two things may be connected. The front office had to show the fans that they could get something done with at least ONE of those guys. Thus the big contract for Cain, which at the time was the largest ever given to a RHP. If Lincecum had taken that five-year deal, maybe they would have been more cautious with Cain.

      A few weeks later there was this quiet little deal with a young lefty, only 22 years old, giving him lifetime wealth years before he was even arbitration-eligible. Little did we know that deal would be come iconic as one of the best contracts a team ever gave a player. But we were so busy worrying about Tim and Cain that we barely registered that Madison Bumgarner was now under team control at a reasonable price through 2019.

      • totalfan62

        Lots of angst over the Matt Cain contract of late, but I don’t remember anyone saying we overpaid when that deal was signed just prior to Opening Day 2012. Some may have, but as I recall most felt relief that he was staying with the Giants and that–given where he was in his career at that time–his future performance would justify that contract. Obviously that did not happen, but at the time it seemed like a good thing.

        • Bleacher Bob

          Hindsight glasses are only $15.99 on Amazon. I loved the deal when signed, but with the glasses, I can see that Giants mgmt were idiots.

        • dgg

          I was concerned about the floating bone chips in his elbow then. I figured it was only a matter of time and it had already been 10 years.

      • paul in p.v.

        Dr. L – at that time, were there not a lot of rumors flying around about Cain signing with the Yankees as soon as he went FA?

        • paul in p.v.

          Also – turns out, they dodged a similar bullet when Timmeh turned down that huge extension.

          It all kinda makes me sad…

    • Bleacher Bob

      I’m with you on the chips. Giants ownership has shown a willingness to give thank you contracts. My problem with those is when they limit FA opportunities.

  • dgg

    This doesn’t have anything to do with the presidential election, I promise. There was a time when I lived in St. Louis and I’ve been closely following the Missouri Senate race, specifically I’ve been following Jason Kander, Afghanistan Veteran. The NRA endorsed Senator Blunt saying Kander is soft on defensive gun rights. Kander responded with this ad titled “Background Checks”:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wqOApBLPio

    • paul in p.v.

      dgg – this is THE BEST campaign ad of the year – Señor Kander kicks Blount’s butt on this issue – just like the cubs, screw blount.

      • dgg

        That’s what they’ve been saying. It’s the best political ad of the year. We need this guy in the Senate to take on the hypocrisy of the NRA.

        • paul in p.v.

          tom fkn cotton, pinhead patriot…

  • channelclemente

    Cain earned every dime they paid him that evening.

  • What will be the team(s) they end up on? Does Jake and Javy retire? One or both or none?

    Santiago Casilla
    Sergio Romo
    Javier Lopez
    Jake Peavy
    Angel Pagan
    Gregor Blanco
    Joe Nathan
    Gordon Beckham

    • totalfan62

      Sad to say, in a way, but all those guys should go. I’m gonna owe Clutch a couple bags of popcorn on Pagan, because someone will probably give him a contract. Please, Giants: don’t let that be us.

      Turnover six roster spots and get younger. All those MiLB arms we were discussing? Fungible, low salary, team control years. Two or three slots.

      • Popcorn is still the best pay off “among brothers and sisters” her on the TWG Blog.

        But my post was about which NEW teams in the NL do they go to. I have no qualms about them not returning to the Giants although I could see a healthy Blanco back.

        Here are mine:
        Casilla – Miami or Tampa
        Romo – Angels (or that other LA Team)
        Lopez – Baltimore or NYY
        Pagan – Tampa Rays
        Peavy – Retires
        Blanco – Phillies – (back to the) Braves – Astros – Giants
        Nathan – Retired or Houston
        Beckam – Phillies – Twins – Giants

  • Several of *these* 1997 Indidans are throwing out the first ceremonial pitches.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1997_Cleveland_Indians_season#Roster

    Charlie Sheen is not one of them ( I believe a Bill Veeck type owner would use Sheen)

    I think the Indians should think out of the box and ask Kuiper to throw out one of them.

  • Matthew

    They just showed John Henry in the stands of the Liverpool game. He also owns the Sawx. Let’s just say his lady is much, much, much,much younger, and verrrrrrry attractive. I hope his ticker doesn’t explode trying to keep up…

  • Flan playing Santa Cruz in November …

    https://twitter.com/TimFlannery2/status/788806086413389824

  • Efrain

    Interesting no one is talking about the Elephant in the room:

    http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/17856040/owners-concerned-nfl-handling-josh-brown-new-york-giants

    If Brown was Black or Latino we would have seen an arrest made and the league come down stronger.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/josh-brown-saga-shows-white-privilege-alive-nfl-article-1.2840320

    • Bleacher Bob

      You’re probably right. An arrest would have been made and the league would have responded faster.
      Racism exists. Nobody likes it. Owners own to make $. Who knows why local law enforcement behaves the way they do?

    • Matthew

      Well, perhaps…

      But it tends to be more about who is expendable to a rich owner. Or the league. Brown is a Pro Bowl level guy who Mara sees as critical.

      So, I think there’s a little of both…

      • Moooooooooose

        He’s a KICKER!! Lock him up.

      • Efrain

        Ray Rice was no slouch and the Ravens running attack. He got dropped like a hot potato. You had video of a black man hitting a woman.

        In this case you have no video, and all the pictures show Brown smiling next to his wife. You know the media and a good number of fans are racist, some with intention and others by pure ignorance.

        So what is it, now there’s grades of domestic violence? It’s still the same shit, right? One had a video that went viral and this was file with numerous instances, but no images to actually see it.

        • Bleacher Bob

          Racism exists. Nobody likes it, except assholes. Accusations of widespread racism are valid, but hard to prove.

          • Efrain

            This issue is not over trust me.

            The NFL is heavily African American and the players union and other organizations need to come down hard on Roger Goodell.

            The players saw how fast the NFL and teams acted with other players, mostly black, got caught for issues with domestic violence. Goodell talked really tough about keeping players in check.

            Now this? They are more worried about CK taking a knee and looking un-American.

            Any non action on Brown is sending a really f’d up message and players should be pissed.

          • Bleacher Bob

            The NFL noticed everything. Patience is a good idea right now.

        • Matthew

          I get that racism plays a part…but Ray was on the downside.

          But…but. That video was incredibly disturbing, and race had nothing to do with his penalty or reaction. I had never seen a man hit a woman…maybe I’m sheltered. That was really bad.

          • Bleacher Bob

            That was really bad

          • Efrain

            yes, that was horrible. But the main point is, even if we don’t know the extent of the abuse by Brown, that there were numerous reports is terrible in itself.

            Even if it never went as far as knocking his wife out, he admits to it happening. That puts him in the same boat as Rice, therefore should be treated the same.

    • Either way I have the electric chair for that guy. He jumped to number one with a bullet.

  • Bleacher Bob

    My favorite racism story. During the 2008 election polling, a pollster went to a house in western Pennsylvania. A woman answered the door and gave her answer. Her husband was in the back of the house so she hollered, “they want to know who you’re voting for for president”. He hollered back “I’m voting for the nigger.”.

    • 12xu

      The Lonely Planet travel book for China used to have a section on racism in China. A Chinese was quoted as saying, “There’s no racism in China because there are no black people.”

      • channelclemente

        They have Uyghurs as a ready substitute.

        • 12xu

          Yup, the Uyghur ethnic group are the “bad hombres” according to the other Chinese ethnic groups. They should build a wall… oh wait…

  • totalfan62

    Matt Cain. I love that guy. Every fifth day he took the mound. Built an all-star career. Essential starter for two WSC. Perfect game. Willie Mac. Matt Cain has more than earned a chance to finish his tenure with the Giants on a high note.

    That being said, I’m with Matthew. If he can’t earn a spot on a 12-man staff, the Giants should absorb the salary hit and give the roster spot to the deserving player. Twelve man staff is even suspect, in my mind.

  • Here is to our SLIKBALDHEAD1 – who no doubt is lounging around Fairfield with his Eric Estrada Ray Bans on – drinking a cop of Joe at some down town Starbucks while watching the scenery.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x35B0XCofeU

  • channelclemente
  • Talk about your room being “dusty”

    Randy Travis suffered a stroke three years ago …

    On Monday of this past week he was Inducted into the Hall of Fame by Garth Brooks, then grabbed the mic and struggled to sing a few words of Amazing Grace.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Bg-rTcv9Ew

  • Barry Gibb is 70 years of age and living in Miami. He just cut his first new album in 30 years titled “In the Now”

    http://consequenceofsound.net/2016/06/bee-gees-barry-gibb-announces-in-the-now-first-solo-album-in-over-30-years/

    He and his brother’s musical influences were the Everly Brothers, Paul Anka, Cliff Richards, Frankie Valli and Roy Orbison. The Bee Gees got their harmony from their Dad who listened to early Mills Brothers records of the 30’s-40’s and 50’s.

    Andy Gibb died at the age of 30 in 1988. Brother Maurice died in 2003. Robin Gibb died in 2012. The name of their band at first was the Rattlesnakes but they changed it to the Bee Gees in 1960.

  • channelclemente

    The Dodgers are sitting Puig tonight.

  • DrLefty

    The Twitterverse is reporting that Phil Nevin will get the Giants’ 3B coaching job if he doesn’t get the Snakes’ manager job.

    • channelclemente

      Beyond Bochy and him being neighbors, what’s the rational?

    • totalfan62

      Hope that’s a fresh set of eyes that will be allowed to be a dissenting voice in Bochy’s office.

      • Bleacher Bob

        GreekGiant is likely to land a Bochy interview.

      • Explain

        • earlytimes

          He gets to pick the brand of coffee used.

        • totalfan62

          Offer a different opinion. Fresh eyes, different perspective. Current staff has been together a long time. Maybe Nevin (or another candidate) can help them adjust and adapt a bit.

          • I welcome the exchange TF62. I would like this to happen also but here is my one worry. The Giants have a Giants Way of doing things whether or not they have a good year or a bad year. I personally do not see a Phil Nevin coming in from the outside and having that kind of lee-way but I hope something to that degree happens.

  • totalfan62

    Pete Rose. Sad.

    • Sgbssfg

      Pete Rose hair, sadder.

  • channelclemente

    If the Cubs make it to the WS, Schwarber may be ready. That’s some kind of bench.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2016/10/22/cubs-could-get-schwarber-back-if-they-reach-world-series/92601692/

    • Matthew

      Saw that…whoever he bumps will be rightly upset.

      • channelclemente

        Soto got DFA’ed, we should grab him for a peak fast.

        • Matthew

          If it’s Mario Soto, I’m in! We need reliable arms in the pen…he’s under 65 I think

          • channelclemente

            Giovanni Soto, catcher. ROY back in 2009 or so.

          • Efrain

            Someone else posted about that a few days ago and I think he would be worth a good look, had a nice game when he came up.

          • Matthew

            I know, Brother….

