Saturday, April 30, 2011

Walking the victory walk

Eat it, Adam LaRoche

After turning down a chance to be on the eventual World Series champs, Adam LaRoche gags in the 9th with the bases loaded by striking out to preserve a 2-1 win for the Giants. How did that taste, Adam? Nice and bitter? Mmmm-mmmm.

LaRoche is a pretty good hitter with 164 homers.

Panda down, Rohlinger up

Well, this is depressing. Henry Schulman of the Chron and Andrew Baggarly of the Merc-News are tweeting that Pablo Sandoval -- who seemed to have gotten his stroke back earlier in the season -- has an injury to his hamate bone in his hand. I thought that this would mean that Brandon Belt will be back soon but Baggarly says it's Ryan Rohlinger, who hasn't shown any ability to hit MLB pitching in 45 games so far. And he hasn't exactly been tearing it up in Fresno this year.

Pablo Sandoval
Thanks all my fans for the support

Henry Schulman
Surgery for Panda likely Tuesday in AZ.

Andrew Baggarly
Giants trainer Groeschner says Pablo motivated to use this time to drop a few more pounds. "He's working out right now."

It just keeps getting stranger in LA

Friday, April 29, 2011

Donde esta la ofensa de los Gigantes?

No estaba en Washington DC esta noche!

Another winnable game goes unwon due to the craptistic lineup after our two-time Cy Young winner gives up three runs. No big deal for many teams -- a huge deal for this one. Tim Lincecum is now under .500 as are the Giants.

I detest being under .500. Julian Levine at Splashing Pumpkins has a fine post explaining why it's so aggravating to GET SHUT OUT on five hits to a marginal player like Jason Marquis.

Henry Schulman's game story for the Chron notes that it's Marquis' fourth shutout in 249 MLB starts.

A real Giant -- Ed Halicki

Josh Wilker at Cardboard Gods has a wonderful post about one of the tallest Giants ever, Ed Halicki.Here's how he starts --

This dinged-up Ed Halicki card from 1976 seems to be a relic of a relative nobody. The photo on the front is a stiff, uninteresting posed shot, the actual human somehow less lifelike than the similar but decidedly jauntier pitcher icon in the lower left corner. On the back of the card, a 10 and 21 lifetime won-loss record is listed, as are a scattering of minor league stops. The number of the card in the set is 423, confirming that Ed Halicki is not one of the chosen few to have his card number end in a zero or two zeros. Most of all, there is no mention made of the no-hitter Ed Halicki notched the previous year.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

2,412 days between vics

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

McCourt tells Selig to go to hell

Dodgers owner Frank McCourt whined his way through a news conference today about the seizure of his team without saying he was going to sue. I bet he will -- he's sued his way through life. What possible downside is there for him to sue? Bill Shaikin of the LA Times thinks he will sue. The story doesn't mention the horrific beating of Giants fan Brian Stow by worthless thugs in the Chavez Latrine parking lot on March 31. Nor does he mention the lack of security at Dodger games. I bring this up because it has a lot to do with why Selig had MLB take over the Dodgers -- even though Selig hasn't admitted that.

Dodger fans -- this is your karmic payback for being obsessed with beachballs.

Crying in the rain

What a crappy game tonight, losing 2-0 to the Bucs. By far the most positive development -- at least Madison Bumgarner looks like he's finally pulled it together.

For now, it looks as if the Miguel Tejada Experiment is officially off the rails. The Giants are overpaying him severely given his lack of production and lack of range on defense. He concluded the game by GIDPing; the front office has decided to bring up Emmanuel Burris. Frankly, he looks like this year's version of 2010 Bengie Molina -- a slow bat and an ineffective defender.

Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury-News notes that almost no one saw the damn game.

The official attendance was 9,048, many who came disguised as empty seats. The Giants offense consisted of six singles, including two by Cody Ross, who also GIDPd.

