Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Gods, the Law, and the Lost Lead

As much as I would have loved to see the Giants keep a 9-1/2 game lead over the Dodgers, I never expected it. It seemed much more likely that the two teams would have to play some big games in September. I thought with the hot start that the Giants might come into those big games in the driver's seat. Alas, they may still do that. But as they say when the tying run scores "it's a whole new ballgame." I most certainly did not expect to see the Giants squander their 9-1/2 game lead in a span of 19 games. Here's the first 63 games of the year: 42-21 (.667), best in baseball. Here's the next 19 games: 4-15 (.211), worst in baseball. If you had told me in March that the Giants would be 46-36 (.561) at the end of June, I'd have been happy. A .561 team at the end of the season is a 90-91 game winner. You figure a club with some talent and pennant race experience could pick up a few extra wins down the stretch and that gets you to a playoff berth.

I don't know who that bleedin' gobshite Murphy was, but I can live without any more of his Law, thank you. Everything is going wrong for this team right now. They were nearly no-hit today. And the Dodgers have put together their best month of the season at the same time, winning 12 of their last 16 to sport a 17-10 mark for June. The Giants finish the month 10-16. It's the pitching that has really made the difference for LA as they've allowed only 73 runs with one to play tomorrow. The Giants, thank the gods, are off tomorrow. Speaking of the gods, we've angered them again. Doesn't take much, they are cruel by nature, and love nothing more than to spread anguish and despair.

It's a dark time, O My Brothers. The Giants straddled the halfway mark of the season--games 81 and 82--by getting 12 hits and scoring three runs in 20 innings. They lost two games in which their starters went 15 innings and allowed two runs. They started the second half of the season by getting swept in a four-game series for the first time ever at AT&T Park, which opened in the year 2000. It was an epic June Swoon, one that will live in infamy. It could be salvaged, of course, blotted from the history books by sending the Dodgers back to second place and finishing ahead of them. They've 80 more chances left to do that. That's a lot of baseball, my friends.



Saturday, June 28, 2014

Oh, that was bad

So we know the Giants will live and die, like most teams, on the strength of their starting pitching. Unfortunately when a team is in a losing spiral like the one they are in now it hardly matters. The Giants got a strong start from Ryan Vogelsong on Thursday but poor work from the bullpen and an anemic effort by the lineup doomed them to defeat. Tonight Matt Cain gave the team seven shutout innings, but the same formula--feeble offense and wretched relief--kept the losing streak going. I thought I might talk about Sergio Romo, but so much is wrong with the club right now it's not worth singling anyone out.

The Giants scored 111 runs in April and 123 in May. They've only managed 92 so far in June. The swoon isn't just the offense--the team allowed 94 runs in April and 90 in May and they've allowed 112 in June. It's a team-wide mess. They are 10-15 for the month after a 6-1 start--that's four wins in their last 18 games. We knew they would not sustain the smoking hot start to the season. We knew they'd cool off and hit some rough patches. But this is really, really ugly and not at all what I expected. They aren't doing anything right. Perhaps we can feel good about a solid start from Cain as they certainly can't expect to stay in contention without the rotation performing the way they ought to.

It's Homer Bailey and Tim Hudson tomorrow afternoon.



Friday, June 27, 2014

From Sublime to Shit

So Timmy threw a no hitter?  Wow.  I wish I could have seen that, it must have been very exciting.  I heard about it yesterday evening in the Cutthroat Bar in Markleeville, CA.  We were up in Yosemite for a couple of days.
It was stunning.  Even though I get there, if not every year, at least every couple of years, you always forget just how grandiose and beautiful it is.  The Giants, Tim's no-hitter excepted, seemed to have played some pretty shitty baseball.  We dropped another series to San Diego and have now guaranteed that we will not will a series against the Reds.  San Diego, if I need to remind anyone, is not a very good team.  Yet they are now 5 - 4 against the amazingly-still-in-first-place Giants.  Madbum was on the mound tonight.  Of course, the disaster of a fifth inning happened just as I parked the car at home and before I got the radio on.  So I don't really know how it unfolded and haven't bothered to check.  Cueto pretty much cut threw the Giants' lineup like a hot knife through butter.  Tim's no hitter has been sandwiched between four games of crap by the other starters.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

