Monday, August 31, 2009

In for a Penny . . .

in for a Ponson?


Sorry, had to make one of those penny-dreadful jokes.

It's official.

Hat tip to the Mystic One for the heads up this morning.

Speak, O My Brothers: will 6 starts from the new no. 5 be the difference-maker?

(I told myself I wouldn't hold his time in the LAtrine against him--I'm all about rehabilitation, man.)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wow . . . WoW . . . WOW!!!

The hobbling, pinch-hit bomb by Bengie "SeƱor Slow" Molina on Wednesday night was the biggest play of the year until today, when Edgar "The Rental" Renteria KO'd the Crockies with a GRAND SLAM in the bottom of the 7th off Rafael Betancourt. It had all the earmarks of another agonizing loss, what with Matt Cain's lackluster line (6 8 4 4 2 8) and sub-par start (Game Score 46). The offense looked as typically clueless and inept as they have all year, continually crushing our dreams with flailing, undisciplined at-bats. Somehow, against all odds, the Giants in the 7th produced an inning of championship caliber: working counts, putting guys on base, forcing a bullpen move, and getting the big hit. It was as if all the things I've wailed, lamented, and gnashed my teeth about all season long were suspended for one delirious moment in time! Including the 8th, SEVEN RUNS got tacked on the team total by a spectacular display of grit, fortitude, patience, veteran savvy clutchness, and gnarly motherfucking orneriness.

And magic. Plain, simple baseball magic. How else do you explain team talisman Pablo Sandoval going 0-4 with 2 strikeouts and yet the rest of the squad putting up NINE RUNS? What a game! What a series! What a season!

Notable noteworthy notes:

**JUAN URIBE continues to deliver. This guy, despite a .308 OBA, slugs .450 and makes the plays. Who needs Freddy Sanchez?

**MISSISSIPPI FRED LEWIS contributed positively to the two big rallies in his usual, low-key, un-dramatic way. This guy may have played his way into a 4th-OF role, but he remains a useful asset, especially since we lost Andres Torres to injury.

**RYAN ROHLINGER got his chance and delivered in front of 42,000 folks. Rock on, kid, and welcome to The Show.

**JEREMY "Lights-Out" AFFELDT flashed some more of that early-season form, he will be increasingly important in the September madness to come. Like Uribe, a good move this spring by Brian Sabean.

**EIGHT RUNS by the Crockies in the series--that's impressive. I just can't get used to a Giants team that relies on pitching. Not that I'm complaining, it is just so foreign. The Giants have always been a slugging team, and I have to adapt. Looking back on our years of bridesmaid roles and not-quite championships, we never had enough pitching with those teams. Never. Ever. Intuitively, I knew that, even then. No more. This team has pitching--killer, in-your-face, shut-you-down pitching. Even when we get a mediocre start we don't give it up, it's a battle. I should also note Barry "Da Beezy" Zito's matching of Tim's eight shutout innings against the .783 OPS lineup (2nd in the league). That kind of start is what we paid a gazillion dollars for--let's see some more of it.

An incredible win in an incredible series. I hadn't thought it possible. On Tuesday I said the Crockies were better than us. And they were. In their yard. But in our yard, we were better. I absolutely love home-field advantage--all those years of watching the Giants lose in Candlestick makes every home win that much more special.

p.s. Dave Flemming said that Buster Posey, not on the 40-man roster, was unlikley to be called up in the roster expansion. Nuts to that I say, we need a 3rd catcher and we need to see our Six Million Dollar Man in action!

Dateline April 1, 2025

"Twelve-Game-Winner" Cain Calls It Quits
Matt Cain announced his retirement today after a long and ultimately frustrating career.
Initially considered an outstanding prospect with unlimited potential, he acquired the unfortunate nickname "Twelve-Game-Winner" after the 2010 season when he won 12 games for the second year in a row for the San Francisco Giants.
He got off to a great start the year before and was believed to have finally begun to acheive his potential. He had 12 wins by the All Star break, and was named a member of that year's All Star team, although he was unable play due to a minor injury.
Amazingly he never won another game that year, even though he usually pitched quite well.
The next year he won his 12th game of the year in his last start, finishing with a record of 12-23. From then on the nickname would be his forever.
He spent the last 13 years of his career as a middle reliever for 8 different teams.

Grizzlies At Raley Field

First of all, Buster Posey did not play, so that was disappointing.
Second of all, Kevin Pucetas was awful. He didn't get out of the second inning. The score was 9-2 when he was pulled out and the game was already over.
Third, there was a celebration of the '89 World Series, from an A's point of view, and that did NOT put me in a good mood. Dave Stewart, Dave "Hindoo" Henderson and Tony Phillips were there. Oooh baby.
On the other hand, it was a gorgeous hot summer night and we had good seats. The Griz scored first. With two outs in the top of the first Frandsen got a single, Guzman walked, a wild pitch moved them over, then Downs drove 2 runs in with a single. However Downs rounded first for some reason and got into a rundown for out number three.
Pucetas gave up 2 runs in the bottom of the frame. So we knew officially we would not have a pitchers duel.
Pucetos gave up 7 runs in the second. I stopped taking notes. He was replaced by Osiris Matos. He and the rest of the bullpen did okay, because the River Cats never scored again the rest of the night. They didn't need to.
The Griz actually ended up out-hitting the River Cats, 13-12. Kevin Frandsen went 4 for 5.
Final score 9-5.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

"Lucky" Tim

Triskaidekaphobia has been cured!!!

