One to Go…

Juan Uribe has signed a 3-year $21 million deal with the Dodgers.  

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My first real Giants break up.  I was under no illusions that this team would stay the same forever. Heck, it didn’t’ stay the same throughout the season. But I also knew it would be weird to see players I’ve come to love wearing someone else’s uniform, a freakin’ Dodgers uniform, no less.  
I’ll miss his ability to hit clutch, and I love him at third base way more than the Panda.  On the other hand, I’m glad the Giants didn’t spend that kind of money to resign a 31 year old who hasn’t had a .300+ batting average since his debut in 2001.  
Speaking of resigning old players, I’m not AS stoked as I was last post about Huff returning, now that they’ve announced that the deal consists of a 2-year $20 million contract.  I don’t think I would have paid that much.  There’s a reason it’s called a “career year” (singular).   Let’s hope it pays off.  
Ch..ch..ch..changes.  Now we need a new shortstop. 
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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.

World Series Wrap-Up

As I’ve complained about numerous times already, just as the Giants win the World Series, I had to leave town.  Went to Seattle for work, a town that wasn’t necessarily as excited about the Giants winning as the Bay Area, though I did get a few “go Giants!” while walking Seattle’s streets in my Giants sweatshirt.  I should have invested in a He-Cam so that I could interview some of them, as I was curious whether or not these pro-Giants people were actual fans stranded in Washington or just happy the Giants won over the Rangers (or maybe just knew the Giants won because they read the paper and like to shout out “woo hoo!” when the opportunity presents itself).  But I didn’t interview any of them, so now we’ll never know who they were. 

Of course, now that I’m back, there’s Giants Giants everywhere.  

A Parade For The World Champion San Francisco Giants

The Giants had a parade. I heard 1.5 million people showed up.

http://www.hulu.com/yahoo/http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hulu.com%2Fwatch%2F190941%2Fthe-tonight-show-with-jay-leno-brian-the-beard-wilson-part-1/embed/I5U2TqSSrCgFD7g5vdNZyg

Brian Wilson and The Machine were on the Tonight Show. Jay Leno still sucks.  (Make sure you watch both parts!)  

 

President Obama called to congratulate the Giants for their most excellent victory.  I love (no really) how he always has to make sure people know he’s a White Sox fan.

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Pablo is caught eating a Colossal Brownie Sundae made for six from Buca di Beppostill, apparently still determined to eat his way out of baseball.  According to Sabean, “Panda starts next year in minors if he doesnt get his act together.” Good.
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Renteria declined an offer from his home town to throw him a parade in favor of having the money go towards helping the Columbian flood victims.  MVP indeed.
Freddy Sanchez showed up on Lopez Tonight.  George Lopez is a better interviewer than Jay Leno
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This blog makes it on the latest leaders list for the first time at #31. Helps when the team you’re righting about wins the World Series, eh?  Now…which blog is Wonder Woman writing?

Giants-Phillies Game 4: Mirror Universe

Yesterday’s Game 4 was the opposite of Game 3, lackluster pitching, stellar offense and horribly torturous.  

