That’s A Wrap

imageThe regular season is over and the hunt for Orange October was a success. The GIANTS are going to the post season. Was there ever any doubt? First, though, let’s wrap up with a recap of the final series of the regular season.

Thursday

Let’s face there were 2 huge baseball stories unfolding as we watched Thursday–naturally, the most important one being the GIANTS vs. Padres game. And, of course, on the East coast the story about ol’ No. 2’s last game in the Bronx. I’m sure you heard about it–everyone in MLB thought it was the story of the day. They’re entitled to their opinion, but I must admit, it is a pretty good story. The kind of stuff of which movies are made.

I didn’t watch the Yankees/Orioles game, but I saw the highlights. Lots and lots of highlights. As a baseball fan, you have to love and respect a player like Derek Jeter–ok, that was a stupid thing to say, there are no other players like Derek Jeter. He’s a one-of-a-kind, what-you-see-is-what-you-get,  consummate professional baseball player. The game was tied going into the Yankees half of the 9th, and with 1 man on and 1 out, Jeter hit a single that turned into a walk-off RBI. Classic Hollywood ending. But this one really happened, and The Captain, once again, showed the world just how special he really is.

Now for the important news…

imageThe GIANTS beat the Padres. But, it wasn’t that simple. It never is, is it? The GIANTS scored in each inning for 5 innings to rack up a 6-0 lead. The Padres weren’t ready to give it up though–they scored 3 runs in the 6th and 5 in the 7th to overtake the GIANTS. But the GIANTS  weren’t done either and they put up 3 more runs of their own in the 7th. Petit started the game, going 5.1 innings–he gave up 5 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk and he struck out 8. The final score was:

GIANTS 9, Padres 8

Friday

imageThe 2nd game of the 4 game series did not go as well. The Padres came out of the gate swinging, scoring a run in the 1st. The GIANTS responded with a run in the 2nd, tying the game. The game stayed tied until the 6th when San Diego scored 3 more. Vogelsong pitched 5.1 innings. He gave up 6 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 3 walks and he struck out 5. The one one bright spot was the announcement of Madison Bumgarner as the winner of the Willie Mac Award. The final score was:

GIANTS 1, Padres 4

Saturday

imageThe 3rd game in the series–Rookie Day. The roster included as many rookies and utility players  as Bochy could fit in the line-up, and why not? Not the pitcher, though. They were led onto the field by a veteran starter–Peavy. He had a good outing, going 5 innings–he gave up 4 hits, 1 run, 3 walks and he struck out 3. The GIANTS scored 1 run in the 1st, the Padres scored 1 in the 5th to tie it up, and the GIANTS broke the tie in the 8th with 2 more runs. The final score was:

GIANTS 3, Padres 1

Sunday

imageThe final game of the series, the final game of the regular season–Game 162. It was a beautiful day at the Yard, the Gamer Babes were out in force. It was a good day to be a GIANT, but, then again, when isn’t it? Chris Heston had his 1st big league start and he went 4 innings–he gave up 6 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, and he struck out 2. The bullpen picked him up the rest of the way–including 2 lights out innings from Lincecum–and Brett Bochy closed it out with 2 strikeouts and a fly out. Papa Bochy must have been proud. The GIANTS scored 2 runs in the 1st, 2 in the 2nd, 1 in the 4th, and 4 in the 7th. The Padres put up 2 in the 1st and 1 in the 3rd. The final score was:

GIANTS 9, Padres 3

Here is what Gamer Babe Suzy had to say about the game:

image“The game was magical! The energy from the crowd was over the top and paid off in that pile up of runs later in the game! Fan Appreciation Day ended with Hunter Pence revving up the crowd even more, ending with a monumental YES, YES, YES chant that rocked the park! As the large crowd was leaving down the ramps, we heard the start of another chant. We started it on our ramp. Soon “Let’s Go Giants” was resounding off all the ramps. So cool to be a Giants fan; there’s just nothing like it in the world. Pittsburgh here we come!!”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

 

 

Special Contributor: Suzy Daveluy

 

I’m on the DL

I know, I know–how can I be on the DL when all I do is write?!  Well, I’ll tell you–it’s actually pretty easy. I write about the games after  I’ve watched them. And even though I caught bits and pieces of  the GIANTS playing against the Dodgers, I didn’t catch enough to string together a blog about it it.

