Post-Game Notes: Improved First Half, Romo’s [usual] dominance, and more

This was just one of those games, where you have no choice but to tip your cap to the other pitcher. Today that was Ryan Dempster, who simply had everything working while dominating the Giants offense through 8.0 IP and only surrendering 1 ER on 6 hits.

Tim Linceum picked up where he left off against the Twins, striking out 9 batters through 7.0 IP and only allowing 5 hits. It seems as he’s gotten through this season’s “August 2010″ with the two consecutive solid starts, and it’s a relief for everyone.

It’s hard to pin this loss on any one person, especially since the offense that showed up with 19 runs in the double-header yesterday. Clearly Dempster is nothing special, but when you combine his above-average performance with a less-than-average offense, this is the result you often see.

The Giants managed to tie the game in the 9th when Mike Quade questionably pulled Dempster, who was at 86 pitches and had only surrendered those 3 hits. It was a solid at-bat by Pat Burrell, combined with a more-than-crucial mistake from Tony Campana, and likely the biggest hit of Emmanuel Burriss’ MLB career.

Bochy turned to his bullpen, which has been statistically the best bullpen in June (1.73 ERA) and ultimately extremely reliable. It didn’t turn out that way today, but you also can’t pin the loss on Sergio Romo.

Romo’s above-average pitches consist of a slider, a slider, and a slider. Not surprisingly, that’s the only pitch Aramis Ramirez saw; he looked dazed on the first two, sat on the third one and just got it out enough into left field, and that’s all she wrote.

The Giants are 3-23 when out-hit by their opponent and 2-31 when they trail after 8 innings. While we all remember the miraculous comeback wins that the Giants have had this year, but almost every time they’ve gone into the ninth losing, they haven’t battled back.
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– Today’s game was the 81st of the season, marking the official half-way point of the season. The Giants are now 46-35, compared to last season’s 41-40 and 4th place in the NL West, 7.5 games behind the Padres. It’s surprising, considering how much worse the offense is from last season, but it goes to show that teams can get accustomed to playing certain ways, and the Giants have gotten used to it, especially considering that 82% of their games are decided by 3 runs or less.

- I’m starting to get to the point where I can no longer contest Bochy’s decision to play Rowand over Torres. Not only is Torres hitting .229, but his .330 OBP is well below average for a lead-off hitter, and he has had no plate discipline as of late. Over his last 10 games, Torres is hitting 4-for-30 (.133) and has been putting up below-average at-bats. Rowand’s splits don’t favor the argument to start everyday (.397 vs. LHP / .177 vs RHP) but he’s hitting .257 over his last 10 games and is putting up solid at-bats when you compare them to Torres’ at-bats.

– Despite the loss tonight, Sergio Romo has been the Giants best reliever so far this season, at-least statistically. Romo has posted a 9-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio (36 K’s, 4 BB) which is 2nd-best in the MLB behind Kyle Farnsworth of Tampa Bay. While he’s been mostly used against right-handed hitters, he’s been dominant in his role, holding such hitters to an 8-for-65 mark (.123), 3rd best in the NL.

– The schedule is now starting to favor the Giants, with 6 of their next 12 games and 13 of their next 19 will come against opponents that are below .500.

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