Monday, May 30, 2016

Flat Giants Fall to Braves

5-3 loss in Atlanta
The Giants could not solve Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz nor relievers Ian Krol and Hunter Cervenka. Fabulous monikers all, something you might expect on Euro 2016 football jerseys, but they delivered eight innings of 3-hit ball for the home squad. Brandon Belt launched a solo homer--that was it. 100-mph closer Arodys Vizcaino was more the Giants speed--they sent seven to the plate against him in the 9th and eked out two runs to make the final score a little more respectable. 'Arodys' is a seriously cool name. Jeff Samardzija, who sounds like a teammate of the three above, did not bring it today. By GameScore (39) this was the worst of his 11 starts in orange and black. Just about a month ago he gave up five runs in five innings against the Padres. In the 38-1/3 IP over the next five starts The Shark allowed only six runs total.

Braves win their 15th game against 35 losses. That's .300 ball, the worst in baseball.

Jake Peavy tomorrow.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Vlog 13 : Double Vision at Coors

8-3 win at COL

JohnnyC did his usual high quality thing but real news was that the offense went wacky. In a good way.  Is an 8 double game less common than a 4 homer game? Hmmmmm.  This question and many others are not answered in the Vlog below:

Vlog 13 "Double Vision at Coors"

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Buster Blasts Giants Past Rockies

10-5 win in Denver
Buster Posey has not been hitting like Buster Posey so far this season but being Buster Posey you knew it was only a matter of time. Fellow under-performers Joe Panik and Matt Duffy got on base together twice in front of Buster today and he delivered two massive home runs. The first gave the Giants a 3-0 lead in the 1st and the second recaptured that lost lead in the 8th and put the Giants up 7-5; they'd add on, hang on, and win from there. Two homers and six runs batted in is a good way to help the ball club. Way to go, Buster!

Madison Bumgarner worked hard through the first six innings and left with a 4-1 lead. He'd thrown 103 pitches to 25 batters, yielding five hits, two walks, and a run, striking out six. The bottom of the 6th was particularly stressful as he loaded the bases with no outs but managed a strikeout and induced a double-play grounder to slither out of the jam. The Giants bullpen had a meltdown in the 7th and gave up four runs. Out-of-form Javier Lopez walked two--they both scored--and erratic Josh Osich gave up yet another homer. It took five pitchers to get three outs.

But the Giants roared back in the top of the 8th behind Buster's bomb. They tacked on three more after that, a romp which included hit from reliever Cory Gearrin! The six runs made it a five-run lead. Good thing as the team didn't have much left in the way of bullpen arms. Gearrin, who got the last out in that ugly 7th, walked the first batter in the 8th but held the line and turned the ball over to Santiago Casilla for the 9th. A five-run lead is a "save situation" in Colorado. The closer got it done and the Giants won for the fourteenth time in sixteen games.

It was an epic fightback by the batters to bail out the still shaky 'pen, and a thoroughly Coors-ian win. But a win is a win is a win! The Giants 31-win total is second only to the Cubs 33 in all of baseball.

Johnny Cueto tomorrow at 1:10 Pacific.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Giants Get Two Runs

5-2 loss
In Colorado. In Nine Innings. Two runs is a three-inning jaunt in the Mile High City. At the very least a four-inning saunter. Two runs is entry-level, baby. The cut-off point. The Mendoza Line, man. Two runs is not acceptable. I don't care if Tyler Chatwood is pitching! I won't have it.

Albert Suarez was heroic in relief of injured Matt Cain. That's right, Cain was removed in the 2nd with an apparent hammy. That's right. I'm on intimate terms with the hamstring, the injury du jour of the clubhouse this season. I've nothing to add to that. We'll see what they say in the morning.

Suarez' Petitesque effort went for naught and the Giants lose for the first time in a while.

MadBum tomorrow.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Giants Go Samardzj-ing On

8-2 win in SF
The Giants win again against the Padres. That's 8-0 so far. Doing a little math, it seems the Giants are 21-19 against the rest of baseball. Hey, I'm not complaining. Good teams need to have some bad teams they can feast on. After tomorrow the two clubs don't meet again until the Giants go to San Diego right after the All-Star Break for three. They then have three in September at home before a four-game set over the penultimate weekend back in Petco. So there's a lot of ball left to be played between these squads.

Jeff Samardzija did his usual stalwart job hosting the Jeff Samardzija Show, with its panoply of cutters, high heat, and some sinkers, but it wasn't as good as the last episode. I'll think it'll be better next time. Overall, the Show looks like a winner. Good ratings. Critics are won over. Solid, prime-time stuff.