  • channelclemente

    Bill Murray crashed a White House press briefing to hail the Cubs earlier this week. We are on the cusp of insanity. There is a move afoot to write in Theo Epsteins name on the ballot for POTUS among Cub fans.

    • 610nm

      Ron Santo undoubtedly has a transistor radio “up there” tuned to Pat Hughes radio broadcast.

  • Ham & Egging It

    I heard some Sinatraesqe phrasing in that man’s voice.

  • Hoona

    3 analysts picking Cubs in 6. There might be a game 7 folks

    • Ham & Egging It

      BB fans want a game 7 in Wrigley.

      • DrLefty

        With both games going 19 innings.

        • 610nm

          I’m good with Kershaw’s post season record going to 4-7.

          • giantc

            He had two bad starts against the Nats and was bailed out by the offense. He is very inconsistent in the postseason. He is like Bonds was with Pittsburgh — dominant in the regular season and just average or worse in the postseason.

            Down 3-2 you don’t want your ace to immediately put your team in a hole — Fowler and Byrant weren’t on Toles. After the Indians or Cubs win the series the Dodgers will move up on the list of teams with the longest WS drought.

          • 610nm

            I was thinking about Bonds, too! Eventually the sample size gets big enough for the player’s ability to come through. Kershaw is one tough dude usually.

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            Great baseball statspeak!

      • 2holehitting

        Cub fans want a win tonight and not game 7

    • crawnik

      I’ll get back with you on that : )

  • pacman68

    Kershaw crumbling again.

    • Hoona

      This is why I wasn’t sold on his last start.

    • 610nm

      Just threw pitch #30.

    • earlytimes

      Did well to keep it 2-0

    • Not really
      E7

      • crawnik

        For Whom the Ball Toles.

        • Doughnut

          Or Clanks

  • Opie did nice job keeping it to 2 runs

  • earlytimes

    Dexter Fowler could make some money writing a book on Kershaw. He’s 19-45 lifetime.

    • Hoona

      20-46 now. Wow

      • crawnik

        And the Giants couldn’t sign Fowler because…..?

        • Hoona

          Because they wanted Span. Makes sense…..

          • Hoona

            I do like Span as well though. He showed what he was all about in the playoffs.

          • crawnik

            You know, I actually visited Hoona, Alaska back in August.

          • Hoona

            LOL, interesting, never knew Hoona was a city. Hope it was a nice stay for you.

          • crawnik

            Small island town, 70 miles south of Juneau.

        • Eric Ritz

          They could have signed him, but while they were negotiating with him he still thought he could get 4/48-4/60 (with the QO attached). Giants wanted him but tried to talk him down. As he stuck to his guns, every team that was in the market for a CF ended up getting one, and he was left to take a low one year deal from the team that made him the QO. So the Cubs got a screaming deal, but really it was a deal only made available to the Cubs.

  • crawnik

    Think the Cubs will score more than what Stanford put up against Colorado?

  • Scout Finch Baseball

    I do believe that Dexter Fowler is a free agent again…

    • 610nm

      He’d have had a big impact on 2016 Giants, in a parallel universe. Presumably the Cubs will just lock him up after this season.

      • Scout Finch Baseball

        Having Almora Jr. ready gives me pause. Trust your able prospects.

  • giantc

    Kershaw showing up big in an elimination game.

    • crawnik

      That’s what he does best.

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      There’s only one Mad Bum.

    • Edward_Fortyhands

      Bumgarner’s reign as the greatest postseason pitcher of our time remains secure.

      Kershaw evidently didn’t bring his A game.

      Remember, this is an ELIMINATION game for the Dodgers.

      • Scout Finch Baseball

        This said, Kershaw probably wins CY next year. Only innings prevent another CY this year.

        • giantc

          Great in the regular season! One good start out of four this postseason.

          • Edward_Fortyhands

            More like one good postseason start out of ten, or something.

  • Scout Finch Baseball

    Hendricks is legit. I do hope he wins the CY. Madduxian.

  • giantc

    A double every inning so far for the Cubs.

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      They have lots of Mo. Up to Kluber to stop it or start planning the parade.

      • Hoona

        Cleveland batters have a ton of grit and Indians’ bullpen is probably the best in the MLB this year.

        • Scout Finch Baseball

          Who is this Miller you speak of? Dennis?

  • Scout Finch Baseball

    Like 610 related earlier, sample size was gonna allow Rizzo to catch up with his natural abilities.

    • 610nm

      Cubs have a heck of a lot of good players. Their radio cast just said Bryant takes Cubs all time post season extra-base hit lead with ten (in two years).

      • channelclemente

        Epstein is a write in candidate for POTUS.

        • Scout Finch Baseball

          Read that somewhere…

        • 610nm

          There’s worse choices! But I wouldn’t trade Sabean for Theo.

      • Scout Finch Baseball

        Too bad Ryno didn’t have these opportunities. One of my favorites.

        • 610nm

          I wish Ron Santo was present tonight.
          My friend’s grandma is failing, and might not see next year’s season – life time Cub fan, no doubt listening with joy tonight.

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            Hang on another week plus. Cleveland rotation woes will catch up with them.

          • totalfan62

            Those are the people for whom I will be very happy should the Cubs win.

      • Scout Finch Baseball

        Great use of draft picks, nice trades, good work in Caribbean market.

      • Scout Finch Baseball

        This Contreras seems to be realizing the prospect buzz. Just another young talent in the org.

        • 610nm

          They valued Ross for his experience this season, but clearly have his replacement in hand. GM’s in the league have a ‘Cubs problem’ to scheme against for the foreseeable future.

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            At least Lester and Arrieta aren’t young up and comers.

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            *and

  • Hoona

    Dodgers are just laying down to the Cubs.

    • Brownie

      here’s to hoping that they lose to the Indians. F both these teams

  • SeagerRomoDirkRonaldo

    Trade that piece of sh&& for Betts and Moncada. F u Kershaw.

    • earlytimes

      Such gratitude.

      • 610nm

        Hmm. We are typing on a blog entry that is a bit of an ode to Matt Cain, who hasn’t been effective (to his standards) fo quite a while, but PRDR turns on Kershaw? LA “fans”…

        • channelclemente

          There are murder-suicide compacts being negotiated on the Dodgers blog.

    • earlytimes

      btw, they already have Price.

  • giantc

    The sample size on Kershaw in the post season is not that small. ERA over 5. Now they are blaming his back — did he just get lucky with his back in his last start.

    • Hoona

      Poster child for MLB. Doesn’t matter, everyone else has seen this enough to see through the covers.

    • Kershaw isn’t even close to MadBums level in the post season. And to think I thought he might give the Dodgers a chance tonight. WTF

    • Edward_Fortyhands

      I think he has over 80 innings in the postseason, and the ERA is about 5.

      Compared to MadBum with about 120 innings and an ERA of 2.11.

      In fact, there is no comparison.

  • Hoona

    It’s a 4-run deficit in the 5th. The quality of these Dodger ABs is a disgrace.

  • Doughnut

    Baez is a clown.

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      With quite a baseball tool and skill set!

      • Doughnut

        Yup. So unnecessary to take that ball away from Rizzo though..

        • channelclemente

          He’ll get talked to about that numbnuts stunt after the game.

    • crawnik

      Baseball Gods might have a word with him in the next round.

      • Doughnut

        Could see that happening

    • 12xu

      One of those menacing clowns.

  • Effin LA can’t even put up a fight.
    #justbendoveralready

  • Brownie

    Isn’t it time to pull kershaw?

    • crawnik

      Ah, hell no.

    • Edward_Fortyhands

      Aw, let him give up a couple more runs.

      The only thing that would make this game better would be for the Dodgers to rally late and make a game of it.

    • Moooooooooose

      KEEP HIM IN!!!

  • crawnik

    Yep. It’s going to happen.

  • 2holehitting

    Looking good so far scored at least a run in 4 of 5 innings and Hendricks at minimum

    • 610nm

      Enjoy it!!!

  • crawnik

    Cubs 25-0 when Hendricks gets 3+ runs of support.

  • channelclemente

    I wonder when Joe Blanton gets a call from Williams?

    • 610nm

      Surely they lift Kershaw for a hitter this inning.

  • Sgbssfg

    Could someone just hit a foul ball off Buck and put us out of our misery.

    • channelclemente

      Isn’t he just awful.

      • 12xu

        If you think he’s bad, try listening to the radio broadcast with Aaron “Captain Obvious” Boone.

  • Edward_Fortyhands

    Balance Sheet

    Clayton Kershaw, through tonight: 89 innings, 45 ER, 4.55 ERA.

    Madison Bumgarner, 102.1 innings, 24 ER, 211 ERA.

    Bum has won 8 games, Kershaw 4.

    • Sgbssfg

      Sorry Opie, you’re no Madison Bumgarner.

      • 12xu

        I worked with Madison Bumgarner. Madison Bumgarner was a friend of mine. Kershaw……

    • 2holehitting

      Yeah but BUM only went 5 innings in the pivotal second game. 3 runs in 5 is not quality

      • totalfan62

        It was game three, troll breath, and Fortyhands was presenting a larger sample size. Oh yeah–the Giants WON that game that you referenced.

  • earlytimes

    Jensen in the 6th?

    • crawnik

      Roberts apparently doesn’t trust the rest of his pitching staff.

    • channelclemente

      It’s the highest leverage inning. Made sense to me.

      • Moooooooooose

        The 6th is the highest leverage inning?

        • Scout Finch Baseball

          Third time thru lineup, starter tires = runs

          • Moooooooooose

            Guess they should have brought him in a lot earlier

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            Goats of Suede.

  • earlytimes

    Well if Cubs hold on (and with their history who knows?) I think having the two longest suffering franchises in the series is great.

    • channelclemente

      It might be a terrific WS, for sure.

    • crawnik

      It’ll be an awesome series.

  • 2holehitting

    Hendricks pitching like the Cy Young winner he should be this year. Lowest ERA for starters and a WHIP under 1 for a starter is just sick.

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      Boom.

  • Edward_Fortyhands

    Hendricks has a total of 81 pitches through 7, so, unless Maddon is an idiot he will let him pitch until he gives up something substantial.

    However, with Chapman in the wings, I’m about to call this for Chi town.

    • 2holehitting

      You mean pull a Bruce and if a runner gets on pull him?

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      Greg.

      • Doughnut

        Was thinking of Maddux while watching him. Playing chess out there

        • 12xu

          Maddux in 1995: 19-2, 1.63, 203 IP…. 0.811 WHIP. Sick.

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            Deep Blue

          • Doughnut

            He was so crafty especially later in his career when he didn’t have the same stuff. He pitched till his 40s i think. I bet he would make hell of a pitching coach. About as crafty as it gets

    • 610nm

      lifted at 88 pitches.

      • Edward_Fortyhands

        I think that was kind of dumb, but luckily, it worked out for the Cubs.

  • Moooooooooose

    Prediction: Dodgers tie game in series of fluky errors and a tarp malfunction. Then all they have left to pitch the bottom of the ninth is Joe Blanton and Jay Howell.