No Hitter Tim AGAIN

In the middle of a dark, dark month (don't say the "S" word), Tim Lincecum delivered a ray of light and hope with his second career no hitter.  The helpless Padres never actually got close to getting a hit and only came up with one walk.  He set down the last TWENTY THREE in order! It was practically economical with a paltry 113 pitches, compared to 148 last time.  I'm still a little in shock, not so much about the feat as much as how he achieved it.  It was so smooth and in control. Shit, he even got TWO HITS and SCORED TWO RUNS!
Dude had a very good day.  I'm going to go listen, read and soak up the moment.  Tim is on the air right now!  Talk it up folks!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Padres Throw Giants a Curve

In this game we call "baseball" a team has to pitch, hit, catch, and throw. Tonight the Giants had trouble with all of those things. The Padres make it two in a row in San Francisco with another thumping, this time a 7-2 win. The reeling Giants could not figure out rookie Jesse Hahn who struck out eight, six in the first three innings, doing the most damage with a nasty curveball. The team is now 9-12 in June which officially qualifies as "swooning." You can swoon in June if you fly high in July, right?

Is it July yet?

Tim Lincecum takes the hill tomorrow afternoon, then the Reds come to town for four.



Monday, June 23, 2014

Padres Rookie Subdues Giants

Odrisamer Despaigne certainly makes the All-Name Team, whether he makes any other team remains to be seen. But he no doubt made a case tonight with an impressive debut against the Giants. He had an arsenal of pitches and was particularly effective with a changeup, or maybe two different changeups, and had the Giants off-balance all evening. Matt Cain had a great first three innings, then a nightmare 4th inning, then a great next three innings, then a nightmare 8th, highlighted by an error. The end result was 7-2/3, six runs allowed on seven hits. All the hits came in the 4th and the 8th. Perhaps the decision to let Cain continue after seven was a bad one. At this point, take the good and don't push it. A seven-inning, three-run start is usually a good one. Matty is not all there this season and I've no idea why. It looks like he can throw all the same pitches and that they have all the same action. It's like he either forgets how to pitch, or that he's predictable and the league has caught up with him, or that he loses his command for short stretches and puts 'em over the heart of the plate instead of the corners. When Tim Lincecum went from best in the league to what he is now, you could see the difference. He lost speed on the fastball, then couldn't throw the pitch for a strike. With Cain, I can't tell what's going on. He seems like Matt Cain, but the results are not there. An unfortunate loss tonight as the Dodgers got beat in Zack Greinke's return to Kansas City.

The Giants lost the first game in Arizona but took the series by winning the next two. Looks like that's the plan in San Francisco as well. Tim Hudson goes tomorrow and Tim Lincecum goes Wednesday.



Sunday, June 22, 2014


Madison Bumgarner showed what the Giants are about and why he is the staff ace today in snakeville.  We got superb pitching and enough hitting to take 2 of 3 from Arizona.

Paired off against young Mike Bolsinger, Maddy threw 8 innings and gave up 1 hit.  He came in to finish the 9th with a 4 - 0 lead when Brandon Crawford erred to let the first batter, Jordan Pacheco, get on first.  Then Maddy gave up his second hit, to Ender Inciarte.  That was enough for Bruce Bochy, who summoned Sergio Romo in what was now a save situation.  Sergio promptly gave up a single to Martin Prado that scored the only Arizona run.  Paul Goldschmidt, however, hit into a double play and Aaron Hill struck out on a couple of excellent Romo sliders.

Here is something you don't see everyday:  A Crawford to Panik to Arias double play.  Speaking of young Joe Panik, how did he do in his first full game?  2 hits, a double and a single, and a 2-out rbi.  Brandon Crawford had 2 hits, including a triple and a walk and Hunter Pence had 2 hits.  Rbi's for Buster, Tyler Colvin, Crawford and Joe Panik.  Paul Goldschmidt got 2 hits in the Friday night opener, but no hits Saturday or Sunday.  He walked 3 times Saturday and twice Sunday, and hit into a double play.  Seems like a good idea to not let that guy beat you.

