Thursday, September 30, 2010

The magic number is 3

Pat the Bat's 3-run homer gave the Giants a huge 3-1 vic. Timmy had his third consecutive outstanding season -- recovering nicely from the August slump. From the SF Chronicle's game story --He overcame a Stephen Drew homer to start the game and went seven innings, striking out 11 to raise his league-leading season total to 231. If Lincecum is done, he finished 16-10 with a 3.43 ERA in 212 1/3 innings.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Jonathan Sanchez steps up

He's gotten so much more consistent this season, winning a huge game tonight to put the Giants up 2 games with 5 left. Henry Schulman's game for the SF Chronicle focuses on Sandoval finally coming through -- which shows that this kind of game has become the norm for Jonathan:

Despite four walks in the span of eight batters, Sanchez held the Diamondbacks to one run over the first two innings, on a sacrifice fly by pitcher Rodrigo Lopez. A Kelly Johnson homer in the third upped Arizona's lead to 2-0.
Sanchez saved himself and the team with three shutout innings to finish. He also struck out six to become the fourth left-hander in Giants history, and the first since Ray Sadecki in 1968, to reach 200 strikeouts.

Monday, September 27, 2010

83% chance of going to the postseason

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Orange and Black rotation

Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News is making excuses for Zito's lousy outing on Saturday -- Even Zito’s last outing against the Rockies wasn’t as bad as the numbers indicated, especially if you take away Melvin Mora’s two-run blooper that took Jose Guillen a lifetime to track down in right field. (Zito mentioned today that he had great stuff and would only take back one pitch, and Bochy said pretty much the same thing.)

Baggarly has a long postgame post about how the starters line up. Unlike me, he sees no problem with giving Zito a start. I'm not buying what he's selling. I only want Zito pitching if the Giants have already clinched. Anyhow, here's the plan -- Jonathan Sanchez, Madison Bumgarner and Tim Lincecum against the Arizona Diamondbacks (vs. Rodrigo Lopez, Ian Kennedy and Barry Enright).

And Barry Zito, Matt Cain and Sanchez against the Padres (vs. Clayton Richard, Tim Stauffer and Mat Latos).

Mighty mighty mighty Matt Cain

What a stud he is. And that should pretty much end the Rox postseason hopes this year.

How appropriate that the last pitch of the game was a strikeout looking on a curve to Jason Giambi. Chris Haft's story for notes that it's the fifth time Matt has taken a no-hitter into the seventh inning.

Here's JohnSheaHey
Giants have won 12 of Cain's last 14 starts. He has 13 wins, one shy of his career high. He had 14 last year.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A plea to close down Zito

With every game now a must-win, it's time to stop using Barry Zito -- headcase Hall of Famer, the last guy that any Giants fan wants to see. The game story by Henry Schulman for the SF Chronicle makes no mention of how inadequate Zito was tonight, focusing instead on the rare blown save by Brian Wilson.

Zito's line was 4 and a third innings, 5 hits, 4 earned runs, 3 walks and 4 strikeouts. Not terrible but not very good at all. Had he pitched decently -- say, 2 or 3 runs over 7 or 8 innings, the Giants would have won. With one out in the 5th, Zito gave up back to back triples and was pulled for Chris Ray, who gave up a homer and another triple.

His next start is the Thursday game against the Dbacks. I don't care if Zito's the highest paid player on the Giants and has lots of veteran experience. I don't want to see him again this season.

If you want something done right, you've got do it yourself

The Reds gagged again at Petco

Sleazy cheating moves by the Rox

John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle has posted that Tim Lincecum indicated in last night's game that he'd been given a ball that hadn't been in the humidor -- as is supposedly required at Coors Field. Shea reports that there appears to be little or no oversight as to which balls get used.

UPDATE -- Shea's now reporting that MLB is stepping in to supervise after NINE YEARS. That's how sleazy the Rox are -- because even Sleazy Bud Selig has now had to admit that what they've been doing is cheating, no more or less, and the MLB has let the Rox get away with it for NINE YEARS.

