2010 Cy Young

Congrats to Roy Halladay for winning the 2010 Cy Young Award. 

royhalladaycyyoungwinner.jpg
With a perfect game, a post-season no hitter, a 21-10 win-loss record and an overall 2.44 ERA, all in one season, who else could have won this thing, really?  As awesome as Giants starters were this season, I didn’t expect any of them to snag it, as none of them had those kind of stats.  It was nice to see three on the list though, including Matt Cain and Brian Wilson, the latter who scored more points than Lincecum.  Crazy.
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So again congrats to Roy Halladay.   I love pitching and you were certainly impressive this year. BTW, Cody Ross says “hi.”
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The Torture is Over

I’m supposed to be preparing for my trip to Seattle.  I have tons to wrap up at work, I have packing to do, but I can’t concentrate.  How the heck am I suppose to accomplish anything after last night?  

I started by listening to it on the radio on my way home from work.  Cliff Lee was back.  Uh oh.  This is going to be tough.  Sounds like we’re coming back to San Francisco and I’m going to miss it.  Damn.
But no, Lincecum is in full force too!  Three up, three down.  The Freak is on the mound and he’s taking no prisoners.  He saw Cain and Bumgarner’s shut outs and he wants a taste.  This is going to be a tight race.  
For seven innings they battled, neither giving up a run.  This is what everyone wanted in the first game.  This is what everyone wanted when Lincecum faced Halladay.  This is a pitcher’s duel.  
lincecum.jpg VS lee.jpg
Then in the 7th, the first slip.  Ross and Uribe hit singles to center field.  Could this be the opportunity?  Huff bunts…BUNTS a sacrifice and the two men on gain a base.  Ross is so close to putting a run on this board.  I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t watch, I HAD to watch.  Burrell up.  Oh no, why is he still playing?  Maybe this will be his time to make up for his post-season.  Sacrifice fly?  Get someone home?  C’mon Burrell!  Strike out.  Ack.  So much for drama.  Edgar Renteria up. Now would be a good time for a home run, I really said that. He hits it out of the park.  Where there were no runs scored by either team, now there are three and they are Giants runs.  
OMG!  And it’s the 7th.  We can hold them until the end.  We do it all the time.  This is our thing.  We have it!  
Lincecum gets excited and Nelson Cruz knocks one out of the park.  Whoops!  Okay so the lead is getting tighter, we can still do it.  Ian Kinsler walks. Oh no, Lincecum is losing it.  The Rangers are going to issue out some payback now.  
Nope!
Lincecum reigns it in and adds two more strikeouts to his belt, ending the inning before more damage is done.  He also takes care of the 8th.  I’m thinking, much like Bumgarner the night before, he probably could have knocked out the 9th too, but Bochy sticks with tradition and brings in Wilson to finish it off.  
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No champagne, no jumping up and down, I just sat there on the couch soaking in the surreality of the moment.  I watched all the post-game coverage, I watched the awards given out in the Rangers hidecloset, I did some dishes and listened to Jewel, which has nothing to do with baseball but somehow helped satiate the excitement that was consuming me.  
I dreamed about baseball. I woke up thinking about baseball.  I’m not going to get anything done.  I’m going to be in Seattle with no underwear.
But who cares?  THE GIANTS WON THE FREAKIN’ WORLD SERIES!!!!!
Watching the World Series last year, when my baseball obsession was starting to blossom, I thought and wrote the following:
I got home in time to see the Yankees win it and watch the post-game hoopla and I got to wondering what it would feel like to have a team you had an investment with in a game like this, win or lose.
Who the heck could have thought that it would happen the very next World Series?  I can’t even believe.  I still don’t believe it.  I’m not sure it’s sunk in completely. I have no idea how to even communicate my thoughts on all this.  I feel like I could write an entire book on these guys in one sitting, while at the same time I’m struggling just to put a coherent sentence together.  
I love this team.  I love everything about them that everyone is now latching on to. I love the misfits, the team made up of rookies and players nobody wanted.  I love the beards and ‘fros and pandas and freaks.  I love that every person on the team contributed in some way.  When someone was slumping, someone else rose to the occasion.  They’re all superstars.  I’ve followed them from Spring Training to the top of the world.  I never want this band to break up. 
In some ways this might be a horrible season for me to have started caring.  It can only be downhill from here.  It’s not like this can happen every year, right?
“Why not?” ~ Buster Posey

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.
uribe.jpg
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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Giants-Phillies Game 5: Want In One Hand…

Didn’t get to watch the game yesterday.  Open House night at Little Girl’s school.  We went to pizza before it started so I got to see inning three, which was the game changer, so I guess I saw everything I ultimately needed to see.