Holy Shit, they won one!

The Giants scored enough runs to outlast the snakes last night.  Vogie was not his best, but effective enough.  
Vogie scraped and scrapped through 5, gave up 4 runs, but the game was won by Giants' relief.
Affeldt: 1 2/3 innings, no runs, 2 hits
Machi: 1/3 inning, no runs, 1 BB
Casilla: 1 inning, no runs, 2 K
Romo: a little scary, 2 hits, but popped up Goldschmidt to end the game.

Buster: 2 hits, 2 runs scored
Hunter: 2 hits, 2 runs
Pablo: 3 hits, 2 rbi
Tyler Colvin: 1 hit, 3 rbi
Also, hits for Blanco, Morse, Crawford, Adrianza.  Final score: 6-4.
Joe Panik, in his first major league at bat, drew a walk.  Now that monkey is off the backs, let's play like Giants.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Meh Tim

In one of the limpest performances of the year, the slumping Giants never really seemed to have a chance tonight and Arizona won easily,  4-1.  One lousy run in that ballpark against a weak starter that had nothing.  Sure, we got a run in the first but this one was quickly out of reach. One month ago, we won this kind of game. Now, we got nothing.  Which team are we?

Start #15  Loss  (5-5, 4.90)   6 innings  7 hits  4 runs  4 earned  1 walks  1 strikeouts  0 hr

Not much to analyze, really. Low strike out total. That's probably bad. Too much Goldschmidt. What's new?  Not a disaster, especially considering the ball park.  He had to be God Tim to stop this streak, though.  That just doesn't happen very often any more.

Thanks to this continued onslaught of crap play, we now have a WEENIE THREE GAME lead! Shit! Oh well, it is better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fourth Inning: 8-10

I thought of this team as more tortoise than hare. I figured the 2014 Giants would grind it out, 10-8 and 11-7 innings one after the other, finish with 90+ wins and have a real shot at a division title or wildcard. But they decided on hare, racing their way to the best record in baseball and making our heads spin with visions of post-season glory. Of course it was too early to tell what kind of team they were--it was only the first third of the season. We knew they'd hit a bump in the road at some point, we just didn't know it would be such a BIG bump. I wanted to see zero sub-.500 innings, but today's loss at the hands of the White Sox took care of that. Tim Hudson had his worst start of the season and the Giants, despite a good showing by the offense, fell a run short.

So, is it time to talk "June Swoon?" Are we watching a weak team finally fall to earth or a good team having a bad stretch? You know something? It's too early to tell. That was the 72nd game and there are 90 more to go. NINETY games. That's a lot. The Giants have lost 8 of 9 and have looked bad doing it. But I thought this was a good team before and I still think it's a good team. They hit the road tomorrrow and go to Arizona for the weekend and come home after that. It's as good a time as any to get back to their winning ways.

Giants had a lead of 9-1/2 games over the Dodgers ten days ago. Now it is 4-1/2 games. Good thing there is plenty of time left to kick them back down again, right? San Francisco still sports some nice team pitching numbers, but we know that the pitching has not been pretty lately. FIP 3.52 (5th in ML), ERA 3.34 (6th), and runs allowed 266 (8th). The hitting has cooled off, too. wOBA .314 (14th), OPS .717 (14th), and 313 runs scored (10th). In the end the only numbers that matter are the wins and losses.

First inning, 10-8,
Second inning, 13-5,
Third inning, 12-6,
Fourth inning, 8-10.

That's 43-29 (.597).



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

White Sox Trash Cain, Giants

The pain continues for the Giants who have now lost seven of eight. The Cain Train got derailed tonight as the White Sox pummeled the big righty for eight runs. Matt Cain has not been Matt Cain in 2014, and it's no goddamn fun. Life is better when the Giants win. I mean, sure, life's good and all, no complaints, but it's sure as hell better when the team is winning. It's like horseradish on your prime rib, man. I like prime rib all by itself, I mean it stands on its own, am I right? But you add a little root sauce from Amoracia rusticana and boy you get yourself some lip-smacking goodness, am I right? Right now I'm missing a little spice on top--my main man Matty is stinking up the joint and my fave team is free-falling and showing no signs of slowing down.

