Wednesday, July 31, 2013

FNGs Rock the House

Roger Kieschnick certainly had fun on his debut (2H, 2RBI), Brett Pill had a career night (3H, 2R, HR, 4RBI), and Chad Gaudin pitched another great game (7IP, 4H, 1R, 5K, GameScore 69). He also managed his first ever RBI hit! The Giants stomped all over the Phillies with nine runs on 15 hits including their first home runs since the Arizona series. It was therapy, man. The team did not make an error in the field or on the bases. They played good baseball. They vanquished their foe in under three hours, only allowing seven baserunners. The only bad thing that happened was Pablo Sandoval, after two hits and two runs scored, left the game with an injury. It's part of the Panda package, unfortunately. He's an injury-prone player. This one looks minor. I think the Giants should stick with him another year. I think he will bounce back in 2014 and do his magic. Hell, I think he'll get hot down the final stretch of this season. It won't matter as much, of course, but it would bode well for the future. The Giants did not do anything at the deadline, which makes me happy. Not happy, really, but relieved. I didn't see or hear any attractive scenarios, and I didn't want the team to do anything crazy or stupid. If we thought the 2013 Giants had all the pieces to defend, why can't we believe the 2014 Giants have all the pieces to contend?

The club finishes July with an 8-17 record (.320). That's about as bad as a major league team can play. Let's hope flipping the calendar make things better.



Helpless Team

Barry Zito had a magical run last season, and earned a spot in the franchise's pantheon with his start for the ages in Game Five of the LCS, and his gritty showdown with the game's best in Game One of the Series. But now he's done. Finished. Kaput. His career as a Giants pitcher will come to an end in two months, as it seems impossible to imagine the team offering him $18M to stay when they can pay him $7M to go. And it seems increasingly likely that he will miss some starts. Ol' Boch was cagey about that in the post-game interview, but you have to think they've already pencilled in a few extra rest days for the beleaguered lefty. Since beating Miami at home on June 22nd, Zeets has thrown 25-1/3 innings over six starts, allowing 39 hits and 21 runs, and the team's gone 1-5. He's still listed as the starter for Sunday's game in Tampa Bay, but if it were me I'd find a Mike Kickham, Eric Surkamp, or Guillermo Moscoso for that duty. The team is home against the Brewers right after that--why not give Barry-Z an extra day off and a chance to pitch in friendlier confines? His road WHIP is 2.352 and teams are hitting like Ted Williams against him. Literally, his road BAA is .406!

The Giants have seven wins in the month of July. They have a chance to make it eight today behind Chad Gaudin. They had ten wins in the month of June. They are 19-32 on the road. They are in last place, eleven games behind the Dodgers. What, exactly, are the Giants going to do at the trade deadline to change that? I'll tell you: nothing. They can't acquire any player or combination of players that will make a big enough difference. If they sell, they are building for 2014, not for the rest of the season. If they are going to salvage the last two months (57 games), they are going to do it with the hand they've got. You don't throw good money after bad in poker, and you don't reinforce failure in war. This team has players who can win baseball games. The fact that they are not winning baseball games does not change the truth of the first statement. If the Giants win 35 of their remaining games (.614 ball) they'll finish the season with 81 wins and a .500 record. If the Dodgers win only 25 of their final 57 games (.438 ball, exactly what the Giants are doing now), they will finish with 82 wins. That's what "11 games behind" means. Like I said before, the math ain't pretty.

C'mon, Giants. Win some goddamn games.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Helpless Tim

The worst part of Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Cubs was it's complete inevitability. After Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner pitched gems and were betrayed by non-offense, it seemed only fair that Tim Lincecum would get get the same treatment. I woke with a sense of dread (that happens a lot lately) and helplessness (probably how our starters feel each day.) I would have been shocked if we had actually played like we had a heartbeat. We didn't. Not really. I hate to admit it, but around the third inning, I knew how this was going to end.  Come on, admit it, so did you.

