The take-aways from today’s game: Madison Bumgarner is good. Chris Johnson et al. are not.  (I would have named a more popular Astro, but it turns  out there are none. Who knew?)

The Astros’ hitters—if you can call them that—generated a combined for a BABIP of .100 and a WPA score of -.191, which is a complicated way of saying, “They were over matched.”

Bumgarner managed a WPA of .158. For comparison, in his perfect game, Matt Cain posted a WPA of .102. I’m not saying that Bumgarner could have pitched a perfect game. I’m saying that he should have. Big difference.

Bumgarner might have become the second player to no-hit the Astros this season were it not for a well-placed single by Jed Lowrie and an unexpected home run by Chris Snyder. No, not THAT Chris Snyder—a homerun by him would certainly be easier to swallow. I’m referring to the Chris Snyder who entered tonight’s game with an .315 OBP and .311 SLG.

Prior to Snyder’s homerun, a few jokes were rattling around in my head—I’m using the term “joke” loosely. Chief among them was this little diddy: Did Snyder’s three homeruns come during an intra-squad game? Please, hold your laughter.

Then, before I could even laugh at  with myself, Snyder put a Bumgarner fastball and strategically placed it over the left-field fence.

Snyder: 1

Me: 0

Snyder didn’t leave the game unscathed, however. Pablo Sandoval would cousin Snyder to score an utterly meaningless run.

With a three-run lead in the bottom of the 8th, Sandoval would risk injury to himself and Snyder, after barreling into Snyder to score the Giants fifth run. The general tenor of Giants’ fans following the plate collision was one of elation and approval.

I still understand neither Sandoval’s decision nor the approbation he received from fans. I will not ask if we remember the horrific collision that ended Buster Posey’s 2011 season. I will only point out the meaninglessness of Sandoval’s actions:

  1. The Giants were beating the worst team in the league by 3 runs at the time.
  2. Houston averages only 3.63 runs per road game. So, statistically speaking, the game was out of reach.
  3. Sandoval job is not contingent on day-to-day play, nor on the recklessness with which he runs the base paths. The player you’re thinking of is Scott Cousins.

Stolen BASGs: All Eyes on Timmy

–Tim Lincecum might be playing for a spot in the Giants rotation tomorrow, according to Alex Pavlovic.

When asked if skipping Lincecum were an option if he falters Saturday, Bochy told reporters, “I don’t want to put added pressure on him. But you have to do what’s right.”

Hardly a vote of confidence.

With the trade deadline looming and reports that the Giants had representatives scouting Zach Greinke and Wandy Rodriquez, it stands to reason that the Giants might look to add a starting pitcher.

Rodriquez would certainly make a lot of sense. He didn’t pitch particularly well tonight, but in general, he’s been an above average pitcher. He sports a FIP of 3.88 and BABIP of .283 for the season. Those are Vogelsong-eque numbers.

The question is: Is he worth the $26 million over his next 2 contract years?

–Our own Bay Area Stats Guy (Scott Willis) has been exceedingly busy today. Not only did he provide comprehensive mid-season progress reports for both the A’s and the Giants, but he also took part in the Giants Pod Episode 82, along with hosts Daniel Zarchy and Thomas Todd. In this episode, Willis discusses Melky Cabrera’s contract situation (5 yrs, $60 million, anyone?), as well as the bullpen and closer situation. It’s a must listen, to say the least.

–While we’re speaking of Giants Pod… Zarchy points out a nice stat: Nate Schierholtz has 5 triples in 150 PAs. That’s pretty impressive. Though neither Schierholtz nor Sandoval get triples if the Astros had a competent right fielder.