Sunday, September 29, 2013

162: All bad things must come to an end

The Giants settle for a third-place tie with the Padres, and I settle for a headline that I stole from 'Breaking Bad.' For those of you living in a cave, the much-hyped (and quite excellent) AMC TV series ends this evening. Giants baseball, alas, ended this afternoon. At least they made it exciting. When Gregor Blanco got hurt with two outs in the top of the 9th, 40th man Francisco Peguero took his spot. Sure enough, the long-tenured farmhand blasted a game-tying homer (his first in the bigs) off San Diego closer Huston Street in the bottom of the 9th. A hit, a wild pitch, a walk, and another walk loaded the bases for the man of the hour, Hunter Pence, who whacked a 3-2 pitch into center field for the game-winner. The Padres had employed five infielders and two shallow outfielders, a scheme that you only get to see in those walk-off situations, but it was to no avail and the Giants pulled off a fun comeback win.

Barry Zito got a curtain call when Bruce Bochy summoned him with two outs in the 8th to pitch to Mark Kotsay. Bud Black played along and left in the veteran lefty, who obligingly struck out to give the home crowd a thrill. Kotsay took his final cuts today--he's retiring after 16 years in the majors. That's a hell of an accomplishment. The Cal State Fullerton grad was the 9th pick (Florida Marlins) of the 1996 draft.

The final tally is 76-86 or .469 ball. LA (92-70) wins the West by 11 games over Arizona (81-81), who just break even despite a strong showing in the first half. San Diego (76-86) matches San Francisco, but claim the high ground only on alphabetical order. The Giants won the season series eleven games to eight and thus merit the tiebreaker. You know it's been a bad season when your favorite team has to have its best month (16-11, .593) just to pass the Colorado Rockies (74-88) and stay out of the basement.

But have a good month they did, and that's something. I like ending the year on an up note. And speaking of notes, the Giants will send ninety million or so Pence's way for the next five years. It's a lot and a long time, Rowandian in scope, but I like the deal. I think he'll earn his pay. This will be an interesting off-season. We should have plenty to talk about. By the way, I put twenty on Timmy. Blog-mate JC and I have a wager: I say The Freak will be on the Giants next year, he says not. We'll see!



M.C. O'Connor said...


NO comments?!?

162 games and NO goddamn comments?

Ron said...

Comments to be submitted in the form of a treatise at a later date. Don't worry.

And, while not quite as certain as you about the return of Tim, I would rate the chances as well north of 50% - perhaps 80%.

Shankbone said...

I'm actually taking Sabean's comments on "windows" as a most likely goodbye to the Timmy era. The combo of Timmy finding out his market and the trademark Sabean impatience to get his laundry list done is some bad chemistry, if we're sticking with Walt and Jessie.

Interesting to see how teams value that QO with Timmy. Pretty unique case.

Brother Bob said...

The season's end is like when you get home and take off a pair of new too-tight shoes. A relief. I'm glad we had a good last month and achieved a tie for third place. I'm glad Pence had a great hot streak and earned a fat contract. I'm slightly glad Zito got to have a nice feel good moment to go away on. Just as long as he goes away.

nomisnala said...

Of interest the giants played well vs. the West. Was this just a glitch? Did they scout their own division well, and execute, while not quite doing what they had to do, to win against teams from other divisions? We stunk it up vs. the east and the central. I believe that we did have a winning percentage in games started by Pagan. Not sure why that is?

M.C. O'Connor said...

NL Central had three playoff teams. Giants were 11-23. All other West teams were over .500 against them. Weird.

Pittsburgh now plays St. Louis in the NLDS despite finishing 3 games back of them in the regular season. Also weird.