Sunday, August 31, 2008

5 8 5 5 5 3

Not his worse start of the year. That honor is reserved for his 4/18 effort in St. Louis (3-2/3 IP, 9 ER). He gave up 6 earned runs against the White Sox at home month later, but that was in 7 innings. He gave up a couple of bombs late in that one to blow what was a good start, but managed another ND despite the team losing 13-8. He's given up 5 ER on 3 other occasions (5/8 in Pittsburgh, 6/4 against the Mets, and 7/6 vs. LA), all losses.

MC had nothing today--he didn't bring the gas. He couldn't get the damn pitcher out to end the 5th inning! Wildness and lack of velocity were the culprits. Despite today being his 100th career appearance, his 100th start is not until next time. MC pitched 2 shutout innings of relief in 2006 (5/16 in Houston). JAMEY WRIGHT started that game for the Giants! I got this info via FAN GRAPHS, but I can't remember the circumstances of that game--why we had Cain in the 'pen, for example. I reckon he was struggling. He bounced back with a shutout in Oakland 5 days later. Let's hope we see some more of that.

The Kids So Far

Nobody wants to write about the high-scoring losses in Cincinnati, so I thought I'd compose some short reviews of some of our rookies.

Ivan Ochoa- On the bench since 8/26. Batting only .236 with no steals. Has shown a good knack for bunting. Doesn't look like a keeper at this point.

Emmanuel Burris- Batting .282 with 12 steals. Getting the bulk of the starts at SS now. One of many switch hitters the Giants have.

Travis Ishikawa- A tall lefty with a great name. Some power. Hitting only .237. No future with Giants probably considering the better prospects available to play first.

Ryan Rohlinger- Can't hit right-handed pitching- only .050.

Eugenio Velez- Hot recently with a double and a triple 2 days ago and a homer yesterday. Still a flawed player with potential for improvement. Is very fast.

Pablo Sandoval- Has been in the starting lineup every day of his ML career. A hitting machine from both sides of the plate. Plays 3 positions, apparently well. If he can handle 3rd base he will solve many of the Giants' long-term needs. Pitchers will learn that there's no reason to throw strikes to him, as he swings at everything close or even not so close. But he still puts the ball in play.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Exhausting Tim

Last night, after an exciting 4-1 victory over the pesky rookies, I felt just like Austin Powers after a photo shoot...I was spent! Tim Lincecum was probably fresh as a daisy, even after a career high 132 pitches over 7.2 innings. Damn kids, don't know any better. Right from the start, I was having a bad feeling. When Tim gave up a couple hard hit balls and fell behind 1-0, I started sweating. Every inning that Livan mowed us down made my heart sink a little deeper. I found that it was ALL ABOUT Tim getting the win. I know that I'm always spouting that wins are not important, blah, blah... but last night that didn't enter my mind. My attitude was getting snarkier by the second ( my friends will verify that, sorry! ) until, of course, two pitches to Bengie and


( Unfortunately for my friends this happened in the car after I left. ) After Wilson finished up I thought I would post, but I was too tired and crashed. A great win, another great job by Lincecum ( 10 strikeouts for 210 on the season, lowered his ERA to major league leading 2.43 ) but this morning I am not basking in The Enchanter's glory.

Instead I am still wondering if we are doing the right thing with Tim. After 7 innings he had thrown 116 pitches, already above his average. Tim was due up and I'm sure most people thought he was done. Didn't somebody in the front office just mention the idea of shutting down Sanchez and Lincecum early? Obvious for Jonathan, but are they really going to "manage" Tim at all? Does the front office have a plan, or do they ride that exciting Lincecum train (like I did last night) for as long as possible? Is that extra inning that Bonehead likes to send Tim and Matt out to get really worth it? In a few years are we all going to wondering what could have been? I am a lunatic fringe fan, my emotions get the best of me (like last night). Are the people in charge of Tim's future any different than me?

Monday, August 25, 2008

6 6 3 3 4 4

Sometimes you have a bad game. It happens to the best of them. We go out and spend sixty million bucks on a guy who hits fifth, we hit him third, we get what we deserve. As Jon Miller succinctly put it after the 8th inning, "he's had 4 at-bats, seen 11 pitches, and made 5 outs."

Yes, it is the saga of Captain Gamer himself, Aaron "Gomer" Rowand. What a display he put on for us tonight! Wow. The leadership alone was legion. Never mind the ball-playing. And what is this with his throws? Does he always uncork those ugly-looking things or was that an aberration? Tell me it was an aberration. Lie. It's OK.