Here we go again

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Speed kills but speed thrills

Darren Ford -- he who scored a key run against the Rox last September -- had the biggest part in beating the Pirates tonight to end an ugly 4-game winning streak. Darren "Fast" Ford? Flying Darren Ford? Daring Darren Ford? Darren "Faster than A" Ford?

By the way, he's still 0-for-5 in the MLB. But he has scored 4 runs, including 2 tonight. You can count yourself as a real Giants fan if you know how the Giants obtained Ford. Lefty Malo has some good analysis --

Thank you, Ray Durham. In one of those long-forgotten, late-season, dump-the-veteran trades, the Giants sent Durham to Milwaukee in 2008 for a fringe prospect named Darren Ford. We knew at the time he was fast, too old for his low-level league, and highly unlikely to ever sniff the majors. Well, now. Inhale deeply, Darren Ford. That's the smell of major-league victory.

Indeed, Ford has now contributed two wins to the Giants, practically all on his own, simply by running like hell around the bases.

Henry Schulman's game story for the Chron indicates that Ford's intelligence about baserunning is off the charts.

Dodgers driving MLB attendance down

Monday, April 25, 2011

"Kinda like Bobby Thomson's homer"

I feel a need to take a break from the worst stretch of Giants baseball in some time and engage in some Dodger-bashing. Jayson Stark of ESPN writes a long but pretty good recap of the still-stunning seizure of the Dodgers by Bud Selig. Here's his lead --

There is going to come a time, one day in the future, when Frank and Jamie McCourt will be just another distant memory for the Dodgers.

Kinda like Bobby Thomson's homer. And the Darren Dreifort contract.

Now we can't tell you whether that day will arrive in the next couple of months or in the year 2019. But we can promise you it's coming.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Walking me crazy

The Braves take walks and the Giants don't. Lefty Malo explains it pretty well in an Easter Sunday post. I was at all 3 games and it's astounding how little plate discipline our guys are showing. Plus the bullpen was awful today. THE GIANTS WALKED TWICE IN 3 GAMES.

I detest Nate McLouth -- a thoroughly worthless guy who the pitchers couldn't seem to throw a strike to. Not that long ago, the Braves had a then-potential Hall of Famer Andruw Jones in centerfield for a decade before they let the Dodgers sign him to a two-year deal. I have no idea why the Giants decided to pitch him as if he were Jason Heyward.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

"Strike him out, dammit!"

Friday, April 22, 2011

The turning point of the 2010 postseason

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Don't say you weren't warned

Gwenn Knapp of the Chronicle has written yet another insight-free column about how much she hates Barry Bonds. This time, it's because he's "cynical."

I'd only say that Barry's refusal to kiss up to sportswriters is going to doom us to enduring this kind of drivel for years.

The last straw for Bud

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Denver becomes Orange and Black hell again

Matt Cain finally had a lousy outing. I detest the Rox almost as much as the Dodgers. Chris Haft's recap is little comfort --
The Giants still experienced a successful trip, finishing 4-2, while winning series against Arizona and Colorado.

I wanted a genuine, Made in America CainStart™ and I got a bucket load of moldy Jell-O instead. I suppose Matt has to pitch poorly occasionally, something about the Law of Averages and all that statistical shite, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

How low can you go?

Pretty low, when it comes to the Dodgers, which is still taking well-deserved credit for breaking the color line in 1947 as example of doing the right thing. Since then, the franchise has screwed over Brooklyn and Chavez Ravine and became a haven for thugs -- who beat a Giants fan into a coma on opening day -- because the current owners are too cheap to pay for sufficient security. It's now become one of the sleaziest franchises in sports, driven into the dumpster by the out of control spending of Frank and Jamie McCourt, who have used the revenues from the franchise for personal enrichment.