But I was able to put the line-ups on Facebook.  I’ve been keeping my finger on the pulse. I know the GIANTS won the 1st game–I also know the GIANTS lost the remaining 2 games in the series, at least the Dodgers didn’t sweep us–there is something to be said about that.

Game #1–I wasn’t able to watch the entire game, c’mon–4 extra innings? I was never going to make it through 9 regular. The game was tied, 2-2 through the 9th,  and the 10th, 11th, and 12th. But the 13th? That’s when the GIANTS scored 3 runs. The final score was:

GIANTS 5, Dodgers 2

Game #2–that was the game I thought the GIANTS had chance to win, and would have except for the very shaky 1st inning where Bumgarner gave up 2 HRs, 1 solo and a 2 run HR. Bumgarner would not go quietly. In the 3rd, with 1 man on he hit a HR of his own. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to tie it up–not to mention the Dodgers scored another solo HR in the 8th. The final score was:

GIANTS 2, Dodgers 4

Game #3–the Heartbreaker. I thought–if anyone can take Kershaw down–it would be the GIANTS, right? That’s how it started. Hudson pitched a helluva game. The GIANTS drew 1st blood when they cobbled together a run scored by Arias in the 3rd. The Dodgers caught up, tying the game in the 5th, surged ahead in the 6th and tacked on a bunch more in the 8th. The final score was:

GIANTS 1, Dodgers 9

That’s all the news that’s fit to print. I’m not sure when I’ll get to do another post, but hopefully it will be more relevant. Thanks for reading.

Oh No! Not Again!

Saturday’s Game

Doesn’t this remind you of the old story about the moron? You know the one–he keeps hitting himself with a hammer–when asked “why do you keep hitting yourself over your head with that hammer?”  he replies: “because it feels so good when I stop.”

imageI’m not saying the GIANTS are morons, but you have to admit the GIANTS have clobbered themselves over the head enough times that when they put up a ‘W’–there’s dancing in the streets. There will be no dancing after Saturday night’s game.

It started out ok–Petit was lights out for the first 2 innings, but the 3rd inning got away from him. A little bit. The  Padres’ lead-off man in the 3rd hit a ground rule double and eventually scored on a GIANTS error. Petit had pitched to 7 Padres’ bats by the time he struck out the last 2 and ended the inning with the bases loaded. In the  6th inning, Petit pitched to 4 Padres: the 1st one lined out, the 2nd one doubled, he walked the 3rd and the 4th hit a bases clearing double–taking Petit out of the game. The bullpen came in and kept the Padres from scoring again–for the rest of the game.

imageThe GIANTS didn’t score. At all. The big surprise for the GIANTS came along in the 9th,  and it was a pretty good surprise. Hunter Pence led-off. He looked at one ball–didn’t like it, but seemed to like the next one because he sent it flying right over the fence for a solo HR. Panik came to the plate next and got a base hit, advanced on Pablo’s single and scored on Blanco’s RBI single. Chris Dominguez–a September call-up who came into the game to pinch-run for Pablo–was the tying run. He was left standing on 3rd when the inning ended. 90 feet from the promise land. Heartbreaking. Not only did inning end, but the game ended. The final score was:

GIANTS 2, Padres 3

Sunday’s Game

imageI still don’t know what to say. And Sunday’s game didn’t provide much of a conversation starter. The Padres scored 1 run in the 5th, 4 in the 6th and 3 more in the 7th. The GIANTS scored 2 runs in the 7th, thanks to the rookie outfielder. Dominguez got the nod from Bochy to start the game in the outfield. The GIANTS lead-off hitter in the 7th struck out. So did the next guy. That brought Brandon Crawford to the plate. He stretched the inning with a base hit, giving Dominguez a chance to hit. And boy, did he hit. Right over the left field fence. It was his first big league knock and it went yard. Doesn’t get any better than that. It put the GIANTS on the board. I already mentioned that the Padres scored 3 runs in the 7th–they took those 2 runs back and added another for good measure. What can I say? I’m speechless.   The final score was:

GIANTS 2, Padres 8

The GIANTS are in LA tonight to play our final 3 game series with the Dodgers. The Hunt for Orange October is on.

imageThere is an interesting side story to Chris Dominguez’ first big league hit. A little girl named Estella was celebrating her birthday at the park and she ended up with the ball. Before a member of the Padres staff could negotiate the return of the ball, the girls’s little sister had written “Happy Birthday” on the ball. Estella agreed to return the ball, on the condition that she be allowed to write on it too. She wrote “congratulations ♥ Estella”.  Dominguez liked it.

