Monday, November 13, 2017

Angst





  
We've had it before, and we'll probably have it again.  The Giants had a horrible, horrible, awful season.  There were a lot of reasons.  But then the Giants-less post season came along, and then the Astros won it all, and it could have been so much worse, so we didn't have to stress about the Giants for awhile, and now that's over and the General Managers are meeting in The GM's are meeting in Orlando, and now we have to start worrying all over again.   Brian Sabean has said he needs a third baseman, a center fielder, and a better bullpen.  "'We do need upgrades in certain and key positions. High on the wish list is to get younger, more athletic and play better defense overall, Sabean said. "

Bullpen, bullpen, bullpen.  That's what I concluded was the Giants biggest need, and I still think so.  The Giants are not going to be a team that leads the league in home runs.  They can't move enough players who aren't going to hit high HR numbers and the ballpark doesn't lend itself to many home runs.  But the fact that MLB juiced the ball and players are swinging for the fences does not mean that a team built for pitching and getting on base can't be successful.  The Astros are a case in point.  But it does mean that the Giants have to do some things much better.  Like not strike out as much.  And strike other guys out more.  And for Willie's sake, win some of those games where your offense gives you only a small lead.

The Giants picked up the option on Pablo Sandoval.  I get it, he's just as cheap as possible.  He does not represent an upgrade over anyone in my view.  I know he's strong and can hit home runs.  He hit 5 as a Giant in 47 games.  That's 15 or so in a season.  I'd rather look to Christian Arroyo to provide some kind of spark.  I'd rather have Eduardo Nunez back, but I think he is probably staying in Boston after his success there last season.

But the Giants do need power.  None of our left field experiments really worked.  Denard Span and Hunter Pence are both pretty good players when healthy, but you know what?  .272, .427 slugging, 12 hr (Span) and .260, .385, and 13 hr just aren't enough.  Pence was barely a positive WAR and Span was negative.  And you know what would really help?  Someone on the team with presence.  The kind of guy who pitchers worry about a couple batters before he gets to the plate because they know he can change the game with one swing.  Like Barry used to be.  Someone like Giancarlo Stanton.

And here's the Chronicle talking about how nice it would be to have Giancarlo Stanton as a Giant.  You know what?  Every team wants Giancarlo Stanton.  That means that the Giants, who do not have the best farm system, would have to pay most of his salary.  If the Giants are not willing to do that, and probably even if they are, they are unlikely to be the best trading partners from the Marlins' standpoint.  Here's a weird scenario, from the New York Post: the Giants get Giancarlo Stanton and send Christian Arroyo and Seth Corry, their Round 3 draft pick, to Miami, and Johnny Cueto to the Cubs.  The Marlins also get Ben Zobrist and Ian Happ from the Cubs.   What do you all think of that?

Well, of course all that and have a bunch of guys perform better next year.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the Giants will be one of the most improved teams next year.  This really shouldn't surprise anyone, and it is not because I'm an optimist.  It's because they played so far under their potential last year that even approaching the level of what they are capable of, even mediocrity, would be a big step up.










Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Plus ça change . . .

The Giants hired a new pitching coach. Southpaw Curt Young played 11 years in the bigs (1983-1993) and was both a starter and a reliever. He'll be 58 in April. Dave Righetti, the man he replaces, played 16 seasons (1979-1995) as a lefty starter and reliever. He'll be 59 in a couple of weeks. Interestingly, Young was on the Yankees when Righetti was on the Giants! The two men are contemporaries, and complementary, as Young was in Oakland as the pitching coach for much of Righetti's tenure across the Bay. Rags is of course a Bay Area boy (San Jose) while Young is from Saginaw, Michigan, immortalized by Lefty Frizell's song.

The Giants hired a new hitting coach, Alonzo Powell, whose professional career spanned the years 1983-2001 with MLB time in 1987 and 1991. He'll be 53 next month, and was originally a Giants prospect who was part of the Bill Laskey trade. Hensley Meulens played pro ball from 1986 to 2002 with MLB stints in 1989-1993 and 1997-1998. Both men played in Japan, Powell from 1992-1998 and Meulens from 1994-1996. He'll be 51 in June. Powell is San Francisco native; Bam-Bam is perhaps Aruba's most famous citizen (with the possible exception of Xander Bogaerts!). He becomes the bench coach, bumping Ron Wotus back to third base.

So, make of that what you will. I've no idea how much of an impact coaches make on individual performances or team-wide philosophies. I imagine the Giants only made these changes because they lost 98 games. If they had won 98, do you think they'd have shuffled the deck? Regardless, we've some new faces in the fold and we have to hope they are part of the upgrade the team needs. But it is weird that the new guys are so much like the old guys!

Brandon Crawford earned his third straight Gold Glove Award. We know that guy is a wizard, and I'm happy that baseball knows it, too. He really is an exceptional fielder and we are lucky we get to see him every day. I saw Ozzie Smith quite a bit back in the day (he came up with the Padres before he made his name in St. Louis) and we all got to see Omar Vizquel in orange-and-black not long ago. Those guys are my standards for judging shortstops, and I can say without hesitation that BCraw can do everything those guys could do, and he's bigger and stronger to boot, with a cannon for an arm. We'll see if he has their longevity.

Johnny Cueto decides to stay with the Giants for four more years and I'm happy about that. I think last season was a blip and that he will return to form and the team will get more than its money's worth when all is said and done.

RIP Roy Halladay, one of the great pitchers of his time. Here's the thing: from 2002 to 2011 he threw almost 2200 innings over 303 starts. That's 7+ IP per start! Who does that? Extraordinary ballplayer, to be sure, and also he seemed well-loved by his peers. He embodied both "ace" and "workhorse." Giants fans will never forget Cody Ross clubbing two homers off Halladay in the 2010 NLCS when he pitched for the Phillies. He had two memorable matchups with Tim Lincecum in that series, losing one and winning one. His 64.7 bWAR puts him between Juan Marichal (63.1) and Luis Tiant (66.7).

--M.C.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Astros Prevail

Game Seven was an anti-climax after a gripping Series. I was sure LA had the momentum after the win yesterday but Houston had their own thing going on and got it done on the road. The Giants played a memorable Game Seven in Kansas City a few years ago, and the Cubs won a thriller in Cleveland just last season. This game was not as dramatic as the Astros jumped to an early lead and never looked back. I was certain someone in the Dodgers lineup would hit a 3-run homer to make it a contest, with all the lead changes and big hits throughout these games that seemed inevitable to me. Plus I remember a certain club that had a 5-0 lead in a clinching Series game losing to a Southern California squad. But the Astros kept the lid on with stubborn pitching and steady fielding and they won their first-ever championship. We know how that feels.

I've said before I'm not much for schadenfreude. I'm entirely orthodox in my Giants fandom: my two favorite teams are the Giants and whatever team is playing the Dodgers. But I'm not the rub-it-in type; I know how elusive championships are and how lucky any one team is to have a shot. And LA had their shot. This is the best team they've ever fielded and it came up a game short. I have a lot of friends who root for the blue, and I do feel for them. I certainly know what it's like to have your team let you down. This is the nature of fandom--we are subject to the capriciousness of the baseball gods.

Congratulations to the Astros! They are deserving champions and they beat three of baseball's most storied franchises, the Red Sox, the Yankees, and the Dodgers. Impressive.

--M.C.

Monday, October 23, 2017

And Then There Were Two

The Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers make an intriguing match-up for the World Series. The Astros have historically great hitting; the Dodgers have historically great pitching. They say pitching wins, and LA is the home team, so they ought to have an edge. They have a deep roster as well and are playing superb baseball right now. They kicked the crap out of two good teams, losing only one post-season game so far. I suppose my familiarity with the Dodgers makes them seem more formidable, I don't know the Astros as well, but they are obviously a great team and it should be a good contest. I expect Houston will rely on big starts from Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander, they don't seem to have the quality in their 'pen that LA does. But in a short series anyone can get hot and tip the scales. I'm rooting for the Astros to pull off the upset, no surprise there. They are listed at +120 or 6/5, with the Dodgers at -140 or 5/7. Enjoy!

--M.C.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Heads start rolling

This being the Giants, where loyalty is generally rewarded, the heads rolled upstairs instead of out in the street. But we had to know there would be a shake-up. I suppose the biggest question of all is the manager. At some point Bochy will trade in his cap and cleats but I think that's still a year or two away. There's no clear heir apparent despite my belief that they are grooming Jose Alguacil; maybe we'll have a better idea when the dust settles.

Dave Righetti and Mark Gardner move out of the dugout and bullpen and into the front office. Steve Decker (assistant hitting coach) joins the growing club of "special assistants." I saw a rumor about Chili Davis returning to the organization, and Hensley Muelens being on the block. David Bell returns in a player development capacity, replacing Shane Turner who gets an apparent promotion. (I don't claim to understand the corporate food chain. Cool job titles, though.)

It should be fun to see who gets picked for the new openings: will it be advancement from within or fresh talent from outside?

--M.C.

p.s. Hats off to Rags--18 seasons (and three managers) is a hell of a run.



***UPDATE: looks like I missed some key facts, Ron Wotus and Hensley Muelens were also both re-assigned. That makes five vacancies.

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Final Four

The New York Yankees are in Texas to open the ALCS with the Houston Astros. These are two evenly matched teams and it ought to be a close contest. The Astros have the home field and I suppose that gives them a slight edge. Both offenses are the top-rated in baseball. Tomorrow the Chicago Cubs open the NLCS in Los Angeles against the number-one seed Dodgers. The Cubs outlasted the Nationals in the LDS and won an epic Game Five on the road in DC. The Yankees also clinched on the road, surviving three elimination games against the Indians. LA certainly looks like the favorite in their matchup, especially since they are well-rested and have the home field. The Cubs won despite two superb starts from Washington ace Stephen Strasburg, we'll see if they can neutralize Clayton Kershaw as well. Should be some good baseball. Enjoy!