Pursuant to my authority as Commissioner, I informed Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt today that I will appoint a representative to oversee all aspects of the business and the day-to-day operations of the Club. I have taken this action because of my deep concerns regarding the finances and operations of the Dodgers and to protect the best interests of the Club, its great fans and all ofMajor League Baseball. My office will continue its thorough investigation into the operations and finances of the Dodgers and related entities during the period of Mr. McCourt's ownership. I will announce the name of my representative in the next several days. The Dodgers have been one of the most prestigious franchises in all of sports, and we owe it to their legion of loyal fans to ensure that this club is being operated properly now and will be guided appropriately in the future."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"The pitching has been unbelievable"

That's how Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow -- who knows a thing or two about pitching in the bigs -- described the two games the Giants pitchers have delivered: seven hits total by the Rox. Jonathan Sanchez pitched into the 7th and two-hit the Rox. Javier Lopez and Brian Wilson were demoralizing in the 8th and 9th.


The Rox were 12-3 before these two games. It's a testament to MLB players that they'll bounce back, but hopefully not on Wednesday.

MC O'Connor at Raising (Matt) Cain has a fine recap plus a wish for the Wednesday game (boldface is mine) --Matt Cain gets a daytime start tomorrow against Jorge de la Rosa. I was greedy in Arizona, and wanted a sweep. It didn't work out. You'd think I'd learn from my sins (Greed: one of the Seven Deadly). Nope. I want Matt Cain to go for the kill. I know it is only April, and I should be happy with two big wins. But I want more, so much more. I want a spirit-crushing manliness-questioning sweep with relentless pitching and pitiless power hitting. Is that so much to ask?


Monday, April 18, 2011

Better and better and better

Like Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum has remained in the postseason groove. The Giants really do have a shot at another title with these two guys!

Tim was 8 outs short of a no-hitter before Carlos Gonzalez singled. Here's what he told Henry Schulman of the Chron -- "I threw the pitch I wanted to throw. You tip your cap. He hit it."

The inspiring Kuiper

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My Baseball Law comes true again, unfortunately

Here at Giants Win, I try not be too pompous. But there's one Baseball Law that I find comes true again and again and again -- when one team wins the first two games of a three-game series, the losing team's chances of winning that third game increase significantly. That was certainly the case in Phoenix, where the extremely annoying Dbacks have just scored in the bottom of the 12th to avert a sweep. I wish I were wrong about this, dammit.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mucho Mota

Guillermo Mota did his best imitation of Jeremy Affledt in Game 6 of the NLCS tonight, bailing out an injured Zito in the second with the scored tied 2-2 and then going a career-high 4 and a third for the vic.

Matt Cain mows em down again

He's been nothing but outstanding since last October. Here's part of Henry Schulman's game story in the Chronicle --Cain was charged with one run and has allowed three in 19 innings this season, comprising three Giants wins. He dropped the hammer on an Arizona lineup that twice scored eight runs this week, including in a game started by Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter. His near-perfect October continues to pay dividends.

"I definitely go back to when I was in the postseason and use that mentally to my advantage," Cain said after watching four relievers finish his win.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Welcome back, Darren Ford

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Buster Posey is a good guy

Man, what a good person. Nice blog post by Andrew Baggarly of the San Mercury News --- as Buster Posey shows what's truly important. The story reminds me of this exchange in "Pulp Fiction" --

The Wolf: You see that, young lady? Respect. Respect for one's elders gives character.
Raquel: I have character.
The Wolf: Just because you are a character doesn't mean that you have character.

"This case is over"

And thank God for that. Michael McCann offers a reasoned reaction to the Barry Bonds news in a column for Sports Illustrated and ends his column this way --

Will the government retry Bonds on the perjury counts?

As I explained in a previous column, I believe that the government will initially signal a desire to do so, but will ultimately decline. This case is over.

Fontenot to the rescue

The 25th guy on the roster made the difference last night. John Shea has a great recap in the SF Chron. If anything, it was karmic payback for the no-class Ted Lilly deciding to hit Buster Posey not once but twice, two days after the Dodgers and Giants made a plea to fans to adhere to non-violence. What a dingbat hypocrite.

