Thursday, July 31, 2008

Feeble Jon

Obviously something's gone wrong with Sanchez. He was just feeble last night. He was feeble all of July, following his outstanding June and his NL Player of the Week honor.
Maybe they should first try to skip his next start and see if a rest helps, although I don't know who in the bullpen is worthy of a spot start. Taschner?
Also, of course, the offense was pathetic again, making a couple of Dogger pitchers look like superstars. God it sucks to be shut out by L.A.
Now it's a big wait-and-see day, wondering if we make any good trades.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Take Him Out

6 7 2 1 0 7

100 pitches/75 strikes/25 balls

It is a good night's work undone by a nightmare inning. Have a seat, Matt.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I'm baaaaaack!

I sure missed all the excitement. If I have to leave town in order for Matt Cain to throw shutouts, I will. I swear. We did get to listen to the last half of the game on the radio as we drove down I-5, so that was exciting.

Have you ever been to a Russian wedding? I had not. Let me tell you, those folks know how to have a good time. We also got to spend some time in the Russian River area (Guerneville and Monte Rio), which is quite beautiful. I had not been there since I was a wee lad. The Sonoma Coast is spectacular. We drove north on Highway 1 from Tomales--the mouth of the Russian is just south of Jenner. The beaches and coastal access points north of Bodega Bay are wonderful. I love living here in the State of Jefferson, but I do miss the ocean, so it was great to get a dose. Nothing like one of those cold onshore winds blowing in your face as the breakers crash and the pelicans dive into the surf.

1. BroB, Zo, way to "post up."
2. Lewis rocks. But we knew that.
3. Lincecum now feels Cain's pain.
4. Matt Cain rocks. But we knew that.
5. We stink. Most putrid-ly. But we knew that.
6. When are we shipping out Roberts, Winn, Aurilia and Molina?
7. Now that we aided and abetted AZ's quest for the NL West title, will that continue vs. LA?

43-61, .413 after 104 games. That projects to 67-95. We are still better than my 100-loss prediction, but I think we will be working hard to fulfill the prophecy in these next two months. After all, if we have any brains, we will throw every youngster we got out there while the rest of the league chases a pennant. OK, maybe not San Diego or Washington, but most of the rest.

Happy to home, me bhoyos, looking forward to seeing more Matt, Tim, and Fred. Let's beat the fookin' smogsuckers while we are at it, eh?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Brother Bobblehead

A beautiful cool SF afternoon was marred by a lopsided defeat by the Snakes of Arizona. The omens seemed good- as I approached the ticket window on the King St. side I was approached by a man and a woman who gave me 3 free tickets. (There's an interesting story to this but it would be too much of a digression). I accepted them. They were worth $26 each. Turned out to nose-bleeders, section 324 View Reserved row 15. We got our bobbleheads, then our Garlic Fries and settled in for some baseball.
Since I'm finally reconciled to having the Giants lose a lot, I can report the proceedings detached from most of the frustration I would normally be obliged to vent. That Zito would fail was more or less a given. I was glad he threw 3 scoreless innings before the inevitable occurred. I actually felt kinda privileged to watch the legendary Big Eunuch perform at a high level. He made it look easy.
Except (and here's the best part) when Fred Lewis was at the plate. Fred Lewis OWNS Randy Johnson! In the first inning he got a crisp single then stole second and then stole third. It was very exciting. Of course he didn't score. The next time he got another single and received a lot of attention from Johnson, ie. pickoff attempts. The next time he got a double, and as he walked off the field (after once again not scoring), something strange happened. I'm not quite sure what. But Johnson was obviously saying something to Lewis. At first I thought he must be giving him some sort of compliment, but the home plate umpire interposed himself and escorted Johnson halfway back to the dugout. So perhaps the comments were not entirely cordial. Or maybe the eunuch was responding to something Lewis said.
In his his next AB Fred Lewis did something no other left-hand batter has ever done- he got a 4th hit off Johnson, a double. Of course he didn't score this time either.
In addition Fred made a nifty catch high against the wall in the corner.
Way to go Fred. This is our every day Left Fielder. Grab some pine, Meat Roberts.
There was another wonderful moment. Matos had a very rough inning and it looked like it was going to go totally south when he threw a wild pitch which caused the runner on third to take off full speed. But the ball caromed off the backstop sharply, Molina grabbed it and threw to Matos who tagged him for out three. Then Matos delivered probably the finest spike of a baseball I have ever seen. It was great.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Shiny Tim

Once again, like a beam of bright sunshine, Tim Lincecum stands out in this dark season. Setting a new career high of
thirteen strikeouts with no walks, The Enchanter was once again dominating. Except for a lapse during the fifth inning (both runs on 4 hits), Tim was dealing. Apparently the shadows and bright background made for some tough hitting...of course, it is always tough to hit against Webb and Lincecum. My favorite part of Tim's night was his last inning, striking out the side.

