One more week …

…before the season begins, when our beloved boys of the WC orange and black take to the stadium out in the desert.  There will be splashing in the outfield, where the DBags, so insecure that the fans would be content with mere baseball, installed a kidney shaped pool and bar.  (They should really swap that thing with the LA Angels, who have leftovers from Big Mountain Railroad in their outfield.  The rust colored fake rocks look more AZ-ish).

The starting pitching and lineup are all set, and things have been coming together quite nicely.  There are some pieces missing, which lend to the late spring-training drama.  Will it be Kontos or Machi?  Is Justin Maxwell going to be a sure thing?  And will Matt Duffy get rewarded for an excellent spring training?

Whilst we await the answer, lettuce (hehe) not forget that the personal A’s fan World Series takes place during the end of the week.  The Bay Bridge series in any form becomes unpalatable when Ray Fosse is at the mike, but let the cross bay folk have their fun.  It’s a great chance to see all the high school stars in the A’s starting lineup before that big let down in the first round of post-season play.  Amirite?

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About annapirhana

Writer, former KUSF DJ and fan of the SF Giants/SJ Sharks/Great America 49ers. Love quality films, though I don't take things too seriously. If I told you what I do for a living, I'd have to tickle you.
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65 Responses to One more week …

  1. xoot says:

    You are right. The reigning World Series Champions are just about ready to defend against the turned over rosters of the rich (the bums, e.g.) and the stingy (the a’s) alike. And I’m ready for some real baseball.

    • shoelessinbearvalley says:

      Real ball starts in less than a week, now (6 Days 20 Hours and time enuf for Puig to fine hone his skills to jump rope and touch his toes for at least 30 seconds prior to stepping back into the box).

  2. shoelessinbearvalley says:

    Huddy gave up a very hefty 10 Hits (4 Runs) in 4.2 innings. Clearly, room for improvement. Meanwhile, Nate Schierholtz has not had a good spring, choosing to exercise his opt-out clause with the Rangers and become a free agent. Who knows … Nate may yet wind back up in a Giants uniform.

  3. shoelessinbearvalley says:

    Last year, the Giants lost Cain. Peavey was picked up to fill in the rotation gap. Now, Cain’s back – and if he finds his groove (and stays healthy), Bochy might want to consider a 6 man rotation, given the age, wear and tear of an always grueling season for starting pitchers. Which, of course, would mean one less reliever on the season roster. Anyway, it’s something I hope Bochy is weighing, because a 6 man rotation could help all the starters, especially Huddy, Peavey – and just possibly Cain, Bumgarner, and Vogey/Petit, too – stay just a bit fresher over the course of a long season. (Something tells me, Vogelsong may still serve better as the 6th man in the rotation – again, holding Giants ace reliever, Petit, for those ‘special’ reliever situations that he proved so clutch last year.

    • shoelessinbearvalley says:

      Or (I got to ‘thinkin’, 🙂 ), more likely, Bochy will stick with what he (again probably) feels offers more flexibility: the 5 man rotation (coined, of course, by we feminists as the much hallowed “5-person rotation”)- only electing to start Vogey / Petit when rest is deemed necessary for one of the regulars. Still, I would love to hear Bochy’s reflections on the feasibility of deploying the “6 man rotation” or more aptly, the “5 person +1 (i.e., tree-chopper-turned Madbum pitcher sporting chainsaw)” rotation.

      • xoot says:

        Jake Peavy is a 6-inning starter, at best, so we will need depth in the pen. For the first time this season, I’ve swung over to baseball-reference to check on a Giants player’s stats (to be sure I don’t mess this up too badly). Very nice visit. Last season, I generally started my day with a cup of coffee and a review of bbref’s home page. I can feel the season coming on like that dawn behind the dawn of Thoreau’s. Yes, life is about to get better. Anyway, back to Peavy. Last season in 32 starts for Boston and the Giants combined, Jake pitched into the 7th inning 17 times, and often got hammered then and fairly often pulled. (His IP total for the 7th was 13.) You don’t want to know about his 8th inning stats. Well, maybe you do. In 4 of his starts he survived to the 8th. He managed to get a total of 7 outs in those 4 attempts. And of course he did not throw a single pitch in the 9th inning of any game last season. But Bochy likes him. And Bochy has a plan, even if we benighted skeptics can’t yet perceive it. “Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.” Or something like that.

        • shoelessinbearvalley says:

          Great (revealing) bit of stats on Peavey’s routine performance pitching into the 7th inning. So, I guess the thought herein that a 6 man rotation would not help a pitcher like Jake, and you prefer an extra reliever instead. It’s a good argument. But, I nonetheless might wonder if there’s any stat showing how an extra day’s rest might have helped Peavey when hoping to pitch late in the game ….

