Giants

Vogelsong will try to cool off Tigers in their home park

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Vogelsong will try to cool off Tigers in their home park

DETROIT The Giants ride into chilly, gray Comerica Parkcarrying a franchise-best five-game postseason winning streak in which theyveoutscored their opponents 30-4.

Yet the Detroit Tigers have their own streak eightconsecutive home victories and manager Jim Leyland finally gets to run outhis lineup against a right-handed starter.

Thats no small detail: The Tigers were 62-49 againstright-handed starters and their two heavies, Miguel Cabrera and PrinceFielder, hit 64 of their 74 home runs against righty pitchers.

Nothing on the matchup sheet could make the Giants regretsending Ryan Vogelsong to the mound for Game 3, though. Vogelsong has been theGiants best starting pitcher this postseason both in terms of stuff andresults. His hard two-seamer and sharp offspeed pitches allowed him to match adominant, 10-strikeout, one-hit start from the Reds Homer Bailey in Game 3 ofthe NLDS at Cincinnati the first of six elimination victories that the Giantshad to reel off to claim the NL pennant.

Now the Giants are playing from ahead. Theyll sendVogelsong in search of a 3-0 lead in the World Series, and in addition toCabrera and Fielder, hell have to concentrate on Omar Infante. Thetable-setting infielder is 7 for 11 (all singles) in his career againstVogelsong. No other Tigers hitter has faced him more than six times; Cabreraand Fielder have combined to go 1 for 8 with a walk and two strikeouts.

The Tigers have more speed in their lineup with QuintinBerry in the outfield, but Vogelsong might be the Giants best starting pitcherat holding runners.

The Tigers will counter with right-hander Anibal Sanchez,who has dominated the Giants in three starts at AT&T Park (3-0, 0.36 ERA)but hasnt been so good elsewhere.

Sanchez, whom the Tigers acquired from the Miami Marlins,got pounded when he faced the Giants May 24 at Marlins Park. He allowed fiveruns on seven hits and two walks in 5 13 innings. Vogelsong started that gameand received the victory in a 14-7 win.

Sanchez has to be elated that the Giants didnt add MelkyCabrera to their World Series roster. Cabrera is 8 for 15 lifetime off Sanchez,and although hes eligible now that hes served his 50-game suspension forflunking a performance-enhancing drug test, the Giants decided to avoid thedistraction of bringing him back at any point in the postseason.

Giants leadoff man Angel Pagan is 6 for 23 with threedoubles off Sanchez; Gregor Blanco is 4 for 7 with a home run. DH HectorSanchez will be facing Anibal Sanchez for the first time. (Giants DHs had justone RBI in nine interleague games during the regular season.)

Although most of his numbers are similar from a year ago,Sanchezs strikeout rate dropped from 9.26 per nine innings last year to 7.68this year and hes pitching in the postseason for the first time, too.

Early scoring makes all the difference for the Giants, who haventblown a lead after the third inning all postseason.

Projection system loves Giancarlo Stanton at AT&T Park

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AP

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'

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AP

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."