Greek Giant

Alex Wood, Solid Again

Colorado starting pitcher came into last night’s game at Willie Mays Field with an ERA over 5. Last night against the Giants, he lowered it, allowing only one run in six innings. Senzatela was aided by several very generous strike calls but that going on about it would be whining and Giants fans are not whiners. just saying…

Fortunately Alex Wood was even better, going seven innings and allowing only one run on five hits. Wood also recorded five strikeouts and did not allow a walk. He was downright excellent and he finally gave the Giants bullpen a bit of a rest. It looked like, after his 101 pitches, he could have gone on to pitch the 8th inning, rarefied territory for a Giants starting hurler. Wood was able to hit 93 MPH on the fastball and was able to mix and match locations very well, for all of his pitches.

Wood was the victim of more fairly weak contact becoming hits, this time though it was no fault of the Giants infield defense. One of those grounders lead to a run in the top of the third as it was a routine one hit to the open side of the infield by second base as the Giants were playing the shift heavily to the left side of the infield. Charlie Blackmon then hit a single the other way, again against the shift, and the Rockies scored first. It would be Wood’s only Blemish. Credit Blackmon with the great piece of hitting with two outs in a situation that just needed a base hit for the Rockies to score. It was a classy veteran at bat.

Going back to Alex Wood: I love the way he pitches. He grabs every toss from the catcher after every pitch and gets right back on the mound with a rhythm, will and determination that should be a lesson for young pitchers everywhere. NO bs. No face-grabbing, crotch-adjusting, nervy swervy ticks. Just get the ball, toe the rubber and throw strikes. It’s refreshing as hell.

Estrada Ties It

The Giants countered with a run in the bottom of the fourth on a double Darrin Ruf and an RBI single by Thairos Estrada. Up to that point the boys hit a few bombs that fell just short of clearing the fences, one in particular to dead center came off the bat of the struggle Tommy LaStella and looked and sounded like a round-tripper. Dave Fleming on the radio thought it was “goooooooone” but it was caught.

Yaz Is Back

In sum, against a very weak Rockies pitching staff, the Giants managed seven hits, a mark that is not going to get it done when none of those leaves the park.  Three of this hits came off the bat of Yaz who went 3-4. In the process he raised his batting average to .288. Remember when he was struggling mightily in April with a sub-.200 average for most of the month? Remember when we were worried about his season? Well, the lefty has turned things around in impressive fashion with an extend period of play, at least three weeks now, that has been very consistent at the plate. His defense is still excellent too. In top of the sixth he dove, all out, full extension and caught a soft liner from C. J. Cron. Yaz had to run a bit to his left too. It was highlight reel stuff. The catch came with a runner on second and one out. If Yaz does not catch it a run scores and the Giants likely lose.

Blackmon’s Throw

There was an exciting play in the bottom of the fifth when with one out Charlie Blackmon threw out Luis Gonzalez trying to tag up on a soft liner by Wilmer Flores. Blackmon, for some reason, was playing relatively shallow and fired a one hop strike to nail the speedy Gonzalez to keep the game tied at 1 run. It was an inning-ending double play and the run scores if that throw is even two feet to the left or the right of the Rockies catcher.

Gonzalez for the Walk-Off

In the bottom of the tenth inning with Walton as the Designated runner (God! I f90d99cking hate this rule!!) Luis Gonzalez lined a single just out of reach of the Rockies second baseman. Because it was not clear if the ball would be caught Walton could not run off the bat and had to hold at third. But wait! Charlie Blackmon would over-run the ball and as he was heading back to third, he had the sense to see the play unfold in right and then raced home to win the game. It was not pretty but we will take it. The Giants, and yours truly, really needed that win.

Tylelr Rogers and Camilo Doval pitched the 8th and 9th innings respectively to finish the Rox off. Dominic Leone pitched a shutout in the 7th inning and the Giants won a very 2010-style ballgame with great pitching, great defense and timely hitting.

The Box

Joey Bart to the Minors

Well, about two weeks ago TWG had a poll on whether or not it was time to send Joey Bart down. He was batting .156 with 49 strikeouts in 90 at-bats. The young lad had the highest strikeout rate of any batter with a minimum of 90 at bats. Yesterday the Giants decided it was time to give Bart a fresh look at Sacramento and take some pressure off him mentally. Here is what Farhan Zaidi said about the move, courtesy of Andrew Baggarly’s recent piece:

“Our sense was it was weighing a little more on Joey. It’s one thing to be struggling and still feel like the team is firing on all cylinders. That allows you to be in a better mindset. But when it starts weighing a little more, an intervention makes sense.”

The Catching Situation is Bleak

Yesterday the Giants made a deal for minor-league catcher Austin Wynns from the Philadelphia Phillies for minor-league left-hander Michael Plassmeyer and cash considerations. All of a sudden the Giants are in a very bad way when it comes to the catching position.

This is a comment from one of the readers of the Baggs article:

” Looking back 12 months, we all thought the club’s catching was going to be a bright spot for years to come. Buster Posey was producing consistently for the first time in years. Joey Bart was knocking on the door. Casali had the shutout streak and a catcher’s ERA that was incredible. Patrick Bailey and Ricardo Genoves were starting to develop, albeit with some complications. Now, the cupboard seems barer than bare. Posey is gone, Bart has washed out, Casali is doing ok, Bailey has enormous problems, and Genoves is stalled out. We already went through a guy who really had no hope of ever getting a hit (Papierski) and now we’re getting a 31-year-old minor leaguer. Talk about the penthouse to the outhouse.”

How true.

Today’s Game

The series against the Rockies wraps today with an afternoon contest at 12:45 PM. It will be Logan Webb taking on Austin Gomber.