Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Busted Bunts Beat Birds

A fresh southerly breeze kept Travis Ishikawa's titanic blast in the 1st from being a grand slam. Instead the ball was blown back on to the field, confusing not just the announcers (and me) but rookie right fielder Randal Grichuk. It went for a bases-clearing double and the Giants finally had a big hit with men on base. The Cardinals chipped away at Tim Hudson the rest of the afternoon, finally tying the game in the 7th on Grichuk's bomb that hit the pole in left. Boch might have stuck with Hudson a little too long there, but it wasn't that bad of a pitch, maybe a bit up but certainly on the inner edge of the zone. Credit the youngster for a great swing in a big spot. Rookie nemesis Kolten Wong had done the rest of the damage earlier with three RBIs on a double and a triple--he was victimized by the San Francisco wind as well on the triple, off the bat it looked like a homer. John Lackey looked terrible in the 1st when the Giants whacked him around with two outs to take a 4-0 lead, but he was dominating over the next five frames and made the lineup look silly. Fortunately the Giants bullpen kept the lid on things, I was especially impressed by Santiago Casilla getting three outs in the 9th on nine pitches. He just keeps putting up zeroes! Pablo Sandoval made a great grab on a grounder by Matt Holliday in the top of the 10th to save a run and that gave the home team another shot at a walk-off win.

And walk off as winners they did. The Giants have some serious power bats like Buster Posey, Hunter Pence, and Pablo Sandoval but they can't seem to get--so far--home runs out of them. Brandon Belt, another slugger, delivered of course an epic dinger in DC, but the long ball has not been part of the Giants equation in this series. Well, if the homers ain't happening then you've got to find something else. Brandon Crawford led off the bottom of the 10th against Randy Choate and worked a walk. BCraw is 0-for-the LCS but has two walks in two appearances against the St. Louis lefty. Juan Perez, who'd put down a beautiful bunt against Trevor Rosenthal before Duffy's Dash in Game 2, could not put one down on two attempts. Boch took off the bunt sign with two strikes and the youngster ripped a liner to left for a single. Rock on, Juan! With runners on first and second all the world knew that next batter Gregor Blanco would attempt the sacrifice, and he put down a perfect one that Choate had to field lumbering toward the third base line. The veteran southpaw (he's the same age as Huddy) heaved his throw into right field and BCraw came home to a jubilant welcome.

It was another amazing back-and-forth battle between two great teams. The Giants keep coming up with goofy ways to score. And the 'pen was up to the task today, thank goodness. We also saw good glove work all around which, as we've seen, can be the difference in these tight contests.

Ryan Vogelsong gets the call tomorrow at 5:00 pm.




Zo said...

I am impressed at how bad a job FoxSports1 does. I don't listen to the sound, but just watching the picture makes me wonder if the producers have ever seen baseball before. They have no sense of the game, the drama that the pauses between pitches bring. They are (when they can tear themselves away from someone's face) constantly showing a swinging strike for four replays and barely making it back for a batted ball. What is the point of the view from the side of a pitch that tracks it with the yellow line? They all look exactly the same. Anyway, I had to bitch about something.

The Giants looked extremely weak, but they found a way to get it done. At the top of the 7th, when the announcers said, "No one warming up in Giants bullpen" I had a bad feeling. But the Giants found a way to get it done. Hooray for the little guys!

JC Parsons said...


It is hard to believe that a team can so consistently "execute" such a delicate and opportunistic "game plan." But that is exactly what we seem to be doing. Magic is everywhere, except our bats.

I had such joy after the first. We got big hits!! Pence hit one hard to RIGHT! Travis finally pulled on! (BTW where on the wall did that hit? Was it catchable?) But it all went away...Will it return again? Tomorrow?

Big Love to Perez again! That was a lovely line drive; just as hope started to fade. In two games, he has become a great Giant. Congrats young man, I hope you get some more chances to stir the pot!

M.C. O'Connor said...

Ishi's ball was theoretically catchable. It was making a bee line for the water and the 20 knot wind pushed it into triples alley. It hit a few feet above the ground. I'm not sure any RF gets a proper read on it--it was smoked and way up high before veering madly. Hard to say if Pence or Schierholz or someone with some experience would have gotten to it. I don't think so. Wong's ball, on the other hand, hit way up high and was going to be extra bases whether it cleared the wall or not. Pence was fooled by it as the wind was pretty stiff and messed with the ball's path. Just another crazy bit of magic.

I can only reiterate how much I hate baseball coverage on TV. Mostly because it could be so much better. Way too much wasted time on closeups and guys in the dugouts. So little effort to get a proper shot of a key play. So much drivel and blather. The good--the nice crisp shots of the pitches and the swings--is increasingly outweighed by the pointless stuff like "cool" graphics and idiotic factoids. "That's the first time a guy with a name starting with K got a homer in the same series as a guy whose name ends in K! OMG!" Yuck. Radio is certainly superior, despite the ever-increasing flow of commercials.

HD TV is like cocaine. It's a great rush but wears off quick. And you keep hitting it again and again, hoping to get back to that elusive perfect high. Pretty soon you are strung out and miserable. After this season I'm pulling the plug on that fucking brain rot. Life's too short to sit around sucking on the goddamn tube. I went for a bike ride this morning in the pines and the oaks. Just me and the air and sky and the trail and the hills and it was so goddamn beautiful I almost started weeping. Of course I was breathing so hard from the exertion and sweating buckets, too, so crying may have been physically impossible.

But I'll keep hitting the hi-def crack pipe until the Giants win this thing. I won't stop my ears against the satellite Sirens just yet, I've still a ways to go.

Brother Bob said...

It's funny how pitchers fielding bunts poorly has been so crucial.
Molina's absence was not overtly damaging to the Cards, but I was pleased that AJ was feeble at the plate. Fuck him.
As a bizarre aside, while watching Flannery do a pre-game interview with Amy G, I got the distinct impression that he probably has Parkinson's.(I have a friend with Parkinson's) I hope I'm wrong but if I'm not at least I can say "You heard it here first," for what that's worth.

nomisnala said...

I do think Bochy is making it hard the way he is handling his pitchers, instead of making it easy. But giants are up 2-1, which is better than most options except being up 3-0, which easily could have been the case.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Indeed: Gonzalez, Bumgarner, and now Choate.

Brother Bob said...

I wonder if there's blog in KC named "Raising Lorenzo Cain?"

M.C. O'Connor said...

There oughta be.