I wanted Lincecum to get the win as he’s the “franchise” and all.  I’m glad he at least pitched better than Halladay again, despite the loss.  I guess Halladay now says he had a groin injury though.  
I wanted the final win to happen in SF and now that will not happen one way or the other.  It’s all Philadelphia from here. 
Texas and San Francisco are now in the same boat, except Texas is at home.  The Magic Number is 1 and it’s the Padres all over again.  Hopefully with the same outcome, even if it that means more torture on a grander scale.
Trying to not lose hope, but a little piece got chipped off yesterday.  But we still have the advantage. It’s do-or-do-or-die time for the Giants and do-or-die time for the Phillies.  It’s a do-over opportunity for Sanchez.  It’s head down, no errors, play smart and well, and let’s get this done time.  
See you all Monday, hopefully with a new banner and another celebratory wallpaper!

Giants-Phillies Game 1: Phillies Lose

Giants didn’t win, but Phillies lost.  Doesn’t that seem like how it is?  I’m not saying I feel that way, but for some reason it feels like everyone else outside the Bay Area feels that way.  In fact I don’t feel anyone thinks the Giants are even supposed to be here, like they just lucked their way to the top somehow.  

The announcers seemed especially annoying.  They were not our usual Kruk and Kuip or Jon Miller.  I don’t know what their names were, but they must have been ex-Phillies players or something, because none of them seemed to predict anything good from the Giants.  To paraphrase:
Announcer #1 = Man that Roy Halladay is the greatest pitcher of all time, isn’t he?
Announcer #1 = You said it A1!
A1 = I mean I guess I’d go see a Lincecum game.  Y’know, if I got a free ticket or something.  And Roy Holladay wasn’t pitching.  And I didn’t have to mow my lawn.
A2 = Yeah Lincecum’s pretty good.
A1 = Yeah…Hey did I ever tell you I made out with a gal who dated Halladay once?
A2 = You…are…SO…lucky!
The Phillies only lost because the umpire had rotating strike zone, never mind that he was umpiring when Lincecum was pitching too, and Lincecum ended up with a better ERA and more strikeouts.  It was definitely the umpire.  Because a “hippy with bad teeth” can’t out-pitch Doc Halladay, right?  
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So Harry Halladay didn’t get a shutout and the Phillies lose and the game is disappointing.  Well I’m sorry but I enjoyed it.  I would have enjoyed it more if the Giants had kept their 3-1 lead, mind you, but hey sitting on the edge of my seat for three innings was fun too.  
I don’t know what the future is for this series, how many games, who’s going to take it, blah blah blah, but the Giants did something the Reds couldn’t and our star pitcher beat the Phillies star pitcher.  That alone gives me enough happy to fuel my week.  The media can suck it.  We’re here and, win or lose, we’re bringing torture to Philadelphia!  
P.S.
Did you know this was the first post-season to have two pitchers facing each other both with the middle name LeRoy?  
P.P.S.
Did you know that Cody Ross spelled backwards is “Ssory Doc?”  

Philadelphia vs San Francisco

In an effort to kill time while I impatiently wait for Saturday, I guess I’ll do what I did last time before facing the Braves and look at some numbers going into the Championship series.  I should point out that looking at the numbers didn’t help me predict anything in any way, and they probably won’t again, but it makes my blog look fancy, so let’s do it anyway.  

