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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Moving on...

If anyone would like to continue to read my thoughts on the Giants, you can now find my work here: http://contributor.yahoo.com/user/1675083/dave_tobener.html

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thoughts on Angel Pagan

I wrote up my thoughts on Angel Pagan and the Giants chances of resigning him. Check it out here.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thoughts Heading into Game 4

Right now, it's easy to panic. After the offense disappeared yesterday and couldn't support a strong outing from Matt Cain, it's logical to feel like the Giants are living on borrowed time.


But try to look at this series a different way. All the Giants have to do is win one of the three games in St. Louis. Yes, they'll be down 3-2 and the momentum will be with the Cardinals, but it definitely wouldn't mean the series was all but over.


If the Giants manage to win one of the next two games, they'll head home with their two best pitchers of this postseason ready to go on full rest: Ryan Vogelsong and Cain. They'll be playing at home, in front of a full house of their own loud fans; no, they haven't played their best ball at home so far this postseason, but it's always better to face must-win games in a familiar setting. They've responded to having their backs against the wall already, and it's not hard to imagine they'd be able to do the same thing again in this series.


In a perfect world, the Giants would win the next two games and come home with a chance to close out the Cardinals in Game 6. Aside from a Kevin Costner movie, though, there's no such thing as a perfect world and the Cardinals are a tough team to beat in their own ballpark. So the onus falls on the Giants to do the bare minimum: win one game. Get a strong performance from Tim Lincecum or Barry Zito, trust that the middle of the order will turn things around, and get out of St. Louis still alive, heading to their own ballpark, with their two strongest pitchers lined up to clinch the series for them.


The Giants' entire season boils down to one question: can they win one out of three in St. Louis?


I'm betting they can.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Giants Land Hunter Pence

The Giants' long national nightmare is officially over: they've finally found a right-handed hitting outfielder.


Hunter Pence, the 29-year-old outfielder with a career line of .292/.342/.481, comes to the Giants from the Phillies and fills a need the team has had for a while now. He immediately becomes the team's leading home run hitter and should help fortify the middle of the order, especially with Pablo Sandoval out for at least another week.


The cost for Pence was manageable: Nate Schierholtz, minor league catcher Tommy Joseph, and minor league pitcher Seth Rosin. Schierholtz had complained about playing time recently, and in spite of his stellar defense never proved to be more than a 4th outfielder. He should get a chance to start in Philadelphia, but isn't the offensive player Pence has been throughout his career. Joseph will likely be a Major Leaguer one day but the Giants are comfortable with their organizational catching depth and felt he was expendable. He has huge power, but is still probably two years away from the Majors. Rosin is a nondescript pitcher whose claim to fame seems to be his massive size (6'6", 250 lbs).


All in all, a good deal for the Giants in the short term. Pence does provide an offensive upgrade from the Schierholtz/Gregor Blanco platoon, and when Sandoval is healthy the Giants will have their best middle of the order in over a decade. They will lose something defensively with Pence getting the majority of playing time in right, but if he can be adequate there the Giants should be happy. Pence is under team control for another year, too, so this isn't strictly a rental like Carlos Beltran turned out to be.


Plus, Hunter Pence looks like a velociraptor. That's always a good thing.








Thursday, June 14, 2012

Perfect




I’m still trying to wrap my head around what I just witnessed.

Tonight, Matt Cain was perfect. Check that: Matt Cain was perfect. Actually, that doesn’t even begin to describe it. Matt Cain was PERFECT. From the first inning, the first pitch, the first step he took from the dugout on his way to the mound, Matt Cain was PERFECT.

It’s hard to describe the mood in the ballpark tonight. It was equal parts tension, optimism, fear, hope, excitement, nausea, everything. It was one of those times where everyone knew what was happening but didn’t want to say anything, even if they didn’t believe in jinxes. From around the 6th inning on, it felt like every pitch Cain threw was life or death. And when Gregor Blanco made that spectacular catch in right center, everyone just knew it. It was going to happen. It had to happen.

When it was over, I hugged my Dad, I hugged the guy in front of me, I hugged the guy behind me, and I might’ve hugged other random people in the stands; I honestly don’t remember. The exact moment is a blur: groundball to 3rd, Arias staggering back, the throw, eruption, euphoria. And hugging. Lots and lots of hugging.

Honestly, I’m having a hard time collecting my thoughts tonight. It’s humbling to realize you’ve been a witness to real, actual history, something that hasn’t happened ever before to a franchise that’s 128 years old. It’s nearly impossible to wrap my head around. I don’t think I’ll fully appreciate what I just witnessed for at least a few days.

But right now, I’ll take the overwhelming happiness. Tonight, Matt Cain was perfect.

Matt Cain was PERFECT.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Surprise: Giants Draft Pitcher

Actually...well, no, it's not a surprise. Completely, totally expected, actually.

The Giants stuck to their formula of developing young pitching yesterday, drafting MSU starter Chris Stratton with the 20th pick in the 1st round of the MLB Draft. Stratton, a 6'3" right hander, was 11-2 with 2.38 ERA for Mississippi State with 127 Ks in 109 2/3 IP. He was the SEC Pitcher of the Year, and could be close to Major League ready in a short period of time.

It's no surprise the Giants went with a pitcher last night. A combination of trades and Major League promotions have left the farm system bereft of top-end pitching talent and the Giants needed to replenish the ranks. Plus, with the impending free agency of Tim Lincecum after 2013 the Giants need rotation protection in their minor leagues. Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner are signed long term, but if Lincecum leaves it would create a glaring hole in the starting rotation that could now very well be filled by Stratton if he advances at the rate the Giants would like.

Of course, drafting pitchers doesn't address the glaring lack of hitting prospects in the system...but baby steps, I guess.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

10 Best Things About Being a Giants Fan

I have a new article up on Yahoo Sports, and in case you missed it you can find it here.

Check back here for a 2012 preview. I promise to get back to a regular writing schedule soon.