--M.C.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Tournament Time

The final field is set for the championship chase with Boston at Houston and New York at Cleveland tonight, and with Arizona at Los Angeles and Chicago at Washington tomorrow. I see that the Astros clobbered Chris Sale, that's not a good sign for the Red Sox. Indians-Yankees seems like a tossup to me, two great bullpens. The Diamondbacks used their two best pitchers already and that seems like a big advantage for the Dodgers. Nationals-Cubs seems like another tossup, defending champs often don't go away easily. I've never been much of a prognosticator so I won't go further than that. I don't have a rooting interest, really, I'm partial to Cleveland, that winning streak was something, and I like Terry Francona. In the NL it's all about who has the best shot at beating LA, right? And I've no idea. The boys in blue are very strong this year and have a lot of good players. But this is the post-season tournament and anything can happen, as we know. I don't expect to write much about these games but I had to post something if just to move my previous post off the front page!

--M.C.


p.s. Here's a great picture of Matt Cain, courtesy of Ron. Thanks, Ron! I'll have to find a permanent place for it on the blog.




Monday, October 2, 2017

9th inning: 8-10

1st inning: 6-12
2nd inning: 6-12
3rd inning: 10-8
4th inning: 4-14
5th inning: 8-10
6th inning: 7-11
7th inning: 9-9
8th inning: 6-12
9th inning: 8-10

The final tally for 2017 is 64-98 (.395), 40 games out of first place and 23 games behind the wildcard. The Giants tie the Detroit Tigers for the worst record and will get rewarded with the number two overall pick in the 2018 June draft (the Giants had a better 2016 record than the Tigers).

It was a season in which everything went wrong. The team was a disaster from the opening bell and never found its footing. Considering the expectations and track record you could argue it was the worst season ever for the San Francisco Giants. The team was 16th of the 30 ML squads in runs allowed per game (4.79); they were 29th in runs scored per game (3.94). The league average for RA/RS was 4.65, I think you can see the problem. They couldn't hit and the pitching was sub-par. They also couldn't play the field or run the bases. The only players on the club with anything close to their expected performances were Buster Posey (.320/.400/.462, 4.3 fWAR) and Jeff Samardzija (207-2/3 IP, 3.8 fWAR).

One of the things about being a sports fan is that the outcomes are random. If you like movies of a particular ilk, say rom-coms or super-hero franchises, you can pick those when you go out and you will stand a good chance of getting your money's worth. If you go to the circus or to the opera you have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Sporting events don't give us that luxury. You have to take a risk--the performance could be a dud. Imagine if Broadway musicals had the variation we see in ballgames. Tuesday night's Hamilton could really stink but Sunday's would be epic, for example. Who would stand such a thing?

What we learn in life is to take the bitter with the sweet. There's no way to separate the bad from the good as the world is all jumbled up. It's not neat out there, it's messy, and it can't be untangled. We love the Giants so they drive us crazy. If we didn't care it would be a lot easier. But we do, so it isn't. We cry "wait 'til next year" when things are bleak. The 2018 Giants may be bad, or they may bounce back, there's no way to know for sure. One thing I'm sure of is that I'll be right here, chiming in on my beloved orange-and-blackers, and hoping you'll join me.

As always, my heartfelt thanks to all of you for reading, lurking, commenting, and posting. This is our 10th full season of blogging here at RMC, that's over 2200 posts! Writing about the Giants has taught me much about myself. It's brought into focus my lifelong relationship to baseball, allowed me to muse often on the nature of fandom, and forced me to ride out the highs and lows with some degree of equanimity. I can't wait to see what next year brings.

--M.C.




p.s. Baseball is a slow, sluggish game with frequent and trivial interruptions, offering the spectator many opportunities to reflect at leisure upon the situation on the field. This is what a fan loves most about the game.   --Edward Abbey (from Vox Clamantis in Deserto)

Sunday, October 1, 2017

64 and Done

SD 4 SF 5 

Well, this cesspool of a season is finally over and the amount of happiness that gives me is quite disturbing.  Today ended with the flash of a walk off homer ( by Pablo Sandoval, no less ) and some loving speeches for a great departing Giant; but there is nothing that can take away the stink and scars from of this year.  It started in April really.  And by May it was a done deal.  Amazing in a sick way.  This team is different than any of the other big losing squads of my youth and it has affected me more than I ever expected.

After years of genuine contention, all bets are now off and we all start from scratch.  Truthfully, I'm not sure I'm up for it any more.  One thing I learned from this horror of a team is that there are times to walk away from it.  I regained some of my life by getting away from this team and I liked it.  So, all I can say is that I will let you know about next year and just how much I want to jump in again.

Time for me to pull the plug on baseball for awhile.  Maybe I'll check out the Indians for Mom's sake but I doubt it.  Enjoy the post season, but if the doggers do well, please don't tell me.


Saturday, September 30, 2017

G-Fans Bid Cain Adieu

SD 3  SF 2
It was only fitting that Matt Cain would pitch well in his farewell; it was only fitting that the Giants would tag their teammate with another ND. You are what you is, like FZ sez, and Matt Cain is (was) a hard-luck pitcher. At the same time, he had an outstanding career, and his exploits will forever be etched in SFG lore. The fans got their celebration today, desperately needed in this un-celebratory season, and the Tennessee Stud got a proper send-off. Bit of drama in the 5th, his final frame, after walking the leadoff man he got a visit from Boch, the crowd booed, then the skipper left him in, and then they cheered. Matty did his part: twelve pitches to three batters for another scoreless inning.

Cain's line was 5 IP (18 batters, 73 pitches), 2 H 1 W, 4 K, and zero runs allowed in his 331st start. He turns 33 tomorrow having pitched professionally since he was 17 years old, all in the Giants organization, making his major league debut in 2005.

The Giants had a 1-0 lead after the 5th when Cain was pulled. The Padres tied it in the 6th. The Giants went ahead in the 7th. They took a 2-1 lead to the 9th, and with two strikes, two outs, and two on, a two-bagger scored two and the Rockies went ahead 3-2. That was the final--the Giants lose in Cain's last start. But that's the story of 2017. It will be over soon, I promise.

Matt Cain helped the Giants to a whole heap of wins over the years even if he didn't get the 'W' tag after each one. He was near tears in his post-game chat with AmyG, and that's only fitting.

--M.C.




p.s. Thanks to the real Matt Cain for inspiring me to spill lots of digital ink over the years!

p.p.s. Apologies to John Updike.

Friday, September 29, 2017

63!

SF 8  SD 0
The Giants break out at home behind Chris Stratton and shut out the Padres for their 63rd win. The worst the team can do now is lose 99 games. They won't repeat the ignominy of 1985's 100-loss season. It's a small comfort in a wretched campaign but it is something. I'm happy. It's the one thing I was clinging to, and it came to pass. The Giants get their fifth team shutout. The nice thing about tonight's win is that is takes the pressure off Matt Cain tomorrow. He'll likely be on a short leash anyway so now the only thing that matters is the fans getting their sentimental send-off.

Nick Hundley was this year's Willie Mac Award recipient. He seems to have made a great impression on the organization and I expect they will push hard to re-sign him. I thought Jeff Samardzija deserved consideration--he never missed his turn in the rotation and was one of only eight pitchers in baseball to log 200 innings. But Hundley, despite a .272 OBA, was a worthy awardee with his timely slugging (23 doubles, 9 homers) and solid work backing up Buster.

Go Giants!

--M.C.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Hangover Win

 SF 9 ARI 2

Even with a lopsided win, this team still makes me feel like I wasted my evening watching them.  The Diamondbacks, fresh off clinching a post season berth, played like it.  All their stars had the day off and the rest of them had apparently partied all night.  Four errors and a bunch of bad pitching later, the Giants had meaningless win #62.  Yippee!

Cueto (8-8) gave the Giants another solid outing (game score 64, 6 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs, 7 K).  He sure has had a hard time getting easy outs since coming back.  I guess that is a small criticism...but his pitch counts have been crazy lately.  Not sure that it means anything.

Our boys made a bit of noise with the bats tonight.  They scored 5 runs in an inning for the first time in 5 weeks.  Hundley had a big 4 RBI night, including the game breaking 3 run homer.  Parker got three hits, including a couple doubles.  He hit it hard to all fields and looked good doing it.

What a shame it meant not a thing.  Only a few more meaningless games left!  Thank Willie.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Two

The Giants magic number is 2.  That is, 2 wins will allow them to avoid 100 losses for 2017.  Today, in Los Angeles, was win number 61.  The Giants won 2 - 1.

2 runs.  That was enough to beat the doggers, tonight.  Madison Bumgarner on the mound, and he threw one of his best games of the year.  It took him 55 pitches to get through 5 innings, although it took him 44 more to get through another 2 2/3.  He gave up 5 hits, struck out 5 and walked 1.  1 of those hits was a home run.  It was a mistake, too much plate and it left the yard.  Isn't it funny how the Giants' mistake pitches leave the yard and the Giants' opponents mistake pitches put men on base, but the Giants don't manage to score?  Yeah, that happened, too.  Madison Bumgarner has pitched in 17 games this year.  In 11 of those games, the Giants have scored 2 runs or fewer.  Not just for him, in the whole game.  Tonight was the first game among those that resulted in a Giants victory.  Which means he did something right.  Hunter Strickland got 1 out in the 8th and Sam Dyson got a save for pitching the 9th.  Madison Bumgarner is now 4 - 9.  It only feels like this is only his 2nd win.

