Giants-Rangers Game 2: Cake Walks

I am completely confused as to what’s going on.  This is not Giants baseball as I have come to know it.  20 runs in two games?  Not that I’m complaining, mind you, it’s kind of nice actually.  Is this what games are like for other fans?  Lots of runs, great defense, no torture?  I could get used to it, but on the other hand, the pessimist in me is waiting for the other shoe to drop.  

It started out like a normal Giants game.  No runs for the first four innings, both Cain and Wilson (C.J. Wilson, now our Wilson) shutting out the competition.  Then Edgar Renteria decides to relive his past World Series experience and knocks one out of the park. 1-0, still a normal Giants game.  That run ultimately won the game BTW, but let’s keep going.
Bottom of the 7th, Juan Uribe, the other “old guy” on the team with post-season experience, knocks a single into right field and Cody Ross scores.  2-0 Giants.  Okay now, from past experience, the goal now is to keep those measly two runs and prevent the other guys from catching up by using our awesome bullpen to shut them down, sealing the deal with Brian Wilson.
But then the 8th happened.  Like this:
  • O’Day now pitching, strikes out Torres.  One out.
  • Freddy Sanchez up, strikes out.  Two out.
  • Buster Posey, single to second base.  Still two out.
  • O’Day replaced by Derek Holland. Nate Schierholtz walks.  Buster to 2B.  Still two out.
  • Cody Ross walks, Posey to 3B, Scheirholtz to 2B.  Bases loaded.  Still two out.
  • Aubrey Huff WALKS.  Posey scores.  Scheirholtz to 3B.  Ross to 2B.  Still two out.  SFG: 3, TEX: 0.
  • Holland out, Lowe in.  Walks Juan Uribe.  Scheriholtz scores.  Ross to 3B. Huff to 2B.  Still two out.  SFG: 4, TEX: 0.
  • Renteria singles to LF, Ross and Huff score.  Still two out.  SFG: 6, TEX: 0.  
  • Lowe out, Kirkman in.  Aaron Rowand triples to RF, Uribe and Renteria score.  Still two out.  SFG: 8, TEX: 0.
  • Andres Torres doubles to LF, Rowand scores. Still two out.  SFG: 9, TEX: 0.
  • Freddy Sanchez strikes out swinging.  Three out.

The Texas bullpen just died or something.  Giants score 7 runs in one inning, two from walks.  It was like one of those cake walks at the community fair, where everyone is just walking around in circles waiting for the music to stop.  It finally stopped after 7 runs.  Of course, as I said above, only 1 run was needed to win this game, so the 8th inning was just icing, but an icing that certainly boosted confidence and hopefully sucked some life out of Texas.  I guarantee you there will be a pitchers meeting before Game 3.  

Fear the ‘Fro again, people!  Matt Cain performed another shut out, keeping his post-season 0.00 ERA intact.  I’m so glad the world gets to see how awesome this guy is.  (Well, the world that’s watching, because y’know.. the Yankees and Red Sox aren’t in it this year.)   Ian Kinsler almost knocked one out of the park in the 5th, but he was about 10 cents short and the Ranger remained scoreless.  
Series Date Tm Opp Rslt Inngs IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
2010 NLDS g2 Oct 8 SFG ATL L,4-5 GS-7 6.2 7 1 0 2 6 0 0.00
2010 NLCS g3 Oct 19 SFG PHI W,3-0 GS-7 7.0 2 0 0 3 5 0 0.00
2010 WS g2 Oct 28 SFG TEX W,9-0 GS-8 7.2 4 0 0 2 2 0 0.00
21.1 13 1 0 7 13 0 0.00
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/29/2010.
Matt Cain everyone!
mattcain.jpg
Speaking of awesome pitching, and I don’t think I ever have spoken about this guy, but how sick is Javier Lopez?  His crazy pitching style had me from the beginning, but I always overlook him in my posts because he generally only pitches for one or two at-bats.  But they’re always smoking.  He takes out left handers like a freakin’ ninja with Chinese throwing stars.  His sideways looking bullet eliminated Hamilton’s last chance to get something going in the 8th.  It was a beautiful thing.
javierlopez.jpg
So the Giants are 2-0 so far.  Everyone around here is getting all cocky again, just like they did in the NLCS. I hate that, personally. I guess I’m too negative to celebrate before anything is official.  Of course, all the premature back patters were right about the NLCS, so maybe they’ll be right about the World Series too.  I heard on the way to work this morning that a 2-0 lead has happened 51 times in World Series history, and of those 51 2-0 teams, forty have gone on to win the title.  Pretty good odds, but how much you want to bet the Giants were one of those 9 teams who didn’t make it?
Not to be negative though.  Be positive. But not too positive.  Everyone keep wearing the same hats, sweaters, lucky socks; whatever you’re doing keep it going.  Don’t change your routine now.  We’re in Texas now.  Enemy territory.  Don’t look ahead, focus on the next game.  Keep your cool, your determination, look for those lucky breaks to feed on.  Wait…who am I talking to?
GO GIANTS