In a game that smacked of postseason tension, Tim Lincecum tamed the wild card leading Crockies. Even without being razor sharp, Tim ground out 8 scoreless innings and gave up a paltry 4 hits (1 double). His EIGHT STRIKEOUTS more than made up for the three walks and one wild pitch. I believe they only had three runners in scoring position all night (we, of course, went 2 for gazillion). The biggest moment came with the first batter of the sixth inning, Seth Smith. This was the guy that beat Tim with a HR last time around. I hate this guy. After TWELVE pitches, it was clear that Smith could get a piece of anything Tim could toss up there. Most of us know that these extended at bats usually favor the hitter. Well, that rule doesn't apply to future Hall of Famers. On the THIRTEENTH pitch, Smith looked at a perfect strike on the corner. A few outs later, the Giants have gained a game on both Colorado and lalaland AND ITS FEELING LIKE A RACE AGAIN.

Unlike my esteemed colleague MOC, I actually do think this team can do it. I am just as shocked that we are even in it but where I differ is that I do think an ALL PITCHING team might be able to do it. Its all a matter of timing (and luck??). We have our ups and downs, nothing very dramatic; good pitching doesn't allow long losing streaks...a great May, everything else OK. I feel like we are poised to have another great month...and by great I mean superbly pitched. After all, you will almost always win when you throw a shutout!

Once Beezy and Matt are done working this weekend, I think you will all be believers. I bet we only need about 5 runs to win the next two games...any takers?

One other thing...there is no such thing as luck to Tim Lincecum.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Behind the woodshed

We got taken out behind the woodshed last night for an ol' fashioned whuppin'. You have to love the website, calling it a "tough" loss. Sorry, but Monday's game was a tough loss. This one was over in the 2nd inning. The harsh glare of last night's ugliness shined on some uncomfortable numbers for me this lovely morning: we've played 40 games since the Break and we are 20-20. We were playing .557 ball then at 49-39, and we were 7 games behind 1st place and atop the WC by 2 games. Now we are 69-59 (.539) and 7 games back of first, but 3 games behind the WC. The Crockies managed to insert themselves between us and the LAtriners, taking advantage their lackluster play since the Break. The Smoggers regrouped in time to take 2 of 3 in Denver to keep some distance, but their once sure-thing lead has become precarious. We have 34 games left, 19 at home, including 6 against Colorado with the first 3-game set starting tonight. It doesn't take a genius to see that we have to put together a winnning run if we expect to be in the playoffs. I remember--mere months ago--laughing out loud at the notion of the 2009 Giants being a playoff team. And, unfortunately, our recent play has prompted a renewed skepticism about our chances. This team just does not hit well enough. With 514 runs scored we are keeping company with also-rans like Pittsburgh (513), Cincinnati (500), and San Diego (494). Our very impressive 488 runs allowed is actually second to LA's 486, but they complement that with 616 runs scored.

So--has the magic finally worn off? Is the luck we've enjoyed this season about to run out? Will the dog-eat-dog pennant-race climate of the season's dog days finally expose us as pretenders? Or do will still have that bottomless reservoir of pluck, grit, gamerosity, and clutchness? That full tank of intangibles? I'll tell you one thing, Tim Lincecum is the best pitcher in the universe, and if ever we needed him to remind the world of that, it is tonight.

Keep us in the race, bhoyo, and maybe the lads'll get some hits for ye.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Musclin' up

Bengie Molina's go-ahead pinch-hit three-run homer with two outs in 8th might have been the biggest, most dramatic moment of the season. Figures it would come from the guy the organization has asked to shoulder the unofficial captaincy of the squad--the Money Man, the very personification of Veteran Savvy Clutchness and Gamerissitude--and it is particularly revealing that he was hitting for a young, healthy Ryan Garko in that spot. Ol' Boch may have cemented his rep as a gutsy, intuitive play-caller with that move, sending up the hobbling fan favorite and sitting the young buck who was supposedly brought in to give our offense a little pop. It was destined to be another frustrating loss with four freakin' hits backing up another strong start. I don't know about you, but I'm certainly glad we stuck with Jonathan Sanchez. He is showing us a lot here in the stretch run, last night he had NINE strikeouts in his 7 IP, and was in control most of the night. I'm amazed that we won with the long ball. (Juan Uribe continues to help the club--what a bargain!) Two homers accounted for all the runs, this from a team that is 29th out of 30 in the ML in that department. We picked a good time to muscle up.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


