Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Giants Lose to Team Wearing Dirty Uniforms

4-3 loss vs.ARI 

Johnny Cueto (14-5) coughed blood after 4 nearly perfect innings and delivered his shortest outing (4.2 IP) of this season.  That, combined with just enough Greinke and not enough timely hitting, led to a huge letdown and a drop to 2 games behind the blue goo (postponed in Col).  We have now dropped 6 of his last 9 outings, which is especially painful after winning 16 of his first 18.  Bad trend.
An even worse trend:  the Giants are now 8-18 in the second half in games started by the big three; MadBum, Cueto and Samardzija.  If that doesn't stop soon we have no chance.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Pan the Man

Madison Bumgarner was on the hill for the Giants today, but the story was Joe Panik and the Giants' offense.  Joe Panik hit 2 home runs, a first in the major leagues for him, and the second, coming in the 4th inning, was the deciding factor in the game.

Madison Bumgarner was not dominant.  He threw 7 innings, gave up 3 runs on 106 pitches, struck out 5 and walked 2.  In the 1st, he gave up a triple to the first hitter, Enciarte, who scored on a sac fly.  The Giants scored in the 2nd, Belt hit a triple, scored on a Jarrett Parker ground out and a bases empty home run from Joe.  Then in the 4th, with Parker on base, Joe hit his second home run, and Denard Span hit a solo shot to make it 5 - 1.  Atlanta got close on a 6th inning Freddie Freeman 2 run shot, but that was as close as they would get.  In the 7th, Posey walked, Crawford tripled, Belt walked, Parker tripled, Panik hit a sac fly, Nunez hit a solo shot, Gillaspie tripled, Span was hit by a pitch, Hernandez doubled, Posey walked, Crawford singled and Belt singled.  13 - 3.  Wait, how many triples?  Try 4.  The San Francisco Giants did that last year, and in 1960.   But a 4 homer and 4 triples in one game?  Never been done in Giants history.

Madison Bumgarner was not dominant.  But he was good and today, that was good enough.  That is huge because he so often has been good and at the losing end of things when only perfection would have mattered.  And after yesterday and the return of the no-offense offense, the Giants scored a bunch.  The final was 13 - 4.  They won the series, their first series win at home since the ASB.  They're going to have to win a lot of series from here on out.  Throwing in a sweep now and then wouldn't hurt.   The Giants starting staff (well, Madbum, Cueto, Moore and Smardjy) has looked good lately.  And it would not hurt if Joe Panik continues his drive towards deification.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Back-to-back

7-0 win at home
A stout Jeff Samardzija and a sizzling Brandon Crawford snuffed out the Atlanta Braves and got plenty of backing from the bats (the Shark himself had a double and run scored) for a big win to make it back-to-back. The Giants had back-to-back wins against the Mets right before the recent four-game losing streak--which was preceded by a four-game losing streak. You have to go back to the end of July, the 30th and 31st against the Nationals, to find another set of back-to-back wins. You have to go back to before the Break to find another.

But back-to-back it is and it is the second time the club has pitched back-to-back shutouts. Last night Santiago Casilla got the last out for Matt Moore and tonight Hunter Strickland and Cory Gearrin got the last six for Samardzija. On Sunday the 22nd of May Madison Bumgarner, Gearrin, and Casilla shut out the Cubs. The next day Johnny Cueto threw a shutout all by himself against the Padres. That's nine for the team, and nine times shut out themselves.

Win number 70 seemed much too long in coming. Keep it rolling, Giants!

--M.C.

Missed it by THAT much!

4-0 win in LA
FNG Matt Moore showed why the Giants were interested in him with a dazzling near-no-hitter in Chavez Ravine last night. For 8-2/3 it looked like it just might happen but rookie phenom Corey Seager hit a single to right on Moore's 133rd pitch. Regardless, it was a great performance by the lefty and a much-needed win for the club. That's 18 innings and one run scored from LA's high-flying offense. Just goes to show you what good pitching can do. Add in some run-scoring and you've got the formula. Last night Joe Panik followed a run-scoring single from Brandon Belt with a two-run homer and that was just what the doctor ordered. The Giants desperately need to add some pop to their attack. Doubles and triples can work too, but home runs always work. I did not expect this to be a slugging team but Pence, Posey, Belt, BCraw--these guys can go yard, we've seen it, it's time to see it again. Match it up with good starts and that's the way forward and out of the funk. It's easy to get over-excited about the big win but the streaks have to start somewhere. How about here and now?

Jeff Samardzija takes on the Braves and Joel De La Cruz tonight in San Francisco.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

7th inning: 6-12

1st inning:  8-10
2nd inning: 10-8
3rd inning: 15-3
4th inning: 12-6
5th inning: 12-6
6th inning: 5-13
7th inning: 6-12

Last night was game 126, the seventh of our 18-game seasonal innings. All the lovely work done in innings two through five before the All-Star Break has been undone by one of the worst stretches we have seen from this club in a long time. The Dodgers have gone 20-15 (.571) in the same stretch. Even a .500 club would still be in first place! But 11-25 (.306) certainly won't work. It's an epic collapse. There's no other way to put it. They've got 36 games--two more innings--to turn it around. If you told me at the start of the season that the Giants would be three back with 36 to play I'd have thought "got 'em right where we want 'em" and been happy. But this team is not inspiring confidence. It ain't over 'til it's over but they are playing poorly enough to make that happen sooner rather than later. If you have Dodgers fans in your social circle (I have many, alas) it's best you show yourself in public and take your whippin' like a man. And if the Giants do turn it around, just think about all the "payback's a bitch" you can lay on 'em!