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      Dream on, Aerosmith. The jello is jiggling.

  • Scout Finch Baseball

    You’d think with the best pitcher of this generation we’d have a ball game.

    Suede goats.

    • 610nm

      Where is Bapah?

      • Scout Finch Baseball

        Brewing coffee?

    • crawnik

      BAAAAAAAAA!!!!

  • channelclemente

    There’s a real ballplayer, Billy Williams.

  • just peachy.

    I forgot this game was on until just now. Shows how invested I am!

    • Brownie

      They both suck. I don’t blame you at all

      • Sgbssfg

        Rooting for Cleveland.

        • Brownie

          Likewise

    • Edward_Fortyhands

      25 words or less, Kershaw pitched his usual postseason game. Bumgarner rules.

  • 2holehitting

    seriously? I was joking about pulling a Bruce.

    • Brownie

      It’d be more galling if he pulled a Dusty Baker.

      • 2holehitting

        That would be sacrilege

  • Hoona

    Could this be the beginning of the Cubs Collapse part 2?

    • Hoona

      I guess not this time.

    • 610nm

      Jobu still smiling on them, at least in 8th.

      • 2holehitting

        Bring that man a bucket of Kentucky Fried.

  • CaptBrewster

    I just heard that Kershaw is enroute to an emergency chiropractic clinic in Chicago… suffering a severe case of whiplash.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/291b26edb03c8b4cd00fd86fd669361a15df57a0958f5a0da1c7ddea62c9698d.jpg

    • paul in p.v.

      Aw that’s cruel, Capt.

      Screw the cubs. Go, Indiginousees!

      • paul in p.v.

        p.s. That IS an awesome photo of the Bum.

  • 2holehitting

    Has there ever been a facing of the minimum in an NLCS cinching game?

    • 610nm

      Fasten those seatbelts, 2HH…

    • steve k

      they said the only time it ever happened before was don larsen’s perfecto..

  • Moooooooooose

    Looks like the $200M defensive specialist has entered the game in the 9th!

  • just peachy.

    That one dude waving his rally rag had horrible rhythm.

  • Sgbssfg

    There is just too much douchery on the Cubs.

    • just peachy.

      Which will make their collapse even sweeter.

    • Ham & Egging It

      Baez is a Dx2. A Very charismatic kid.

    • paul in p.v.

      no sheet – go, Indigineousees.

  • DrLefty

    This is so awesome. The only way it could be better is if the Cubs could also lose.

    • 610nm

      Puig might make the last out!

    • just peachy.

      Too bad there couldn’t be a massive earthquake right now that swallows up Chicago as a whole. and takes the dodgers team with it as well!

      • paul in p.v.

        whoa, peachy – dat ain’t cool…

      • Alvise Contarini

        ?????

      • dgg

        Why would you wish death and destruction on all those happy people in Chicago?

        • just peachy.

          omg you guys, it’s rhetorical and hyperbole. oy vey.

          • dgg

            It’s actually an awful thing to say. Inappropriate doesn’t even begin to describe it. Have you ever been in an earthquake?

          • paul in p.v.

            It’s dumb.

          • just peachy.

            I’m sorry you feel that way. And of course I have. What kind of a question is that?

          • dgg

            If you’ve been in an earthquake, you wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

          • just peachy.

            Truly I’m sorry you feel the way you do. However, the odds of an earthquake swallowing up the entire city of Chicago is incredibly minuscule and I know it wouldn’t actually happen. It’s not even realistic at all. So again, sorry you’re taking it so seriously.

          • steve k

            it’s ok peachy. you’re probably better off sticking with your sex talk though..

          • just peachy.

            i don’t even talk about sex that much, for fudge’s sake. i’m out.

          • steve k

            i’m teasing peachy. don’t leave..

          • Moooooooooose

            I have! Lots of them!

  • Hoona

    Fans tearing up in the stands.

  • cabbie

    Hope the Indians sweep.

  • Scout Finch Baseball

    Congrats Theo and the Cubs. An impressive collection of talent en route to the Series.

  • Ham & Egging It

    I hope that any Cub star doesn’t get hurt in the celebration.

    • 610nm

      or any of their fans.

      • Ham & Egging It

        I hope they can keep it together.

      • Scout Finch Baseball

        Especially elated long suffering fans.

    • just peachy.

      It would be hilarious if Baez injured his groin during his marathon sesh of sex with his groupies.

      • Brownie

        You think about sex way too much peaches

        • just peachy.

          Not really at all though. Is it because I’m a woman that it’s too much?

          • Brownie

            Nah man, I’m playin with you. I encourage women to think about sex more often.

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            Got a pulse that goes boom.

  • 2holehitting

    Nice…..

  • just peachy.

    The shootings will increase substantially tonight in chi-town.

    • Brownie

      In the south side? They have no love lost for the Cubbies

  • Edward_Fortyhands

    Goodbye, Dodgers!

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      Now to win the Division from those bums.

      • 610nm

        SERIOUSLY!

        • Scout Finch Baseball

          4 years is 4 too long.

  • Hoona

    Congrats Cubs. I’m happy for the city of Chicago.

  • Andres The Forever Giant

    GO INDIANS GO!

  • Edward_Fortyhands

    The Cubs douchebaggery prevents me from actually being happy for them, but it was nice to see the Dodgers fold again.

    I’m sorry that Kershaw continues to suck in the postseason, but, actually, I’m not that sorry.

    • Hoona

      Hard to like the team but gotta be happy for those fans and that city. It’s been too long.

      • Edward_Fortyhands

        Yes, I will agree with that. I’m happy for the City and the fans. Except the ones that troll Giants blogs.

      • CaptBrewster

        Good for baby bear fans.
        Now… Go Tribe!!

      • DrLefty

        Except for 2troll

      • crawnik

        I’m happy for them too. Now let’s go Tribe.

    • Moooooooooose

      In my celebration, I forgot it was the Cubs for a minute there. Going to check on some Indians gear and jump on their bandwagon. Hats, shirts, tattoos, I’m all in!

  • 2holehitting

    Good Team song…..Do the Giants have one?

    • CaptBrewster

      “Bye bye baby…”

      • 2holehitting

        Lights? but that was not really a Giant song

    • Brownie

      We care about rings, not team songs. SMH

    • 610nm

      Tony Bennett’s little tune is always nice to hear.

      • dgg

        Congratulations to your mom!

    • channelclemente

      After nearly a decade, enough fans stayed sober to actually sing it. Good job. I bet The Cubbie Bear is roaring, or maybe on fire now.

      • 2holehitting

        I was stoked when the Bears won the Super Bowl, 30 years later I am a little more reserved and level headed. A WS would be great…..

  • DrLefty

    Hendricks is SO good. I love the way he pitches.

    • 610nm

      Bumgarner grade outing.

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      CY.

      Think Blackburn or Blach can pitch like that?

    • Sgbssfg

      An actual pitcher

    • 12xu

      Dude is only 26 years old. This is only his third season in the bigs.

  • Scout Finch Baseball

    Cubs in 5.

  • Brownie

    Indians in 6. F the Cubs

  • crawnik

    Puig grounding in to a double play to end their season just made my off-season.

    • CaptBrewster

      That was awesome!!!

      • Moooooooooose

        Heh, heh, heh!

  • CaptBrewster

    I apologize… I just can’t help myself…
    it’s just sooooo delicious watching the baby blues from LA lose, yet again. The Baseball Gods ain’t so cruel as they seemed after all.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/97e8f654f9a979e93e5f0f37d93cb34d95f6c4d43acae19003ffb58df2dfd64e.jpg

    • Jacob Singer

      Classic stuff.

    • Bapah

      I hope everyone can read the WARNING that’s circled.

      “Choking Hazard”

  • channelclemente

    There is something positively poetic about Puig hitting into double play to end it. 1/2 of my household in experiencing controlled insanity now.

    • Edward_Fortyhands

      Happy for the better half.

  • Hoona

    Indians in 7. Key for the Tribe is scoring first.

    • 2holehitting

      Cubs in 5

      • Hoona

        Cubs won 3 games in this series by scoring off the Dodgers bullpen. That’s not going to happen that often against the Indians bullpen.

      • Matthew

        I agree. The Cubs are a much, much better all around club. There hitters are exponentially more disciplined than the Jays

  • Ham & Egging It

    The pressure of being the favorite will work against the Cubs. Game 1 in Cleveland will be huge.

    • 2holehitting

      It could be one of the coldest WS in history

      • Ham & Egging It

        I think the cold wind will add to the theatre of the WS.

      • Ham & Egging It

        Congrats.

      • Rainouts and snow could take the games into December.

  • channelclemente

    The goat hunter.

  • Ham & Egging It

    Theopolis has very well groomed eyebrows.

  • Matthew

    I really think Billy Beane deserves the series MVP

    • Edward_Fortyhands

      Lester split with Hotdog Baez

      • channelclemente

        If it’s a hotdog, it’s loaded with red hot chili pepper too.

        • Edward_Fortyhands

          He had a superb postseason — so far. If he hadn’t acted like such a showoff he probably would have won the MVP on his own.

          • channelclemente

            The kid, for an asshole, is pretty spectacular.

          • Matthew

            He is a fantastic Ballplayer…

    • steve k

      i’d give it to the sf giants bull pen. without them, this wouldn’t be happening..

      • Andres The Forever Giant

        Epstein admitted that being three runs down in the ninth with Cueto looming on the horizon in the cinching Game 5 “didn’t feel too good”! 🙁

  • CaptBrewster

    For the first time in my life… really! The first time ever… literally my entite life! I’m rooting for an American League team in the WS.
    My late father was from a small eastern Ohio farm town. Back in the mid 60’s, when I was a kid, I remember my grandma having the Indians game on the radio while she baked bread. So to honor their memory and my roots…
    GO TRIBE!!

    • paul in p.v.

      My first ML game was @ Municipal Stadium. Vamos, Cleves!

  • Matthew
    • paul in p.v.

      wtf, mateo?

      • Matthew

        You don’t get the joke? The losing team t shirts get sent to random outposts…don’t go PC on me, Brother

      • paul in p.v.

        nevermind…

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      That’s fucked up.

  • dgg

    ESPN:
    “Saturday was Kershaw’s fifth start with his team facing elimination. He has allowed at least five runs in three of those starts.”

    Clayton Kershaw is no Madison Bumgarner in the postseason. And never will be.

    • Jacob Singer

      He’s not even a Barry Zito in the postseason.

      • dgg

        You’re right, Jacob!

      • Moooooooooose

        He’s not even a Mike Kickham in the post season!!

    • Eleuthero

      Opie does have a way of choking at the worst times. Great pitcher but until he puts the team on his back like Bum has so many times, he’ll always be in pitching purgatory. Good enough to avoid hell, not good enough to get to heaven.

      • The Oracle

        Only the Hall of Fame.