Despite the 5 hits by Winn and Lewis, we couldn't generate the runs we needed. Matt Cain was not sharp, he labored (27 batters, 112 pitches) for his "quality start," pitching just poorly enough to lose. But, ye gods, the man ought to win one of these creaky 6-and-3 efforts now and again, eh? If this were a Kirk Rueter start, we'd have won 7-4! Perhaps a little time in The Shed with Woody would help.

I don't like the way that sounds. Sorry Matt, skip the Shed. Forget I brought it up.

Just bring the gas next time.

Pabloooo-Mania 2

Two more hits and one more Giants win. I'm watching Sandoval and I'm thinking, "This man will never draw a walk," because he swings at everything, and also he's probably going to strike out a lot. So I checked his stats and he's walked once, but amazingly has only struck out twice. His OBP,.441, is barely higher than his AVG, .438.
What remains to be seen is how much power he can eventually conjure. You look at those massive thighs and buns and you know he's as strong as an ox, but he's not even trying to hit anything but singles. I'm not complaining, just wondering "What's next?"

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I just love this guy. I was hoping for a power hitter,
but he resembles Tony Gwynn more- a pudge who slaps
the ball to the opposite field a lot.
Let's all hope he stays good for a long time.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Veep Tim?

Wow, I am really groggy. I'm back to work, but that didn't stop me and the missus from going out for a little Friday night boogie time. Yes, I missed the game...didn't even check the score before crashing at about 1 am. Sue me. But, here's where it get's odd....I swear that my cell phone went off in the middle of the frigging night, jarring me awake. Here is what I saw:

I have some important news that I want to make official.

I've chosen Tim Lincecum to be my running mate.

Tim and I will appear for the first time as running mates this afternoon in Springfield, Illinois -- the same place this campaign began more than 19 months ago. I'm excited about hitting the campaign trail with Tim (and his father), but the three of us can't do this alone. We need your help to keep building this movement for change.

Please let Tim know that you're glad he's part of our team. Share your personal welcome note and we'll make sure he gets it:

Thanks for your support,

What a blockbuster! Makes sense, especially considering Tim's continuing ridiculous dominance of the pudres ( lowered his ERA to 0.79 in five starts this season,) hell, the entire league (14-3, ERA of 2.48). Last night's example featured 8 innings of 4 hit mastery, ZERO RUNS, and 8 strikeouts. Clearly a strong leader. Of course, the milestone of 200 STRIKEOUTS helps put Tim's name on America's lips. I think this is going to work. Lord knows that a magnificent talent like Tim only comes along every generation or so. For Giants fans, Mr. Lincecum truly represents

Change We Can Believe In.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Giants Find Ways to Win

The Giants' star closer Brian Wilson got his second win in 2 days as the team scratched out a come-from-behind win today at PhoneCo Park. With the score tied, Emmanuel Burriss completed his round trip of the bases in the bottom of the 9th without benefit of a hit when the Marlins' Kevin Gregg threw a wild pitch with the rookie infielder at third. He got there by virtue of a walk, a steal, and a fly ball.
Interim starter Matt Palmer made quantum-leap progress over his miserable 1st start by throwing 6 solid innings and giving up only 2 earned runs.
Incredibly, the lowly Giants have the best record in the NL in one-run games, at 24-12. (I think that's what they said. I need a fact checker.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

7.2 5 2 2 4 4

This was an evening touched by the Fates. I violated a cardinal rule: I spoke of a streak while we were in the midst of that streak. The result? Well, predictable indeed. Said streak was kaput. It was the Fata Mattcainia, that "fog of war" that descends upon our youngster's games. He has the third-lowest career (50 starts) batting average against in the NL (.225) and the third-lowest run support average (3.91). He is known around here as "Mr. No-Decision," and is famed in song and saga for his rotten luck. This season, the team has scored only 69 runs in his 27 starts! You do the math. He has a lifetime 30-38 record. So in the 4th inning I was casually remarking, mind you, casually, to mi amigo JC, that Matt Cain had a 13-game homerless streak going on. Sure, and don't you know, Jeremy Fookin' Hermedia hits a pop fly to the only place in the park where a pop fly is a homer, and the FloMars are up 2-1. This is followed two innings later by an out-of-character offensive outburst that put us up 5-2. Bonehead naturally felt that after 112 pitches--7 WINNING innings--and 29 batters that MC should pitch ANOTHER inning. He gave up two ropes that were--luckily--outs. Then, still throwing 95 mph, he walked Dan Uggla. Bonehead had seen enough. Ya think? Does anyone else read Pitcher Abuse Point charts? That's rhetorical, of course. I know you do. Someday, we hope and pray, so will Bonehead. Alas, the Fata Mattcainia appeared to have let us be. We cruised into the 9th with a three-run lead, full of confidence. I had visions of .500 for MC (not since he was 1-1 on April 22, 2007, had he reached such seasonal heights).