And the bats came alive at the end, I like to see that. You have to have some hitting, and they were hitting so well for a while there, and they have such a fun lineup, you really want to see some hits, so I was happy they delivered. But once again the game was decided by the run-prevention side of things, the extra runs were the icing on the cake. I'm not complaining.

Getaway game tomorrow at 12:45 Pacific. Jake Peavy tries to stave off the Heave the Peave Campaign. Wish him luck.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Vlog #12 : Another Typical Win

1-0 win vs. SD

OK, I like pitcher's duels as much as the next guy, but this is getting a little crazy.  Walk-off wins are totally bitchin' though.  Click below for the latest episode of joy!

Vlog 12

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Zerrbi

Wait.  Breathe.  Slow down.  That's zero runs and a run batted in for a 1 - 0 Giants victory.  Madison Bumgarner took the hill in the rubber match against the 29 - 12 Chicago Cuddlies this afternoon.  After Matt Cain's victory yesterday in which he allowed only 1 run in 6, Madison faced off against Kyle Hendricks.  Madison got himself into trouble right away, loading the bases in the 1st inning on a hbp, single and walk after getting the first 2 batters out before striking out Addison Russell.  But into trouble with no damage done.  Maddy then gave up one hit in the 2nd, then proceeded to retire the everyone until that consonant guy singled in the 7th.  In the 8th Maddy walked Anthony Rizzo after inducing 2 outs, 115 pitches in.  Cory Gearrin replaced him to get the final out in the 8th and Santiago Casilla got the save in the 9th.  Ben Zobrist sent one to the center field wall, but it was a long out.

Maddy's line: 7 2/3 innings, 115 pitches, 3 hits, 0 runs, 2 BB, 6 K, 0 runs and 0 runs.  That's 2 runs in his last 3 games (23.1 innings) and 8 earned runs in his last 7 games (50.1 innings).  Hendricks pitched well, holding the Giants to 1 run.

So, yeah, pitching.  But hitting, too.  In the 5th, Gregor Blanco walked.  Madison hit him home with a booming double to the base of the left field wall.  The Giants only had 4 hits, and another 4 walks, but they weren't bunched enough to affect the scoreboard.  Joe Panik had 2 hits, Matt Duffy had 1.

The Giants win the series against the team with the best record in baseball to follow their 7 - 0 road trip.  They are playing like champions.  The game was on ESPN Sunday night baseball.  And speaking of which, that was one of the worst broadcasts that I have ever seen.  ESPN wanted to show anything but the game.  They showed replays instead of plays, kept graphics on too long, and showed their idiotic announcers eating an Ike's sandwich named for Madison Bumgarner, which is totally appropriate, but not available at AT&T park.   And I didn't even listen to the audio.  Remember when this channel was about sports?  God, that was a long time ago.

The Giants are 9 for their last 10 (and 10 for 11).  San Diego comes to town tomorrow, having just played 17 innings against LA.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Giants Bounce Back Behind Cain

8-1 loss &
5-3 win in SF
After a disaster start from Jake Peavy on Friday night Matt Cain delivered not only six solid innings against the Cubs this afternoon but a two-run double as well. Jon Lester had the poorest start of his season so far: he left in the 3rd with his team trailing 5-1. It was the first time this year a Cubs starter has failed to go five innings. Buster Posey's two-run homer was the big blow. The Giants made the lead stand up despite the shaky bullpen. It took five guys to finish the final three innings. But after the thumping on Friday the team needed a big win and they hung on to get it. The pitching matchups were definitely in Chicago's favor: the Cubs have not lost the last 22 times Jake Arrieta has started, and Lester had been on a roll, too, allowing only 11 runs in his previous eight starts. Tomorrow the Giants get the advantage with Madison Bumgarner going up against Kyle Hendricks. It would be great to get a series win against the team with the best record in baseball!

But we are getting ahead of ourselves. It's nice just to savor a clutch win and especially gratifying that Matt Cain was on the hill for it. The Giants have not had much success from the no. 4 and no. 5 spots in the rotation. Things are looking better and better at no. 5 but no. 4 is still a question mark. You have to wonder how long the Giants will stick with Peavy if he can't find any consistency. Hard to say who would step in if that move has to be made. Weird lineup today--Kelby Tomlinson played LF and batted third, Gregor Blanco manned RF and Trevor Brown handled the catching duties. Hey, it worked!

Like I said MadBum goes tomorrow. It's the ESPN game, 5:05 Pacific.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.