          • xoot says:

            Ha! Well, a cynic might respond, if the guy’s only throwing 6 innings per start now, how much more rest does he need? The problem is the 25-man roster limit, right? The pen has to have some depth. In the post season, it can be fine for the number one starter to show up as a reliever if the timing’s right. (MadBum!) But if the pen gets stretched during the regular season that move doesn’t sound so attractive. On the other hand, the 5-man rotation is no more sacrosanct than the 40 hour work week. . . .

            • shoelessinbearvalley says:

              And if I’m remembering my baseball history lesson back when Koufax and Marichal pitched, wasn’t the 4 man rotation far more routine? For reasons I know Dowders have tried to dissect before, why pitchers in ‘the old days’ would more often serve as both starter and their own setup guy, and generally closer too. Today, pitching 6 innings and giving up 3 runs or less is considered a “quality start”. Other than a very MLB pitches, few show the stamina and endurance qualities to ever come close to pitching a complete game. Obviously, Peavey falls into this ‘modern’ day category of pitcher.

              • shoelessinbearvalley says:

                (sorry for being so repeatedly typo prone today [see mess above, by immediate example] … but, my own recently hired wordpress editor tragically fell to his death today while attempting to skate board off of Coit Tower – he succeeded in the initial attempt, but his landing left something best left for the early morning street sweeper.)

              • xoot says:

                Have you ever seen the photos of Koufax’s arthritic elbow when he retired at age 30–after only 10 full seasons? Big as a birthday party balloon. And guys like Spahn and Marichal and Gibson were astonishing–but the economics have changed. No one wants to find out if a pitcher has that much stamina now. MadBum’s PS run is about as close we’ll see to such a test these days, perhaps.

                • shoelessinbearvalley says:

                  All excellent points (and I haven’t seen, but can easily imagine Koufax’s swollen, interminably stiff to the point of sore elbow now past its prime. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. So, I suppose it’s wholly reasonable to hope Peavy [why I picked up on adding an extra ‘e’ to his name is my bad!] can simply pitch a solid / quality 6 inning stint. I support Bochy’s preference to weaken his bench and strengthening his bull pen by adding an extra reliever over the course of the regular season – looks like he’s already committed to the same plan as last year. I like it.

  4. dirtnrocksnomo says:

    Haha, Great finish. My A’s fan friends sure treat this pre-season series as meaningful for some reason. They can take comfort in cheering for the 2014 All-Start HR Derby champion. Oh, wait…

  5. shoelessinbearvalley says:

    As a side note to today’s Secretary of State / White House announcement about an agreement with Iran has been successfully worked out, I can only imagine how Bibi, no to mention those 47 Iranian flag waving U.S. senators who took time to thoughtfully write to the Iranian government. Lots of pissed off, pro-war-with-Iran advocates, no doubt. :p

  6. shoelessinbearvalley says:

    Peavey (1-3 ERA 8.22) is slated to start tonight’s game v Kazmir (1-0 ERA 0.75). ‘On paper’, I can hear that aaa’s fans are a lock to win tonight’s big pre-season contest … only so long as tonight’s game (probably viewed as “a must win”) is confined to paper.

  7. shoelessinbearvalley says:

    A reposting (cutting n’ pasting) of my morning post back on sfgate.com/giants
    ——————
    John Shea’s lead column, posted directly below the “San Francisco Giants News,” reads like an A’s column write-up. Quite the opposite of a Hank Schulman column, assuming he had performed last night’s write-up instead. Nonetheless, I learned more about Kazmir than I ever thought possible, and the 9th inning’s closing paragraph covering the A’s nifty, nonetheless, “switch pitcher,” Pat Venditte was highly informative for all.

    I do hope that when the regular season starts, the so-called “San Francisco Giants News” will allow John more leeway to post his A’s columns over on the “Oakland Athletic News” page, assuming it’s located somewhere down the hall, maybe over a skyway, long past Treasure Island, and somewhere down near the international home headquarters of TARPS, Incorporated.
    ——————

    The ‘new format’ at SFGate continues to bug me, because, in a blatant (transparent) attempt for SFGate to try to promote A’s baseball, they (John Shea in particular), continues to post ‘A’s-friendly’ articles right at the top (but beneath the heading) of the “San Francisco Giants News” home page.

    I mean, if I wanted to read about all the A’s spring training ‘exploits’, the last place that I would have thought to look is on the San Francisco Giants News home page. 😛

    • annapirhana says:

      I’m wondering if Shea is just filling in for Schulman, who might be on a small vacances?

      Either way, that paper is pretty much dead to me. Filling your space with retreads from other sites and becoming all gossipy is just zzzzzzz. I miss the old days when the local paper came out with Herb Caen columns and real writers.