It was bound to happen. Wilson had a save streak of 24, tied with Beck and Nen for 3rd all-time in SF history. I opened my mouth earlier, and got slapped down hard, a streak in tatters. I kept my mouth shut in the 9th, but my earlier transgression, apparently, was still in play. I got beaten down again, this time with a 3-run opposite-field bomb by an ex-Golden Bear with 97 MLB ABs who was born the year I graduated from that venerable university.

We won, though. That's good. The Fates cursed Matt Cain again, but somehow the team escaped their wrath. I know, I should be happy that he pitched well and that he has pitched consistently well since the Break. But I'm greedy and selfish and I want W's on his ledger, damnit. Is that so much to ask?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Number 3 starter

Just when it seemed like Barry Zito was going to have trouble being the fifth-best pitcher on our squad, he tosses 7 shutout innings in Atlanta. Who is this guy? What do we make of the enigma that is The Second Highest Paid Pitcher in Baseball? Check out the snarky take from RotoWorld--he's due for a fall if recent pattern is a useful predictor. They say it is "almost a guarantee" he'll get hammered in his next start. Is it just random variation that produces these strong Zito efforts? Is he really a 5.40 ERA guy? He was a league-average 4.50 last year, and his lifetime mark is 3.80. I think I'll go beat my head against the wall and see if any insights emerge. I imagine that is just as useful at this point as pitch f/x analysis. Whatever he is, he's our #3 right now, and I have a feeling he'll be our #3 for five more years.

And, just because it feels so good:


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Historic Tim

I make no claim to objectivity when it comes to Tim Lincecum. However, each time he takes the mound, I admit that part of me gets ready for the inevitable letdown. (I do this to prepare myself...after all he is a Giants pitcher and I am under 50 (barely!) so I really don't know what a superstar pitcher looks or behaves like.) I figure it to be a short, uncharacteristic outing...probably features poor control and a long ball to a formidable opponent. I have "pre-written" this post several times ("Human Tim") and it always surprises me how close to the surface it is.

Then Tim takes the mound and about two hours later, I have to come up with another positive title! Damn, this is a great problem to have. Today's performance featured 7.2 innings of three hit ball. He should have got away without an earned run but Taschner let one in. Ten strikeouts to regain the MLB lead. I find Tim's individual (and relatively unimportant) statistics exciting in a totally petty way. (I'm OK with that.) With every outing it becomes clear that Lincecum is not just having a great season, he is having an historically great season and early career. Try these facts out:

  1. 13-3 is the second best start in SF history (5 occurences). Only a couple hacks named Perry and Marichal were better at 14-2. I venture to guess they had better teams playing behind them, ya think?
  2. With his sixth double digit strikeout game this year (8 in his career), he ties Marichal (1966) for number 4 on this all time list. Only Schmidt (9 in 2004), Sadecki (8 in 1968), and Montefusco (7 in 1975) are above him. With at least five or so starts left, Tim has a good shot at taking over the lead of that list.
  3. The Enchanter has limited opponents to 3 or fewer runs in 40 of his 49 career starts, including 21 of 25 this year. The Giants are 26-14 in those forty games. Tim is 17-0 (29 starts) when the Giants score at least three runs for him.

It really is an honor to see this happening before our adoring eyes. I want to grow old(er) watching Mr. Lincecum fashion his own path to glory. It is off to a great start.

(Latest paranoia: Tim and Daddy are planning on jumping ship ASAP, probably get the biggest contract ever from the YankSox, which is why there is no new contract. Please tell me I'm wrong.....)