Speaking of non-violence, the folks in back of the guy in Section 106, row 32, aisle seat showed a ton of restraint last night. Here's my note to him -- Would you stop acting like an idiot and not stand up every time someone blocks your view? There were easily 20 people at the game last night that wanted you thrown out. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"We got Wilson back"

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pat the Bat keeps homering

It's a good thing, too. Otherwise, it would have been a shutout to the Dodgers -- how depressing can it get?

Still, it was a dismal night for the Good Guys with a 6-1 buttkick by Clayton Kershaw. The only run scored when Burrel hit his fourth homer of the season -- all solo shots. Those are the only RBIs he has.

Tonight's HR got one of the two runs back that he'd given the dodgers on an error earlier. He told Chris Haft of that there was no excuse -- "I've made some bad plays," Burrell said. "We all have. There's no excuse. Routine plays need to be caught. We did that last year and there's no excuse why we can't do it."

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Rox manager gags one away

I happened to catch the end of the Pirates-Rox game on Friday night and the Pirate announcers were dumbfounded over Jim Tracy's idiotic decision not to force the Pirates to summon a relief pitcher to the plate in the 14th inning. Instead of walking Jose Tabata, the Rox pitched to him and he doubled. Eric Seidman at Fangraphs breaks it down, including Clint Hurdle's move to deke Tracy --

What is infuriating from a fan’s perspective is that managers are paid primarily to know the situation at all times and to make decisions accordingly. Hurdle took a chance on Friday, and succeeded because he understood his job duties more than his counterpart.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The real torture for Giants fans.... any game that Barry Zito pitches. He collapsed in the sixth and a 1-1 tie became a 4-1 deficit.

Bruce Bochy's leash on Zito cannot be short enough. He should be pulled at the first sign of trouble.
Thanks again for wasting $126 million on him, Brian Sabean. Here's how the Sickening Sixth went --
  • Albert Pujols grounds out, shortstop Mike Fontenot to first baseman Brandon Belt.
  • 2.Matt Holliday walks.
  • Coaching visit to mound.
  • 3.Allen Craig walks. Matt Holliday to 2nd.
  • 4.David Freese doubles (2) on a line drive to left fielder Aubrey Huff. Matt Holliday scores. Allen Craig to 3rd.
  • 5.Skip Schumaker doubles (2) on a fly ball to center fielder Aaron Rowand. Allen Craig scores. David Freese scores.
  • Pitcher Change: Guillermo Mota replaces Barry Zito, batting 9th.
MY COMMENT -- Why is Zito still pitching after walking two? WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY?

What a day (again)!

The Giants lucked out big time as Colby Rasmus couldn't hang on to a long fly ball by Miguel Tejada at the end of a 10-pitch at bat. Second walk-off vic in two days. Andres Torres has gone down with an injury. Here's what Pat the told Henry Schulman of the San Francisco -- "We found a way to do it," said Pat Burrell, the only healthy outfielder of the three. "When you win a game like this early, it's a little carryover from last year. We believe we can do it late. We had the right guy up at the right time."

Saturday, April 09, 2011

What a day!

Amazing how the Orange and Black virtually duplicated last year's home opener with another glorious 5-4 vic in extras.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Just strike everybody out

Wednesday's game was hardly crucial though it felt damn good for fans to see an 8-4 buttkick of the most annoying team in baseball, the Padres. It's hard to get up a real Dodger-type hatred of the Padres, seeing as ex-Giant Bud Black is the manager who seems to get a lot of the talent. The very mouthy Mat "Choker" Latos is practically begging to be reminded every time he whines that it was his ineffectiveness late in the season that kept his team out of the postseason.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Officially ugly and torturous

No one's hitting right now as the Giants lose another close one -- four losses by a total of 6 runs. Henry Schulman of the Chron says it's ugly in his recap. He didn't mention how annoying the Padres are so I will. It's also only 3 percent of season, I remind myself.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Bonds prosecution gets embarrassing

