Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Giants Cling to Life

The Los Angeles Dodgers have to keep their champagne on ice for at least another night as the Giants prevailed in 12 innings. It was 2-1 Giants in the 9th but the Dodgers put the first two men on against Josh Osich and ultimately pushed across the tying run on a groundout. Don Mattingly played for one run by sacrificing with Justin Turner, his cleanup hitter, and it paid off--they got one run. They had a real shot at a big inning, I thought, but played it safe. The Giants 'pen has been a little rocky and I was surprised they didn't go for the kill.* They continued to torture the Giants faithful by putting men on in the 10th, 11th, and 12th but could not push across the go-ahead run.

Jake Peavy pitched a fine game, matching zeroes with ├╝ber-ace Zack Greinke. Rookie Trevor Brown got the big hit to give the Giants a brief 2-0 lead. Late in the game and in extras the home squad had several chances to seal the deal but kept coming up short. Ultimately it was an FNG-fest as Marlon Byrd, Kelby Tomlinson, and Alejandro De Aza conjured up the winning rally.

Marquee matchup tonight with Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner.



*The "win expectancy" for the visiting team with runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs in the top of the 9th in a tie game is a little under 69%. With one out and runners on 2nd and 3rd it is a little over 69%. The gain is a fraction of a percentage point. Bunting in that situation means you can score a run on an out--which they did--but it also means you are playing for one run. A team about to be eliminated might say "we have to tie before we can win" and I'd agree. But a team with a six-game lead with three more clinch-games to play? To me that move is defensible only if it is the bottom of the lineup. They took the bat out of Justin Turner's hands and he's been raking to the tune of .290/.366/.484 for them. Why not show some faith in your guys and let them have a chance to deliver a big hit? I'd like to know how you guys would have played it if you were in Donnie Baseball's cleats.


Ron said...

There were so many bizarre managerial decisions in that game (by both Managers), continuing until the last batter of the game, that I was in a perpetual state of disbelief. I'm not sure why you wouldn't have your right-hander (who had hardly walked anyone all season, so the chances of a bases-loaded walk were minimal) just intentionally walk De Aza, so that you could re-set a normal defense, & attempt to induce a force at the plate or a DP from Pagan? Bringing in a very inexperienced guy to pitch with a 5-man infield, no force out available, & no one between straight away CF & the right field line seemed very risky. Bochy's moves were equally strange at times, although he did make the right calls, when he went to both Lopez & Strickland. I thought that there were a couple of obvious 'pinch-run Juan Perez for Buster Posey at 2B' situations which never happened. On the other hand, LA paid for their removal of Adrian Gonzalez for a pinch-runner who, as Mark infers, was never really given much of a chance to score a go-ahead run in the 9th. Weird.

I have thoroughly enjoyed Giants' baseball since about the 4th inning on Sunday. At that point, after what seemed like the 5th interruption in game action to show Amy G.'s Kids in the crowd (aside from how annoying it was that Kruk & Kuip & the Technical Crew were so fixated on that, does Amy G. really want her Kids plastered all over everyone's TV screens?), I switched the audio feed on my MLB.TV to Erwin Higueros & Tito Fuentes. I watched the rest of Sunday's Game & all of last night's listening to those guys. They are fantastic!

For me, Higueros, who was born in Guatemala, but has lived in the US for a long time, is very easy to understand. His pronunciation is straight-forward, very much like the Mexican Spanish to which I am very accustomed. His game delivery is also straight-forward & chock-full of baseball information. They don't have bullshit interruptions, like 'as always, the score with 2 outs in the top of the 5th inning is brought to you by Sutter Health' - shit like that.

Fuentes, on the other hand, with his raspy Cuban Spanish is both more of a challenge to understand & a total crack-up. Eventually, I started to get more in tune with his pronunciation of the words 'frecko' (meaning 'fresco', or cool, as in when the shadows crept across the field in Oakland) & 'waywo' (meaning 'juego' or game) & other such intricacies of Cuban pronunciation. He seems to randomly take over play-by-play, with no semblance of regularity, which is refreshing. And, then he gets very excited - like when Pagan went way back to track down A. J. Ellis's long fly out in the top of the 12th ('siga Pagan, siga Pagan, siga Pagan ... la capturo!!!!!'). In that sense, he's a little like a Spanish-speaking Lon Simmons.

So, for a number of reasons, including listening to more Higueros & Fuentes, I'm hoping that we keep things going through Sunday & beyond! Todos somos Gigantes! Adelante!!!

M.C. O'Connor said...

The telecasts are nearly unwatchable, esp. at home. Kruk and Kuip become fixated on something in the crowd and linger, linger, linger, linger on that to the point of nausea. I don't think I can take another season of Krukow obsessing over some guy's hideous headgear (those ring things are particularly grotesque) and gurgling about "hat-itude." Kuip is much, much better on the radio where he doesn't fall into a Krukovian idiocy-pit. Somehow we are supposed to think acting and talking like a dumb jock is charming. Any more I prefer the game with the sound off. If the mlb audio was synched with the TV I'd just do that. Miller's ridiculous name-dropping and irrelevant stories that require two commercial breaks are far superior to Krukow oohing and aahing over hot dogs covered in chili or a toddler smearing ice cream on himself. And when were we supposed to be riveted by pictures of announcers in the booth? Did I miss a memo?

I get it. I mean, I took Econ in college. I understand capitalism. If it sells, do it more. And more. And the audience must love that shit. It makes me gag, but I'm one cranky schmuck in a universe of happy viewers. There's just this smug, we-are-all-so-fucking-cool vibe about the whole thing that turns me off. Just shut up already and stop reading the damn graphics to us or fawning over some buddy of yours who's the ball-dude.

I might start listening to the Spanish precisely because I won't understand them. At this juncture I almost prefer GameDay's passionless "ball in play, two runs" to anything they say on TV.

OK, I got that off my chest.

Ron said...

Spectacular rant ... one of the best of the Season! Or, should I say, 'That rant was today's Ford Right Choice! And, how' bout those rally hats?'

M.C. O'Connor said...

Thanks. And I apologize to the readers who are tired of my one-track complaining about TV.

But, more to the point:

Do you bunt with your cleanup hitter in the 9th like Donnie did last night? Or do you play for the win? And, Boch left his infield back and gave up the tying run to get an out--do you play the infield in there? I like Boch's thinking, the home team has the chance for a walk-off and a tie is not so bad. But what would you do? Walk the bases loaded and go for the DP?

Ron said...

I thought that bunting with Turner was a weird move. I have never been too impressed with Mattingly's managerial moves, & he made a bunch of strange ones last night.

While we're talking about the Giants:

- Kelby Tomlinson made some fantastic plays last night.

- 2015 Angel Pagan is looking more & more like 2011 Andres Torres every day. He is clearly not the power threat he once was, but, instead of acknowledging it & using a smaller bat & taking a shorter hack, he insists on hauling the big lumber up there & having a loop in his swing. Come on, Hensley Meulens ... get in his face!

- Why did they never show a replay which indicated that Jarret Parker was picked off? Nothing I saw indicated anything of the sort.

- Strickland & Posey made nice plays on the oddly-timed Rollins bunt in the 12th.

Zo said...

1) I don't think Perez is available, I think he is hurt. The announcers were commenting on using a pinch runner for Buster Posey and surmised that they did not want to take his bat out of the line-up. Which makes sense.
2) The announcers were commenting that they had very limited camera angles, and then Jon Miller stated that he looked into the LA announcers booth and they had a different angle that it seemed to show that Parker was tagged before his hand was on the base.