Greek Giant

It was Not As Close as the Score Indicated

Keaton Winn and the Giants suffered through a seven-run inning in the bottom of the fourth against the Rockies in Denver after the Giants had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the inning. The Giants (and Winn) would go on to lose 9-1 to avoid the sweep of Colorado after San Francisco had won the first two games of the series. I have followed the comment thread of late with interest in for yesterday’s ballgame there were some murmurings of Keaton Winn tipping pitches. It is possible and I have seen it happen before, notably with Tim Lincecum tipping his changeup in 2012 and getting hammered by the Marlins in Miami, a game I attended.

For those of you keeping score at home “tipping pitches” means the pitcher is doing something to reveal his pitch. It’s much like the “tell” in poker that reveals when a player is bluffing. In the case of a pitcher it is usually some subtle change in the delivery leading up the pitch in question. For Lincecum it was his exaggerated wind-up, a bit too fast, when he three his changeup. For Winn, considering he gave up six straight hits, the cycle and a 7-spot after pitching well the first time through the order my theory is that he was just throwing tooo many meatballs. I re-watched that bottom of the fourth and the Rockies jumped all over Winn’s fastball, slider and splitter. All the hits came on pitches down the middle and more or less belt high. Considering that Winn’s fastball velocity is said to be down at least 4-5 MPH you are talking about a recipe for disaster. Evidently Winn has been a bit under the weather. Let’s hope it’s nothing more than that and he will recover and the Giants will find a way to prevent or stop any potential tipping of pitches.

It seems to me (somebody please look it up) the Giants have given up a ton of runs with opposing hitters facing the starters the second and third times through the order, especially the second time. I think there is a pattern that needs to be addressed regarding pitch selection, predictability, and perhaps sign stealing. The Giants need to make this a priority.

The one run San Francisco scored came on a beautiful opposite field homer by Michael Conforto, who is hot has hell at the plate right now. He hit an outside corner fastball and lined it just inside the foul pole in what was a sensational piece of hitting.

Closing Thoughts

So, this one-sided loss meant the Giants finish the ten-game road trip with a 3-7 record and frankly they looked over-matched in Boston and Philly. Considering the Rockies are winning at a 22% clip, a sweep would have been nice but this Giants team has yet to win three in a row this year and has a remarkably inconsistent hitting attack.

The Giants are now 17-22, 9 games behind the Division-Leading Dodgers after only 39 games! WOW! In fact, the NL West, a Division we all thought we be among the best in baseball, is rather ho-hum considering the very disappointing play of the Giants, Padres (20-20) and Diamondbacks (18-20).

LaMonte Wade Jr. had a hit in three at bats and again looked very comfortable at the plate. He is batting .341 and is leading the world in OBP. He is also playing a fantastic first base. He needs to play everyday and I would argue he has earned the starting job at first, an achievement that would have been impossible with all the platooning under the previous Manager. Wade is looking like an All Star and has been one of the few bright spots in what is so far a fairly dismal season for the Giants.

Tonight’s Game

The Giants begin a three-game series against the Reds at 7:15 PM in Willie Mays Field. It will be Abbot versus Webb on the mound. It should be fun. The Reds have some very exciting young players.