Giants 10, The Team The Giants Dominated This Year 4

ESPN Box Score

Well, that was pretty ugly. Rumor has it that this offense actually managed to score four more runs today, which would mean they have scored nine over the past two days without hitting a homer. Impossible.

In the season series, the Giants hit 10 home runs and the Braves hit 2. The 1-5 record for the Braves, then, is not surprising. It is depressing to give up 10 runs on the day before an off day, though, because now we have to wait an entire extra day to really put this one behind us.

The Braves actually took the lead in the first, scoring two runs on three, yes three, different hits. Unfortunately, Julio Teheran just didn’t have it today. It looked like he had a blister or something bothering his pitching hand, and it messed with his command. He coughed up the lead in the bottom of the inning. In the fourth, the Braves managed to tie it up 4-4, but Julio gave the lead right back (with the help of Evan Gattis missing a Buster Posey popup behind home plate) and the Giants never looked back. This was unfortunate since Madison Bumgarner actually looked beatable today, but his offense bailed him out (and, as Tomas pointed out in the last thread, the ump helped too) and so he ended up getting the win.

Julio went 3.1 innings (the shortest start of his career) and gave up 7 hits and 5 runs. Alex Wood relieved him, and unfortunately Alex didn’t have it today, either. On the day he learned he will not make a start this weekend and will remain in the bullpen for the indefinite future, he gave up 3 runs in 2.2 innings to put the game out of reach. Luis Avilan pitched the 7th and only gave up a hit, before David Carpenter let the Giants put the icing on the cake with a 2-run homer in the 8th. The 3rd and 7th were the only innings the Giants did not score in today. Apparently, they weren’t really happy about being shutout last night.

Regression had 2 RBI doubles, and he and Freddie Freeman need to stay productive for this team to win consistently. BJ Upton had three strikeouts (shocker!) and became the first Brave to be ejected this season when he argued about a called strike three (another shocker!)

I know BJ was signed as a free agent and Dan Uggla was extended after a trade so the situations aren’t exactly the same, but once Uggla is off the team, if BJ becomes the next guy we have to begin discussing how we need to get rid of him and eat the rest of his contract, we need to start calling BJ DUI (Dan Uggla Incarnate). If BJ revives and Regression actually regresses, I nominate the nickname transfer to him.

We thankfully will not see the Giants again this season. At least we weren’t swept again, I guess. On to St. Louis now to face the Cardinals, since it’s been so long since we saw them last. Nothing like the schedule spreading these series out.

Natspo(s) delenda est (but to accomplish this we will need some help from other teams, and the D-Backs were not much help today.)

27 thoughts on “Giants 10, The Team The Giants Dominated This Year 4”

  1. @1 Very sad indeed.

    If we can continue to score four runs a game, we will be in good shape. We just don’t know how to beat the Giants.

  2. …and the risk of signing pitchers to a long term contract is at all time high right now.

  3. Mazzoni is adamant about what is contributing to all the injuries.

    I’ll try to find a place where he slowed down enough for coherence and share.

    Suffice to say, it isn’t the current conventional wisdom.

  4. Leo’s guys stayed healthy. Most of Smoltz’s issues were related to bone chips, though I think he did have TJ.

    I know people say “Maddux and Glavine weren’t hard throwers.” Well Neither was Kris Medlen.

  5. I believe that the epidemic may also be related to an adverse selection effect. In the last several decades, and increasing all the time, baseball has prioritized absolute velocity from a pitcher. The radar gun increasingly dictates draft position. This doesn’t just mean that hard-throwing pitchers get drafted higher, and that throwing hard blows out your arm. It means that every pitcher is incentivized to throw harder, and their coaches and dads and advisors and all of the people who swarm around a talented amateur just smelling all the dollars that will come when they sign, all of them are incentivized to get the pitcher to try to throw harder, and exert more, and put increasing strain on their arms before they ever get drafted. As a result, by the time they get into professional baseball, it’s just a matter of time.

    I don’t know how you’d test that. But I happen to believe it’s a factor.

  6. Yes, maximum effort is unhealthy for pitchers. Maddux and Glavine went for so long because they didn’t kill their arm on every pitch.