7 4 2 1 4 4
Game Score 63

There was a moment or two in the 9th last night when it seemed ready to unravel and all I could think about was that this game would be the worse loss of the year. But Sergio Romo stepped up to save the situation and we came away with a crucial win. I don't fault Wilson for breaking down, he's pitched damn well for us all season including that impressive long stint on Sunday. Matt Cain--Mr. Consistent--gave us another strong start but once again failed to get his 13th victory. He and Haren gave us quite the crisp and impressive duel, and only by the barest shades of luck and pluck did we knot it up. Cain survived a scare in the 6th from an ill-timed two-out walk, getting an out at the plate on a nice Lewis throw, Renteria relay, and Whiteside tag. Haren then got in trouble in the 7th with Ishi-bomb number one and an error, and, miraculously, uncorked the wild pitch that saved our butts. Regular readers know how much I love a good dose of Weaver Ball, and Ishi-bomb number two was a tonic for this offense-starved fan. And, whaddya know, it proved to be the margin of victory! All hail the three-run homer!!! (Now if we could just get a couple of fellas who could do that regularly we would have quite the ballclub.) I like the Crockies beating the LAtriners. Here's a scenario I can root for: the Smoggers take a nose dive and have to fight it out with us for the Wild Card!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Thirty-two walks issued by Giants pitchers in the series, although only the three in the 14th with a 3-run lead last night really mattered. Merkin Valdez had a series to forget--2/3 IP, 5 ER, walk-off slam--but he had company, Justin Miller's line was 7 ER and 2 losses in 2/3 IP. Now we can see why those two guys are the last ones out of the 'pen. I didn't expect much from Miller this season, and until his awful August he was a decent pickup. Valdez, on the other hand, I had high hopes for, especially after his impressive May, but 24 ER and 24 BB in 42 IP will not get you steady work in the bigs. I should be fairly sanguine after a 5-6 trip, but blowing two leads in Denver (and losing with Tim on the mound--even he had five walks) leaves me quite unsatisfied. We were very close to a split and very close to taking 3 of 4 from our main adversaries but could not pull it off. The white-hot Crockies are playing great baseball, and they took it to us. Sometimes you just have to accept that the other team is better.

It is a tall order for Matt Cain tonight at home--Dan Haren is one of the best (3.26 FIP, 7th in the NL; 4.6 WAR, 4th in the league). The Giants need a win and they need the bats to deliver some clutch hits. Bochy is saying all the right things, but a change in the team's fortunes will take more than talk.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Unsupported Tim

No, he does not need a jock strap. He needs an offense.

Tim Lincecum lost his fourth game of the season, 4-2 in Colorado. He gave up THREE HITS and none of those until the sixth. However, after seven innings, he had given up 3 runs ( a 2 run HR), 5 walks, 1 WP, 1 HBP and 8 strikeouts. Sounds effectively wild to me but all it really was was enough to lose. (Cool, a double "was"...)

What a glorious day it will be when our pitchers don't have to be frickin' perfect every time out. When that day will come, I wish I knew. I do think our offense is better than at the start of the season...but that is NOT SAYING MUCH. I'm not sure how much more of this I can take. Worst of all, I can feel my expectations of Buster growing with everyday...basically he better hit a HR off Nolan Ryan in his first game or I'll be bummed.

Oh well, good thing we have our "hottest" pitcher going tomorrow...jeez, I can't believe I said that.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

One 3-run HR beats four 2-run HRs

It's the mystical power of the Weaver Bomb that does it. Hit a 3-run HR, your odds of winning go off the chart. It almost doesn't matter what the other team does. That's as reasonable an explanation for tonight's game as any. Score 11 runs--with this offense--and lose. Of course, it wasn't like we threw our best arms at them, but fourteen runs? That 7-run 6th inning was a bad trip, and we just had to sit there and endure, there was no remedy for it.

We'll need Tim to be Tim tomorrow. Maybe Garko!Garko!Garko! can keep his power stroke going, too.

Giants Put Up Crooked Numbers

Three runs in the first and three runs in the fourth. Isn't it great when the Giants score more than one run at a time?
The crucial series in Denver got off to a great start with a 6-3 victory. Jonathan Sanchez was once again "good enough" and the offense provided some rare early support.
Apparently Rowand is on one of his occasional hot streaks. Let's hope it lasts a while.
Velez, on the other hand, has lost all the momentum he had when he came up from Fresno. Not only was he 0 for 4 at the plate, he made a lame play in left that allowed a run. Fred Lewis could have made that play. Anyone could have.
Sandoval is still our best hitter but is also still a work in progress. In one at bat I was begging him to take pitches, but no, he flailed away three times at three pitches for a fast out. I guess Pablo has to be Pablo.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cain's pain

8 8 1 1 1 3
Game Score 64

G-Style can bite you on the ass as well, eh? Damn Giants! That sweep was there for the taking and we came up short. Another fine start by Matt Cain in a season full of fine starts. Alas, number 13 is indeed unlucky. So we head to Colorado two games back of them, and only five behind LA. The Crockies, only three back--LA has the narrowest division lead in the league--have to feel good. The Giants are closer to first place than every other team in baseball except the Chicago White Sox (and the Crockies, of course) who are 2-1/2 behind Detroit in the AL Central! Texas is 5-1/2 back of Anaheim.