Come on Giants, 2 more wins!  Hyun-Jin Ryu started for the doggers, and took the loss.  He suffered a forearm contusion from a ball batted by Joe Panik.  Joe Panik has the highest batting average for the month of September of any major league baseball player.  The game ended with Yasiel Puig being thrown out trying to steal 2nd base.  He apparently got hurt running, limped off the field and apparently ran of his own volition.  Dave Roberts was not making happy faces.  Chris Stratton pitches tomorrow against Clayton Kershaw.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Giants Blank Rockies

SF 4  COL 0
The Giants have managed only FOUR shutouts this season. To see how anomalous this is, check out the totals for the previous eight seasons:

2009: 18
2010: 17
2011: 12
2012: 14
2013: 13
2014: 12
2015: 18
2016: 11

This is a pitching-based team and I expect it will be a pitching-based team next season. That means we need to see more zeroes! Matt Moore put up six this afternoon and the bullpen (Okert, Gearrin, Strickland, Dyson) added three more. You have to like that. The lineup had only seven hits but five were for extra-bases (three doubles, one triple, one homer). Another thing to like. And Nolan Arenado was 0-for-8 in the two games! When's the last time that happened? Giants finish with a  7-12 record against the Rockies.

Matt Moore will be on the club in 2018 as the Giants exercised their $9M option. He joins a long list of Comeback Player of the Year candidates. Speaking of comebacks, Joe Panik is killing it in September.

Giants are off tomorrow and go to LA for three and thence to Arizona for three. They'll finish at home on the final weekend against San Diego. Can they get three more wins out of those nine chances?

--M.C.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

We are Spoilers, Yippee!

Col 3 SF 4 

In a game that meant nothing to the Giants, and quite a bit to Colorado, Hunter Pence came up big with a walk-off sac fly.  Earlier he crushed a 440 foot 2 run homer, so I guess it is safe to say Hunter was the offensive hero.  On the pitching side, JohnnyC (8-8) gets the nod with 6.2 solid innings, giving up 2 runs and 7 hits.  He looked shaky at the start once again, and, once again threw a million pitches early.  That is about three starts in a row like that.  Kinda hard to watch but he settled down and gotta couple big double plays.

Cute Moment:  Hunter was subjected to the slowest ever home run trot.  Cueto was on first ahead of the mammoth blast and took his sweet time rounding the bases.  Pence nearly caught him at third but JohnnyC waved him back.  It made a nice visual.  Cueto is good at that, isn't he?


Sunday, September 17, 2017

.333

SF 7  AZ 2
The Giants finally wore out a Diamondbacks pitcher and even continued to score against their 'pen and picked up a win after four straight losses. The lineup resurrected the old "death by a thousand paper cuts" offense: infield single, walk, infield single, sac fly; single, single, single, walk, sac fly, fielder's choice. That's four runs! Panda added a homer, then we got single, walk, walk, sac fly, fielder's choice. Hey, whatever works. Giants win one of the three against Arizona after winning one of three against Los Angeles. At this rate they will win four of the final eleven (.364) and finish 62-100. Chris Stratton had a good outing today (6 IP, 2 R) and four relievers combined for one hit and no runs over the final four frames. Off-days tomorrow and Thursday; Rockies in town Tuesday and Wednesday.

Go Giants!

--M.C.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

2 Hits

I came to Portland to get a different perspective on the Giants.  From here, they still stink.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Death Ray

AZ 3  SF 2
The Diamondbacks young southpaw Robbie Ray whiffed ten in his seven innings of work and kept the Giants from doing much. That's not saying much, I know, what with this lineup. His performance overshadowed some solid work by the Giants Jeff Samardzija, who not only went eight innings but struck out seven and walked none. He also chipped in a hit and scored a run. But good teams gobble up the minnows and that was the case in San Francisco tonight. The 2017 Giants are minnowesque, to be sure, or would that be minnovian? No matter. The Giants lost another game. Marquee matchup tomorrow with Greinke and Bumgarner.

--M.C.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Streak Ends Here

LA 5 SF 3

So, if you are a sucker like me, you probably had dreams of our boys continuing to help the doggers along their historic slide.  Nope.  This year's model keeps finding ways to disappoint.  They put up a bit of a fight, including some ninth inning drama, but it really was never as close as the score indicates.

Johnny Cueto (7-8) was a well deserving loser.  He seemed to have an especially nasty change up but his pitch count was ridiculous.  Every inning, and he didn't make it out of the fourth, was stressful.  Meanwhile, Kershaw was pretty much what you expect.  He only went 6 innings but it was plenty good enough for win # 17.   This game was just what the blue goo needed.  Win #93 for them.

Loss #90 for us.  That's embarrassing.

Rookie Parade

Weird weather in the Bay Area.  I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've seen lightning living in San Francisco.  Last night there was a bunch.  It would rain, then stop, then thunder, then lightning, then rain for a couple minutes, on and on.  And it would rain at the stadium when it was dry here, then the announcers would talk about how it stopped just when it was coming down here.  Real rain, too, enough to soak the garden.  After a summer of drips from the watering system, I'm sure the roses were loving it.

The game started after a 50 minute delay.  Chris Stratton struck out LA's lead-off hitter Curtis Granderson on a sharp curve.  Then they called another rain delay.  It was almost 11:00 pm by the time the second batter came to the plate.  The Giants replaced Stratton with Ty Blach.  He threw until a bunch of singles and a walk in the 4th inning gave the doggers 4 runs, which included a pinch hitter for their starter, Kenta Maeda.  That tied the game, thanks to a 2-home run in the 1st from Denard Span, a solo shot in the 2nd from Jarrett Parker, and a Joe Panik rbi single in the 3rd.   Puig put the doggers ahead with a solo home run in the 5th, Span and Posey had rbi's in the bottom of the 5th to put the Giants back on top 6 - 5.  LA tied the score thanks to Justin Turner in the 6th, but Hunter Pence had an rbi single to again take the lead, 7 - 6 in the bottom of the 6th and Buster Posey added a run in the 7th to make the final score 8 - 6, Giants.  Phew!

Chris Stratton got 1/3 of an inning to start the game.  Ty Blach got 3 1/3, gave up 4.  Kyle Crick gave up 1 in 1 1/3, and Derek Law got the W in 1 inning in which he gave up 1.  Steve Okert went 2/3, Cory Gearrin went 1/3, Hunter Strickland went 1 and Sam Dyson earned a save for pitching the 9th.  LA used 6 pitchers after Maeda left, Pedro Baez got the loss.  The fans who stayed certainly saw an entertaining game and got their money's worth.  The time of the game was 3 hours and 22 minutes, about 3 hours and 20 minutes of which occurred from about 10:55 pm onward.  I did not stay up to see all this.  If you were in London, though, you could have had your tea and scones for breakfast and caught nearly the whole game.  Cheerio!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Ineptitude, Thy Name is Giants

I don't know why, at this point in the season, that I still get upset at Giants losses.  I expect them to lose, and then they do, and I am still upset.  The Giants put Madison Bumgarner on the mound today and lost to the White Sox, 8 - 1.

Madison's opponent for the Sox was Carson Fulmer.  This was his third major league game this year, and his career stretches all the way back to last year, when he appeared in 8 games, none as a starter.  Even the broadcasters mentioned the fact that the Giants struggle against nobodies.  But they struggled against James Shields yesterday, too.  In two games, the Giants were outscored by the White Sox (who own the worst record in the American League) by a total score of 21 - 2.

Madison gave us 5 innings, he gave up 10 hits, walked 1 and struck out 4.   He gave up 6 runs, and Albert Suarez, in relief, gave up 2.  Jarrett Parker, playing DH today, hit a solo home run in the 2nd inning.  Jose Abreu, who hit for the cycle yesterday, had to content himself with 2 hits.  They were both home runs.

As I type this, the Rockies are ahead of the doggers, 8 - 0 in the 9th inning in LA, the Cardinals won and so did the Brewers (over the Cubs) to leave both they and the Cardinals within 2 games of first place.  Some things in the baseball world go well, just not for the Giants.  The Giants play the doggers in SF for 3 games starting tomorrow.  The Giants are now 56 -  89, which means their magic number is 7.  That is the number of games they have to win to avoid losing 100 games.  Can they win 7 before they lose 12?  Seems do-able, but then other modest goals, such as playing .400 ball or getting out of last place, have eluded them this season.  So don't put any real money on it.  I just hope the Giants are not the medicine that makes LA all better again, because that would really suck.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

8th inning: 6-12

1st inning: 6-12
2nd inning: 6-12
3rd inning: 10-8
4th inning: 4-14
5th inning: 8-10
6th inning: 7-11
7th inning: 9-9
8th inning: 6-12

Jeff Samardzija and the Giants got smacked around in Guaranteed Rate Field tonight, ending the 8th seasonal inning very poorly with a 6-12 mark. Eighteen games left, my friends, and our ordeal will be over. 56-88 isn't the worst record in baseball, but it's damn close.

In this inning there were two three-game losing streaks and one four-game losing streak. I'm going to drink some whiskey.

