1.) I'm working right now and my schedule severely limits my free time.
2.) I don't really have acess to the internet either.
So, add those two things together and this is what you get. A blog with a post every couple of weeks, if that. I will be back on July 30th, so expect some more regular posts then, but for the time being, I'm just going to give you these bullets for now.
Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner Tearing It Up
Remember when Giants fans and management didn't want to call up these two for fear of exposing them too early in their development? Remember when we felt Bengie Molina and Todd Wellemeyer were adequate enough?
Well, don't we as Giants fans feel a little foolish.
Posey is making Giants fans forget all about Bengie. He has been on a tear lately, as evidenced by his team-leading (of players with 30 or more plate appearances) .409 wOBA and eight home runs. Posey is also looking incredible behind the plate, posting a 44 percent caught stealing rate so far. (In comparison, Molina's caught stealing rate was 23 percent before being traded.)
As for Bumgarner, he is 3-2 with a 2.41 ERA and is posting a K/BB ratio of 3.43. Yes, the K/9 rate isn't Timmy-impressive, but his BB rate is impressive at 1.87 and he is showing an impressive four pitch repertoire with a fasball averaging 90.5 MPH.
Of course, there are concerns. Bumgarner's contact rate is 85.2 percent, which is very high, and his BABIP is .268, so he is due to come back to earth, as his FIP (4.13) suggests. Posey's BABIP is also high (.356), but at the very least he is posting a good BB/K ratio (0.45) and he is making good contact (83.8 percent).
It's safe to say, Posey and Bumgarner are proving that the Giants have a bright future.
Anniversary of Juan Marichal's Debut Yesterday
Thanks to Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times, who gave me a link to a blog which remembered some impressive debuts from Luis Tiant to Bob Feller. The most impressive though? The "Dominican Dandy" Juan Marichal.
Here's blurb fom Jaffe's post:
On July 19, 1960, Juan Marichal made his MLB debut, pitching a complete game one-hitter with 12 Ks. His Game Score of 96 is the highest known one for a MLB debut.
If you haven't, check out The Hardball Times. It's one of the best Sabermertric blogs out there.
Travis Ishikawa es en Fuego
I have always been a big believer in Ishikawa. The guy has a great glove and some good power, and finally, it seems as if he is finally realizing his potential.
Ishikawa has been on fire (which is what I say in sloppy Spanish above), as evidenced by his .394 wOBA. What has been the key to Ishikawa's success? A decreased strikeout rate (from 27.3 last year to 18.2 this year) and better and more contact at the plate this year. Ishikawa's swinging strike percentage has gone down from 2009 (from 13.1 percent to 8.3 percent this year) and his contact percentage is up (from 71.8 percent last year to 83.2 percent this season). Also, he is making good contact, as evidenced by a ridiculous 36.7 percent line drive percentage.
Now, this may just be a "Eugenio Velez-style" hot streak. Ishikawa only has 81 plate appearances and his line drive perecentage and BABIP (.397) are bound to come back to earth. However, it's nice to not only see Ishikawa get some playing time after spending most of the first half as only a defensive replacement, but to see him succeed as well.
Giants Off to Hot Start in Second Half
The Giants are currently 4-1 out of the gate in the second half and should be 5-0, if not for a blown call by the home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi. They have won 10 of their last 12 games. Pablo Sandoval has been on a tear since the second half started and may be on his way to being Old Panda again. The Giants finally broke a bit of a hex, and beat the Dodgers in LA last night.
It's still early, but man...what a difference a couple of weeks make.