Lincecum rocked, Giants fall to Rockies 17-8


Lincecum rocked, Giants fall to Rockies 17-8

DENVER Tim Lincecum does not have the shingles. But he had a bad case of the doubles and triples Wednesday night.In what ranked as the shortest start of his career, Lincecum couldnt escape the third inning as the Colorado Rockies pounded him for six earned runs.Whatever Lincecum contracted proved contagious to the rest of the pitching staff, too. The Giants took their ace off the hook by rallying from a 6-0 deficit to take a 7-6 lead, but the Rockies kept right on bashing to take a 17-8 victory on a vintage, pre-humidor night at Coors Field.Starting pitching report: Lincecum had so much trimmed away at the barber shop, you could see the back of his neck for the first time in years. The Colorado Rockies proceeded to step on it.The two-time Cy Young Award winner retired just seven of 17 batters while failing to complete three innings for the first time in 157 career starts. Lincecums fastball was in the 90-92 mph range most of the night but the real issue was the many changeups he left up in the zone. Seven of the eight hits he allowed came on offspeed pitches, including all five in the third inning as the Rockies blitzed him from the game.Lincecum said this spring that he planned to pitch to contact. This is not what he had in mind. In two starts, he has a 12.91 ERA and has allowed 14 hits and three walks in 7.2 innings. Opponents have a .368 average against him; Lincecum entered the year with a career .223 OBA.Carlos Gonzalez tripled twice against Lincecum, who looked most disconsolate in the third when catcher Hector Sanchez couldnt block a wild pitch that scored a run.Lincecums outing could have been worse. He was pulled after walking Chris Nelson to load the bases in the third. Right-hander Dan Otero stranded all three inherited runners by getting opposing pitcher Jeremy Guthrie to hit into a double play. If not fot Oteros sinker, Lincecum might have eclipsed his career high of seven earned runs.
Bullpen report: Guillermo Mota and Jeremy Affeldt combined to allow 12 hits to the 23 batters they faced. Anything else you want to know?Well, OK. Brian Wilson made his 2012 debut. The bearded wonder allowed a run on a hit and a walk, but topped out at 95 mph and looked healthy.At the plate: Well, the Rockies didnt have all the fun. The Giants sure enjoyed themselves while they erased a 6-0 deficit in a seven-run fourth inning, which Nate Schierholtz and Brandon Crawford touched off with back-to-back home runs. Pablo Sandoval hit an RBI double and Gregor Blanco drew a pinch walk to load the bases for Hector Sanchez, who hit a two-run single. Blanco scored the tiebreaking run on Schierholtzs sacrifice fly.Schierholtz also hit a home run leading off the seventh inning. It was his second career multi-homer game.Brandon Belt entered as part of a double-switch in the third and promptly exited in another double-switch in the fifth. He struck out and walked in two trips.And Buster Posey, who didnt start because of the shingles, hit a deep fly out as a pinch hitter in the eighth.The Rockies? Well, they were 19-for-32 through just five innings. Thats a .594 average. They finished with 22 hits. Well spare you all the play-by-play.
In the field: Brett Pill committed two errors on a hideously ugly play in the fifth inning. Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up:Michael Cuddyer on first. Todd Helton on second. Two outs. Ramon Hernandez singles up the middle. Helton scores. Pill cuts off the throw from center, lets the ball tick off his glove. Error as Hernandez takes second. Cuddyer dashes for the plate. Hector Sanchez makes a nice sliding scoop and throw to Affeldt covering home. Cuddyer caught in a rundown. Affeldt throws too early to third base. Pablo Sandoval throws home. Pill drops the ball. Error No.2. Cuddyer scores. Pill throws to third base, where shortstop Crawford is covering. Hernandez overslides the bag, yet somehow avoids Crawfords tag. At least thats how the umpire saw it. No outs on the play.As bad as that was, the most damaging error came leading off the bottom of the fourth. Thats when second baseman Emmanuel Burriss bobbled, then threw wide to allow Marco Scutaro to reach. The Giants had just taken a 7-6 lead. The error opened the door for a three-run inning as Colorado wrested it back.Oh yeah, and Ryan Theriot ended up in left field for the first time since 2007. It was that kind of night.Attendance: The Rockies announced 30,337 paid. The seventh-inning stretch came just in time to avoid thousands of cases of deep-vein thrombosis.Up next: The Giants and Rockies complete their three-game series onThursday (first pitch at 12:10 PDT) with a matchup for the ages. Or about the ages, at least.When 22-year-old Madison Bumgarner takes on 49-year-old Jamie Moyer, it will be the third largest age difference between opposing starting pitchers in major league history, and the largest in nearly five decades. The only instances with a wider age gap both involve Satchel Paige, who was 59 years old when he started for the Kansas City As in 1965.Moyer was 26 years, 256 days old on the day Bumgarner was born. With a victory, Moyer will become the oldest pitcher in major league history to win a game.The way Wednesday nights game dragged on, Moyer might have made it to 50 before lobbing his next pitch.

