The San Francisco Giants were supposed to get back to it on Tuesday evening, with “it” meaning good, focused baseball. That’s what we were led to believe, anyway. In reality the Giants played at Spring Training intensity, and who can really blame them. It’s human nature not to give a crap when there are a handful of games left and chances of moving up in the National League postseason pecking order are slim.
Still, there are things left to decide. Like what to do about Melky Cabrera, for instance. After Sergio Romo went on a satellite radio talk show and said the Giants would welcome Melky Cabrera back “with open arms,” the Giants decided they needed to squash this, once and for all. Before this series against the D-Backs ends. You know, when they get around to it. KEEP YOUR PANTS ON.
From Alex Pavlovic:
Bochy said a Melky Cabrera announcement will be made before the end of the homestand, so we’ll have news tomorrow or Thursday. “We’re down to a time period where he can start working out and doing some things,” Bochy said. “I think he needs to know and we need to know.”
If the announcement will come sooner rather than later, logic dictates the Giants are going to explain how there’s no way Cabrera could work his way back without
all that testosterone coursing through his veins more time and/or a better get-in-shape option than playing with some assorted minor leaguers in Arizona. Plus, announcing that the club’s figurative arms are as open as Romo’s would be seems unnecessary given the timing — why during this semi-meaningless point of the season would it make sense to give the national media something to harp on? Nobody wants Rick Reilly coming to town over this.
The AP is on record stating that “The San Francisco Giants have no plans to bring back suspended outfielder Melky Cabrera for the postseason if the club is still playing when he is eligible to return.” That’s probably true, although no one has officially said anything. I guess we’ll hear about Melky’s fate either on Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning.
Then there’s the Tim Lincecum/Buster Posey/Hector Sanchez triangle. After Posey told Tim Kawakami that he didn’t expect to catch Lincecum during the postseason, the winds seem to have shifted a bit.
Also from Pavlovic:
Bochy said he hasn’t committed to a Lincecum-Sanchez postseason pairing yet. “I’m not ready to answer that,” he said. “That next start will answer that a little better than this one. The next start will tell you the way we’re going to go.”
Based on Tuesday night Bochy can’t be sold on Sanchez as the team’s only option to catch Lincecum. There were two wild pitches and a passed ball on the Giants’ side, and it only takes one look at the box score (4 innings, 7 earned runs) to see that Lincecum and Sanchez weren’t working all that well as a tandem.
“You’d like to see these guys get locked in this time of year, but it didn’t happen tonight. Really, both of them had an off night,” Bochy said.
“It wasn’t about Hector and the pitches he was calling. It was a matter of me not really hitting my spots,” said Lincecum when asked about Bochy’s comments regarding Sanchez. “Obviously (I was) making it pretty tough on him back there with all the stuff I’m throwing in the dirt,” Lincecum said.
Lincecum leads the Majors in wild pitches with 17. When I asked him about whether that’s something he focuses on, he didn’t really seem all that pleased.
After the game Lincecum referenced the pitcher/catcher relationship:
“I know I’ve been walking a lot of guys lately,” he said when asked about what he’ll work on in his last regular season start.
“So just trying to alleviate that, try to make it a little easier on myself by throwing better strikes. That just goes back to believing in what the catcher’s putting down, and trusting it, and not worrying about anything else other that one pitch.”
Which catcher’s signs will he have to believe in?
I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Posey catches Lincecum in five days (Lincecum was terrible against Arizona and his nemesis, Paul Goldschmidt, and Sanchez wasn’t exactly a master ball-blocker throughout the evening), and Posey catches every single inning in the playoffs. Gregor Blanco is a far superior defensive option in left to everyone else out there, Belt’s a better option than Posey at first, and in the playoffs defensive miscues seem to get magnified (example: Conrad, Brooks).
For those worried about Lincecum’s absence on Saturday night when the Giants clinched the NL West, Jaymee Sire asked him about it. Lincecum called not being able to share the victory with the team “bittersweet.”