      • shoelessinbearvalley says:

        You may be right, although Schulman continues to make a column about once a day. But, Shea has been posting since the beginning of ST. And, the new format is BS, imo. From early on, Shea seems to be getting the nod from his ‘boss’ to routinely post A’s only articles directly on the front page of SFGAte.com/Giants – directly on the main page heading, “San Francisco Giants News”. I know the A’s pages are struggling to attract baseball fans, but the last thing on my mind when I think to check out ***/Giants is stuff (translation: crap) about A’s baseball. ha!

        But, of course, you’re right about filling dead space with cut/copy/paste articles. I mean, even yesterday’s SanFrancisco.Giants.MLB.com had the Duffy article where he claims to be “at peace” with making his best case for the Giants consideration to include him on this year’s starting roster – whereas, I could NOT find this column anywhere at SFGate.com/Giants. Leaving Duffy’s comments / Eric Gilmore’s column off sfgate’s.giants front page doesn’t make any logical sense whatsoever … unless, of course, SFGate / VK and company are at odds, too, with Gilmore. No matter. Today’s the last day of ST. Yippppppeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. shoelessinbearvalley says:

    1:05 PM – Free Game of the Day – Final Game and Huddy’s final start of ST 2015.
    http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=sf

    (should still allow time for xoot to see his cats make mince meat of the badgers.)

  9. shoelessinbearvalley says:

    FWIW, Giants home jersey – black with orange numbers and name on back, orange/red stripes around neck and sleeves, and same color under both arms) looks good. Huddy looks very fit to my eyes. Gives up a 2B but otherwise escapes the Top of 1st unscathed.

  10. shoelessinbearvalley says:

    Maxwell batting, 2 on 2 outs … I missed his last AB, first chance to see this new Giant hopeful.

  11. shoelessinbearvalley says:

    Amy whats her name interviews Pagan between innings, asking him of his hopes / expectations of the season. His answer (speaking for himself), he just “wants to stay healthy”. absolutely.

  12. shoelessinbearvalley says:

    Hudson pitches out of a 3-0 (A’s on 3rd, 2 outs) to get to a 3-2 ground out of Semien – Adrianza makes the play … yaaaay!

  13. shoelessinbearvalley says:

    Barry Zito warming up in the bp for A’s. My live MLB.com feed just shut down … have to ‘reboot’. Good thing this thing is free today. 😉

  14. shoelessinbearvalley says:

    Huddy through 5 – 4H, 2BB, 1SO … but more importantly, pitching a shutout.

  15. shoelessinbearvalley says:

    Zito delivers an efficient 9 pitch, 1,2, 3 inning.

  16. shoelessinbearvalley says:

    Petit starts the bottom of 6th … first pitch strike.

    • shoelessinbearvalley says:

      Blanco’s speed makes a running shoetop catch of fly ball to short left center. great play. great catch.

  17. shoelessinbearvalley says:

    Sanchez hit again by a foul ball off his right wrist and upper arm … Hector is least lucky catcher of the 21st century.

  18. shoelessinbearvalley says:

    Kruk reminds that by the end of today, every player will know whether they made the roster or not. Adrianza (batting .224) trying to make his final closing remarks to the jury as he flies out to RF in his 1 AB today.

  19. shoelessinbearvalley says:

    Timmeh starts the bottom of 7th … 3 pitches … 1 out.

    • shoelessinbearvalley says:

      2nd SO for Lincecum. Like seeing his long hair back and the ‘used-car’ salesman mustache shaved off. ha!

  20. shoelessinbearvalley says:

    Panik has not been the sharpest today … error in fielding the ball between … wait … Sanchez throws out steal attempt at second! 3 outs … wait … it’s Spring Training Instant Replay … overruled. Safe! darn.

    • shoelessinbearvalley says:

      Timmy gets outta the 7th with a little help from Arias playing 1B. Giants 2 A’s 1. aaa’s fans must be beside themselves with dire season long prognostications based on this all important spring training game.

  21. annapirhana says:

    Oh yay! Baseball! Timmy didn’t look so bad, yah? He looks like he’s 21 again!

    • shoelessinbearvalley says:

      Timmy looked great today! He’s had the best spring of his major league career, I believe. I hope he has a solid year and makes a strong case to get his contract renewed … as a GIANT! 🙂

  22. shoelessinbearvalley says:

    Kontos now pitching in the 8th. Another Giant on the ‘bubble’. Will it be Machi or Kontos? I admit that I’ve been pulling for George, the underdog, who really proved crucial in providing Bochy a fresh arm in the bp in late July / August, who’s only reward was to get DFA’d again to make room for Pagan’s return, I believe.

    • shoelessinbearvalley says:

      George makes his best case, shutting down the A’s in the 8th with 10 pitches.

      • annapirhana says:

        I’m rooting for El Senor Kontos also!

