Giants-Phillies Game 6: Onward

I painted all day Saturday. 
The wife and I just bought a new house, so my weekends have been
replaced by manual labor in an effort to make the house her own.  Labor makes me tired and I almost forgot that
Game 6 was even happening that day, but I managed to wake up and tune in to see
the Phillies score 2 runs off Sanchez in the 1st. 

Off to Game 7, eh? 
God damn it. 

I was tired, it had already been a long day, and the idea of
three hours of torture to cap off my evening did not appeal to me at all.  I turned on Star Trek.  This will be easier.  Captain Kirk always wins, even when he’s in
Philadelphia. 

It started off good. 
I managed to sit back, relax and enjoy watching the exploits from where
no man has gone before.  But then the
back of my brain started scratching. 
“Hey, what if something awesome is happening right now?  What if the Giants have hit eight home runs
in a row or something?  You’re missing
it!”  I brushed it off and kept watching,
but “what if…?”

I cave and flip to the game, “just briefly” I tell myself,
and it’s tied up 2-2.  I convince myself
that a tie is worse than losing, and it will probably go 12 innings now just to
get to Game 7 anyway.  I flip back to
Trek.  Captain Kirk isn’t doing so well
but I’m confident he’ll come through. 

I start switching back more frequently.  Every time there’s the briefest lull in Trek
action, I use it as an excuse to “let’s just quickly see how it’s going.”  Still 2-2. 
Over and over again, it’s still 2-2. 
Every time I switch back, there’s a new pitcher; Sanchez, Affeldt,
Bumgarner (BUMGARNER?) and it continues to remain 2-2.  

By the 8th inning, I’m watching more baseball
than Trek.  It was more torturous to not
know what was going on than it was to just watch the torture.  UUUU-Ribe hits a home run.  Captain Kirk will have to go on without
me.  Game 7 gets farther away.  Can we hold them? 

Lincecum is brought in to try.   Lincecum! 
One day of rest and coming in to help close?  Ridiculously unusual, and I’m not sure if it’s
a great idea, but I’m glad to see him anyway. 
He strikes out Werth.  But then
Victorino and Ibanez get on base.  Oh
no.  Then they call in Wilson.  Oh no again. 
This is too early for him isn’t it? 
It’s only the 8th. 
They should only bring him in when there’s three outs left, not
five!  Double play-YES! 

Three more outs and the World Series. 

Wilson’s back. Good, it has to be Wilson.  Ross Gload grounds out, two more to go.  Jimmy Rollins walks, oh no.  That’s okay, Wilson always has to have a
little drama, it’s part of his charm.  Palanco
grounds out.  ONE MORE TO GO.  Utley walks. 
OH NO.  There’s drama and then
there’s drama, Wilson.  Ryan Howard steps
up.  The crappy Fox announcers talk about
how he hasn’t done anything for the Phillies all post-season.  “Thanks for the jinx”, I think to myself, wondering
if this will be the moment where he decides to snap out of his funk and hit one
out of the park to keep his team in the game. 

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Strikeout!  Giants win
the NLCS!  World Series bound! 

The Giants come rushing off the bench and everyone jumps up
and down as the quietest stadium I’ve ever seen in my life watches their
victory.  My wife and mother-in-law were
all watching at this point, and even they commented that it seemed a shame no
one else was celebrating.  Were there no
Giants fans there?  Probably but
considering the massive sea of red, they must have been few and far between.  I didn’t expect fireworks or even applause
really, but man was that moment quiet. 
It’s a real shame they couldn’t have won it in San Francisco. 

Nothing against the Rangers, but they weren’t officially in
it until the other day and haven’t really been on my radar.  The Phillies have been the team to beat since
the Giants made it into the post-season. 
They’ve been to the World Series the last two years and have clinched
their division consecutively since 2007 and they were number one in the
National League this year.  They were the
hurdle the Giants had to get past as soon as the regular season was done.  Hats off to you Phillies, MUCH respect.  You didn’t make it easy.

Off to the World Series. 
Giants vs Rangers.  Posey vs
Molina.  “Haven’t won a World Series
since NY” vs “Haven’t won a World Series ever.” 
I know little about the Rangers, other than Molina’s been hitting and
Cliff Lee is full of win.  I’ll look into
them later.  Right now let’s just bask in
the joy of winning the NLCS. 
Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh….

P.S.

Congrats to Cody Ross for being selected MVP of the
NLCS.  You da man!