Jesus, Mary, and Fookin' Joseph, win a goddamn game already!


p.s. Tim Hudson and Chris Sale tomorrow afternoon.

p.p.s. What do you think of this?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Annnnnnnd............part three

Well, that sucked.  Remember when the Giants swept the Mets?  That was last weekend.  Since then, they have played every day and won 1 to go 4 - 6 in their homestand.

We needed a win and had the ingredients to do so.  Madison Bumgarner on the mound, and at the plate.  Maddy pitched pretty well, giving up 4 in 7 full innings.  A healthier relief staff might have save his last run, he came into the 7th with 96 pitches, but he manned up and got 2 outs after a run scored (and Josh Rutledge was thrown out trying to stretch a double into a triple).  Maddy struck out 9, walked 4 with an ump behind the plate who had an aversion to curve balls, even those that dropped right over the plate.  Maddy gave up 1 home run, to who else? Troy Tulowitzki.  He had 3 hits on the day.  Seriously, fuck that guy.  Why didn't we just pitch around him?  Madison also hit a home run, one of three solo shots:  Pablo, Hector and Madison. 

Can you believe the relief staff AGAIN gave up the game and wasted what was a pretty good start?  Not Romo this time, Gutierrez.  In the 8th.  And Lopez.  He came in to give up a double to Morneau that allowed Gutierrez' runner, McKenry to score.  8 to fucking 7.  Too fucking much.  Giants have a day off tomorrow, then another one Thursday after what will be their third trip to Chicago this season.  Santiago Casilla joins the team in Chicago.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Nightmare on King Street, Part Two

I'm not much for sequels--they are usually much worse than the original. The Giants, though, went all out this afternoon to provide Rockies fans with another stirring last-gasp winner. Sergio Romo and Angel Pagan again both figured prominently in the top of the 9th as Colorado scored the go-ahead run with an inside-the-park homer. When the ball got past Pagan, I thought "oh damn, there's the tying run." I turned away from the TV to compose myself and think about the bottom of the 9th. Then a half a heartbeat later I thought "unless it's a damn inside-the-parker" and looked back just in time to see Brandon Barnes cross the plate. Once? Hey, it happens. Twice? No. Thank you, no. The Giants are having their worst week of the season with losses Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and now losses on Friday and Saturday. That's 1-5 in six games, which they did once before, from April 17th to April 22nd. And yes, the Rockies were involved. That stretch was a loss to the Dodgers at home, two to the Padres in San Diego followed by a win, and then two losses in Colorado. They went from a 10-6 team to an 11-10 team. These June Giants were 42-21 after Sunday's win and are now 43-26. Those 26 losses are the fewest in the majors. The Giants are 7-6 for the month, not quite swoonish but not quite the well-oiled machine we saw in the first third of the season. Game 72 is in Chicago this Wednesday. That's 4/9 of the way or the fourth seasonal inning. Lots of baseball left.



Friday, June 13, 2014

Solid Tim

A disastrous FIVE RUN ninth inning cost the Giants dearly as they let one slip away to Colorado, 7-4.  Sergio Romo got dinked to death (5 earned runs!) and totally betrayed by horrible defense from Angel Pagan. It was easily the worst inning of the year.  Wow, it was really pleasant until then. Wow. Excuse me while I go vom.

Start #14  ND  (5-4, 4.81)   6 innings  3 hits  2 runs  2 earned  2 walks  6 strikeouts  0 hr

This was a completely solid Tim Lincecum start; he survived a shaky start, he allowed only 5 base runners in six innings, gave up no hard hit balls, and he got the last ten in order. I think I say this almost every time, but that is hella fine for a #4 starter. Sure, it would be nice if he could get into the seventh or eighth inning, but with our bullpen that USUALLY doesn't seem to matter often. 


Mike Morse had another multiple hit game. I sure did not expect him to show such hitting skills. Sure, I knew he hit homers but I had no concept of his all field approach.  We actually have a whole bunch of opposite field hitters (not counting Lincecum) and it is a real pleasure to watch.

