Texas vs San Francisco

It’s the day before the next and final hurdle, so here’s where I’m supposed to see how Texas ranks against San Francisco, how their pitchers do against our batters, etc. but I don’t really feel like it.  

For one, it hasn’t really mattered.  All these post-season teams are closer to each other than most people seem to want to admit.  So it doesn’t really matter if so-an-so’s ERA is has a .04 difference to the opposition.  What happens during the games is what matters.  
Secondly, post-season stats and regular season stats seem to be two different beasts.  Was Cody Ross a hero during the regular season?  Nope.  Has Buster Posey hit anything I can remember in the post-season?  Nope.  Comparing Cliff Lee to Tim Lincecum doesn’t really work because Cliff Lee is a post-season 1.26 ERA god, whereas during the regular season nobody’s looking at his 3.98 ERA twice.  
Lastly it’s kinda hard to compare how two teams played each other this year when they didn’t play each other this year.  
So I’ve got nothing to offer this series. Just like when I post all those stats, ultimately we all have to just wait and see what happens.  
Speaking of “seeing what happens” it’s really great to read and hear about how few people will want to see what happens because apparently these two teams are insignificant and not worth tuning into.  I don’t get why everything has to be East Coast all the time. Why do the same teams have to play every year for people to tune in?  How fun is that?  Why does it have to be Yankees/Phillies for it to matter?  
Why do the Giants NOT matter when they’ve been around since 1883 and have a W-L record second only to the Yankees?  How does that make them insignificant?  Granted, all their World Series success was in New York, but they’ve had division and pennant titles since then they almost always have a star or two on the roster, and are generally fairly competitive in a difficult division.  
In fact, as far as baseball history, franchise, legacy stuff goes, the Giants should be way up there.  Certainly the top in the National League, alongside the Dodgers.  But the way everyone’s acting, it’s like they have to watch the Diamondbacks vs the Mariners or something. Geez people, try a little West Coast once in a while, it’s not that bad!
Okay I need to stop watching and reading sports news, at least until the series is over. It’s making me bitter, and I want to be in a good mood right now.  The Giants are in the World Freakin’ Series!  Y’all ain’t gonna get me down!  
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Can ya feel the legacy yet?

Killing Time

I’ve got baseball on the brain, but at the same time I’m trying not to spend too much time and effort over analyzing every little thing about today’s game.  So instead I revisisited one of my favorite baseball sites, Flip Flop Fly Ball to see what latest and greatest graphs and charts were available to peruse.  And much to my delight, there was a bobblehead chart!  Check it.    

The first thing that came to my mind was which two teams gave away a bobblehead when the Giants were visiting.  Not an easy thing to figure out without researching every teams’ bobblehead activity, which is what I ultimately ended up doing.  (Like I said, this day is crawling way too slowly towards 7 PM!)   So using Flip Flop’s own key, I made my own chart:
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I found a few discrepancies in Flip Flop’s chart, but for the most part they’re the same, square-wise.  I added all the applicable teams though, so on the left side you can see what team was visiting during bobblehead day, and on the right you can see what teams gave away a bobblehead while being visiting. 
I would have assumed that most teams would decide to give away a bobblehead when they’re scheduled to play a bad team in an attempt to generate ticket sales.  The Phillies giving away a Roy Halladay bobblehead on the day they have to play the Pirates makes perfect sense.  (And photos of the sucker blew up all over Twitter, so obviously it worked!)  But then there’s the Dodgers giving away a bobblehead when the Giants came to play, and what would fill seats better than a Dodgers-Giants game?  
Note also that the Braves, Red Sox, Rockies and Yankees are too cool for bobbleheads (or draw enough ticket sales without gimmicks) and the White Sox was the only team to give away a bobble when the Red Sox and Yankees came to town (not enough of a draw for Chicago, I guess).  
I wonder if there’s a bobblehead website…

A Win and They’re In

Thanks to homers by Sandoval (yes, I said Sandoval!), Torres and Posey, the D-Backs are no more!

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And since the Padres lost last night, the magic number is now ONE.  We have to beat them ONE time in the next three games/days and the NL West is ours.  Of course, if the Padres had won last night, the magic number would have been two and we’d still have to beat them one time, as one victory for the Giants would automatically equal one loss for the Padres (aka two games) but now the Friars have to sweep us just to tie, which is much better than being able to clinch the division with a sweep.  So I’m glad for the loss, as it gives us one more chance, just in case.  
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So three games to go but man would it be nice to get it over with tonight.  If Cain and crew can trounce the Padres right up front, my weekend would be set.  Unfortunately Cain is pitching against Richard tonight, who has a pretty good record against us:
Date W L Win Loss
2010-05-12 0 5 C. Richard M. Cain
2010-05-17 0 7 C. Richard M. Cain
2010-08-13 1 8 C. Richard J. Sanchez
2010-09-10 4 9 S. Casilla C. Richard
For 2010, SFG won 5, SDP won 10.
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/1/2010.
Three out of four wins, two against Cain.  But all the wins were also before the All-Star break, when the Giants were a much different team, a non-hitting team.  Now their batting average ranks seventh in the National League (Padres rank fifteen), so hopefully Richard fairs as well as he did in September.  
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The Giants won in a day game before I even got home, a new Giants magazine was on the coffee table waiting for me when I finally beat the commute and the wife decided to take one of her evening baths which freed the TV up for me to finish the Ted Williams bio I’ve been watching and make a good dent into Ken Burn’s recently released “Tenth Inning,” which turned out to be very Giants-centric, at least the beginning focusing much on Barry Bonds and his father Bobby.  All-in-all a great Giants day yesterday.  If Matt Cain can take down the Padres today, on his 26th birthday, it will be an even better Giants day.  The game is over 12 hours away and I’m going to explode.  
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Today’s Magic Number…