The only good news of the game was another fine job by Lincecum.  He went seven full innings, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits with 10 strikeouts. Sounds good, huh? Of course, he had to "freak" it up by giving up homers to the the #8 and #9 hitters. Doesn't sound so good, huh?  To be fair, Travis Wood, their pitcher, has hit 3 homers this year. That would make him the #6 hitter on our team.  But anyway, Tim's numbers are really starting to come around, at least compared to last year. Makes me think we may try to keep him. That's a good thing, right?

We scored 3 runs this series and are now officially worse than the Cubs.

Should we make a big deal?
Every writer seems to think this season is toast.
Lots o prospects to be had.
Lots o holes to be filled.

What do you guys think?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Another Beautiful Start, Another Loss

Remember when, a couple weeks back, we opined that it couldn't get worse?  It has.  Another 1 run loss to a team that defines mediocrity, the Chicago Cubs, decade in a decade out.  Today's lineup featured a trio of Giant cast-offs, among them Nate Schierholtz, who hit a solo home run, in the NINTH FUCKING INNING to win 1 - 0 today.

No offense for the Giants.  None.   Chances - RISP in the 5th, 6th and 7th.  No runs scored.  Then, in the 8th, there were bases LOADED with NO outs.  Did the Giants score?  They did not.  In the 9th, there were bases LOADED and ONE out.  How would a double play work to make the game suck in totality?  In the words of Duane Kuiper - "Unbelievable!"   If there is any, tiny upside to this, it is that we are not likely to make a move to hope to boost the Giants into the playoffs.  Because they need soooo much more than a boost.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Cain, Giants Almost Win

I have to think that Matt Cain pitching well and the Giants struggling to score is actually a good thing. I mean, this is the Matt Cain we know and love. Mr. Hard Luck, Mr. No-Decision, Mr. Undeserved Loss--that's our boy. Life is ordered, the universe is in balance, the yin's yanged, and the yang's yinned when no. 18 gets minimal run support. Hey, I'm reaching here, OK? The Giants are fighting tooth-and-nail with the equally feeble Chicago Cubs to stay out of the cellar. And they are now TEN GAMES below the .500 mark. I don't know what to say about that, it's a little too disturbing to contemplate, so I'll do what any red-blooded, self-respecting American would do and simply ignore it. Jeff Francouer delivered a two-run single in the 7th (after Matty's 115-pitch night was done) to overcome the 1-0 deficit and give Cainer and the ballclub a shot at the win. Unfortunately the 'pen could not get the job done, and just when it looked like Sergio Romo would get the last out, Brandon Belt couldn't come up with the hard smash from Rizzo and the Giants were doomed.

Vida Blue said on the pre-game show that Cain needed to mix it up on two-strike counts, that he was too predictable and thus giving up big hits when he should be getting outs. It's worth noting that the Chicago sequence that scored the run in the 6th (Nate Schierholtz double and Starlin Castro single) were both two-strike hits. None of this means a goddamn thing. I've been watching baseball all of my life and still don't understand pitching. Or hitting. Or fielding. Especially tonight's fielding. I mean lack of fielding. Tony Abreu should have stopped the ball that led to the Cubs first run, and Belt was in the right spot for the very type of ball that Rizzo hit, yet could not knock it down and end the game.

Matt Cain pitched well: 7   6   1   1   1   7, Game Score 67. That's something. My mom offered me a shot of bourbon in that horrid 9th, and when I said "no, thanks" she countered with a Jameson. You're all right, Ma, you understand. It was a great visit today, other than the game. Dwight Yoakam has a song, It Won't Hurt, where he sings in that plaintive drawl "but even whiskey cannot ease your hurting me." That was tonight. No sense wasting good whiskey.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

.500 On the Day

Giants won one, lost one.  Not much ground gained as a result.  Of note, 10 2/3 innings in two games were pitched by relievers.  Both teams were granted an extra body for the double header, and with it, the Giants called up Yuseirmo Petit, who pitched well.  He gave up 2 runs in 5 1/3 innings when the Giants had already lost the game.  Romo also looked good, striking out 4 Reds in succession.