I Don’t Know What To Say

Honestly, I thought the GIANTS were past all that. I thought–silly me–the GIANTS were done with losing to teams that have no business beating the GIANTS. At least that’s what I hoped. Perhaps last night’s game against the Padres was just a fluke.

imageHudson pitched for the GIANTS. He had a miserable outing. His last outing–undoubtedly the worst of his career–he pitched the 1st inning, faced 2 batters in the 2nd inning and gave up 8 hits and 6 runs before Bochy took him out. Last night’s game started eerily similar–he gave up 4 hits in the 1st and 4 runs scored. In the 3rd inning, an error landed the Padres lead-off man on 2nd and he scored on a Padres RBI double. All in all Hudson gave up 5 runs, but only 4 earned. He gave up another double in the 5th and that ended his night. Until the last few outings, Hudson has been a solid, reliable, consistent spot in a–regrettably–floundering rotation.

imageThe GIANTS didn’t score any runs. They got 3 hits–Panik hit 2, one a double, and Blanco hit the 3rd. Belt was in the line-up, so was Morse and Pagan. It was good to have them back. The final score was:

GIANTS 0, Padres 5

imageIn other news, GIANTS great Willie McCovey was hospitalized with complications stemming from an infection. GIANTS fans are welcome and encouraged to send him get well wishes by email to:  williemac@sfgiants.com or by regular mail to: Willie McCovey c/o San Francisco Giants, San Francisco, CA 94107

I’m looking, seeking, searching, hunting, reaching–you name it–desperately trying to find the silver lining. Something positive. Anything. I’m keeping the faith, honestly I am, but it’s getting hard. And then I remember–hey, I’m GIANTS fan. Nobody ever said being a GIANTS fan was easy. Like Jimmy Doogan said: “It’s supposed to be hard…The hard is what makes it great.”

I don’t know what else to say.

The Worm Turns

Monday Night

1.09.16.blancoWe thought the GIANTS got bit by a poisonous snake Monday night. Turned out to be nothin’ but a big ol’ worm painted to look like a dangerous snake. The real mascot is actually Baxter, the Bobcat. Huh? Who knew? That’s Gregor getting acquainted with him Monday night.

Tuesday Night

The GIANTS played a much better game on Tuesday night. They didn’t score that early, they didn’t score that often–but they did score enough. Enough to win. Who could ask for anything more?

1.09.16.peav11Peavy pitched a great game. He went 7.2 innings–gave up 5 hits, 1 run, 1 walk and he struck out 4. Romo came in to pitch in the 8th–with 2 men out and 2 men on–and faced one of Arizona’s big bats. The hitter flied out to end the inning. Casilla pitched a 1, 2, 3 shut down 9th to get the save. The GIANTS scored 1 run in the 4th when Buster Posey hit a solo HR. Arizona tied it up in the 6th when their 2nd baseman hit a triple and their centerfielder followed up with an RBI single. The GIANTS took the lead again in the 7th–and kept it. Hunter Pence hit a single, advanced on Ishikawa’s base hit and scored on Crawford’s RBI SAC fly. The final score was:

imageGIANTS 2, Arizona 1

Wednesday Night

The rubber game of the series–with one win each, this game would decide the series. The GIANTS had Bumgarner on the mound and for the most part he pitched a great game. A couple of times, though, he kinda made me nervous. Yeah, I’m not gonna lie to you, a couple of times he took my breath away. And not  the good  kind of  breathtaking way–but the bad kind: where your heart stutters, beads of sweat dot your forehead and your breathing becomes labored. I know it sounds just like the good kind–trust me–it was not. 1.09.17.susHe pitched 6 innings, gave up 7 hits, 2 runs, and 2 walks, but he struck out 6. The scary stuff happened right away. After shutting down the GIANTS with a 1, 2, 3 first inning, Arizona came to the plate. The lead-off guy got a base hit, the next guy followed with another base hit and the 3rd batter hit a SAC fly to move both runners over–putting the lead-off hitter on 3rd base. With Arizona’s clean-up hitter–Trumbo–at the plate, Bumgarner launched a wild pitch that got past Susac. What happened next is the stuff of highlight reels. The hitter at the plate stepped back, motioned to the lead-off guy on 3rd, who took off gunning for home–but the ball hit the backstop and caromed right back into Susac’s glove–thanks to Susac’s perfect read on the ball–Susac turned and tagged the runner out just as he went into a slide at the plate. OUT!! Wow–that was so close.