      • DrLefty

        Well, the Dodgers wouldn’t have been in Game 6 of the NLCS without Kershaw. But having watched this movie several times, my take on him is that he gets seriously overamped in these situations and can’t command his pitches or his emotions. Command is off, stuff is bad. This game reminded me a lot of Game 6 of the NLCS in 2013 when the Cardinals pounded Kershaw. Almost a rerun in terms of how Kershaw looked, even down to the bad outfield play from a young player (it was Puig then) that rattled Kershaw early.

        David Price–same thing.

        • Matthew

          Great call…and this year, with Greinke gone, it’s even worse

          • DrLefty

            Watching the Giants in the playoffs these four even years, you appreciate the tremendous pressure these pitchers are under…even the great ones.

            And you appreciate the wonder that is Madison Bumgarner. FOUR elimination games he pitched in 2014 & 16. The Giants won all of them. Two complete game shutouts in wild card games, both on the road. I really respect that kind of mental toughness, because this is not easy.

          • Matthew

            THAT’S the point…No one can overstate the unique, unmatched performance record of that guy….it sometimes feels like too many fans don’t understand how amazing he is.

          • Bapah

            We’re not worthy.

          • Matthew

            Where have you been, Captain Silence??

          • Bapah

            After being roasted, I prefer to lurk.

            Actually, I have little interest in what’s left of the season. Since I did think, at the beginning of the season, that Cleveland looked like they were going to surprise a lot of people, I may watch some of the games.

            I’ve learned not to bring up questions of credibility, so I won’t get weird if someone questions my claimed pick of the Indians at the start of the season.

          • DrLefty

            Jon Heyman tweeted the other day that he’d take Lester if he needed to win a big game. He got a lot of pushback about Bumgarner (including from Dave Flemming). Lester’s had a fine postseason career, but ask the A’s about the 2014 Wild Card game where Lester couldn’t hold runners, the Royals ran wild, and he yakked up a big lead.

            Bear in mind the A’s gave up 1 1/2 years of Cespedes to get Lester for the postseason that year.

  • channelclemente

    The most interesting comment at True Blue was, to paraphrase. ‘At least it’s not the Giants are Cardinals for the 1,000,000 time.”

    • Jacob Singer

      I think most of baseball fandom feels the same way. I would too if I wasn’t a Giants fan.

      • Edward_Fortyhands

        That’s why we can’t be greedy. Just be good every year, get into the playoffs, and once in awhile win it all. I’m satisfied with that.

        • Jacob Singer

          2 years is enough. Time for the Odd Year Dynasty.

          • 12xu

            New marketing slogan: Believodd

  • Penn State up on #2 Ohio State. Not good.

    • Ham & Egging It

      Not a big fan of Happy Valley. It’s a really late game.

      • Eleuthero

        I’m a Pennsylvanian by birth and rearing so to hell with you two. 🙂

  • channelclemente
  • channelclemente
  • The Oracle

    Michigan Wolverines: from 5-7 to #2 in the nation in a season and a half.
    San Francisco 49ers: NFL laughingstock.
    Jed York: getting everything he deserves.

    • PerSpeier35

      I heard Mike Silver on with Damon Bruce last night. He actually said the he thinks time will prove Jed York to be a good owner. I was glad that I was not you because then I would have driven right off the road at 60 MPH.

      • The Oracle

        Did he specify how many centuries he thinks it will take?

    • Eleuthero

      Amen, amen, and amen. It’s really a wonder they beat the Rams. I said 5-11 at the start of this year but I’m now thinking 3-13. A rushing defense that’s like a sieve combined with an offense that can’t score 20 points is 3-13. Jed York is indeed getting what he deserves. He thinks he knows the game better than a guy who took a team to the Super Bowl. Pride goeth before a fall.

  • Moooooooooose
  • Moooooooooose

    Lefty wants a word.

    Bruce Jenkins ‏@Bruce_Jenkins1 10m10 minutes ago
    I get Giants fans blindly hating everything Dodgers-related, but Kershaw is one of the best people I’ve met in any sport. Tough night.

    • DrLefty

      Ah, yes. The continuing myth of Kershaw being a good guy. I’ll give him that he’s not as bad as Aroldis Chapman, though.

      • Scout Finch Baseball
        • Eleuthero

          Yes, it’s a bear market I tell ya!!!

      • The Oracle

        Bruce Jenkins has met the guy. You’ve seen him on TV and are a super Giants fan. There’s a slight chance Jenkins might have a better perspective.

        • DrLefty

          I have zero regard for Bruce Jenkins’ opinion. He’s an ignorant blowhard and I can’t stand him. Now, if that were a tweet from Alex Pavlovic or Dave Flemming, maybe.

          • The Oracle

            Your evidence that he’s not a nice guy is…?

          • DrLefty

            Evidence? This isn’t a trial. It’s an opinion. But here are a few facts:

            –He hits batters on purpose out of spite. He’s been suspended by the league for doing so more than once. Once was for retaliation, once was just spite (someone pimped a HR too much for his tastes).
            –He’s a poor sport and a bad winner. He was a leader in that “piss in the Dbacks’ pool” episode a few years ago.
            –He’s a bad teammate. He badmouthed Puig to the front office last season and then gossiped about it to his buddy Scott Van Slyke.
            –He’s a drama queen. There’s a photo going around of him out on the field, after tonight’s game, sitting there looking sad, head down. Now, I can appreciate he feels sad, but go feel sad in your clubhouse or hotel. Not out on the field when this is the Cubs’ moment.
            –He’s surly and rude. He took a reporter’s head off after his last start–which he WON–for a reasonable question. He was a total jerk.
            –He repped Subway, a company with a despicable child molester as a big part of their image. He’s supposed to be some great Christian with his charity work, and he’s lending his name and support to a company that coddles child molesters.

            Now, compared to say, a wife-beater or a PEDs cheater or a drunk driver, these are minor offenses. He’s not evil incarnate. I just think the gushing over what “a great guy” he is is simply projection because he’s (a) talented and (b) rich. He’s high-strung, bad-tempered, and rude. In short, he’s no Gregor Blanco.

          • Eleuthero

            He’s a minor drama queen compared to someone like Brian Wilson. Someone’s gotta badmouth Puig so why not Opie? Van Slyke is the real gossip who broke a confidence. Lots of guys on the losing side of a playoff look sad. I remember Wade Boggs crying in the dugout. Just means he’s sad. Opie can’t be sad? As for “pimping an HR too much …” I’ve seen Bum get his dander up over very little like the most recent Puig episode. Bum’s a great pitcher but he has a short fuse. I’d take Opie in a New York Minute if he was available. A New York SECOND, in fact.

          • DrLefty

            TO asked why I’m not persuaded that Kershaw’s a good guy. Asked and answered.

            The main thing for me about Kershaw is hitting batters on purpose. As I’ve said many times, I find that pretty reprehensible, and I would never say someone who does that is “a good guy.” And Bum never hit a guy after someone pimped a HR. Giving someone the stank eye is not the same as 95 in the ribs. I think anyone who does that is scum, pure and simple.

          • The Oracle

            So Subway was aware that Jared was a child molester and used him anyway?

          • Moooooooooose

            Poor little Oracle’s got his feelings hurt because somebody doesn’t like Kershaw!

      • Eleuthero

        Don’t stick your neck out, Lefty. That’s like saying that Bambi isn’t quite as bad as Darth Vader. 🙂

        • DrLefty

          Bambi was a total horn dog. Disgusting, really.

          Hey, I just got back from three days at ASU. Your stomping grounds, right?

          • Eleuthero

            Indeed!!! I am a Sun Devil. Now if only they had good sports teams these days.

          • DrLefty

            We had an amazing meal at the House of Tricks on 7th Ave. last night. Great place. I also ate several times at Postino, an Italian bistro on College and Sixth. Great food, reasonably priced, good wine selection for happy hour.

            However, it was hotter than hell. 98 degrees on October 22 for the ASU Homecoming parade and game. SMH

          • Eleuthero

            Tempe is what a college town should be i.e., lively, youthful (even if you’re not young), and chock full of events. It’s not that unusual for it to be 98 this late in the season (87 is the normal high for Oct. 22) but it starts to tick people off. Nov. 1 pretty much marks the beginning of 6 straight months of great weather. The other 6 rank from purgatory to hell. Unlike the Bay Area, it seems like everything in Tempe is half-price. Rents? How about a 60-70% discount. Climate is an important variable in selecting where to live but Bay Area rents are not worth $3500 (1 BR) for Shallow Alto or $2200 for boring towns like Fremont. I like temperate weather like 90% of people but I’m not willing to live in economic hell to get it.

    • Matthew

      I don’t know him, but I honestly feel bad for the guy…he carries the weight of that whole franchise. I hate the Dodgers. I respect Kershaw and, sorry…but I do feel bad for him tonight

      • Moooooooooose

        I don’t. He’s a Dodger.

      • DrLefty

        Like I said below, they don’t make it this far without him. He carried them in the playoffs. Rough night tonight, but he has nothing to feel bad about.

        • Moooooooooose

          He didn’t carry them in the playoffs. Before tonight, he had one excellent start (although he couldn’t get into the 8th inning, which makes it more of a “good” start), one fair start, and one bad start. Now he can go play golf.

          • Matthew

            Wel, he’s carried them for years…and I think that pressure explodes in the post season. I would take him in less than a heartbeat

          • Moooooooooose

            I would too. He’d make an excellent closer!

          • Moooooooooose

            You know they had a better record when he was on the DL this year than when he was active, right?

          • Matthew

            Ummm, yeah. He was also something like 16-3 with an 0.11 ERA or something.

            I just think the guy gets a way bad rap for the post season thing.

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            That’s my cuz!

          • Moooooooooose

            Well, there is no such thing as good rap, so . . . And he received heaps of praise for getting 2 wins and a save against the Nats even though he didn’t pitch well.

          • DrLefty

            He deserves some of the bad rap. It’s too big of a sample size to pass it off on “just the Cardinals/Matt Carpenter” now. Last year it was Daniel Murphy owning him in the NLDS. This year he couldn’t lock it down in an elimination game and get them to tomorrow.

            We’re talking something like 90 innings in six different postseasons now. He’s had some great outings, like Game 2 of this series. He hasn’t been all bad. Mediocre overall is probably fair, but it seems worse because he lost the team’s final game in tire fire fashion in 2013, 2014, and now 2016.

            But he hasn’t been a dominant ace like he is in the regular season. And it’s also fair to observe that those great regular season numbers are partially amassed against bad teams. There are only good teams in the playoffs. That’s not being a hater. It’s just the facts.

          • Matthew

            Of course he owns his record…but, again: baseball is a team sport, and no single player has carried his team through every season like Kershaw has.

            I’m not trying to make this into a Kershaw Tribute Post. But, it’s not like Price, who has bounced around. Kershaw is the Dodgers, and a team that hasn’t made the World Series in 28 years is putting massive pressure on this one guy.

            Madison Bumgarner is the exception. No doubt. And I would NOT trade him for Kershaw. MadBum is simply the greatest big game pitcher of all time. Ever.

