Saturday, September 30, 2017

G-Fans Bid Cain Adieu

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

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

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

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


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

p.p.s. Apologies to John Updike.

Friday, September 29, 2017


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

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

Go Giants!


Monday, September 25, 2017

Hangover Win

 SF 9 ARI 2

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

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

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

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

Saturday, September 23, 2017


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

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

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

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Giants Blank Rockies

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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

We are Spoilers, Yippee!

Col 3 SF 4 

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

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

Sunday, September 17, 2017


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

Go Giants!


Saturday, September 16, 2017

2 Hits

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

Friday, September 15, 2017

Death Ray

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


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Streak Ends Here

LA 5 SF 3

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

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

Loss #90 for us.  That's embarrassing.

Rookie Parade

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

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

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

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Ineptitude, Thy Name is Giants

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

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

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

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

Saturday, September 9, 2017

8th inning: 6-12

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

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

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


Friday, September 8, 2017

Moore and Panda pace Giants

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


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Tenth Time is a Charm

SF 11 COL 3 

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

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

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

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

This Is A Mess

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

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Madison Bumgarner Chalks Up Another Loss

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

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

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

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

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Walk-off Win!

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



Friday, September 1, 2017

Cueto Returns and Nothing Changes

StL 11 SF 6 

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

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

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