Questions

Man post-post season is ridiculously boring, isn’t it?  Even Jane Heller has been reduced to move reviewing.  There could be news if someone would actually do something, but so far there’s just unanswered questions, like…

1) Will Aubrey Huff and Juan Uribe like their offers and come back next year?
2) Will Jonathan Sanchez, Andres Torres, Cody Ross, Mike Fontenot, Ramon Ramirez, Santiago Casilla, Javier Lopez and Chris Ray come to arbitration agreements?  
3) Will Zito learn to pitch again or will they downgrade him to an 8 bazillion dollar bench warmer?  
4 Will Pablo Sandoval be playing next season or will he eat himself out of baseball during the break?  
5)  Will Mark DeRosa…do…um…anything?  
Heck, I’m so bored I’m even watching to see what happens to Jeter and Werth!  I think they should come to the Giants.  Yeah right.

Giants-Rangers Game 3: Home Runs

Each team contributed two home runs, Josh Hamilton and Mitch Moreland for the Rangers, and Cody “MVP” Ross and Andres Torres for the Giants.  Unfortunately for the Giants, when Mitch Moreland did it, there were two men on base.  Giants lose, 4-2.  

Once again Sanchez doesn’t do so hot.  I almost feel like changing him out with Zito, just to see what happens.  Okay, maybe that’s drastic, and not up to me regardless, but if it comes down to a Game 7, do we want it all on Sanchez at this point?  I don’t think so. 
Oh well, I was certainly  not delusional enough to think the Giants would sweep this thing, even if they started off with a 2-0 lead.  Of course the Rangers are going to fight back, and the first night back in their home town is a good time to do it.  My only consolation is at least the Giants tied for home runs, it was just they had nobody on base when they were hitting theirs.  
WORLD SERIES WIN COUNTER
nolanwin.jpg nolanwin.jpg nolanpending.jpg nolanpending.jpg

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The wife and I just bought a new house, so my weekends have been
replaced by manual labor in an effort to make the house her own.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. 

pennantclinch.jpg

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!

bossross.jpg

Cain vs Hamels

Can’t write about Game 3 today because it hasn’t happened yet.  Everybody got a day off yesterday so they could bring the fun to San Francisco.  So let’s look at more stats!

Now that it’s a tied series, Game 3 seems like a pivotal point for both teams, so I’m glad Cain got swapped with Sanchez for third starter position.  Not that I dislike any of our starting pitchers in the slightest, but I feel like Cain is the coolest cucumber of the bunch.  Giants lose today and everything will fall on Bumgarner, which may not be fair to the rookie.  
So let’s see what Matt’s up against: Matt Cain vs Cole Hammels.
Cole Hammels
H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA
Buster Posey 2 2 0 0 2 0 0 .667
Edgar Renteria 2 0 0 0 2 1 0 .667
Andres Torres 1 1 0 0 2 1 1 .333
Pablo Sandoval 2 1 0 1 1 0 0 .333
Juan Uribe 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 .500
Pat Burrell 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 .000
Aubrey Huff 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 .000
Tim Lincecum 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000
Cody Ross 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333
Aaron Rowand 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000
Freddy Sanchez 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .667
Jonathan Sanchez 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000
Nate Schierholtz 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 1.000
Eli Whiteside 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/19/2010.
Matt Cain
H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA
Jimmy Rollins 3 0 1 1 3 0 0 1.000
Carlos Ruiz 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 .667
Chase Utley 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 .333
Joe Blanton 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
Ross Gload 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
Raul Ibanez 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000
Placido Polanco 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
Shane Victorino 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Jayson Werth 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .333
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/19/2010.
Summary
cainvshamels.jpg
They tie for home runs allowed, but Cain has a better RBI, bases on balls and overall batting average.  Unfortunately Hamels clearly has the better strike out count, which is my personal favorite pitching stat, as it seems like the only one they have complete control over.  Oh well, Cain still takes three out of five. 
How about just offense in general.  Seems like the deciding factor in everyone’s mind is that the Giants probably won’t make it because, while they have great pitching, their offense isn’t there.  I can see that argument, I have been following them the entire season after all. So how do they do against the Phillies offensively?
Tm R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA
PHI 772 1451 290 34 166 736 108 560 1064 .260
SFG 697 1411 284 30 162 660 55 487 1099 .257
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/19/2010.
offense.jpg
Yep.  The Phillies either tie or are better than the Giants at everything offensively, except their overall batting average, which is worse by a hair.  But speaking of hair, that chart doesn’t make the Phillies offense seem as foreboding as I was lead to believe.  Yes it’s better, but not by leaps and bounds.  They have 4 more home runs than the Giants this season.  Seems more like the Phillies base stealing and ability to generate bases on balls is what the Giants should be worrying about.  
Since I looked at the offense, let’s look at pitching, even though according to everyone it’s a wash:
Tm W-L% ERA H R HR BB SO
PHI .599 3.68 1402 640 168 416 1183
SFG .568 3.36 1279 583 134 578 1331
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/19/2010.
pitching.jpg
So how come pitching is a wash but offensive is a shoe in for the Phillies?  Seems like both sets of stats are fairly close (something I would assume is true of all post-season teams), the Giants edging out the Phillies in everything but bases on balls (damn that Sanchez!).  
Anyway, I guess I’m bias, but all I’m saying is I think this is a closer race than people are thinking (and by people, I mostly mean media).  
So let’s take Game 3 and shock the crap out of everybody.  GO GIANTS!

