Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Comeback Attack

The Giants pulled off another dramatic victory tonight in San Francisco and are now one win from the World Series. Ryan Vogelsong saw his string of post-season brilliance end cruelly after three innings, having given up four runs, the last a no-doubt rocket from Kolten Wong. Vogie had five previous playoff starts and had allowed only four runs total in 30-1/3 innings. The Giants battled back and chased Shelby Miller in the fourth, closing the gap to 4-3 on hits from Buster Posey and Hunter Pence. It was up to the 'pens from that point and the Giants proved up to the task and allowed no runs over the final six frames. Yusmeiro Petit was the difference getting nine outs in ten batters, four by strikeout.

The Giants followed up that great effort in the bottom of the 6th with another magic rally. Juan Perez, fresh off yesterday's heroics, came off the bench to open the inning and walked. After a BCraw single Matt Duffy, pinch-hitting, bunted them over. Nice work from the youngsters once again, and it should be noted that bench stalwart Joaquin Arias led off the 3rd with a pinch-hit and eventually scored. It's a team game, man. The Cards brought the infield in and Gregor Blanco shot a grass-clipper right at Matt Adams at first but he took too much time to get the throw off and Perez scored with a nifty slide. The low, off-balance throw was late and short-hopped catcher Tony Cruz who dropped it for good measure.Then Joe Panik hit a hard grounder to the bag at first and Adams gloved it and got the force, turned and threw it off-line to second giving BCraw a chance to scoot home. Buster then delivered a single to make it 6-4 Giants. It was not a good sequence for the big lefty slugger.

Boch had his matchups ready the rest of the way: Affeldt got four outs, then Lopez for Adams after Machi didn't get his man (Holliday), then Romo for the 8th and Casilla for the 9th. St. Louis put a guy on in both of the last two innings and had two on in the 7th but this time Giants pitchers executed and got the big outs. It was a tremendous game, lots of action, lots of anguish, but ultimately joy. The Giants win by attrition--they get the line moving, put the ball in play, and keep the pressure on. They were one massive blow away from breaking the game open, but their relentless peskiness was more than enough. Buster tallied three runs batted in, Pence had two hits, Blanco scored twice, the team had 11 hits and six walks and only struck out five times.

The late afternoon start meant some funny light in the outfield. Both centerfielders muffed tough chances they would normally have hauled in. I think they should play baseball at a proper local time and I'm sick of east coast television ruling the damn world. Alas, another of my multitude of bitches about our media conglomerate masters. Even corporate domination of our very souls can't ruin my high, though. This was an awesome win. I can't find any fancy way to say it. The Giants pulled off a great goddam win and are all set up with their ace tomorrow in a potential clincher. In 2010 Tim Lincecum got the ball at home in Game Five up 3-1 against Roy Halladay and the Phillies who won and forced the series to six games. It didn't matter, as I recall, but I would have rather seen the team nail it down on the first try.

So that's it, Giants. Nail it down.

5:07 Pacific. MadBum.

Go team! Win!

--M.C.

13 comments:

Shankbone said...

Thrilling game. Posey and Pence brought their A game. Matt Duffy putdown a bunt on a hard pitch. Juan Perez is fast! Those Royals OFs are getting a lot of press lately, but we gots our defensive replacement as well.

Affeldt Romo Lopez and Casilla. Hell of a bunch of dudes.

This game felt like whichever team practiced run prevention would win. That would be Los Gigantes.

Big time game tomorrow. Gotta come correct, get out of that first inning Bumgarner!

JC Parsons said...

FIVE MORE WINS TO GO!

We actually scored three runs in an inning! We scored runs by getting actual HITS! Our big bats made contributions and our rookies keep doing what it takes. It is hard not to get very confident after a beautiful come back like that.

I sure hope MadBum has his A game. Am I wrong in thinking he hasn't done nearly as well at home?

Ron said...

Last night's game was transitional for me. The fact that we did score some runs through the use of line drive base hits was very important, because our other methods are not sustainable over a long period.

Waking up this morning actually feeling confident that we can win this thing is both exciting & scary. It's exciting to believe that we can achieve 3 WS wins in 5 years - unbelievable! However, I was much calmer, when I had no confidence in our ability to win - much less stressed.

Well, I suppose that I need to cautiously manage the adrenaline rush. I'm sure that both locker rooms are using 'Remember 2012' in their own motivational ways.

Go Giants!!!!!

Anonymous said...

And all this without Pagan.

Amazing....

Brother Bob said...

My fantasy for today is the Giants are up 8-1 after 8 innings. MadBum has thrown over 100 pitches, so who comes in to finish things up in the 9th but the one and only Big Time Timmy Jim. The crowd goes wild as Lincecum strikes out the side and the Giants win the pennant.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Boch:

"Believe me," said Bochy, "I love home runs. But it is all about execution. If you don't hit home runs, you better do the little things, which we do. You've got to keep the pressure on those other guys."

