Showing posts with label Panik attack. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Panik attack. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Giants Win Game 1 of the 2014 World Series

I could have gone with a different title, like "Madison Bumgarner's World Series ERA Soars!"  But that would have been deceptive.  Not that I am above that sort of thing, but it feels so good to type that the Giants have won game 1.  First, I am still on a cloud that they are even in the 2014 World Series, and then I am coming to the realization that they look pretty good in this contest.

With our ace on the mound, the Giants brought some bats and did not hesitate to use them.  Blanco led off the game with a single, moved to 2nd on Panik's long out, to 3rd on Buster's single, and scored when Pablo Sandoval doubled to the wall in right.  Posey was thrown out trying to score from 1st, but it took an excellent throw to get him.   With 1 run and 2 outs, Hunter Pence promptly homered to center field to make it 3 - 0 before Kansas City could hit.

The only baserunner for Kansas City was Lorenzo Cain in the 1st, hit on the back ankle by a pitch as Madison Bumgarner was still trying to get all his "stuff" working.  The Giants held, and with the help of a double play, kept Kansas City from scoring in the second.   In the 3rd, it looked like Kansas City was ready to tighten up the game.  Omar Infante went to 1st on Brandon Crawford's inability to field a ground ball cleanly, and to 3rd on Mike Moustakas' double.  Madison toughened up and struck out the next 2 batters before walking Cain.  An Eric Hosmer ground out ended that threat, and Kansas City never really threatened again.  Madison went 7 strong, allowing only 3 hits and striking out 5 in 106 pitches.  He gave up his first run in his World Series history (21 innings!) in the 7th to Pablo's friend Salvador Perez.  That makes Madison's World Series ERA 0.43, which is still pretty good.

When the Giants came to bat in the 4th, Hunter Pence doubled and went to 3rd on a wild pitch.  Brandon Belt walked, and Michael Morse's single chased James Shields from the game.  Danny Duffy lasted 3 innings and gave up 2 runs, but after 59 pitches (71 for Shields), he will probably not available tomorrow as a long reliever.  The final was 7-1.  Joe Panik got into the act with an rbi triple in the 7th, Gregor Blanco was on base 3 times and was credited with an rbi for a walk when the bases were loaded, and Pablo Sandoval picked up a second rbi to score Panik.  The Giants had 10 hits on the night.

You have to love it when the Giants show up with bats.  Pence hit a home run and a double, looking like a stud.  Morse hit.  Blanco looked good at the plate and in the field.  Everyone in the line up hit except Travis Ishikawa and his replacement, Juan Perez.  Strickland (pitching the 9th) looked good.  Madison snared two line drives and started a double play.  This team has every reason to be confident.  Winning game 1 in Kansas City is huge.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Winning the National League Pennant is Pretty Damn Cool

Regardless of what happens, don't forget that winning the National League Pennant is great.  In the old days, it was all about the pennant, followed by a sort of an exhibition game called the World Series.  Don't get me wrong, it is not as though World Series Champion didn't mean anything.  But it was only when the playoffs expanded and are now a baseball tournament that it has become a World Series or nothing kind of meme.  Which is my round-about way of saying, "Great Job, Giants!  Way to Go!"

I was holding my breath this morning over the blog comments because of a sort of "don't count those chickens" attitude.  Now those little yellow fuckers are hatched and we can celebrate.  The game was - let's just say it was not scripted.  Madison Bumgarner was ultimately not the hero, nor was Buster Posey (although, if I had to pick any one reason why we won this pennant, I'd have to say that it was because of the sheer force of Buster Posey's will).  Instead we had Michael Morse (remember him?).  And, of all people, Travis Ishikawa.  Travis Ishikawa.  Travis Ishikawa.  I love that name.  And Joe Panik going deep!  3 home runs!  The Cardinals are a good team, consistently competitive year in and year out.  It is amazing that the pennants have alternated between the Giants and Cardinals for 5 years now.  And I would like to thank them personally for beating the doggers.  Thank you!

Do managers matter?  I think that the closer to the end of the season, and in the playoffs, they do.  Thanks, Bruce Bochy!  The Royals are a very good team - as anyone who followed the Giants through the season can attest.  But the Giants have plenty of time to rest and plan.  It will be a whole new ball game come Tuesday.  