  7. @7 – Seems plausible. Also factor in that pitchers are not expected to throw as many innings as in the past. Startes ~6.5, specialists only 1 maybe 2, some guys like LOOGYs only 1 or 2 batters. One wonders if a guy like Glavine, a control specialist, gets drafted high these days.

  8. The first of our TJx2 club may take a step forward tomorrow. Venters is scheduled to throw live BP.

  9. @12

    Will the results count? I feel like I could could strike out guys in this lineup.

  10. #11
    Had a similar conversation the other day. I was remembering the LHPs from back in the day, guys with relatively low K rates, like Paul Splittorff, Fred Norman, Larry Gura & Tommy House, and thinking they probably would never get drafted today.

    I guess Jamie Moyer really was one of the last in a dying breed.

  11. The year round travel-ball phenomenon has to have something to do with all the elbow problems. I think you only have so many max-effort pitches in your arm, and using 50% of them up before age 18 is not a good thing.

  12. @16 – that is a great point. There may be a bunch of 18 year old kids with 30 year old arms out there.

  13. @15, don’t forget Bruce Chen!

    That said, I’m always amazed by how few strikeouts people used to get. Jim Palmer was famous for his fastball, and he only struck out 5 men per 9 innings. Warren Spahn only struck out 4.4 men per 9 innings.

    Guys like that would have trouble getting out of the minors intact. Their repertoires would be tweaked, their motions would be tweaked, they would be put on workout regimens to try to gain more velocity and miss more bats. And, like the ash bats a decade ago with thin handles and bulging barrels, they would snap.

  14. @7 Alex, that was exactly the hypothesis I gave on our league message board yesterday. I think we may (likely) have reached an asymptote on how much stress the human elbow can take. The guys have gotten so big and strong and they can generate so much force from the lower body and core that the elbow really stands out more as a weak link. Combine that with what Alex posits and you have a greater observed frequency driven by what the market has incentivized. Sorry, sabermetics, but emphasis on velocity and K’s has a lot to do with all this.

    As for guys like Medlen, they could be outliers, but I tend to agree with the max effort theory. If all you got is 89 and you try to throw it with every fb, then yes, I think you get what we see now. Cue the Don Sutton monologue on how off target scouts are today (although I do buy in on a lot of this).

    Todd

  15. I knew a guy who used to room with Pete Rose in the minors (he didn’t have great things to say about him) who was a scout for a while. He was trying to help his nephew with his delivery, but refused to help unless he agreed to stop throwing breaking balls. He really felt like all the breaking balls at a young age were a huge problem – even more than the speed.

  16. I also wouldn’t overlook what I’ll call the “Yankees-Red Sox Effect” on pitcher injuries. The increased amount of time spent between pitches can function as a complete cool-down from the previous pitch, thus reinforcing giving max effort on each successive pitch. A quicker pace could engender a healthy fatigue within an inning, causing the pitcher to compensate by using strategy (location, deception) rather than power.

  17. @22, I’d be really interested to know if that were true. Fatigue is generally considered to be one of the greatest risk factors for a pitcher, as it can lead them to alter their mechanics in ways that they either may not be aware of at the time, or may not be able to correct, so they can strain their muscles in ways that their muscles are not used to.

    (Also, wouldn’t Steve Trachsel have gotten injured a lot?)

  18. I saw the round table with Smoltz, Jim Kaat, Bob Costas, a surgeon and a scout. Much the same was said. Smoltz said that radar guns are appearing at younger ages than ever. And kids are on multiple travel teams and not telling the coach how many innings are being pitched on each team.

  19. Body fatigue as opposed to arm fatigue — what I’m supposing is, in taking a walk around the mound, rubbing up the baseball, hitting the resin bag, etc., what they’re really doing is letting the body return to stasis (heart rate, breathing, sweat). This may be a side effect of max effort — they have to slow down between pitches. So, in a broken-windows theory sense, working more quickly may redound to the effort given to each pitch. Trachsel, while certainly taking his time out there, was not what you’d call a max effort pitcher anyway.

  20. @23. If throwing to first requires max effort, I am sure Steve tracheal would be a multiple TJ victim!!!

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