            Kershaw is a magical talent. Yes, it’s on him to win in the post season. But I stand by this: no player has the pressure to carry their team, and none have done do as successfully through the last several years -singularly -as Kershaw has.

          • DrLefty

            Yeah, I agree with all of that. Part of why Kershaw hasn’t been successful in the postseason is they’ve ridden him TOO hard–starts on short rest, keeping him in games too long because they didn’t trust the postseason–so it’s not fair to characterize him as a choker because he crumbled under more pressure than he should have had to deal with.

          • Moooooooooose

            Life’s not fair. He’s a choker!

          • DrLefty

            LOL, you’re my kinda guy, Moooooooooooosie.

          • Moooooooooose

            I had to reach back for my inner Lefty for that comment!

          • Jacob Singer

            No golf. He needs to ice that back for a while.

          • Moooooooooose

            Tee it high and let it fly!!

    • John Victory Faust

      I would submit that our dislike for everything Dodger-related is not blind and not only historically imported but well-earned and deserved in general with a frank implacable dread for Kershaw in particular.

      • DrLefty

        Ty Blach kicking Kershaw’s ass in every way possible was one of the best things that happened this whole frustrating season.

  • DrLefty

    I watched most of the game on an airplane. To my astonishment, Southwest has FS1 as one of its free TV offerings.

    Because I was ONLY watching the game and not multitasking, I watched Hendricks really closely. Here’s what struck me:

    Hendricks reminds me of…Ty Blach. Low 90s fastball, plus change-up, great command, great poise. Works quickly, pitches to contact, holds runners.

    Hendricks is 26 like Blach is and wasn’t some big hot prospect. Hendricks was an 8th rounder and Blach was a fifth rounder. Neither ever appeared on a top prospects list. He started the season as the Cubs’ #5 pitcher and ended the NLCS as the #2 pitcher, ahead of the defending Cy Young winner (Arrieta). Quiet, earnest no-name who stood up tall under pressure (as Blach did in September and in limited postseason innings).

    Oh, and they both went mano a mano with Kershaw and won.

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      If Blach can become the Maestro of the changeup as Hendricks is, he’s got a shot. Don’t count out Blackburn either, he’s the gestalt pitcher that knows how to back off and add when necessary.

      • DrLefty

        Hendricks has a lethal change-up for a kill pitch. Maybe not quite as flashy as Lincecum’s back in the day, but it’s on that trajectory. Blach, per scouts, has a plus change-up (his best pitch), so we’ll see how that progresses. Blackburn’s best pitch is his curve, and it’s a pretty nice one. But Blach has a bit more oomph on his fastball than Blackburn does.

        • Scout Finch Baseball

          Blach’s best pitch appeared to the the fastball with some apparent cutting action that hitters could not pick up. They were either watching it go by or swinging and misses. Gonna take a few looks for hitters to pick up his release point and action on the ball.

          • DrLefty

            Well, anyway, I can hardly wait to see Hendricks’ World Series start. I thought he was ridiculous last night. For some reason I really enjoy that kind of pitcher, even more than the Thors of the world with a cajillion strikeouts.

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            The Maddux’s of the world are fun. Glavine and Woody too. So there’s Ty Blach.

            It would be cool if the Indians’ Blach, Merritt, started opposite Hendricks.

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      ps – what did you think of Contreras? He was getting a lot of preseason buzz coming off a batting title in the Southern League – remind you of any recent Giants prospects winning AA batting title?

      4) Willson Contreras, C, Grade B-/B: Age 23, hit .333/.414/.478 with 34 doubles, eight homers, 57 walks, 62 strikeouts in 454 at-bats in Double-A. Excellent season, led Southern League in batting average but has never played that well before and it is not unanimous that he can keep it up. Good BB/K/PA ratio is in his favor. Defense is erratic and he needs another year in the minors to refine it, has the tools but still needs more polish. Non-Cubs sources not as sanguine on him as Cubs-oriented sources.

      how about CJ Edwards coming out of the pen? I think his stuff is impressive. Here’s his write up, also by my guy, John:

      6) Carl Edwards Jr, RHP, Grade B-: Age 24, 2.77 ERA with 75/41 K/BB in 55 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, just 26 hits allowed. Too many walks but stuff fits perfectly in the bullpen, 93-97 MPH with movement, curve and change both strong. Stock down some now that he is a reliever but can close games eventually if the walks come down.

      • DrLefty

        Contreras is a talented hitter, and he looked fine behind the plate to me tonight, but maybe Hendricks made it easy. WOW, was Hendricks good.

        Carl Edwards is filthy and nasty and I wish we had him.

    • CaptBrewster

      The Young guy held his own (and then some!) under the pressure of a title game, the curse, and huge hopes and dreams of a fan base; alll while facing Kershaw, the playoff veteran, the “best pitcher in the game”. Who wilted? Kershaw has done little in the post season of much note. Great regular season guy. HOF bound. But I can think of a handful I’d rather have pitching for me when the going gets tough.

    • John Myhill

      Generally that’s right. Hendricks strikes out more (23% vs. 16%) and walks fewer (6% vs. 8%), that’s the big difference in terms of stats. Hendricks has fewer hard-hit (26% vs. 30%) but Blach has much lower line drive % (9% (!) vs. 20%). Hendricks’ big plus is the changeup, which he throws 27% of the time–Blach has a good change but not that great and he only throws it 15% of the time. On the other hand, Blach has a pretty solid slider while Hendricks doesn’t. Actually so far Blach’s fastball isn’t so slow, 91 mph average (Hendricks is 88 mph average).

    • 2holehitting

      The main difference is Hendricks has had 3 seasons in MLB and led the league in ERA with a WHIP under 1 this year. In 3 seasons he has not had an ERA over 4 and 2 seasons it has been under 3 at 2.46 and 2.13.

      Blach, at the same age has not cracked the big league roster until this year after Sept call up. He has a track record of only 17 innings. Wait for Blach to have 2 seasons under his belt

      • DrLefty

        Blach is actually almost a year younger–he just turned 26 and next year will be his age-26 season. Hendricks will be 27 before next season starts.

        But the point is really that no one was picking Hendricks to win the ERA title and be the second-best starter on the Cubs this year. He seemed like a nice back of the rotation kind of guy, just like Blach does right now.

        Obviously Hendricks has done it now and Blach still has to prove himself, but when I was watching Hendricks last night, his pitching style reminded me of a right-handed Blach. Maybe it was partly because they both faced Kershaw in big games recently, but there are similarities in style, too.

        • Scout Finch Baseball

          Keep in mind that Hendricks was quite good his first two seasons as well. He’s sort of always had it. He really knows how to manipulate pressure on the ball and locate.

          http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hendrky01.shtml

          • DrLefty

            Yep. And Blach’s off to a great start in his MLB career, so we’ll see how it goes. Blach’s ability to perform well under pressure is impressive. His debut was at Coors Field in front of his friends and family–three perfect innings. He started a must-win game against Kershaw and threw eight scoreless innings and got two hits off Kershaw. His two postseason appearances were excellent–four up, four down vs the heart of the order at Wrigley and two scoreless extra innings for the win in an elimination game.

            Baseball/pitching is so much about focus and mental toughness, and the early indications are that Blach has that.

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            Lot’s to like about Ty’s SSS ! And the Giants sure liked his make up. They could see a winner at Creighton, didn’t matter if he wasn’t hitting 95.

  • Matthew

    I get that Andrew Miller is amazing…..but I don’t see any way that Cleveland hangs with the Cubs given the huge talent gap in the starting rotations….I’m calling Chicago in 5….

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      You’ll have to get in line with that call. Seriously, maybe they win one of the Kluber starts. Unless Cleveland’s Ty Blach, Merritt something or another, has a Hendricks like performance.

    • Hoona

      That’s how I felt about them against the Blue Jays, but Cleveland handled them easily in 5.
      And in one of those games, Cleveland won a game in which they were forced to go to the bullpen for 8+ innings because Bauer didn’t even get through the first.
      Something about them feels like the Giants.

      But who knows, I may be dead wrong since they’ve had a long lay-off.

  • Scout Finch Baseball

    What’s the Willie Mays’ stat that The Oracle likes to pull out? .650 OPS in postseason career?

    • DrLefty

      Mays actually didn’t have much postseason experience, which makes sense when you consider there were no playoffs, only the World Series, until the late 60s.

      1951: rookie year, 20 years old
      1954: age 23, Giants won the World Series
      1962: Willie’s prime, Giants lose World Series in 7
      1971: Mays was 40, Giants are out quickly in the NLCS
      (Another year with the Mets?–but well into his 40s)

      So two of those years, Mays was very young (like Kershaw in 08-09), and the last two he was past 40. Only in one year, 1962, was he in his prime. And his playoff experiences were few and far between. Kershaw’s been in the playoffs 4 years in a row and 6 years out of the last 9.

      • Scout Finch Baseball
        • DrLefty

          You mean Lefty? 🙂

          Look, we can pull names out of whatever BB Ref page, but the bottom line is Kershaw is a mediocre postseason pitcher at best. He’ll still make the HOF, first ballot, just like Mays did. Those are just facts. It’s a matter of opinion whether one thinks lack of success in the postseason tarnishes the lustre of a star’s career. I can see the argument either way. I certainly wouldn’t argue, conversely, that Cody Ross belongs in the Hall of Fame (except in our hearts, of course).

      • The Oracle

        In 1954, Mays hit .345, with 41 HRs. I think he was doing ok, despite being relatively young. It seems to me that he had an extended prime.

        • DrLefty

          OK, so 1954 and 1962, it’s fair to say he was in his prime during the postseason (8 years apart). I think the lack of regular opportunities (unlike someone who’s been in the postseason year in and year out) probably factors a bit.

          But the main difference is between hitters and starting pitchers. Hitters can slump and hitters can get hot (see Ishikawa, Travis and Ross, Cody). But usually aces are aces in the postseason–that’s how their team got to the postseason. And in postseason games, the role of the starting pitcher is magnified. If a hitter, even Willie Mays, has a poor game or series, there are others to pick up for him. It’s harder to cover for an ace who doesn’t deliver.

      • Moooooooooose

        Not to mention that The Oracle (who considers himself the only person on earth capable of rendering an honest judgement) doesn’t grasp that Mays had a much smaller sample size, having played the equivalent of 6 or 7 starts as a pitcher. Here his hero Clay baby has had 14 starts with a nearly 4.50 ERA while being considered the best pitcher in the game. A monumental failure compare to his regular season record.

      • 610nm

        A fairer comparison (thanks GiantC for bringing it up last night) for Kershaw would be Barry Bonds, just so there’s a fair number of postseason games involved. Willie’s day was not that long ago, but a different time altogether. Barry Bonds did finally snap out of his post season funk, and I was afraid that this was the year Kershaw might. I’m an evil person to say this, but I am not sorry he couldn’t.

        • DrLefty

          I was thinking that, too, about Bonds being more of an equivalent to Kershaw than Mays was. Bonds had more opportunities closer together in his prime and won many MVPs, just like Kershaw’s already won multiple Cys and will likely win more.

