Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Giants All-Star Game Pitchers

As a life long Giants fan, I am grateful for their discovery of pitching in the last ten years.  Prior to the end of the Bonds era, the Giants were known for one thing: hitting.  Their long time fight song, "Bye Bye Baby" (please click on the link and treat yourself to a one-minute classic) is about the home run.  And their players have shown this.

Jason Schmidt ended a multi-generational fixation with the bat.  He was the first ace/stud/stopper the Giants had since Juan Marichal.  And the Giants were the only team in baseball during this era without one.  This one-sided approach to baseball - all time slugging greats amassing zero World Championships - showed its colors well in the Mid-Summer Classic.

In the 20 year period prior to Jason Schmidt's transformation of a franchise, some pretty amazingly abysmal statistics can be found for Giants pitchers in the All-Star game.  And I found them.

In the 20 years from 1983 to 2002, 13 Giants pitchers were selected to the NL All-Star team.  They made 10 appearances, for a total of 9.1 innings.  That's less than an inning per appearance!  And they were horrifying.  Almost all of them.  Only Mike Krukow pitched an inning without allowing the AL to score.  Okay, imagine those 9.1 innings as one nine-inning game.  Check out these statistics:

   G    W    L   ERA    IP    R    H    ER    HR  OPP     AVG
  10    0    3 18.32   9.1    21   24    19     5*  .462

(*Including the only grand slam ever)

And check out these ERA's:

 Mike Krukow   0.00
 Rod Beck   4.50
 Robb Nen   9.00
 Rick Reuschel  18.00
 Shawn Estes  18.00
 John Burkett  40.50
 Jeff Brantley  54.00
 Atlee Hammaker  94.50

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Giant All-Star Game

I've watched nearly every All-Star game of my life.  I've attended two.  And I have never seen the players and situations surrounding one team dominate the game in the way the Giants dominated this year's Mid-Summer Classic.

First, your fans step up to the plate and help vote three starters in.  Then, your pitcher is picked to start the game.  In the first inning, one of your players gets the first hit of the game.  He then scores the first run of the game.  This sparks a rally.  Later in the inning, another of your players walks to load the bases, then immediately after that another of your players hits a three-run triple.  He then scores on the next play.  All this is done against the other league's best pitcher, who is starting for them.

Because of this first inning eruption, and the fact that the game results in a shutout, your pitcher gets the win.  And, the player that got the first hit and run later hits a two-run homer.  Every run of the game but one is either scored, knocked in, or both, by players from your team.  A player in the dugout from your hated arch rival is overheard on national television note that this game has become your team's show.

Finally, your player that scores the first and last runs of the game wins the MVP award, and you have just obtained him this off season via trade from the team that is hosting the game.

I'm not sure how it's possible to do more.  Hopefully they just earned home field advantage for themselves.