My only response is that no one should be surprised that the Rox think that their sleazy franchise is soooo special that it shouldn't have to follow the rules. Why would I say sleazy? Because this franchise is one of the creepiest ever -- insisting on imposing a religious code of conduct on the one hand and yet employing psycho headhunter Jose Mesa on the other. The franchise is still owned by certified rightwing dingbat Peter Coors, who managed to get busted for drunk his own driveway.

Here's what Mark Sweeney told Dave Zirin of The Nation back in 2007 -- San Francisco Giants first baseman-outfielder Mark Sweeney, who spent 2003 and 2004 with the Rockies, said, "You wonder if some people are going along with it just to keep their jobs. Look, I pray every day. I have faith. It's always been part of my life. But I don't want something forced on me. Do they really have to check to see whether I have a Playboy in my locker?"

Here's Shea's original story, which makes the point that the scoring at Coors has been going one way this year --
In 75 games at Coors Field, the Rockies have hit .304 with 102 homers and 790 hits. Opponents have hit .258 with 67 homers and 698 hits. The Rockies have outscored visitors 452-345.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Orange and Black playoff fever

First off -- Let's hear it for Pat The Bat.

After a stirring 2-1 vic in Denver -- site of so much past heartbreak - Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle is already looking ahead --

It was hard to watch Lincecum during his 0-5 August and see a Game 1 starter in the playoffs. Now, amid a 4-1 September, the Giants would be hard-pressed to hand the ball to anyone else.

Freshened by five days off and a low pitch count (72) in his prior start, Lincecum carried a perfect game into the sixth inning, which began with a fisted double by Seth Smith. He then scored Colorado's run on Eric Young Jr.'s two-out single.

"It's one of those things where he could have crumbled at that point, but he chose to be a warrior," closer Brian Wilson said of Lincecum after Wilson needed eight pitches to earn his 45th save, three shy of Rod Beck's franchise record.

Lincecum walked nobody and struck out nine as he achieved two milestones. He reached 15 wins for the third consecutive year. Perhaps more impressive, he became the first Giant since Juan Marichal to combine three straight seasons of 200 innings plus 200 strikeouts. The last before Marichal was Christy Mathewson.

Lincecum retired seven in a row through the eighth inning, but manager Bruce Bochy firmly chose to use Wilson in the ninth. Lincecum did not argue, saying his right calf had tightened.

Unfortunately, the Giants are going to have to keep winning as the Reds managed to gag in San Diego tonight.

Dodgers slightly less evil tonight

They're still evil, all right, but they finally beat the Padres, 3-1, as Hiroki Kuroda stifled the extremely annoying San Diegans. Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times offers a contrast with the previous game --

The Dodgers were long out of contention. The ballpark appeared more than half empty. But Kuroda pitched as if the game meant something, holding the San Diego Padres to a run and five hits over eight innings in a 3-1 victory.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

That last game of the series magic

Once again, the Giants offense explodes in the last game of a series. It's 10-0 in the second inning at Wrigley Field. It's truly an odd pattern --

On Sept. 12, the Giants handled the Padres 6-1
On Sept. 16, they clobbered the dodgers 10-2
On Setp. 19, they beat up the Brewers 9-2

Reza at 8th Inning Weirdness has a smart post that notes that Madison Bumgarner was outstanding in the 13-0 shutout that marks an astounding streak of good pitching --
On a night when every ball hit in the air seemed to carry, Bumgarner allowed 0 runs in 7 innings, with 7 hits. Most importantly, he only walked 1 while striking out the Cubs 9 times. For such a young rookie, his control is impressive, with a K/BB ratio over 3.00 after tonight. The Giants' pitching staff extended its streak of games with 3 or fewer runs allowed to 17. The record is 20.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dodgers remain Evil

Whenever there's Good to be accomplished, you can count on the worthless Dodgers to not do it as the Blew Crew continued its epic laydown to postseason contenders-- getting just one run and three hits tonight at Chavez Latrine against the Padres.