I would be remiss without mentioning the clutch hit that took Timmy off the hook and gave us the lead going into the 8th. (BTW we are in the process of blowing that lead...Walker wasted no time in snatching the victory from Tim.) Rowand, who was 0-8, 6 K's against Webb, delivered a two out, two RBI single. I am not really impressed at all by Aaron, but that was a big hit...and on a good team it probably would have won the game. Nice job, Gamer.

Oh well, in the time it took to write the last paragraph , Tyler Walker pissed away Tim's win. I always thought it was a long shot that Walker would come back strong, let alone be a setup man. Anyone else notice that almost the moment we lost Merkin Valdez our bullpen became a real liability. In any case, I will not criticize the decision to stop Tim after 7 innings and 111 pitches. Sure we lost (the game isn't over but the snakes have a two run lead now), but remember,
THAT REALLY DOESN'T MATTER. We just need to stay healthy and keep letting our future stars develop their shine.

Photo credit:

Welcome Fellow Blogmate!

Hey everybody! Check out a new Giants Blog:

Welcome to the battle. Keep your head up and your eyes open. Strange days lay ahead and we need all the help we can get. GOOD LUCK and congrats on the nice start!

My Lefty Was Malo

Why does my maiden posting have to follow Sanchez' worst game of the year? I fear one of those funky baseball-god karma things is happening.
Hmm, let's see, on the bright side, he only threw a couple innings, so that's good, right?
And clearly I have to abandon my "Sanchez is better than Cain" thesis, at least for the time being.
Did everyone see that Sunday is "Matt Cain Bobblehead" day? Maybe I should go and get a couple of those bad boys. I could, maybe. What do you say?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Complete Games = 1

Goooooood thing MOC was out of the way.......Matt threw his first complete game of the year, matched up against a tough Tim Redding who matched Matt throughout the game. Almost. Matt's line: 9 ip, 4 hits, 0 runs, 4 K's and 0 BB. Tim Redding: 8 ip, 7 well dispersed hits, 1 run (earned), 5 K's and 0 BB. For those of us who love pitcher's battles, and could stomach this: Dave Roberts - gwrbi, it was a wonderful day to be out at the ballpark which makes me ask the question, why wasn't I? Oh, right, work....whatever. Matt has obviously learned his lesson well, if he wants a W, he has to do it himself. All in all, brilliant performance by both pitchers as we manage to prove that, even though we are not as good as the Brewers, we are better than the Nationals.

MC day

I'm on the road AGAIN (in 30 minutes or so!). I will be e-invisible for the next few days. JCP and Bro B, you got to step up again. Zo--where are ye, me bhoy? Toss us a post, eh?

After this, I promise never to miss another start. Matt Cain goes today. I hope he can stay sharp, not walk guys, and get outs efficiently.

I hope the Giants can score runs. Mostly, I hope we trade more old guys for more young guys.

¡Hasta la vista!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Post Pukey Tim

OK, I'm really getting pissed. I can not count how many times we here at RMC have been critical of Bochy's leaving starters out there for one more inning. It is clearly a pattern and IT SUCKS. Today's case (which is almost the SAME AS YESTERDAY'S) is a classic example: Tim has gone 6 tough innings, well over 100 pitches, another quality start, then they send him out for the seventh! A questionable move any day, but considering Tim is just recovering from dehydrating flu earlier this week, it was IDIOTIC. He immediately got in trouble with a questionable HBP, but still he stayed in. The next hitter singles with Romo and Hinshaw warmed up, still he stays in. The next batter, the excellent Ryan Braun, battles Tim for 9 pitches (now we are over 120 !) and, of course, delivers the game breaking homer. Lincecum will get his 3rd loss (it's the bottom 7 now, but clearly a done deal) but much of the blame has to be shouldered by feeble managing. So Tim fails to give a quality start for the second time this season and IN BOTH CASES, he had a quality start after 6 and lost it in the seventh. I normally don't second guess pitching changes too much, but this is clearly a situation that must be dealt with.

