Today’s Game: Cardinals (77-71) Vs Giants (79-69), 4:05 pm at Willie Mays Field:
Alex Reyes (2-1, 1,29) vs Albet Suarez (3-3, 4.20)
Let’s pretend last night’s game didn’t happen. Today, the Giants strive for a season series win against the Cardinals of St. Louis. I mention the season series because it could be a potential home field decider if these two ballclubs face-off in a Wild Card Game playoff. The Giants enter the day 5 games behind the dreaded bums of Los Angeles for the division lead and tied with the Mets for the Wild Card lead in the standings.
Goodness knows what Bochy and Righetti have prepped for us come bullpen time. This will be the third career start for Mr. Reyes after taking Jaime Garcia’s place in the rotation. Recall recent seasons when Garcia was a rotation stalwart for the Cards.
The starting lineups:
Meet Matt Cain: Our New Closer?
There are 13 more games left in the season baseball fans. You have to wonder at this point if the Giants have the emotional wherewithal to shut out all the recent disappointing losses and heartbreaks. I know I don’t. I imagine Bochy will be exploring more match-ups with the relief corps as he tries to keep the bullpen confident. It has come up in conversation in Giants nation and around the internet: How about Matt Cain as closer? Well, let’s have a look at some interesting career stats for our beloved number 18.
First, in 307 2/3 innings pitched in the first inning, his ERA is 3.66 and he has allowed 254 hits, 128 walks and he has recorded 245 strikeouts, per Baseball Reference.
Second, in high leverage situations, Cain’s BABIP is .265… The verdict on Cain as closer: Well, it’s worth a look because we are desperate. The question: Is game 149 the right time to try this experiment?
What Is A Closer?
When I was reflecting on Bochy’s predicament concerning the closer role I wanted to examine the different attributes of what defines the closer.
Here is a list I came up with, Feel free to add to it in the comments:
- Must be comfortable, or excel in high-leverage situations
- Must throw strikes in your first appearance/inning
- Must be able to pitch on consecutive days effectively
- Must be able to forget or shake off bad outings
- Should be able to get swings and misses
Time for a Drink With Surf Maui
It looks like a beautiful day at Willie Mays Field. SurfMaui is coming over to watch the game with me at my place. I am making a Chambermaid for the occasion. Since he doesn’t drink, I will have mine and his.
3 parts Bombay Sapphire
3 parts fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice
2 parts St. Germain
muddled mint leaves
garnish with a slice of cucumber
pour into highball glass filled with ice cubes
The result: Heaven!
One last thing: Thanks for all the amazing comments and stories on The Whiteness in Baseball. SurfCity wrote me a scathing critique which I have responded to. I appreciate all your perspectives. Go Giants!