Today seems to be National Tequila Day.  As a result, the innertubes are full of margarita recipes, and other things, including sangrita that is really red lemonade, which is NOT acceptable.  A margarita is a fine drink, and you should be aware as to how to make a good one.  Once you know this, you can change things as you wish by using alternative fruits, but you might not want to.  The margarita is a simple, basic drink.  Don't use agave nectar, it is really a lazy person's way using sugar.  I also read once something really scary about how it is really bad for your liver and is not really from agave.  I'm not sure it that is true or not, but it is not as flavorful as demerara or turbinado sugar, and in any case, not used in a margarita.  Here is how to make a good margarita:
One ounce good quality blaco tequila (I will recommend Milagro Silver, but there are a lot of good ones)
One-half ounce of orange liqueur, like Cointreau or Padron Citronage (my favorite, a bit drier than Grand Marnier or Cointreau, and considerably less expensive)
One lime.  Get good limes, fat and ripe.  It makes a huge difference.
Squeeze the juice out of the lime and mix, but not vigorously, in a shaker with ice.  Pour into a glass without a salted rim garnised with a lime, or without.
That's it.  Notice that this does not make a large drink, that's because it is based around one lime.  You can adjust portions accordingly.  Enjoy.
ps.  If you really want salt, go ahead.  I just prefer it on an accompanying munchie.

Thoughts on 1500

Take a look at this page on Baseball-Reference. It lists all 679 major-league managers, and if you sort by "Games" Bruce Bochy comes in at number 20 all-time with 2998. There are 1498 losses to go with those 1500 wins. With 62 games left in the season (last night's win was the team's 100th game), Ol' Boch will pass both Dick Williams (3023) and Tommy Lasorda (3040) in short order. Those guys are eerily similar to each other: Williams was 1571-1451 with five playoff appearances, four pennants, and two rings, and Lasorda was 1599-1439 with seven playoff appearances, four pennants, and two rings. Tommy did it all with one club, of course, and was famous for his affability. Williams managed six teams, and was infamous for his acerbity. Those guys are baseball legends, and both are in the Hall of Fame. It's hard to imagine our guy being in the pantheon with them, but his record (six playoff appearances, three pennants, two rings) speaks for itself. By the end of next season Bochy should have more career wins than both of them. He'll probably never come close, however, to their win percentages (Williams .520, Lasorda .526).

If you sort by "World Series won" you'll see there are 14 guys with exactly two rings, the only other current one being Terry Francona. Interestingly, he won two rings in four seasons with the Red Sox, ending "the curse" and giving a storied franchise some much-needed contemporary bragging rights. Sound familiar? Four years later, despite four winning seasons and two more playoff appearances, he was given the sack. I don't see the same volatility with the Giants front office. Bochy and Brian Sabean will likely be paired until one or the other retires. Sabes is only 57, Boch 58. More importantly, Larry Baer is "only" 56. Baer's resume says Class of 1980 at UC Berkeley--I was Class of 1981! Tom Kelly (Twins '87 and '91) and Cito Gaston (Blue Jays '92 and '93), are familiar names for us on that list, but neither one of them are currently managing. Gaston is 69 and last managed the 2010 Toronto club, but Kelly, 62 now, was done at age 50 (2001). Both only managed in one city for their careers.

If you sort by "Wins" you'll see there are 10 guys with 2000 or more. No one will ever top Connie Mack (3731), who managed for an astonishing 53 years, and John McGraw (2763) will hang on to the second spot. Tony LaRussa, like McGraw, managed for 33 years and his teams won 2728 games. Bobby Cox (2504) is the only other manager with over 2500 wins. Jim Leyland (1731) and Dusty Baker (1638) both have shots at 2000, though Leyland is 68. If the Giants win 600 more games during Boch's tenure, he would pass Leo Durocher (2008) and Walter Alston (2040) on the all-time list. Wouldn't that be something? In his seven years in San Francisco, the Giants have won 549 games, so it might take a while. Even so, 1500 career wins puts him in elite company. That's more than Earl Weaver, Chuck Tanner, Whitey Herzog, and Billy Martin, for example. I would like to see him pass Baker for most games (1556) and wins (840) as an SF manager.