Sanchez on 15 Day DL

Is something truly wrong with our promising young lefty starter, or is the team using some ordinary soreness as an excuse to "shut him down" for the season? Inquiring minds want to know.
One thing is for certain, Matt Palmer is a long way from being a good ML pitcher. What a crappy debut! He couldn't retire the last 7 batters he faced.
Oh well, there's nowhere to go for him but to get better. Couldn't possibly get worse.
Sandoval got 3 hits, but with the bases loaded in the 9th he swung at the first pitch and hit into an easy DP to end the game. A little disappointing, but the game was a lost cause anyway.
So clearly Pablo is our 1st baseman of the future, what with Buster being the catcher o.t.f. The next question is, when will Angel, our 3rd baseman o.t.f. be ready to jump to the bigs?

Friday, August 15, 2008

7 6 1 1 1 5

A very interesting performance by Young Mr. Cain. After a leadoff walk, he threw a ton of pitches in the first three innings. It did not look good. Then his "veteran savvy clutchness" took over and he "settled down" to get some big ground ball DPs and strikeouts. Even the Braves run in the 6th was a studly bit of hitting by Chipper on a nice, low, out-of-the-zone changeup. Most guys make an out there. In baseball, it is all about results. We know MC can pitch. We know he pitched well last year. But the results, the W's, just didn't come for our boy. This season he did not perform well before the All-Star break. But since then he has been a stud, performing at "ace" level. It is no shame, certainly, to be number two to a guy they call The Franchise. Certainly a lot of teams would love to have MC anchoring their staff. I'm thrilled that Matt is finally showing what we've been expecting of him. 20-2/3 IP in his last three starts and only 6 ER. That's some big league pitching! And a WIN. A real, live WIN. Keep it up, big fella.

And I love Fred Lewis. Doesn't everybody?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Screw the ballgames, this is news


As Lefty points out, this guy Baggarly is on top of things. Let's hope we get confirmation from the Giants soon.

F-Lew with another studly jack--when he hits 'em, they really go. That ball was launched!

UPDATE 11:30 am RE POSEY: Again, Andrew Baggarly's blog (Extra Baggs) is the source. READ THIS.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Injured Tim !?!

That is a title that I was not supposed to use.

At exactly 6:36 pm, many of us felt a shooting pain in our right leg. Douchebag Brad Aumus lined a 3-1 pitch off of The Enchanter. The ball deflected over for an out, but Tim's night was done. Four and a third innings, 76 pitches, 1 hit, 1 earned run, 7 strikeouts...shit, it was going to be yet another fine outing. I did not see it, but the description of Lincecum limping off on his own power was disturbing enough. We can all take solace in the fact that it is not Tim's arm....that's a big key. Hopefully, it will be a big bruise, maybe a missed turn, and then all will again be Timiliscious.

(Also, it makes me oh so very nervous every minute we are closer to the signing deadline...I was scared of Posey's demands from the start so I'm in a bit of a panic now. Of course that panic is so old news now, I can't hardly believe it...)

Sanchez start = Giants loss

Cain can't beat the Doggers; Sanchez can't beat anybody. Seven straight starts have resulted in team losses. He wasn't bad last night, but once again the Gs offense came up short.
Sanchez's collapse can be traced directly to the day some moronic blogger declared him to be an Ace, worthy to stand with Lincecum as an equal, better than Cain. That blogger should be horsewhipped. Didn't he realize words have consequences?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

7 6 4 4 4 4

126 pitches! 33 batters faced! Only 5 groundouts.
Four bloody fookin' walks.

I'm happy for Matt Cain. His coaches have a lot of confidence in him. They know he's big and strong and healthy as a horse. MC gets the ball every 5th day and throws it until he's all tuckered out. I imagine if I were a big-league pitcher, I'd want to be out there every inning I could. Seems like it would be more fun that way. Win, lose, pitch poorly, pitch well, it is better to be pitching than not, I reckon. So, I figure Young Mr. Cain is a happy fellow.

The Giants have no hitting. Thus, they have no pinch-hitting. So, sending your pitcher up to lead off an inning is probably equal to sending up Jose Castillo or Eugenio Velez. (Fred was on the bench.) So MC goes 6 IP--very stressful IP, I might add--and 100 pitches and we are winning at home. So, we love our young "gamer" and want to "toughen him up" for life in the NL so we send him out to go through the meat of their lineup for the 4th time.