From Tracy Ringolsby.
(H/T OGC)

M.C. O'Connor said...

MadBum had his worst outings at home but all in the first four months of the season. That "split" disappeared in August and September. Just one of those flukey things.

Ron said...

A few other comments on last night's game:

- I felt that Matt Adams took an incredible amount of unjustified abuse from the media over his plays in the 6th inning. The voracity of the attacks by the TV guys was nothing compared to the blatant sharks-to-blood attacks by the reporters in the locker room. (By the way, feeling sorry for Matt Adams was not something I ever expected to feel.) The play on Perez at the plate was a very difficult play. He had to give it a try, because it was the tieing run, a perfect play might have gotten the runner, & he probably had no play on Blanco at 1B anyway. One can argue that the play on Panik's groundball was mis-handled. He could stepped on first, then looked Crawford back to 3B. However, then the situation would have been runners on 2nd & 3rd. Posey (who clearly was locked in & was always going to get a hit in that AB) would have hit a 2-run single instead of a 1-run single, & the score would still have been 6-4. On the other hand, if he had gotten a grip on the ball, he might have thrown Blanco out. The only thing that would have been worse would have been if the throw had sailed into LF, allowing Blanco would have scored immediately (still 6-4, by the way with Posey hitting a bases empty single). So, I really didn't see that Adams did much wrong on either play. Only J. T. Snow or Belt makes the first play - the second play resulted in no added harm.

- I thought that Belt made a bizarre baserunning mistake leading up to him being thrown out at the plate in the 7th inning. Why did he stop & look all of the way back over his shoulder at Carpenter? He had committed to come home. The only reason that Carpenter had the time to step inside the baseline for a clear throw to the Catcher was because Belt stopped. Had Belt just kept his nose down & run hard, he would have scored, because Carpenter would have hit him in the back with his throw. Watch the replay & check it out. It made no sense to me. The Giants have been forcing the defense into mistakes for a couple of weeks now - that was one opportunity to do so that they did not take advantage of.

Great win, anyway!

Go Giatns!!!!

Ron said...

Can't believe I mis-spelled Giants there at the end. Clearly, I need to moderate the adrenaline rushes more effectively.

Go Giants!!!!!

M.C. O'Connor said...

TV guys need a scapegoat, hence Adams. He failed to make the first play because it looked like he never got a good grip and had to double-clutch. Not atrocious work, but just enough for a fast guy like Perez. The second sequence was mental. Get the force, check the runner. That was the go-ahead run! The DP was not as important as the run at home. You can't worry about the on-deck hitter in that situation. Adams is a good player, not just a one-dimensional bopper. It was just one of those things. We saw Posey and MadBum--the two best players on the team--combine for a disastrous sequence against the Nats that cost the game. It happens.

I know what you mean about the Belt play, he seemed tentative, like he wasn't sure he was doing the right thing. And he has good wheels, he coulda-shoulda made it.

ogc obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

I disagree about Adams play on Blanco's ball.

It was still only the 6th inning and the consequence of not getting the out at 1B was extending the rally for the Giants, which they were able to do.

Sure, it was the tying run, but you get out of that inning, you still have three innings to get the lead back.

It changed a two out possibility, runner on third, to a one out, men on first and third.

Yeah, the play at first would have been tough given his momentum and positioning. But he had plenty of time to plant, set, and throw Blanco out at first safely. See this vid: http://m.giants.mlb.com/news/article/98697698/statcast-juan-perez-sprints-home-to-spark-sf-giants-comeback

I get why he tried, Perez was close, it was bang bang, if he made a good throw, he could (I don't think assured, Perez put in a great slide and tag to score) have got him. But he had to be perfect.

Meanwhile, Blanco was barely out of the box when Adams got the ball. If Adams would have stopped and set, he could have easily got the speedy Blanco out, I think.

If it was no outs, I can see gambling the out to get the tying run. But he turned a two out situation, with man on third, to a one out situation with men on first and third, which allowed the next run, the lead run, to score on a ground out instead of getting out of the inning with the third out. Then Posey got some leeway with his single.

Anonymous said...

The 2nd Adams play was a mental mistake - (step on the bag & check the runner on 3rd), compounded by a physical mistake - (impossible throw for a RH 1B without taking 2 steps in to get an angle away from the runner in your line).

Not hard to believe the previous throw was still on his mind.

While it's great to have a guy at first who can throw (Belt!), it's not a requisite skill for the position, and it bit the Cards hard in this case.

It's baseball.

And this G's incarnation is one of the best October teams of all time.

M.C. O'Connor said...

GO GIANTS!!

BRING ON THE ROYALS!!