San Francisco Giants: Why Sending Down Michael Kickham Will Backfire on Them

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Kickham’s First Start: Game Summary and Stats

May 28, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants rookie pitcher Michael Kickham (59) gives the ball to Giants manager Bruce Bochy (15) in the third inning after giving up 4 runs to the Oakland Athletics at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Kickham pitched 2.1 innings and gave up four runs, even though he didn’t pitch too poorly.

Because it was his first career start, Kickham didn’t have much margin for error. He threw 65 pitches, with 56 of them coming in the last two innings. Kickham was able to find Buster Posey’s glove on a good amount of his pitches, and he kept the ball down in the strike zone while still intrepidly attacking the zone.

Well, he did at the beginning of the game.

The results were positive in the first inning, and he started the second inning with another promising strikeout. Then, Kickham collapsed.

With two outs in the second inning, Kickham threw a low pitch that was a bit below Posey’s glove. It wasn’t a bad pitch, but Norris still jumped on it, taking it deep for a two-run home run to left field. While Kickham threw the ball relatively well in the second inning, he fell apart in the third.

Coco Crisp grounded out to start the inning, but the next five batters reached (one reached on an intentional walk). Kickham started to fall behind on counts and miss the outside corner, which enabled the erratic southpaw to walk two batters (not including the intentional walk).

With the Giants trailing 3-1 and Kickham in hot water, he left a pitch up in the zone for Nate Freiman. Freiman whacked the ball into right field for a base hit, scoring one run and ending Kickham’s night. Kickham threw 65 pitches, and 36 went for strikes. If you don’t include the intentional walk, Kickham threw 36 strikes on 61 pitches, which is about 60 percent.

Kickham struck out three and walked four, which isn’t great. Kickham also retired just seven of the 15 batters he faced, meaning Oakland registered an inflated .533 on-base percentage (OBP) against him overall.

Eight of the last 11 batters Kickham faced reached base, so those hitters posted a mind-blowing .727 OBP against him. In addition, Oakland hit .364 off of him, which also left something to be desired.

Unfortunately for Kickham, he won’t be able to fulfill that desire.