1.09.17.beltArizona eventually scored–1 run in the 2nd and 1 run in the 5th. The GIANTS 1st run came in the 2nd, with 2 outs, Susac came to the plate and drew a walk. He scored when Crawford followed with an RBI double. In the 5th, Crawford led-off with a base hit, advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch, moved over to 3rd on Bumgarner’s SAC bunt, and then scored on Blanco’s SAC bunt. In the 9th inning, with the score tied, Pablo led-off with a walk, Crawford hit a single, Belt–Welcome Back, Brandon Belt!!–kept the line moving with another walk, and the bases were loaded. Duffy–the clutch-hitting rookie–pinch hit in the pitcher’s spot and hit a line drive to centerfield that had enough gas to score both Pablo and Crawford, adding 2 RBI’s to his stats. The final score was:

1.09.17.duffGIANTS 4, Arizona 2

How about a little more good news? In the last 3 games the GIANTS won 2 and the Dodgers lost 2. Tuesday the Rockies beat the Dodgers 10-4 and Wednesday the Rockies beat them 16-2. Now, I know I made all kinds of noise the other day about a loss is just a loss–doesn’t matter how big the score is, it’s still just one loss–yada, yada, yada. But the Rockies beat the Dodgers 16 to 2! sixteen to two!!! that wasn’t just a loss, that was a slaughter. I know what I said. But–you gotta admit–sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but sometimes–sometimes it’s a really good smoke.

Snakebit!

The GIANTS are in Arizona to play a 3-game series against the Diamondbacks. Last night’s opener did not go the way I planned. Or I should say–envisioned–and the GIANTS lost. They were bit by a big Diamondback.

09.15.vogVogey pitched 5.2 innings and gave up  6 hits, 4 runs, 4 walks, and he struck out 5. It was not his finest hour, but it was not his worst either and there were flashes of brilliance. Vogey doesn’t go down without a fight, and last night’s game was proof of that. He got into some trouble in the 1st–the lead-off man got a base hit and he walked the next batter. The next guy lined into a double play turned neatly by Crawford and Panik. Then Vogey struck out Trumbo, Arizona’s big bat. He pitched a 1, 2, 3–grab some pine, meat–second inning. He got into more trouble in the 3rd. Two singles, a wild pitch and a walk later and there’s Trumbo again. With 2 outs and the bases loaded, Trumbo hit a HR making it the 1st grand slam that Vogey has ever given up. Ever. Pence tried to keep it in the park but he was a few feet shy. One swing of the bat and suddenly it’s a different ball game. Vogey pitched a  shut down 4th and a shut down 5th, but he ran into trouble again in the 6th. After 2 quick outs, he gave up a double, 2 walks and threw a wild pitch. That was enough for Bochy. He called in Javy Lopez to get the 3rd out–Lopez threw 1 pitch, the hitter groundout, the inning was over. After 6, the score was:

09.15.penceGIANTS 0, Arizona 4

Arias led-off  the 7th with a base hit, advanced to 3rd on Blanco’s ground-rule double and scored on Crawford’s RBI groundout. Arizona responded in the bottom of the inning with 2 more runs of their own. In the 8th, Panik led-off with a double and scored when Posey followed with an RBI single. The final score was:

GIANTS 2, Arizona 6

The checked swing

The checked swing

Branch Rickey once said “Baseball is a game of inches” and he was absolutely right. In the 3rd inning, the hitter who was up just before Trumbo hit the GS–checked his swing on what could have been called strike 3. I know–coulda, woulda, shoulda–the umpire ruled “no swing” but it was such a close call it’s being 2nd guessed by fans and analysts alike. Not that it would make any difference, but at that point Vogey was just inches from a clean getaway. Instead it’s called a ball and the guy drew a walk to load the bases. If strike 3 is called, the inning is over, the Grand Slam never happens.