          That said, Kershaw did pretty well this year in the playoffs–until he, well, didn’t.

  • The Oracle

    Willie Mays in the post season (99 PAs): .247/.323/.337/.660, with 5 doubles and one home run. To be fair, however, 28 of those PAs came after he was already 40 years old. Willie Mays in the post season during his physical prime (71 PAs): .234/.310/.281/.591, with three doubles and no other extra base hits. Mays’ lack of post season success doesn’t detract from his greatness. Of course, he’s not a Dodger.

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      That’s the one. Would you believe that Steve Garvey had a .910 OPS in 232 postseason PAs (jeez, that’s a lot trips to the plate – about 40 with Padres) ?

      • The Oracle

        Prior to 2002, Barry Bonds was 19-97 in the post season.

  • Scout Finch Baseball

    Those were some good peanut butter cookies that I made.

    Which Dodger Free Agent is most likely be playing somewhere else next season?

    Jansen, Turner, or Hill?

    Which one is most likely to come back, as in “book it”?

    • DrLefty

      I think they’ll all be back.

      • Moooooooooose

        I don’t. They’ve tried to replace Jansen a number of times, so I don’t expect him to have any loyalty towards them. Besides, the 13 GMs want to make sure that they get ALL the credit if they actually win (which is why they traded Ellis), so they want to make sure they have their own stamp on the closer role. Nobody else will want Juicetin, because they know once he gets his money, he’ll go back to being Justin. The question is, how long will Seager be at short? As for Hill, I have no idea.

        • Scout Finch Baseball

          Seager? At least a few years. He’s quite good there.

          • DrLefty

            They should move him to third like his brother and get/develop a flashy glove-first SS. They’d be pretty set over there for awhile. Seager’s big for a SS.

          • Moooooooooose

            Not from what I’ve seen. How many 6′ 4″ shortstops do you see lasting more than a few years at that position?

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            Short of a better SS coming along, he’ll stay put. My bet is that Turner is retained on 4 year deal and when that is over, Seager moves over for the up and coming SS, which could be the guy they drafted in first round this year, Lux.

            Hopefully we’re all still around to celebrate the transition and the Giants 4th straight NL West title!

    • Hoona

      I’m calling that Hill leaves

    • winebaroness27

      Hill leaves
      Jansen–maybe, worth the draft pick
      Turner– returns cause of the draft pick comp…like kendrick?

    • Sgbssfg

      Reddick.

      • Scout Finch Baseball

        playing for SF?

        • Sgbssfg

          Goofy, good player, good fit, and has a few walkoffs under his belt.

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            wrestling belt? He did not seem to have much power in his swing watching him the last few weeks.

  • 12xu

    I predict that a team from a city beginning with a C will win this World Series.

    • Alvise Contarini

      Chattanooga?

      • DrLefty

        For a guy who’s never been to the U.S., you sure know a lot about the cities. Or maybe you’re just good with Wikipedia (?). 🙂

        • Alvise Contarini

          I’m 70 yo. I’ve read whole libraries before the internet was created.

  • John Myhill

    It is indeed becoming increasingly difficult for anyone to maintain that Kershaw’s postseason difficulties are merely the result of small sample size. This postseason another 24.1 innings pitched with an ERA of 4.44.

    But I’m confident that the people at Fangraphs will pull something out of their asses.

  • RobDeer
  • cynic

    I think for the Indians to have a chance Kluber has to turn into 2014 MadBum and pitch 3 games and dominate. Then mix in some Miller for 2 to 3 innings here and there and maybe the Tribe win in 7.

    • John Myhill

      I don’t think Kluber will need to win 3 games for the Indians to win the series. The difference from the Giants and Dodgers series will be that the Cubs’ opponents will be able to pitch their #1 pitcher in the first game. The #3 and #4 spots in the Cubs’ rotation have not been great in the playoffs. If Kluber can win twice against Lester (a big if, but if) then the Indians have a go chance to take 2 of the other 5. Tomlin has great control and is throwing a huge number of curves, these are two things that are really important to beating the Cubs, and the Indians have a lot of team speed so they will be in a good position to take advantage of the Cubs’ problems in holding runners on base.

  • Surf Maui

    Certainly glad the hated Dodgers lost, but I also dislike the Cubs a lot too. Go Cleveland

    • cynic

      I’m not one of those that’s happy for the Cubs and their fans. Can’t stand the fans and media swooning over them. I’m rooting for the curse to continue.

  • 610nm

    Scottsdale Scorpions in the Hot Stove League/AFL.

  • 610nm

    Take me out to the Ballpark/Go, Cubs, Go.

  • 610nm

    Hang on Sloopy/Cleveland Rocks.

  • 610nm

    Informal survey below for TWGers, now that we aren’t conflicted any more by Dodger Hatred. The candidates are better than in that other election!

    • DrLefty

      Cleveland all the way. I like the Terry Francona story–could beat his former team (the Red Sox) and his former boss (Theo) in the same month. I also like the Band of Misfits/peaking at the right time vibe because it reminds me of the 2010 Giants.

      The Cubs have become the Warriors. A couple years ago everyone loved the Warriors because they were fun to watch and had been irrelevant for so long. Now they’re villains and everyone’s tired of the hype and roots for them to lose.

    • Sgbssfg

      Cleveland Indigeneous’s (to borrow from a fellow TWGer) all the way. Just don’t like the SMUG’s, and the media’s coronation of them by June. Still gotta play the games.

  • 2holehitting

    You have to love old school with the shoe polish under the eyes and not the fake black tape. But I wonder, why wear it for night games?

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/rosenblog/ct-cubs-world-series-nlcs-rosenbloom-spt-20161023-column.html

    • steve k

      probably for the lights, which can cause a glare. or, more likely, to look cool…

  • steve k

    they were all singing “go cubs go”, last night, a little ditty penned by the late steve goodman. here’s another one he wrote. very clever. i hope jack brickhouse is doing the play by play up in heaven, on GCN (God’s cable network) for steve to enjoy..
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HTRxAHfwPY

    • Eleuthero

      This really brought a smile to my face. Thanks, Steve.

      • steve k

        glad you enjoyed it, E. if you love baseball, it’s such a great song, no matter who you root for.

  • DrLefty

    Pretty sad times over in Dodgerville, and LA Times columnists Bill Plaschke and Dylan Hernandez both piled on pretty hard. But really, the Dodgers accomplished a lot given their injuries, and it was a reach to think they were going to get by the Cubs in a seven-game series.

    They showed Ned Colletti with his Cubs fan Uncle Frank in the stands last night, and it occurred to me that pretty much everything that’s currently good about the Dodgers was engineered by him, not Friedman. Drafted, signed, or traded for by Colletti: Kershaw, Jansen, Seager, Pederson, Urias, Gonzalez, Turner, and even Puig and Ethier. Friedman traded for Grandal, which has turned out well, but other than that, nothing that moves the needle towards building a championship team the way Theo Epstein has. Friedman’s “legacy” includes acquiring Utley, Kendrick, McCarthy, Anderson, and Kazmir along with fringy young guys. Trading for Hill as a rental and signing Maeda for cheap were pretty good moves, but again, not enough.

    Oh, Friedman’s legacy also includes that Dee Gordon plays for Miami, Greinke (a Colletti free agent prize) signed with Arizona, and that they desperately need a RH power hitter since they can’t hit lefties…you know, like Matt Kemp?

  • dgg

    I’m expecting a tough World Series going 7 games. The Chicago Cubs should not underestimate the Cleveland Indians.

    • DrLefty

      I’m now back to being fully engaged. I fell into a sullen slump after the Giants got knocked out. I’ll watch every pitch of the World Series. I love that one of these teams is going to defeat their history and banish their ghosts.

      • dgg

        Yeah, I think Cubs-Indians World Series is going to be very competitive and whichever team wins, it will be historical. Besides, I’m in a good mood with a lot of hope for the Giants next year, especially if they’re able to land Mark Melancon.

        p.s. That was a very interesting conversation you and Ryan had yesterday about Blach and Hendricks. I enjoyed reading it this morning. I’m expecting Blach to win the 5th spot in the rotation.

        • DrLefty

          I’m a little biased because I watched Blach in Sacramento these last two seasons and always liked him, but there’s just something about him. Maybe I’m crazy, but makeup matters, too.

    • Anti-Lasorda

      Party at Napoli’s

  • dgg

    What happens to Puig now?

    • DrLefty

      The LA Times columnists noted the irony of Puig ending it with a GIDP. I bet he gets traded, maybe to the Brewers for Braun as rumored. The Dodgers need a RH slugging OF considering their problems vs lefties, but Puig apparently isn’t that guy.

      • Scout Finch Baseball

        I totally think they revisit this.

        • DrLefty

          Another irony is that they’re still paying the kind of guy they need (Kemp) to play for another team. Kemp is no longer the complete baseball player he was five years ago, but he’s still quite productive.

          • Anti-Lasorda

            I wouldn’t mind him in LF in orange and black. Jus’ Sayin’

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            How about Braun?

          • Sgbssfg

            No, just no. And it’s not just the PEDs, it’s the lies and blame game. I think Mac and Jarrett will do just fine, and leave lots of $$ for Melancon.

          • dgg

            Absolutely.

          • DrLefty

            Also he’s on the wrong side of 30 and very injury-prone and expensive. Leave some space for a guy like Mac or Slater (and later Reynolds/Quinn) to emerge. Enough with the creaky old outfield.

          • Anti-Lasorda

            Melancon is priorities 1, 2, 3 & 4…. everything else comes after that.

          • Matthew

            I hope LA trades Puig for Braun…his karma will further destroy their luck. Braun is the single most disgusting pig in the league for how he ruined everyone on his path as he tried to lie his way out of his PED situation

          • Anti-Lasorda

            Pass…. I think Buster would kick his ass just because…

          • DrLefty

            I saw him play LF at AT & T (for the Braves) in late August. He helped Gillaspie get a “triple.”

          • totalfan62

            I loved that the Braves young GM called out Kemp for being overweight (25-30 lbs.) and out of shape. Wake up call for Kemp to dig deep, play with pride and earn his paycheck. If he does that, he will have a strong 2017 season. Braves are very happy to have him hitting behind Freeman.

          • Anti-Lasorda

            Sometimes tough love works. Was hoping the could wrap Kemps contract and Vizcaino in a bow…. I don’t want to think what they would ask in return.

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            Freddie can sure hit. Wonder if the Braves can bring back McCann. Get it done!

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      He seemed to have matured by degrees after his stint at OKC. Is that even possible?

      • dgg

        Puig didn’t start out too great at OKC with that video. Andy McCullough reported: “Not a good look.” I was up at the cabin and completely missed the story about how Puig came to be back with the Dodgers. Perhaps they brought him up to showcase for a trade in the offseason?

      • Moooooooooose

        With all the maturing he’s done, he ought to be the most mature guy on earth!