--M.C.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Moore and Panda pace Giants

SF 9  CHW 2
If you thought "Pacific Bell" or "AT&T" were lousy names for a ballpark, how about "Guaranteed Rate" instead? Yeesh. But I'm sure it's very nice. At least that's what my mom would say. "I'm sure it's very nice." Well it was very nice for the Giants tonight as they thrashed the White Sox behind a resurgent Matt Moore. Pablo Sandoval did that rarest of all things for the 2017 Giants--he hit a three-run homer. Now that's slump-busting! I think Matt Moore is a very important fellow in the big scheme of things. The Giants rely on good starting pitching, it all works off of that. At least with the current Sabean/Evans/Bochy triumvirate. Even if they did convince the Florida Marlins to give up Giancarlo Stanton for Chris Shaw, Chris Stratton, Christian Arroyo, and Tyler Beede, they'd still need good starters. So let's see some more good stuff from Moore. Brandon Crawford had three hits, you have to like that. And Reyes Moronta, if you haven't noticed, is serving notice.

--M.C.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Tenth Time is a Charm

SF 11 COL 3 

Well, that was certainly better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick.  Which is saying something for this season from hell.  But tonight our boys brought a explosive offense to the game and avoided a season sweep at Coor's Field.  Yep, after nine straight losses there this year,  we got a win.  Yay team.

So how did we get win #55?  Actually there are many contributors.  JohnnyC worked hard and effectively in his rather brief stint; 5 innings, 1 run, 5 hits, 7 K, game score 62.  That was followed by good enough bullpen work.  But it was truly the offense that stole the show tonight.  Joe Panik picked up 5 hits, giving him an amazing 12 hits for the 3 game series.  That is crazy hot, like better than Mike Benjamin hot. He broke a Giants All-Time Record.  Pretty cool, huh?  Hundley hit a tape measure homer and Mac Williamson hit a 96 mph fastball at his shoulders into the opposite field stands.  That should make all you dinger fans happy. Tomlinson, Hernandez, Pence, and Crawford all got on base multiple times.  It was possibly the best offensive game of the year.

Unfortunately the offensive joy did not infect the Panda.  He made some Giants history of his own as his hitless streak reached 38 at bats.  That is crazy cold, like worse than Johnnie LeMaster cold.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

This Is A Mess

Ty Blach lost his 4th in a row.
He has an ERA of 7.77 in that time.
The Giants have not won a game at Coors Field, Denver, in 2017.
The final score was 9 - 6.
In the first 3 innings, the Giants had 4 hits and 3 walks.
They did not score in those innings.
A total of 16 pitchers were used, 7 Giants and 9 Rockies.
Mac Williamson again erred, and was again not charged.
Pablo Sandoval has not had a hit in 37 at bats.
He tied John Lemaster for the longest Giant hitless streak.
Buster Posey got hurt (thumb) and left the game.
Some asshole gave him some kind of shit and was kicked out.
The Giants lost their 87th game.
The Giants have only won 2 of their last 12 games.
The Giants are now the worst team in the major leagues.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Madison Bumgarner Chalks Up Another Loss

Madison Bumgarner hit a home run!  That's my favorite label for these posts.  And also it's about 25 degrees cooler, so there's that.  The Giants dropped the finale against the Cardinals today, 7 - 3.

 Madison seemed to be cruising, he did not give up a hit for the first 3 innings.  In the 4th, he gave up 2, and those were home runs by Paul DeJong and Jose Martinez, batting 4th and 5th in the Cardinals' lineup.  That put the Giants behind 2 - 1 after they had Buster Posey had singled Joe Panik home in the 3rd.  Madison tied that score with a monumental solo shot of his own in the 5th off of the Cards' starter, rookie (of course) Luke Weaver.  It kind of fell apart after that.  Harrison Bader hit another solo homer off of Madbum in the 6th, then a few more hits, and it was 5 - 2 when the inning ended.  That was it for Madison, and Kyle Crick allowed 2 more runs to score in the 2/3 of an inning that he pitched in the 7th.  Cardinal reliever Sandy Alcantara gave up a home run to Giants' call up Tim Federowicz in the 8th for the final score.  Matt Moore pitched the 8th and 9th in relief and did not give up any runs.

It seems like Madison has been prone to the long ball lately.  You may remember he gave up 2 in his last start against Arizona (which we lost, 2 - 1).   He has given up 14 in just over 91 innings.  That works out to a few more than he gave up in 2016, when he gave up 26 home runs in 226 innings.  14 in 91.3 works out to 35  (34.65).   For total runs however, this year he has given up 32, which works out to 79.2 runs over 226 innings, last year he gave up 79.  So, in spite of the fact that he has given up 5 home runs in 2 games, all of them solo shots, he is doing no more poorly that last year over all.  Of course, you can't expect to win too many games against the Cardinals by scoring only 3 runs.  We are 2 - 8 in our last 10 after winning 2 of 3 against Milwaukee (who seems to have taken it hard and have beaten the Nats 3 of 4 and LA 2 of 3 since then).

What to make of Matt Moore pitching in relief?  If anything, it may mean that the Giants want to see what the rooks can do as starters in this lost season.  Matt needs to figure something out in the winter.  So here is what is left.  We have another round through the western division and the Chicago White Sox.  That starts tomorrow against Colorado in Denver.  We play the Rox 5 more times, and Arizona and Los Angeles 6 more each, and San Diego 3 more.  We have a losing record against each of these clubs; 4 for 14 against the Rox, 5 for 16 against the Padres, and 5 for 13 against the snakes.  Our best effort has been against Los Angeles, mostly in the early part of the season.  We are 6 for 13 against them.  The Giants have one last chance to at least serve notice.  That's about all they can do, but at least it would be something.  As it is, they are again in danger of being MLB's worst.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Walk-off Win!

SF 2  STL 1 (10)
The Giants had perhaps their most stirring win of the year on a sweltering afternoon in San Francisco. It ended when a right-handed hitter, Nick Hundley, leading off the bottom of the 10th, hit a homer to right field on the second pitch from rookie southpaw Ryan Sherriff. We don't see that very often at AT&T Park. Both starters were overpowering: Lance Lynn allowed only one hit in eight innings; Jeff Samardzija allowed only two hits in seven innings and also whiffed nine. The Cardinals eked out a lucky run in the top of 4th off The Shark and the Giants eked out a lucky run in the bottom of the 9th against Tyler Lyons and Seung-Hwan Oh. Buster Posey got the big RBI on a little poke-job over second base, driving in Hunter Pence to set up the dramatic finish. In the top of the 10th Sam Dyson gave up a lead-off triple to Dexter Fowler but wriggled out of it with some tough pitching and that made Hundley's blast all the more satisfying. These things are few and far between in 2017, best to savor them when they happen. Madison Bumgarner tomorrow.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Cueto Returns and Nothing Changes

StL 11 SF 6 

JohnnyC (6-7) returned to the mound after a 6 week break but nothing can stop this team from its  embarrassing and historic demise.  He shimmied and snaked his way through 5.1 innings; giving up six base runners and 2 earned runs. Nothing great (game score 52) but serviceable.  Strickland, Melancon and Dyson were not.  Why is Melancon still pitching any way?  The dude is clearly damaged goods.

The only other note worthy aspect of this game was Brandon Crawford's performance.  Besides a few of his usual beautiful defensive gems, he absolutely crushed several balls.  Two doubles and a homer to the deepest part of the yard.  As they say, he was "seeing" the ball well.

But basically this team has once again left me sick and depressed.  This team has broken my heart; it has turned me into a shitty fan.  In other words, a fan worthy of this team.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Giants Cain't Solve Cards

StL 5  SF 2
Matt Cain was tonight's emergency starter as Madison Bumgarner was a late scratch due to illness ("flu-like symptoms"). He gave an adequate performance, lasting five innings with only two runs allowed on seven hits. Each time he takes the ball I think "this could be the last." At some point--the end of the season I suppose--the team will cut ties with their longest-tenured player. Alas, the Giants had a hard time scoring runs. Imagine that! They did get a rally going in the bottom of the 9th, but it was too little, too late, not to mention farcical. Some douche interfered with a Brandon Crawford homer after a Buster Posey double and turned it into another double, thus turning a 5-3 game into a 5-2 game. Duane Kuiper, rightly I think, complained on the broadcast about the delay on the video ruling. It really should take less time, but that's just one of those things to file for later. Meanwhile the Giants got some clutch hitting from Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford, that's nice, let's get some more of that.

Giants match their May record by going 13-16 in August. It's not much, a .448 win percentage, but it beats the sub-.400 months of April (.346), June (.333), and July (.360). Twenty-six games left--can they win ten of them?

Johnny Cueto is slated for tomorrow night. Parsons, you're up!

--M.C.

.167 Road Trip

1 win in 6 games.  The Giants went to Arizona and San Diego, two NL West division rivals and they had to throw a complete game shutout to get a win.  The final loss, in San Diego, assured them of a losing record for the season.  It was their 83rd loss of the year.  They could sweep September and still not crack .500.

Ty Blach threw the rubber match in San Diego yesterday.  He threw 5 2/3 innings, 99 pitches, and gave up 3 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks.  2 of those hits were home runs, including 1 to Travis Wood, San Diego's pitcher.  The Giants lost 5 - 0.  Kyle Crick allowed an inherited runner to score and Josh Osich allowed an unearned run in the 8th.

Although I have argued and will still argue that the Giants biggest pressing need is relief pitching, this road trip highlights their second biggest need, one that is harder to fix, offense.  Buster Posey has been out a couple games, and was clearly injured before that, and Brandon Belt has been out, but:  1 for 10 yesterday with runners in scoring position.  The Giants got 6 hits and 6 walks.  Ty Blach got 2 of those hits.  No one scored.  3 for 21 on the series, and 4 for 33 on the road trip.  4 for 33.  That's not good.  The Giants got shut out 3 times in 6 games.  They scored only 10 runs in 6 games.