Let's get some hits and score some runs.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Tonight's win was the team's 16th shutout. That leads the majors. (Second place? The Reds, with 11.) G-Style is all about the latest thing: run prevention, baby. That's what we do, we pitch like hell and hope for the best! Olympic Nate served notice with another big hit, driving in a rejuvenated Rental, and the bullpen flashed its muscle with six strikeouts in three innings of work. You have to be encouraged by another good start from Zito. If this guy can be average or above-average the rest of the way that will help our chances quite a bit. Garko!Garko!Garko! got two more hits, as did Uribe, and to be fair, so did Cap'n Gomer. I like guys who get two-hits in a game, don't you? Let's see some more of that, eh? If we keep our .133 shutout average (ShO/GP) going, we should see 5.6 more (42 * .133)! I think that means one of them will be a rain-shortened game. (I know we already had one of those, but it wasn't a shutout.)

The Cain Train rolls tomorrow morning. GO GIANTS!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wild Tim

Why We Love Baseball # 271 :
Ya never know...

Just when you think you've got these guys figured out, the '09 Giants will mess with your mind. Tim pitched like crap AND WE STILL WON. We fell behind by 4 runs (twice) AND WE STILL WON. Pablo struck out three times (a first for him) AND WE STILL WON. These things are not suppose to happen. Especially...

Tim Lincecum delivered his weakest start of the year and (for the third time) failed to get his 13th victory. The numbers are rather harsh: 6 innings, 6 hits (including a solo HR), 5 EARNED RUNS, and here is the kicker: he actually walked more people than he struck out (3 to 2) ! Tim had a 30 pitch nightmare: a 4 run inning that featured a base loaded walk to a .200 hitter and a 2 RBI single (although it sounded like a bad call) by the friggin' pitcher. Totally ugly, easily the worst ever, but I'm not going to fret too much about it. Sh*t happens. At one point, he had thrown 24 balls out of 50 pitches. Clearly out of rhythm. I can't wait to see how he responds with his next start. Pity the fools.

Special Congrats to GARKO, GARKO, GARKO!!! ( I don't know why I always feel the need to say his name three times like that. Weird, huh? ) Not a bad night when you tie the game up and then win it in extra innings. Welcome aboard, Ryan!

Monday, August 17, 2009

10-run extravaganza!

Yesterday I exhorted the Giants to get it going with the sticks and beat that pesky Livan Hernandez and sure enough they did! It was a bottom o'the lineup frenzy with Winn, Rowand, and Renteria accounting for 9 hits and 6 runs. (You know it had to be good because I actually used their names instead of the many witty, clever, and unflattering noms de saison I usually assign to them.)

Joe Martinez was sinkin' sinkers most craftily and dodgin' bullets most luckily and Ol' Boch took the big leap and sent Olympic Nate up there in the 6th to get The Big Hit and whaddya know he smoked one that coulda, shoulda, and woulda been a grand salami in a lotta yards. Two runs later we had a lead we would only pad for the rest of the night. I have to say that the bullpen made me a tad squeamish. We got big plays when we needed them, though, like Howry's K of Sheffield.

We got the crucial split in NYC. Tim goes tomorrow, and I predict he will get the elusive 13th win that's plagued our two big guns. Cincinnati is a .427 club--way worse than the Mets. We have to whup on their sorry asses if we want to stay in this damn race!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Frankie's revenge

It took 19 pitches for Francisco Rodriguez to get those three strikeouts in the 9th, so I suppose that qualifies as "battling." Today he closed the door on us after giving up the game winner to the Money-Man yesterday. Having used up closer Brian Wilson with a 2-2/3 stint we had to stick with Sergio "Oh-No" Romo and Jeremy "Not Quite Lights-Out" Affeldt and the result was another painful loss. Affeldt has pitched brilliantly all season long and his latest struggles merely illustrate our over-reliance on run-prevention. We've got no margin for error, unfortunately, and we wasted a fine effort by Jonathan Sanchez (GmSc 64). I'm pretty encouraged by JSanchez lately, and I think he'll be our go-to lefty next season. Whoops, there, I did it. I talked about next season. I was not going to do that, what with our playoff chase and all, but it slipped out. My bad.

It's Livan Freakin' Hernandez tomorrow, and we have got to whup his ass. I will not tolerate being mesmerized by that guy. He's not good enough to be a 5th starter on our team, fer chrissakes!

C'mon Giants, get some goddamn hits and score some goddamn runs!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

7.1 6 3 3 0 2

Game Score 56

Quite the titanic struggle today, and a badly-needed win for our guys. Home runs have eluded us all season long, and just this week we've had two huge game-winning bombs--one by Juan "Don't Forget About Me" Uribe against the hated LAtriners and one by Bengie "Mr. VSC" Molina against the dreaded NYMs.