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Giants Play Two Games, Win One

I remember thinking when Anthony Rendon got that two-out hit in the 3rd to score a run that it was a key moment. That this game was going to be one of those World Cup soccer things, you know, "one-in-and-done." Sure enough Nationals starter Jordan Zimmerman overpowered the Giants after that, only to walk rookie Joe Panik with two outs in the 9th. The Giants had gone 0-for-20 before then, so even though it brought Buster Posey to the plate it still seemed like a vain effort. And a wasted brilliant start from Tim Hudson, who had only the one lapse and otherwise matched zeroes with Zimmerman. Nats manager Matt Williams took out an ad in Second-guessers Wanted however, and brought in his closer Drew Storen to get the final out. Buster promptly cracked a single and Pablo Sandoval dug out an opposite-field double to bring home the tying run. Buster was thrown out at the plate in a very close play that required review and the game went to extras. I was "oh-no-ing" well before I saw the relay, he could have been out by a lot if it had been on the line. As it was Wilson Ramos had to make a sweep tag and he pulled it off with an inch at best to spare. I guess you can't fault the aggressiveness there, a lot of guys with "an extra step" would have scored. They hadn't done anything on offense for most of the game, so you can understand going for the win with the tie in hand.

So, the epic struggle went on into the night. The Nats scored a run in the 3rd and that was it. They played 15 more innings and could not put something on the board against the Giants. It was an awesome display of bullpen power, with Yusmeiro Petit earning MVP (most valuable 'penner) with a spectacular six scoreless. Washington has a great relief corps as well and they kept the Giants quiet for another long stretch. It got to the point where you knew it would be one of those games decided by a bomb. Brandon Belt, bless his heart, launched a massive home run to lead off the 18th and victory was in sight. Rookie Hunter Strickland blasted his way through the bottom of the 18th to get the save and the Giants went up two-nil in the series. Boch has a lot of faith in that kid--after he got tagged twice yesterday I admit I was scared to see him get the ball. But Strickland quickly asserted himself and showed great poise in a tense situation and got the outs to end it. Way to go, Hunter!

The Giants and Nationals played a nine-inning game that ended in a 1-1 tie. The Giants scored with their very last chance and just missed taking the lead. Then the Giants and Nationals played a second nine-inning game and the Giants hit a home run in the final inning to win 1-0. It was an extraordinary night of baseball that went past the stroke of midnight and featured great pitching and clean fielding coupled with some dramatic scoring moments. And the best thing is that the GIANTS came out on top.

Giants used everyone except Joaquin Arias (and Tim Lincecum). Madison Bungarner gets the ball on Monday in San Francisco with a chance to sweep the number one seed and advance to the LCS.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Friday, October 3, 2014

P-Power Pushes Giants Past Nats

Jake Peavy did not have to be the best pitcher in baseball today, he just had to be better than Stephen Strasburg. Lo and behold, he was. Strasburg wasn't bad, he was very tough in fact, but the Giants had excellent approaches against him and got men on base and wore him down. Hunter Strickland was brought in to get the final out in the 6th, a ballsy move by the skipper, and he preserved Peavy's fine start with a huge strikeout. The rookie flamethrower gave up two bombs in the 7th to terrify the hell out of us, but the rest of the 'pen got the big outs and the Giants held on for a remarkable 3-2 win. Boch will have to answer some questions about why he stuck with the rookie, but one thing we've learned from Our Fearless Leader is that he is truly fearless. He had confidence in the young righty and went with him in a huge situation and, in the end, it all worked out.

The Giants did their "death by a thousand paper cuts" thing that worked so well in 2012. Rookie Joe Panik spoiled the party with a booming triple that led to the third and decisive run and once again the Giants had the entire lineup involved in the action. Travis Ishikawa got the scoring started in the 3rd and a steal by Hunter Pence in the 4th led to the second run. It was another of those total team efforts that seem to define this club. Grit, moxie, and veteran savvy clutchness prevailed today!

There's a lot to talk about. I hope we can get a field report from The Mystic Zo. Russian River sent me a text that said "let's get greedy and get two in DC." Hell, yeah.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.


p.s. I liked that "easy" save from Casilla and Romo getting Harper in the 8th.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Yusmeiro Shines Again

Yusmeiro Petit channeled Greg Maddux tonight in San Francisco throwing an 84-pitch complete game to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks. That's remarkable enough, but when you consider he threw only 16 balls to 29 batters it makes your head spin. What a performance! Especially when you consider that this is it--this is pennant race crunch time. Every game is crucial and every start has a life-or-death feel to it. The Giants have now won seven in a row at AT&T Park improving their home record to 39-33. With the Dodgers losing to the Padres the Giants are 2-1/2 back in the West.

