Ubaldo Jimenez is having a great season, and as they say in Krukovia, "sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the other guy." His Uberness cooled off the Giants hot bats and his teammates responded by chasing young Madison Bumgarner out of the game in the 5th inning. It was kind of like discovering someone had let air out of your bicycle tires when you were psyched up to go on a nice, long ride. Hey, at least they didn't slash 'em.
108 games is 2/3 of a baseball season. We've played 6/9 of the 162 games, six innings worth of this nine inning game. The Giants are in damn good shape, only a game off the pace in the West, and possessing the second-best record in the league. The Giants are currently averaging 4.44 runs scored per game for the season, just a hair above the league average (4.40). The Giants give up an average of 3.62 runs per game, second only to the Padres at 3.52 rpg. After a lackluster May and June (27-28), the Giants took July by the throat and throttled the league to the tune of 20-8, scoring 149 runs (5.32/game) and only allowing 102 (3.64/game). That's the kind of thing they'll need to keep doing in August and September.
The Atlanta Braves were 9-14 in April, but had their big month in May, going 20-8, and followed that with a hot June (17-11). They've cooled off since then, 15-13 in July and August, and only 9-10 since the Break. They hit a little better than the Giants (4.58 rpg) but don't quite pitch as well (3.83 rpg). This is looking like a great match-up, and dare I say it--a playoff preview? We can only hope. Their impressive youngster, Jair Jurrjens, has missed time due to injury, but looks like he's getting back on track. He gets the call tonight against The Franchise.
UPDATE 1116: Congratulations to Alex Rodriguez for hitting his 600th home run. Jim Thome is the next closest with 577, but he's 40 in August, so 600 could be tough. A-Rod is one of the all-time greats. At 34, and slowing down, it will be a reach for him to pass Barry Bonds (my all-time favorite player), but not out of the realm of possibility. He will certainly hit 700, which is awesome. Unlike most people, I don't view records as sacrosanct, and I'm happy to see them broken. After all, why record what happens if you don't want people to strive to surpass those marks? That's the whole point of records--setting the bar for the next guy. I hope I live long enough and watch enough baseball so that every record gets broken. I don't believe there was a Golden Age of Baseball. I'm not nostalgic, and you'll never hear me crowing about "the good ol' days." I'm very happy to be in the present, and can't wait to embrace the future of the greatest game on earth. And to the whiners, spoilsports, and wannabe moral high-roaders: bugger off, ya wankers.