How do they rank overall?  Well I already know the Phillies are the #1 ranked team, but let’s suffer through the details anyway:
Rk Tm W L W-L% last10 last20 last30
1 PHI 97 65 .599 6-4 15-5 23-7
3 NYY 95 67 .586 3-7 8-12 13-17
5 SFG 92 70 .568 7-3 12-8 20-10
8 TEX 90 72 .556 6-4 11-9 16-14
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/13/2010.
Yep, they pretty much dominate everything in that department, don’t they?  The Giants have a better “Last 10” but not by much, and that’s not counting the post season, where the Giants lost one to the Braves while the Phillies swept the Reds.  So yeah, no help there.  (But keep in mind that the #1 team doesn’t always win the World Series!)  Let’s see how they do against each other:
Hey that’s better!  3-3 against each other this season, and both teams have a 2-1 record in away games.  So if we don’t do so hot in Philadelphia, maybe we can make up some ground when we return home.  
Of course the big draw of this series is the pitching.  It’s great that the starting rotation is in sync too, so we’ll be getting one against one, two against two, etc.  So like last time, sticking with just the first game pitching, we have the superstars: Roy Halladay vs Tim Lincecum.
Roy Halladay:
H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA
Eli Whiteside 2 1 0 1 2 0 1 .667
Aubrey Huff 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 .333
Edgar Renteria 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .500
Cody Ross 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 .167
Jonathan Sanchez 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Pablo Sandoval 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 .500
Nate Schierholtz 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
Andres Torres 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/13/2010.
Tim Lincecum:
H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA
Ryan Howard 2 1 0 1 1 0 1 .667
Greg Dobbs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Ross Gload 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Cole Hamels 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000
Raul Ibanez 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000
Roy Oswalt 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .200
Placido Polanco 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .333
Carlos Ruiz 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Chase Utley 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
Shane Victorino 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 .000
Jayson Werth 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/13/2010.
Summary
halladayvslincecum.jpg
Pretty close overall though Lincecum edges out in the RBI’s allowed and overall Batting Average against him and is the clear winner in the Strikeouts department.  They’ve both pitched one game during the playoffs, and while Halladay’s was probably more note-worthy as it was a no-hitter, Lincecum’s two-hitter was more success in terms of overall pitching domination as he had 14 strikeouts to Halladay’s eight.  AND Roy Halladay has yet to face Pat Burrell, Buster Posey and Juan Uribe, who could arguably be our best hitters right now.
But a close race to be sure.  I’m really looking forward to this series.  As I’ve mentioned many times before, I like the Phillies quite a bit so I’m excited to face them.  Of course I want the Giants to come out on top, but regardless of the outcome, watching two of my favorite teams going head-to-head in the NLCS should be really fun!

Belated Congrats

This isn’t a Phillies blog obviously, but I wanted to congratulate Roy Halladay for his SECOND no-hitter this season,and being one of only three players to pitch a no-hitter in the post season.   

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I happened to turn on my local radio station just in time to hear him strike out the last three batters and make history.  It was great, even though at the same time a bit daunting, because if all goes well, we’ll have to face him next.  GULP.
There’s an interesting on article by Dan Rosenheck at the New York Times that compares Halladay’s performance with Lincecum’s from last night.  Here’s a cool quote:

Neither Halladay nor Lincecum gave up a home run, so they were even on that score. But their strikeout totals were markedly different: Halladay punched out “only” 8 batters to Lincecum’s 14. By my calculation, with normal luck, a pitcher with Halladay’s eight strikeouts, one walk, and zero home runs allowed in 28 batters faced would give up an average of 1.55 earned runs per nine innings, while one with Lincecum’s 14 strikeouts, 1 walk, and 0 home runs allowed in 30 batters faced would surrender just 0.37.

Anyway, just trying to make myself feel better. The point of this post is to congratulate Roy Halladay, right?  When I first started this blog, the Phillies were racing towards the World Series (again) and I ended up rooting for them to the bitter end.  So as I’ve said before I think, I can’t help but continue to like them.  Were the Giants not in the playoffs right now, I’d probably be rooting for them again.  But we are, so I’m not.  Neener.  
But there’s no denying they’re a great team.  They pitch like the National League and hit like the American League.  Everyone is afraid of them, and rightly so.  And a Roy Halladay no-hitter for the second time this season is just icing on their really scary cake.
So congrats again Roy Halladay!  I hope you totally bomb if and when we get to face you!