Series preview: Talking Giants with McCovey Chronicles

Ezra Shaw

Somehow, we got through five questions without asking about the fog.

To help us get ready for this week's series, Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles and Baseball Nation stopped by to answer these five questions about the Giants.

BCB: Brewer fans are all too familiar with disappointing seasons, but the Giants may actually have fallen further by going from World Series Champions to last place and 12 games under .500. I guess the obvious question here is "what happened?"

MCC: lol no idea

No, what happened is that a) Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong were awful/hurt, b) the bullpen had a penchant for allowing the wrong hit at the wrong time, c) the lineup had a penchant for not getting that hit, and d) in June, the lineup stopped hitting at all. Oh, and e) Tim Lincecum didn't bounce back as much as hoped, and f) Barry Zito was even worse than he'd been in the past. And g) the bench has been dreadful.

I could go on. My problem is I'm not sure how much of this was something the Giants should have expected, so I'm not sure whom to blame. It's just one o' dem seasons.

BCB: The Giants are down despite a career year from Monday starter Chad Gaudin, whose 2.64 ERA is easily the best he's ever posted. What's changed for him in his eleventh MLB season with his ninth franchise?

MCC: The difference between a .250 hitter and a .280 hitter is three hits for every 100 at-bats. Fifteen hits in every 500. That doesn't seem like a lot, but it adds up. Gaudin's always had league-average ratios across the board except for his control, which was always a little high. Now that he's not walking four batters per nine innings, he looks like he can hang in a rotation. He's a .280 hitter instead of a .250, to cross the streams.

Or this is small-sampleville.

BCB: Reigning NL MVP Buster Posey had a couple of hits on Sunday to raise his .308/.378/.505 batting line. Should he be a candidate to win the award again this year?

MCC: Absolutely, though there's no way it's going to happen. I'm exhausted with the best-player-on-a-contending-team debate because it's never going to change. He's just as good as he was last year, but it's not going to get noticed.

BCB: Despite being well back in the playoff chase the Giants were quiet at the trade deadline. Was that the right decision?

MCC: There is a real value in keeping up appearances. And the reality is that most of the 3,000,000 people who buy tickets to Giants games (and beer and apparel and other merchandise) don't really get the idea behind moving, say, Hunter Pence for prospects. All they see is a big flashing sign that reads "REBUILD IN PROGRESS: TOUGH TIMES AHEAD," and it colors their perception.

So if the Giants really didn't get good offers for their players, there was no reason to trade just to get anyone back. It might have hurt the team.

But if they were getting packages with legit, top-50 prospects, they were silly not to take the plunge.

BCB: Finally, have you received your Marco Scutaro rain globe, and did you find a good place for it?

MCC: I did! I got three of them. One went to my brother, and the other two went to my two daughters. I keep taking my four-year-old's and putting it on my desk, hoping she'll forget until she's older. She keeps taking it back.

Thanks again to Grant for taking the time, and check out McCovey Chronicles for more on the Giants!

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