What I'd really like to see, though, is the Giants winning a bunch of games. Hell, if they fired Bochy and put Kermit the Frog in the manager's chair I'd be OK as long as they were winners. I mean, I like stats and history and all that, but what I really care about is wins. So let's get to winning, eh? This team is playing like shit. Even the win last night was patched together with bailing wire and duct tape. Fer chrissakes, this team won the goddamn world championship last year! And now we have to watch the Dodgers ride the top spot? What? Look, if they can win 14 of 18, so can the Giants.

Chad Gaudin tonight.



Monday, July 22, 2013


Crushed. Routed. Destroyed. Shellacked. You pick the word, the last choice is flashy, but it still adds up to the Reds winning, 11-0.  Yet another 2013 Giants game that is well worth forgetting.  Oh, if only we could.

This crappy game which leaves us 8 games below .500 turns out to be rather historic for losing starter Tim Lincecum.  Not good historic, like a no-hitter, bad historic, like a new career high with 8 runs allowed in a putrid 3.2 innings. He also gave up three homers, something he has only done a few times before. This follows his July 13 masterpiece, his 148 pitch masterpiece. You can bet many pundits are going to go after that big number to explain tonight, and definitely if Tim goes back in the tank. Do I think the huge pitch count is to blame? Nahhh, Tim is just a frigging head case.

A real double header tomorrow. One of the games is making up the rain out in Cincinnati so we are wearing away uniforms and batting first.  Yet it counts as a home game in the final stats. 82 home games this year. Weird, huh?

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.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Giants Gain Again

Matt Cain threw 102 pitches in his five-plus innings, laboring with long counts and a strike zone the size of a potato. In the 5th, a blown double play allowed a run to score and extended the inning, and the 31 pitches seemed to do him in. He was gassed in the 6th and gave up back-to-back leadoff hits, one of the runners scoring after Cain was pulled. A little better luck and a little bit sharper command (four walks) and maybe Matty gets through six without help. The Giants put together a quick run in the 1st with a clutch hit from Pablo Sandoval, squeaked out another run in the 4th on a bases-loaded walk, and got the big blow (2-run HR) they really needed from Buster Posey in the 5th. The D-Backs kept the pressure on with a run in the 9th but it wasn't enough. It took seven relievers and 77 pitches to get the last 12 outs. The 'pen allowed five hits, two walks, and a run in their four innings, and allowed one inherited runner to score. Jeremy Affeldt hurt his groin throwing a pitch and it didn't look good. In fact, not much about this game looked good, other than the result. It was ugly. The Giants had two guys thrown out at the plate, two errors at short by two different guys, and way too many pitching changes. But they won, and that's what counts. The Affeldt injury is a bummer--it's a big loss for the team. Someone else will just have to step up. If anything, that's the theme for 2013.

Madison Bumgarner has a chance to lead the team to a sweep. They are now 4-1/2 back. A win tomorrow and they cut the deficit to 3-1/2 games and give Arizona something to think about. Tonight was a grind, a real torture-fest. Maybe they can score ten runs tomorrow and give us a laugher. What do you think? Yeah, I know, probably won't happen. It will be a nail-biter, just like tonight. That's how these guys roll, and as long as they keep it rolling I can't complain.



