SF Giants Gamer Babes at 50

scan_20161001-2Ok, so it was awhile ago–never you mind how long–we’re fifty and then some now. The picture was taken when two of my best friends–BFF Vickie and BFF Sherry–and I had a big birthday bash the year we turned 50. Friday night–in the spirit of celebrating the anniversary of our 50th birthday–we got together to cheer for our Giants and bring them good luck. It worked.

Madison Bumgarner was on the mound and he did what Johnny Cueto did Thursday night–gave up two runs in the top of the first.

Unlike Thursday night, though, the Giants answered right back in the bottom of the inning scoring two runs of their own. Gorkys Hernandez led off with a double, Brandon Belt drew a walk, and Gorkys scored on Buster Posey’s single. Hunter Pence hit into a force out, Belt advanced to third and scored on Angel Pagan’s sac fly. Game tied.

The Dodgers surprised us by scoring another run in the top of the sixth inning.

But the Giants came up with a “Magic Wandoo” inning in the bottom of the sixth. Angel Pagan led off with a walk,  Brandon Crawford and Kelby Tomlinson hit singles and the bases were loaded. Conor Gillaspie came into the game to replace our new Giant, Gordon Beckham, and smacked a double scoring Pagan and Crawford. Madison Bumgarner helped himself with a double scoring Kelby and Conor. Denard Span hit a single and Brandon Belt finished it up with a three-run home run scoring Madison and Denard while he took his victory lap. The final score was:

Giants 9, LA 3

Great game. But it was not without it’s problems. The LA pitchers decided to take some shots at our guys, laying Buster out flat and hitting Belt on the hand.

There were also a couple of over-zealous fans who managed to sneak on to the field. Pagan tackled one and Posey knocked another one down at home. After the game Posey said the guy took a flop–I had to look that up, it’s when a basketball player intentionally falls down without being hit to draw a personal foul–because he didn’t hit him that hard. Oh Buster, you’re such a card.

Speaking of cards–the Cardinals won today and so did the Mets. Status quo. The Mets are one game up and the Cardinals are one game back. We continue to sit in the second Wild Card spot for the time being.

How about some really good news? Javier Lopez and Brandon Crawford shared the Willie Mac Award. Excellent picks.

Madison Bumgarner reached his milestone 100th career win.

It was a good day to be a Giant.

Saturday’s game starts at 1:05 pm and our left-handed rookie, Ty Blach, is taking the hill for the Giants. I like it. Rookie luck. Catch the game on CSN-BA, KNBR 680 and KKSF. Tune in and Don’t Stop Believing.

Toni Cecchetti

30 September 2016

SF Giants here we go again

09-29-giants-groupThe Giants started Thursday’s game kind of the same way they started Wednesday’s game. Of course I said to myself, “here we go again.”

It was a Johnny Cueto start, though, and everyone loves a Johnny Cueto start. Including Johnny Cueto. He got off to a shaky start–he gave up two runs in the first–but he quickly tucked in and got the job done. In seven innings pitched, he allowed two runs on nine hits and one walk. He struck out 11. Has anyone else noticed that Giants starting pitchers are striking out 11 this week? What? Did they have a meeting? I like it though, no complaints here. 11 works for me.

The guys brought their bats to the ballpark Thursday too. Buster Posey and Hunter Pence each scored a run in the fourth, but the sixth inning is where the real fun started.

Brandon Crawford singled–hitting the pitcher in the leg–the pitcher tried to field the ball anyway and overthrew first. Crawford advanced to second on the error. Angel Pagan singled and Joe Panik followed with a fielder’s choice, loading the bases. Conor Gillaspie hit a sac fly scoring Crawford. Johnny Cueto was up next and laid down a bunt that was initially ignored by the Rockies infield, allowing Cueto to reach first. The Rockies third baseman–in an attempt to field the ball a little late–overthrew first and Johnny Cueto ran for second like a sprinter, allowing Crawford and Pagan to score while that was happening.

The Giants scored two more runs in the eighth by moving the line along. Conor Gillaspie drew a walk, Jarrett Parker was hit by a pitch, and Denard Span singled, loading the bases. Brandon Belt drew a walk and Gillaspie scored. Buster Posey’s sac fly scored Parker.

The bullpen was lights out, using three pitchers in the eighth and Sergio Romo shutting the Rockies down in the ninth. The final score was:

Giants 7, Rockies 2

We won the game. Which means we won the series. Series wins have been few and far between this half of the season. Way to go Giants.

Friday is our last regular season series opener. We are playing the dreaded Boys in Blue at home. Madison Bumgarner is on the mound, and as always, I like our chances. Game time is 7:15 pm and you can catch it on CSN-BA, KNBR 680 or KKSF. You don’t want to miss Orange Friday against the Dodgers. And you Don’t Stop Believing.