  • GSDUbs

    I didnt go back to previous posts too much so this might be repetitive on top of repetitive but…Kershaw will have a plaque in Cooperstown one day. No doubt about that. But we know he’s not a horse in the Bumgarner sense. He was gassed yesterday. Also…any sports psychologists we can recommend to him?

  • DrLefty

    From Plaschke’s LA Times column: The Dodgers have now made ten postseason appearances (since 1988) without advancing to the World Series. That is a major league record.

    Also, if the Dodgers had won the NLCS, Urias probably would have started Game 1 of the World Series. Plaschke, criticizing the thin Dodgers rotation that led to Urias starting Game 4: “When you’re counting on a 20-year-old kid in Game 4 of the NLCS” (that’s not good).

    Bumgarner was (barely) 21 in 2010, but he had about the same amount of major league experience that Urias has had. He started Game 4 of every playoff series that year (and made a critical two-inning relief appearance in Game 6 of the NLCS) and the Giants won all of them.

    • totalfan62

      We remember 2010 World Series game four very well. After losing game three in Texas we did not want to let the Rangers even the series.

      I remember we just knew Bum would put up a quality start and give us a chance to win. He and fellow rookie Buster went far beyond that. They were brilliant!

      It was Halloween–trick or treat, Rangers!

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      To be fair, Bumgarner was a man-child, with all the physical presence and strength of a big leaguer in his prime late 20’s. Just a beast!

      • Anti-Lasorda

        Still is a beast…. and only looks better in October.

        • Scout Finch Baseball

          The number of the beast is clearly 40.

  • Matthew

    Imagine waking up a Dodgers fan today.

    Sorry, I know that’s a disgusting suggestion. Bear with me….

    You would wonder: is Kershaw an old 28? Will his back hold up? Can he win in the important post season games?

    Is A Gon fading? Is Turner leaving? Who plays 2nd base? Will Pederson grow up?

    We Giants fans certainly have our list of concerns. Most of us have a short list of must-do’s (Efrain’s is a complete overhaul…but he’s out there on his Love Island) . We saw the reality, and feel reasonably good moving forward…and we know the winners blood in the organization…

    Every year I watch LA and think ” if they hold it together…” , but they have rolled the dice two years in a row on weak rotations, and it has fallen short. Friedman has basically failed in addressing the big issues.

    Those fans must be highly irritated…

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      I believe AGon turns 36 next year and I think Belt makes the move to pass him in HRs in RBIs in 2017. Get it done, Belt.

      Gosh, what will the Dodgers do with their creaky rotation?

      Kershaw, Hill, Maeda, Kazmir, Urias, McCarthy, DeLeon, and then all those Stripling guys. That might be the plan, who am I missing?

      Pretty solid year for Pederson in that quasi platoon – doesn’t have to face the tough lefties though. He cut down his K’s and brought his avg. up to .246 to go with the 25 HRs.

      Next year could be sort of a bridge year for their next wave of top prospects. It’s going to be interesting how they spend to keep the Giants from seizing the West crown. We know they already have a bloated payroll and retaining their own free agents may just put them up against “it”, whatever IT is.

      200 years and counting since ’88.

      • Matthew

        Pederson was not projected at a “solid platoon guy”.And, if that list is their plan for the rotation, how is that remotely better than this “failure”? They did fantastic by overachieving during Kershaw’s absence. Counting on that group seems crazy.

        • Scout Finch Baseball

          Yeah, maybe 450-550 PAs is what they have in mind for Pederson – since he seems extra vulnerable to lefties. Then they can cycle in some of the depth on their roster to face lefties – get those guys ABs. Not the worst plan. But hitting homeruns and drawing walks and generating offense is very much part of the Pederson projection.

          • Matthew

            Well….to me, he will never ever be the guy the experts “projected”. A combination of swing holes and hubris is what I see.

            Again, putting myself in as a Dodger fan, your answer is not reassuring.

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            His projection working out just fine. Strikeouts always a part of his game. If Jarrett Parker/Mac Williamson could go and and put up some Joc lines next year, that would be golden.

      • DrLefty

        Well, they don’t for sure have Hill. Other teams will throw money at him, too.

  • Scout Finch Baseball

    So how is the Giants payroll situation looking like? How much money do they have to reasonably throw at their free agent targets?

    From this list which actually includes 27 players, an estimate for the 25 man opening day payroll is made. The sum comes up to about 168+ million. Last year’s 25 man opening day payroll was 172 million. The 40 man payroll is at least several million greater as is the figure used for the luxury threshold which takes into account the average annual value of contracts.

    So long as they are on the hook for every name on this roster, and if they were to pump up their payroll some modest percentage in the 5-10% range, then the Giants would really only have enough to spend on that uber closer that they so desire. Well maybe the closer and a backup catcher. It’s really hard to envision a closer like Melancon who probably fetches something like 4/56 mil AND a left fielder of any repute coming over. So it seems Evans’ winter has the expectation of being very focused. Butt hue nose, wheel sea.

    So, here you have it, a glance at the 2017 payroll with arb estimates on those guys who deserve it (and don’t forget, Mad Bum might get that mega contract)…

    Matt Cain 20.8
    Johnny Cueto 23.5
    Jeff Samardzija 19.8
    Madison Bumgarner 11.7
    Matt Moore 7
    Buster Posey 22.2
    Hunter Pence 18.5
    Brandon Belt 8.8
    Brandon Crawford 8.2
    Denard Span 11
    Joe Panik 0.55
    Eduardo Nunez 4.4
    Conor Gillaspie 1
    Kelby Tomlinson 0.52
    Mac Williamson 0.52
    Gorkys Hernandez 0.52
    Jarrett Parker 0.52
    Trevor Brown 0.52
    Will Smith 2.3
    Cory Gearrin 1.1
    George Kontos 1.7
    Ty Blach 0.52
    Andrew Suarez 0.52
    Hunter Strickland 0.52
    Derek Law 0.52
    Josh Osich 0.52
    Steven Okert 0.52

    Total 168.27

    • Edward_Fortyhands

      Cain will be gone after 2017, and Pence will be gone after 2018. That money should be used for Bumgarner and Cueto.

    • Doughnut

      Looks like there is not much room unless they add payroll. No way they get a LF and a closer under these conditions. For some reason i thought they had more money coming off the books but I guess not. Should repost this on other side

    • Doughnut

      BTW, I am fine with a MacParker platoon in LF (should it be RF?). I think they can put up a decent combined OPS and are better than a retread out of their prime. So i won’t mind if they get LF next year. Also, Gorkys and Span platooning won’t be horrible. We need a healthy year from Pence and a strong year from Panik and Posey.

      Just get a closer, and if possible also trade for a set up man.

      • Scout Finch Baseball

        Word. Need a career year from somebody in middle of order.

        • Doughnut

          Its a good roster. Just need to shore up those blown saves. Hopefully Mac and Parker can provide some of the power the team is looking for. I think Nunez will have a good year next year and is a quality player who adds a nice speed dimension to the team. We should be dangerous in 17

  • Scout Finch Baseball

    Crazy that Schwarber is cobbling together a handful of ABs in the Fall League and being considered for the WS roster. Crazy!

    Down in Peoria, the Scorpions fell 3-2 yesterday.

    Hunter Cole and Ryder Jones were each 1-4, Cole drew a walk and K’d once. Jones K’d twice. Great exposure for this pair of C+ prospects from the farm as they eye the prospect of a big league dream. I have a harder time seeing Jones in the cloudy crystal ball, but Cole has the trappings of a 4th/5th outfielder, could make some noise behind Mac, Park, & Slater. You know the Giants like him, having sent him to AZ.

    • DrLefty

      Slater is playing winter ball somewhere. I saw a tweet about him yesterday, and my rudimentary Spanish is good enough to see that he hurt his wrist on a swing and had to leave the game. Hopefully it’s nothing serious.

      • Scout Finch Baseball

        & Slater played AFL last year. What’s your guy Duggar up to? I imagine he starts off in Richmond, as did Cole and Slater did this year.

        • DrLefty

          I haven’t heard anything about Duggar this offseason. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t get the bump to AAA, though. He certainly earned it, hitting .321 for Richmond, and the River Cats will likely need him, assuming Mac, Parker, and Gorkys are with the big club. Duggar in CF, Slater and Cole in the corners? Not bad.

          • DrLefty

            Possible River Cats next year:

            OF: Duggar, Slater, Cole
            IF: Hinojosa(?), Shaw(?)

            Rotation (most interesting part): Blackburn, Stratton, Beede, Andrew Suarez, Gage, Slania (maybe back to the bullpen, Gregorio, too?)

            Bullpen: (Slania/Gregorio?), Albert Suarez, one of Osich or Okert, Rogers, …?

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            Hinojosa and Shaw also likely to resume in Richmond.

          • DrLefty

            Yes, the Sacramento infield is murkier to me. Probably the Grant Greens and Ruben Tejadas of the world. Maybe Ishikawa back again.

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            Yep, you have to account for the probability of signing minor league free agents to fill the roster in the infield and a slot or two in the outfield. Maybe Gorkys is back in AAA – Mac & Park with options too.

          • Doughnut

            That would be a fun club to watch if it actually happened

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            I’m thinking more AA AB’s – see if he still has that amazing BABIP stroke going in the first half of an Eastern League season.

            They will probably have a few OFers at Sacramento to split those ABs and Duggar better served to get all of his share in CF, or maybe some in the corner should Jebavy come up to AA – who is probably still the better defender in CF.

  • Eleuthero

    Good Cain article, GG. The radar gun had Cainer at 93 a few times this year so there’s little doubt that his arm still has some of its old strength. I don’t know why his slide piece isn’t sliding and I certainly can’t get inside his head. However, I’m a skeptic about comebacks from surgery on the body part that is one’s career. Yup, some guys do it but I have to say that they are the exceptions. We need a fifth starter, and a bullpen, and a power hitter, and a … you get the gist. The FO has to realize that the franchise is in rebuilding mode rather than being one guy from the Pennant. If the FO does half of their to-do list, maybe we can contend. If they’re a tad too complacent, I think the Giants are a .500 club mainly because of a better-then-average starting staff. However, the holes on this team are large and require a raft of players. I hope we go get some.

    • Matthew

      Wait…what?

      The rotation is beyond solid, the infield is set, the best catcher in the land…if Pence can stay reasonably healthy, then I see the issues as :

      2 OF positions ( can Parker/Mac/Slater/Span/FA/trade fix it?)
      Closer(either FA or internal?)
      Bench ( is that also fine if we only go 12 P’s?)

      That’s “rebuilding mode”???? Not close to me.

      • Eleuthero

        I admire your optimism, Matthew, but I don’t think it’s realistic. Pagan is at the end of his career and if they keep him he’s probably going to give us another 100-game season. We don’t know who our 3rd baseman is and Nunez, to me, is not the answer because his OBP is too low. He’s a hacker. Who’s our CF? I think our catcher got worn down to the tune of 12 HR and a large need for rest for a young ‘un. Belt has no consistency at the plate. We’re about 3 or 4 decent guys short of a real bullpen. The Dodgers showed us this year how far you can go with a deep minor league … which we do not have. Giants are a .500 ballclub, more or less.