Buster Posey and Brandon Belt notwithstanding, the Giants have to do better than that to compete in the major leagues.  Plenty of time to discuss particulars once the blessed offseason finally gets here.    At this point, I don't even know why it upsets me so much to have this kind of performance out of this team.  I should expect it, or at least be numb to it by now.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Shark Shutout

SF 3  SD 0
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija threw his first complete game of the season and his second in a Giants uniform. His sterling three-hitter last night was the fourth shutout of his career. One way to overcome bullpen woes is to not use the relief corps at all, I suppose. The Giants were locked in a tight 1-0 contest but Joe Panik's late homer made it 3-0 and that helped The Shark finish it out. I'm happy to see Brandon Crawford looking more like his old self at the plate. If anyone is a candidate for a bounce-back next season it's the Giants stellar shortstop. But the night belonged to the big righty who put together a good start against the Padres after two stinkers last month.

Samardzija cleared waivers, it should be noted, which means he could be traded. I'm not sure there will be takers, and he has some no-trade rights, but he is now a potential piece for a pitching-depleted playoff team. I'm not sure the Giants could get all that much for him other than salary relief. FanGraphs rates his season so far at 3.6 WAR which is pretty damn good (12th in baseball) and that production would have to come from somewhere next season. fWAR is not the end-all and be-all of stats by any means, and we know Samardzija gives up a lot of hard contact, but he makes himself valuable with his strikeouts, low walk totals, and durability.

--M.C.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Strat gets Cained

AZ 11  SF 0
Chris Stratton had another excellent start but the Giants were both shut out and swept by the Diamondbacks. It was a close game until the 8th when Matt Cain (2/3 IP, 8 R) had perhaps his worst appearance ever. If not the worst, then close, and that's saying a lot considering he's been in the bigs since 2005 and has logged over 2000 innings. But that's not really important. For all his career accomplishments in orange-and-black Matt Cain is not a part of the future. It makes me sad to say that but it happens to all players, and he leaves behind an outstanding body of work. The only thing we can be interested in at this point in this wretched season is next season and the season after that, etc. The present is intolerable; the future has a chance to be better. Chris Stratton is showing some major-league moxie and I'm excited by that. Even if his ceiling is only as a fifth-starter (and it may not be), the Giants still need choices for that role, and he's serving notice that he should be in the mix. Good for him. Let's see more guys bang on the door and say "put me in coach, I'm ready to play."

Next stop is San Diego tomorrow night. Jeff Samardzija gets the ball.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.


p.s. The uniforms the Giants sported this weekend were the most clownish I've ever seen them in and it is fitting that they played poorly while looking like a beer-league slo-pitch team. Some promotions really are cringe-worthy--this was one of them.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Ty Tired, Bum Bummed

Ty and Madison on the mound to start our season-concluding push against the western division.  That is where titles, and playoff spots are often won and lost.  Neither will be the case this year for the Giants, but there is something on the line.  That is: pride.  If they are going to compete next year, they are going to have to win against the Western Division.  There is no way around that inevitable truth.  And, if the Giants are going to compete next year, they are going to do it with much the same cast that they have today.  Not entirely, that can't happen, but probably most of them.   And among those guys, 2 of the ones you want on the list to actually be here next year are Ty Blach and Madison Bumgarner.

Ty Blach threw his third game in a row where he was not effective.  You could say that he was better than his previous 2 starts - 6 earned runs against both Miami and Philadelphia is 6 and 5 1/3 innings, respectively.   And in fact, he pitched pretty well, with one exception.  That was to Paul Goldschmidt in the 3rd inning with 1 run in and 2 runners on base.  That made the score 4 - 1 in favor of the dbacks.  After that, the Giants chipped away.  Chip, chip, chip.  But the best they could come up with was 3 for their 78th loss of the year and a final score of 4 - 3.  The thing is, in Arizona, you have to be able to put runs on the board.  Like in Colorado.  Dink-ball doesn't do it when one mistake to Goldschmidt can ruin your shit.  Brandon Crawford, was good though, getting 3 hits and scoring twice.  It is time to ask whether Ty is pooping out on the season.  That would be understandable, he has given us 144 1/3 innings, is not quite 27 and this is his first season in the major leagues (except for his most auspicious debut last year).  Still, as much as I am sure Bochy & Co. would like to see him get a full season in, but with Matt Cain available and Johnny Cueto rehabbing, his starts may be numbered.

Saturday: Put your ace on the mound and chalk up your 79th loss of the season.  I wouldn't put any money on the Giants NOT losing 100 games this season.   The 3 runs the Giants scored yesterday would have been plenty, but today they couldn't muster that.  In Arizona.  They lost, 2 -1.  To some guy named Tai-Wheezy.  Christ.  The player nickname promotion stinks of a MLB marketing guy who hasn't done anything but bullshit around the water cooler since he was hired 3 years ago until his manager finally caught on and was told to come up with something or lose his job.  Half the players don't even have nicknames, so they have to make them up for this shit.  It's terrible, as was the Giants offense.  Madbum went 7, struck out 7, gave up 5 hits and walked 1.  2 of those hits were home runs, with no baserunners.  That happens in Arizona.  It used to happen more when the Giants batted.  Jarrett Parker hit one, too, with no one on, and that, of course, was the extent of the Giants' offense.  Buster Posey is 0 for Arizona, and frankly, has looked bad doing it.  In fact, the top 4 hitters in the Giants line-up have 3 hits.  For 2 games.  Parker had 2 of them today and the other one came last night.  Crawford had a hit, now that he finally seems to have figured out his swing, Posey can't see the ball.

Taijuan Walker is new on the dbacks this year, so of course he befuddled the Giants.  If I were another team in the western division, I would just call up some minor leaguers the Giants have never seen before for September to face us.  It probably doesn't even matter if they are really pitchers or not.  I am so sick of getting beat by new/minor league/mediocre pitchers.  We do better against Greinke than against Tai-fucking-Wheezy.  The Giants washed out creamsickle-colored orange jerseys look.  Like.  Shit.  I'll give Joe Panik some credit, the nickname he put on his jersey is Panik.  Why would you want to mess with a name like that?  Ty actually is already a nickname.  So is Buster.   As much as I want to see someone, anyone, knock the cubs out of the NL Central lead, let's just can the season now, shall we?


Thursday, August 24, 2017

7th inning: 9-9

I'm a little late, I know. Got home yesterday after a week on the road. We camped in the mountains for five of the seven nights. We had a great time and got an excellent view of the eclipse (which was amazing). I missed a lot of baseball so you folks will have to fill in the details.

1st inning: 6-12
2nd inning: 6-12
3rd inning: 10-8
4th inning: 4-14
5th inning: 8-10
6th inning: 7-11
7th inning: 9-9

On Sunday the Giants were 50-76 for a .397 win percentage. They've since taken two of three from the Brewers and bumped up to 52-77 for that elusive .400 mark (actually .403). In a world where the Dodgers are playing .712 ball and streaking toward perhaps the single-season win record it doesn't seem like much. But any improvement is a good thing.

It will only take eleven more wins to reach 63 and avoid 100 losses. There are 33 games left to play, I think the Giants will pull it off. I know, it's a jinx to say it, let alone post it, but I think we'll be saved the ignominy of recapitulating 1985. They have twelve wins in the month of August, the only month that they've scored more runs (so far) than they've allowed. That needs to continue. I'm encouraged that Matt Moore is looking better. And Johnny Cueto should be back soon, that will be nice to see.

Looks like our super southpaws are up next, I'll let the Mystic One do his thing for those games and I'll be back on Sunday for Chris Stratton's start.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.


p.s. I'll be working up some posts over the next few days on my other blog about the eclipse and our adventure if any of you are interested.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Really? The Best the Giants Could Manage Was a Split Against the Phillies?

Wait, let me guess.  Relief pitching?  Of course.   So with two wins in the books and our two best pitchers (Ty Blach and Madison Bumgarner) on the mound we lose both games?  Against the team with the worst record in the major leagues?  And lack of offense to boot (today, anyway)?  How positively 2017.

Ty Blach on the mound Saturday against the Phillies.  Ty was not his sharp self.  He gave up 1 in the 2nd, allowing Philly to tie the game at 1 each, and 3 in the 3rd, allowing Philly to take a 4 - 3 lead after Span's rbi single scored Jones and Tomlinson for a 3 - 1 lead.  The Giants tied the game at 4 all in the 5th, then gave it up in the 6th.  Blach got the first out, allowed a double and a single for a run and was replaced by Osich.  Gearrin relieved Osich later that inning and by the time it was the bottom of the 6th, the Giants were behind 11 - 4.  They staged a rally in the 9th, but fell by a final score of 12 - 9.  That wasted a Denard Span first inning lead off inside-the-park home run, the first by the Giants since 1945.  That was exciting.  The final score, not so much.  Suarez threw the final 3, allowing 1 and looking pretty good.