What did you expect from The Most Evil Sports Franchise Ever?

Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times actually attended the game at the Latrine and came away with a pretty disgusted impression. Here's how he starts -- This is how it’s going to be now. The Dodgers seemingly playing out the string, before a half-empty Dodger Stadium, struggling to muster anything that resembles an offense. One day after officially being eliminated from the postseason, they came out Wednesday looking lifeless and forlorn.

"Any time you lose to the Cubs, it's a disgrace"

That's what Alvin Dark told Charles Einstein in 1961 following a loss to the Cubbies in "A Flag for San Francisco."It's just as true 49 years later. Henry Schulman's game story for the Chronicle has a few heartening tidbits about how great the Orange and Black pitching is, but if you can't score off Randy Wells (7-13), you're in big trouble. The Giants did have some hard hit balls tonight so hopefully we can chalk this one up to lousy luck.

For you stat freaks --The Giants held an opponent to three or fewer runs for the 16th consecutive game, matching the 1972 Indians and 1981 A's for the longest streak in the live-ball era (since 1920).

Sheriff Dark was right. Any time you lose to the Cubs, it's a disgrace.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Most times shut out in 2010

That would be your Los Angeles Dodgers, Dodger fans. They got shut out for their MLB-leading 17th time this season tonight. Before Giants fans get too excited about this, it's worth noting that the Orange and Black has been shut out 15 times.

It's been a great season for Dodger haters. The Dodgers have continued to lay down to other NL West contenders recently and tonight became officially eliminated from the post-season. the LA Times notes.

Giants pitching a little bit better than the Padres

Chris Quick at Bay City Ball did this capture of the magnificence that is Buster Posey with the simple comment "I'll let the picture do the talking."

Both the Giants and Padres put up shutouts tonight -- 1-0 for the Giants over the Cubs and 6-0 for the Padres over the dodgers. Turns out that the Orange and Black has a slightly lower ERA at 3.43 than San Diego's 3.46. They are first and second in the MLB right now.

The Cubs announcers noted after Posey's 8th inning homer that the Giants had a pretty dismal record in 1-0 games this year -- two wins and five losses. MC O'Connor at Raising (Matt) Cain notes that 1-0 games are tough to take: I'm not a fan of 1-0 games--there's just too much chance in baseball, too many weird things can happen. But I'm a fan a wins, however you get 'em, and the Giants stay in first place for another day.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Orange and Black invasion

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Feast or famine

After scoring one run in 18 innings, the power finally came on today. Pat the Bat has just hit a 3-run homer to give the Giants a 9-2 lead after Jose Guillen hit a grand slam and drove in two other runs on a bases-loaded hit.

What is it with this club? It's been shut out 15 times and has scored in double figures 13 times.

The final's 9-2. Here are some interesting tweets from Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News --

  1. extrabaggs Barry Zito wins for the first time since the Pleistocene Epoch. (Actually, July 16.)

  2. Andrew Baggarly extrabaggs Giants win 9-2, retake first place in the NL West. If Rockies hang on, you'll have three teams tied with 66 in the loss column. What a race!
  3. Andrew Baggarly extrabaggs Rockies use Dotel, acquired from the Dodgers yesterday, to strike out LA's Casey Blake on three pitches in a one-run game. Discuss.
No point in linking to the San Francisco Chronicle, as it has posted the insight-free AP game story, which often stays for hours after the game. Fortunately, MC O'Connor at Raising (Matt) Cain has an excellent recap of today's glorious win and wonders why the hell the Giants have not called up a third catcher such as Steve Holm in case Buster or Eli get hurt. He's right.

Thanks a lot, Brian Sabean

Well, that didn't last long -- two days in first place and out as the offense scores 1 run in 18 innings. As I've said over and over and over, Brian Sabean is the one who deserves the blame for losses like tonight's where the offense is dead. Here's how Chris Haft of puts it -- On the Giants' side, it was the same old story: great pitching and no hitting.