The takeaway? It’s what I’ve been saying all along: score early, score often. With enough runs on the board early enough, the GIANTS will have insurance to protect against the big inning. It will also give the pitchers some run support–help take some of the stress off.  And quit hacking at the 1st damn pitch! Be nice to wear down the other pitcher instead of giving them free passes with 8 or 9 pitch innings.

Tonight it’s on to game 2–the GIANTS need to bring their snake bite kits and their anti-venom. Or bite them before they bite us.  As long as the GIANTS bite first and bite often.

 

Winsome & Loathsome

09.14.riv8I told you I was going to use that title for one of my GIANTS/Dodger game recaps, and so here it is. Winsome & Loathsome–it’s the perfect moniker for the GIANTS/Dodgers Rivalry. Winsome, the GIANTS, means sweetly or innocently charming; winning; engaging. While Loathsome, the Dodgers, means causing feelings of loathing; disgusting; revolting; repulsive. The storied rivalry between the GIANTS–Winsome, and the Dodgers–Loathsome, pre-dates the flood.

09.14.riv4I don’t know how it got started. The number of different versions is outnumbered only by Yankees World Series rings. Some say it started as early as the late 19th century, when the GIANTS fans were society’s upper crust and the Dodgers were the blue collar guys from Brooklyn. Others say while it started in New York, it grew when the teams moved to California, turning it into a No Cal/So Cal rivalry. There has been violence–murder and mayhem–committed in the name of the rivalry. But I am making this declaration here and now: Yes, we hate the Dodgers. Yes, the Dodgers cause feelings of loathing.09.14.riv7 Yes, the Dodgers are disgusting, revolting and ok–even repulsive. But the Dodgers are only a representation of a ball club–not a human being. I have respected and admired many Dodgers players–including Clayton Kershaw–not including Puig. There are many Dodgers fans I count as friends and some relatives–that I love very much. This is a friendly rivalry. I will boo and hiss and call some Dodgers bad names, but I will never, never ever, condone violence against the team or any of their fans.

09.14.petI said all that so I could rationalize saying this: the sons of *bleeps*, *bleeper bleepers*, *blankety-blank*, rotten *bleeps*–beat the GIANTS again today. Too much? Sorry. If I’m being honest, though, the first 2 runs the Dodgers scored, both in the 2nd inning, were courtesy of our very own San Francisco GIANTS. They made 2 errors in the 2nd inning and it cost them 2 runs. The GIANTS got them back though, 1 in the 3rd, when Yusmeiro Petit came to the plate, fighting off pitch after pitch and taking balls until he drew the walk–excellent work at the plate by the starting pitcher. Panik moved him over with a base hit and Buster got an RBI for bringing him home. Unfortunately, the Dodgers scored 2 more runs in the 6th. The other GIANTS run came in the 7th–cobbled together by 2 rookies and a veteran. Susac hit a single, followed by Arias with a base hit and then Duffy, pinch-hitting in the pitcher’s spot, brought him home with an RBI single. All-in-all when you look at the big picture, the GIANTS had a fairly good outing against Kershaw–crowned by the media as the “best pitcher in all of baseball.”  Other than the mishaps in the 2nd inning the GIANTS played a good game. The final score was:

GIANTS 2, LA 4

09.14.riv9What can I say? We almost had them. Almost. But you know how Frank Robinson felt about almost and baseball. One week from today we meet up with the Dodgers again–this time in LA. I say we use horseshoes and hand grenades in case we almost get them–that way it will count. Or we could just WIN!

Sometimes a Cigar Is Just a Cigar

The GIANTS gave the Dodgers a little spanking on Friday night. The Dodgers–perhaps looking for a little redemption–came roaring back last night and beat the __________ out of the GIANTS–you fill-in the blank, the word I want to use isn’t printable in polite company.

Seriously–17 runs??? That’s ridiculous. Laughable, really, to the point of hysteria. For those of you who don’t know–and I don’t think that’s even possible–the Dodgers scored 17 runs against the GIANTS last night. The GIANTS scored–zero, zip, zilch, imagenada. Dial the clock back just 24 hours to the series opener on Friday night. The shoe was on the other foot. And it fit. In fact, it was incredibly comfortable. Last night, not so much. It was heartbreaking to see Tim Hudson come out of the game so early, and painful to watch relief pitcher after relief pitcher give up run after run.