Matt Cain stepped up big today, going toe-to-toe with one of the game's elites. The terrible beaning of David Wright was unfortunate, you hate to see that happen to anyone. He's one of the best ballplayers in the league, and that naturally makes it a bigger story. Santana's retaliation--tossing at Sandoval and plunking Molina--looks pretty foolish in retrospect. The Giants seemed to shrug it off as "just baseball" but I get the feeling Santana knew he was getting yanked and figured he had nothing to lose. You have to "stand up for your guys" in the MLB, I reckon, and the chance presented itself so he took it. Cain's pitch was clearly not intentional and I wonder if the time-honored "tit-for-tat" baseball machismo code could use some updating. David Pinto thinks the Mets ace deserves to be fined.

This is the first time this season Matt has yielded three runs. He's given up zero runs three times, one run nine times, two runs four times, four runs three times, and five runs three times in his previous 22 starts (I'm dropping the 1-2/3 IP injury-shortened start on July 11). Isn't that weird? Despite the hiccup in the 8th inning I thought it was a great start today, especially considering the circumstances. His game score of 56 was below his season average of 60. Tim's average game score, for comparison, is 66. Just a few fun little numbers to feed our Matt & Tim frenzy!

Final thought? You have to love beating Francisco Rodriguez. Even if it was another one of those pesky 2002 Angels that did it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Goose eggs

Not exactly what I had in mind, you know? I watched the game until they took out Zito in the 6th. We got overmatched by their rookie. You Haft to love this:

Unfortunately for the Giants, Bochy, general manager Brian Sabean and the coaching staff have spent countless hours trying to devise ways enliven the offense.

That's verbatim. There's a comma or two missing, I think, and some tortured syntax. It certainly is "unfortunate" that we are still "trying to devise ways." How about John the Conqueroo? A couple of laps around the rosary beads? An encounter session with Eckhart Tolle? Anything thing but Brian Sabean's "enlivenings." (There's always getting some TALENT, but we won't go there. I'm starting to count the days until Buster Posey gets a call-up.) OK, sorry, no more bashing the feeble offense and the even feebler front office. It's too old. It's too easy.

Matt Cain tomorrow. Great matchup with Santana (bring the good mojo, alouredux!). Let's hope we give Big Sugar a fighting chance.

On with the show, this is it.

There's that point in every season where the men get separated from the boys--the good teams pull away from the pack and the hunt for October glory begins in earnest. This year there are five teams within five games of the NL Wild Card (and two more within eight games), so maybe those "tipping points" we writers are so fond of are nothing more than column (er, blog) fodder. After all, Giants fans know damn well that seasons can be decided in the final week--anyone else remember 1982, 1993, and 2004? Our boys have shown some remarkable staying power, and yesterday's incredible win took the sting out of those two hideous losses. The Crockies have surged to within five games of the LAtriners, a team whose lead just a few weeks ago seemed insurmountable. I note that the other two division leaders, Philadelphia and St. Louis, are 4-1/2 games up in their respective divisions, an apparent dead-heat with LA for playoff chances. (Take a look here for some fancy-schmancy stat-work on "playoff odds.")

Giants fans know we've struggled on the road this season (23-32, .418), and that this 11-game road trip has that "make-or-break" feel to it. Most likely there's enough baseball left to overcome a stumbling, bumbling trip, especially since we'll have the bulk of our games at home (22 of 37) once we return to San Francisco on August 25th, but that kind of desperation September push might be too much to ask of any team in a playoff race with this many contenders. Just our luck that the NL West might have the two best win-percentage finishers in the league--who would have called that in April? So I think we'll have to come up with at least five wins and at least a split in Denver in order to keep our chances alive. The way it looks right now, Barry Zito will get three starts and Matt Cain will not face Colorado in the biggest showdown of the season. Zito has been effective and shown some mettle and consistency since the Break. I hope it continues, we will need it.

I've had more fun this season following the Orange and Black than I've had for a long time. The blogging has been a big part of that, and I want thank my blog-mates for all their terrific work. I also want to give a big shout-out to our regular readers, commenters, friends, followers and fellow bloggers for making this all go so well. You've all been great. It changes everything when you know people are reading! I started RMC on September 25, 2007--I never imagined so many folks would be connected to it after such a short time. I hope you'll stick with us. On a personal note, my work year begins Monday--my nose goes back to the grindstone full-time. It will be a more challenging year for me than I'm used to, and I expect I'll have a little less time for my religious devotion to the Giants. I plan to continue the daily posting, so no worries. Just as the pennant race is really heating up, I'll have to expend energy in other directions instead of indulging my baseball fix whenever I want. Ain't that life, though?

Gird those loins, mates. The real push starts tonight. Go Giants!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Stingy Tim

I don't care how poorly we played: 12 LOB, 1 for 11 RISP, a couple embarrassing mental mistakes and TWO coach ejections (actually those were well played). We won. A wild day game, 4-2 in 10 innings over the blue goo. Crazy shit was happening. I swear the umps were on drugs. There was even a Panda induced bench clearing non-incident. Sure, Tim deserved the decision but getting the "W" was all that matters. A huge win considering it comes right before the longest road trip of the year. I'll leave the announcers to broil the umps. I want to talk...