Here's the latest, according to Craig Calcaterra at the Hardball Times blog-- The latest development has the prosecution trying to impeach the credibility of its own witness with some tape they never told the defense about. The judge told them to go pound sand and said it was inadmissable. I'm guessing that prosecutors may be having a tough time persuading the jury that it's competent and knows what it's doing other than obsessing over making Barry Bonds a scapegoat. I'm not linking to coverage by Lance Williams or the San Francisco Chronicle, due to their questionable reputations as unbiased sources. Anyhow, Calcaterra seems to be delivering fairly straight-ahead coverage --

Judge Susan Illston said in court today that the tape prosecutors claim will rebut the damaging (to the prosecution) testimony of Dr. Arthur Ting is ”almost entirely inadmissible or irrelevant.” She added that the contents of the tape “were not very substantive,” and that “almost all of this is people’s comments being driven by what is said to be newspaper articles and news reports” from around the time of the BALCO raid, which makes it less evidence than commentary.

There has not yet been a ruling — everyone is waiting for a full transcript — but based on the judge’s comments it seems highly unlikely that the tape will come into evidence. What’s more, given that the revelation of the tape led to a broader argument in court today regarding the prosecution’s seeming failure to turn over various bits of evidence to the defense, the entire affair could end up being worse for the prosecution than if the tape had never turned up to begin with.

Conrad-esque defense

Bay Area Sports Guy offers up that description of how the Giants played in the 3 losses at Chavez Latrine. He makes several good points (boldface is mine) --

In four games we saw a couple close losses, a blowout straight from the second half of last season to reassure the guys that they still have the talent to succeed, and another somewhat close defeat. Enough to remind the Giants that despite the parade, the commercials recreating the parade and everything else, there’s still little margin for error. Remember, the playoff run was extremely difficult save for Games 1 and 2 of the World Series, and without Brooks Conrad they might not have survived the first round....

Perhaps the best part about the bumbling Conrad-esque style of play the Giants showcased in their opening series was a realization that all the focus on the Philadelphia Phillies’ rotation and East Coast bias is a waste of energy. An NL West championship isn’t an inevitability for the Giants, and even in their championship season of 2010 they started 1-5 in their first road series against L.A. and S.D., and went on to go 3-11 in their first 14 road games against NL West opponents before rallying in the second half to finish 19-17 in that category.

There was one other good development over the weekend -- Sandoval crushed a fastball last night. Scott Willis at Crazy Crabbers analyzes.

No panic over 1-3 start

Julian Levine at Splashing Pumpkins says he's not worried about the defensive lapses that cost the Giants at least two wins already.--

What a weekend. This series was defined by defense, and not in a good way. Countless times, the Giants made stupid mistakes in the field -- and it cost them. But I'm still not worried. Yes, Aubrey Huff looked pretty bad out there in right field tonight, especially on that Marcus Thames "triple". But I don't think the Giants will continue to make these mistakes -- I just don't. If they were showing a complete inability to even get to the ball in play, then I'd be worried. But four games into the season, defense just isn't (yet) on my list of worries.

The tone-deaf Dodger owner

Having attended dozens of Giant-Dodger games at Chavez Latrine, it's hard for me to get worked up about the Dodgers winning three of the four games in the opening homestand -- not with a guy beaten half to death for the egregious sin of wearing Giants gear. I don't do that but I do applaud if the Orange and Black does something good. Now, I'm wondering about going there at all. When the hell is the Dodger ownership going to get serious about providing security against these thugs running wild?

What's really distressing is what Frank McCourt said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times --

"You could have 2,000 policemen there, and it's just not going to change that random act of violence," McCourt said Saturday....."What we have done is that we have reviewed everything that has happened. First of all, let me just say it's tragic. It's very, very unfair to take what was otherwise a fantastic day — everything from the weather to the result of the game to just the overall experience — and to have a few individuals mar that.