        • shoelessinbearvalley says:

          All righty then! I’ll send JDR’s numero uno lobbiest on behalf of this entire website to remind Bochy that if he doesn’t start Kontos on the 25 man roster that I will officially boycott attending any Red Sox games this year or next or the year after that and so forth and so on till the end of time itself.

  23. shoelessinbearvalley says:

    Great second AB from Panik. Works the count to 3-2, and gets a hit on the 9th pitch.

  24. shoelessinbearvalley says:

    Javier starts the 9th – maybe a little surprised not to see Machi … maybe that suggests something regarding the last man out race to make the roster. Kontos almost against all odds beats out Machi to make the 2015 regular season roster?

  25. shoelessinbearvalley says:

    Oh, goodie … Hunter Strickland warming up in the Giants pen! The A’s may yet have a chance to comeback! ha! (just kidding, I hope)

  26. shoelessinbearvalley says:

    Bochy walks to the mound, relieves Lopez, and calls to the pen … who will it … The Flamethrower!

  27. annapirhana says:

    Nice job, Strickland! Your worst pre-season nightmare averted, Sheriff Shoeless!

    • shoelessinbearvalley says:

      Whew! what a relief it is! ha! (I thought Hunter looked pretty sharp today. No 100 MPH FB’s, but 96-97 MPH and location is always my first choice … whenever I use him in my 2014 MLB season long simulator … hee hee.

  28. shoelessinbearvalley says:

    Ball game! Giants win the blank! Giants win the blank! Giants win the blank!

    Observations:

    Giants end ST in far better shape than when they started – with the notable exception of Pence.
    Hudson had an excellent final start, shutting out the A’s through 5.
    Lincecum looked very sharp in one inning of relief.
    Strickland pitched smarter today with exception of at least one hanging FB that didn’t hurt him.
    Hector played the entire game today.
    Best of all: Giants beat the A’s twice in a row!!!

    • annapirhana says:

      Many great observations!!

      Our boys have ended ST on a brighter note. I was not expecting much as there was not a lot of time during the off season, but bright notes such as Duffy and Maxwell did not hurt. Now comes the real test We’re not slated to finish anywhere close to the top, as those spots are reserved for the Dodgers and Poodres. Then again, another post-season of nachos and donuts is something I’d love to avoid, at least for this year!

      Here’s to another season.

      • shoelessinbearvalley says:

        The oddsmakers I reviewed earlier in the week, predicted the Giants and Padres to be very close to each other in the chance to win the NL West. For example, the Vegas Insider puts the odds for the Giants to win the WS at 20-1 (Dodgers are ranked second at 8-1), while the Poodres’ odds are tied with a bunch at 25-1. OTOH, the same oddsmakers put both the Giants and Poodles at 12-1 (tied for second in the West) while the bums again get the favored nod at 4-1.

        While the Vegas Insider is more or less representative (close to) of other sites I checked, I just reviewed the “CBS Staff Projections” and 5 out of 5 rank LAD to win the West, while 4 out of 5 predict the Poopers are a lock to take 2nd place with the Giants stuck in the middle at 3rd place.

        Giants are underdogs again! Just where they seem to like it. Like most seasons where the Giants tend to excel, the team’s chances rise as the team gets / stays healthy over the course of a long season. I like our chances, even if I remain unconvinced that Aoki will be better than Blanco in the lead-off role (ouch).

  29. xoot says:

    I caught part of the game on tv and much on the radio today, but I watched last night’s game pretty closely. The Giants are ready for the season. 13 pitchers? In Bochy we trust. Pence got his cast off yesterday and will begin swinging soon.

    As to this BB series–the a’s played it like ST Post Season, and they LOST. The Giants played it cool, like the final practice session before the show. It’s so much fun to be a Giants fan these days.

    Overall, I like Duffy; McGehee looks fine; Pagan’s playing well; Blanco’s re-made his case for I don’t know how many years running; Perez is still worth the trouble; and Cain and Lincecum conclude the spring with nothing but promise.

    Finish April .500 or above and see how things look going forward. That’s the key. These guys can do that, and they can do a lot more if they get some breaks.

    • shoelessinbearvalley says:

      It is fun, I agree. I’d add Huddy to the nothing but promise list, too. And MadBum looks nonetheless for wear from last year. The big question mark remains Peavy. If the Giants had picked up Lester, I wonder if Jake would have gotten the offer to return.

      Yeah, I had the same thought for the month of April: try to finish the month at .500 (give or take a game or two) – trading time until Pence returns to the lineup.

      In any case, for all the season ending projections, prognostications, and predictions for October, I still love the game of baseball for defying the oddsmakers, year after year. Last year is just another example of how a team like the Giants can turn the Vegas tables upside down, and doubtless and doubtless compounding ‘OhMyNotNow’s’ life under the table all the more miserable. 🙂

      No matter, in Bochy and Giants pitching I trust.

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