Madison Bumgarner on the hill Sunday.  Madison threw 6, struck out 7, gave up 1 run on 4 hits and 1 walk.  A Buster Posey single scored Tomlinson in the 4th, and Madison Bumgarner scorched a single in the 5th to score Ryder Jones and stake the Giants to a 2 - 1 lead.  Mark Melancon took the 7th, gave up 2 hits and struck out 2 but allowed no runs.  Hunter Strickland was a different story.  He made it through the 8th, but gave up 6 hits and 3 runs.  Kyle Crick gave up 1 more in the 9th.  The final score was 5 - 2.    We are 3 - 4 against the Philadelphia Phillies this year.  We have games left against St. Louis and Milwaukee, both of whom are fighting for a playoff berth, the White Sox, and the NL West.  We're back under .400, where, apparently, we belong.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Giants Are Not A .400 Baseball Team

Mark is off in the desert, staring at the sky.  In Miami, the Giants proved themselves incapable of beating the Marlins today, losing 2 of 3 behind Matt Cain.  They are 1 - 5 against Miami this year.  Today's score was 8 - 1.  If you only had a little time today, you heard all you need to about this game.  It was over in the 1st inning.  Miami scored 4 and that was 2 more than they needed.  The Giants pushed 1 across in the 3rd, assisted by a throwing error, no rbi was awarded.  Cain lasted 4 innings, gave up 5 runs, only 2 of which were earned due to sloppy defense.  The first inning saw a catcher's interference (Hundley, not Buster) and an error by Crawford.  After Matt exited, Alberto Suarez gave up 3 more runs in 3 innings, then Josh Osich gave up 1 hit but no runs in the 8th.   Osich cannot complain about not getting chances.  25 year old Jose Urena pitched for the Marlins, he picked up his 11th win in 5 innings of work.  Giancarlo Stanton did not hit a home run.

I thought it was important to win this game.   After their miserable showing in Los Angeles in late July, they split with the A's, then beat Arizona and the Cubs each 2 of 3.  Then they went to Washington.  Well, Washington is a very good club, but Miami is not (much better than the Giants, but that's not saying much).  If they were to play anything like what they were supposed to be capable of this year, it would have been good to get back to winning a series.  And they would have breached that .400 barrier.  They didn't do that.  So now, 4 games against Philadelphia in our own stadium.  Anyone know what the over-under is on a split?

Did you know?  Matt Cain struck out 7 today.  He is now within 17 strikeouts of Tim Lincecum's Giant totals.  Tim is 4th on the all time leaders list for strikeouts, behind Christy Mathewson, Juan Marichal and Amos Rusie.   Considering that he has been left for dead by the press, I'd like to see him pick up those K's.  It would at least be something in this stinkpot of a year.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

One and One

Just when you thought the Giants were playing well, they turn around and make you wonder if they are about to embark on another losing streak.  But after dropping the final game of their make-up double header in extra innings Sunday to Washington, and dropping Ty Blach's start against the Miami Marlins on Monday, they won today behind Madison Bumgarner.  Ty gave up 6 runs on 9 hits and 3 walks Monday, including 2 home runs (1 to Giancarlo Stanton, natch).  The Giants could only muster 3 runs.  The final score was 8 - 3.

Today, the Giants turned the tables.  They won, 9 - 4.  Madison gave up all 4, he threw 6 innings and gave up 9 hits and 2 home runs (see above).   He struck out 4 and walked 1.  The 7th, 8th, and 9th belonged to Melancon, Strickland and Gearrin, respectively.   Melancon pitched particularly well, he gave up an infield hit, then got the heart of Miami's order without a ball leaving the infield.  Strickland gave up 2 hits, but no runs, and Gearrin walked 1 for the victory.  Denard Span was 3 for 5 with a home run, Andrew Jones hit a home run and had 2 hits and Kelby Tomlinson and Buster Posey each had 2 hits.

The Giants are, again, 1 win from being a .400 ball club.  Matt Cain is slated for tomorrow afternoon before the Giants head home to play Philadelphia, the only National League club with a worse record.  Yahoo headlines state that Pablo Sandoval says he played poorly in Boston because he left his heart in San Francisco.  Pablo Sandoval is full of shit.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Stratton Subdues Nats

SF 4  WSN 2
Chris Stratton struck out ten today in DC and allowed no runs over 6-2/3 innings. That's a great team and a tough lineup even without Bryce Harper. The rookie almost made it through seven but he surrendered a walk (his only one) on his 109th pitch and 26th batter. Nonetheless it was an outstanding effort and secured the team's first win against the Nationals this season. I said in a previous post that it was time to see what this guy can do and I hope he makes all his starts the rest of the way. The bullpen had a shaky moment with Hunter Strickland allowing a two-run homer in the bottom of the 8th. You know the crowd loved that. He did get his three outs and both Josh Osich (one batter, one out) and Sam Dyson (three-up, three-down save) did their jobs and the 'pen held on for the win. The Giants were up 3-0 early and tacked on a late run, something they seem to be doing a better job with lately. Mr. Doubles Nick Hundley had one, his 19th, as did both Ryder Jones and Gorkys Hernandez. Joe Panik had three hits and two runs batted in and Kelby Tomlinson drove in that late run with a sac fly pinch-hitting in the top of the 8th. Good stuff!

Matt Moore gets the late game tonight. Giants go to Miami on Monday.

--M.C.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Beating the Cubs. So Nice!

The Giants got 2 victories over the Chicago Cubs, World Champions and defeater of the Giants in their last post-season appearance back in 2016.  The first, after a sloppy, poorly pitched loss by Matt Moore, was behind Ty Blach on Tuesday night, 3 - 6.   The second was this afternoon, behind Madison Bumgarner for his 2nd win of the year, 1 - 3.

The Giants had not beaten the Cubs in a series in awhile.  They lost 3 of 4 back in May.  Of course they lost 3 of the first 4 in a 5 game series in the 2016 postseason after beating the Mets behind Madison Bumgarner for the wild card.  They lost 3 of 4 to the Cubs in Chicago in September, although they actually beat them 2 of 3 in SF in May.  They lost 4 straight in Chicago in August, 2015 then won 2 of 3 in SF later in August for a losing season split, 5 -2.  The loss puts the Cubs in a tie with Milwaukee, with St. Louis just behind.  That's a race, unlike the NL West.  It was only Madison Bumgarner's 2nd win against 5 losses.  Of course, he missed a good chunk of the season.  What's more, it is only the second time that the Giant's aces, who I am defining as Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto, or Johnny Cueto and Ty Blach, or Madison Bumgarner and Ty Blach, have won games back to back.  It's August.  (The first was Blach/Cueto in Colorado/Pittsburgh at the end of July.

Ty Blach won Tuesday night, 6 - 3, with help from a 1st inning, 3-run blast from Buster Posey.  It is only the 5th (I think) 3-run home run of the season, and it seems like they only had 1 just a few days ago.  Ty added an rbi himself, and gave us 7 innings, 7 hits, 2 runs and 3 K's.  Strickland allowed a run, but it was not earned.  Significantly, when the Cubs put 2 on the board in the 6th to make it 4 - 2, the Giants answered in the 7th with a run.  Today, Madison also gave us 7 innings, and walked off the mound to a 1 - 1 tie.  He struck out 7 and gave up 5 hits.  A couple of dinks, though, scored Denard Span to make it 2 - 1 in the bottom of the 7th and Hunter Pence homered in the 8th with no one on.  Madison, in spite of his record, has a 2.71 era and a 1.01 WHIP.   Madison Bumgarner has 27 runs of support in just over 66 innings of work, 9 games, but if you take out the 5 innings he pitched vs Pittsburgh in which he got 10 runs of support en route to an 11 - 3 rout, he has 17 runs of support in 8 games.

The Giants, though, beat the Cubs 2 of 3 after winning 2 of 3 from Arizona, all at home.  They are now 6 - 4 in their last 10.  In that time, they have not had a reliever that has lost the game.  Also, they are 1 win away from that illusive mark that separates incompetence from horrible-ness, .400.  It will be tough, against Washington in DC, but they are playing better than they have all year right now.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Back-to-Back!

The Giants teamed up to support Jeff Samardzija today and got their second win in two days against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Jarrett Parker hit a monster two-run homer and threw out J.D. Martinez at the plate as well. It will be nice to see what this guy can do over a whole season. Stay healthy, man. Hunter Pence and Nick Hundley both had clutch, run-scoring hits. Arizona avoided pitching to Buster Posey but he still scored a run, with Brandon Belt on the DL someone has to pick up the slack. Pence would be the obvious candidate. Albert Suarez was particularly impressive in relief, getting the final seven outs, and looks poised to be a big contributor next season. The Shark walked three but kept the ball in the yard, that paid off for the big righty. 6-3 final at home, Cubs come in for three tomorrow.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Comeback!

The Giants beat the Diamondbacks in 10 innings last night 5-4 after falling behind 4-0 in the 6th. There have not been a lot of wins this season and there have been even fewer of the come-from-behind variety. So, let's take a moment to enjoy it. Chris Stratton took Matt Cain's spot in the rotation and George Kontos' spot on the roster and he delivered a rookie-level start with 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 4 W, and 4 K. He threw 95 pitches to 24 batters. Stratton was the team's first-round pick in 2012 (#20), a draft notable for the "new generation" of spectacular shortstops (Carlos Correa #1, Addison Russell #11, and Corey Seager #18). He's thrown almost 700 innings in the minors and has yet to show the dominance he flashed at Mississippi State when he was a consensus All-American. Nonetheless he's produced solid results over his 119 starts and at 26-going-on-27 it is time to see what he can do in the bigs. Pitchers from that 2012 first-round bunch that have delivered over 5.0 bWAR are Kevin Gausman (#4), Michael Wacha (#19), Marcus Stroman (#22), and Lance McCullers (#41, a supplemental pick).

The other item of note was of course the appearance of Pablo Sandoval at the hot corner. He made a throwing error that led to a run but also had a leadoff double to start the Giants scoring in the 7th. It's hard to believe he is only turning 31 this week. Seems like he's been around a long time, then again he did make his debut at the tender age of 22 in 2008. The stars of that 2008 club were Tim Lincecum, now out of of baseball, and Matt Cain, probably not far behind him. Brian Wilson, Sergio Romo, and Jonathan Sanchez were also on that team. Ten years is a long time in baseball.