Go ahead and color me bitter. Now the team's in danger of losing out on the postseason for the second year in a row because the GM fails to take advantage of world-class pitching. Thanks again for wasting $92 million on Aaron Rowand, Mark DeRosa and Edgar Renteria.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bitter tweet of the night

hankschulman Unless you can remind me of an alternate, I have to say this is the Giants' worst game of hte year.

MY COMMENT -- I won't disagree, particularly with the pennant on the line. Madison Bumgarner and the pen held the Brew Crew to three runs but the batters looked especially inept, a night after torching the dodgers. The outfield (Ross, Burrell and Guillen) got three singles, Uribe got a walk and that was it.

Schulman tweeted this earlier in the game --
If Tiger Woods could scramble as well as MadBum tonight he'd have a tourney win or two this year.

The MLB Network's Hazel Mae just reported that the Giants have been shut out 15 times this year -- the second most in the MLB. And if you're wondering, the Giants are second to the Twins in Grounded into Double Plays. They added two more tonight from MadBum and Guillen.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

First time in first place in September since 2003

Seven long years of waiting came to an end tonight for Giants fans and I don't think a lot of us saw this coming.

On the postgame radio show with Jon Miller, Dave Flemming, Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper all agreed that the low point of the season was not that long ago -- back at the end of June, when the Dodgers swept the Giants at home. It was the fifth loss in a row of what would be a 7-game losing streak that left the team at 40-39.

But then the Orange and Black beat up on the Rox and Ubaldo, 11-8 on July 3rd, lost a 15-inning nightmare on the Fourth, then went in to Milwaukee and swept a four-game set. They are now 19 games over .500, as Chris Haft of notes in his postgame story --

The Giants (83-64) edged a half-game in front of the San Diego Padres (82-64), who lost, 4-0, at St. Louis. San Francisco, which also pulled even with Atlanta atop the Wild Card standings, claimed sole possession of the division lead for the first time since May 6 -- Willie Mays' birthday and the anniversary of Tim Lincecum's Major League debut, for those who truly believe there's magic inside.

Will Braindead Bud intervene with the Dodgers?

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times says Bud's considering the possibility of finding a way to resolve the messy ownership situation of the Evil Dodger Franchise, which has been dragged out of postseason contention this season because of the inability of the owners to spend what they need to. Shaikin doesn't really explain fully what the drawbacks may be. But Josh Fisher at Dodger Divorce analyzes that assertion and arrives at the conclusion that there's little chance of Bud intervening--

As Fay Vincent notes in Shaikin's article, "Nobody will want to buy into baseball if the commissioner can get upset and move to take away" a franchise. And there are other risks, too: you can bet that Frank McCourt, nothing if not comfortable with litigation, would sue the bejesus out of Major League Baseball the second Selig meddled.

And, of course, there's a bigger matter for another day: that delicious exemption from the nation's antitrust laws baseball enjoys despite a complete incongruity with the rest of the system. While it's pretty far-fetched to suggest that forcing Frank McCourt out of the Dodgers would lead to the revocation of Baseball's exemption, is it even worth taking the risk? Yes, the McCourt situation is ugly. And yes, this could go on for a long time. And yes, it'll probably get worse before it gets better.

But all of those things are equally true in the case of MLB intervention. The fallout would be hideous. It would take forever. And it would probably hurt the game and the Dodgers in the short term. So my guess is that Commissioner Selig will do what he's always done: sit back and let the situation play out. In some ways, that tactic has made him the most successful commissioner in the sport's history; the game exploded under his watch. Of course, so did home run totals, and that's going to be a big part of Selig's legacy, as well. Deliberately letting things play out is, for better or worse, Selig's M.O., and there's little reason to expect that to change now.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"There's pennant fever at AT&T Park!"

That's what Jon Miller said on the radiocast just before Brian Wilson struck out Jay Gibbons to end the 2-1 vic. Wish I'd been there!!!!

