Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wow . . . WoW . . . WOW!!!

The hobbling, pinch-hit bomb by Bengie "Señor Slow" Molina on Wednesday night was the biggest play of the year until today, when Edgar "The Rental" Renteria KO'd the Crockies with a GRAND SLAM in the bottom of the 7th off Rafael Betancourt. It had all the earmarks of another agonizing loss, what with Matt Cain's lackluster line (6 8 4 4 2 8) and sub-par start (Game Score 46). The offense looked as typically clueless and inept as they have all year, continually crushing our dreams with flailing, undisciplined at-bats. Somehow, against all odds, the Giants in the 7th produced an inning of championship caliber: working counts, putting guys on base, forcing a bullpen move, and getting the big hit. It was as if all the things I've wailed, lamented, and gnashed my teeth about all season long were suspended for one delirious moment in time! Including the 8th, SEVEN RUNS got tacked on the team total by a spectacular display of grit, fortitude, patience, veteran savvy clutchness, and gnarly motherfucking orneriness.

And magic. Plain, simple baseball magic. How else do you explain team talisman Pablo Sandoval going 0-4 with 2 strikeouts and yet the rest of the squad putting up NINE RUNS? What a game! What a series! What a season!

Notable noteworthy notes:

**JUAN URIBE continues to deliver. This guy, despite a .308 OBA, slugs .450 and makes the plays. Who needs Freddy Sanchez?

**MISSISSIPPI FRED LEWIS contributed positively to the two big rallies in his usual, low-key, un-dramatic way. This guy may have played his way into a 4th-OF role, but he remains a useful asset, especially since we lost Andres Torres to injury.

**RYAN ROHLINGER got his chance and delivered in front of 42,000 folks. Rock on, kid, and welcome to The Show.

**JEREMY "Lights-Out" AFFELDT flashed some more of that early-season form, he will be increasingly important in the September madness to come. Like Uribe, a good move this spring by Brian Sabean.

**EIGHT RUNS by the Crockies in the series--that's impressive. I just can't get used to a Giants team that relies on pitching. Not that I'm complaining, it is just so foreign. The Giants have always been a slugging team, and I have to adapt. Looking back on our years of bridesmaid roles and not-quite championships, we never had enough pitching with those teams. Never. Ever. Intuitively, I knew that, even then. No more. This team has pitching--killer, in-your-face, shut-you-down pitching. Even when we get a mediocre start we don't give it up, it's a battle. I should also note Barry "Da Beezy" Zito's matching of Tim's eight shutout innings against the .783 OPS lineup (2nd in the league). That kind of start is what we paid a gazillion dollars for--let's see some more of it.

An incredible win in an incredible series. I hadn't thought it possible. On Tuesday I said the Crockies were better than us. And they were. In their yard. But in our yard, we were better. I absolutely love home-field advantage--all those years of watching the Giants lose in Candlestick makes every home win that much more special.

p.s. Dave Flemming said that Buster Posey, not on the 40-man roster, was unlikley to be called up in the roster expansion. Nuts to that I say, we need a 3rd catcher and we need to see our Six Million Dollar Man in action!


Zo said...

Not to poop on the wows parade - but, Hammel threw 53 pitches to get through 5 innings. Cain threw 113 to get through 6. This happens over and over. The Giants' offense can be inspirational - it was today. The Rockies offense is competent.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Yeah, I was impressed how they wore Cain down with long at bats while we flailed away. Logic says we should not have won that game, but we did. Hurdle might be second-guessing his pitching change in the 6th. Ol' Boch went to the well once too often also, pinch-hitting Molina for Schierholtz. Sheesh, give the kid a chance!

It all worked out--nothing like 9 runs to cure what ails you.

JC Parsons said...

I love it when there is a new "biggest hit of the year" everyday.

I must express deep disappointment in Matt. He did not nut up. Troy absolutely owned him, which stood out in comparison to how Tim and BZ did. I hate how hard he gets hit - lots of xbasehits. I guess that's the life of a fastball artist...