Moore v. Stripling tonight. GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Death by Dinger

1-0 loss in LA

The death spiral continues as some guy named Hill kicked our ass.  Not much to talk about, certainly nothing to vlog about.  JohnnyC picked up loss #4 even though he pretty much only made one mistake: a hanger to Turner (what a prick!) that resulted in one lousy run. Which, of course, was plenty.  It seems like every team EXCEPT US can actually hit home runs to win games. In fact, that is really the only way many of them score.  I wonder how that feels...

The post ASB disaster stands at 11-25 now.  Easily the worst in baseball.  Is there enough time to right this sinking ship?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Giants Slip Further Back

You had your ace on the mound and had a day off.  But it didn't matter, the Giants lost again and slipped to 2 games behind LA for the division lead.  Madison Bumgarner on the mound.  He gave up 5 runs and every one of them was earned.  Turner had a bunch of hits, new guy Segedin homered, and of course: Gonzalez.  Madison lasted only 5, threw 96 pitches, struck out 7 and walked 1.  9 hits.  Kenta Maeda was also chased, he only lasted 5, threw 103 pitches and gave up 3 runs.  After Madison, Gearrin gave up 2 and then Lopez gave up a 2-run home run to a lefty, new guy Toles.  The Giants showed a little moxie in the early innings, but that evaporated by the time the relievers came on.  LA kept scoring, the Giants barely had any hits (1 in the 6th, Span a meaningless hr in the 9th).  9 - 5 final.

11 and 24 since the ASB.  The doggers since then are 21 - 15.  Hardly stellar, but it beats a team that can't manage to win 1/3 of their games.  The dogger hitters are hot.   The Giants aren't.  Shit.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Another Lost Weekend

9-5 loss Saturday and
2-0 loss Sunday in SF
The Giants couldn't pitch for shit yesterday--that was enough to hand the Mets the win. They also could not, in their maddening way, get the big game-breaking hit despite lots of opportunities. Just the opposite happened today--Jeff Samardzija pitched a hell of a game but the lineup couldn't hit for shit. The Shark had a no-hitter through six but gave up a two-run homer to Yoenis Cespedes (he hit two on Saturday) in the 7th and that was enough for a dominant Noah Syndergaard. The Giants managed only two hits and two walks with two runners caught stealing and one doubled up on a 4-6-3. It was a feeble effort from the club this weekend. A feeble, feeble effort right before the biggest series of the season so far, three games with the Dodgers starting Tuesday. If the Dodgers beat the Reds tomorrow (the Giants are off) then they will be up by a game. If they lose they'll be tied with the Giants. Either way the Giants need to start winning. They are 11-23 since the Break and 7-12 in August. Let's hope they can rediscover their mojo this week. Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto take the hill for the first two in LA against Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Vlog 26 "The Return of JohnnyC Joy"

8-1 win vs. NYM

We are BACK IN FIRST!!!  There were so many positive signs in this game: JohnnyC joy, nifty defense , nostalgic relief, and, oh yeah, RUNS.  Bask in the warmth of this one because you never know what tomorrow will bring with this crazy ass team.

Vlog 26 "The Return of JohnnyC Joy"

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Bright Spot

Hey, Hey, Giants come out on top of a weird game, 10 - 7 over the New York Mets.   Madison Bumgarner facing off against Jacob deGrom.  That promised to be a low scoring pitching duel between two of the games top aces.  Madbum and deGrom both lasted only 5 innings.  Madbum gave up 4 runs on a grand slam, deGrom gave up 8 runs.  Has Madison ever given up a grand slam before?  I don't remember it.  It was the worst outing in deGrom's career.  Madbum struck out 6 and walked 3, gave up 6 hits and threw 89 pitches.  He got 2 of those runs back, home run number 3 for him on the year off of deGrom with 1 runner on.  Good thing, too, because after the Giants went up 8 - 4 at the end of 5, the Mets charged back with a 3 run 6th.  Gearrin, just back from rehabbing, gave up 2, Smith 1.  Then Law, Lopez, Romo and Casilla held the Mets.  Matt Cain was put on the DL to make room for Gearrin.  Giants tacked on 2 in the bottom of the 8th on a Buster Posey double for a final of 10 - 7.   3 rbi on 4 hits for Nunez, 3 hits for Span and 3 for Crawford, 2 for Pence, 2 for Posey, and hits for Panik, Pagan and Madbum.  I like being able to type a lot of names when listing guys who got hits.  17 total for the Giants.  To sweeten the deal, LA lost to the Phils so the Giants (who should have never have been in this position) gain a game.  And I get to use my favorite label.

How about those Olympics, huh?  Even if you accept the premise that athletic talent is randomly distributed, which you may not, athletic talent alone doesn't let you compete at an elite level.  You need training, coaching, nutrition, facilities, good PED's; and all of that takes money.  So I spent the afternoon doing division so that I could have some numbers to post that weren't associated with an L.  The following is a list of medals divided by GDP in billions of US dollars (x 1,000,000).

Azerbaijan           285.7
Kazakhstan          120.7
Hungary               119.7
New Zealand        82.8
Denmark               39.7
Russia                   37.9
Australia               22.5
Netherlands           19.7
Great Britain         14.7
South Korea          12.9
Italy                       12.4
Canada                  10.3
France                     9.6
Germany                 9.2
Brazil                      9.1
Japan                       8.2
US                           5.1
China                      5.1

You can't compute North Korea's numbers, although they have won 7 medals, as they have apparently no GDP.  Did you know Vietnam won 2 medals (shooting)?  Algeria and Quatar both won medals track and field, as did the Bahamas.  Fiji won a medal in rugby.  Did you know rugby was an Olympic sport?  Hard to tell if you watch NBC.  The Dominican Republic won a medal in taekwondo.   You know who the real Olympic heros are in this table?  The independent, or refugee athletes, who have won 2 medals.  No GDP or even anyone to cheer them at home.  Or home.