Monday, October 22, 2012

Four to Go

The San Francisco Giants are the 2012 National League Champions! A relentless 9-0 beat down of the 2011 holders, the St. Louis Cardinals, sends them to the World Series for the second time in three seasons. It ended in bizarre fashion, with rain pouring out of the sky and drenching both the fans and the players, but the final ball off Matt Holliday's bat landed safely in Marco Scutaro's glove for the third out and a Game Seven victory. The Cardinals lineup was overwhelmed in the last three games by the Giants pitching staff. The starters finally put together a good streak and the bullpen remained stalwart and the team staved off elimination three times and won the finale in emphatic fashion. Matt Cain had to work for his 17 outs, his 5-2/3 scoreless took 102 pitches (and 24 batters), but he kept the lid on things with the help of his fielders and the baseball gods. The Cardinals may have gotten thumped, but they didn't roll over. They kept the pressure on Matty every inning, and Ol' Boch finally saw enough in the 6th and summoned Jeremy Affeldt to get the last out. But the damage had been done, the Cardinals could not conjure up a miracle comeback, and the Giants prevailed to hoist the pennant.

The Giants host the World Series on Wednesday. Enjoy it, my friends!




Shankbone said...

Not as dramatic as usual... but...


Just a good team, putting some good wood on the ball, flashing the leather...

Black Vulmea said...

Hunter Pence must be feeling pretty good now that that 600# is off his back.

M.C. O'Connor said...

That hit by Pence was crazy! How did that happen?

The catch by BCraw was awesome.

Matt Cain RBI single!

Belt's homer was sweet.

Cards score ONE RUN in 27 innings!!!!!

Ron said...

There's so much to say, but just a few things for now:


- We won the NLCS w/ nary an offensive contribution from Posey. That is amazing! I know that he's exhausted & has to catch every day now, but I still expect him to get big hits in the World Series. I just know that he will.

- I purposely didn't mention this until now for fear of ragging on the opponent at-hand, but the Cardinals didn't even belong in the NLCS. Their path was opened because of an historically horrible umpiring decision in their one-game playoff with Atlanta - a decision that will probably result in a rule change. Although I generally like the Cardinals more than other NL team (other than the good guys), I was really hoping that we could play Washington for 2 reasons: the Cardinals didn't deserve to be there; the Nationals had the best regular season record, & I wanted to beat 'the best'.

- Roberto F-ing Kelly, dude. In the NLCS, Giants go 1-3 w/o Roberto Kelly; 3-0 w/ Roberto Kelly.

M.C. O'Connor said...

The bad call did not cost Atlanta the wild card game. They stunk it up and threw the ball all over the place. And the call was not egregiously bad, more like borderline. The SS had his feet planted, was facing home, and waving "I got it." We see ML SS catch balls like that routinely, and umps have made that call before. The "infield" fly rule is about infielders, not the infield.

Really the one-game playoff is at fault. Six months of baseball and you get one game? Nuts. But Selig and everyone else seem to love it.

If there is a playoff goat team it has to be the Nats, blowing the clincher with a 6-0 lead at home.

The Tigers have the 7th best record in the AL--do they "deserve" to be in the World Series?

I'm still reeling over the 20-1 score of the last three games. So many guys contributed!

Ron said...

This was solid payback for 1987 - can you believe that that was a quarter century ago??? That year, they went home with a 3-2 deficit, & we scored 0 runs in 2 games in 2 sickening losses. This time, we got home with a 3-2 deficit, & they scored 1 run in 2 games. And, as you mention, they mustered 1 run in the last 3 games.

25 years, but we got them back!!!!! Part of this one was for the 1987 team.

Ron said...

I disagree about the play in the one-game - of course, we see infield fly on balls on the grass, but 100 feet beyond the grass? But, I also agree about the absurdity of the one-game playoff. The only useful purpose it serves is that the other 3 teams don't have to wait around forever. Of course, this is all just a temporary precursor to 8 teams from each league making the playoffs.

Zo said...

Pitching, pitching, pitching. 1 run over three games. When the defense comes up big, the Giants win.

Much was being made about Pence's hit, the radio guys couldn't shut up about it and it is all over the paper this morning. Technology + Physics. What we are seeing is the extra super slo mo camera allowing us to see what probably happens not too often, but is hardly "weird" or even outside of the realm of normalcy. If you noticed the camera, almost every solid hit deforms the bat at contact, usually bending the bat, whereupon it immediately springs back. The force of the ball is transferred to the bat, and immediately back, coupled with the force of the bat, the ball jumps from the bat and takes flight.

In this case, the force of the ball did not go into the rebound, it was transferred into breaking the bat. But the bat split laterally, the back half did not break. That sprung the bat back to a straight position, as you see other, non-broken bats do. Instead of the energy of the bat being transferred to the ball, deforming the ball which then reforms and bounces off the bat, the bat caught up with the ball, hitting it again. It was the bat angle that had the ball rolling/bouncing along the bat that imparted the spin to the ball, which curved out of Descalso's reach (also, he broke toward third). If you watched all the way through, the ball also bounced towards center field once it hit the grass.

I think it is impossible to predict what would have happened if the bat had not broken. The ball might have gone over Descalso's head, or it might have wound up a single. Or it might have been caught. In any case, it wasn't. And we won. Decisively. Gloriously. Happily. Soggily.

It's good to be the National League Champions.

Ron said...

Yeah - Harold Reynolds was carrying on about the rule for hitting the ball twice, etc., but no one involved close-up had any idea that the ball hit the bat several times, including Pence. How could they? It all happened in about a millisecond. Harold Reynolds was just pissed off, because he had predicted that the Giants would lose each of the last 3 games.

Our defense came up huge in this series, & you gotta love RBI's from starting Pitchers in 3 consecutive games, all on different types of plays.

We have to figure out how to scratch out a run or two off of Verlander, & then have him be pinch-hit for (NL rules!). But, if we can do that consistently against Kershaw, then I think that we are up to this challenge. I don't expect us to get a bunch of runs, but I do expect us to score. I'm a little more worried about Verlander's second start in Detroit, when they can pitch him all night, if they want to.

One plus we should have going in is that we know M. Cabrera & Fielder, because of their recent NL days. We also know Anibal Sanchez.

I am confident ... not certain of victory, but certain that we will make it a series, with a great chance to win this thing!!!!!

Go Giants!!!!!

Brother Bob said...

Games 6 & 7 were very similar to each other. We score once in the first inning, pad the lead in the second, then coast the rest of the way. It was fun to watch.
From a Cards fan's point of view it must have seemed like an epic fail. They really blew it big-time, with crap defense and an offense that just disappeared at the end.

Shankbone said...

Our defense executed plays. Theirs provided opportunities that the offense was able to execute on. Its kind of a shock to see the Giants put up crooked numbers like that, especially when the good pitching finally shows up. But the pitching was definitely helped by some really good play, especially Craw, Belt and Blanco.

Harold Reynolds grew up in Oregon a Gints fan, he should be showing more love. Taking a camera that is measuring at 1/3000th of a second and yelling about rules is just silly. I liked that Pence had a nice solid oppo field single later. He needs to change up something, maybe looking oppo field will help.

Ron said...

OK, did all of us miss this one?:

How about this one?:

Or, this one?:

And, then there's this - this is in a category all its own:

Zo said...

Man, that was a perfectly good pizza.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Great win, great win, great win!