Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam!

That was the day for Giants hitters. SIX homers! They smacked the ball all over the place. They had a season-high eight-run inning which featured FOUR homers (two by the Panda). They hadn't hit four in an inning since 1961. Even Matt Cain got in on the act with a two-run bomb. Both Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford hit dingers. Mike Fontenot blasted a massive homer to start things off in the first inning. And Pablo Sandoval was ridiculous! (He was impressive with the glove as well.) The Giants sweep the Rockies by scoring 8, 9, 6 and 12 runs (35!) in the four games. Besides the absurd offensive explosion, the other noteworthy aspect of today's game is that Cain did NOT get a quality start. Considering he leads the NL in that category (and is second in baseball to ├╝ber-aces Justin Verlander and Jered Weaver) I think it qualifies as news. He did, however, manage to get a decision, the good one (you know, the "W" kind), and that puts his record at 12-10 for the season. It was a hard, ugly slog for the big righty. He walked guys and hit guys and was in trouble every inning, allowing 11 baserunners. It is always a tough day when Joe "Joke" West is behind the plate. This guy has been umpiring since I was a senior in high school and he is an embarrassment to the profession. I try not to complain about the umpires as most of them do an amazing job. But Mr. West is too much a part of any game he officiates when his job is exactly the opposite of that--not to get noticed. He had one of his inexplicable, random strike zones that shrunk and expanded at his whim. Matty is the kind of guy who relies on corner strikes to be effective and he seemed to get squeezed from the first inning. (To be fair, all good pitchers need to command the corners.) Certainly the Giants benefited from Esmil Rogers and his quartet of relievers having to pump balls down the middle, but it doesn't stop me from spilling digital ink about it. Joe West needs to retire and get replaced by a proper umpire who has read the rule book. And that's all I have to say about that.

Giants get another win and now have their longest streak of the season (eight games). Maybe it is too little, too late, but it sure is fun. With Atlanta losing today that puts them four back in the Wild Card race with nine to play. Unfortunately the Cardinals (who play tonight) are still in the mix and the Diamondbacks won their game against the Padres. That puts their magic number at five, so Arizona are masters of their own destiny at this point. The series in LA coming up this week will be epic as you know the Dodgers would love to play spoiler and end the Giants season before the Arizona series this weekend. Tim Lincecum gets the call Tuesday, so we get to see our best guy against both clubs.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

3 comments:

Brother Bob said...

Wow! Too bad I missed this one. I went to the Crocker art museum instead. I know, something's wrong with me.

Ron said...

Before we get too carried away about our sudden offensive prowess, let's remember where we played our last 4 games & which key players our opponents were missing.

That being said, it's refreshing to see us look better out there & beat teams that we should beat (unlike a few weeks ago, when we effectively bowed out of the race by losing to the Astros & Cubs).

On September 19, we still have a chance - a dim chance, dependent upon many other factors (such as Atlanta losing games in Florida & Washington), but a chance nonetheless.

The most important thing that happened in Sunday's game was Brian Wilson's return. He looked sharp, as he whiffed the first 2, then got an unbelievable catch from Christian for the 3rd out on a foul pop. If I could read Wilson's expression, I think that he was both in admiration of the catch, but also wishing that he could have returned by striking out the side.

Wilson's month-long absence, coupled with Romo's shorter injury, really upset the balance of our bullpen - Lopez & Ramirez both struggled, Affeldt got injured, Casilla had some very rocky appearances, although, apparently, never blew a save. Aside from the Posey injury, the double-whammy of Wilson & Romo going out may have the most detrimental factor in our August/early September slide. Having them both back now is very big.

Anonymous said...

Beltran going down for a couple of weeks and coming back less than 100 percent and Pablo playing with a sore shoulder were factors too.