One down, five-and-a-half to go

Chad Gaudin has been in pro ball since he was drafted out of high school in 2001 by the Rays. He made the majors in 2003 when he was only 20. He was traded to the Blue Jays in 2005 and later that year to the A's. In 2008 he was traded to the Cubs. In 2009 they let him go, he was signed by the Padres, then he was sold to the Yankees. Then these things happened:

And last night he pitched a whale of a ballgame (GameScore 79) against the Diamondbacks, the first place team in the West, the team the Giants are chasing. It was a bit of old school Giants: starting pitching and just barely enough hitting, big plays in the field, and MixMaster Boch a-bullpenning with abandon, just to add a little spice. Five guys to get six outs. And Santiago Casilla walking the bases loaded to get to Paul Goldschmidt. But it worked, and the Giants got a much-needed win. I'm glad to see Casilla back, he is a key guy in the 'pen and has made big contributions since he's been on the team. But the story is Chad Gaudin and seven starts since June with only one stinker. The 2013 club needs an inspirational scrap heap Ryan Vogelsong kind of story, and I think they've got it. Keep it rolling, lad.

Matt Cain tonight. I never used to worry about Matt Cain. He was Mr. Consistency. He threw Matt Cain starts over and over again. This season, something weird is happening. It's not that he isn't throwing good starts. He is. He just mixes in these godawful ones with alarming frequency. His best start of the year was in Colorado at the end of June, then he pitched two games at home in July in which he gave up 11 runs in three innings. Weird, man. I just don't know what to think. I just want my Matt Cain to get back to normal. So go get 'em Matty, make it four-and-a-half and get those Snake-y fellows wondering if the Giants have 'em snakebit.



Sunday, July 14, 2013

Break Time

The Padres got their revenge today. It's been a humiliating run for them (2-12 in July,  6-20 since beating the Giants on June 17th, getting no-hit, etc.) and they took it out on Barry Zito and the bullpen. The loss comes immediately after the high point of this low point in the season, something only lifers like us can appreciate. You have to be encouraged by the team taking three of four from San Diego, especially since they won so impressively, flashing all of their considerable tools. And they avoided the basement, at least for the Break, and that has to feel good. But there are things to be discouraged about, most especially the math, which I'll get to in a bit. Tim Lincecum pitched a no-hitter last night, and that was damn exciting. Remind yourself of that when this much-needed hiatus from the games is over. Mostly, this season is about missing Ryan Vogelsong, wondering about Matt Cain, and remaining bewildered about Barry-Z. The Giants come to the ASB 43-51 with 68 games remaining. They need 39 wins to finish with a winning record. To win 90, they have to go 47-21 which is .691 ball. There are only three .600 or better clubs in the majors right now. If the Arizona Diamondbacks play roughly their current .532 ball the rest of the way, they'll finish with 87 wins. That means the Giants will have to go 45-23 (.662) to beat them out. That's taking two of three in every series from this point forward. The team has 21 series left.

It's long odds, to be sure. I'd put down a bet only if you gave me at least 10-1. But I'm not a betting man, I'm only happy when my money rides on sure things. (As if there are any of those.) It is not outside the realm of possibility, though. That's the thing. It could happen. There is a lot of talent in San Francisco. There's grit, moxie, élan, esprit de corps, and VSC aplenty. Not to mention pennant race experience. The NL West is still open despite the Giants being out by seven games, that's something that can be halved on a good weekend. A ten-game win streak, a stretch of 12 wins in 15 or the like, could turn the season around. Such things happen, as we know, quite often in baseball. So, let's relax and enjoy the respite, and if you get the urge post up your notions about the second half. Let's kick 'em around and see what we've got, maybe we'll come up with all the answers.



p.s. Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey are awesome.

No Hitter Tim

I expected to use this title a couple of years ago. Back then it seemed like it was only a matter of time. However, in the last couple seasons, that thought pattern died. Lincecum starts have brought many things to mind lately ( narcotics, for one ), but, sad to say, certainly not no hitters. That all changed tonight as Tim Lincecum delivered only the seventh no hitter in S.F. Giants history. A 148 pitch gem that featured 13 strikeouts, 12 of them swinging. Like all no hitters, a couple great defensive plays were needed, but basically it was all Timmeh. It was frigging AWESOME!

