Saturday, May 02, 2015

I'd rather be lucky than good

Despite the best efforts by the bullpen to gascan the game away to the Angels, Providence intervened today and let the Giants win in the 9th.

Thanks, Taylor Featherston!  

Dave Flemming said on the air that he'd never seen a game end that way -- with the final out coming on a runner hit by a liner. Here's part of the MLB.com coverage -- which asserts that Panik would have made the play anyhow...


 Nori Aoki and Casey McGehee had some timely hits, and Brandon Crawford and Buster Posey went deep, providing enough cushion for a highly effective Tim Hudson in the Giants' 5-4 win over the Angels at AT&T Park on Saturday.
The 39-year-old Hudson held the Angels to two hits -- solo homers by Mike Trout and Albert Pujols -- in eight-plus innings, leading his team to its seventh win in the last 10 games and dropping his ERA to 3.78.
"I felt pretty good," Hudson said. "It was just a day where things worked out for us really good. Buster [Posey] called a good game and I was able to change some speeds and locate the ball pretty well."
The Angels made it a one-run game in the ninth, on back-to-back, two-out RBI singles by Kole Calhoun (off Jeremy Affeldt) and David Freese (Santiago Casilla). The next batter, Matt Joyce, lined a ball off the leg of pinch-runner Taylor Featherston for a game-ending automatic out. Giants second baseman Joe Panik was shifting Joyce to pull and was well positioned to make the play, but didn't have to.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The big boys step up

Madison Bumgarner beat Clayton Kershaw, thanks to great pitching and 2 RBIs from Buster and a save from Santiago Casilla. The dodgers  had their disgusting 8-game win streak at chavez latrine ended. 

These 3 guys are a big part of why the Giants have won three World Series. 

Read the mlb.com story and see that Kershaw is no longer the unbeatable guy.....
LOS ANGELES -- In a rematch of last week's ace showdown, Buster Posey homered and drove in both runs as the Giants and Madison Bumgarner edged the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw, 2-1, Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.
After his double no-decision duel with Kershaw last week in San Francisco, Bumgarner (2-1) allowed one run on five hits in eight innings with nine strikeouts and one walk. Going seven innings for the first time this year, Kershaw (1-2) allowed both runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts and no walks. Both have 3.73 ERAs. Santiago Casilla earned his sixth save. The loss snapped the Dodgers' home win streak at eight.
The only Dodgers run scored in the fourth inning on a fielder's choice grounder by Howie Kendrick after Jimmy Rollins singled and callup Kiké Hernandez doubled off the glove of Giants center fielder Angel Pagan. Hernandez, representing the tying run, was erased in a rundown trying to advance to third on Kendrick's grounder. Hernandez also singled and struck out twice in his Dodgers debut after arriving from Oklahoma City during batting practice.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Bumgarner bears down: Bumgarner thrived very simply, by stopping rallies before they started. Only three Dodgers reached scoring position against him.
Not like Kershaw: The fourth-inning home run by Posey was the fourth allowed by Kershaw this season in his fifth start. In 2014, Kershaw didn't allow his fourth home run until his eighth start and allowed only nine in 29 starts.

Terrible Tim, Crummy Casey

Giants Win got to see the disgusting dodgers buttkick the Giants tonight, 8-3. Hector Sanchez finally got a decent that helped keep a 3-run rally going in the 4th but it was a pretty awful game other than that. JC Parsons at Raising (Matt) Cain recaps far better than I could ...


In a battle of #5 starters, the doggers prevailed, 8-3, and took the first game of the series.  Their lame starting pitcher, Anderson, couldn't get through the fifth but he looked masterful compared to a ridiculously struggling Tim Lincecum.  The fallen ace went a feeble 4 innings, allowing 8 hits, 3 walks and was lucky to only give up 4 runs.  Nothing he threw seemed to fool the blue goo and they often jumped on his first pitch.  It was clearly Tim's weakest start so far, best forgotten, yet I fear that won't happen soon.  Well, at least 5 days.

Their new CF, Jocko Something, put on a bit of a show with a great catch and a big homer.  Gee, I guess we have the pleasure of watching that for a decade or so...

McGehee took another 0-4 with a couple strikeouts. He is hitting .173 so far. Matt Duffy is looking better every day.