Projection system loves Giancarlo Stanton at AT&T Park


Projection system loves Giancarlo Stanton at AT&T Park

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants have made a habit in recent winters of “kicking the tires,” so to speak, on as many free agents as possible. General manager Bobby Evans is committed to being thorough, but at times there is probably no need. 

Hitters have made no secret of the fact that they prefer friendlier confines, and if you’re a power hitter, you’re going to ask Evans for a significantly larger check to play 81 of your games at the harshest power park in the majors. That’s what makes Giancarlo Stanton, readily available via trade, so intriguing. But would Stanton be fully immune to the realities of AT&T Park?

The numbers, at least in a small sample, suggest he would. Stanton has played 27 games in San Francisco and taken 108 at-bats. He has nine homers, 11 doubles and a triple. His .676 slugging percentage at AT&T Park isn’t far off his mark at Coors Field (.714), and his 1.048 OPS is higher than his OPS during the 2017 season, when he hit 59 homers. 

The damage has been done in limited time, but the Giants clearly believe it’s fully sustainable, and a recent study done by ESPN’s Dan Szymborski backs that up. Szymborski ran his ZiPS projection system to estimate Stanton’s stats over the next 10 years for a variety of suitors. The numbers in orange and black are overwhelming. 

The projections have Stanton at 46.2 WAR over the next 10 seasons, including 7.1 in 2018 and 6.8 in 2019, the two seasons the organization should be focused on given Madison Bumgarner’s contract situation. ZiPS projects Stanton at 46 homers next season if he plays for the Giants, followed by 43, 42, 39, 35 over the following four years. For comparison’s sake, Brandon Belt led the Giants in homers each of the last two seasons and he has 35 total during that span. 

Any sort of projection system needs to be taken with a huge grain of salt, especially with a player who has had injury issues in the past. But ZiPS believes Stanton -- who plays in a huge park already -- is a rarity, the kind of power hitter who can keep crushing well into his 30’s and put up huge numbers even if he is limited by the realities of getting older and getting hurt. Szymborski’s projections have Stanton playing just 102 games in 2025, but he’s still projected to hit 23 homers, 20 doubles and post an OPS+ of 121. Even in the 10th year of the projections, ZiPS has Stanton down for 16 homers. 

There are no sure things in this game, but as Evans continues to chase a blockbuster deal, he can be confident that Stanton is one player who should be able to provide power for years to come, no matter what AT&T Park does to hold hitters down. 

Former A's slugger Gomes offers Ohtani scouting report: 'Big fan of the dude'


Former A's slugger Gomes offers Ohtani scouting report: 'Big fan of the dude'

Former A's left fielder/DH and Bay Area native, Jonny Gomes, last played Major League Baseball in 2015. The next year, Gomes looked to continue his career in Japan with the Rakuten Golden Eagles. 

Gomes struggled in Japan, batting just .169 in 18 games. While in Japan though, Gomes saw firsthand the two-way talent of Shohei Ohtani. 

"The dude throws 100 miles per hour consistently," Gomes said Tuesday to MLB Network Radio. "That plays."

With MLB, the Players Association, and the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization agreeing to a new posting system, Ohtani should soon be available as a free agent to MLB teams. Gomes was adamant that Ohtani will live up to the hype. 

"If you have the arm speed to throw 100 miles per hour, guess what your slider's gonna do -- yikes. And he also has a split, which is yikes with that arm speed. And he also has a changeup, and he also has a curveball. You're talking about five plus, plus, plus pitches.

"If he was in the draft, I think it would be a no-brainer right now that he'd be No. 1 overall," Gomes said. 

Since turning pro as an 18-year-old, Ohtani has been a dominant force on the mound. The 6-foot-3 right-hander owns a 42-15 career record with a 2.52 ERA and 1.076 WHIP. 

What makes Ohtani, 23, so intriguing is that he's not only the best pitcher in Japan, he may be the best hitter too. In 2017, Ohtani hit .332 with eight home runs in 65 games. The left fielder/DH owns a .286/.358/.500 career slash line with 48 home runs. 

"Now hitting wise, is it gonna transfer, is it not? I've seen the dude hit a fly ball that hit the roof of the Tokyo Dome," Gomes remembers. "So, what does that tell you? That bat speed's there, that power's there, that he's generating a lot out front.

"To be able to hit the roof of the Tokyo Dome is way more impressive than hitting any other roof in the states. It would be like hitting the roof in Seattle when it was closed, it's way up there."

Everyone knows about Ohtani off-the-charts talent. The stats are there. What we don't know as much about is his personality. Gomes does and he believes his leadership will make him be a star in the states. 

"I'm a big fan of the dude," Gomes says. "I saw his work ethic, I saw how players treated him, I saw how respectful he was. Over there it's all about seniority. Granted he was the biggest star on the field at any given moment, but still gave the utmost respect to seniority guys on his ball club."