Friday, April 21, 2017

The Milkman Part Two with 2010 and 2014 Serendipity?

We all remember the splinter that got stuck in our collective throats when we learned that Melky Cabrera got caught when he was tested for performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). How Buster gathered the troops and they got to kicking some tail? Well, fast-forward to April 21, 2017, and this team has to show the baseball world, once again, what happens when a team pulls together and gets a little something for the effort.

Madison Bumgarner gets injured dirt biking. Okay. It's not like he was 4-0 with an earned run average under two runs. He's a bit like the Giants' version of Kevin Durant. Now the Giants can show they can win without him. What? No wins when Bumgarner pitched? Hmm. The similarity is that we know he will do what it takes to come back on time and perhaps even earlier. And when he returns it will be in time for the second half. Think of what a weapon that will be!

Imagine how electrified the locker room and AT&T will be when he returns. Like Durant, right?

Now is this when the Giant brass adjusts its Active Roster in order for Tyler Beede to get called up to fill Bumgarner's spot in the rotation. And maybe even the hot-hitting Christian Arroyo gets his chance. Much the same way young stars named Buster Posey (got his call-up in 2010) and Joe Panik (in 2014) joined the big league club and contributed significantly.

Move Eduardo Nunez into the outfield and put Arroyo at third base. Come on Giants, the time is NOW!!

Kevin J. Marquez


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Character Matters

When you are a team that is struggling it never fails that when a rally is taking shape those players mired in a slump get the call. Hitters like Chris Marrero and Denard Span to name a couple, in this young 2017 season.

And because struggling is contagious, just as being hot can cause hitters to feed off of one another, even Brandon Crawford grounds into double-plays.

But when it's all said and done, you look for the character of a team. Guys who pull in one direction because they know their teammates represent the same values they themselves are mindful of, it's a brotherhood. All for one and one for all in its very essence.

Guys who believe when fans may be having cause for doubts. It has been three times since 2010, (that the Giants have won the World Series title) and yet with the media conjuring up stories that may sell more than just papers, some fans get to thinking TOO MUCH!

Remember the Beatle song, Eleanor Rigby? When (singer) Paul asked about the Lonely People?
All the lonely people, where do they all come from. All the lonely people, where do they all belong?  Keep with the pessimistic, negative, and cynical thoughts and YOU will find the doom and gloom where no party hats and confetti exist because you will belong with the lonely people.

Kevin J. Marquez



Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Why was Willie McCovey the Rookie of the Year in 1959?

I always wondered why Vada Pinson didn't get the Rookie of the Year. Because when you look at the numbers it is a no-brainer.

1959 (Vada Pinson)  G-154, AB-648, R-131*, H-205, 2B-47*, 3B-9
                    HR- 20, RBI-84, BA-.316, SB- 21,CS-6

1959 (Willie McCovey) G-52, AB-192, R-32, H-68, 2B-9, 3B-5, HR-13,
                      RBI- 38, BA-.354

Currently rookie status applies to any player with fewer than AB-130
or IP-50 or 45 days on a major league roster in a previous season.

In 1959, fewer than 75-at bats or 45 innings pitched in a previous
season. 

McCovey won the Rookie of the Year award on a mere technicality, Vada Pinson played too much. He had 96 at-bats versus 75 at-bats.

Nobody else had a good enough season to give McCovey any competition.


Kevin J. Marquez

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Extra Inning games of Yesteryear

On September 1, 1967, at Crosley Field, the Giants and the Reds played a night game that went 21 innings. The game lasted five hours and forty minutes but I doubt the 13,745 fans who attended the game were complaining. They got a whole lot of bang for their bucks on that Cincinnati evening.

The starting pitchers were Gaylord Perry for SF and Mel Queen for the Redlegs.

Pitching lines: Queen IP-9.1, H-8, BB-1, K-10
Ted Abernathy IP-3.2, H-1, K-2
Don Notre Bart IP-5, H-3, BB-1, K-3
Bob Lee IP-3, H-3, R-1, BB-2, K-3

Perry IP-16, H-10, BB-2, K-12
Frank Linzy IP-5, H-2, K-3
WP Linzy. LP B Lee

Home plate umpire: Tom Gorman

Game ended on a bases-loaded walk to Dick Groat.