 The Freak (a moniker I haven't used much this season) was dealing from the start. His curveball has become a staple and he used it often. But the split finger looked especially devastating. The four walks were well scattered, so no perfection, but, sheesh, who's complaining? I can't help but think how happy Tim's agent must be. That single flashy win could add MILLIONS to Tim's next contract. Does he now become more desirable to the Giants? After all, is there any Giant more loved? Even after some rough times, the excitement he brings is tangible. And this just adds to the legend. Will it help keep him in SF?

 I got to see the end of the game at The Firestone Public House in Sacramento. It was thrilling to join in the cheers of the crowded establishment. The way Buster grabbed Tim from behind will be a visual that I hope I never lose. Tonight is why we love this game so much.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


A few days ago I was astride a granite boulder that rested in the scree along the edge of a Sierra lake. I was craning my neck to examine a small plant through a hand lens--it was a wild orchid, the tiny white flowers spiraling up a short stem that clung to a crack in the rock. The afternoon sun had crisped my forearms umber, and the wind whipped my hat enough so that I needed my chin strap. Down the mountain was a stream strewn with Tiger Lillies in the shady spots, and I soaked my hot, tired flesh in a surging pool eddying out from a small waterfall. The butterflies abounded along meadow verges, iridescent Melissa Blues and stately Lorquin's Admirals, and warblers chased each other among the lodgepoles. A few days before that I was dumping my companions and the beer cooler from the canoe and into the Russian River with an unfortunate maneuver. Fortunately, all was recovered, the summer levels being quite low, and we wrestled our craft back to action and finished the float. There were Fourth of July fireworks from an Oakland Hills vista, a famous play in a small theater in the big City, a Sonoma wine-tasting excursion, a seafood dinner along the Carquinez Strait, and many wonderful long days and late nights with family and friends. In short, it was a hell of a holiday.

And speaking of hell, how the hell did this happen? This 2013 Giants team? Poor performances, sure. Key injuries, of course. But collapse? This is not one of the scenarios I envisioned. At the very worst, I thought this a .500 club. I did not believe this team was capable of playing this poorly. Every baseball team puts up stretches of .350 ball. Sometimes it even lasts a whole season--just ask the Astros. But this sustained run of bad baseball is a shocker. On May 12th, the Giants had just taken three of four from the Braves and were 23-15, in first place in the West by two games. They've gone 19-35 since, including a stretch where they lost 16 of 19. They are now in fourth place, 6-1/2 back, fighting it out with the Padres for the booby prize.

The 2009 Giants won their 42nd game on July 1st (Game 77). The 2010 Giants won their 42nd game on July 5th (Game 82). The 2011 Giants won their 42nd game on June 24th (Game 76). The 2012 Giants won their 42nd game on June 26th (Game 75). The 2013 Giants piled it on in San Diego last night, finally racking up win 42 on July 12th, their 92nd game. That's the kind of math I don't like. In terms of seasonal innings, Games 73-90 constituted their fifth 18-game cluster, and cluster it was. They went 3-15, an unimaginable stretch of bad luck and worse ball-playing. That's 11-7, 10-8, 8-10, 8-10, and the unfathomable 3-15 for the five innings. On a bright note, two wins in Games 91 and 92 gets the sixth frame started off with a nice 2-0 record. If you break it down by month, April was 15-12, May 14-13, June a swooning 10-17, and July a wretched 3-8. If any team could use an All-Star Break, it's San Francisco.

I'm back home, my friends. I'm plugged in again. I'll admit that I took a vacation from the Giants as well--when I go AWOL I go all the way. I did not know about Homer Bailey beating Tim Lincecum and his mates with a no-hitter. I did not know about Zack Wheeler besting Matt Cain and the boys, Matty throwing his shortest start ever, on the heels of getting clobbered by the Dodgers. What's up with Cain? I'm dumbfounded. We watched Tim be just about the lousiest starter in the NL last year, now we get the pleasure of doing it all over again, this time with no. 18. I swear I have not insulted the gods! In fact, I make my regular offerings, just like always. Perhaps more drastic measures are needed. Thanks for holding down the fort in my absence.