Jeff Samardzija today. Giants have 43 wins, they need 20 more.

--M.C.

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Magic Disappearing Offense

Step right up, ladies and gentlemen!  See the eighth wonder of the world!  Or maybe the ninth!  Or, maybe, it's no wonder at all!  A team that scores 11 runs one night, and only 1 the very next!  Hurry!  Hurry!  Hurry!  See your ace get skunked by [fill in blank, doesn't much matter....]; see that winning attitude, that championship spirit, that confidence disappear into thin air!  See it before they're gone like yesterday's breeze.

Madison Bumgarner.  Pitched good.  7, 5, 2 and 7.  Lost.  Of course!  3 hits.  None got out of the infield.  None.  I know it's a "different" day, and a "different" team, except it's really not.  It's the magical 2017 San Francisco Giants.  Watch closely....Poof!  They're gone!  Were they really ever there at all? 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Ty Blach Hit a Home Run!

I thought I might wait until tomorrow, as Ty and Madison are now pitching back to back.  But this deserves mention.  Ty Blach, one of the Giants better-hitting pitchers, if not the best hitting pitcher (that includes Madison) hit his first home run, a 3 run blast in the 5th inning.  A bunch of other people scored, too.  Ty gave us 8 quality innings.  The Giants went on to beat the Athletics, 11 - 2.

The Giants split the "series" with the A's, 2 - 2.  The Giants scored a lot of runs on 2 nights, and looked like the Giants of 2017 on the other 2.  By beating the 5th worst team in the major leagues twice, the Giants have climbed out of the cellar, they are now only the 2nd worst team.  Progress!  Tune in tomorrow to see Madison Bumgarner swing for the fences.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

6th inning: 7-11

1st inning: 6-12
2nd inning: 6-12
3rd inning: 10-8
4th inning: 4-14
5th inning: 8-10
6th inning: 7-11

Even more depressing are the monthly win totals: 9 in April, 13 in May, 9 in June, and 9 in July. I was hoping the team would improve enough to avoid 100 losses, but that requires winning 22 more games or 11 in each of the next two months. Can they pull that off? They can't hit: 30th of 30 teams in OPS. They can't pitch: 25th of 30 in both OPS against and runs allowed. Oh, and Johnny Cueto is injured and we aren't talking blisters. The dreaded "flexor strain" has revealed itself. I'm thinking he may be on the shelf for the rest of the season. Tell me I'm wrong.

But enough of that. I'm looking for bright spots. Jeff Samardzija was not pretty tonight, in fact he's usually not, he's got that gnarly jock approach to pitching which works pretty well overall, and he got the job done. The lads clobbered the ball, getting runs early and often and chipping in some big blasts as well. 10-4 final in Oakland. I kind of like that sweaty, fastball-heaving thing that The Shark does. Not everyone can be as cool and clever as Johnny Cueto or as talented and intense as Madison Bumgarner. You figure there have to be a few journeymen-grinder types; in fact you have to figure that most ballplayers are like that. The exceptional ones are just that--exceptional.

Sure is nice to see Brandon Belt hitting better. And Buster Posey continues to swing the bat well. His fielding is freakishly good, it's too bad it's wasted on this wretched club. Kelby Tomlinson got an extra-base hit, his third of the season. Let's shoot for 22 more wins, whaddya say? Twenty-two measly goddamn wins in two goddamn fookin' months of baseball. Is that too much to ask?

--M.C.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Just keep moving, nothing to see here

I suppose the biggest stories of the night are the deadline deals that sent Sonny Gray to the Yankees and Yu Darvish to the Dodgers. The Dodgers don't need Darvish. They are already a powerhouse, Darvish just gives them another arm for October. They have the luxury of planning for the post-season now. The Yankees are in a genuine fight over in the AL East so picking up a stud like Gray is potentially a big play. He could be a difference-maker in the final two months. The rich got richer, just like in real life.

Back in the crime scene that is Giants baseball, the bullpen took a perfectly good 3-2 lead in the 6th and turned it into a heap of rubbish. Matt Cain did that crazy thing he does, going five innings and clogging up the basepaths but somehow only giving up two runs. He left with a lead, I suppose you can add this one to the long list of Cainings which include NDs as well as Ls. The Giants were valiant, and fought back, but it was not enough and the A's prevailed 8-5.

Jeff Samardzija tomorrow night: it's Game 108, end of the sixth seasonal inning.

Go Giants!

--M.C.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Giants Blow Save. Rinse. Repeat.

Tonight the Giants were playing for pride, nothing else.  Here is how bad the season has been:  If the Giants were to win every fucking game for the rest of the season, the doggers would only have to play a little better than .400 to finish ahead of the Giants.  23 of the 51 games remaining, assuming they lost all remaining SF - LA games.  It's not even August yet.

Here's how the game went:
Madison Bumgarner was a stud, held the doggers scoreless for 7 innings.
Conor Gillaspie hit a solo home run in the 8th after the Giants failed to score Panik from 2nd with 0 outs in the top of the 7th.
Stickland was shaky in the 8th, but held on.
Dyson (who, admittedly, has been pretty good lately) blew the save in the 9th.
Giants got a run in the 11th on a Kelby Tominson single, steal, productive out and rbi.
Giants' relief pitcher (Albert Suarez this time) blows save, gets loss.

It's like poetry, isn't it?  It follows a certain cadence, but you know where it's going.  Giants lose in 11, 3 - 2.  Sigh.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Tyme After Tyme

Let's think back to that glorious day, October 1, 2016.  Ty Blach drew a start against Los Angeles, one of three left handers that the Giants needed victories from on the final weekend against the doggers to scrape into the playoffs.  Ty went 8 glorious innings, blanking the doggers on 3 hits and earning the W in a 3 - 1 win.  Alas, this was not that day.

Ty pitched damn well, though.  He gave us 7, gave up 8 hits, and 2 runs, both on Bellinger singles that scored Seager.  I expect we will see more of that in the future.   Ty is a keeper.  He fields his position well, hits as well as any pitcher, probably better than Madbum but without the power, and keeps us consistently in games.  A Hunter Pence solo home run gave the Giants their only score.  3 runs would won the game, but, sadly, the final score, like so often before, found the Giants on the losing end: LA 2, SF 1.

The Giants only had 4 hits on the day.  Buster Posey deserves mention, he threw out Justin Turner trying to steal 2nd, who got at least half way there before Gearrin threw home.  I guess the umpires deserve mention, too.  The strike zone was tiny, except every now and then a Giant batter got a pitch called a strike that clearly wasn't.  That happened to Turner, too.  All in all, it was a poorly umpired strike zone.  So now one of the very few 2017 bright spots, that the Giants actually had a winning record against the best team in baseball, is no more.  There are 7 games left to play with LA, wonder how that will go?  Madbum throws tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Shark Attack Sinks Bucs

SF 2  PIT 1
Jeff Samardzija needed a good start after a couple of real stinkers and he delivered this afternoon in San Francisco. He went a solid seven innings yielding only one run on four hits and whiffing eight Pirates. He walked two but did not give up a homer. Maybe he's figuring out that one base is usually better than four. That is, if you are behind 3-1 maybe prudence dictates an "unintentional walk" instead of a fat fastball. But I can't really say, we'll have to wait for Rags' memoirs. FNG Miguel Gomez roped a manly double to lead off the 8th and Brandon Belt poked a fluky double to drive in what turned out to be the game-winner. Good work by Hunter Strickland and especially Sam Dyson to preserve the victory. The home squad got their 40th win and now heads to Los Angeles to face the 70-win Dodgers on Friday. Southpaw Matt Moore gets the call.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Madbum Wins One, Nunez Oout

Sorry for the late post - I was out late last night.  Madison Bumgarner got a win, and it's about time.  He threw 5 innings, 80 pitches, and left with a 10 - 1 lead.  He gave up 6 hits, 1 run, walked 1 and struck out 4.  Chris Stratton got a save for working at least 3 innings, regardless of the score.  Denard Span was 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored; Eduardo Nunez, who was traded during the game, was 1 for 2, had 2 rbi and also scored twice; Brandon Belt was 2 for 5 with an rbi; Buster Posey was 3 for 4 with 2 rbi; Brandon Crawford was 2 for 4 and scored 3 times; Hunter Pence was 2 for 4 with 2 rbi; and Joe Panik got 1 hit, but it was a triple to score 3.  The final score was 11 - 3.

Eduardo Nunez was a important part of a team that never figured out the assembly instructions.  The Giants got 2 minor league pitchers from the Boston Red Sox for Nunez, Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos.  According to the Giants website, Anderson, 22, is the 18th best Red Sox prospect.  That seems underwhelming, but seems in line with the Sabean philosophy of stockpiling young arms, because they tend to be useful in trades or maybe as pitchers.  Gregory Santos is only 17.  Nunez has been fantastic lately, but he is a free agent next year.   I hope to see Hwang back soon, he is at AAA, but cannot return immediately.  Was he hurt?  I don't want to see Sandoval.  Samardzija pitches today in 1 hour.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

One Win Per Series, That's All We......Get

Don't know why I'm posting after today's loss - it's the same score as the last time I posted, a couple of days ago.  I could have just cut and pasted from the last post.  After a 12 inning, gritty victory that I witnessed in person with Ron, JC Parsons and Brother Bob, coincidentally inversely predicted by JC, who said that Nick Hundley can't even get an extra base hit anymore, the Giants came back Sunday only to lose to the Padres, 5 - 2.