Matt Cain was masterful as usual despite the amazingly baffling starting lineup leading off with Eugenio Velez and Mike Fontenot -- who wound up getting the key hit of the game as the Giants finally scored a run off Dodgers pitching after 15 innings of being shut out by the Dodgers. Fire Sabean has a nice recap -- It was like finding a drop of water when you’re dehydrated. Or the single ray of sunshine after a decade of rain. Or a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat after failing nine times before.

JC Parsons at the outstanding Raising (Matt) Cain blog notes that Matt hit a milestone tonight -- One more bit of man-love toward Matt: Congratulations our your 4th straight 200+ inning season. You join Jack Sanford, Juan Marichal, Gaylord Perry and Jim Barr as the only SF Giants to pull off that feat of studliness. Keep up the good make us proud to carry your name here at this humble blog.

Bruce Bochy tells Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle, "You're lucky to have a guy like that."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

In praise of the Orange and Black pen

Hard to believe but the Giants gave up only one hit to the despicable Dodgers and still managed to lose, 1-0. Reza at 8th Inning Weirdness has a good recap --

They lost their 2nd 1-0 game in 4 days. And as easy as it is to talk about the shortcomings of this offense, and to point out that it is foolish to think that going into next year with a similar lineup would make the Giants a playoff team, tonight I don't think is the night to blame the offense. Because Clayton Kershaw is one hell of a pitcher. This wasn't Wade LeBlanc pitching. This was Kershaw, and he's gonna be annoying us for years to come.

He has a GREAT curveball. When he spots it on the outside corner to a right handed hitter, there's nothing that can be done. And tonight that's what he was doing.

In the postgame of the radio broadcast, the Giants announcers focused their picks of the game on the pen. Krukow picked Ramon Ramirez, Miller picked Santiago Casilla and Kuiper picked Steve Kline for giving Brian Wilson advice that's been passed on -- that it's OK to pitch around a dangerous hitter because the rest of the pen can pick you up. Or something like that. Bottom line is that the pen continues to be stellar. Flemming picked Freddie Sanchez, who did get two of the 4 SF hits tonight. Kuiper also predicted Wednesday night's game will be a laugher with Jamey Carroll pitching in the 8th.

Grant at McCovey Chronicles points out that it's the second time this season that the Giants have allowed only one hit and still lost the game. It's only the 48th time it's happened since 1920.

Monday, September 13, 2010

In defense of Martha Stewart, Bonds and Clemens

On Monday, an appeals court told IRS dingbat Jeff Novitzky to go to hell. Here's what Carol williams wrote in the LA Times -- Federal agents illegally seized confidential drug-testing records for hundreds of professional athletes while raiding a Bay Area lab and must return them, an appeals court ruled Monday.

Bill James has a very cogent essay on Slate that explains why the prosecutions of Martha Stewart, Bonds and Clemens are the province of dingbats gone wild. And he points out that no one in their right mind wanted to prosecute the Babe during the 1920s and 1930s.

In his time, nobody wanted to send Babe Ruth to jail, but now we do want to send Barry Bonds to jail, and we want to send Roger Clemens to jail, and we (for reasons that I don't understand) find it necessary to piss on Mark McGwire's shoes in order to defend the honor of Roger Maris. I am not happy about this. There is no real difference between sending Babe Ruth to jail and sending Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens to jail. The only relevant difference is the difference between America in 2010 and America in 1940. You think Babe Ruth didn't violate the law? Babe Ruth violated the law more often than television reruns old episodes of Cops or Andy Griffith. You ever hear of Prohibition? .... The people who sent Martha Stewart to jail were the people who were supposed to be watching Wall Street. They went after Martha Stewart because she was an easy target. Also, they didn't understand financial derivatives. Nobody did; as it turned out, the people who were trading in them didn't understand them, either. That's why Lehman Bros. went bankrupt; they were trading in something they didn't understand.

