Thursday, July 31, 2008
Maybe they should first try to skip his next start and see if a rest helps, although I don't know who in the bullpen is worthy of a spot start. Taschner?
Also, of course, the offense was pathetic again, making a couple of Dogger pitchers look like superstars. God it sucks to be shut out by L.A.
Now it's a big wait-and-see day, wondering if we make any good trades.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Have you ever been to a Russian wedding? I had not. Let me tell you, those folks know how to have a good time. We also got to spend some time in the Russian River area (Guerneville and Monte Rio), which is quite beautiful. I had not been there since I was a wee lad. The Sonoma Coast is spectacular. We drove north on Highway 1 from Tomales--the mouth of the Russian is just south of Jenner. The beaches and coastal access points north of Bodega Bay are wonderful. I love living here in the State of Jefferson, but I do miss the ocean, so it was great to get a dose. Nothing like one of those cold onshore winds blowing in your face as the breakers crash and the pelicans dive into the surf.
1. BroB, Zo, way to "post up."
2. Lewis rocks. But we knew that.
3. Lincecum now feels Cain's pain.
4. Matt Cain rocks. But we knew that.
5. We stink. Most putrid-ly. But we knew that.
6. When are we shipping out Roberts, Winn, Aurilia and Molina?
7. Now that we aided and abetted AZ's quest for the NL West title, will that continue vs. LA?
43-61, .413 after 104 games. That projects to 67-95. We are still better than my 100-loss prediction, but I think we will be working hard to fulfill the prophecy in these next two months. After all, if we have any brains, we will throw every youngster we got out there while the rest of the league chases a pennant. OK, maybe not San Diego or Washington, but most of the rest.
Happy to home, me bhoyos, looking forward to seeing more Matt, Tim, and Fred. Let's beat the fookin' smogsuckers while we are at it, eh?
Sunday, July 27, 2008
A beautiful cool SF afternoon was marred by a lopsided defeat by the Snakes of Arizona. The omens seemed good- as I approached the ticket window on the King St. side I was approached by a man and a woman who gave me 3 free tickets. (There's an interesting story to this but it would be too much of a digression). I accepted them. They were worth $26 each. Turned out to nose-bleeders, section 324 View Reserved row 15. We got our bobbleheads, then our Garlic Fries and settled in for some baseball.
Since I'm finally reconciled to having the Giants lose a lot, I can report the proceedings detached from most of the frustration I would normally be obliged to vent. That Zito would fail was more or less a given. I was glad he threw 3 scoreless innings before the inevitable occurred. I actually felt kinda privileged to watch the legendary Big Eunuch perform at a high level. He made it look easy.
Except (and here's the best part) when Fred Lewis was at the plate. Fred Lewis OWNS Randy Johnson! In the first inning he got a crisp single then stole second and then stole third. It was very exciting. Of course he didn't score. The next time he got another single and received a lot of attention from Johnson, ie. pickoff attempts. The next time he got a double, and as he walked off the field (after once again not scoring), something strange happened. I'm not quite sure what. But Johnson was obviously saying something to Lewis. At first I thought he must be giving him some sort of compliment, but the home plate umpire interposed himself and escorted Johnson halfway back to the dugout. So perhaps the comments were not entirely cordial. Or maybe the eunuch was responding to something Lewis said.
In his his next AB Fred Lewis did something no other left-hand batter has ever done- he got a 4th hit off Johnson, a double. Of course he didn't score this time either.
In addition Fred made a nifty catch high against the wall in the corner.
Way to go Fred. This is our every day Left Fielder. Grab some pine, Meat Roberts.
There was another wonderful moment. Matos had a very rough inning and it looked like it was going to go totally south when he threw a wild pitch which caused the runner on third to take off full speed. But the ball caromed off the backstop sharply, Molina grabbed it and threw to Matos who tagged him for out three. Then Matos delivered probably the finest spike of a baseball I have ever seen. It was great.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Once again, like a beam of bright sunshine, Tim Lincecum stands out in this dark season. Setting a new career high of thirteen strikeouts with no walks, The Enchanter was once again dominating. Except for a lapse during the fifth inning (both runs on 4 hits), Tim was dealing. Apparently the shadows and bright background made for some tough hitting...of course, it is always tough to hit against Webb and Lincecum. My favorite part of Tim's night was his last inning, striking out the side.
I would be remiss without mentioning the clutch hit that took Timmy off the hook and gave us the lead going into the 8th. (BTW we are in the process of blowing that lead...Walker wasted no time in snatching the victory from Tim.) Rowand, who was 0-8, 6 K's against Webb, delivered a two out, two RBI single. I am not really impressed at all by Aaron, but that was a big hit...and on a good team it probably would have won the game. Nice job, Gamer.
Oh well, in the time it took to write the last paragraph , Tyler Walker pissed away Tim's win. I always thought it was a long shot that Walker would come back strong, let alone be a setup man. Anyone else notice that almost the moment we lost Merkin Valdez our bullpen became a real liability. In any case, I will not criticize the decision to stop Tim after 7 innings and 111 pitches. Sure we lost (the game isn't over but the snakes have a two run lead now), but remember, THAT REALLY DOESN'T MATTER. We just need to stay healthy and keep letting our future stars develop their shine.
Welcome to the battle. Keep your head up and your eyes open. Strange days lay ahead and we need all the help we can get. GOOD LUCK and congrats on the nice start!
Hmm, let's see, on the bright side, he only threw a couple innings, so that's good, right?