Hasn't it been a week with out a dinger? You had to know it was coming. 

One other negative: Brandon Hicks.  We were lucky to get what we got from him but I think it is time for another plan. Is it time for a trade? Should we really go after Utley? If we don't, won't the doggers?

Today is the second anniversary of Matt Cain's perfecto. But, you already knew that...

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hudson, Giants snap streak

It was close for a while this afternoon, but Tim Hudson's ground ball sorcery ultimately made the difference and the Giants finally beat the Nationals. Brandon Crawford made a sweet catch, step and throw double play to end the 5th with the home team clinging to a 2-1 lead that seemed to turn the corner, and the lineup added runs in the 6th, 7th, and the 8th to nail down the win 7-1. Angel Pagan and Buster Posey went 0-for-10, but Mike Morse and Hunter Pence went 6-for-7. Pagan made a nice grab to rob Jayson Werth, but Buster allowed a passed ball that led to Hudson's lone unearned run. Clutch RBI hits from Tyler Colvin, Brandon Crawford, Gregor Blanco and Hector Sanchez (the latter two as pinch-hitters) picked up the slack.

Once again the story was Hudson who has logged at least seven innings TEN times this season. This was the eighth time he racked up a Game Score over 60--today's 7  6  1  0  2  5 line was good for a 66.

The Rockies come to town tomorrow night and Tim Lincecum takes the hill. Check out the piece from FanGraphs about Huddy.



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Nats walk all over Cain, Giants

Thirteen years ago, Russ Ortiz walked the first three guys he faced. Tonight, a nearly full moon hanging low in the sky, Matt Cain walked the first three guys he faced. Neither game turned out well. The Padres beat the Giants 10-7 that afternoon in 2001, and the Nationals beat the Giants 6-2 this evening for their third win in three chances. The Giants have lost three straight for only the second time this season--they lost three consecutive 2-1 games from April 17th to April 19th, the first to the Dodgers and the next two to the Padres. It wasn't long ago that San Francisco was the hottest club on the planet, winning their last five series and boasting the best record. Washington, though, has served notice with ten wins in their last twelve games including a 17-5 pasting of the home team at AT&T Park. The Nationals seized first place in the NL East with tonight's win, and their +50 run difference is just behind the Giants at +53 (Oakland rules the roost at +130).

Cain did not have the command he showed in his last start--his five walks were just shy of his career high of six. Giving up the home run in the 5th to Jayson Werth after making him look foolish was a particularly cruel blow. It was to be a moral victory of sorts, putting up zeroes after the ugly start to the game, getting a shut down inning after the Giants finally scored, but that's not how it worked out. Matty has yet to find his groove in 2014, and his ten starts are the fewest of the five in the rotation. Here's a guy, you'd think, who has seen it all in his ten years, everything from last place and losing records to World Series rings, All-Star Games, and perfection. Just last year he gave up nine runs in one inning! Before tonight, though, Matt Cain had never walked the first three guys he'd faced in a game. Baseball is funny--if some new horror hasn't happened to you it's only because you haven't played long enough!

There's one more shot at the Nationals tomorrow afternoon with Tim Hudson on the mound.



Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Madison Bumgarner faced off against Doug Fister this evening, a repeat of the second game of the 2012 World Series, but with different supporting casts.  Madison pitched well, allowing 2 runs in 7 innings of work.  He gave up 8 hits, no home runs, struck out 5 and walked 1 in 102 pitches.  That should have been good enough for a win.

Doug Fister was better today, though.  He threw 97 pitches in 7 innings, gave up 8 hits, struck out 3 and walked 1.  None of those hits resulted in a run.  The Giants made it exciting in the 8th, when Buster Posey singled and Pablo Sandoval walked to put two runners on with 1 out.  Morse and Blanco couldn't move the runners, however.  The Nattys did give up a run in the 9th inning.  Brandon Crawford led off with a triple off of Rafael Soriano.  He scored on a ground out RBI from Brandon Hicks, but the final score remained 2 - 1 Nats.  Well played game, tough to take a loss when your ace does well.  The Nats have a scary line-up, and they are still without Harper.  Got to keep grinding.