MY RESPONSE -- Why don't you commit to doing something about it, you pompous putz? Why don't you beef up the security at your joke of a ballpark so that people aren't scared to show up?
Someone who's actually being accountable would admit something on the order of "OK, we have a problem here and we're going to do something about it right now," rather than insisting it was otherwise a "fantastic" day.

I'm not alone here. Blogger Paul Oberjuerge, in a post titled "New Incident, Old Story," believes that the thugs have become a huge problem -- though he doesn't say that it's because McCourt is too cheap and too chicken to address the issue --

It may be a dirty little secret, nationally, where the perception is that Dodgers fans are ultra-mellow. You know, “they come late and leave early!” thing. Too cool for school.

In point of fact, Dodger Stadium has been filled with dozens, maybe even hundreds of thugs almost every game for years now. Obscenity-spewing, tatted-up gangsters, often-drunk, who can ruin a game for anyone in their vicinity.

They are particularly common in the pavilions and the top deck, but almost no part of the stands are safe, aside from the most expensive seats on the field level.

Frank McCourt is a bad owner. We know that. But his biggest failing is not adequately addressing what appears to be an ongoing, perhaps even growing problem with bad-acting fans.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Mighty Matt Cain's shutout streak stays alive

It's only appropriate that Matt Cain got the Giants over the hump for the first 2011 vic following the 21 plus innings of shutout postseason pitching. He clearly had the upper hand today out at the Ravine with six more innings. MC O'Connor of Raising (Matt) Cain has a fine recap, along with this fitting conclusion --

It is so easy to be lulled by the big right-hander. He just keeps getting outs and racking up scoreless innings. He even fielded his position beautifully, laid down a nice bunt, worked a walk, and scored a run. The first out of the game was a low liner back to the box from Aaron Miles and Matty speared it with his usual craftsman-like effortlessness. It seemed to set the tone for the day. Mostly it was the steady, relentless pounding of the strike zone with big-time stuff that squeezed the air out of the enemy and led to the season's first win. I'm not sure why the baseball gods saw fit to gift us with with this terrific pitcher, but I humbly prostrate myself before them and offer what's left of my immortal soul to show my thanks.

Freddy's extended into 2012

The front office gave Freddy Sanchez another year at $6 mil. Zachary Chiang at Splashing Pumpkins thinks it's a decent move, pointing to a thin free agent market next season and the fact that Juan Uribe got a 3-year deal for $21 mil -- It was completed a bit too early for my liking, but at least the timing seems to be justifiable. With a little luck, he'll provide what we paid for and more over the next two years.

A father of two and a paramedic

That's who the guy is who got beaten up on opening day/night at Dodger Stadium. Brandon Belt's 3-run homer dissipated my gloom over this guy being in critical condition.

Kathy Kelly of the Santa Cruz Sentinel has the story about Bryan.She quotes two LAPD officers --

Los Angeles police Sgt. Sanford Rosenberg said this attack goes way beyond acceptable fan behavior.

"We can sit and talk for hours about fan mentality," he said. "It's fun to talk about my team is better than your team, but when you cross the line like this, there's no excuse. I'm ashamed to see this."

Los Angeles detective P.J. Morris said investigators reviewed surveillance tape, but couldn't make out the suspects among the thousands of people in the parking lot.

"But we do have several leads we're looking at," he said. "We're going to stay on this as long as we have to get it resolved. I hate for this to happen. People come down to our city to enjoy a game and something like this happens. It's not right."

Friday, April 01, 2011

Don't wear Giants gear in LA!

Sorry to be so serious about this but a guy wearing Giants gear was beaten severely at Dodger Stadium yesterday, according to the LA Times.

I never wear Giants gear in when attending Dodger home games. I stopped when a guy got shot in the parking lot during a game about six years ago. Ray Durham was at bat when we heard the shot. Ray actually stepped out of the box.