And it almost worked. Manny Ramirez is one of the best hitters in the game. Giving up the big hit to him has happened to a generation of pitchers. I'm not sure we had anyone in the 'pen that would match up better in that situation, even taking into consideration the high pitch count. But a double and a walk with one out showed us MC didn't have much left. It was a high-wire act at that point. It almost worked. Kent gagged, hacking at the 1st pitch. Like I said it almost worked. If we were actually a good team, we would have had a hot, tough, fresh right-hander to go after Ramirez. But we have Yabu. And a bunch of lefties. So, I can see why you'd stick with your stud.

I know I've hollered a lot at Bochy for pushing extra innings with Cain and Lincecum when they've hit 100 pitches, but I don't have a particular issue with that. Sometimes you have to ask your guy to do more, to push the envelope. Dodger game at home, they're fighting for 1st place, OK, I say, go for it. Attack with your best guy. The problem is that Bonehead has been overworking our boy when he should have been saving him. He's had lots of easy decisions. Today's was tougher. Ultimately, Matt Cain is going to have to get guys out with fewer pitches. That way when he's in the 7th against a tough lineup he's got a little more in the tank.

We only score 3.8 runs per game. We need help to beat people. The smog-sucking chokers handed us the tying run here in the 9th. Beautiful. I'm happy--Matt's off the hook for the loss. You have to love our game-winning plan: pinch-hit Omar for a youngster with a least a chance to get an RBI, and then follow him up with Mr. OBP Jose Castillo. Good thing Burriss is fast. And here I am talking smack about Eugenio, and he gets the game-winner!


Cain Versus Destiny

I write this just before first pitch.
Today's game is huge for our #1 bhoyo.
He has never beaten the Doggers.
This has been a homestand of destiny, maybe a turning point. It has been a week full of omens, from the wonderful Timmy game Wednesday afternoon, to the fascinating contest yesterday.
Did Sadler go too far?
Is Kent a major asshole?
Is Roberts a winner?
The big event was the appearance of BLB at the outfielders gala. "I'm not retired," he reminded the world.

Game's on. Rowand made a great catch to maybe save a run.
OMG he struck out Kent and beaned Manny. But got out of it.

The "Bleeding Eyes Photo Exhibit" continues...

Back by Popular Demand!!! The third installment of digital shenanigans by yours truly. This one DOES NOT contain a single shot of Tim Lincecum ( "Since 1956, Tim Lincecum is having the best season of any young Giants pitcher, ever. - a quote from a must read BCB entry about Tim ).

First Row: Classic (corny) shot from Land's End: My sweetie (no, not the squirrel) under Sather Gate (Go Bears!)

Second Row: Zo and Akemi enjoy a cool display in the dugout store; 7th inning stretch view

Third Row: Nice pieces of stone...where does BLB's go?

Look for the next installment soon, back to Tim and the boys!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Beat LA!

'Bout fookin' time!!!!!

Frikkin' Doggers, Frikkin' Zito

I guess Zito forgot to be aggressive again. Or he forgot to focus on what he does and not the result. Or something. Whatever.
It SUCKS to lose to LA! Why do they always beat us at PhoneCo?
At least Manny Dreadlocks went 0 for 5. Small consolation.
Again it was frikkin Kent who hurt us.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Family Slide Show Time!

Most families have that one annoying member that always has a camera. Everything is documented, especially if any exotic locations and/or human larvae (what I call infants) are involved. Not only is there the constant posing and worrying about being "caught"with your finger up your nose, but then later you have to sit through all the damn pictures. In my youth, this meant a real projected slide show (yes, kids, they used to make actual things called slides...they are square and...hell, go look it up!). Nothing is quite as painful as a few hours of random visuals of someone else's adventure in a place you would never want to visit (I, of course, am NOT talking about ANYONE in my family!).

So, think of me as your annoying Aunt Flo, check that, think of me as your annoying Uncle Mo. The one with too many pictures. Except the exotic location is Mays Field; the larvae are our young beloved Giants; and you can view these photos on your nice computer monitor instead of a sheet pinned to the wall. Enjoy...and have something to eat, you look thin.

TODAY'S SUBJECT: more Tim! And if I don't get nice comments I will continue with more Tim photos until your eyes bleed!

(Even I realize that including a picture of Tim at bat is pretty silly, but hey! at least he fouled it off!!) I've got a lot more to come!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Photogenic Tim

Armed with my new telephoto lens, some nice tickets and a raging case of man-love for Tim Lincecum, this intrepid correspondent ventured into the lovely confines of Mays Field. It had been over a year for me, but it felt like much longer...interesting. After a warm up game on Tuesday evening ( a lackluster Sanchez loss noteworthy due to a Lewis HR ) I was ready to be "enchanted."