We equalled last year's win total before the month of September!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow is right! Nice to turn on the tube after a long drive back from Yreka( and learning of this blog from M.C.!) to see the G-men ahead, and then pour is on with a rookies first hit of the season! The Giants did what they needed to do, and set us all up for an awesome September of Giants Baseball! So, will our pitching and occasional hitting be enough to get to the playoffs? Has anyone checked the schedule? From the 11th to the 20th we play 6 games with the Dredgers and 3 with the Rockies. If we are still in good shape after that, and I believe we will be, we finish with 6 games against Arizona, 4 with the Cubs, and 3 with the Padres. Not bad. While we play the Cubs, the Rockies play the Cards, then finish with the Dredgers while we are playing the Puds. Looks like a favorable schedule to me, so I'm putting my money on the GIANTS!!!! This will be fun, and that my friends is what it is really all about! Joe

M.C. O'Connor said...

Joe--glad you made it home safely and found us on the web. It is going to be a crazy Septemmber!!

You can't completely shut down good hitting teams--even Preternatural Tim gave up a GW HR to this club last weekend. These guys are particulary patient and wear opponents down by attrition. To say Matt didn't "nut up" is saying he failed to recognize the importance of the game and give "a-hunnert-n-ten-percent." Nonsense. Sometimes the other guy beats you, and there's no shame in that. I've no doubt Cain pitched his heart out. I got to see BZ on TV, his curveball was beautiful, and he was hitting his spots with the fastball, esp. on the outside corner. We got to see him do that vs. Flomars in July at the Park. When that's working, he can be tough.

In the end, we exposed their weakness by getting their starter out of the game. Funny, Clint Hurdle has stated many times that that is his offensive philosophy--force the starter out of the game and go after the 'pen. Didn't quite work out this weekend!

Ron said...

Nice weekend series - we did the bare minimum - we swept. Great that Tim just said 'siddown & shut up' on Friday night - again, that was pretty much the bare minimum of what needed to be done, but he did it. It all fell into place from there. Still lots of work to do.

Regarding becoming a thread starter, please tell me why that would be an advantage. My resistance is because of needing to open Google account. Not that I have anything against Google, but I have joined so many things, that I am hesitant to join another. Isn't kibitzing someone else's thread OK? I suppose I can't post links & photos & other such stuff, but I am getting saturated with joining stuff. Please give me other carrots, here.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Of course you can contribute by "comments" as opposed to "posting." Posting just gives you the ability to start the conversation. As you can see, the threads that develop are often non-linear and wind up someplace entirely apart from where the post started it!

Remember: it is an INVITATION and not an OBLIGATION. Just want to hear your voice, is all.

Zo said...

Apparently, according to and Jon Heyman of SI, Brad Penny is a Giant.

Ron said...

This one has to fall into the category of 'why the hell not?'. Once Smoltz was gone, why not go for Penny? Once you get over his la history, aside from his fairly decent pitching record & his 2 WS wins, he happens to be an excellent fielder, too. So, we have our #5 starter. This should be an upgrade.

JC Parsons said...

@MOC Ok, maybe "nutting up" has nothing to do with anything, BUT you must admit that Matt may have just taken himself out of Cy Young consideration. That was a HUGE start and he DID NOT rise to the occasion. If he is the STUD we hope he is, those are games he must own...after all, how many truly meaningful games has he even had a chance at?

@Ron Try this carrot: Pride of creation. Commenting on someone else's thread, no matter how brilliantly, does not compare to the satisfaction of creating your own post. The posts are what set the tone and define each of us as fans ( our "voices"); comments are more reactionary and directed. Personally, there are a couple posts that are the best things I've ever written.

Carrot #2 Positive influence. I have come to realize that DOZENS of people now read RMC pretty regularly. (Our Facebook feed is really making a difference!) Is that weird? The vast majority of them rarely read the comments, let alone contribute. They need and want role models, like you, to show them how to be a truly great Giants fan. That sounds totally corny, but I believe it.

M.C. O'Connor said...

They once gave the MVP to Jimmy Rollins. He wasn't even the best player on his TEAM let alone the league.

Matt is a wonderful ballplayer, but he's not the best pitcher on his team. Tim is. Even if Adam Wainwright wins the Cy Young, Tim will still be the best pitcher. I don't give a shit about the BBWAA unless they get it right. Then I'm all for it.

One Sunday doesn't make a season. There will be other big starts--at least a half a dozen. Matt will get his licks in, of that I have no doubt.