It started as I left work, so I got to listen to it on the radio on my commute home, which is always a nice way to stave off the boredom of the drive.  Sanchez scores off an RBI from Posey in the 1st and I instantly think “uh oh” for some reason.  I have no stats or research to back this up, but I always feel like when the Giants score early they end up losing it.  Still, first run on the board, so let’s try and be excited, shall we?  
Bottom of the 3rd, again Buster drives in Huff to score with a double to center field.  Well alright, maybe this will be okay!  Let’s do this!
Top of the 5th, everything falls apart and the Phillies score 4 runs.  Ack.  The crappy post-season announcers start patting themselves on the back because their team is now winning and start spouting off stats like how the Giants haven’t score more than 3 runs in game since Game 2 against Pittsburgh in 1975.  “Can that be right?” I thought to myself but figured it probably was.  So we’re out then right?  Darn.
Somewhat answering back, Huff drives in Torres with a single to center field.  Okay well they’ve hit their cap.  Still losing.
Bottom of the 6th, Pablo Sandoval of all people hits a double and Burrell and Ross score.  WHAT THE HECK?  That’s more than 3 runs!  We’re ahead again!  OH MY GOD are we going to do this?
Top of the 8th, Jason “the Jesus” Werth hits a double and Ryan Howard scores, tying the game.  I get pissed at this point.  I hate tied games after the 7th.  I loathe them.  I hate the idea and possibility of extra innings.  Extra innings are so damn torturous and seemingly never ending.  And yet here we are, probably going into extra innings.  At this point I admit, I was a bad fan and took a break.  Dishes needed to get done anyway, kids needed to be put to bed.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to come back.  But the wife was uncharacteristically light with the cooking hardware and dishes were done relatively quickly, and back again was I in front of the television, nails digging into sweaty palms.
Nothing happens for the Giants in the 8th, nothing happens for the Phillies in the 9th.  The status quo remains, extra innings are looming, I need to turn this off but I can’t.  The Phillies bring in Roy Oswalt for the 9th.  NOT HIM!  He schooled the Giants in Game 2, we’re never going to get anything now.  The only saving grace, I thought to myself, was that if we lose tonight, at least they had to wreck their second starter to do it.
But wait, he’s on two days rest and they’re hitting off him.  Single by Huff!  Single by Posey, Huff takes 3rd!  They bring in Uribe.  He hasn’t played all night, his wrist is jacked, but I knew he could do it.  Hindsight is 20/20, but I was feeling it. I was positive. I don’t know why, I’m rarely positive.  But Huff was right there, it wouldn’t take much.  He could do it. UUUU-RIBE! sacrifices one to left field and Huff slides into home.  
GIANTS WIN!
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I feel like I need to burst with opinionated ravings but I also want to just shut up and let it ride until it’s done done.  No jinxes.  Everybody keeps asking me today if I’m happy and excited, and yes of course, but my answer is always “we still got one to go” because I don’t want to get ahead of this.  
Lincecum vs Halladay rematch tonight.  I’m trying not to cave to superstition (because I easily could) but whatever everybody did on Game 1 of the post-season, do it again.  Lincecum needs to be on fire.  I want a win tonight.  I don’t want another away win, where the celebratory Giants are surrounded by sad faces and crying managers. I want to see orange rally rags and panda hats and chicks with beards.  
Tonight will be the hardest game the Giants have had to win all season.  But it’s going to be the hardest game the Phillies have had to win all season too.  

Braves-Giants Game 1: Teeth Skin

I talk Giants with a co-worker fairly regularly, especially lately of course.  Passing  my desk on his way out the door yesterday, we speculated on how this Braves series is going to go, and I made a prediction that it’s going to go all five games and every game is going to be a 1-0 victory.

So far so “good.”  
To paraphrase Wayne Campbell, “Giants Baseball…Torture!” is not just a clever slogan.  How many games this season have been a 1-0 victory?  That’s not rhetorical, let’s count…one…two..three…okay only three.  Really?  Seems like more.  There’s also been three 0-1 games, so maybe I’m lumping them all together.  
Anyway, hard to complain about a win, but I’ll give it a shot.  It’s hard to “suffer” through a 1-0 game, there’s always nail biting, fidgeting and lots of pacing accompanying each pitch to the opposing team, knowing that all it takes is one good hit to tie up the game or flip the lead around.  It’s hard to watch players stranded on base or an awesome triple by Buster Posey being reduced to a waste.  It’s hard to watch a pitcher having to carry a game without run support.  
But then that’s drama, which is why we’re watching, eh?
As we all knew he would, Derek Lowe pitched a ridiculous game, pitching 5 innings and allowing only 4 hits and 1 run.  On any other day that’d be enough, but he was facing The Franchise yesterday at his very best.  Tim Lincecum pitched a complete game, his fourth for the season, shutting out the Braves and allowing only two hits with 14 strike-outs, which is apparently a Giants post-season record and third best record in MLB history (don’t quote me on that last part).  I love it when Lincecum has a good day at the office.  
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I also speculated to my co-worker yesterday that I thought whomever made the first error was going to be the team that lost, which again turned out to be true.  But I can’t decide if the Braves made the first mistake, or the umpire Paul Emmel.  
Posey steals second in the 4th (his first stolen base…awww) and the umpire calls him safe.  ERROR maybe because it’s possible he was out  I couldn’t really tell last night, even with the umpteen instant replays, as they never seemed to show the foot and the tag on camera at the same time for some reason.  But this photo that’s been floating around the web doesn’t scream “safe” to me:
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On the other hand, I think the photo is an optical illusion, (so why did I even post it?) because Conrad didn’t tag Posey’s arm, but instead brought his hand all the way down to Posey’s waist.  So I’m still not sure if he was safe or not.  Judge for yourself.  
So now Posey’s on second and Lowe strikes out Burrell and Uribe.  Up comes Sandoval and they decide to walk him.  ERROR because next up is Cody Ross who singles to left field and drives in an RBI Posey, which ends up being the only run of the game.  Maybe the Braves should have pitched to Sandoval, who probably would have struck out swinging over his head, per usual.  I guess the panda hats are scarier than they look.
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While I wish the winning run, the only run, wasn’t tainted I’m glad the Giants came out on top and Game 1 is behind us.  Lincecum was better than anyone could hope for and August seems like years ago.  Now bring on Game 2: Cain vs Tommy Hanson.  How’s ol’ Tommy look?
H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA
Aubrey Huff 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000
Pat Burrell 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 1.000
Travis Ishikawa 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 .000
Buster Posey 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Cody Ross 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 .000
Freddy Sanchez 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Pablo Sandoval 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Andres Torres 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333
Juan Uribe 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/8/2010.
Hmmm….