WORLD SERIES WIN COUNTER
nolanwin.jpg nolanwin.jpg nolanpending.jpg nolanpending.jpg
Advertisements

Giants-Phillies Game 3: Home Sweet Home

I love day games because I get to watch them. Digitally anyway, as I hide MLB’s Game Day amongst my many open work windows. You would think watching a pixelated baseball game wouldn’t be very exciting but I’ve found that it’s just as interesting as listening to a game on the radio or watching it on TV. Well maybe not “just as….” but pretty close. 

Yesterday’s game was a good example of how the Giants have been doing it all year; stellar pitching, a sprinkling of offense and the game is won. The only difference between yesterday’s game and your average win of the season was that it was completely free of torture. Other than a very brief nail biter in the 7th inning, the game was very straight forward. Even Brian Wilson didn’t load the bases before getting his three outs. Weird! 
The Bochy Shuffle seems to be working as Matt Cain, who swapped starting positions with Sanchez, threw a three-hit shutout. Renteria moved to first and got the first hit of the game in the 5th. Cody Ross was bumped to fifth and drove Renteria home with a single to left field. In the same inning, Huff, who was bumped to sixth, drove home Burrell with a single to second base. Aaron Rowand was added to the line-up and gets on base in the 6th with a double to left field, and Freddie Sanchez, who’s probably the only guy who kept his same position, runs in Rowand with another single to second base.
Huff and Sanchez should thank Utley for doing his best Brooks Conrad impression.
Yesterday I posted a comparison chart between Hamels and Cain:
cainvshamels.jpg
Here’s how they compared yesterday:
cainvshamels.jpg
Other than the bases on ball, pretty much the same thing, eh?  I love it when a stat comes together!  Matt Cain is not an undersized, two time Cy Young winner with a wild pitching style.  He’s doesn’t have a shoe polished beard.  He has no drama, so no one talks about him.  But he’s Mister Giant in terms of tenure, and he’s a constant, which may not be interesting for the media to talk about, but I think he rocks anyway.  Check it:
fourstarters.jpg
Bad start in April and a mild dip in June, but otherwise the guy is a flat line.  Certainly more consistent then his fellow starting pitchers.  Not better or worse, but right down the middle.  
Anyway, two more to go.  It would be great if they could clinch it in San Francisco, but that’s probably asking too much.  It would be great if they could clinch it period.  Let’s stick with that.  

By the Book

Craziest game I’ve ever witnessed (not that I’ve witnessed many)!  First off, it was 5-1 Dodgers by the third inning, and yet I was somehow not freaked out.  Not that I was cocky enough to think we had it in the bag, but I knew we’d score more runs.  First half of the season, we would have stayed at one run, but not this new team. 

ateam.jpgBut that’s not even what was crazy.  Here’s what was crazy:

Lincecum’s Wild Pitch

He was having another control issue day.  Only made it to the fourth inning. His comeback after the All-Star game apparently didn’t last, oh well.  But he throws a pitch that is so completely out of control, it flies over his head and he can’t even figure out where it went!  You gotta see it to believe it! 

missingball.jpgBack and Forth Drilling

I’m thoroughly confused as to what even happened at this point, but here’s what I think happened:

  • Tim Lincecum beams Matt Kemp.  Retaliation for Vincente Padilla breaking Aaron Rowan’s face in April?  Tim says it was an accident and lack of control. (Given the aforementioned wild pitch, I tend to believe him.  After all, Matt Kemp didn’t break Rowan’s face).  Kemp kind of veers towards Lincecum, not really looking at him or say anything, but still to the point where umpire Adrian Johnson steps between the two, escorting Kemp to first base, after which both benches are warned not to escalate anything.

  • One inning later, Bautista makes Russell Martin duck and cover, Dodgers bench coach Bob Schaefer cries foul apparently too loudly and gets ejected. Meanwhile, Martin jogs close to the mound and snarls some nastiness at Bautista.  It’s on!

  • Seventh inning now, and Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw strikes Rowand with the first pitch.  Everyone goes nuts except Rowan, who takes it like a pro and heads to first base.  Both Kershaw and manager Joe Torre are ejected, I assume because of the “no retaliation” warning? 