Jimmy Ray Hart scored the game's only run.
Red rookie catcher, Johnny Bench had three hits in eight at-bats.

Remember "Downtown" Ollie Brown? He had four hits in eight at-bats.

Side note: On the same night at Forbes Field, Pittsburgh Pirate lefty Woodie Fryman pitched a gem. IP-9, H-3, R-0, BB-1, K-15.  Against the Phillies.

In December of 1967, Fryman was traded to the Phillies with Don Money for Jim Bunning.

Kevin J. Marquez



Kyle Crick is Ready for Bullpen Duty

There are many people who believe the way to break a pitcher into the bigs is to season him and work on his finer points to see how he matures as a starter. But not all players are cut from this tried and true method of molding a prospective starting pitcher.

After last year's horrific bullpen experience, when relievers were unable to get outs for a starter who got the game past the 7th inning with a two or three run lead. That much of a cushion should have been darn near automatic for the bullpen. But the beauty of baseball is you have to execute because in the truest of phrases Yogi Berra ever uttered, 'It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over.'

During spring training Kyle Crick showed the demeanor of someone who can be successful in the bullpen. No nonsense shut down stuff and boy could the Giants use a guy like that out of their bullpen.

I don't know who the odd man out might be, Matt Cain? But we have games that need to be won in April and May.

We need someone with tenacity who is looking for any way to crack the Major League team's lineup. Kyle Crick is that guy.

Kevin J. Marquez

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Jack HARSHman

In reading about Juan Marichal vs. Warren Spahn I saw a footnote about other such marathons. Of course, since these other games didn't have the marquee names of Spahn and or Marichal, these tale of yore got tucked away on a dusty shelf to be read another day.

On August 13, 1954, while a member of the White Sox, Jack Harshman faced Al Aber of the Tigers.  The lefty Harshman, is the only guy to give the opponents 65 chances without allowing a run, a feat that hasn't been matched before or since in the live ball era.

Harshman's pitching line: IP-16, H-9,R-0, BB-7, K-12. W (10-6).

Harshman was also a good hitter, hitting 21 career home runs, twice hitting as many as six (6) in a season. (1956 with the Chisox and 1958 with the Baltimore Orioles.)

There have been a lot of ballgames played in the majors and many more in the minors so it shouldn't be too surprising to come across games with unbelievable accomplishments every now and then.

I completely forgot about the game at Shea Stadium, on August 19, 1969, when Juan Marichal had another shutout going into the 14th inning when with one out Tommie Agee hit a walk-off homer. This was the year of the Miracle Mets. History would be written in two months of that year (1969).

The pitching lines were:

Marichal 13.1 IP, 6-H, 1-R, 1-BB, 13-K
Gary Gentry 10-IP, 4-H, 4-BB, 5-K
Tug McGraw 4-IP, 1-H, 1-BB.
WP- McGraw (6-2)
LP- Marichal (14-9)

Giants starting lineup for that game:
Bobby Bonds-RF
Ron Hunt-2B
Willie Mays-CF
Willie McCovey-1B
Bob Burda-LF
Bobby Etheridge-3B
Bob Barton-C
Hal Lanier-SS
(Lanier was only Giant with 2 hits.)

Kevin J. Marquez

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Real Problem in Baseball

The real problem in baseball is how the strike zone is interpreted by major League umpires.

On those days when the home plate umpire can't distinguish a ball from a strike, why not give the pitcher the benefit of the doubt and call pitches hard to decipher STRIKES!

Because the umpire calling balls and strikes is being fooled the pitcher should be rewarded with strikes being called, not balls. (Note: This is predicated on the notion that there will be days the umpire calling balls/strikes will have little difficulty in determining balls from strikes.)

If an umpire, say C.B. Buckner, is regularly butchering the strike zone he should not be given the opportunity to spoil a baseball game with his incompetence.

Kevin J. Marquez