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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Disssssss

Well I got what I wanted.

sweeptheleg.jpgTook the series, four AWAY games against a DIVISION rival.  I mean, yeah I guess not really a rival since the D-Backs have been way behind for quite some time, but the Giants are so bad at facing the NL West, a win is a win is a win is a win!  I talked about the first game already, but some things that stand out about the other three:

Posey Keeps On Hitting

And hitting and hitting and…a .371 batting average and an 18 game hitting streak, which places him second to McCovey for rookie Giants hitting streaks.  Is he stoppable?  Probably, but let’s enjoy the ride, eh?

busterposey.jpgVelez Knocked in the Head

The most hated player on the Giants roster, if you go by Twitter, is knocked in the head while drinking his Gatorade by a foul ball from Pat Burrell.  Dislike him or not, that’s still not cool.  Is there no way to keep the dugout safe from such random attacks?  It’s happened at least three times this year that I’ve read about. (Maybe he can do Mountain Dew commercials now, though.)

eugeniobeamed.jpgJuan Uribe’s Grand Slam

My step-daughter and I were shouting the “OOO-RIBEH!” chant in our living room when he decided to hit his fourth career grand slam in the 7th on game three, with two outs and on the first pitch to boot.  I totally think it was our chant that did it.

uribeslam.jpgStill in second place and three games behind because the Padres JUST WON’T LOSE!

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB Strk
1 SDP 58 39 .598 W 3
2 SFG 56 43 .566 3.0 W 4
3 LAD 53 46 .535 6.0 W 2
4 COL 51 47 .520 7.5 L 5
5 ARI 37 62 .374 22.0 L 4
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/26/2010.

We’re also first now in the Wild Card race, but who wants to get to the series that way?

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB Strk
1 SDP 58 39 .598 W 3
2 ATL 57 41 .582 L 1
3  SFG 56 43 .566 W 4
4 STL 55 44 .556 1.0 W 1
5  CIN 55 45 .550 1.5 L 1
6  LAD 53 46 .535 3.0 W 2
7  PHI 52 46 .531 3.5 W 4
8  COL 51 47 .520 4.5 L 5
9  NYM 50 49 .505 6.0 L 2
10  FLA 49 49 .500 6.5 W 1
11  MIL 47 53 .470 9.5 W 4
12  CHC 45 54 .455 11.0 L 1
13  WSN 42 57 .424 14.0 L 3
14  HOU 40 58 .408 15.5 W 1
15  ARI 37 62 .374 19.0 L 4
16  PIT 34 64 .347 21.5 L 4
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/26/2010.

I also saw on the television that we’re number one hits this month.  Not sure if I saw that right and have no idea where to go to validate it but if that’s true?  MAN what a different team post-All-Star game, eh?

Sox Knocked Off

Well, our socks anyway.  Red Sox took the series, but at least we weren’t swept!  By the skin of our teeth, mind you, but a victory is a victory.

victory.jpgThe wife and kids were out on Friday, which is a rarity but perfect timing in that I got to watch the first game uninterrupted.  Right off the bat, the Sox score three runs.  But then the Giants catch up in the second and pass them in the third and then get yet another in the eighth.  But that’s not enough for me.  I know better at this point.  It could be 12-1 Giants, and I’d still be wary of the ninth.  And it wasn’t 12-1 Giants, it was 5-3 Giants.  So I was standing a lot in the end, my palms were sweating and the Sox made Wilson work for that last out.  They even had to get one more run in before we finally finished them off.  Three innings with loaded bases, ten walks, three wild pitches and we eek out a win by one run.  Awesome but TORTURE! 

torture.jpgI skipped watching Saturday in favor of taking the family to see TOY STORY 3.  Excellent picture, perhaps my least favorite of the three, but maybe that’s because I’ve only seen it the one time so far. I doubt they will make more after this, and you couldn’t ask for a better story for the characters to go out on.  I dug it. I didn’t dig that we lost 4-2, however.  In a surprise (for me anyway) last minute change, they brought up Madison Bumgarner to start the game, and I think he did okay.  Sure, the Giants lost, but he only allowed four runs and pitched seven innings.  Pretty good for a rookie.  I’d like to see more of him. 