There was one Giant starter with more wins that losses.  Now there are none.  Ty Blach against Dinelson Lamet.  Really.  And, just like so often the case where the Giants face a minor league call-up whom they haven't seen before, they flailed.  That seems to have been true for years, even throughout their winning years.  I have never understood this.  Don't they have, like scouting reports or something?  Dinelson gave up 8 hits, but only 2 runs.  Ty meanwhile, gave up a solo shot in the 1st.  The Giants got that run back in the bottom of the first, thanks to Denard and Buster.  In the 4th, a walk, 3 consecutive doubles, and a single made the score 5 - 1.  Gorkys picked up an rbi in the bottom of the 4th, scoring Miguel Gomez, who got 2 hits and played 2nd base today.

2 hits for Gomez.  That was a small bright spot.  Another was Nunez, who went 3 for 4 on the day, but did not score.  The only other one was Ty Blach, in a way.  He gave up the 5, but also gave us 7 innings.  He did not let things fall apart after the 4th, but gave us a scoreless 5 through 7.   Small potatoes when the Giants fold like soggy cardboard.  So we are now 4 - 9, or .308 against the Padres.  The Padres.  Hector Sanchez has had 63 at bats this year, has hit 7 home runs and has 17 rbi.  23 of those at bats have been against the Giants, resulting in 4 of those home runs and 13 of those rbi.  Wil Myers has hit 6 of his 20 home runs against the Giants, 5 of those have been at ATT.  Only 1 Giant, Brandon Belt, has hit more than 5 home runs at home.  Add these to the lengthy list of things I just do not get about this 2017 team.    

Thursday, July 20, 2017

San Diego...................and Another Giant Loss

Well, it's not like the Giants were facing pushover teams like last year's World Series runners-up.  No.  They were facing the tough, tough Padres, who lead the league in just about everything.   Wait, what?  They aren't even a .500 team?  I thought they were at least .850 for the season they way they manhandle the Giants with all their All Stars.  What, they have guys that were in A ball on their team?  Gosh.   Maybe the Giants aren't a really good team after all.  An unsurprising loss, at home, to team that is (unlike the Giants) intentionally crappy, 5 - 2.

We are now 3 - 7 against the Padres.  Oddly, the Giants are almost inversely successful against teams in the west.  We actually have a winning record, at this point, against the doggers.  I do not expect that to last.  We play better against the dbacks, then slightly better against the pudres than the roxies (.300 vs .285).   Weird.

Madison Bumgarner vs Jhoulys Chacin, who, as usual had the Giants flummoxed.  Bumgarner got through the first, then gave up a quick hit and a 2 run blast in the 2nd, then another 2 run shot in the 7th.  Madison gave us 6 1/3 innings, gave up 4 earned runs on 6 hits.  He walked 1 and struck out 5.  Kontos gave up the Padres 5th run, and Crick gave us 1 2/3 innings and looked pretty good.  Nunez and Span got rbi's for the Giants.  As usual, they had several chances to tie the game or take the lead, but they did not do that.  Beating San Diego?  No, we don't do that, either.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Buster!

SF 5  CLE 4
It was good work by Matt Cain today in his new spot-starter-out-of-the-bullpen role: six innings, five hits, three runs (all in one inning), two walks (both scored), five strikeouts, no homers. He even got a base hit! Alas, the lineup could not score the tying run despite having some good chances and he left with the team losing 3-2. The Indians added another run in the 8th and it looked for all the world like another Caining. But the home squad, undaunted, rallied in the bottom half, scratching out a run to make it 4-3. Then Buster Posey, pinch-hitting with two on and two outs, roped a two-run double to make it 5-4 Giants. It was one of the more exciting moments of the season, I must say. Sam Dyson scared the crap out of everyone but managed to close the door and seal the hard-earned victory. That's a series win against a talented squad. Let's see some more of that!

Denard Span continues to shine, scoring two runs and driving in another (himself!) with a double and a splash-hit homer. If he can stay healthy he solves a big outfield problem for next season, that of having a competent major-leaguer out there regularly.

I don't know if you saw this tweet from Baggs in the sidebar:
Tyler Beede threw 7 strong innings today. At 109 IP. Would make sense to promote him, maybe use in relief for a bit, then join SF rotation.
I'm very curious about Beede (rhymes with 'beady') and would love to see him sooner rather than later. He turned 24 in May and has about 400 IP in the minors after three years at Vanderbilt. He's a two-time first-round draft pick, first by the Blue Jays in 2011 (21st) and then by the Giants in 2014 (14th).

Padres come to town for four starting tomorrow night. GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Ty Ties Tribe - Ten!

Giants won tonight in a low scoring duel that lasted into extra inning, besting Cleveland, 2 - 1 in 10.  It was a well played game in spite of a Cleveland error by outfielder Brandon Guyer that led to the Giants first run.  Ty Blach on the mound for the Giants and an impressive youngster, Mike "Hippie" Clevinger on the mound for Cleveland.  They were a pretty good matchup.  Ty gave up a run in the 3rd on a single by USF's own Bradley Zimmer followed by a triple to Guyer.  Ty worked around his other hits, though, giving the Giants 7 innings on 106 pitches.  He gave up 7 hits, walked only 1 and struck out 3.  Meanwhile, Clevinger mostly had the Giants befuddled.  He threw 100 pitches in 6 innings, gave up only 3 hits, struck out 7 and walked 1.  In the 6th, Eduardo Nunez landed on 2nd after the error by Guyer, then was singled home by Buster Posey.  Nunez was the hero in the 10th, too, when Cleveland closer Cody Allen, pitching in his 2nd inning, gave up a double to Conor Gillaspie, who was replaced on the base paths by Kelby Tomlinson.  Denard Span bunted, and was safe to put Kelby at 3rd.  Nunez singled in the winning run.

It was, according to the tv, Nunez's first ever walk off hit.  Brandon Crawford won the ex-major league players' Heart and Hustle award, but was 0 for 4.  This game, though, was about pitching.   Ty was outstanding, as was Clevinger.  Hunter Strickland allowed no one on base in the 8th, and Sam Dyson only walked 1 in his 2 innings of work, picking up the W.   A win every now and then is nice, just for a change of pace.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Boom-Boom, out go the lights

SD 7  SF 1
Padres hit two big homers off Jeff Samardzija and take the rubber match in San Diego. No subtlety with the big righty--he blows it by you or you blast it past him. Giants start the second half in style, losing two of three. It's a trial, I tell ya. These guys are working harder and doing worse. I suppose it's all about looking at the bright side. Denard Span got three hits, he's finally hitting like a real player (.288/.337/.446). Buster Posey got two hits, he's doing that 300-400-500 thing (.328/.408/.509) that I think is really cool. I want to see more of Kyle Crick. Matt Cain pitches Wednesday at home, I'll report back then.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Bum's Back

Madison Bumgarner returned for the first time since April, and he looked pretty good.  He gave the Giants 7 innings, gave up 3 runs on 4 hits in 102 pitches.  Madison got us through the 1st 2 innings setting down the Padres 1-2-3.  Then, he gave up a solo shot in the 3rd.  The Giants were up 2 - 1 at that point, because of a couple of walks, a bunch of hitting, and a 2-out 2 rbi single by Hunter Pence in the 1st.  Then a walk and another home run in the 4th, this one to put the Pads up 3 -2.  You can look up who hit these shots, the trick is remembering these guys until tomorrow.  Might as well get used to them, though, they might be the Padres of the future.  So at that point only 2 hits to Madison's record, both of them long ones.  Joe Pan helped us out in the 6th with a solo shot to tie the game at 3 all.   Madison gave up a bunt single in the 5th and a 2-out double in the 6th, and a walk in the 7th.  In all, he walked 2 and struck out 5.  He looked pretty good, too.  If he is not off, he has an easy looking, smooth delivery.  That was there, as good as ever.  He is a bit prone to the long ball this year, but then again, he gave us a quality start coming off the 69 day DL and that is all you can ask.

Hunter Strickland relieved Madison in the 8th, put 2 men on base, but held the score at 3 - 3.  Gearrin took over in the 9th, and gave up a single.  Okert took over for him, and gave up a towering shot to none other than Hector Sanchez.  Giants lose this one to San Diego, 5 - 3.   Madison does not have a 2017 win to his record.

I had a fantasy.  I mean, one I can share.  It was, what if the Giants swept the western division in the remaining 72 games?  That would be 39 wins out of 72 game, .541.  That in itself is not so impressive, but sweeping the west in the 2nd half would be.  I know, we'd still have a losing record against the Rockies.  And that alone wouldn't get us to .500.  But we could win some of those other games, too.  But that dream's over.  My bubbles are so easily popped.  We've only won 3 of 8 against the Padres.  Fer Chrissakes!  We have 11 games left against them, starting with tomorrow.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Let the Second Half of Hell Begin!

Win 5-4, @ SD 

The second "half" of the season to forget has officially begun and the Giants earned a tight win over the Padres.  I have to honestly admit that I barely watched and only checked in occasionally.  That is pretty much the plan for the rest of this crap season.  I did catch a few images:  a shaky JohnnyC continuing to flail in mediocrity ( 4 innings, 3 runs, 6 hits, 3 walks ),  a beaming Gorkys Hernandez collecting 4 hits for the first time ever,  and the same old Buster putting a perfect swing on a fat pitch for the difference making homer.  In general, it was a well played close game that was sickeningly insignificant.

I'm not sure if there is any significance to the rest of the season at all.  What do we root for?  Decency?  Do we want  a #1 draft pick?  Do we want JohnnyC to suck? Or to be great and want to return?  Is it all about looking at prospects now?  Or is it about figuring out which veterans to jettison?  Or all of the above?   ...I'm confused....  All I know is that I really don't want to watch it any more...  And that is after a win!