Giants-Phillies Game 2: One Off

Yesterday was weird.  

We were supposed to go to the local pumpkin patch around the time of the game.  But then it started raining so we didn’t go.  Serendipitously I had gotten around to cleaning the rain gutters and cleaning out the side yard the day before.  
My wife decided to go shopping earlier that afternoon and took her daughter, leaving me alone with the baby for the first time in his existence.  It was a fairly lackluster event as he slept through the whole thing, but I didn’t shower or get dressed thinking at any minute he would wake up.  
In lieu of going to the pumpkin patch, my wife invited her mother and nieces over to hang at our house.  So the game is about to start, it’s raining outside, I haven’t got ready for the day, and there’s three little girls running around screaming and a baby boy whining and pulling on my arm while the wife and mother-in-law intelligently hide in the kitchen. 
Off to a good start (sarcasm).
Game starts and the Phillies score a run in the first inning.  I use the term “run” loosely as no running was necessary.  Sanchez loaded the bases and then walked somebody home.  Granted the scoring pitch should have been strike 3, but that doesn’t matter because A) the same botched call happened to the Phillies in game 1 and that’s what karma is all about and B) Fontenot’s error throwing to 1st base combined with Sanchez’s pension for walking people is what got them to having such a tight margin of error.  
Off to a good start (sarcasm).
Then in the 4th, three Giants stand around looking like morons as a pop fly falls at their feet in front of home plate.  Fontenot was again credited with an error, but I think Sanchez should have had that one.  He was there already, and he didn’t even look like he was saying anything.  COMMUNICATION people!  
error.jpg
At this point I’m about as interested in watching this game as the Giants are in playing it.
But then in the 5th, Cody Ross gets up to bat.  At this point, the annoying announcers (that are so lame, my wife at one point shouted from the safety of her hiding place and asked me if I was watching football – yes it sounded like I was watching football because they are that lame) started talking to some elderly Phillies gentleman, who was probably the manager but maybe the pitching coach or something, asking him about what they were putting in place to counter Cody Ross and they show Cody Ross hitting a home run.  But it wasn’t a home run from Game 1 like I thought, it was a home run happening NOW.  I think the announcers thought it was a clip too, because mid question they finally said, “Oh hey, he hit a home run!” It was awesome.  Cody Ross is like Kryptonite for Philadelphia.  
So now it’s tied up. Much better.  The kids aren’t as annoying anymore.  
But it didn’t last because in answer the Phillies scored another one in the same inning.  Yippee.
During the 6th, dinner comes and goes and so do the visitors.  I wait for the wife to straighten up a little bit and then I pass the baby off to her with the excuse that I need to do the dishes.  I tell her the TV is hers but I feel done with this game.  I’m tired, I’m smelly, I’m dying for some piece and quiet and I just wasn’t in the mood to watch the game anymore, even though it was still close and could have gone either way at that point.
So I go do the dishes, as promised, slapping on my head phones and listening to Why Is This News? as they break down the LCS and explain to me why the Phillies and Yankees will be going to the World Series again.  After dishes, I decide to go take a shower and while stripping down in my room (picture it!) I flip on the game again, only to see that now it is no longer any man’s game, as some how 4 runs were scored off the Giants’ bullpen in the 7th.  
Perfect end really. Whatever.
I shower and go to bed.  The baby, who normally sleeps until at least 5am, decides to get up at 1am, 3am and 6am and for some reason I couldn’t get back to sleep after his initial 1am outburst.  I could blame it on me mulling over the loss, but really I wasn’t thinking about baseball. I have no idea what was keeping me up.  I watched Near Dark again.  Good flick, could be better.
So now I’m tired and we’re 1-1.  I’m not especially worried.  It seemed unlikely the Giants would get the first 2 right off the bat. I’m glad they got at least one game in Philadelphia and now they’re coming home. Hopefully that gives the offense and pitching staff a boost.  That’s how home field advantage works, right?  

What’s in a Stat?

