Giants-Rangers Game 1: First Down

The Giants add another pitcher’s pelt to their wall next to Jimenez, Latos, Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels.  Here’s Cliff Lee’s new post-season stats:

Rk Series Date Tm Opp Rslt H R BB SO HR
1 2009 NLDS g1 Oct 7 PHI COL W,5-1 6 1 0 5 0
2 2009 NLDS g4 Oct 12 PHI @ COL W,5-4 5 3 3 5 0
3 2009 NLCS g3 Oct 18 PHI LAD W,11-0 3 0 0 10 0
4 2009 WS g1 Oct 28 PHI @ NYY W,6-1 6 1 0 10 0
5 2009 WS g5 Nov 2 PHI NYY W,8-6 7 5 3 3 0
2010 Postseason Series Tm Opp Rslt H R BB SO HR
6 2010 ALDS g1 Oct 6 TEX @ TBR W,5-1 5 1 0 10 1
7 2010 ALDS g5 Oct 12 TEX @ TBR W,5-1 6 1 0 11 0
8 2010 ALCS g3 Oct 18 TEX @ NYY W,8-0 2 0 1 13 0
9 2010 WS g1 Oct 27 TEX @ SFG L,7-11 8 7 1 7 0
48 19 8 74 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/28/2010.
That “L” on the last row? That’s the Giants.  Not only does nobody think the Giants are going to win this series, absolutely nobody saw them defeating Lee, especially in an 11-7 game.  The Giants don’t have offense, what was that about?
Even I’m somewhat baffled.  I’m not sure what any of it means.  I would have preferred that the Giants kept the 8-2 score they had in the 5th, that makes more sense to me.  The Giants strength all season has been their ability to keep runs at bay.  So it concerns me that after Lincecum leaves the game the bullpen gives up 5 more runs in 4 innings.  Yes, the Giants scored 11 runs and took the win, but can they do that all the time?  Are they going to have to?  They’ve only scored double digits fourteen times this season. 
On the other hand, I’ve heard the Rangers are pretty good about not giving up runs too, especially Cliff “third greatest post-season pitcher of all time” Lee, and yet they gave up 11.  So I really have no idea what to make of this game.  Maybe it was a fluke for both teams. 
I would like to think that the Rangers 3 runs in the 9th were mostly because Bochy didn’t put in Wilson right away, per usual, and I would like to think that the reason he did that was because the Giants were far enough ahead that he wanted to save Wilson and give other closers a chance to see some action.  Of course, it didn’t work out for Ramirez or Affeldt and Wilson ended up coming in anyway, but maybe those last 3 runs were “freebies” or something.  
Another “battle of the great pitchers of all time” hype that didn’t live up to itself.  Despite giving up more runs, Lee tied Lincecum in the hits department, dominated him in strikeouts and ultimately ended up with a slightly better ERA, even though he pitched one less inning.  But obviously, given the amount of runs in the game, neither star pitcher gave his best performance and the media was once again sad.
The tack-on offense was just amazing last night.  Consider that the Rangers had 8 hits off Lincecum but only generated 4 runs, while the Giants had 8 hits off Lee and generated 7 runs.  The singles and double just kept coming, and it always seem like it was when there were two outs.  Freddie Sanchez made World Series history by hitting three doubles in one game, generating three RBIs.  Posey, Schierholtz, Ross, Huff and Ishikawa all got to contribute RBIs and Juan UUUU-Ribe once again batted one out of the park with two on base.  God I love that guy.  He doesn’t always hit, but when he hits it’s always good.
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Aside from the lame Fox announcers, two things I hated about last night’s presentation: 1) They completely skipped the opening pitch by Giants hall-of-famers in favor of focusing on two igits in the press box who, by their own admission later in the game, don’t know what they’re talking about.  How come I had to watch them instead of watching Orlando Cepeda, Gaylord Perry, Juan Marichal and Willie McCovey?  I don’t even know what they said.  Who cares what they said!  2) Didn’t get to see whether or not the crowd cheered when they announced Bengie Molina.  That was a discussion around the bay area all week, as to whether that would happen.  I heard on the radio this morning that they did in fact cheer his name, and I’m glad for it. I love the Bengie, even if he’s in the wrong colors.  
Speaking of Bengie, his latest blog entry is full of warm-hearted goodness.  My favorite bit:
The first time I was up, I wished Posey luck and he wished me luck. Then I looked out at Lincecum and touched the bill of my cap, and he touched his in response.
 
I had as special a relationship with Timmy as I have had with any pitcher. Maybe because he was so young when I began catching him and I became a mentor to him. We have texted since I was traded but I had not seen him or talked to him in person until the game yesterday. I had heard he had said really nice things about me to the press.
 
When he came up to bat for the first time, I stood and told him, “I want you to know that hits or no hits, win or lose, you’re my boy.”

“Hey, Be-Mo, I love you.”

Then we both got to work.

Awesome.  

Game 1 is in the bag.  Cliff Lee defeated.  The Giants are 1-0.  We’re still making the media scratch their heads in bewilderment.  Keep it up!  

GO GIANTS!


WORLD SERIES WIN COUNTER
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Features

Hey, another first for me.  I’m the featured blog this uh…day?  Week?  Arbitrary amount of time? Anyway, thanks to whomever picks that stuff, that’s awesome!  Oh the pressure…

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Weird to see myself called “Kaiser The Great” on the front page.  I guess it never occurred to me to change my display name to my actual name.  Done!  Nice to meet you, everybody.
The leaders list for September came also came out.  I’m always curious who makes up the Top 50 fan blogs.  So I cataloged a couple stats:
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I thought there’d be more females represented on the pie, but maybe that’s just me who happens to be reading mostly female written blogs.  Still a pretty good number considering sports are a “male thing” stereotypically. 

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No shocker that the Yankee blogs reign, but not really by much.  Giants come in third behind Phillies and general MLB content, so that’s cool. There’s only 20 teams on the list so 10 teams aren’t being represented, but I’m too lazy to figure out which ones.  I wish MLBlogs had a way a list of all blogs on their site, broken up by team/subject.  

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…

Perfection

That’s what yesterday was.  I got exactly what I wanted:

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The Dodgers beat the Rockies, ELIMINATING them from playoff contention.  I’ll go back to hating you next year but for now, thank you Dodgers!
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The Cubs beat the Padres, knocking them two games back.  So thank you Cubs!  I still like your hats.  
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The Giants beat the D-Backs and maintain the number one position, thanks to the RBIs of Burrell and Schierholtz and another UUUUU-Ribe home run. 
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I miss Nate.  Now that the Giants have 285 outfielders, he doesn’t get played that much.  I think I heard on the radio that he has started in 60 games.  I don’t know about his batting, but he’s a great right fielder. His arm is ridiculous and I still remember the Phillies game where he got not one, but two batters out who had delusions of getting a double.  I’m not saying Bochy is wrong in not starting him, I’m just saying I miss him and it was nice to see him get a chance and succeed in helping the team out last night with a timely RBI single.
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So it’s down to the Padres and the Giants, which is no real surprise.  The Friars still have two more games with the Cubs to go before coming to SF.  Will they be knocked out before then?  How many games do they have to lose before it’s officially over?  One or three?  I’m horrible at figuring out these “games behind” stats.  I think they’d have to be swept by the Cubs to be completely out before SF.  What’s weird though?  Looking at their schedule, the Giants aren’t even on it.  Have they given up already?
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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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