And clearly I have to abandon my "Sanchez is better than Cain" thesis, at least for the time being.
Did everyone see that Sunday is "Matt Cain Bobblehead" day? Maybe I should go and get a couple of those bad boys. I could, maybe. What do you say?
Thursday, July 24, 2008
After this, I promise never to miss another start. Matt Cain goes today. I hope he can stay sharp, not walk guys, and get outs efficiently.
I hope the Giants can score runs. Mostly, I hope we trade more old guys for more young guys.
¡Hasta la vista!
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Like I said, the Brewers are a good team, and MC had to be on top of his game. He wasn't. And the match-up with Sabathia meant extra pressure to be perfect, and that is a recipe for failure. CC was dominant. He is shouldering quite a bit of expectations himself--Milwaukee is going to have to make a big 2nd half run to overtake Chicago and fend off St. Louis. CC will have to deliver. The formula for big-time aces is "keep it close with good teams, crush the minnows." Hey Sabes, guess which one we are?
Take a look at the Win Probability Table from FAN GRAPHS for last night. It was already 75% Brewers before the fateful 7th.
Friday, July 18, 2008
The Brewers are fighting for their lives in the NL Central. The Giants? We are struggling with "dilemmas" like what to do about Dave Roberts. Gimme a break. Ship 'em all!!! We are stuck with Rowand and Zito, the rest are expendable. Hell, it is only money.
Regardless, it is a great match-up tonight of big guys, hard throwers, "old school" smoke-meisters! Go, Matt! Kick some ass!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Baseball is great, as we know. Our southern neighbors love it as well, and it has been a dream of mine to watch a ballgame in Latin America. (They call their outfielders jardineros, which also means "gardeners." Jardinero Derecho, J. Centro, J. Izquierdo, R to L.) We saw two, and got rained out of a third. It is the wet season in Oaxaca, and we enjoyed a long rain delay in one game as well. The fans get a kick out of watching the theatrical but efficient tarp crew. Coronas, poured and delivered, were 15 pesos ($1.50 US), and home-made empeñadas, stout enough for dinner, were 25 pesos. We sat in the second-best seats, the centro, and they set us back a whole five bucks American (50 pesos). Apiece. Of course, every night is Ladies Nite in Oaxaca--damas are charged half-price. My lovely bride and I sat behind home plate, under cover, for seven and a half dollars total. I love the Minor Leagues! The game was loud and crazy, with typically nutty minor-league promotions, as well as cheerleaders, the Guerreritas. It was festive and fun--they blast music videos and rock riffs for the local guys, and taunt the opposition with insults and foul language. Sporting events are a great way to meet locals and experience the spirit of a place. (We've seen hurling in Ireland and cricket in England!) Our first night, the beer vendor adopted us right away, made sure we knew where to sit, kept the cervezas coming, and chatted with us during the delay. We felt right at home.
Meanwhile, I'm very excited about the MC-CC matchup (can't we all just drop those pesky periods?) on Friday. Let me clarify: I'm NOT at all excited about our weak offense trying to hit off Sabathia. I AM excited about a chance for Cain to go toe-to-toe with one of the best.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Clint Hurdle says our young stud might not pitch. How 'bout that, kid? You make the cover of SI but won't throw in Yankee Fookin' Stadium with everyone watching? Memo to Marketing: Send Clint the Marketing Memo.
I missed the Fourth of July. So how about a little Lady Liberty Love in Orange & Black, eh?
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
TODOS SOMOS GUERREROS.
In Oaxaca, we are all Guerreros (warriors).
Don't you like that?
Yes, I'm back from my three-week holiday, which involved two weeks in México, one of those in Oaxaca de Juárez. I'll put together some posts on béisbol soon, with photos (I hope).
Meanwhile, I'm adopting the slogan:
We are all Giants.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
"I didn't feel like I had much juice."
Monday, July 7, 2008
(link to art)
Friday, July 4, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
As if in response to the plethora of wondering fans, Matt Cain laid to rest any notion that he may not be an "Ace." Worry no longer. Mr. Cain is the real deal. He can pitch with anybody in this league, including teammates Tim Lincecum and Jonathan Sanchez. And, oh by the way...He's the youngest of the those three!
It is hard not to be filled with schpilkas this smoky morn. Matt Cain threw, agrueably, the strongest start for a Giant this year. Athough missing a couple big bats, the Cubs are, what Stephen Colbert would call, a formidable opponent. Matt sliced through them, especially late in the game. His fastball, clocked at 97 mph, made Ryan Theriot look bad to end the seventh. The next two outs were also K's and the final out for Matt was the rather memorable, spectacular, but not graceful dive and throw by Castillo. (If you did not see it, go now.) Perhaps the most telling feature of how well Matt performed was his complete domination of Kosuke Fukudome. How do you say "hat trick" in Japanese?
Beyond the resurgence of Mr. Cain, the game also featured some more reasons to really like Fred Lewis. I'm talking serious man-love. Fred scored both runs, one of which was stealing home on the front end of a double steal. He had badly screwed this same play earlier this year (too lazy to look it up), but this time Fred executed perfectly. He continually shows improvement and that is EXCITING. ....The sobering thought is the only reason Fred is playing enough to develop before our eyes is because Roberts got hurt. Would our management have done it right on their own?
***If you like the lovely artwork above, then you will love this FanPost on the McCovey Chronicle from yesterday. (I guess photo credit goes to Natto.)