MadBum vs. Kershaw, Round 2 tomorrow.  I like our chances, MadBum seems to get even tougher on the road. I think I could come up with some good examples of that if I really tried.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Extra magic at Coors

Coors Field has usually been a nightmare for the Giants, as Henry Schulman puts it in a fine recap for the SF Chron -- 

 
DENVER — Sunday marks 20 years since the first game at Coors Field. All the biggies from the 1995 team will be here: Larry Walker, Dante Bichette and Ellis Burks, to name a few.
The Giants will show up, too, maybe with a blowtorch, a jackhammer and forged demolition orders.
The Giants have had many miserable memories at this yard. Even their successes, such as Saturday night’s 5-4, 11-inning victory, feel like root canals.
“Anytime you go into extra innings in this park, you’re never comfortable,” Tim Hudson said after Santiago Casilla’s blown save in the ninth cost the starter his first career victory at Coors.
“When you have a one-run lead here, it feels like a tie ballgame. You don’t want to go into extra innings against this club. They’ve got a good lineup, and this is the best hitters’ park in the league. That’s a bad combination. It was good to get the win,” the Giants’ first in five games against the Rockies this year.
Nori Aoki slid home with the winning run on Joe Panik’s one-out safety squeeze in the 11th.
Panik was freelancing. He recalled hitting a groundball the last time he faced pitcher Brooks Brown and did not want to end the inning with a double play. So he pushed a bunt to the right side, a bit too hard, forcing Aoki to beat a quick throw from first baseman Justin Morneau.
“I’ve laid down better, but Nori is a fast runner,” Panik said.
How about Aoki’s night? The leadoff hitter scored the winning run after drawing his career-best fourth walk and advancing on a Matt Duffy sacrifice and Angel Pagan’s fourth hit, a single.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Casey GIDP

Casey McGehee led MLB last year in grounding into DPs with 31. He's already in pursuit of that number and has a good shot at breaking Jim Rice's record of 36.

Tonight's GIPD was painful as it came in the 8th with two on and no outs and the Giants trailing 6-4. Belt had singled and Justin Maxwell had walked. McGehee swung at the first pitch -- rally (and game) over.

I'm betting that Bruce Bochy is thinking about starting Matt Duffy at third.

Here's a list from Baseball Reference of the single-season leaders. You'll notice that most of the players were pretty good, except for our Casey --

Thursday, April 23, 2015

NICE JOB, US GOVERNMENT

 Way to waste millions of dollars!

The U.S. Court of Appeal has overturned Barry Bonds' conviction for obstruction of justice in a 10-1 rruling. Here's part from the SF Chron:


Bonds’ answer “says absolutely nothing pertinent to the subject of the grand jury’s investigation” and could not have diverted prosecutors or influenced the decision on whether to indict anyone, Judge Alex Kozinski said in an opinion joined by four other judges. If Bonds’ answer was unclear, Kozinski said, it was up to the prosecutor to clarify it.

A “truthful but evasive or misleading statement” cannot be considered obstruction of justice, Judge N. Randy Smith said in a separate opinion joined by three colleagues.


So whatever happened to the dingbat Jeff Novitzky who led this witch hunt against Bonds? He's working for the UFC. I can't think of an organization that's done more to degrade modern life. 

Go to hell, Jeff.

Back to back walkoffs by the Good Guys

 The Los Angeles Times, which should know better, ranked the Giants 30th out of  30 teams in their Sunday ranking with the  snarky comment on the order of "What's that smell from McCovey Cove?"

Eat it, LA Times. Eat it raw.

There was some real clutch by the good guys and some gagging by the Evil Ones.MC O'Conner at  Raising (Matt) Cain has  a fine recap -- 

 When Howie Kendrick made that full-extension leaping grab of Justin Maxwell's line drive with two outs in the 8th and the bases loaded I thought that was it for the Giants. Down 2-1, though, they rallied again in the bottom half as Casey McGehee singled to lead things off and Brandon Crawford smoked a triple to score pinch-runner Matt Duffy. With a runner on 3rd and no outs, it looked like the Giants might walk off with the win but LA closer Pedro Baez righted the ship and sent the game to extras. Santiago Casilla appeared ready to give it away in the 10th but struck out Adrian Gonzalez with two outs and the bases loaded to keep the tie. That was tense! In the bottom of the 10th, Maxwell got another chance to be the hero and he roped a no-doubt winner down the left field line to end it, scoring Angel Pagan. The team would not quit and kept scratching out chances and they finally paid off with a sensational come-from-behind victory.
Great work from starter Ryan Vogelsong who allowed two solo shots in six innings, retiring the last ten batters he faced. The 'pen kept it scoreless for the final four frames while LA's crew gave up two. With struggling FNG McGehee getting a big hit and struggling Vogie pitching well it was a good day for the ballclub. Did I mention the great Giants bullpen? A series sweep of the high-flying Dodgers was the perfect antidote to an otherwise ugly homestand. Now 7-10 after four wins in five games, the last two walk-offs, the home squad gets the thrill of a trip to Colorado for a weekend series. That place is goofy. Weird baseball happens there. They just played a 2-1 game--the Rockies beat the Padres today at Coors. What are they thinking?

