Monday, July 22, 2013

2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back

I delayed posting until this morning, hoping I could find some way to shake off the disappointment.  The expectation of a sweep of Arizona was mine (and a lot of other Giants' fans', I'm sure).  So I should probably be disappointed by my own expectations.  But it was so close!  We had our best pitcher on the mound going up against, whom again?  Randall Del Gado?  He seemed to have a good change-up, but really, the Giants went from a hitting team to one that checked out just when a victory would have been oh-so-meaningful.  Instead, we are left with a series victory.  Sounds good if it were April.  It's not.

Madison Bumgarner pitched well enough to win.  He gave us 7 innings, gave up one run which I am not sure should be considered "earned."  A left fielder, life-long-infielder or not, needs to catch that ball.  He wasn't quite as sharp as he can be, although struck out 6.  He also walked 3 and gave up 5 hits (including the aforementioned 1st inning gaffe), but managed to get out of trouble for the rest of his stay.  Sandy Rosario gave up a couple in the 8th.  The Giants only managed 5 hits, and 2 of those were in the ridiculous 9th inning.  By that time, I really didn't feel that the Giants could pull off a comeback and they didn't.  You only get so many misplays on bouncy infield balls, especially when you run into outs.

I don't think that sending Buster Posey, who tried to score from first on Pablo Sandoval's double to the left-center wall, was an error in Tim Flannery's judgement.  The throw to nail him was a perfect strike, and it took that as he was out by inches.  If he would have had his left foot out instead of his right foot, he also would have been safe.  Also, I am sick of the "should the Giants be buyers or seller" faux debate.  The answer is the same as it was before the All-Star break - neither.  You don't break up a World Series winning line-up due to an injury-abetted setback, and you don't break up a World Series winning line-up on a hail-mary in hope it will get better.  Tinkering, at most.  I know we are not "out of it."  It just feels bad, when all the other teams did well (Washington was of no help, were they?) and the time left to make up ground on the backs of small series victories grows short.


M.C. O'Connor said...

Gott disagree. Flannery made the wrong call. You can send a speedster in that situation, but not an average-to-slow runner like Posey. Runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs is preferable to risking an out at home. Yes, it was a perfect relay, but major league ballplayers make those relays frequently, so the odds of an average-to-slow runner making an out there were significant. The odds of scoring a runner from 3rd with no outs are pretty high. Bad call by Flann: unnecessary risk, wrong runner, wrong read of the situation. Sue and I were both amazed. Our first thought on the hit were "all right, Posey will make it to 3rd!" We were both stunned there was a play at the plate. It was, for me, the key to the game. That is, other than the utter feebleness of the lineup in general! To his credit, Flann said after the game that he made the wrong call (see tweets from Baggs on sidebar).

On your second point, the faux buyer-seller media hype, I agree completely. People have to have something to talk about. That's it. Everyone want to be an armchair GM. I hope the Giants hang tough and don't do anything rash. The core is still intact from the championship, as you say. The Dodgers made up 9 games in a month. The Giants could do that, too.

Ron said...

Jim Streeter's Son, David, got married near DC on Sunday. So, Susana, Leon, & I flew in on Wednesday & did all kinds of cool stuff (walk-by of the White House [no tours now due to the sequester], Smithsonian American History & Air & Space Museums, Lincoln Memorial, personal Capitol Tour led by our Congressman's Staffer, Supreme Court Tour, National Archives, National Gallery of Art), based in our Dupont Circle area Bed-&-Breakfast, the highly-recommended Swann House. All public transportation - flew into National & rode the Metro, except for one bus ride (there's no Metro Station near the Lincoln Memorial). Weather was brutal, especially on Thursday & Friday.

One of the things that we did, from a very close vantage point about 20 rows behind the Nationals' on-deck circle, was witness Chapter 1 of the Nationals' weekend-long capitulation to the smog-suckers. That they managed to score 2 runs was a miracle - they make the Giants look like clutch hitters - they scored on a wild pitch & a broken bat 1B. Meanwhile, aside from a meaty pitch to Hanley the Idiot who hit a 2-run HR, Strasburg was very 2012 Cain-like - very solid. Unfortunately, they eventually had to pull him. Pig made 2 absurd throws, one of which cost what should have been an important base & went 0-for-4. However, he's a dangerous looking dude. Steve Clippard was awesome in the 8th - whiffing Pig, getting A. Gonzalez on a weak pop-up, then whiffing Hanley the Idiot. Then, Rafael Soriano gave up a lead-off HR to Ethier of all people. That was that. Oh, & first pitch temperature @ 7:10 PM was 92, last pitch temperature @ 10:10 PM was 90, with about 60% humidity.

Decent ballpark - no AT&T by any means, but pretty nice. Abe Lincoln won the silly Presidents' race when Sharknado (what is that anyway?) tripped all of the rest of the Presidents. Good Bratwurst with onions & peppers, plus Bass Ale on tap. Team that can't hit it's way out of a paper bag.

We are flying back as I am writing this - somewhere over Kentucky, I think. (We had to take a more southerly route than normal, due to strong thunderstorms over western PA & OH.)

nomisnala said...

I just wrote an entire comment and lost it to a power failure, despite having a backup unit. Anyway, I was trying to post that I agree with those who would not have sent Posey. Especially with Bumgarner pitching, and the game at home. I also do not want to see Buster get into a collision at home. I would have sent Torres, Blanco, or Pence. This should have been an easy sweep with our ace going against their 5th starter. Can the giants ever get off the schnide on Sunday or Monday? There is a lot to say but it is truly hard to believe that our giants have the third highest batting average in the league. Giants need a stud power hitter in the middle of the lineup and some pitchers who can throw some freaking clutch pitches. Watching the game, and I wish Krukow would get off of Belt's case. I really do not think he was supposed to be the cutoff man on a sac fly to left center. Giants might as well forfeit this game and send the fans home. Kontos this year needs to go back down to Fresno and work on his game.