Here’s my take-away from last night’s game: the GIANTS lost. Period. It’s 1 loss. One. Doesn’t really matter if it was a 1-0 loss, a 17-0 loss, or even, just as absurd, 170-0. You can call it a bloodbath, you can call it a lambaste, you can call it a slaughter. Doesn’t really matter what you call it because in the end they all mean the same thing: a loss–and, a loss is just a loss. It doesn’t count double, there isn’t an asterisk next to the box score. You still get dinner when you get home.
imageThe highlight of the night was watching the Skipper call for his son from the bullpen–giving the kid an opportunity to get some work in where–let’s face it–he couldn’t do any more damage, the game was already lost. It was a historic moment–while there have been big league managers  who have managed their own sons–this is the 1st time a big league manager got to call his son from the bullpen and hand him the ball. Gives you goosebumps,  doesn’t it?

ok, that’s it. The GIANTS lost that one. Time to get over it and move on because we’ve got another game to play.

#GoGIANTS   #BeatLA   Pass it on.

 

 

Attack of the Killer P ‘s

When we talked before last night’s game, my husband and I both concluded that this 1st game in this series between the GIANTS and the LA Dodgers would be a very low-scoring game. A good old-fashioned pitching duel. We were half right. Rumor has it that Donny Baseball arranged his rotation so that his top 3 starters would be the pitchers who take on the GIANTS this weekend. As far as winning strategies go, that one isn’t working out so far. I know it’s only 1 game–it still didn’t work.

imageLately it seems like the GIANTS’ pitchers are either breaking some kind of record or reaching some sort of milestone. Bumgarner pitched for the GIANTS last night and he broke a GIANTS’ pitching record for most strike-outs by a GIANTS’ left-handed pitcher–in a season–since the franchise moved to San Francisco. Bumgarner struck out 9, bringing his total this season to 208. The previous record of 206 was set by Ray Sadecki in 1968. Bumgarner went 7 innings, gave up 3 hits, zero runs, walked 2 and struck out 9. Gutierrez pitched the 8th and the 9th–3 up, 3 down each time.

imageThe GIANTS employed my favorite baseball strategy:  score early–score often. In the 1st, the Killer P’s attacked: Panik hit a double, that brought up Posey who hit an RBI double scoring Panik, then along came Pence who got a base hit scoring Posey. After that, the ABC offense went to work: Arias brought Pence home with a base hit, Blanco drew a walk, and Crawford got an RBI double scoring Arias. After 1, the score was:

GIANTS 4, LA 0
imageThe Dodgers pitcher–Ryu–came out of the game after the 1st inning. The Dodgers said he was suffering from a shoulder injury. Poppycock!! Personally? I think it was the Killer P’s. Ryu got Killer P stung. I’m sure it hurt. It’s supposed to hurt. The GIANTS went on to score again in the 5th: Blanco drew a walk and then scored when Crawford hit it high! hit it deep! hit. it. outtahere!! A 2-run HR. But the interesting inning was the 7th. Actually, it was more weird than interesting–but it probably wouldn’t be a GIANTS’ game without a little weird. Anyway, here’s what happened: with 2 outs and nobody on in the 7th, Gregor Blanco struck out swinging. Inning over. But wait!! There’s more!! The 3rd strike pitch that Blanco swung at–and missed—was a wild pitch. It got past the Dodgers’ catcher and went to the backstop, Blanco tore out of the batter’s box hell-bent-for-leather and made it to 1st base–safe. Crawford drew a walk, which brought up Ishikawa, who was pinch-hitting in the pitcher’s spot. Ishikawa made quite a splash. Literally. He sent the ball straight over the right field wall and into McCovey Cove. SPLASH!! The GIANTS didn’t score again, and the Dodgers never scored–giving the GIANTS not only the W, but a shut-out to boot. #BeatLA is right. The final score was:

GIANTS 9, LA 0

 

You Gotta Have Faith

Wednesday Night

09.11.vogeysYou want to be  a GIANTS fan? You gotta have faith. Serious faith. You can’t flinch. You can’t blink. Just have serious faith and extreme confidence. Bochy does. I highly advise you never–never, ever, ever–challenge him to a game of Chicken. That guy does not blink. So Wednesday night, when Vogey walked the lead-off hitters in both the 1st and 2nd innings and Bochy got Machi up in the bullpen, I was shocked. Bochy doesn’t have a hair-trigger, and getting Machi warming up seemed out of character. Vogey got out of both innings unscathed–with a nicely turned double play in the 1st, and a ground ball in the 2nd. So Bochy left Machi in the pen. Temporarily.

