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Sunday, September 23, 2012

MLB.com: Giants claim NL West title with sixth straight win

Like a sprinter busting through the tape, the Giants locked up the National League West title with a sixth consecutive victory, punching their ticket to the postseason with Saturday night’s 8-4 victory over the Padres at AT&T Park.

The Giants have won 10 of their past 11 games and 18 of 24 as they turned what was a tight race with the Dodgers into a blowout.

NTNgod Posted: September 23, 2012 at 12:08 AM | 34 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: giants, pennant race

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   1. Tuque Posted: September 23, 2012 at 01:22 AM (#4243408)
Ah...#### em.
   2. Steve Treder Posted: September 23, 2012 at 01:42 AM (#4243416)
I must confess: when Cabrera received the suspension, followed shortly by the Dodgers acquiring Gonzalez, this result wasn't exactly what I predicted.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: September 23, 2012 at 01:58 AM (#4243417)
Kinda amazing that they could win the division this easily with Lincecum having a crap year. In fact, their starting pitching has been fine but hardly spectacular overall.

Just what a strange team and maybe another case where Sabean succeeded despite himself. They seemed to do everything they could to avoid playing Belt who has ended up with a 119 OPS+. Theriot a predictable disaster at 2B. They pick up Scutaro who, naturally, puts up a 138 OPS+ for them. Angel Pagan, a perfectly decent player, puts up a 125 and of course Melky. Meanwhile Pence is terrible -- but will probably hit 9 HRs in the playoffs or something.
   4. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 23, 2012 at 02:24 AM (#4243423)
I don't think that's fair to Sabean at all. Posey, Sandoval, and Belt are all home grown players and are the core of a very good offense. The Giants may have been late to put Belt in the everyday lineup but he's in there now. Sure, Angel Pagan has played at the upper limit of his ability (he did put up a 113 OPS+ in 2009-2010 before injuries last year) but the Giants have been really unlucky with Pence, who is not terrible.

I think Sabean has done a very good job this year.
   5. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 23, 2012 at 02:40 AM (#4243426)
Brandon Crawford is having a nice season as well. Seriously, the idea that the Giants can't develop position players is outdated.
   6. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 23, 2012 at 03:03 AM (#4243428)
I think Sabean has done a very good job this year.
Sabean gets short shrift around here. He's been an above-average GM for a very long time now.
   7. Bhaakon Posted: September 23, 2012 at 03:33 AM (#4243431)
The Giants may have been late to put Belt in the everyday lineup but he's in there now


Nah, they're still trying to platoon him. Even though he's got right around a .900 OPS since the beginning of August, he's still started 12 of the last 49 games on the bench. It's not like he's an embarrassment against platoon, either (unless the only offensive stats you care about are batting average and strikeouts, an accusation occasionally leveled against the Giants)

Sabean gets short shrift around here. He's been an above-average GM for a very long time now.


Yes, and no. The idea that he's the worst GM in baseball is probably tremendously unfair to him. But I think that he's very nearly the worst GM who is good enough to hold on to a job. The guys worse them him get cycled through and out of baseball (at least out of the highest level of front offices), while the guys better than him are, well, better than him.
   8. Steve Treder Posted: September 23, 2012 at 03:55 AM (#4243435)
since the beginning of August, he's still started 12 of the last 49 games on the bench.

Well, understand that (a) in the month of July, he hit .186/.266/.214, with 30 strikeouts in 70 at-bats, so there might possibly have been a reason to be cautious with him. Moreover, on the days when Buster Posey doesn't catch, he plays first base, which probably explains something near every one of those 12 non-starts for Belt.

That said, the reluctance to commit to Belt has been one of my major frustrations with Bochy and the Giants, not just this year but last year as well. But still, it appears that where we've arrived in September of 2012 is a Brandon Belt who is a real, real good young major league first baseman. I'd hoped we'd have gotten here a bit sooner, but the fact is we're here, and it would be stupid to deny Bochy and the Giants due credit in bringing that about.
   9. Bhaakon Posted: September 23, 2012 at 04:12 AM (#4243437)
Well, understand that (a) in the month of July, he hit .186/.266/.214, with 30 strikeouts in 70 at-bats, so there might possibly have been a reason to be cautious with him. Moreover, on the days when Buster Posey doesn't catch, he plays first base, which probably explains something near every one of those 12 non-starts for Belt.