My suggestion: NEW MANAGEMENT

Other notes: Bye Ray, wish I could say I will miss you. Rarely has any player 's performance been so closely linked to his contract situation. Too bad Ray wasn't always trying to get resigned.
Photo credit: M&S- be sure to check out that link!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

6+ 7 4 3 5 5

MC had thrown 101 pitches through six innings and was losing 2-0 to a good team. He wasn't in command--far from it. He was struggling with control, having already faced 27 batters, walking four and yielding six hits. If I'm occupying Bruce Bochy's enormous head, I yank him. MC made the last out of the 6th. Wouldn't that have been the perfect time for a pinch-hitter? Apparently it was better to let our beleagured bhoyo give up a walk and a double (and a run) to start the 7th. Memo to Bonehead: it was the top of their lineup!!! Now Matt is not a piece of fine china that needs careful handling. He's a big, strong youngster who loves to pitch. I get it. But somewhere along the line a person in a leadership position, like a coach or a manager, needs to think about maximizing his opportunities for success. Or, at the very least, minimizing the opportunities for extending failure. It is just good psychology, fer chrissakes. We have a stink-o team. Our future star gave a gutsy, gritty effort to keep us close. We are NOT in a pennant race. I don't know about you, but I say you take the damn ball, pat him on the back, sit him the fook down.

Like I said, the Brewers are a good team, and MC had to be on top of his game. He wasn't. And the match-up with Sabathia meant extra pressure to be perfect, and that is a recipe for failure. CC was dominant. He is shouldering quite a bit of expectations himself--Milwaukee is going to have to make a big 2nd half run to overtake Chicago and fend off St. Louis. CC will have to deliver. The formula for big-time aces is "keep it close with good teams, crush the minnows." Hey Sabes, guess which one we are?

Take a look at the Win Probability Table from FAN GRAPHS for last night. It was already 75% Brewers before the fateful 7th.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Tres Amigos 2

Here's another snappy from Oaxaca, we are lookin' good, eh? (Los Guapos are Zo, M.C. and Ron, L-R.) You can see the OG logo on the field near the batting area. The Guerreros opposition that night (4 de julio) were the Olmecas de Tabasco. You can check out exciting La Liga action here, and see a box score and recap of the ballgame (the Guerreros lost, 8-6) here. I promise not to drive everyone nuts with endless tales of México, but I received a CD of dozens of photos in the mail yesterday (thanks, Vicki!!!), and I knew I had to throw a few more on the blog before I get back to Los Gigantes. (I'll keep the thread going on TPP.) In the previous post I mentioned how the beer man, whose name was Elias, took us under his wing and made us feel welcome in the park. He is in the photo with me and my lovely bride. Next to that is TATO, the mascot, who made a nuisance of himself all evening (like a mascot should). The previous night he wore a wrestler's mask instead of the bird head, and went around trying to neck with all the girls. Tough job.

The Brewers are fighting for their lives in the NL Central. The Giants? We are struggling with "dilemmas" like what to do about Dave Roberts. Gimme a break. Ship 'em all!!! We are stuck with Rowand and Zito, the rest are expendable. Hell, it is only money.

Regardless, it is a great match-up tonight of big guys, hard throwers, "old school" smoke-meisters! Go, Matt! Kick some ass!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tres Amigos

That's yer man there, M.C., in the middle, sportin' a 500-peso Oaxaca Guerreros jersey. The Mystical One, Señor Zo, is on the left of the photo. The groom himself, I-Ron Man, is on the right, with a 50th year SFG cap. Photo and cap by Tami--muchas gracias, Tami! That's the Parque de Béisbol in Oaxaca. Fittingly, we met and became friends one summer in a ballpark--Candlestick, of course. Our amigo cuarto, Dr. J, did not make the trip. (Section 30 was well-represented--you were there in spirit!) I'm wearing my beloved Elliot Glacier Public House ballcap, which I purchased in the brewpub in Parkdale (Hood River Valley) on another memorable holiday. Alas, I lost it after the wedding. It is in a taxivan somewhere in the Ciudad de Juárez.