MadisonBumgarner.jpgSunday went to my wife’s BFF’s house to watch the game on the big screen.  HD is funny in that everyone seems much uglier on TV.  Not sure if I want it now or not.  The grass was never greener at AT&T park though, I’ll admit that.  Great scenery shots on a perfect cloudless day in San Francisco.  Aaand we lose again, pretty much the same way we did the day before.  The Sox score right off the bat, and then we spend the rest of the game trying to hold them at bay and catch up.  Lincecum floundered through three innings before being pulled.  Our Golden Boy isn’t so golden these days. He’s 8-3 mind you, but that’s not good enough for a back-to-back Cy Young winner, right?  We eek out one run in the first because Andres Torres steals makes it to first when no one else could and then proceeds to steal two bases, ensuring his status as the World’s Fastest Giant.  Otherwise, the Giants don’t do much and the Sox take the rubber match 5-1.

istock_face-punch.jpgSo 2-1 Red Sox.  Since I had a fairly bad feeling about them coming to town in the first place, I guess I’m happy we at least took one game and avoided a sweep.  Can’t deny their all-star status, it was a very exciting weekend with them in town.  If I was a jerk, I could say that, while we didn’t win, we at least injured one of their starters in each of the three games. If I was a jerk.

jerkstore.jpgAfter lunch at the BFF’s house, we moved on to my sister-in-law’s house for dinner where her husband, my father-in-law and I decided to watch the Yankees/Dodgers game, in hopes that at least the Dodgers would also lose, allowing the Giants to keep their second place status.  But nope!  5-0 Dodgers.  Bummer.  Wait..now it’s 5-2 Dodgers.  Wait…now it’s 6-6 and going into extra innings.  Now it’s the 10th inning and the Yankees take it 8-6!  Unbelievable rally, and even more unbelievable that there was a room full of Giants fans rooting for the Yankees.  A rarity and somewhat fun.  I’m sure the Dodgers are pissed at losing their lead.  I wonder if being pissed is a good thing for the Giants today.  Will they be tired and sloppy or more determined than ever to make up for yesterday? 

beatla.jpg
Monte Irvin’s number 20 was officially retired on Saturday, making him the 11th player to have his number retired by the San Francisco Giants. Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal, Gaylord Perry and Orlando
Cepeda all showed up to honor one of their own.  Congratulations Monte!  Sorry we lost on your big day!

monteirvin.jpgJonathan Sanchez’s no-hitter celebrated its 5 year anniversary on Sunday. Sanchez was the fifth Giant in history to pitch a no-hitter, and he was joined by the other four, Juan Marichal, Gaylord Perry,
Ed Halicki and John Montefusco. 
Congratulations Jonathan!  Sorry we lost on your big day!

thenonos.jpgCrazy weekend, full of awesome stuff. I feel like I’m skipping half of it.  I guess that’s what happens when you’ve got two rivalries on the west coast playing each others teams. 

Pimping the Stew

I peruse the Big League Stew often, trying and failing mostly to keep up with the 10-20 posts Kevin Kaduk manages to push out daily.  Today though, he had four Giants related posts in a row (which is better than his usual average of zero), so I thought I’d share.  Yes, I’m just linking to another blog, how lame:

Desert Drive: Sandoval Pandamonium sweeping Giants country

pandamonium.jpg

Analysis of Sandoval’s batting “technique” aka “swing at everything.”  Bonus video of Aubrey Huff singing Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.” 

Spring Snapshot: Led by Tiny Tim, Giants making playoff push

springsnapshot.jpg

Spring Training snapshot of the Giants.  Apparently will be doing this for every team.  Maybe already started and I haven’t been paying attention?

Photo: Gaylord Perry ‘lobbies’ Bud Selig to repeal spitball ban

perrypetition.jpg

Gaylord Perry wants the see spitballs again. 

Giants legend Willie McCovey talks Panda, Dodgers and his Cove

mccoveythoughts.jpgWillie McCovey’s thoughts on the current state of his former team.

Trivial

So none of my imaginary readers knew the answer to my question from last post.  (Or it was such an obvious answer, they didn’t bother to fill me in.)  Luckily my sports savvy brother-in-law helped me out via Facebook (and he probably didn’t even have to look it up, da rat!)

The lady in the cover is Leo Durocher’s wife, actress Laraine Day, who was often referred to as the “first lady of baseball.”  So there you have it.  Apparently she also wrote a book while still married to him called Day with the Giants.  Get it?  Day?  Laraine Day?  Okay then. 

laraineday.jpgSo that’s one thing I found out thanks to a tip from B-I-L and a 2am insomnia suffering surf of Wikipedia.  Another thing I found out is that Leo Durocher coined the phrase, “Nice guys; finish last.”  That’s crazy to me that we not only know where that saying came from, but that it came from a Giant.  As a geek, I’ve used that quote many a time to get through yet another round of not getting the girl.  I’m sure we’ve all been there, right fellas?  Right?  Uh…

Moving on. 

Somehow my Wikipedia exploration led me to Willie McCovey, whom I have heard of before, so I guess I’m not completely hopeless.  In the 1962 World Series, he did not get a base hit that would have probably won it for the Giants.  Fairly sad, but what’s interesting is that Charles Schulz made not one, but two Peanuts strips about it.  Check it:

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So either Schulz was a Giants fan, or was just rooting for them in that particular Series.  Maybe he just hated the Yankees.  I know eventually he made it out here to Santa Rosa, but I think that was around 1969, and these strips are from December 1962 and January 1963.  So…who knows?  I just thought it was cool. 

I’ve officially posted about a bunch of stuff everyone already knows about.  Go me!