The last week didn't go well for the Arizona AtLeastTheGiantsLostBacks. However, they head for Washington still in first place, though need the htters to get their act together if that's to remain true. Offense, our play-off chances and Trevor Bauer are among the topics being chatted about by the SnakePit authors, along with guest author BattleMoses. The waiting list for guests reads: justin1985, Jdub220, DeDxDbacKxJroK, JoeStock, CaptainCanuck.
On the plus side, we do escape Atlanta with our lead intact. On the other hand, we lost both series. Glass half-full or half-empty?
Kishi: With the offense shutting down and only scoring nine runs over six games, I have to say glass half-empty. Our only advantage is that, at the moment, the Giants don’t even have a half-empty glass. I’m not sure they’ve got a glass at the moment.
snakecharmer: Hmm. Well, it could’ve been better - we could’ve had a 5 game lead at this point. But we went up against some really good teams, I didn’t exactly expect to sweep them. Although the rest of the offense has become non-existent, Kelly Johnson has shown signs of life, Montero’s thrown out his last 9 or 10 baserunners, and Collmenter had a fabulous outing Sunday afternoon. So..... I don’t know, I just see it as half...just kinda there.
BattleMoses: Could’ve been worse. Giants could’ve went on a huge winning streak.
emily: Ugh. Half empty.
soco: What is there to say that hasn’t been said? Embarrassed in Philadelphia, swept in Atlanta because of a complete lack of offense. The last time we had a 5 game losing streak it was May 13th, and we haven’t had a 6 game losing streak all season.
shoe: We lost 5 of 6 and couldn't win a game in Atlanta, and the offense has died on the vine. I can't think of any way to spin that glass have full.
Jim: I’ll try. :-) We didn’t expect this to be easy, most fans saying 2-4 would have been fine, and it wasn’t. The most important thing is we escaped with our division lead at 1.5 games. We’d all have settled for that going in. Now, going forward...
Does the results of these two series indicate that, if Arizona does make the playoffs, we’ll be out of them very quickly?
Kishi: It certainly doesn’t bode well for us. In a short series, anything can happen, and the team has shown that they’re certainly capable of getting hot and winning over a stretch, but we’ve really had our weaknesses put on display this series.
snakecharmer: Well, we know what we’re up against, now. But we weren’t at our peak performance this week. So if the offense can come back and the pitching can stay decent, I think we’d at least not get swept out of the playoffs.
Battlemoses: I think we’ll be fine. When it matters we ALWAYS step it up. I think we’ll do the same in the playoffs.
emily: I’d like to say they always step it up when it matters, but with the Giants dropping the series to Houston...this week mattered. And they didn’t. Half empty.
soco: I thought that before the last week, but even if we make the playoffs what kind of offense will show up?
shoe: These two series indicate what we already knew, or should have known: Both Philly and Atlanta are much better teams.
Jim: It’s not going to be easy. But in the playoffs, anything can happen, especially in a short series. Point to ponder: the NL team with the best regular season record hasn’t won the pennant since the Cardinals in 2004.
Going into Sunday, the team hits only .237 on the road. Why is that figure so low?
Kishi: Well, hitting .221 at AT&T Park, .222 at Dodger Stadium, and .215 at PetCo certainly doesn’t help.
Battlemoses: Like Kishi said, It’s because we aren’t hitting all that well at our division rival’s stadiums.
soco: They miss the comfort of Lo-Lo’s Chicken and Waffles.
shoe: It's important to note that as a group, NL teams hit .249 on the road, and that includes teams getting to go to Chase field. However poor road hitting has been a theme with this team for a very long time. Of course part of that is leaving such a hitter friendly environment and going to a lot of pitcher friendly environments. The great big green batting eye in Chase field giveth, but it also taketh away. When you are used to having the best batting eye in baseball, and then all of a sudden you don't have that, it's a big adjustment to make.
Jim: I’d add the solid pitching of our divisional rivals as a factor. SF, SD and LA are all in the top six for ERA in the NL, and we can’t blame that all on their parks. Well, except for Petco.
Wade Miley made his debut, and it wasn’t pretty. How long a leash will he have before alternatives are sought?
Kishi: I’d say he’s probably got at least two more starts. Who else do we have to try out for the rotation? I don’t mean that as a rhetorical question, I mean who else would we put in there? I like Owings out of the bullpen,
snakecharmer: Well, September’s around the corner....
Battlemoses: At least two more. There aren’t really any other viable alternatives.
soco: Unless someone become magically more viable, it’s his job to horribly punt away.
shoe: I believe his leash will be short. Very short.
Jim: As shoe pointed out in his piece, the fifth spot has been a black hole for Arizona. The approach appears largely to have been flinging various candidates at it, and seeing if anyone sticks. There’s no other obvious candidates, save the one we’re about to discuss, but at least Miley can be optioned down if he remains horrible.
Should Trevor Bauer be called up?
Kishi: Eh, sure, why not? If we can give him ten or fifteen innings of pitching out of the bullpen, it could be good experience.
snakecharmer: I think it would be a major shock to his system to come from UCLA to the big leagues in three months. I think it’ll depend on his next few performances, and where his innings total is, but I’m not sure they want to pull him out of the bullpen. They said in terms of minor league pitching, that "He will not pitch out of the bullpen; he is a starter." Whether that applies to big-league pitching too, I don’t know. Personally, I don’t want ML teams to see much of him, if he’s going to be in the rotation next spring. Keep the mystique, perhaps.
Battlemoses: Nah. I would prefer if he just spent the rest of this year in the minors. I wouldn’t really be upset if he was called up though.
shoe: No. They said he was going to have an innings cap, and that cap is already more than halfway gone. If they bring him up, they have to use him, and they will not be able to avoid using him too much.
Jim: At this point, no. If the team drops out of first spot, and wants to go for a Hail Mary out of the fifth spot in the last week, then yeah, what the hell. Ten more innings probably shouldn’t make any difference to his arm...
Four in Washington, three at home in San Diego. What will happen?
Kishi: Pain and disappointment. No, really, I’d be happy with splitting the series in Washington and taking two of three from the Padres for a 4-3 week. Especially if it means we’ve still got a lead on the Giants.
snakecharmer: After this week, I’d be very happy with a 4-3 week. But if this team wants to get back to making a statement (remember all that nice national press we had after the Halladay game?), they need to go 5-2.
Battlemoses: This might be really optimistic, but I think we go 6-1. I think we can sweep the Nats and take 2 out of 3 from the turrible Pads.
soco: 5-2 is doable.
shoe: Washington will be a tough split. Nationals play very well at home. (Better than we do) They are no pushover as a team. We will probably win one game, and handover first place to the Giants and have to come back home and regroup. Sorry...but that’s the way it is when you lose 5 straight on the road.
Jim: Wow, for once we have a wide range of opinions! We saw how quickly things can turn from good to bad; the team now needs to reverse that. A split in Washington, two of three from the Padres. We’ll still be in first.