Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Return of Punchlessness

Punchlessness  (n)  Without the state or quality of having punch, or possessing the state or quality of a distinctive lack of punch.  Weak.  Feeble.

Boy, after last night, I kind of got my hopes up that this post-All Star stretch of bad, bad baseball.  But I guess yesterday's victory was more of a oddity than a trend.  Giants drop the series to the worst team in the NL Central by a score of 2 - 1.  Yes, another start by Madison Bumgarner without a victory to show for it.

Well, let's talk about Madison's day.  He went 8, struck out 9, gave up 5 hits and walked none.  He gave up a home run, to Jay Bruce, of course, Bruce's 4th home run of this series.  Maybe we just shouldn't pitch to that guy.  So there was that run, which was earned.  And another, which wasn't.  In the 5th inning, with 1 out and Brandon Phillips on 1st, Suarez hit a ball to the wall, which Angel Pagan couldn't hold on to.  That put Phillips on 3rd, and a fly ball turned into a sacrifice.  So that was another run, not earned, but it gave Madison the loss.  Madison also had 1 hit.

And now, the rest of the team.  Conor Gillespie hit a home run with no one on base.  Pagan had 2 hits, Belt had a walk.  That was it, a total of 5 stinkin' baserunners the entire game.   So since the ASB, Madison has given up 4, 2 and 1 earned runs and been on the receiving end of 3 losses.  His run support in those games: 1, 2 and 1 run.  Well, good luck against Washington, guys, you're gonna need it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


9-7 win in SF
Crazy shit happened tonight: the Giants won and Matt Cain got the "W". Really. Matt Cain. Giants. Win. Did I mention Matt Cain hit a three-run homer? No? Matt Cain hit a three-run homer. It wasn't the prettiest start (5-1/3, 6 hits, 4 runs) but it wasn't the prettiest relief either, so there. Giants scored nine runs and had to use their closer. But enough of that--the Giants won the game, thank the gods. Oh, and BCraw had three hits, scored two, and drove in two.

Bumgarner tomorrow afternoon. Go Giants!


Homers Doom Giants

7-5 loss in SF
It keeps getting worse. Well, Brandon Belt returned to life with a big game. But that was bad. Real bad. I was sure Jake Peavy was going to keep the ball away from Jay Bruce, but he inexplicably grooved one on 3-1 count in the 6th and that did it. What was that all about? I don't understand. You can't groove one to a guy like that--hell, you can't throw meatballs like that to any ML hitter. What happened to corners? I suppose this improves the odds that the Giants will make a move. 1-8 since the Break, time to turn it around.

Matt Cain tonight. Go Giants!


p.s. As much as the Giants could use a live arm I'm glad the Cubs sold their franchise soul (and farm system) for Chapman.

Sunday, July 24, 2016


5-2 loss in NYC
The Giants continue to play their worst baseball of the season. Perhaps coming home will snap them out of their funk.

The Reds come to town for three, then the Nationals for four.



Saturday, July 23, 2016

Mac Attack

2-1 win (12) in NYC
Just when you thought the Giants would never win again they pulled out a near-miraculous victory in Yankee Stadium this afternoon to halt their six-game skid. Mac Williamson provided both the heroics (game-tying homer, go-ahead RBI single) and the un-heroics (error that led to the Yanks only run) and that was the difference, mostly. Quite a bit of credit must also go to embattled closer Santiago Casilla, who saved a two-on, no-out situation in the 10th and followed that up with a scoreless 11th to give the team a chance. Hunter Strickland delivered a no-nonsense 1-2-3 12th to seal the deal after Williamson drove in Trevor Brown (leadoff double) in the top half to break the deadlock.

Johnny Cueto started and had to work hard (117 pitches!) to get through six with only the one run allowed on the Williamson error. He struck out nine but also walked one and gave up six hits. He had a busy time out there with lots of long counts and foul balls. To his credit he battled and got the job done. The struggling offense (Belt 3 K, Posey 0-for-5 with a DP, BCraw 0-for-5) was on display once again but this time the team prevailed.

Whew. Needed that one. Jeff Samardzija tomorrow at 1:05 (whoops!) 10:05 Pacific.



Friday, July 22, 2016

Finding New Ways

What do you say about a game in which Carlos Beltran has the defensive gem and Brandon Crawford errs?  Giants lose, yet again, to make it 6 in a row.  This time, to the Yankees, 3 - 2.