Vogey went on to pitch a good game– it remained scoreless until the 7th–and even though I thought Vogey was still in good shape, Bochy decided to bring Machi in to get the last out. And he did. I guess that’s why they pay Bochy the big buck$, and basically won’t listen to a word I say. Machi faced 1 batter, who hit a ground ball to 3rd, which Pablo fielded easily. Well, at least it looked easy. Affeldt handled the 8th and Romo handled the 9th, both with 3-up, 3-down efficiency. Vogelsong pitched 6.2 innings, facing 26 batters–he gave up 2 hits, 5 walks and struck out 3. Machi faced just the one, Affeldt and Romo faced 3 each–the very definition of 3-up, 3-down precludes facing more than 3 per inning. So when the GIANTS went on to score 4 runs in the 7th and 1 run in the 8th, guess which GIANTS pitcher got the W for the win???  Of course–Machi! Why? because its baseball. And Machi was the pitcher of record when the GIANTS took the lead.

09.11.blapagHere’s how they did it: Pence led-off the 7th with a walk, Blanco scored Pence with an RBI double. Crawford hit a single and Duffy pinch-hit an  RBI double in the pitcher’s spot, scoring Blanco. Crawford came home on a wild pitch and Pagan hit a SAC fly scoring Duffy. In the 8th, with 1 out, Pablo hit a double, Pence hit a single and Ishikawa hit a double scoring Pablo. This is the part where I tell you about all the runs the DBacks scored. But I can’t. Because they didn’t score. None. The final score was:

GIANTS 5, Arizona 0

Thursday Night

09.11.ggI posted this on Facebook yesterday in memory of those who lost their lives and those who gave their lives on September 11, 2001:  “Today is 9/11. I know, I’m sure I didn’t have to tell you that. We are still remembering the lives lost that day. ‪#‎NeverForget‬. One thing I will never forget is the Mets game that was played at Shea Stadium 10 days after the attacks. The baseball world honored the people who died in those attacks and paid special tribute to the heroes of FDNY and NYPD. Baseball. It’s good for America.” Yesterday there were special tributes in ballparks all across America reminding us #NeverForget. Remember what James Earl Jones’ character in Field of Dreams said: “the one constant through all the years…has been baseball.”  That is so true.

09.11.pence1Thursday night the GIANTS got the party started a little earlier. It also started a little weirder. Pagan led-off the 1st with a double, Posey got a base hit moving Pagan to 3rd, and with 2 outs, Pence was up next. He took a swing and lost his grip on the bat–which, in effect, made him throw the bat at the ball. The bat hit the ball, the ball went up the middle and hit 2nd base, preventing the 2nd baseman from fielding it, allowing Pence to reach 1st and Pagan to score. Kruk and Kuip called it the “perfect magic wandoo” I call it the perfect base hit. RBI base hit, to be precise. Pagan scored again in the 3rd when he led-off with a base hit Pablo brought him home with an RBI single. In the 4th Gregor Blanco hit a single, Ishikawa drew a walk and Crawford scored Blanco with an RBI base hit. Ishikawa got a base hit to open up the 6th, Juan Perez hit a double, scoring Ishikawa, Panik walked, Posey hit a line drive for an RBI single. With the bases loaded, Hunter Pence drew a walk, scoring Panik. Arizona scored 2 runs, one in the 6th–with 1 out, Arizona’s shortstop hit a triple, the next hitter flied out, then their 1st baseman hit a double, scoring the shortstop. 09.11.peavyThat’s all Bochy needed to see. He took Peavy out and brought in Machi. Bochy has faith–but it’s apparently a dog on a very short leash. Arizona scored a solo HR in the 9th. The final score was:

GIANTS 6, Arizona 2

The Dodgers are in town tonight. The GIANTS are 2 games away from tying up the NL West. This is when things get really interesting.

 

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