Fair enough, I'll amend my timetable to August 15, when Cabrera was suspended and Belt was already quite obviously on a hitting tear. In 35 games since that day, Belt has started 8 games on the bench. And while you're correct that most of those 1B starts are going to Posey, Belt does have experience in left, and the Giants other options at that position are, well, I'm being extremely polite in calling them sub-par.
   10. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 23, 2012 at 07:45 AM (#4243450)
the giants have won a world series, two pennants and five division titles with sabean as gm. sabean managed to transition the team from the bonds centric version to a completely different type of time

any giants fan who thinks the giants could have done a lot better with a different gm is unreasonable
   11. Ginger Nut Posted: September 23, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4243537)
As a Giants fan, I'm happy Belt has developed somewhat, but I have to admit I'm still not totally sold on him. He gets on base, which this team desperately needs. Of course he should be starting. But he's in his age 24 season and has a SLG of .422, with 7 home runs in 443 plate appearances. Granted ATT park is tough on left handed power, but still, that's pretty weak for a first baseman. If he doesn't develop more power, I think he can be described as a role player but he's never going to be a star. Again, he should definitely be starting and he is helping this year's team win; I just don't know what kind of long term future a 1B with such limited power can have.
   12. phredbird Posted: September 23, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4243639)
the giants have won a world series, two pennants and five division titles with sabean as gm.


i had to think twice about that and jog my memory. weird. ya, sabean faces a tough crowd here.

baseball is such a funny game. the reds lose votto and the giants lose cabrera and lincecum struggles, and now either of those teams could be playing in the NLCS.

btw, who faces who if all the playoff positions hold?
   13. zachtoma Posted: September 23, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4243646)
But I think that he's very nearly the worst GM who is good enough to hold on to a job.


Not even. Ned Colletti just got an extension. :(
   14. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 23, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4243651)
the giants have a .535 winning percentage with sabean calling the shots. in modern baseball 86 wins as a center point puts you in contention and with variance you have a 90 plus win season every so often which gives you a division title.

sabean has drafted good players, traded for good players and signed good free agents.

giants fans griping about sabean are unreasonable.
   15. Tripon Posted: September 23, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4243658)
Yeah, but Ned was a protegee of the Giants and Sabean. And the griping about Sabean is that he'll sign awful free agents based on stuff you can't measure, like Aaron Rowand and his 'leadership'.
   16. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 23, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4243660)
the giants have won a world series, two pennants and five division titles with sabean as gm.
Six division titles now.
   17. Flynn Posted: September 23, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4243670)
No, five. 1997, 2000, 2003, 2010 and 2012. They were a wild card in 2002.
   18. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 23, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4243674)
tripon

those fans need to accept that with any gm you have some degree of nuisances. no gm is flawless. the guy has a sufficient enough resume now that the giants would have to legitimately tank for several years for ownership to justify dumping the guy.
   19. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 23, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4243676)
Yeah, but Ned was a protegee of the Giants and Sabean. And the griping about Sabean is that he'll sign awful free agents based on stuff you can't measure, like Aaron Rowand and his 'leadership'.

He's made some poor decisions in free agency. But a lot of GMs who are better regarded around here have made just as many poor ones. Epstein, for example, has made his share of mistakes as well. You aren't going to sign guys consistently in free agency and never get burned. It doesn't work like that.
   20. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 23, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4243688)
the guy has also signed guys like ellis burks, aubrey huff, benito santiago and ray durham who all contributed to some level of success.

take the bad with the good
   21. DL from MN Posted: September 23, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4243708)
Haven't been following closely. What is the chance they get Lincecum back into form by playoff time?
   22. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: September 23, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4243713)
Zero.
   23. zachtoma Posted: September 23, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4243725)
Are you paying attention? Lincecum is pretty close to "back in form" right now. His numbers still don't look too good but his awful season has really only been half an awful season.
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 23, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4243736)
Are you paying attention? Lincecum is pretty close to "back in form" right now. His numbers still don't look too good but his awful season has really only been half an awful season.

Really?

July, Aug and Sept: 86 IP, 87 H, 37 BB, 84 K, 11 HR, 4.19 ERA, .765 OPS allowed,

That doesn't look very good to me.
   25. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 23, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4243742)
And to think, when the Dodgers made THE TRADE, this was still a race. The Dodgers pick up Beckett, Gonzales and Ramirez, the Giants lose Cabrera and pick up a very underwhelming Hunter Pence and they still run away with it. Baseball is just a nutty game.
   26. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 23, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4243803)
Honest question, does Melky get a full playoff share? Does he get a ring if it comes to that?
   27. deputydrew Posted: September 23, 2012 at 06:39 PM (#4243805)
Honest question, does Melky get a full playoff share? Does he get a ring if it comes to that?


Not sure on the share, but a ring for sure. He was one of the most valuable players on the team and the players know it.
   28. Flynn Posted: September 23, 2012 at 07:13 PM (#4243820)
A 4.19 ERA in July, August and September is entirely due to getting bombed in his first two July starts. He's had a 3.06 ERA in the second half and a 2.32 K/BB.

He still walks too many people for my liking, but he's not going to be left off the postseason rotation or anything.
   29. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: September 23, 2012 at 11:17 PM (#4243918)
followed shortly by the Dodgers acquiring Gonzalez

Yeah, and he was supposed to be the "prize" in the whole deal.

245/302/368 84OPS+, and oh yeah, still that 1! homer he hit in his first game for LA.
   30. SoSH U at work Posted: September 24, 2012 at 02:01 AM (#4243951)
Honest question, does Melky get a full playoff share? Does he get a ring if it comes to that?


That's pretty much up to his teammates, I think.

245/302/368 84OPS+, and oh yeah, still that 1! homer he hit in his first game for LA.


I think you need to refresh (since this was posted after tonight's game).

   31. Rob_Wood Posted: September 24, 2012 at 02:53 AM (#4243954)
Lincecum is a good pitcher at this point. He does not go deep into games, but his dreadful stretch is in the rear view mirror. He's probably the Giants second best starter at this point (behind Cain).
   32. Dan Posted: September 24, 2012 at 04:19 AM (#4243962)
I think you need to refresh (since this was posted after tonight's game).


Because going from 1 home run in 26 games to 3 home runs in 27 games totally undermines Hugh's point, right? Gonzalez's power has continued to be absent, his walk rate hasn't improved (much), and now he's not getting the singles and doubles to drop in either. He'll be better than this, but his days as a 30+ HR bat at first base appear to be over.
   33. zenbitz Posted: September 24, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4244423)
I took a 1-year sabbatical from Sabean bashing after 2010 (and I have been drinking Sabean flavored hatorade since the JT Snow/Allen Watson trade). I started out 2012 in full mock n' bash mode... but after they swept the Dodgers in LA to move into first (in May?) I decided to STFU.

I have always been a Bochy supporter, even if he does sometimes have favorite old dudes. The Belt thing seemed egregious... but in the end, he "fixed" his swing (like he was told?) and got his starting job... low and behold he's hitting better. Maybe that happens if he doesn't have to battle off Huff back in March/April, but eh.

I think he's a good people-manager, doesn't kill him self with littleball tactics, and handle the pitching staff very well. Plus he has lots of credit save up from when he nailed interim-dodger-manager Mattlingly on that mound double dip in 2010. Oh and the whole world series thing.
   34. SoSH U at work Posted: September 24, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4244443)
Because going from 1 home run in 26 games to 3 home runs in 27 games totally undermines Hugh's point, right?


If I meant that, I'd have written that.

I was merely noting that Hugh made a point that Gonzalez had just "that 1 home run" (complete with exclamation point) after Adrian had just hit two homers a few hours earlier. I found the timing humorous.

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