About Tim: Our Ace has never lost to the doggers and he wasn't going to let it happen today. On his 120th pitch, with 2 outs and 2 strikes, the best scum hitter drove in the tying run and denied Tim #13 again. That was the FOURTH HIT he had yielded - one of those was an infield hit and another was a blown call! The guy gives up baserunners like Bengie draws walks. He ended with 8.2 innings, 2 runs, 7 strikeouts and 1 walk. Somehow he lowered his ERA to the league leading 2.19. Don't forget the league leading 205 strikeouts. Its easy to call Uribe the hero, but we all know who saved the day.

Tim Trivia Time: (This is a toughie. I'd be impressed if you know without looking it up)

Who is Amos Ruthie? and what does he have to do with Tim?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I'm taking my liquor intravenously

and I suggest you do the same.

At least I know that the odds of Tim pitching a shutout tomorrow are waaaaaaay better than us scoring 4 runs in a game, so I think we can win 1-0 or 2-0.

Damn galling to lose to those Smogsucking LAtriners in our yard where we are supposed to have some kind of home-field advantage over the poor, whining visiting squads. The Blue Goo beat us at our own game, that is, the game you are supposed to complement good pitching with: working counts, situational hitting, smart baserunning, good fielding, you know the drill, you've heard Ol' Boch drone on about it, like that does any fookin' good. Extra-base hits with men on base are always nice, of course.

I tell you, this "offense" is offensive. FSanchez is hurt. Ain't that grand? We get our shiny, new, little sporty ride and now we gotta take it to the shop to fix some dangling fookin' doohickey. What kind of shite is that?

This little run of wretchedness has exposed our fatal flaw. We are a Tim & Matt team, a 1-2 punch, and if either of them miss we are on fumes only. For the record, I'm not worried about Matt. He's had a little bad luck lately. He's still the same guy, still has the big fastball and the big heart. He's going to have stretches where some of those flyballs are HRs, that's baseball probabilities at work.

What's killing us is the lack of any other weapons. You ought to be able to use your knife if your gun jams, or swing your stick if your fist wasn't enough. We go into these battles with half the arsenal of the other guys, and guile and grit don't quite make up the difference.

It's a day game tomorrow, don't forget. I'll take some solace knowing that we've got our superstar going. I've no doubt that Ol' Boch will be raiding the medicine cabinet for extra ampules of VSC--that ought to get us our "must" win. Wha? Me? Uh, no thanks Bruce, I'll stick with whiskey.

Monday, August 10, 2009

That PhoneCo mojo is running out

and at the worst possible time.

The LAtriners are a good hitting team (4th in OPS, 2nd in runs in the NL) and they know how to make a pitcher work--they've got the most plate appearances and highest OBA in the league. Our starters have to be damn close to perfect in order for us to win, and if they have any sort of bump in the road we are doomed.

Rather than lament our lamentableness, I decided to invent a new statistic. I intend to turn the sabermetric community upside down with this one. It is simple, bloody fookin' simple, and doesn't require anything but Baseball-Reference. And, well, divison. You can do division, right? Or you can put a nerd in an arm bar and force him to do it for you. Hell, you only have to threaten the nerd with a submission hold and he'll do it, am I right? Of course, you could just use a calculator. Or Excel. But that would be sort of nerdy, eh?

Take one Barry Lamar Bonds. Scary guy at the plate. Big BOO. Like "boo" as in "I'm scaring you." You see, Barry had 5,976 total bases in his career. And he made 7,313 outs. That's good. His BOO (bases over outs) is .817. See what I mean? Scary. You want scary? How about Edgar Renteria in 2009? 110 total bases and 291 outs. Ouch! Were talking .378! Well, we won't talk about guys like Randy Winn or Aaron Rowand. How about Pablo Sandoval? 221/280 = .789!! I love my new statistic. Don't you? Think of the fun! Albert Pujols? 266/286 (season) = .930 and 3122/3564 (career) = .876. (Barry's 1993 MVP season was 365/388 or .941, his 2001 MVP season was 411/330 or 1.245!) Finally, OUTS get their proper place in baseball analysis, and you can thank Your Humble Narrator, me. Now get cracking and calculate your favorite player's scariness quotient--his BOO number. High BOO means scary hitter (for the opposing pitcher). Low BOO means scary for the fans of the team that guy is on!

It's a drink-'til-ya-puke sort of evening for Giants fans tonight--cracking the seal on that other fifth will keep you from slitting your wrists (alcohol impairs hand-eye coordination). Tomorrow we can shake off our hangovers and try again. In the meantime, get scary. Get BOO. You'll thank me.

For the record:
The 2009 Giants have 1452 bases over 2963 outs for a .491 BOO.
The 2009 LAtriners have 1616 bases over 3048 outs for a .530 BOO.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Foiled again!

7 7 5 5 2 7
Game Score 48

The longball was Matt's undoing today. You have to credit the Reds for being patient--even against Tim--all weekend, and making our guys work. Cain got worked today. This is only the third time he has given up 5 runs in a start: the first was against the Rockies at home on the 2nd of May, and the second was in Milwaukee on the 26th of June. He's given up 4 runs three times as well, including his Monday start in Houston. This is the 13th time (in 23 starts) that Big Sugar has delivered at least 7 IP, and and the 21st time he's gone at least 6 IP. He's allowed two runs or fewer 17 times. Big Sugar's career high for wins is 13 (in 2006), and 13 seems to be unlucky for both of our studly young right-handers. A disappointing Sunday, to be sure. I won't bitch about the Panda's two DPs, when you are the only guy on the team who can really hit you get cut some slack.