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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:
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Here’s how they compared yesterday:
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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.  

Well…

Going into this series, on the losing streak we were riding, against a division leader and last season World Series contender, I was praying to at least win won game.  So the fact that we won the series should be making me happy, and it is for the most part, but man that last game was a heart breaker! 

We beat them with Sánchez and Wellemeyer starting, but not Lincecum?  Oh the…well not irony, but… heart break!  Said it twice. 

Don’t know who to blame really.  Want to blame someone, but who? 

I was following the game on MLB.com’s cool “Game Day” digital thing while following posts on Twitter.  Man were they hating Bochy!  Everyone was blaming Bochy for taking Lincecum out in the 9th.  We were winning at that point.  Timmy had only given up three hits and two runs in 9 innings, we were ahead!  How dare Bochy take the freak out and replace him with Wilson!  They got two hits off him and that’s how they took over the game and we lost.

brucebochy.jpg Well yeah, I guess you could argue that, but I think Lincecum was tired.  He got lucky with Dobbs and he walked Victorino.  Utley and Howard were coming up.  I could see why Bochy would want a fresh arm to finish off the game. 

Of course, it kind of reminded me of the last Dodgers game where Bochy replaced Zito, who seemed to be doing just fine, with Romo because Ramirez was coming up, and then Ramirez ending up hitting the game winning home run.  So…maybe Bochy should put more faith in his starters? 

But hell, he gave Tim eight innings.  That’s a lot.  And Wilson had given up zero runs in his last seven games, so it’s not like Bochy picked a sucky replacement.  Just an unlucky one.  I hear Werth is good, so y’know…he’s bound to hit regardless of how good a pitcher he faces.

We had the game, we only need two outs, the Phillies just rallied or got lucky and fought us off.  It could have happened to Lincecum too, and then everyone would be bitching that Bochy should have replaced Lincecum in the last inning with someone fresh.

damnedifyoudodont.jpgIt’s just one of those things.  I can’t find myself blaming anyone in particular. 

Then the game went to what seemed like the longest set of extra innings every.  We tied in the 10th, and got eeked out by one in the eleventh.  Bummer. 

The other Twitter bitch fest was geared towards Euginio Velez.  I guess he should have caught that ball.  Didn’t seem that easy to me though.  I mean, he hit the wall for crying out loud.  Maybe Romo should have been able to strike out Valdez in the first place, seeing as the guy’s only had two hits in his last six games.

And here’s another thing, summed up quite nicely by my favorite Twitter quote of the evening:

“Only the Giants could get 17 hits and not win a game on extra innings.” – @artsyfartsyalex

Totally!  How come it takes us 2.83 hits to get a run and the other team 1.14?  What’s better?  Shooting 200 arrows at a target and getting three bullseyes or shooting four arrows at a target and getting three bulleyes?  The latter of course, duh! 

hitthetarget.jpgPeople say our team can’t hit.  Oh we can hit.  We just can’t score! 

But there’s more blaming again. Really we had the game in the 9th, and the Phillies just took it from us.  Good on ya Phillies.  We take your first place standing, you take ours. 

Let’s move on…to the Rockies!

Two for Tuesday Against Phillies

Okay, I borrowed that line from an MLB.com headline.  Shame.  But we won the series!  Now how about a sweep?  Seems likely since Lincecum is on the mound tonight, but ya never know.

One lesson the Phillies hopefully learned yesterday (or didn’t learn so that they keep losing) is that if you hit the ball anywhere near Schierholtz, do not go for the double, he will get you.  Both Ryan Howard and Chase Utley found out the hard way that they were being too dang greedy.

mrgreedy.JPGSpeaking of Chase Utley though, got to hand it to him and Castro for that amazing double play.  Hate to see it, of course, but it was pretty entertaining.

castroutleydoubleplay.jpgTwelve hits, six RBIs and two home runs from the Giants, so their hitting seems to be getting better.  I especially like the RBIs, because it seems like we’ve been missing opportunities to get players on the plate home.

idhitit.jpgWellemeyer (who’s name I can never spell without looking up) got his first win this season by pitching seven innings with only three hits and two runs.  And here I was worried that the Phillies were facing us with Wellemeyer and Sánchez as starters, but they both did great!