I was not disappointed. Tim was Tim. Maybe not "superhero, double digit K" Tim, but it still felt like vintage stuff. Eight innings, 5 hits (the big one was a double that Winn failed to break back quickly enough as the wind caught it, I bet Randy thinks he should have got it), 2 runs, 4 walks and 8 strikeouts (for a league leading 175!). One hundred and 17 pitches to get 24 outs, which were almost perfectly distributed between strikeouts, ground outs, and fly outs. It is absolutely thrilling to watch this young talent establish himself so convincingly, so thoroughly. His remarkable consistency is quickly becoming his trademark attribute, his signature, if you will. My favorite part of Tim's "routine" is striking out the side in his last inning, which is almost always the seventh or eighth. If you read this blog, you know that I have been pointing this out for awhile. I, of course, proudly told most of my section (LB 121) what was about to happen and Tim produced as advertised. Damn, that was cool. Taxes, Death and Tim.

The other truly great part of this road trip was being able to get a photographic record of it. I hope to get many photos online soon of the high points (Berkeley, my visit to Zo and Akemi's quintessential San Francisco home, the ballpark, etc) but for now lets start with Tim (big surprise). It is a little embarrassing just how many pictures I took of the our boy wonder. (Come over sometime and I'll show you my "Tim's Stretching Routine" slide show, only takes a few minutes longer than it takes Tim to actually do it.) So, here are just a hand full of the best ones...INCLUDING IRREFUTABLE EVIDENCE OF A BLOWN CALL:

First Row: The Park; the History; the Future

Second Row: Lewis doubles; Fred out at the plate, poor judgement by Flannery;

Third Row: This bad call cost us a run!; Bonehead loves Tim (only because he loves his job)

This is just a small sample of the Tim Love Fest. Hope you enjoyed viewing as much as I enjoyed doing. Look for much more in the next day or two.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Teaser Post

Just a couple
until I leave
to go see TIM!!!!
I will post all the lovely details of my fabulous road trip to the ballpark and beyond as soon as possible. Yesterday was not so swell but I had a great time none the less. My new telephoto lens kicks ASS and it should be even better today. Here is a small sample:

LEFT PHOTO: Pardon the blur but that is the actual homerun swing by Fred Lewis that broke our long drought. Taken from the upper deck.

RIGHT PHOTO: A beautiful piece of rainbow made a brief appearance, just like our offense.

Monday, August 4, 2008

6.2 5 1 1 5 6

30 batters faced, 108 pitches. It was the walks that did him in. I thought he'd finish the 7th, but he seemed to "lose it" and could not get the 3rd out. Special Agent Jack came through big time to get McCann. MC walked the first batter of the game! Otherwise, he handled the Braves with veteran skill, getting 10 outs on 9 ground balls (one was a DP). I like to see them hit it on the ground. I think that will be the key to MC's long-term ML success.

According to the Gameday pitch-by-pitch, Matt used a little of everything to induce grounders:

Fastball (Escobar) 1st, DP
Slider (Francouer), 2nd
Curveball (pitcher), 2nd
Fastball (Escobar), 3rd
Changeup (Kotsay), 4th
Changeup (Johnson), 4th
Slider (Escobar!), 5th
Changeup (Kotsay), 6th
Curveball (McCann), 6th

Note the lack of a groundball out in the 7th, the inning Cain was unable to finish. I wonder if he was tiring and could not keep the ball down. The Braves did not have Chipper, which certainly helped. But holding them to two runs was damn impressive nonetheless. It is certainly long overdue that the team stepped up to win one for The Big Fella.

7-9, 3.60

Salute to Old Pitchers Week

It seems no one is eager to proclaim about the Correia loss, so I'll chime in with a couple of random thoughts:
On 2 consecutive Sundays the Gs have been humbled by geezer pitchers, both well past their awesome primes, R. Johnson and G. Maddux. We made them look like HOFers for sure.
But we do that for a lot of pitchers. Who was that nobody who had a CG on us the other day? Who cares?
I suppose something must be said about the new long-haired Dogger. How about this? Fuck him.
I suppose the Snakes now have to try harder. It looks like they're doing just that, so the NL West may emerge in the end with a tad more respectabilty. Again, who cares?
I hope the Cubs win the whole thing, then the Indians get to end their jinx, and then it's our turn.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Zito Has Fun Again

Zito said, "It was fun to pitch here because it was a reminder of good times. For me it's a matter of focusing on what I do, not the results. It was like pitching in Little League again when you don't have to worry about contracts and things."
This is essentially a confession that his ludicrous contract has had him psyched. So he "transcended" this for one game; there's no telling if he'll revert to form in his next start. With him, 55% of baseball is 95% mental.
The hitting stars of last night's game were Lewis, Bowker and Burriss, with 2 hits each. Hooray for the kids.