The Giants have played 144 games and have thus completed their 8th seasonal inning. They are 79-65 (.549) which is the fourth-best record in the NL. Here's how it's gone in 2014:

First inning, 10-8,
Second inning, 13-5,
Third inning, 12-6,
Fourth inning, 8-10,
Fifth inning, 6-12,
Sixth inning, 9-9
Seventh inning, 9-9
Eighth inning, 12-6.

If they can go 11-7 in the final 18 that will give them 90 wins. That may not be enough to win the division but will most likely lock up the Wild Card. Right now they are four games ahead of the Pirates for the top spot. The Dodgers played yesterday and have only 17 games left. The Giants obviously need to seize the moment this weekend and take at least two of the three games. They'll have three more chances in LA in the season's penultimate series.

Joe Panik continues to rake--he had five hits tonight! Angel Pagan kept the P-Power theme going with four hits and three runs scored. It was a big win. Let's hope they can keep it going.

Vogie goes tomorrow night. He's coming off perhaps his worst start ever so look for a big bounce back performance from the veteran righty.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Giants Fight Back

The Giants were staring into the Coors Field Hellmouth for the second night in a row but Rockies Slayer Buster Posey led the way and the visiting squad triumphed over the forces of chaos and evil. My goodness but the lad is hitting well lately. I blame it on Andrew Susac. You think Buster wants some whippersnapper whipper-snapping him? Certainly not. And if he has to slug .600 to prove it, by gum, he will. You have to love the other rook, too. Joe Panik is straight rakin' it! Last week the starters kicked ass, this week it looks like the 'pen's turn. Five innings, one run allowed. Meanwhile Colorado's 'pen gave up six runs in a mere 2-2/3--that sort of thing I like. What else do I like? How about an errorless game? And Gregor Blanco finding his stroke again after a slow start?

Vogie tomorrow afternoon. GO GIANTS!

--M.C.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Saaa - weeeeep!

The Giants completed a sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers this weekend who were first in the National League Central Division and are currently tied for first as a result of the Giants efforts.  That gives them 6 wins in a row and, in the past week, they have managed to gain 2 games on front-running LA.

The numbers the Giants put up were impressive.  Madison Bumgarner tied the league leaders with his 16th win.  He threw 96 pitches in 6 innings, gave up 5 hits and 1 run and struck out 7.  He knocked his ERA to less than 3.00.  He got into some trouble in the first, giving up two singles to the first two batters to put runners at first and third.  Then, Ryan Braun hit into a double play, Crawford to Panik to Morse.  Brandon Crawford has played some spectacular defense lately, and I'm thinking I could get used to watching a lot of BCraw to Panik double play pivots.

Behind 1 - 0 after the first, the Giants scored in the second to tie the game, added 3 in the third to take the lead and never looked back.  They also scored in the fifth (2), sixth (1), seventh (7) and eighth (1).  The final was 15 - 5.  For those who keep track of such things, that is a collective 31 - 8 whupping the Giants have laid on the Brewers.

1 home run (Panda).  3 triples (Panda, Pence and Panik).  6 doubles (2 for Pence, 2 for Susac, Blanco and Arias).  16 hits total.  3 rbi for Panda and Susac, 2 rbi for Pence and Panik, and an rbi for Pagan, Morse, Crawford and Arias.  The Giants got 15 runs without Buster Posey in the game.

In the seventh, Madison was relieved by George Kontos.  Kontos went 2/3 of an inning and gave up a home run to Martin Maldonado.  Javier Lopez relieved him for the final out.  Tim Lincecum came in for the final two innings.  It did not go well.  Tim gave up a solo home run to Ryan Braun in the eighth and hit Maldonado with a pitch and gave up an assortment of hits (including a past ball) to allow 2 more runs in the ninth.  So I guess Tim will not be starting in relief in the suspended game in Colorado tomorrow.

It is a good thing that the Giants are scoring well, finally, as they have the make-up game and three more to play in Colorado.  It does not look particularly easy after that.  They go to Detroit from Colorado, currently scrapping for the American League Central Division lead.  Then they play Arizona at home before our last home stand against LA.  Then a road trip to Arizona, San Diego and Los Angeles before our final 4 game series at home against San Diego.  San Diego is one of those kind of teams that worry me.  They are out of the race, as is Arizona, but have been playing well lately (they just took 2 of 3 from LA after taking 2 of 3 from Milwaukee).  It is the time of year when you get a bunch of young players who tend to swing for the fences to try to impress someone.