Well Shut Me Down!

What’s with me and the Star Wars references this week?  I’ll balance it out with some Star Trek in a minute.  Anywho.

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Pablo? Buster? Aubrey? Anybody?  Talk about a pitching war.  No denying Chad Billingsley was pretty amazing, throwing his second career shutout and third complete game.  But y’know, even though we lost, Zito had a steller performance as well, making it to the eighth inning and allowing only six hits and two runs, the second run chalked up to Romo allowing one hit in the 0.2 innings he pitched. Yeesh. 

yeesh.jpgThis is the second time in a row we’ve lost the last game of the series.  Both times I’ve felt bummed afterward, which is kind of a negative considering we still won the series.  In fact we’ve won the last FOUR series, and are still ranked #2 in the division, with only FOUR games behind the Padres.  Today’s blog post is sponsored by the number…

number4.jpgOff to face Arizona in a FOUR game series.  The D-Backs are trailing the division, 19 games behind the Padres and 15 games behind us.  Please please PLEASE let us slaughter them! 

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Suck It, All-Star Game!

You don’t want to play our pitcher in your fancy special game, then we’ll play our pitcher instead and he’ll throw his first complete game this season and earn his 10th win this season and throw his fourth career shut out and his first career win against the Mets.  Neener!

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Sorry I got all “bat” crazy the last couple posts, Mr. Lincecum.  Sorry I was all Buster around the Posey.  I got excited about the new and shiny, I admit it.  But you are still the best thing to watch on this team, especially when you’re on fire.  You are still the face of this franchise for me, hands down.  I love you.  Call me.

stalkers.jpgSpeaking of my new and shiny love for hitting, where was it?  Another 2-0 game.  Pablo got a double, and everyone got stoked, especially Pablo.  I’m happy for him, but I don’t necessarily think it means anything, despite what Bay Area media would have me believe.  Everyone’s bound to his once in a while, right?  It was a nice hit for sure, and very timely.  I certainly hope it’s a turning point for him, and he keeps it up, because Pandamonium is much cuter when he’s batting .300+.

pandovalmask.jpgNine innings for Lincecum though!  A complete game!  That never happens for any of our starters.  Bochy is a yanker.  But not last night!  Was it because he could tell Lincecum was hot?  Or was it that 6th inning foul ball that hit him in the head? 

headinjury.jpgCrawled up half a game and the second half of the season is looking good!

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB Strk
1 SDP 51 37 .580 W 1
2 COL 49 39 .557 2.0 L 1
3 LAD 49 40 .551 2.5 L 1
4 SFG 48 41 .539 3.5 W 3
5 ARI 34 55 .382 17.5 L 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/16/2010.