        • Matthew

          That still doesn’t explain “rebuild”… Rebuild suggests blowing up the foundation, and this team is nowhere near needing that.

          Because Posey had an injured wrist means he’s worn down? Not to me. Nunez IS the 3rd baseman. OBP?? That’s the qualifier? We are nowhere NEAR ” 3 or 4 ” short of a bullpen…we are one designated closer from having roles defined…

          I just see this way different than you. 2 OF’s and a closer is the need. That is NOT, not “rebuild mode”.

          • Eleuthero

            We’re VERY close to needing to “blow up the foundation”. Think about the pen. We don’t just need a closer. We need a closer and two setup men. 2 OF’s is a pretty large need. Outside of Bum and Cueto, we’ll likely find out that Samardzija and Moore are just average pitchers as they’ve been their whole careers and we don’t have that #5 guy yet. Joe Panik … .312 hitter or .239 hitter? Posey … gets exhausted fast. I see a whole lot of question marks when it comes to next year’s Giants. When you need a whole bullpen, a #5 starter, 2 OF’s, and more powerful/consistent hitters, I’d say you’re a lot closer to a rebuild than you are to a Division Championship. I think the Giants are a very average team.

          • Matthew

            turn that frown upside down…that’s an incredibly cynical take on the team. I’m much more optimistic that you…let’s be Yin and Yang, brother

          • Eleuthero

            I don’t think a .500 prediction is “incredibly cynical”. If I said we’re gonna play .416 ball like we did the second half of this year … THAT would be incredibly cynical. They need a CF and an LF and 3B isn’t a strength. If Moore and Samardzija outperform their historic averages next year maybe a run at the Division is possible. If they perform at their historic averages it’s going to be an average year. Not horrible. Average.

          • Matthew

            No, I mean the way you are describing Giants Armagaeddon…the starting staff most certainly isn’t 2 guys and 2 stiffs. I get the concern, but you’ve painted it incredibly dire. I just don’t see it that way at all, and certainly not a .500 team…at all.

          • Eleuthero

            Stop exaggerating, Matthew. Predicting .500 is not “armageddon”. You’re not reading my words dispassionately because you’re a wild-eyed optimist. Needing 2 OF’s and a whole bullpen is NOT a recipe for a champion … period!! “Dire” would be me predicting that next year will be the .416 from the second half of this year. Cool down, dude! I’m predicting mediocrity, not collapse.

          • Matthew

            I’m not eagle rating. You have clearly sad it is time to rebuild. I disagree. And, I disagree with your assessments of lots of the players.

            They most certainly don’t need a “whole bullpen”. They need one guy.

            They won’t be mediocre. My opinion.

          • Eleuthero

            Nobody on this blog wants them to be mediocre. Also, there are many degrees of “rebuild”. For example, the D-Backs are in that mode as are teams like the Twins. That’s a “full” rebuild. I think the Giants will be a decent team in 2017 but obviously we’ll just have to agree to disagree about just how “decent”. Your “we only need a closer” is also, in my opinion, overly optimistic. We led the league in blown saves and the NLDS put that on full display. I hope you’re right because I want to be wrong.

        • DrLefty

          Well, even with their flaws, the Giants won 87 games this year, won the Wild Card game, and made it into the NLDS, so “a .500 ballclub” seems unnecessarily pessimistic to me.

          Next year they will have a better rotation from the start. Bum/Cueto/Moore/Samardzija is going to be one of the best rotations in the league, and if they let Blach be the #5 instead of Cain, even better. This year they let Peavy and Cain start 37 games, and Suarez had another 13. That’s 50 games that will be covered by an upgraded rotation–and even then, the Giants had the fourth best rotation in the league. Barring injuries, they should be top 3 next year.

          We all know they need to fix the bullpen, but they don’t need 3-4 guys. There will be some addition by subtraction, and they will still have Law, Strickland, Kontos, Smith, and one of the younger lefties. Add one primo guy for the ninth and you’re just about there.

          3B will be covered by Nunez and Gillaspie. Not counting postseason, that was over 20 HRs this year. They need a LF, and Span will be an ongoing problem because they won’t replace hm (they should), but that’s not so bad. A great rotation is an excellent foundation.

          • Eleuthero

            Since they played .350 ball after the All Star game, you might say that .500 ball for 2017 is actually an optimistic scenario. They need a left fielder and Span just doesn’t cut it as a leadoff hitter. We don’t know how their rotation will work out past Bum and Cueto because Samardzija and Moore are 4 ERA pitchers when all is said and done. Panik is a mystery and we’ll get the answer to whether he’s a .312 hitter or a .239 hitter next year. There are more questions than answers to this Giants club. One of the biggest questions is whether their key players (Pence, Posey, Craw) can stay healthy and vibrant. I was pretty obvious to me that Posey was just out of mojo in the 2nd half last year. We will see but I think .500 is a very realistic scenario.

        • Eric Ritz

          Why does “consistency” only get brought up as it relates to Belt? It’s a constant knock on him, yet I see no consistency from any of the Giants hitters.

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      See below – maybe can “only” add about 15 million in payroll via free agency. Maybe 20 million??

      20 mil doesn’t buy what is used to. Get ready for Mac, Parker, and maybe Austin Slater becoming household names cycling through left field – but how about Belt picking up some games in LF while Posey gets more at 1B?

      What about Trevor Brown ? Good enough to pick up more slack from Posey?

      Thankfully, the Dodgers will have some holes of various sizes as well. Who plays 2B for them? Who fills rotation? Bullpen, etc?

    • dgg

      I had to look up “raft” as a noun to try to understand your comment, Eleuthero. I still don’t understand what “the Giants will require a raft of players” truly means. I guess you mean “dense flock.” The Giants don’t need to rebuild the team, if that’s what you mean.

      noun: raft; plural noun: rafts

      1. a flat buoyant structure of timber or other materials fastened together, used as a boat or floating platform.

      2. a small, inflatable rubber or plastic boat, especially one for use in emergencies.

      3. a floating mass of fallen trees, vegetation, ice, or other material.

      4. a dense flock of swimming birds or mammals.

      “great rafts of cormorants, often 5,000 strong”

      5. a layer of reinforced concrete forming the foundation of a building.

      • Scout Finch Baseball

        Arizona Fall League’s Salt River Rafters !

    • Edward_Fortyhands

      I remember Cain’s debut. He was the only one of a large batch who came up in those years 2003-2005, who remained. Not Jerome Williams. Not Jesse Foppert. Not Kurt Ainsworth. Cain. He was the best pitcher we had until Timmy’s second season.

      However, I think he’s done now. I mean, realistically, he has had four mediocre injury plagued seasons in a row. The large contract he got was a reward for past performance, not future performance. I don’t know what the future holds for him but the Giants should let him go after 2017, and use that money to compensate Bumgarner and Cueto.

      Team-wise, Giants have open slots in CF, LF, and 3B. They need someone with some power in one of those slots. One of the problems with the 2016 team is that virtually every hitter, except the Brandons, had an off year or an injury year (Posey, Pence, etc.) If those players come back and we have someone competent in the wings the offense will be OK. The defense is already fine.

      We need to settle the bullpen and either acquire or identify a closer.

      • DrLefty

        Sounds like the Giants plan to have Nunez be the everyday 3B, and it’s worth remembering that he hit 16 HRs this year. And I doubt they’d agree that they have an “open slot” in CF after signing Span to a 3-year deal. So really LF is the opening. And the bullpen, of course.

  • Matthew

    I was just entertained by OBJ trying to encourage a bunch of British cricket fans to make some noise on a 3rd down play.

    “Tell me, Winchester, old chap…why is that young fellow flapping his arms at us?”

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      ever been to the Winchester Mystery House?

      • Matthew

        Full on bucket of Nopes on that one…no need to go visit a house haunted by a crazy widow and guns

      • Sgbssfg

        Big snooze. Went there with a friends family when I was 15. Have always liked historic houses, but not furnished much.

        • Scout Finch Baseball

          wonder if an overnite Halloween would be a snooze? 🙂

      • Way over rated. Hearst Castle is the bomb though.

  • Scout Finch Baseball

    As Anti-Lasodra intimated, Melancon is Plan A, Bizzle, Charlie, Delta, & perhaps Epsilon. But should plan Oopsilon unfold, then there would be around 13-15 million burning a hole in Evans wallet – and that would be money that he would be compelled to spend somewhere to shore up any perceived weakness on the roster. So that money could be allocated towards some kind LF addition or elsewhere between relievers and backup catcher.

    • Watch, the Giants have spent so much JuJu with 10-12 and 14 that they get Melancon and he turns in to the second coming of Jim Johnson. Peeps blasted JJ for lots of stuff but his STUFF was off the charts.

      • Anti-Lasorda

        Shame on you, at least you didn’t use the “B” word. Already been down that road once.

        • Funny that after Benetiz left SF he pitched for the Marlins in 2007 and TOR in 2008

  • Anti-Lasorda

    I disagree with your scouting on Cain. I don’t think Cain is lacking for stuff. I don’t think his lack of confidence is about his quality of pitches, I think its about control. He used to be pinpoint in his placement. His bone chips in his elbow actually restricted his movement in his elbow and altered his mechanics slightly. Now he has more movement in his elbow and less control. He has no idea where the pitch is going. It is makung him start pitches in the center of the zone and he is getting creamed. That is no suprise. Everyone gets creamed in the middle. Even Chapman did 2nd time through which is why he couldn’t convert to a starter.

    Will another year removed from surgery and more time to strengthen the muscle and tendons in his elbow let him spot his slider like before? Let him ride that fast ball in just over your hands the way it used to? Or will that slider drift up in the zone and that fastball fade 2 inches outside and continue to be the cookies we saw this year.

    I don’t know, and I would like to think Cain is throwing his sides and working his ass off to find it. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t; he gets paid either way, and I would be really interested to hear one way or the other. Does the fire still burn or does 3 rings and a perfecto and a future on the Giants Wall of Fame satisfy him?

    In my opinion, and what my eyes generalky saw was Cain was still very effective one time through the lineup. He could figure out what he had and craft hisvway through the lineup once purty consistantly; but, he would get killed second time through. How many 5th inning meltdowns did he have? Some exception of course, the notable comeback start in Boston comes to mind. After all that I feel confident Cain can still be very useful in a once through the order role. And if his confidence gets rebuilt, that could be the last time through the order too. The ninth would not be too big a stage for him.

    Is it my first choice? NO. But if you miss on Melancon, KC wants too much for Davis, and Tampa won’t take your calls after feeling burnt on Moore then you may have answer right under your nose. The key to that is making the decision now that he is not going to be the #5, and you talk to him now about prepping for 60 appearances, and 90 innings.

    ~YMMV