Manny B

Blogfellow DGF is rightly excited about a strong Zito performance last night (vs. Peavy!). I like the innings blow-by-blow account. My skeptical side says "even Brett Tomko won a game now and then." The league was hitting .299 vs. our Billion Dollar Boy, good thing he was working the Offensive Dead Zone that is San Diego. (Can we still hope/imagine/pray for a Return of Mr. QS? Why not just let him wear retro 2002 A's jerseys? Would that help?) The Padres have only one hitter (hello, Special Agent Jack, can you name him?), which is one more than us. But we have YOUTH! And MOXIE! And who better to take over the Youthful Moxie Award from FreddieLoo but our very own Emmanuel Burriss!

Yes, Manny was the Human Highlight Film last night, despite another great game by Freddie. Ho-hum, Fred. You have to like this kid--DC boy, after all. And a Kent State Golden Flash as well (q.v. my 3 June post). He just turned 23, and has only 204 games in the minors, doing his best work .324/.374/.381 at Class A last year. If that .381 SLG scares you, that's good. Mr. B hit ONE homer in the minors and only 25 doubles (922 PA). Don't ask about his career OPS, OK?

So . . . where does that leave us? If Burriss expects to make it in the bigs he'll have to learn to get on base. He'll have to become a patient, selective, all-fields hitter. We know he has speed, but he'll have to show range and good glove work to stick as a middle infielder. I'm glad he's getting a look, and I really really really want to see him do well. Maybe he can conjure up the ghost of his fine senior year (.923 OPS) in 2006.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Tim ex Machina

Unlike young Mr. Cain, Tim Lincecum shows no weakness in the area of consistency. This dude is a fookin' machine! (and I mean that in a good way, more on that later...) Another quality start, another game with double digit strikeouts, and, yes, another no decision. There was the second inning, 35 pitches, 2 walks, in which The Enchanter looked a little disheveled. I was having a hard time figuring out the ump's strike zone and apparently so was Tim. He was getting squeezed and many low strikes were ignored. But that lapse was just about Tim's only digression into humanity. I liked how Tim adjusted later on and used the high strike zone to his advantage. Once again (yet another consistent trait!), Tim muscles up in his last inning and gets a couple K's. I'm too lazy to look it up but I bet he has finished with between 110 and 120 pitches in almost every start!! Maybe that is embedded in his programming...

Now for the off topic but somewhat related obvious attempt to stimulate conversation so I don't get zero hecklers like MOC just did (kind of):

Has there every been a player that was "too good" for you to really like?
Some guy that was so seemingly perfect that you can no longer relate to them as a human being? A player whose steady good performance satisfies but no longer thrills?

Check out the cool photo link!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Matt's Month

Take a look at MC's game log for July. Quite an impressive line:

6 starts, 43 IP, 32 hits, only 9 ER, 14 BB and 41 K.

I like the 1.88 ERA and the 48-49 split in outs between GB and FB. The 2-3 record is a shame, MC pitched very well--he had only one bad start in the bunch. As Martin points out on OGC today, MC's last two starts "made history." Matt walked ZERO guys! We've been saying all along that Cain had two things to work on, consistency and control. This July we've seen the pitcher we all want him to be.

The Giants are on the cusp of the 2/3 mark in the season (this is game 108 tonight). I figure MC, if he pitches Monday, will get 11 more starts. Let's hope they are more like the last 6 than the first 17.

Young Mr. Lincecum's ERA is at its highest point this season while Young Mr. Cain's has reached its lowest. (Tim's is a full run lower than Matt's.) I feel like a troglodyte talking about ERA in the Sabermetric Era, but a start in San Diego ought to be just the thing to begin a downward trend, don't you think? This series is shaping up to be a Tidy Bowl of Excitement: SFG's have a .692 OPS and 419 RS, SDP's have a .701 OPS and 414 RS. San Diego has achieved the vaunted sub-.400 win percentage that is just eluding us, that ought to give us some motivation.