I’ve decided statistics mean nothing.  They’re fun and all, and god knows I’m somewhat hooked on them now, read them, post them, do more with them than I ever thought I would when I first started this blog…but yeah they mean nothing.  With each and ever game, you never know.   You can pretend to know, but you never know.  You can look at the Cubs, just as a for instance, and notice they are 17 games back, 5th in their division, with a win-loss record of 48-67 and say to yourself, “ppfffftt…easy series!”  And then they come into town and make you struggle like you’ve never struggled before!

bigheadache.pngGiants ultimately take the four game series with a 3-1 record, but MAN! were the Cubs tougher than I thought they would be.  They made the Giants earn every freaking win.  There was no easy game.  Everything involved that “skin of their teeth” expression.  A win is a win, and we did good, but I am so glad those guys are going home.  And it makes me wonder: are we slumping again or did they just happen to bring their A++++ game? 

a+++.jpgSpeaking of the Cubs, their logo stirs me for some reason.  I have a Cubs memory that I cannot remember.  It is maddening.  Something about their logo and my childhood.  But I can’t remember.  All I can remember is that I can’t remember something I’m supposed to remember.  Perhaps…I think…MAYBE…I had a Cubs hat when I was a kid.  Why did I have a Cubs hat though?  As I’ve said before, I didn’t grow up in a sports obsessed family.  I didn’t grow up in a family that came from Chicago either.  Why would I have had a Cubs hat?  It makes no sense, and yet I cannot shake the vague recollection that it’s true anyway. And even if it is true, and I am recalling correctly, why do I care or remember it at all?  Why does it affect me so?  I wasn’t a hat person, I’ve never been a hat person.  Why do I have such fond almost-memories of a Cubs hat?  What happened with that hat?  I do not care about the Cubs, I don’t follow the team, I don’t care about its roster or standings, and yet…they have those hats…

cubshat.jpgSo, we’re back to 2.5 games behind and we’re finally going to face the Padres again, the scary, consistently number 1 team in the NL West.  They destroyed us before, but so did everybody else, and we have been issuing much payback since post-All-Star break.  Can we do the same with the Friars?  Our bullpen is tired, Andres Torres didn’t get his break yesterday, Jonathan Sánchez is inexplicably talking smack and I can’t say that I’m not worried.  This next series feels like the true test as to whether we’re playoff worthy. 

crossingfingers.jpg

Rockies @ Giants Preview

Though I wasn’t especially satisfied with my last preview, I think I’ll try this again anyway.  But I’m not going to do the stats again because that told me nothing.  Just scribbles all over the place.  I did the same charts for the Rockies and it was much to same.

So let’s look at it from a head-to-head history with the Rockies.  Here’s last year’s games:

Out of 18 games, we won 10, so not bad but pretty close.  What else can we look at?  Well, it’s a home game series again, so how about that?

So out of nine home games, the Giants took seven.  That’s promising.  What about um…hmm…ooo how about starting pitchers?

Date Tm   Opp RS RA Win Loss Save
2009-08-29 San Francisco Giants Colorado Rockies W 5 3 B. Zito J. Marquis B. Wilson
2009-09-15 San Francisco Giants Colorado Rockies W 10 2 B. Zito U. Jimenez

Tomorrow is Zito.  He was 2-0 against ’em and 3-0 overall this year.  Cool.

Date Tm   Opp RS RA Win Loss Save
2009-05-02 San Francisco Giants Colorado Rockies L 1 5 J. Marquis M. Cain
2009-05-07 San Francisco Giants @ Colorado Rockies W 8 3 M. Cain J. Marquis
2009-07-24 San Francisco Giants @ Colorado Rockies W 3 1 M. Cain J. Hammel B. Wilson
2009-09-16 San Francisco Giants Colorado Rockies L 3 4 J. de la Rosa M. Cain R. Betancourt

Saturday is Cain.  He was 2-2 and 0-1 overall this year. Meh.

Date Tm   Opp RS RA Win Loss Save
2009-07-25 San Francisco Giants @ Colorado Rockies L 2 8 J. de la Rosa J. Sanchez
2009-08-21 San Francisco Giants @ Colorado Rockies W 6 3 J. Sanchez A. Cook

Sánchez on Sunday.  1-1 against the Rockies last year and currently is 2-1 overall.

Date Tm   Opp RS RA Win Loss Save
2009-07-26 San Francisco Giants @ Colorado Rockies L 2 4 A. Cook R. Sadowski H. Street
2009-08-21 San Francisco Giants @ Colorado Rockies W 6 3 J. Sanchez A. Cook

The only reoccuring starter for the Rockies is Cook, who had a 1-1 against us and is currently 1-2, so once again our pitchers prevail, but only because I have no one on the Rockies side to compare with.

What else is there to look at?  Um…batting and pitching for this year?