Thursday, July 11, 2013

Giants Win Again!

Last time the Giants won, Madison Bumgarner was on the hill.  Also, tonight!  Until yesterday, you might have said that everything about the Giants kind of had a sinking feeling with the exception of Matt Cain or Madison Bumgarner.  After yesterday..........................

Let's be positive.  A home run from Pablo Sandoval.  That was his first since May.  Gregor Blanco had some hits.  And Kensuke Tanaka!  12 hits, 3 for Blanco, 2 for Posey and Tanaka.  Madison gave up 3 hits in the first inning to allow 2 runs, but only 1 more in seven, striking out 6 and walking only 1.  He is going to the All Star game.  I think that the managers are catching on to what should be the obvious strategy - have a bunch of closers on your team.  The pitchers, with the exception of the starter, rarely go more than one inning anyway. 

Well, we could go back to bitching about all the bases-loaded at bats the Giants had that did not score, but let's not put a damper on the evening.  There do seem to be some omens that the Giants might hit at a better clip.  Baseball can turn around quickly, especially when it is hard to fathom reasons.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Double Digit Junk Tim

Tim Lincecum brought some of the best junk of the season, the bullpen cruised, the defense choked and Buster Posey made a highlight film as the Giants dropped another game, 4-3 to the Mets in 16 innings at beautiful AT&T Park. Not only a gut wrenching loss but an epic waste of Buster (5 hits!!), who won't even be able to play on Tuesday after all that time behind the plate.  We have lost 12 of our last 14 games and the vultures are clearly circling.

The placement of  Brandon Belt in the third slot was amazing to me. How on earth has he earned that respect?  When I saw the lineup I pretty much had to laugh. By the end of the game, no laughter.  Belt went OH FOR EIGHT WITH FIVE STRIKEOUTS. That is quite likely the worst single game performance in many years. I am done with him, that was too painful to ever forget. I won't ever look at Brandon Belt again the same way. Our recent history of first basemen is terrifying, actually embarrassing.   Yuck, how about some positive notes....

Timmeh never seemed to be able to command his fastball ( no news there ) but all his other breaking shit looked sharp. His ELEVEN STRIKEOUTS were a season high by a couple and included loads of swinging strikes. That is my idea of a good time. It is rather amazing how fast Tim has gone away from any resemblance of a power pitcher. He still racks up the strikeouts but, boy howdy, does he throw a pile of junk! Curves, sliders and the endless change ups.  Sure seemed to work as he only gave up three runs in seven innings, and at least one of those runs was greatly aided by shaky defense. Tim Lincecum looks like he might be figuring out his new lively hood .... Wonder if we will get to see the progress continue?

And what about next year? Will he be a Giant? As each game passes, the outcome of the season gets less in doubt, but there are still huge questions to be dealt with.

Thanks for being you Buster.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Maddy to the Rescue

They had to win sometime, and I'm glad it didn't take any longer than it did.  Madison pitched superbly, not allowing a baserunner until 2 outs in the 5th, when he unexpectedly allowed a baserunner and a home run.  That was all and the Giants already had 4, courtesy of some poor pitching, poor defense and good hitting by Gregor Blanco and Marco Scutaro.  We could actually win this series.  Who's pitching tomorrow?  Kershaw?  Well, that figures.

Batting out of order?  Which league is this again?

Friday, July 5, 2013


I was lured into thinking that the Giants had bottomed and were directionally correct.  You know, blown out, then no-hit, then an extra-innings loss, then a tie (or rain-out, if you prefer).   But tonight was a stinker.  Matty threw like crap.  I don't know........maybe the Giants do need to make a move.  If so, I'm hoping they can get Shin-Soo-ji.

I would sincerely like the Giants to show that my opinions are posted just in time to make a fool of me.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Not Even Close to Good Enough Tim

There is no way I am going to write about this game. Congrats and all that crap. For some strange reason if you would like to read about it, here's the frigging game info.

It officially can't get worse than that, right?