The Giants' starting pitching is going great.  Well, maybe not Tim, but there's still hope and Yusmeiro looks like a good fill in.  Their hitting is going great and just in the nick of time.  Their relief looks a little spotty, but really, they were nails until the last couple of games, so on the whole, still great. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Vogie, Giants Throttle Brewers

Ryan Vogelsong kept the Brewers quiet for seven innings, giving up only two runs on four hits and one walk while striking out seven. It was his sixth start of the month and his best since his two-hitter in New York on the first. Vogie wasn't content with studly pitching--after a dose of chin music from Brewers starter Wily Peralta to lead off the 2nd he roped a liner to right to and eventually scored. It was an impressive nine-pitch battle that oozed with grit and VSC. The Giants were up 3-0 after the 1st and scored in the next four innings as well, pounding out 19 hits on the night. Buster Posey had five all by himself including a triple. Joe Panik had four and Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence banged out three apiece. Gregor Blanco had three RBIs, two on a homer, his second in two nights. Mike Morse was on base three times via a HBP, walk, and single. The only starter without a hit was Brandon Crawford but he did manage a walk and also drove in a run. George Kontos got the last six outs with a minimum of fuss. It was a complete rout--the final was 13-2.

It was a great night for the Giants. We've been hoping to see a playoff-caliber team emerge here in crunch time as every series from this point forward is crucial. Tonight they looked like champions against a tough foe. By the way that's five good starts in a row, one for each guy. Let's hope they can keep that going.

Jake Peavy goes tomorrow night.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Panik Mode

The Giants thumped the Nationals tonight 10-3, scoring six runs in the final two frames to turn a taut 4-2 pennant race contest into a rout. Rookie Joe Panik launched his first big-league homer in the 3rd with two on to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead. Young Joe made an error in the 1st that led to the Nats first run but finished with four hits. It was an impressive display by the visiting squad with 14 hits including two homers (Buster had the other) and two doubles (Posey and Travis Ishikawa). Eight different guys got hits and seven different guys scored runs. Here's what I liked: LF Mike Morse had a hit and a run scored, his late-game replacement Gregor Blanco did as well, and he also made a nice grab in the field. That's how it is supposed to work, right?

Tim Hudson was grit and VSC personified, but the patient Washington lineup eventually chased him in the 6th. Javier Lopez was the vanguard of a Giants relief triumvirate with Jean Machi and Sergio Romo that nailed down the next eight outs in nine batters. Juan Gutierrez made a bit of a mess of the 9th, but with an eight-run lead it hardly mattered. Final line for the 'pen: 3-2/3, 2H, 1R, 2BB, 5K.

Big win against a tough team. Tim Lincecum gets the ball tomorrow.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Peavin'

I thought yesterday's decision by the umpires to call the game and award the win to the Cubs was a perfect symbol of the frustrations of the 2014 Giants. Then we got the news that Seligula & His Minions upheld the Giants protest (first since 1986) and the team gets a second chance! Sure enough they resume the game tomorrow before the regularly scheduled game. It just goes to show that one should not read too much into any one event in a baseball season. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Then again, the Giants could use quite a few more ballgames just like tonight's 8-3 win. Jake Peavy labored a bit on a warm, windy night in Wrigley, but with help from his fielders (three double-plays) he turned in seven strong with no walks and eight strikeouts. The Cubs whacked the ball around a bit (10 hits off Peavy including a two-run homer) but he pounded the zone (78 strikes) and got eight ground balls and good things resulted. The lineup put up a four-spot in the 1st and kept the pressure on, scoring again in the 3rd and the 4th. The botttom guys delivered as both Travis Ishikawa and Joe Panik had three hits apiece and Andrew Susac blasted his first big-league homer. Ishikawa was an inspired choice to play first base--he made several nifty grabs and helped pull off a slick 3-5-1 DP as well. I imagine we'll see more of those weird combinations as teams employ defensive shifts. Panda looked pretty good at shortstop, eh?

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Giants Win!