Taken behind the woodshed . . .

 . . . for an old-fashioned whuppin'. Stephen Strasburg was as good as advertised, quieting the Giants with both power and precision. Ryan Vogelsong was hit hard early but finished six only behind 4-1. With Baseball Jesus on the mound it looked grim for the home squad. I was surprised when they let Vogie start the 7th especially with Denard Span raking him the first two times. He promptly fell apart and George Kontos put some gas on the fire and that was that. Final tally was 9 hits and 2 walks over six--that's a 1.8333333 WHIP.

Madison Bumgarner tonight against Doug Fister. You remember Doug Fister pitching against Madison Bumgarner in San Francisco before, don't you?



Sunday, June 8, 2014

Bounce Back Tim


With Buster and Angel on the bench and Tim Lincecum on the mound, our beloved Giants found yet another winning formula and grabbed victory #42, 6-4 over the Mets.  That puts us at a ridiculous .667 winning percentage. Life is good. Bring on the next victims!


Start #13  Win!  (5-4, 4.97)   6 innings  6 hits  3 runs  3 earned  1 walks  6 strikeouts  2 hr

After a terrifying first inning, Tim actually did pretty damn good.  It was the new Tim all the way: kinda wild, lotsa base runners, but kinda pesky and hard to square up. Actually it was only Curtis Granderson that did the damage with 2 homers and 3 RBI.  Considering how poor Timmeh's last start was, this one feels just fine. Not over powering, but good enough for a team as talented as the Giants.  I was frankly surprised at the intensity of the anti-Tim sentiment right after the horrid job in Cincinnati.  Patience people, we have a long way to go. Bottom line is that the Giants are 9-4 when Tim starts and that is SWEET for a #4 starter.


Cool win. Terrible start, no Buster, no Angel, no Pence hits, no Morse hits, very shaky Affeldt and .... WE STILL FIND A WAY TO WIN !
 Gregor, Pablo and Brandon C. each had multiple hit games.  Romo looked wicked with an 11 pitch 3 out save.  What can I say? We are good.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Cain Comeback

Matt Cain pitched beautifully tonight, throwing five hitless innings before finally surrendering two runs in the 7th inning. Jon Niese of the Mets also pitched a great game, holding the potent Giants lineup to only five hits and two runs. It was a crisp, well-played pitchers duel until the 8th when the Giants finally broke through against the Mets bullpen. Local boy Carlos Torres (from Aptos) gave up a two-run homer to Buster Posey and that was the difference. The home team conjured up another dramatic win, their 20th at AT&T and 40th overall.

Even when it looked like Matty might get Cained for the umpteenth time, I was less concerned about the outcome than the fact that Matt Cain looked like Matt Cain. Injuries are funny things, and we aren't used to no. 18 missing turns and spending time on the DL. But he looked strong and had good command until losing it a bit in the 7th when he gave up a double and a homer to the top of the lineup. Homeplate umpire Rob Drake liked what he saw from both pitchers: Cain had 19 called strikes versus three swinging, Niese had 15 called strikes and four swinging. Brandon Hicks excelled tonight--he had two hits and a walk and scored two and figured in all three double plays the Giants turned. Brandon Crawford drove in both of those runs with a sacrifice fly in the 5th and a two-out single in the 7th.

Tim Hudson takes on Bartolo Colon tomorrow night. After that the Giants face Zack Wheeler, Stephen Strasburg, and Doug Fister. That's some serious pitching! Should be fun.



Warning! Ominous Omens Ahead!

Today's SF Chronicle has an article by Henry Schulman that states that the Giants have, apparently, no real competition in the National League West. Not so fast there, Hank.  Yes, the Giants are playing really well - and in addition, the doggers are slipping back (8.5 is this morning's deficit), the Roxies are reverting to sub-.500 ball and the Puds and snakes seem pretty hopeless.  But let's not forget a couple of things.  1) It is early June, 2/3 of a baseball season remain.  2) The doggers, at least, are loaded with talent.  They may be a bunch of preening, overpaid superstars with no commitment to anything but themselves and they may represent a city with no moral center, unlike the Giants, but they have loads of baseball talent.  LOADS.  3) Who might like to try extra hard to knock the 1st place, best-record-in-baseball Giants down a peg?  Everyone.  4)  Standings change, sometimes rapidly.  Ask the 1964 Phillies, and finally, 5)  The best record in baseball doesn't put a team in the world series.  Ask the 2000 Giants.