So now it is Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds in the crosshairs of the prosecutors, and the question I would urge you to think about is not only "Are these people guilty?" It is also, "Is this prosecution necessary and appropriate?" Who is it that these people are not watching? We know now, in retrospect, who the people who sent Martha to jail should have been watching. In 10 years, we will know who is robbing the candy store while the feds are chasing Roger. It is not our job to know that now; it is their job, and frankly they should go do it.

The Orange and Black appendectomy

I had mine taken out in 1964 and it was no damn joke. The good news about Andres Torres is two-fold -- he will come back, possibly even in time for the postseason (!!!????!!!); and having an inflamed appendix may explain why he wasn't playing so well recently.

In the meantime, Bruce Bochy has to decide who to play in centerfield for the next three weeks. Scott at Crazy Crabbers analyzes the four most likely candidates -- Cody Ross, Aaron Rowand, Eugenio Velez and Darren Ford.

Given the team's heavy reliance on pitching and defense and Bochy's preference for vets, my bet would be on Rowand, who's had plenty of experience 0ut in Triples Alley. Please keep him out of top of the lineup, though. Here's what Scott said -- He has fallen off a cliff offensively hitting .231/ .284/ .375 in 320 at bats. The one thing that Rowand still has going for him is that he still plays an above average Center Field. That being said he has no business being near the front of the Giants lineup where Bruce Bochy thinks he plays best.

Revisiting Labor Day

Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury-News has a nice off-day piece about Brian Wilson's mostly stellar performance this year. He shows a lot of insight by pinpointing the glorious 2-0 victory in Phoenix a week ago today as an indicator of how well the pen has been performing:The bullpen was almost untouchable during the Giants' rousing, 10-game trip, combining for a 3-0 record with five saves and one earned run in 24 innings (0.38 ERA).The flashiest show came on Labor Day in Arizona, when manager Bruce Bochy went army style (right-left-right) with Sergio Romo, Lopez and Ramirez to get the matchups he wanted and preserve a scoreless game in the eighth inning.Most managers wouldn't have any bullets left. But Bochy still had Jeremy Affeldt and Santiago Casilla, who combined for five strikeouts while throwing nasty stuff in the ninth and 10th. And when the Giants took a lead on Nate Schierholtz's two-run triple, Wilson shut the door in the 11th.

Baggarly then recalls that the 2004 Giants came apart at the end of the season partly because that pen had been so overworked, culminating in Wayne Franklin's final appearance in the Orange and Black in Game 161 at Chavez Latrine. He doesn't mention Cody Ransom's error, though.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tim hits a Marichal milestone

Nothing to it for the Orange and Black

After a pair of nerve-wracking 1-0 games, the Giants had another relatively easy victory today at Petco thanks mostly to another fine performance by Tim Lincecum plus a first-inning two-run bomb by Buster Posey.

It was the second worst outing of the year for Mat Latos, who was so bad that Tim singled home the fourth and fifth runs in the 4th inning. Chris Haft's game story for notes that the Giants finished the road trip by going 7-3.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Jerry Crawford's tribute to Eric Gregg

It was a 1-0 game that the late Eric Gregg would have loved. It was a truly unprofessionally awful job of umpiring today, with Jerry Crawford deciding to call strikes on the low, outside pitches -- some of them a foot out of the strike zone. It was so egregious that even the Fox announcers commented on it several times.

No wonder umpires hate the Questec system so much. When are umpires going to learn that it's not all about them?

Not surprisingly, Chris Haft's game story for makes no mention of the crappy umpiring.
But Grant at McCovey Chronicles details how feeble Crawford is as an ump:

Crawford is an unfunny punch line of an umpire, yes. It was hard to tell where the terrible offense ended and where the terrible strike zone started, sure. But I’m not going to take the game away from the Padres. They took what the umpire gave them.

Friday, September 10, 2010

First place tie!!!!!!!!!!!!

This 1-0 game was a monument to small-ball. My fave plays -- a stunning Juan Uribe diving stop of a Meguel Tejada grounder; Nate Schierholtz taking out the Evil Eckstein in the 7th; Eli Whiteside throwing out Everth Cabrera on a steal to end the 8th; Brian Wilson blasting a heater past Giant offspring Will Venable to end the game. It's the first time they've been in first since May 6.

Wilson now has 42 saves. Here's what he told Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle:

"This is what you prepare for in spring training," Wilson said. "If you're one of those guys who need a breather or a day off, go to bed early. You're going to have to suck it up and win from here on out."

Andrew Baggarly's game story for the San Jose Mercury News makes the point that Aubrey Huff has come a long long long way this season.

Bashing Bud and the McCourts

ESPN's Howard Bryant has a bitter takedown of the disgusting McCourts and how dingbat Bud Selig helped the drag the Dodger franchise into its disreputable state. Here's some pretty good analysis --

The McCourts are in a free-fall for all the public to watch, live in divorce court, California-style; and their grand bauble -- the Dodgers, historically the beacon of continuity, respect and backroom influence -- has crumbled on and off the field. Even worse, the team is being defined by a word that hasn't been associated with the franchise since World War II: unstable.

The collapse is an extraordinary example of greed and unaccountability gone wild in a decade already full of them. Piece by litigated piece, the most important West Coast franchise in the game is being tarnished, and the skeptics who doubted the McCourts in the first place are swallowing the bittersweet aftertaste of being right.

Bombs away at Petco

It's about damn time that the Giants dialed up the power machine at Petco with four long HRs. Matt Cain was at his finest tonight, giving up one run in the 3rd and two in the ninth, according to MC O'Connor at Raising (Matt) Cain --

He had good velocity, hitting 94-95 mph late in the game, as well as good command of the off-speed stuff, and racked up his 11th victory with a Game Score of 67. I particularly enjoyed the three-pitch "grab some pine, meat" whiffing of the mighty Adrian Gonzalez in the 6th after a two-out double by the aforementioned Ludwick.

Here's the video of Pat the Bat's blast on to the roof of the Western Metal Co. building off our old buddy Kevin Correia. A thing of beauty!

Henry Schulman's game story for the SF Chronicle points out that the G men have won nine of Cain's last 11 starts.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Where all this Padre madness started

As with so many things that have gone wrong with the Giants, it's partly Brian Sabean's fault for constructing a roster that went through the first half of the season 41-40....and opened the door for the Padres to dominate the division for most of the year.

It was nearly five months ago when the Padres swept a 3-game series from the Giants at Petco to go from 6-6 to 9-6 while the Giants were on a 4-game losing streak and going from 8-3 to 8-7. Get a load of the lineup that the Giants put out there in the finale on April 21 for the 5-2 loss, which left Todd Wellemeyer at 0-3. Here was the starting lineup that night --.
(in case you're wondering, Buster Posey was six weeks away from getting called up)

Eugenio Velez CF

Mark DeRosa 2B

Pablo Sandoval 3B

Aubrey Huff 1B

Bengie Molina C

Juan Uribe SS

Nate Schierholtz RF

John Bowker LF

Todd Wellemeyer P

If you want something done right, do it yourself

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

"He's pitching like a champion"

That's what Sergio Romo said tonight about Tim Lincecum's solid performance as the Giants won their 4th in a row.

Maybe it was karma. The Dbacks' management acted like idiots. Henry Schulman's game story for the SF Chronicle notes that the Dbacks decided to open the roof at Chase Field for the first time in 3 months --
First-pitch temperature was 97 degrees and, hey, who was pitching for the Giants? A guy who struggles in the heat.

Monday, September 06, 2010

The forgotten man delivers

With so many outfielders -- Burrell, Torres, Guillen, Ross, Rowand -- Nate Schieholtz has been largely relegated to being a caddy AKA late innning defensive replacement. In what has his biggest hit as a Giant, he hammered a two-run triple to deep right center with two on and two out in the 11th today.

Henry Schulman's game story for the San Francisco Chronicle notes that it was Nate's first hit since Aug. 25.

Save No. 126

Sunday, September 05, 2010

"We're going to see Uribe in our sleep"

That's what Joe Torre said to James Peltz of the LA Times after tonight's glorious 3-0 beatdown of the Dodgers, thanks to another Juan Uribe homer. He hit a bunch down the stretch last year too.

This team is for real because this is what real contenders do -- they win games on Sept. 5 that matter.

The last 4-homer comeback when down by 4

It was in 1982, Henry Schulman just tweeted.

So I looked it up. They were down 6-1 at the Stick in the bottom of the 7th and won 7-6

Bizarre part of that game -- the Giants were down 6-4 in the 9th when Reggie Smith and Jack Clark homered back to back off Dave Smith. So the Astros brought in Randy Moffit of all people to pitch. Darrell Evans drove in the game winner.

Saturday, September 04, 2010


Friday, September 03, 2010

Wrong guy at the wrong time

That would be Barry Zito -- or for Giants fans, the new Armando Benitez. It's been a longtime that I so dread seeing a particularly Giant on the field.

I attended tonight's disgusting 4-2 loss at Chavez Latrine in the company of a Dodger fan who's a pretty good friend and this is what we agreed on:

-- Barry Zito belongs in the Headcase Hall of Fame, giving up 4 runs to the 8th place hitter on a 2-run homer with first base open and the pitcher (Chad Billingsley). The bigger the game -- and every game is big now -- the less dependable Zito is going to be.

-- Billingsley made the Giants look sick, particularly since the Dodgers aren't playing for much. They'd have to win 10 in a row to become a factor again. The thing is, they do have the frontline players to make that happen.

Andrew Baggarley of the Mercury-News writes a pretty good game story except for characterizing Zito as a No. 2 pitcher. He's a No. 5 pitcher, who's paid like an ace. He's now 0-7 with a 5.79 ERA in his last nine starts.

This one's on Brian Sabean again for the Zito deal, plus assembling a feeble offense. Highlights were Buster Posey's two-run single in the 4th, which Zito immediately gave back, and stellar work from the pen.

I would hope that Bochy think seriously about benching Zito for the rest of the year and trying to make it with the Fresno guys (Pucetas? Dontrelle? Wellemeyer?) in the No. 5 slot.

Dodger Blue in the deep red ink

Well, this is timely. With the Giants coming to town for a 3-game set at Chavez Latrine, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that the Dodgers are over $400 million in debt. No wonder even garbage seats at $50 a pop and parking is $15. So despite the huge advantage of selling over 3 million tickets a year, the Dodgers are not going to be a top tier team for awhile. Here's an understatement from the Times, if there ever was one --

The debt load has limited how the Dodgers can pay their players and could affect the team's ability to sign talent. McCourt was turned down at least three times — by Citibank, by a Chinese investment group and by a Southern California infomercial king — in trying to secure additional financing last year, according to documents filed in the divorce case between him and his estranged wife, Jamie.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

What a kick!

Fantastic shot of the Juan Marichal statue by dwighta3

Jason Hayward for Rookie of the Year?

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

He's back at last

Tim Lincecum finally returned to form as the Giants eke out a crucial 2-1 vic with fast, fast, fast Darren Ford just up from the minors to pinch run and scoring the winner in the 8th on an Ubaldo Jimenez wild pitch and Miguel Olivo overthrow. "That's what speed can do for you," Mike Krukow said on the telecast.

It was Ford's MLB debut. What a way to break in! Turns out he didn't even get to the park until the second inning.

JC Parsons at Raising (Matt) Cain puts it excellently -- The Giants win a huge game with a unique combination: The Freak and The Speed Freak!!!

It reminds me of Max Venable's first MLB run. At the home opener in 1979 with two out in the 9th and the score tied, Stretch came up as a pinch hitter and singled. Max pinch ran for Stretch, two days after he'd debuted, also as a pinch-runner. John Tamargo then pounded a homer into the upper deck in what was probably the high point of the season.