Terrific afternoon of baseball for Giants fans and like I said just what was needed after the losing streak. Let's hope the 'mo' continues to flow.

GO GIANTS!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

dodgers gag again

Well that was tasty!

Hey, dodger fans -- how'd you like the way the most expensive team in baseball choked tonight?

Maybe the dodger management should hold off on printing playoff tickets. 

You know, it's comforting to know that with a big game on the line, the dodgers just don't have what it takes -- again.  Here's the mlb.com recap --


SAN FRANCISCO -- Joe Panik's bases-loaded sacrifice fly snapped a ninth-inning tie Wednesday night and lifted the San Francisco Giants to their second straight victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, a 3-2 decision.
With the score knotted, Buster Posey began San Francisco's winning rally with a one-out single off Chris Hatcher, who grazed Justin Maxwell with his next pitch. The ball also struck catcher A.J. Ellis on the right hand, forcing him to leave the game. With the left-handed-batting Brandon Belt due up, lefty J.P. Howell relieved Hatcher. Belt's single to left loaded the bases for Panik, whom the Dodgers tried to counter by employing a five-man infield. Panik rendered the strategy moot with his first-pitch drive to medium-deep right-center field, scoring pinch-runner Gregor Blanco.
The anticipated pitching matchup between left-handed aces Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers and Madison Bumgarner of the Giants ended in a virtual standoff, as the score was tied, 2-2, by the time both left the game. Kershaw surrendered only three hits, struck out nine in six innings and lapsed only in the third inning, when the Giants scored both of their runs off him. Bumgarner protected that lead until the seventh, when Alex Guerrero clobbered a pinch-hit, two-run homer.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Bumgarner's bunt: Getting a bunt down against Kershaw isn't easy, given the hop on his fastball and the break of his curveball. But Bumgarner sacrificed successfully in the third inning, putting the Giants in position to score twice.

How did that taste, dodger fans?

dodger fans were getting even more obnoxious than usual about a 7-game winning streak that blessedly ended last night. 

Tim Lincecum was back in fine form. And now MadBum pitches tonight. BEAT LA

Here are the first paragraphs of the mlb.com story --

 
The San Francisco Giants received six solid innings from Tim Lincecum and scratched together enough offense to emerge with a 6-2 victory Tuesday night over the archrival Los Angeles Dodgers, halting the National League West leaders' seven-game winning streak.
Lincecum yielded one run and five hits in six innings while outclassing Los Angeles starter Brett Anderson, who surrendered four of the Giants' runs and nine hits in four innings.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Chris Heston!!!!

That's almost all there is to say. 

Heston -- who was an emergency starter for the third game of the year, then pitched well in Monday's home opener -- looks like the real deal. He's 2-1. The rest of the staff is 3-8.

What a relief. A 4-9 record is so much easier to take than a 3-10 record. Here's the first paragraphs of the mlb.com story --


Receiving impressive pitching from Chris Heston and brief but effective flurries of offense, the San Francisco Giants snapped their eight-game losing streak Saturday by subduing the Arizona Diamondbacks, 4-1.
The first defending World Series champions to drop their first five home games, the Giants finally emerged victorious at AT&T Park with sufficient backing for Heston, who yielded five hits in 7 2/3 innings. Joe Panik lined a first-inning RBI single, Buster Posey contributed a two-out, run-scoring single in the third inning and Brandon Crawford added a two-run homer in the fourth.
One night after amassing 18 hits, the D-backs moved only two runners into scoring position against Heston. This victimized Arizona starter Rubby De La Rosa, who displayed his usual array of hard stuff while surrendering all of San Francisco's runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings.

8-game losing streak

When the Giants are doing badly, I look backward. 

I actually remember the last 8-game loss streak  back in 2007.

The Giants went from 30-34 to 30-42; they finally won a game on national TV against the Yanks in 13 on a Saturday.

Eight years later, the following Yankees are still active -- Melky Cabrera, Robinson Cano, and Alex Rodriguez. None of the Giants are still in the bigs, They have signed Kevin Correia to a minor league deal; Frandsen was cut by Nats and Nate Schierholz is playing for the Hiroshima Carp.

Anyhow, the Giants went 4 years between 2005 and 2008 with losing records, including 71-91 in 2007.

According to Baseball Reference, 22-year-old Matt Cain had the highest WAR  with 4.6, followed by 42-year-old Barry Bonds at 3.4