Giants won yesterday, but so did the Padres and the Braves, so the gap did not get wider, and the standing did not change for either the NL West Division or the Wild Card.  But the magic number changed from four to three.   Three measly games and we see playoffs.  Or…if the Giants sweep the D-Backs tonight and the Padres lose, I think the magic number would be one. Or the Giants AND the Padres could win tonight and the number would be two.  I think.  

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The Bay Area is playoff happy already.  I’m trying not to be negative (my natural state) but I think it’s premature to think it’s a lock, too. Maybe I shouldn’t be watching that Ted Williams biography right now.  His entire story seems to be “soooo cloooose…!”  What a crusher if…well never mind.

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Pitching dominated again last night, the Giants only managing five hits. Luckily their five hits were more productive than the D-Backs eight, thanks to the 3-run RBI homer by Pat.  Even though he’s apparently not part of the team, I’ll take the runs!  Sorry Latos. 
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“There’s Beard Inside” is the new slogan, if the hotties holding up the Brian Wilson signs wearing the fake beards have any pull in the advertising department.  Wish I had a picture of that-hilarious.  Oh and did you hear? Samwise Gamgee and Rudy are pulling for the Giants to win the World Series!  Wait…
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Apparently Sean Astin is normally a Dodgers fan, but was at the game last night and decided the Dodgers are out so he’s rooting for the Giants.  I think that makes him NOT a Dodgers fan, but we can consult with Emma about that one.  Stab me in the head but for some reason I’m always interested in which celebrities like what teams.  I wish there was a site that chronicled that.  I know the Dodgers and the Yankees get all the pretty celebrities in their fandom, but the Giants have celebrity fans too!
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You hear that Giants?  “You can do it!”

It’s September Inside

That’s the new Giants slogan.  Not sure if that’s better or worse than the “magic” variety.  

Anyway, totally sucking up this blog.  I haven’t written in it since August.  I’m not sure I’ve been writing here less when the Giants are doing well.  Everyone else seems to be coming out of the woodwork to write about them and I go and disappear.  Maybe it’s easier to rant than to rave.  I think my recent move took out a lot of my momentum.  Also, the idea of having to log into the MLBlogs Network and watch the hourglass is a huge deterrent.  I sure wish this site was faster!  
Anyway, lts of fun stuff happening!  The Giants are neck-and-neck with the Padres, currently on top but that seems to change with each game.  Playoffs are in the air and each and ever game counts.  The Giants were off yesterday so I watched the Cubs beat the Padres, just to make sure it happened.  Go Cubs!
I’m also rooting for the Dodgers this week.  I’m not sure if that’s against the rules as a Giants fan, but since they are officially out, I don’t see the harm. I think if they beat the Rockies tonight, the Rockies will be out too.  Not sure about that, but a Rockies loss is a good thing either way. 
We got the D-Backs for the next three days.  Worse team in the division, but our division seems to still give us a hard time, so I’m somewhat nervous.  I would hate for the D-Backs to be the way we get denied.  We have a 10-5 record against them this year, so hopefully that means we clobber them.  We have a 3-2 record against their upcoming pitchers though, which is a bit scarier:

I also have this theory that teams that are officially out are playing better than teams that are still in the race.  Maybe it’s a “relaxed” thing.  Aubrey Huff looks like he’s going to pop a new blood vessel every game, these days.  

But sweeping them like the 24-game back team they are would be great, especially if the Cubs can help by beating the Padres one or two more times.  I have a feeling it’s going to come down to the last series this week: Padres @ Giants.  Home field advantage but a 4-5 record…it’s anybody’s playoffs!

We’re Not Worthy

Maybe  July was just an easy month.  Mets, D-Backs, Marlins, Brewers, not the cream of the crop, to be sure.  Yeah, there was the Rockies and Dodgers in there too, so I was thinking the success was legit, but they seem to be sliding now.  There’s a lot of season to go, but its facing the Padres, Phillies, Cardinals, Reds, Padres, Rockies, Dodgers, oh and more Padres and Padres.  We’re five games back and second place in the Wild Card race.  Yes, there’s a lot more season to go, but…

uphill.jpgR.I.P. Bobby Thomson who died Monday at 86.  I’d like to experience something like that with the Giants someday.    The whole jumping up and down thing.  That would be cool.

Short but Sweet

I’m moving.  Things are busy. I’m behind in posting.  But…

sweeptheleg.jpgAgainst the Dodgers!  In LA!  WOO HOO!  Since the All-Star break, we’ve won 4 series and tied 2 (because again, they make stupid even numbered series for some reason).  Of the 4 wins, the Giants swept two in their division, the D-Backs and Dodgers.  And tied Colorado, because Ubaldo is still too good.  We had the most hits in July (Giants? Hitting?  Insanity!), we’re one game behind first place in the NL West and lead by two games in the Wild Card race.  Playoffs is in the air and it’s good to be a Giants fan.

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