Well, any win when you're playing .351 ball is kinda heavenly. Goodness knows, last night's exhaust-o-thon brought out the best, sort of, in two beleaguered bullpens. Cincinnati's six-man contingent allowed only four hits and didn't walk a batter over nine full innings; Robert Stephenson was working on his third frame when Buster Posey launched that ball into the seats and launched the remaining faithful into delirium. The Giants' first four relievers barely covered two innings between them, but then the Whipping Boys-- Kontos, Morris, and Gearrin (or Manny, Moe, and Jack, for those of you scoring at home), worked nearly seven total. Oh, they were in and out of jams in every frame, it seemed, but "out" is the key word here. The key stat? Two leadoff singles, but no leadoff walks.
Our friend Cory Gearrin had to make it interesting, though, didn't he? In the 16th, with a man on second and two out, he intentionally walked Tucker Barnhart to set up a force, then promptly wild-pitched himself out of the force. Second and third, two out, he hits the next batter to load 'em up. Up comes Giant-killer Billy Hamilton, who strikes out on ball four-- a pitch, so we're told, that might have been a foot outside. Blind pigs, acorns, and all that. Next inning, Gearrin gets two quick outs, then gives up a single to the opposing pitcher and hits another man with a pitch before getting the third out. Blessedly, Posey ended it moments later. So that's two hits, a walk (albeit intentional) and two HBP in two innings for a tidy 2.5 WHIP. But hey-- a 1.23 ERA, and, for a change, Gearrin was on his own hook for all five of those potential runs. The Reds stranded 16 on the night, the Giants six.
High-wire-act wins like these do nothing to dampen the unenthusiasm of the most pessimistic among us. On the Giants' website this morning, we read:
Resistance is futile. The Giant's offense is futile. Sir Hensley is futile. Bochy is best when he does nothing. Time to right the ship and replace the manager, hitting coach and pitching coach.
Span is hot. Trade him before he falls back asleep.
Pence did not play at all today. Trade him before he gets injured.
Since Ruggiano is actually hitting, The Giants can DFA Gorky. Bring up Slater.
Post Melancon on the internet and take the highest bid. He will bring at least two quality top 100 prospects.
Let it be known that Posey is available and collect three top 100 prospects.
Getting very close to that time when Nunez become most valuable. Possible top 100 prospect in return.
Gillaspie needs to be moved to make room for Hwang. Trade him for mid level prospects.
Belt needs to be moved, His contract is club friendly. Again we have Hwang and Shaw ready.
Ask Crawford if he wants to stay during the rebuild. He will probably waive his no trade. Easy two top 100 prospects.
Cueto was superb again today. He is finally stretched out from not having a spring training. Send him to the Yankees for two of their top 100 prospects in the outfield.
Once Bumgarner has recovered, if he does, send him packing for two top 100 prospects.
But most important, Bochy, Muelens, Righetti have to go first.
Now, a few of these points make sense, that's about it. Meulens does not seem to be helping anyone, and he can go anytime, but nobody is firing Bochy or Righetti mid-season. If the Giants lose 90+ games, expect Bochy to "step down" (voluntarily or not) after the season. Righetti might move on as well. We do not expect him to take a manager's job, here or anywhere.
Trading Posey or Bumgarner is a certifiably insane move. These are franchise players, the type you build a team around.
DFA Gorky, bring up Slater? Sure.
Now, if we are sub-.500 at the ASB, trading Cueto to a contender makes sense, if we get top prospects. Same with Melancon, though he's harder to move with a bigger price tag.
We're fine with trading Nunez for good value.
We love Gillaspie as we loved Ishikawa, but yes, he's on the bubble. Fetch a mid-level prospect? Hmmm...
Pence is owed $37M yet, this year and next. A contending team might make a play for him. It might make sense to do it if real value ensues, but if the Giants do this, the fallout will make last year's Duffy trade look like a tempest in a teapot by comparison.
Span has no trade value. He makes $11M this year, $11M next, with a $4M buyout after that. $26 million? Giants would have to pay much of it. Better be a #1 in return. LOL. We do think Span has value, just not as a everyday starter (and we'd sure like him to make us eat those words).
Belt has $70M remaining over 4 years with no club option. What's club-friendly about that? Who's gonna pay that, let alone hand us prospects in return? How's Hwang's or Shaw's defense? Belt has one of the best gloves in the game, and he's a big reason our infield defense is still excellent. If he were tradeable, that would be one thing. But no GM is going to give up top prospects and pay that kind of money based on Belt's stats. People think first basemen have to be RBI men, and Belt isn't.
Odd they haven't mentioned the most "DFA-able" area of the team-- the bullpen. Even after last night, the inconsistency there is most troubling.
Bottom line from where we sit: the Giants are not yet in panic mode, and certainly not in fire-sale mode. This homestand, with one win in the bank and six games remaining, is the crucible. One-fourth of the season will be complete when the Giants leave for St Louis next Thursday. Winning five of six right here, against Cincinnati and LA, would put the Giants at 18-25 and over .400. Is that necessary? Will anything short of that doom the season? That's our next subject.