The Long Home Stand and Settling Into The Season

Welcome to the 4th Czar’s blog of 2016. The G-Men are in town until April 27th continuing the opening month campaign against the NL West. The Snakes and the Padres are coming into town sandwiched around Barry Bonds Marlins.

 

How do the troops look so far?

Although we are only 13 games into the regular season, several trends are starting to stand out.

Pitching Staff

The starters, with the exception of Jake Peavey (who pitches tonight) are performing quite well.  Bum has a non-decision in a close extra inning loss to the Dodgers, and then got pounded in LA on Friday night.  He still looks good. Cuero has two excellent starts (and wins) and is pitching like a legitimate number 2.  Samardzija has had two solid outings and has pitched well. Those contracts, based on a small sample size, look very good right now.  Matt Cain is also pitching well, even though he’s being babied by the coaching staff.  Peavy is the problem.  Hopefully tonight he can right his ship but he looks very shaky.

The relievers are not performing as well as we are used to expecting.  Romo is on the DL and Lopez gave up a two-run dinger to the Dodgers yesterday (to a left handed batter no less, the first time in two years) that lost that game.   Casilla is looking like Casilla. He’s capable of a shut-down inning but is having a problem pitching around any errors (which also shouldn’t happen) or less than stellar plays.  A bobble by Panik cost us a game against the Dodgers on the home stand.  On the good side, Strickland, Osich and Kontos are pitching shut down innings. Even though Heston in long relief looks overmatched, maybe it’s just the jitters.  Time will tell there.

The bottom line is that the bullpen is more of a work in progress than we expected coming out of spring training.  Keep an eye on this trend. Thankfully we have the best pitching coaches in baseball in Rags and Gardie.

The Offense and the Defense

The bats have been a little cold. Pagan is the leader right now (over .300), with Belt right behind him, but Posey and Pence are down in the .250 range. The G-Men opened up the offense in several games early in the first home stand and they are too good for us to believe that this recent cold spell will continue. 

Keep the line moving guys!  You can’t expect to win every game with a home run.

The defense has been generally good with the exception of one very bad game from Tomlinson, and the loss of Adrienza to a broken foot.  Needless to say the coaches are working with Tomlinson.  Hopefully he will improve because a back-up to Crawford (whose defense is awesome) is critical.

The Giants and the Dodgers – G-Men get the opening series 4 to 3, and the NL West looms

The G-Men have had 7 games against the Dodgers so far, and have won 4 of them.  Thus, no reason to panic. Now the rest of the NL West comes into town.  While the early standings show the G-Men in 3rd place behind the Dodger and the Rockies (we dropped 2 out of 3 games to the Rockies in Denver last week), it is very early.

The upcoming series against the Snakes and the Padres (with Miami in the middle) will tell us a lot about this year in the NL West.  The G-Men are playing even with the Dodgers so if they can dominate the Snakes and the Padres they have a shot at the division lead. The losses to date mostly came on the road (the G-Men have had only one home series, and they went 3 and1) so the friendly confines of AT&T will be welcome.

It’s wonderful to have baseball back on a regular basis, and the fact that the Warriors are in the basketball playoffs is just the icing on the bay area cake.

When did “to Steph” become a verb?

That’s it!

Ciao, and GO GIANTS!

The Czar