GIANTS BATTING AVG

Rk Pos Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BA ▾
1 RF Nate Schierholtz* 26 20 51 45 8 17 6 1 0 3 .378
2 3B Pablo Sandoval# 23 21 93 83 11 31 7 1 3 9 .373
3 C Bengie Molina 35 17 68 60 8 21 2 0 1 8 .350
4 SS Edgar Renteria 33 18 83 75 8 24 3 0 1 10 .320
5 2B Juan Uribe 30 19 69 60 10 19 4 0 2 11 .317
6 CF Aaron Rowand 32 10 48 46 6 14 2 1 1 6 .304
7 OF Andres Torres# 32 15 47 40 4 11 4 0 0 4 .275
8 1B Aubrey Huff* 33 21 86 75 14 17 3 1 2 8 .227
9 LF Mark DeRosa 35 19 73 63 8 14 2 0 1 7 .222
10 UT Eugenio Velez# 28 15 48 42 6 8 2 0 2 7 .190
11 OF John Bowker* 26 17 45 43 3 8 2 0 1 4 .186
Team Totals 30.1 21 809 716 96 202 42 4 18 87 .282
Rank in 16 NL teams 12 8 4 7 8 11 1

ROCKIES BATTING AVG

Rk Pos Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BA ▾
1 RF Brad Hawpe* 31 15 50 42 8 15 6 0 3 7 .357
2 OF Carlos Gonzalez* 24 18 79 76 14 27 4 1 3 16 .355
3 SS Troy Tulowitzki 25 22 96 88 17 28 9 0 1 13 .318
4 C Miguel Olivo 31 14 56 51 10 16 2 0 5 13 .314
5 3B Ian Stewart* 25 22 88 75 15 22 3 1 4 12 .293
6 1B Todd Helton* 36 19 80 70 9 19 4 0 0 4 .271
7 CF Dexter Fowler# 24 22 91 79 12 20 4 3 1 3 .253
8 LF Seth Smith* 27 18 52 48 6 11 2 0 4 12 .229
9 OF Ryan Spilborghs 30 18 44 38 4 8 1 0 2 6 .211
10 2B Clint Barmes 31 18 59 53 6 10 5 0 1 7 .189
Team Totals 28.6 22 860 757 119 208 48 7 26 112 .275
Rank in 16 NL teams 2 2 3 2 3 2 4

Giants win it again.  (And did I mention how much I’m liking Schierholtz?)

GIANTS ERA

Rk Pos Age W L W-L% ERA ▴ G GS GF CG
1 RP Guillermo Mota 36 0 0 0.00 9 0 3 0
2 SP Tim Lincecum 26 4 0 1.000 1.27 5 5 0 0
3 SP Barry Zito* 32 3 0 1.000 1.32 4 4 0 0
4 RP Sergio Romo 27 0 2 .000 1.64 10 0 4 0
5 SP Jonathan Sanchez* 27 2 1 .667 1.85 4 4 0 0
6 CL Brian Wilson 28 0 0 2.25 8 0 6 0
7 RP Dan Runzler* 25 0 0 2.70 9 0 0 0
8 RP Jeremy Affeldt* 31 2 2 .500 3.12 8 0 3 0
9 SP Matt Cain 25 0 1 .000 3.80 4 4 0 0
10 Brandon Medders 30 0 0 5.40 8 0 5 0
11 SP Todd Wellemeyer 31 1 3 .250 6.33 4 4 0 0
Team Totals 28.3 12 9 .571 2.78 21 21 21 0
Rank in 16 NL teams 4 12 2 7

ROCKIES ERA

Rk Pos Age W L W-L% ERA ▴ G GS GF CG
1 SP Ubaldo Jimenez 26 5 0 1.000 0.79 5 5 0 1
2 RP Matt Daley 28 0 0 0.82 12 0 1 0
3 RP Manuel Corpas 27 0 1 .000 1.13 9 0 1 0
4 Joe Beimel* 33 0 0 1.35 7 0 2 0
5 CL Franklin Morales* 24 0 2 .000 3.72 9 0 7 0
6 RP Matt Belisle 30 0 0 3.77 9 0 3 0
7 SP Jorge de la Rosa* 29 3 1 .750 3.91 4 4 0 0
8 SP Aaron Cook 31 1 2 .333 5.01 4 4 0 1
9 RP Rafael Betancourt 35 0 1 .000 5.40 9 0 1 0
10 SP Greg Smith* 26 1 2 .333 7.33 5 5 0 0
11 SP Jason Hammel 27 0 2 .000 9.16 4 4 0 0
Team Totals 28.2 11 11 .500 3.83 22 22 20 2
Rank in 16 NL teams 7 7 6 1

Giants win it again. 

Yeah, so I’m no expert, but I don’t see any reason why we can’t take the next series.  Let’s hearken back to the early days of April and get another sweep! 🙂

sweeptheleg.jpg