toddwellemeyer.jpgI’m finding it weird to watch the Giants play the Phillies, because not six months ago, I was on the edge of my seat rooting for the Phillies to beat the Yankees.  I toyed with naming my kid Chase Lee, for crying out loud!  Mostly still the same guys, but now I want them to lose, though I still find myself appreciating some of their talent, more so than I have other teams we’ve faced.  I wouldn’t mind seeing Chase Utley get his 1,000th hit tonight, even though that means he got a hit off us, which I don’t want. Oh the dilemma!

onthefence.jpgNaw, I like the Phillies, but I want the sweep.  Just temporary crazy talk on my part!  We’re back to tied for first with the Padres (man those guys won’t go away) and we just knocked the Phillies down to second place behind the Mets, which just can’t make sense to anyone, but man is it satisfying.

standings20100428.jpgMaintain!  Maintain!  Maintain!

Welcome Mark DeRosa!

Old news, but I’m slow with this blog, lately. 

The Giants signed Mark DeRosa for 2 years and $12 million.  Nice work if you can get it!  No photos of him in a Giants uniform yet, but here’s a cool pic:

markderosa.jpg

The people who know more about this stuff than I do are theorizing that he will replace the Giants current heaviest hitter Pablo Sandoval on third base, and move Pablo to first, which seems to be confirmed by the Giants website if you look at each person’s profile.

Not really sure why I get the switch, since in every interview, DeRosa says he can play every infield position.  Why not keep The Panda where he’s comfortable?  But hey, maybe he wanted first base, what do I know?  

Now…is it just me or are the Giants being painfully slow about trades and buys?  I’m new to this time of year, but it seems like every other team is making the Hot Stove reports.  Hurry up and announce your trade for Chase Utley already! 

 

2009 World Series: Game 5

Jane Heller must not have ate her lucky pizza.

I’ve watched two games of this World Series so far, and both times the Phillies won.  I’m starting to feel their fate is tied into my viewing schedule. 

I was getting a little tired of baseball.  My last post was kind of crabby about it.  Maybe because the Phillies were losing, but more likely because I think I was having a bit of an overdose.  I went from having nothing to do with sports to being obsessed about baseball, and I think my brain got tired and I needed a break. 

I wasn’t even thinking about watching the game when I got home, but The Girl inexplicably turned it on for me when I walked in the door, just in time for me to see the Yankees score their first run.  Off to a great start! 

But then Utley decided to keep his “Mr. Homerun” title intact and hit a couple homers, and the Phillies were suddenly on top.

mrhomerun.jpg 

But then the Yankees started catching up again, and it became a race to the finish, and I found myself on the edge of my seat.  My palms were sweating as the Fox announcer made some stupid jinxy comment about how no team has ever caught up on a 3+ lead in the 9th of a World Series, and then Jeter stepped up looking like he was going to prove that announcer wrong. (Or was it A-Rod? I have a theory they are the same person.)

cheer.jpg  

I did one of those when they got a double play off Jeter and there was only one more out to go.  And then Damon got on base and I got nervous again as they kept showing A-Rod warming up. (Or was it Jeter?  I have a theory they are the same person.) 

Then The Girl came out to the living room and wondered if I was every coming to bed and asked me how long the game was going to last and when I looked back to the TV to answer her…it was over! 

And yes, it was cool that the Phillies won, but if the Yankees had ended up catching up at the 9th, that would have been a fun game too.  It was an exciting game!  Edge-of-your-seat exciting!  Bring on Game 6!

BTW…OW!

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2009 World Series: Game 1

So what did we learn?

utley.jpg

Utley channeled the Babe.

sabathia.jpg

Sabathia channeled the Babe’s physique.

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Cliff Lee is cooooool…like James Dean cool…

damon.jpg
Johnny Damon was cooler when he looked like this…

Got to watch the game last night.  The Girl wasn’t especially happy, but she wasn’t especially difficult about it either.  This is the first full game I’ve watched since starting this blog.  For the Championship, I mostly kept up with the score by hitting refresh on MLB and I would watch the highlights the next morning on the MLBNetwork.  It’s definitely faster the do things that route.  It’s somewhat difficult to watch a game on a weekday when there’s dinner to be had and family to interact with.  But it was the World Series and I wanted to watch the kick off. (Whoops, that’s another sport!)  I’ll probably go back to my other method for the next two games though, as Halloween is coming up.  But maybe I’ll catch Game 4 on the weekend, maybe see the Phillies win it two times in a row.  That’d be fun. 

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Pitchers are the bane of his existence.