Madison Bumgarner taking the hill for the Giants in New York.  So far, this swing through the ballparks of the eastern AL has been anything but fun.  Madison pitched all right, he gave up 2 runs in 7 innings, 7 hits, struck out 6 and walked 3.  Josh Osich gave up 1.   The Giants did not score until the 7th, on a wild pitch, and then Williamson batted in Trevor Brown with a double in the 8th.  That tied the game until Brandon C threw the ball past Brandon B at first.  Buster banged a ball off of his foot and had to leave the game.  So the offense, which seemed to come alive during the last game in Boston as the pitchers were throwing batting practice, went back to sleep and a pretty well pitched game was wasted.   Well, here is something positive.  As I type this, the Cardinals have beaten the doggers in the 16th.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Silver Linings

11-7 loss at Fenway
The slumping Giants rapped out 15 hits including two homers and scored seven runs so at least there is a silver lining to this five-game losing streak. The first four losses featured ten runs total--perhaps this means the bats will come to life in New York. And the Dodgers lost, always a silver lining in a dark Giants cloud. Matt Cain got hammered in his return to action, sadly, and it looks like he's a long way from helping the club. During a losing streak, when you are a fan like we are, you have that terrible nagging feeling that they will never win again. It's ridiculous, of course, but when one devotes the kind of energy and emotion to a team like we do, those kinds of irrational waves come and bury you now and then. I KNOW the Giants will get back to winning. That's a sure thing. But I'm not so sure about Matty. He looks so lost out there--a shadow of the ace we once knew. Every time he makes another comeback something happens. It seems he gets hurt or he gets rocked--there have not been a lot of other outcomes for the big righty this year.

Off-day tomorrow. Yankee Stadium Friday night with MadBum on the hill.



p.s. The last time Matt Cain pitched in Boston he lost 1-0.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Vlog 22 "A Rotten Weekend in San Diego"

5-3 loss in SD   

The All-Star break may give our boys a nice rest but it has also caused a break in the JohnnyC Joy and, well....winning.  I sure hope this is a brief break but a nasty Roadtrip ahead could be ugly.  Stay calm and watch the Vlog:

Vlog 22 "A Rotten Weekend in San Diego"

Balk-off Blues

7-6 loss (10) in SD
Things I was hoping to see less of in the second half of the season: Jeff Samardzija throwing batting practice and Santiago Casilla blowing saves. Things I was hoping to see more of in the second half: homers. I got my homers but as we know it's not how you score runs that matters. Keeping the other team from scoring runs is what matters. That didn't happen and the Giants lost two in a row for the first time since the Oakland series. The Padres, you have to figure, were hungry for a win--the Giants won the first nine contests this season, losing the tenth Friday night. I still like 9-2 but I'd like 10-2 a lot better.

Johnny Cueto this afternoon.



Friday, July 15, 2016

Padres Return from Break. Giants, not so much.

After what some refer to as the All Star game, and what I refer to as the mid-summer time period in which there is no meaningful baseball, the Giants returned to action tonight in a losing effort against the Padres.  Well, action is a bad choice of words here.  Inaction is more like it.

Andrew Cashner was on the mound for the Padres in one of their awful baby-poop colored uniforms.  Did they forget that they got rid of those for a very good reason?  You will read about how good he was.  I think that the story is more about how the Giants were there in body, but not spirit.  They were asleep or maybe still on break.  At least, that's what the energy level they were displaying looked like.   So the Giants lost 4 - 1 and looked pretty bad against the team they have beaten all season.

Madison Bumgarner was on the mound for the Giants, and he was part of the problem.  He gave up a run in the 1st, which the Giants matched in the top of the 2nd thanks to back-to-back hits from Brandon Crawford and Conor Gillaspie.  Then he gave up another run in the 3rd, then a couple of solo shots on fat pitches in subsequent innings.  Maddys' line: 6 IP, 4 runs, all earned, 7 hits, 1 BB, 9 K.  Meanwhile, the Giants got 1 hit after that 2nd inning.  At least Mac Williamson got it on his birthday.  The umpire's strike zone was terrible.  He seemed to think Brandon Belt, in particular, had a strike zone at least twice as big as any other human.  Brandon Belt struck out as often as Buster Posey grounded out (4 x each).  All Stars.  Belt got thrown out (a first for him!) as did Bochy.  At least that was something.

In the 9th inning, Yangervis Solarte, the Puds 3rd baseman, made the 1st out of the inning with a catch of a Angel Pagan foul ball which sent him tumbling over the rail.  Here is a replay, but not of the best part.  Solarte came up with the ball and it was covered with nacho cheese.  Inside the glove.  Someone find this and post a link in the comments, please.  So if he did not drop the ball, exactly how did that nacho cheese get all over it?  As with the strike zone though, it wouldn't have mattered.  Someone leave a wake-up call for the team tomorrow, OK?