Wins are few and far between these days--only six for the club in all of August--so they are certainly worth celebrating. Mike Morse kept up his hitting barrage with a perfect day that included a triple, two doubles, and a walk. Gregor Blanco chipped in two RBI hits including what proved to be the game-winner in the 8th (after Joe Panik's first-ever triple). The 'pen filled in ably for a mediocre Tim Hudson and delivered four scoreless frames to finish the Phils. The game-tying rally was a cringe-worthy cheapie-fest but we all know that getting runs by any means, no matter how ugly, is the whole point. It has not been a good year for Giants lineups. Take a look:



Yuck. Hit the link if you want to see pitching ranks. The Giants are pretty damn good on the "runs allowed" side of the ledger but they'll need an uptick in their "runs scored" if they want to turn this long stretch of losing baseball around.

Nonetheless today was a gritty come-from-behind effort by the team and that feels good.

Tim Lincecum tomorrow.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bruce Bochy, Morse Whisperer

A struggling Mike Morse got a message from the skipper:
“I’ll remind him that we’re in this position with a lot of his help,” Bochy said. “At times he was carrying us with big hits, not just home runs, but big hits. He’s got to relax and back off and have some fun with this.”
Sure enough the big right-hander delivered two RBI singles to lead a resurgent Giants attack in a 7-4 win in Milwaukee. Ryan Vogelsong battled most grittily for six innings and kept the Brewers in check. A rare shaky inning by the 'pen let them back in the game, but a clutch blast by Pablo after a clutch hit from rookie Joe Panik sealed the deal. It took almost four hours, but the Giants got a big win against a tough opponent. This series has been like a couple of heavyweights leaning on each other, clinching, working the ropes, hoping to find an opening for a knockout blow. The final round is tomorrow and it's all even on the judges' cards. Jake Peavy gets the ball at 12:45 Pacific.

Henry Schulman had more to say, this time about Matt Cain:
In other pregame news, Matt Cain made a rather startling revelation. He said he has not been able to extend his right arm fully since as far back as high school, and he has learned to throw without full extension. The bone chips in his elbow, which will be removed in an operation Monday, have worsened the condition.
The Giants will have to win the West without Matt Cain. All of us were counting on Matt Cain to be Matt Cain, something he was not. Jake Peavy is better than the Matt Cain we saw in 2014. Matty has thrown 1800-plus innings including six consecutive 200-plus seasons. It took its toll. It's not as fun watching with my favorite player sidelined, but it has been an amazing run--30 or more starts for eight straight seasons--and it is noteworthy that he hasn't been hurt until now. When Cain came up he was the youngest player in the big leagues and doesn't turn thirty years old until this October.
 "It'll be nice to know going into next year that I should be good to go and won't have to worry about anything," he said.
Cain also said he didn't want to get surgery but realized he had no choice if he wanted to pitch again. So it's 2015 for Matty. Let's hope everything goes well and he can be back to full strength.

The team is 62-52 or .544 and will finish with 88 wins at that pace. To get to 90 wins means 28-20 (.583) the rest of the way and 92 wins will require 30-18 or a .625 pace. No matter the math they have to play good ball. Getting 14 hits tonight is certainly a start!

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ace

Madison Bumgarner showed what the Giants are about and why he is the staff ace today in snakeville.  We got superb pitching and enough hitting to take 2 of 3 from Arizona.

Paired off against young Mike Bolsinger, Maddy threw 8 innings and gave up 1 hit.  He came in to finish the 9th with a 4 - 0 lead when Brandon Crawford erred to let the first batter, Jordan Pacheco, get on first.  Then Maddy gave up his second hit, to Ender Inciarte.  That was enough for Bruce Bochy, who summoned Sergio Romo in what was now a save situation.  Sergio promptly gave up a single to Martin Prado that scored the only Arizona run.  Paul Goldschmidt, however, hit into a double play and Aaron Hill struck out on a couple of excellent Romo sliders.

Here is something you don't see everyday:  A Crawford to Panik to Arias double play.  Speaking of young Joe Panik, how did he do in his first full game?  2 hits, a double and a single, and a 2-out rbi.  Brandon Crawford had 2 hits, including a triple and a walk and Hunter Pence had 2 hits.  Rbi's for Buster, Tyler Colvin, Crawford and Joe Panik.  Paul Goldschmidt got 2 hits in the Friday night opener, but no hits Saturday or Sunday.  He walked 3 times Saturday and twice Sunday, and hit into a double play.  Seems like a good idea to not let that guy beat you.