Baseball is great, as we know. Our southern neighbors love it as well, and it has been a dream of mine to watch a ballgame in Latin America. (They call their outfielders jardineros, which also means "gardeners." Jardinero Derecho, J. Centro, J. Izquierdo, R to L.) We saw two, and got rained out of a third. It is the wet season in Oaxaca, and we enjoyed a long rain delay in one game as well. The fans get a kick out of watching the theatrical but efficient tarp crew. Coronas, poured and delivered, were 15 pesos ($1.50 US), and home-made empeñadas, stout enough for dinner, were 25 pesos. We sat in the second-best seats, the centro, and they set us back a whole five bucks American (50 pesos). Apiece. Of course, every night is Ladies Nite in Oaxaca--damas are charged half-price. My lovely bride and I sat behind home plate, under cover, for seven and a half dollars total. I love the Minor Leagues! The game was loud and crazy, with typically nutty minor-league promotions, as well as cheerleaders, the Guerreritas. It was festive and fun--they blast music videos and rock riffs for the local guys, and taunt the opposition with insults and foul language. Sporting events are a great way to meet locals and experience the spirit of a place. (We've seen hurling in Ireland and cricket in England!) Our first night, the beer vendor adopted us right away, made sure we knew where to sit, kept the cervezas coming, and chatted with us during the delay. We felt right at home.

Meanwhile, I'm very excited about the MC-CC matchup (can't we all just drop those pesky periods?) on Friday. Let me clarify: I'm NOT at all excited about our weak offense trying to hit off Sabathia. I AM excited about a chance for Cain to go toe-to-toe with one of the best.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Clint Hurdle says our young stud might not pitch. How 'bout that, kid? You make the cover of SI but won't throw in Yankee Fookin' Stadium with everyone watching? Memo to Marketing: Send Clint the Marketing Memo.

I missed the Fourth of July. So how about a little Lady Liberty Love in Orange & Black, eh?
(T'anks for the snaps, B.)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Timely Tim

Tim Lincecum stepped up at a big time for the Giants today. By totally controlling the best team in the league, Tim stopped yet another losing streak and saved his teammates the discomfort of four days off as COMPLETE LOSERS. The Enchanter was in rare form; yielding only 5 singles, one double, and one walk while recording 9 strikeouts. The numbers don't capture Tim's ability to get the big out at the big time (something I fear I harp on). Today it was a 10 pitch battle against Fukudome to end the the seventh (strikeout swinging) and, of course, Ramirez to end the eighth (double play groundout). I had a real moment of concern when Tim gave up two infield hits in front of Ramirez...3 run homers have killed us this week, Tim included...but I should have known better. It really is all different when Lincecum is on the mound.

WOOHOO!!! I am taking a break, .....starting right now

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Todos Somos Gigantes

In the city of Oaxaca, the baseball club is called the Guerreros. Their tickets are imprinted with the team motto:


In Oaxaca, we are all Guerreros (warriors).

Don't you like that?

Yes, I'm back from my three-week holiday, which involved two weeks in México, one of those in Oaxaca de Juárez. I'll put together some posts on béisbol soon, with photos (I hope).

Meanwhile, I'm adopting the slogan:

We are all Giants.

Friday, July 11, 2008

7 3 0 0 3 9

The roller coaster ride that we call Matt Cain's 2008 pitching performance continued in a windy Wrigley. (Not to beat a dead horse, but, once again BCB covers this pattern with beautiful graphs) Using Chris' "Game Score" numbers, you can see that Matt has had 9 good starts, 6 bad starts and about 5 in the middle. It is not hard to see his trend going up, after all 2 of his last three have been his finest. In a year like this one where wins are hard to come by and actually rather meaningless, it is very important that we keep an eye open to the big picture and the trends that can only be appreciated over time. So, yes, of course, Matt pitched well enought to win. (The team has 14 hits in the LAST FOUR GAMES, which is something we all pretty much saw coming.) But that is not what is important. The key today is that Matt Cain regrouped after a bad showing and continued his upward spiral.

Want something to worry about? As trade talks speed up in the next couple weeks, will Matt Cain become a pawn in Brian Sabean's final desperate match? Read this discussion and notice how quickly Matt comes up. Is our offense so bad and young pitching so good that we even consider trading Matt?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Juiceless Tim

"I didn't feel like I had much juice."

