Saturday, May 26, 2012

Giants, A's Notes

The Giants have had had some mixed results on their current road trip so far, with their ace continuing to struggle, but their offense staying surprisingly efficient. At the same time, the A's are going through much of the same, only their offense and their pitching have both hit the skids at the same time and they're in the midst of a decent losing streak.

Lincecum's ERA: 6.46
After Thursday's blowout win in Miami, and the Giants taking an early lead in Friday's game as well, it's been all down hill. Lincecum started out the game pretty nicely, going into the 6th with a 3-1 lead, just what he needed to take some pressure off. However, like he has so often the last month, he came unraveled in the 6th inning, surrendering 5 earned runs, never to make it out of that horrendous 6th. It seems like it keeps on being one huge inning in which Timmy just losses everything, command to the zone and perhaps most importantly, confidence. You can read it in his body language that the dude is just not in sync out there right now. I mean, he was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Friday, looking brilliant through 5 innings, then out of nowhere just melting down. It was his 5th consecutive start in which he didn't earn the coveted "quality start" tag, and it seems like it's just getting worse for the right-hander, with his ERA now at a career low for this deep in a season at 6.46. His bad luck rubbed off on Madison Bumgarner Saturday, and the Giants star lefty has yet record a victory since May 5th. Now, Bumgarner is throwing a whole lot better than Lincecum currently is, but he typically thrives in games after tough Giants losses, and it was tough to watch him get lit up a bit by the fish. His ERA rose up over 3.00 for the first time since April 23rd, and his record is now 5-4 after starting the season 5-1. To Bumgarner's credit though, he's had some tough luck, most recently his last start in Milwaukee in which he was brilliant but didn't get any offensive or defensive support, and Timmy can't really say the same thing. Am I worried about him yet? Absolutely not! But I also don't think this team is a playoff contender with Lincecum throwing the way he is... On a positive note for the Giants though, their offense continues to thrive, especially their outfielders who are hitting a combined .337.

Reddick's 12th HR of Year
Across the bay in Oakland, the A's have come back down to Earth lately after playing a real nice stretch of baseball in late April/early May. They've lost 4 straight and have fallen 3 games below .500 and 7 games back of the West-leading Rangers. They're struggling both at the plate and on the mound, but the one guy who's been a diamond in the rough for this team and another brilliant find by Billy Beane has been rightfielder Josh Reddick. Despite the A's offensive struggles at the top of the lineup with Rickie Weeks, Reddick has put up some very impressive numbers, sporting a .272/12/26 line heading into action Sunday. Reddick leads the A's in all three categories, and has picked up the slack for a slumping Yeonis Cespedes who's been stuck on the DL for 20 days now and still doesn't have a clear return date. The A's pitching has stayed pretty steady, but without Cespedes and still without Manny Ramirez, this team's offense has really taken a hit. I mean, when your leading hitter is hitting .272 and your next best is at .250, they should be pretty grateful to be as close to .500 as they are. Tommy Millone has been a breakout star on the mound and Brandon McCarthy is looking like the ace the A's want him to become, but they have to hit to win games, especially in the AL.

No comments: