Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Jonathan Sanchez steps up
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
They'd better win most of the next six games is all I can say.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
The Orange and Black rotation
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
How appropriate that the last pitch of the game was a strikeout looking on a curve to Jason Giambi. Chris Haft's story for mlb.com notes that it's the fifth time Matt has taken a no-hitter into the seventh inning.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
A plea to close down Zito
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.
Sleazy cheating moves by the Rox
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 driving....in 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 --
Friday, September 24, 2010
Orange and Black playoff fever
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 --
Dodgers slightly less evil tonight
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
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
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"
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
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."
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
It truly shows that our fanbase is the strongest in the National League West, and that we travel well. Not only that, but Giants fans managed to nearly outnumber Padres fans in their own park! During a pennant race!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Feast or famine
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 --
- extrabaggs Barry Zito wins for the first time since the Pleistocene Epoch. (Actually, July 16.)
- 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!
- 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.
Thanks a lot, Brian Sabean
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
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
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 mlb.com 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?
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!"
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 work...you 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
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
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
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
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
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 mlb.com notes that the Giants finished the road trip by going 7-3.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Jerry Crawford's tribute to Eric Gregg
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 mlb.com 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!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wilson now has 42 saves. Here's what he told Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle:
Bashing Bud and the McCourts
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
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
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
It's probably just as well that this Padres pitcher, Cory Luebke, is going to miss the Giants, since rookie pitchers are giving the Giants fits this year. The immortal Daniel Hudson of the Dbacks beat the Orange and Black for the second time in 11 days tonight, according to Daniel Pentis of MLB.com.
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
"He's pitching like a champion"
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 --
Monday, September 06, 2010
The forgotten man delivers
Henry Schulman's game story for the San Francisco Chronicle notes that it was Nate's first hit since Aug. 25.
Save No. 126
Unlike Saturday's high-wire act, last night's save was a nice 10-pitch special -- strikeouts of Theriot and Ethier and a soft line drive out by Matt Kemp.
A Giants Win hat tip to MC O'Connor at Raising (Matt) Cain for noting the milestone.
Sunday, September 05, 2010
"We're going to see Uribe in our sleep"
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
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
And it was a crushing defeat for the Dodgers, according to LA Times beat writer Dylan Hernandez, as Jonathan Broxton melted down once more with the game on the line.
Here are the video clips of the calls by Jon Miller and Duane Kuiper, who both note that it was crushed by Uribe on Broxton's first slider of the inning.
Here's a video taken by a Dodger fan that got posted on YouTube.
Friday, September 03, 2010
Wrong guy at the wrong time
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
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!
Jason Hayward for Rookie of the Year?
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
He's back at last
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.