The LAtriners come to town tomorrow, and we'll have to look sharp. We hit the road on Friday for a very tough 11 games including 4 against the Crockies, so if we have home-field mojo we better whip it out quick!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Loopy lefties

What is it with these guys? One week it's 3-2/3, 10 hits, 6 ER, another it's baseball history. Take this BZ fellow, one week it's 4-1/3, 10 hits, 9 ER, another it's "quality start." In fact, ol' no. 75 has made five starts (31 IP) and allowed a total of 9 runs since the aforementioned debacle. Hey, I'm not complaining, if our very own Jeff Spicoli wants to wear that jacket, he's going to have to keep pitching like this. Matt Cain gives up 4 runs and we get lamentations and gnashing of teeth; Tim Lincecum gives up 3 runs and we wear sackcloth and ashes. Da Beezy gives us a QS and we worship his calluses. Not that I'm complaining, like I said, it's just that we're grading on a curve here, you know what I mean? Another great day for Eugenio Velez--this guy is really lighting it up!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Acrimonius Tim

OK, it's not Tim that's pissed off. It's me. Man, my cachongas are so steamed I can barely see straight, let alone type coherently. The Giants just made their FIFTH ERROR while the bullpen WALKED THE GAME AWAY. This game should be forgotten on so many levels. My hope is that every key stroke will suck the toxins from my soul, yet the opposite seems to be happening...Quick, let's talk about what little good I can remember:

#1) Tim is probably calm and satisfied with his work. As he should be. He deserved his 13th victory with a solid 7 innings, 6 hits (including only one double), 2 earned runs, 1 walk and 7 strikeouts. The Reds were pesky and made Tim work, but he contained them. The Franchise also continues to improve at the plate with a great single in front of Babe Velez' shot into the Arcade. Which I guess leads to...
#2) Eugenio continues to hold down the leadoff spot and leftfield. The guy is playing inspired ball. It was hard to believe that he kept that line drive homer fair. When Nate comes back we may have a real nice problem on our hands.
#3) I only saw the first seven innings; stopping with our boys up 5-3. Either I never should have left or I'm damn glad I did...I don't know which. The good part is where I watched the game. My lovely bride and I enjoyed drinks (Irish coffee for me, Manhattan for her) at the San Benito Saloon in Half Moon Bay and watched it on the big screen there. A warm evening for this gorgeous coastal village caused us to take a walk after our libations and that's when the game turned to shit. Yeah, it was probably my fault. Oh well, it was a nice walk.

Hey, it worked! I feel better. I no longer want to eviscerate Edgar Rentalria. I will cancel my appointment to have Brian Wilson's eyeballs tattooed. Thanks for listening.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Two-thirds of the way

We've got SIXTY wins in 108 games played!

That's amazing--we are playing .556 ball. I never imagined it possible.

I watched all of Matt's vain attempt at number 13 on a big screen at Humboldt Brews. (Thanks, Loren!) Great night, disappointing game. Those balls are outs at home, and that cheesy-ass, dinky-shit yard ought to be bulldozed. Get a real stadium fer christ-fook's sake! That being said, Matt has to pitch for ground balls and strikeouts in those situations. Our park is more forgiving on the fly ball pitcher, especially with lefty hitters. He had the good stuff going, they just got the big hits they needed. "Sometimes, ya just haveta tip yer cap to 'em." Our hitters made me want to cry. But they made up for it! Saw part of Sanchez' game (the J-guy)--we are so much better when our southpaws win. Without Matt and Tim averaged in our other starters are pretty weak. If JSanchez can deliver more innings like that, we are good to go. That homerun Sandoval hit was barely above his shoelaces. I thought FSanchez had golfed one, then Pablo plays that damn cricket shot and I was just, well, agape. It was a spectacular piece of bad-ball hitting. Only a really great hitter can do that. Got to see Elijah bring the thunder yesterday morning. It was one of those no-doubters, the pitcher probably knew it the moment it left his hand. Eli sure knew. Man, that was a big, big hit. Just the kind of morale-crushing bomb it takes to win a getaway game. A great story with Joe Martinez, coming back from that terrifying injury. I expect to see all of our AAA starters get an audition here pretty soon. They've got a high bar right now, maybe they'll step it up and show us something, eh?