In other words, your typical Dodgers/Giants game? 

icanfeelyouranger.jpg
Rally by Technicality

So now it’s 5-4 Dodgers, top of the 9th, 1 out , bases loaded, and my favorite oddity of the night occurs.  Assistant manager Don Mattingly approaches the mound to talk to his peeps, as managers often do when things are close, but unlike most managers, he leaves and then comes back for some additional thoughts.  And Bochy gets him. 

gotcha.jpg
Apparently there’s this rule 8:06 that “prohibits managers or coaches visiting the mound from supplementing
their visits by making a U-turn. If they do so, the pitcher must be
removed.”  So the Dodgers are forced to bring in a pitcher cold and the Giants score two more runs, thanks to Torres and Posey.  So kids, bitch about Bochy if you want, he won that game.

mvp.jpgThanks to some rule breaking in our favor, we took the series!  It’d be nice to finish them off with a sweep tonight, but a series win in Dodger Town ain’t nothing to sneeze at!

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

WOO!  The streak is over!  Okay, is it a reason to celebrate when it takes eight games and extra innings to finally eek out a victory over the Padres?  Hell yes!

rowandtorres.jpg
pablo.jpg

fireworks.jpgApparently they avoided tying a franchise record for the longest losing streak against an opponent to start a season.  Who has that record, I don’t know.  How do you find out?  But anyway, thank you Torres, Downs and Wilson!  We can finally move on!  To Arizona…where hopefully things will be…less torturous?

pieceofcake.jpgPadres are at 23-16, Giants at 22-16 and the Dodgers at 22-17.  Ridiculously tight race, where one loss will change everything.  Should be an interesting week!

teetertotter.jpg

Gone Fishing

As if in honor of Willie’s birthday Giants finally swept again!

sweeptheleg.jpgAre we sick of the Karate Kid references yet?  Yeah, me too.  Anyway, I can’t remember who said this, I think it was on the post game show, but it’s completely true.  Giants Baseball = TORTURE!

torture.jpgTwo out of three games they won by the skin of their teeth.  That first one especially, they “went plaid” again with 13 innings.  Thank god Rowand tied it up in the 9th with that very timely home run. 

aaronrowand.jpgSecond game, the Marlins load the bases, what?  Twice?  With zero outs.  I can’t remember if that’s what really happened, but if felt like it.  Thank god for Romo, who bailed us out and let us keep our one run lead.  Can’t believe I’m saying, because I’ve been kind of despising Romo this season.

lovehate.jpgYesterday’s game was a little less pressure, as we had 3 runs on ’em by the end, thanks to Cain’s 6 inning shutout, but the Marlins still managed to squeeze one more out before the Giants ended things, and I admit I got a little nervous, because this season has proved that it ain’t over until it’s over.

fatladysings.gifOur starting pitchers keep the other team at bay. Our weak hitting keeps the other team competitive, despite our starting pitchers.  Our bullpen seems to drop the ball and ruin our leads around the 8th or 9th inning every game, which makes being cocky and confident an impossibility. 

overconfidence.gifBut I’m not here to complain.  We swept!  We took the last series. Whatever we’re doing is currently working, it just makes for some real nail biters. 

nailbiter.jpgOff to New York, #1 again in our division, with a three game winning streak under our belt.

standing20100507.jpg 

Bad Timing

It’s too soon to brag and too soon to complain, but WE’RE #1 and we lost our first series of the year and of course it was to the Dodgers.

So…

thumbsup.jpg

but…

banghead.jpg

I was supposed to watch the game with my sister-in-law’s husband, but we thought it started later than it did and we ended up tuning in just in time to watch Ramirez break out one run lead by hitting it out of the park.  Gah.  That’s okay, we’ve got 15 more games with them to prove we’re better and to get ’em back for breaking Rowands face.  Ouch!

aaronrowand.jpgI’ve been out of town since April, so I can’t say I’ve watched much baseball.  Actually, last week I was in Canada for a work trade show, and the convention center was right next to Rogers Centre.  Had I known, I might have shot for some Jays tickets to pass the time, but instead I watched the Jays go back and forth with the Sox in the local tavern every night, which was pretty fun.  That Ricky Romero is a heck of a pitcher!

romero.jpgSpeaking of fun, it’s interesting to get an opportunity to wear your team’s logo when you’re a stranger in a strange land.  Wear a Giants sweatshirt wear I live and you blend right in, wear one in Toronto and you get some staring.  No one tried to punch me or anything, though someone at airport security jokingly (I think) wanted to downgrade my ticket for the return flight home.