The Giants are playing great.  The unpredictable injury factor aside, their enemy is complacency.  It is always best to be in first place, then it is another team's problem to catch up.  Bruce Bochy knows this, obviously, and will do everything he can to remind the team that they have to win all season long.  There is, contrary to Mr. Schulman's assertion, plenty of competition.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Free Pizza!

Apparently, when the Cincinnati Reds' pitchers strike out 11 opponents, everyone in Cincinnati's Great American Ballpark gets a free pizza.  I don't know who is sponsoring this, it may be the Kroger's grocery store chain - they make the red Ks that indicate number of strikeouts.  I guess that is a good thing in this case, it gives the fans something to feel good about when their team lost the game and series.

Madison Bumgarner, National League Pitcher of the Month for May, was on the mound, and he doesn't appear to have worn himself out celebrating.  Madison gave up a solo shot to Todd Frazier in the 1st inning, but after that, only 2 other hits in 8 innings and 106 pitches.  One of the other hits was also to Todd Frazier.  Helpfully, Madison did not walk any Red, nor did the defense commit any errors.  Madison had 1-2-3 innings in the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th.  George Kontos added a 1-2-3 9th.

San Francisco scored 6 runs to Cincinnati's 1.  The Giants used some long balls.  Michael Morse homered with Pablo Sandoval aboard in the 2nd to erase Cincinnati's lead, and Brandon Crawford homered in the 4th with Tyler Colvin and Pablo Sandoval aboard.  Later, Buster Posey knocked Angel Pagan in to score the 6th run.  The Giants had 11 hits on the day, 3 by Sandoval, 2 by Pagan and the rest liberally spread around to everyone except Madison.

About those strikeouts - the total for Cincinnati pitchers was 14.  Yow! That's over half your total outs.  Didn't seem to matter today, though as the Giants pitching and defense were a stellar.  Much has been made about the Giants' difficulties in Cincinnati, but that's the sort of thing that makes a great story - but is not a real thing.  And by real thing, I mean cause and effect.   This team is good enough to break those kind of jinxes and small sample size anomalies.  We lost two games of this seven game road trip against some pretty tough teams.  I'm guessing that the plane ride home will be a good one.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Giants Outslug Reds

Speed demon Billy Hamilton wreaked havoc on the basepaths last night, and got three hits tonight, two of which did not leave the infield. And after a beautiful Vogie-to-Posey-to-Panda caught stealing sequence in the 3rd, the Reds scored two runs on a solo homer and back-to-back doubles. It's a funny game, this baseball. Hamilton runs like the wind and never crosses the plate. He makes an out at third and his team scores two runs!

Tony Cingrani kept the Giants off balance until the fateful 6th when he finally threw one to Mike Morse's liking and the big righty smoked it for a homer. His pitch count climbing, Brandon Hicks followed with a single and Juan Perez played hero with a two-run bomb right after that to take the lead. Four pitchers (Guiterrez, Lopez, Machi and Romo) made the lead stand and the Giants had a comeback win. Ryan Vogelsong deserves the most credit, though, as he labored early in the game and fell behind but in his doggedly determined way kept racking up the outs and pitched into the 7th. The Giants made three errors, two induced by Billy Hamilton, yet prevailed. B-Craw mishandled a ball in the 8th to put a runner on, but the strikeout from Lopez and a--what else?--double play grounder from Macho Machi ended that threat. Romo had a perfect 9th and the deed was done.

Giants pull off another road win to improve to 19-12 in gray. Only the 18-11 Dodgers and 20-10 A's are better. Early getaway day game tomorrow with Pitcher of the Month for May Madison Bumgarner getting the start. Matt Cain comes off the DL Friday at home against the Mets. Juan Perez is on the roster because of Cain's injury and you have to love a guy making the most of his chance to shine.