Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Finally, a meaningless game

The Giants eliminated the Dodgers last night, but they didn't go quietly. It was an agonizing finish as the Giants needed six relievers for the final nine outs. Ol' Boch tried to get another inning out of Barry Zito who had thrown six solid to that point, but he plunked Andre Ethier to give the Dodgers life and end his night. Still, it was a fine effort, and Zeets made his case for a playoff start. George Kontos got the biggest out of the game* when he whiffed Matt Kemp to end the 7th, cleaning up the mess Guillermo Mota made. I wonder if that is it for WillyMo. He has only been marginally effective since his return from suspension, and Kontos has the strikeout stuff so valuable in those tight post-season games. The Giants like good PR as well, and leaving the steroid-tainted Ancient One off the playoff roster gives them a squeakier image. The word last week was they would carry eleven pitchers, and with the five starters that leaves six spots for relievers. Five are obvious: Romo, Casilla, Affeldt, Lopez, and lefty FNG Jose Mijares. I think you have to take the righty FNG as well.

Ryan Vogelsong, the forgotten man, pitches a meaningless game today. Let's hope he makes his case for a playoff start. The Giants need everyone ready going forward. This year's team doesn't have ├╝ber-ace Tim Lincecum making the killer 1-2 punch with Matt Cain. The rest of the arms have to contribute with quality innings and big outs. It's a different team than the 2010 champs, with a different style and different weapons. Should be fun. It will be nice to relax this evening and watch Francisco Peguero, Justin Christian, and the like.


*Mota gave up a two-run homer to A.J. Ellis and then struck out Nick Punto. Mark Ellis hit a gapper, and perhaps made the biggest play of the night when he was thrown out at 3rd trying to stretch the no-doubt double into a triple. He was the tying run, already in scoring position with one out, in an elimination game. The extra 90 feet was not worth the risk and the Pagan-Arias-Sandoval team effort made him pay. It was one of those desperation, trying-too-hard moves, and he was out easily. Shane Victorino tripled after that, but was stranded by the Kemp strikeout. Nice. Don Mattingly made my favorite move when he walked Angel Pagan to get to Marco Scutaro (he wanted the righty matchup and had career numbers to back it up). Of course Scoots made him pay with the two-run double that proved to be the game-winner. You have to love walking a guy to get to the hottest hitter on the team!


Zo said...

Bochy said he would be playing the regulars today so as to keep them sharp. The Chronic also says that the Giants are considering 12 pitchers. We now have a chance for four 15 game winners.

Zo said...

ps. It was hardly meaningless to the Cardinals.

Ron said...

I disagree that Bochy tried to get another inning out of Zito. Zito went out there to face one guy, Ethier, & he hit him with the first pitch. That was inexcusable. But, he was out of there after Ethier, no matter what had happened.

Mota's futility was epic. He gave up the rarely seen combination of near-HR & real HR to the same hitter. He got a gift K of Punto - the umpire seemed to really want to send Punto on his way. It was of the few times that I've felt that a hitter was so upset, he might have bopped the ump with his bat. After that, Mota benefited from Mark Ellis's absurd decision to go for a 3B. Then, the Victorino 3B. I agree that he is off of the post-season roster. Kontos has been pretty steady all year, & they need him. They already have a long relief guy in Vogelsong, if that who is odd-man-out on the rotation.

The 2B umpire obviously had no sense of drama - calling out Gordon on the SB attempt would have been quite a flourishing way to send the Dodgers packing to their golfing holidays. I thought that Sanchez's throw was remarkable - Gordon got a decent jump. Sanchez really has a knack for those low lasers that barely get off of the ground, but get there at tagging height.

I was afraid that the Giants' earlier squandered opportunities to score would come back to haunt them, but they just barely got it done. Yay!

nomisnala said...

Really, Ethier did not try at all to get out of the way. I thought he would and try to be the home run hero, but he showed his team spirit and took one of Zito's 69 MPH cotton tosses that didn't even leave a bruise. That was a good piece of hitting off of Mota, that was not a hanger. Romo, the southern californian, and Zito (USC) knocked out the bums for another year. Now a one game battle to the finish between the Braves and the Cards to ensue.

Brother Bob said...

Posey and Scutaro are deities. Let's assume they stay that way for another couple of weeks. All we'll need is the occasional big moment from a Pagan, or a Blanco, and Pence needs to show SF fans he really is a star.
I just had a random thought r/t post-season pitching. Say Lincecum is the "5th" starter, therefore he's the firstright-hander to come out of the bullpen. That could be some big-time drama. I think he'd be so psyched (both in good and bad ways) he could be dominating. Of course it won't happen because he'd suck in situations with men on base.

nomisnala said...

Imagine Scutaro, Melky and Posey in the lineup. Scutaro's fielding has been less than stellar. He missed a pick off toss yesterday, and today he missed a pop-up. Two days ago the winning hit was off his glove. He needs a new glove.

nomisnala said...

If you look at Pence's vs. Schierholtz's lines with the giants they are quite similar except, the RBI statistic.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Pence is hitting way below his career averages. He looks bad at the plate, too. Gets a LOT of RBI chances--if he hit lower in the lineup he'd have a lot fewer. Let's hope he finds his stroke this weekend.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Giants are in the playoffs!


Go Giants!!!