While in Arcata, we got to watch real live hardball right in town--the Humboldt Crabs of the WCL Tri-State League (collegiate players). Comfy ballypark, enthusiastic fans, great fun. Recommended for your next summer holiday in the Redwood Empire.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Two Games, Many Hits

We just got back from a jolly outing to Raley Field in West Sac. We were wearing shorts and t-shirts and were beginning to get a wee bit cold, and the home team was up 7-0, so we split after 6 innings, because we're all old fogeys who just want to get to bed at a reasonable hour.
Either the A's AAA team is a hitting juggernaut or the pitchers for The Oklahoma City Redhawks suck.
Raley Field is a swell ballpark, modern and clean. It was my 3rd game there; #1 for Brother Jon.
The right fielder for O.C. made a spectacular catch early when the sun was still glaring into that field. He was running almost straight out and snagged a ball over his head right out of the sun.
In the afternoon of course we had watched the Giants romp in Houston. I haven't checked the box score yet but it seemed like everyone was hitting. Pablo's still hot, FSanchez also. Rowand's doing well, and how about that grand slam by Eli Whiteside?
And I say that a meaningless single late in a one-sided game counts as a CLUTCH hit when it keeps alive a 12 game hitting streak. Hooray for Eugenio Velez.
And the return of Joe Martinez guaranteed a big feel-good day. He's our 5th starter until someone else is.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Velez Must Stay

Eugenio Velez just won't stop hitting. How are they going to take him out of the lineup? Sure, he'll go relatively cold eventually, but, I don't know, don't hold your breath.
I think we have our left fielder.
First and second base are both set now. Garko is warming up at the plate, and FSanchez has been super so far. Pablo seemed to have a slump for a few games coming off the AS break, but if you look at box scores from then he was still getting hits almost every game. Just little hits.
As for JSanchez, well, he was fabulous. He's performing like he now believes in himself.
Apparently we're going to play musical chairs for a while with the 5th starter spot. Let's all root for good-old Joe Martinez to have a manly outing tomorrow.

Monday, August 3, 2009

No Luck for #13

8 8 4 4 0 5
Game Score 55

Two ghosts from Matt Cain's past made unwelcome returns tonight as the Giants dropped the first game of three in Houston. Even a complete game was not enough for Matt to overcome these "demons" and earn his thirteen victory.

Matt's first visitor, who has been hanging with Beezy more often lately, must have really brought back bad memories of the last two years. Lord knows that Matt and "lack of run support" were joined at the hip for awhile (last year a ridiculous 3.1 runs per game!) but we all thought they had called it quits. Not tonight. The Giants were a pathetic 2 for 10 RISP... and one of those was a hit where Renteria was thrown out at home by a mile! Rowand and Edgar also had amazingly inept CALLED third strikes in HUGE situations. We demonstrated an incredible ability to blow all types of scoring chances. It is rather sickeningly impressive how bad we can be on offense. See, I'm trying to be positive about it.

The other beast was of Matt's own doing. The dreaded XBH - extra base hit. Matt didn't give up many hits (8) but they were doozies: one double, two triples, and two home runs. I believe the Matsui HR was on a 0-2 pitch - OUCH! I suppose that Matt's style will always lead to many flyballs, and therefore, some homers. He did show that the XBH shouldn't kill you if you don't walk anybody. However, put it together with ingredient #1 and even our own Tennesee Stud was no match.

Well, better luck next time Matt. Don't worry, #13 awaits.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Best home team in the league

The Giants beat Cole Hamels and the defending champs today to finish the homestand 6-1 and stay tied for the Wild Card lead with the Crockies. A nice antidote to a 3-7 road trip, wouldn't you say? Tomorrow the Cain Train rolls through Houston, we'll see if the lads can conjure up 12 hits in a foreign park against Mike Hampton. When Barry Fookin' Zito gives you a "quality start" (Game Score 55), you know your pitchers are holding up their end, so the batters have to come through. I sure hope FSanchez can hit lots of doubles, his 29th today ties him for 4th in the NL, and it wasn't long ago he hit 53 in a season. I can live with a singles hitter who hits a lot of doubles. He seems to be the sort of player The Rental once was, and I hope he's more than just Rental Redux, and is actually something closer to Rental the Younger. But I'm fouling the mood with sour thoughts--it is never bad to be a hero in front of a sellout crowd on your debut. Other than Friday night, the Giants had stellar bullpen work, you add a super start and some steady stuff from the southpaws, and you get a series victory. The high-flying Phillies offense averages 5.3 runs per game, yet they could only put 10 total on the board in these 4 games, 7 fewer than the Giants.

My lovely bride and I are off tomorrow morning to the coast for a few nights. I'm cutting the cyber-cord: no e-mails, no Facebook, no blogging. I hope we'll catch Matt's start on TV. Just like the Giants, I'll be back on Thursday.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dog-gone Good Tim

It looks like Tim enjoys the best annual ballpark event, Dog Days of Summer, as much as I do. (It is the only game on TV where they aren't constantly showing goofus "fans" on cell phones during every break.) Young Mr. Lincecum dismantled the defending champ Phillies during an impressive 8 innings, ZERO RUNS, 7 hits (ALL SINGLES!!), 1 walk and a cool 8 strikeouts. Perhaps the most significant aspect of this absolute gem was his mastery of Chase Utley; 0 for 4, 1 K and a huge 5 LOB. That alone is proof that Tim is the best...but we already knew that.

Did anybody else see the short clip of Tim with his dog? Two things jumped out: Tim is completely RIPPED and that is one ugly dog. So at least I have one thing Tim doesn't.