I say we forget this whole visit to Shea stadium thing. I imagine Tim Lincecum may feel the same way. His performance yesterday, his second loss of the season, was not as scary as Tim's start last year in New York. (Remember that one? Perhaps you blocked it out. Think Armando and balks. Need I say more?) This time we were done for as soon as Tim gave up a very uncharacteristic long ball in the first. Tim struggled through 6 innings, 4 runs and a season high 9 OK outing for many but a markedly lifeless one for The Enchanter. There seems to be some concern over diminished velocity. Chris over at BayCityBall, as usual, has the best coverage:

"...the influx of innings that Lincecum will be throwing this year will be something to keep an eye on. He’s on the cusp of the injury nexus for young pitchers and the Giants need him to get through this season healthy. Without a healthy Tim in the rotation, things start to look real ugly real fast."

Amen to that brother.

Monday, July 7, 2008

6 8 5 5 3 5

It always catches me a little off guard just how hard I take losses to the doggers. Believe me when I say I know about losing, but when it is at the hands of the blue scum, the pain and humiliation can hit me like I was ten years old all over again. This game, and particularly this franchise of ours can certainly test one's mettle.

This brings me to Matt Cain. After his best outing of the year last week, we were all set for big things. He did not deliver. In fact, Matt has never beaten the doggers, the last team in the NL West with that honor. This really kind of bothers me. I expect to see Mr. Cain in the black & orange for a decade or so and I sure hope that terrifies all blue goo, but right now it sure doesn't. I know the sample size is small (7 starts, 22 er, 37.1 ip, 5.30 era, 0-4) but I shudder to think this may be a trend. Ethier (.571 before getting 3 hits yesterday) and Kent (.455, 2 hr) seem to have no trouble against Matt. Kemp crushed two doubles yesterday.

So, we continue to wait and see with Matt for this year. Can he get it on track? Is he a second half type? That's my guess. And maybe more importantly...

Do the smog suckers have Matt's number?

(link to art)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Cover Boy Tim

Happy 4th of July! I must leave soon ( I'm busy being an American ) so I will be brief. Perhaps, don't count on it, I'll get back.

As everyone knows by now, Tim Lincecum is gracing the cover of the week's SI. (The article is kind of lame, bad use of nicknames but good quotes though.) Jinx?? You say?? No fricking way. Tim ripped off WIN #10 in much the same way as he has many times this season. Consistency is still the key. Another quality start, 6 IP 3ER, no homers given up (although 3 well struck doubles), 8 K and only one walk. Not Tim's best, but nothing close to a jinx. Will he start the All-Star game? If not our boy, then who? Webb? Hamels?

I still think that Omar must go or sit. He ended up with a couple hits but the first time with a runner in scoring position and the pitcher up next, he feebly tapped to first. Luckily for him, the pitcher was no ordinary human and Tim delivered the tying RBI. For a minute there, it sure felt like Lincecum was a much bigger offensive threat than Vizquel. Maybe I'm crazy, but in another couple weeks he won't be worth squat.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

8 2 0 0 3 10

As if in response to the plethora of wondering fans, Matt Cain laid to rest any notion that he may not be an "Ace." Worry no longer. Mr. Cain is the real deal. He can pitch with anybody in this league, including teammates Tim Lincecum and Jonathan Sanchez. And, oh by the way...He's the youngest of the those three!

It is hard not to be filled with schpilkas this smoky morn. Matt Cain threw, agrueably, the strongest start for a Giant this year. Athough missing a couple big bats, the Cubs are, what Stephen Colbert would call, a formidable opponent. Matt sliced through them, especially late in the game. His fastball, clocked at 97 mph, made Ryan Theriot look bad to end the seventh. The next two outs were also K's and the final out for Matt was the rather memorable, spectacular, but not graceful dive and throw by Castillo. (If you did not see it, go now.) Perhaps the most telling feature of how well Matt performed was his complete domination of Kosuke Fukudome. How do you say "hat trick" in Japanese?

Beyond the resurgence of Mr. Cain, the game also featured some more reasons to really like Fred Lewis. I'm talking serious man-love. Fred scored both runs, one of which was stealing home on the front end of a double steal. He had badly screwed this same play earlier this year (too lazy to look it up), but this time Fred executed perfectly. He continually shows improvement and that is EXCITING. ....The sobering thought is the only reason Fred is playing enough to develop before our eyes is because Roberts got hurt. Would our management have done it right on their own?

***If you like the lovely artwork above, then you will love this FanPost on the McCovey Chronicle from yesterday. (I guess photo credit goes to Natto.)