Toni Cecchetti

29 September 2016

37 years! and Happy Birthday to my Grandma

SF Giants still in it

09-28-coloradorockiesvsanfranciscogiantsedmhree3cyflI don’t know how, but we’re still in the hunt. Even after we were shut out by the Rockies Wednesday night.

Jeff Samardzija pitched a good game, allowing 2 runs on seven hits and one walk, but he struck out 11–he did a great job.

Problem was our bats. They were very quiet. Oh sure, we had runners on almost every inning, but they couldn’t get the hits to bring them home. Or they hit into a double play. It was not our night. The final score was:

Giants 0, Rockies 2

The good new is it wasn’t the Cardinals night either. The Mets won, beating Miami 5-2, but the Cardinals lost to the Reds 2-1. So, while the Mets are a game and a half up on us, the Cardinals are still a game back.

Thursday’s game starts at 7:15 pm. Johnny Cueto is scheduled to pitch. Let’s hope he’s up to it. The game will be on CSN-BA, KNBR 680, and KKSF.

Miami had a funeral procession for Jose Fernandez today. It reminded me once again to enjoy every ballgame I get to watch and appreciate my team. So, San Francisco Giants–you didn’t win today, but I’ll take whatever you’re giving–I’m just glad you’re all here.

However it turns out, Don’t Stop Believing.

Toni Cecchetti

28 September 2016

SF Giants-the hunt is still on

09-26-pencewrap_imycn6tp_pqo5olt12xBefore I talk about our game, I want to talk about the tribute the Miami Marlins paid to their Ace, Jose Fernandez, gone too soon. It was a heart wrenching, tearful, fitting tribute to their fallen brother. It made me bawl like a baby. The team gathered around Fernandez’s mound–all wearing Fernandez jerseys with his number 16. A solo trumpet played Take Me Out To The Ballgame, and the Mets met the Marlins on the field to offer condolences.

Then it was time to play. Dee Gordon was up first and in a personal tribute to his good friend, stepped into the right-hand batter’s box wearing Jose’s batting helmet. He imitated Jose’s stance as best he could and took a pitch for his friend. Then he switched to the left-hand batter’s box–which is where he hits–and sent the next pitch over the wall. His first home run of the season. Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon gave Gordon the moment and waited until Gordon finished his home run lap and passed through the gauntlet in the dugout before re-taking the mound. Classy move.

After the game was over, the Marlins won 7-3, the team gathered around the mound again, arm-in-arm to say their good byes. They left their hats on the mound.

It was a beautiful, moving, classy tribute…and I never want to see another one like it. Ever.

I’ve been pretty vocal about our guys crummy second half. The game and tribute I witnessed last night made me realize how lucky we are. Sure, I’d love to have an extra month of watching Giants baseball. But the Marlins put things in perspective for me. Our guys are all here, they are all whole and healthy for the most part. I’m grateful they’re safe and I’ll enjoy watching them play–whether it’s for 6 more games or 18 or somewhere in between.

The Giants paid tribute to Fernandez by hanging a jersey in the dugout–with his name and number 16–for Tuesday’s game. Speaking of number 16, our own number 16–Angel Pagan recorded the first out Tuesday night by catching a fly ball to left.

The Giants started scoring right away. In the bottom of the first, Brandon Belt doubled and scored on Hunter Pence’s single. In the third Belt tripled and scored on Buster Posey’s ground out.

Denard Span led off the fifth with a double and scored when Belt hit a single that caught Belt at second when he tried to stretch it to a double. Buster smacked his one-thousandth hit, driving it over the left-center wall–right into the hands of the Dawg, the Giants ubiquitous fan. Buster Posey’s good friend Hunter Pence liked it so well, he did the same and Brandon Crawford hit a triple, scoring on Angel Pagan’s single.

Angel Pagan opened up the bottom of the seventh with a single and scored on Joe Panik’s double. Buster Posey drew a walk in the eighth, Hunter Pence singled and Brandon Crawford’s triple drove them home. Crawford scored on Angel Pagan’s ground out and Joe Panik followed with a triple. Conor Gillaspie roped a home run to right, scoring them both.

Matt Moore was fantastic. He allowed one run on six hits–gave up zero walks–in 7 ⅔ innings. He struck out 11. Nice night. Josh Osich pitched the ninth and allowed two runs. The final score was:

Giants 12, Rockies 3

Scoreboard watching: The Mets took Tuesday’s game over the Marlins 12-1, the Cardinals beat the Reds 12-5.  You see the theme here? All three teams in the hunt for the Wild Card spots scored 12 runs in their games Tuesday. Which just means we’re all holding steady with the Mets a half game over the Giants in the first Wild Card spot and the Cardinals a game in back of the Giants for the second spot. The hunt for Orange October is still on. It’s a closely held contest.

Wednesday’s game starts at 7:15 pm with Jeff Samardzija on the mound for the Giants. The game will be on CSN-BA, ESPN (out-of-market only) KNBR 680 and KKSF. Don’t miss it. And Don’t Stop Believing.

SF Giants win some, lose some

09-25-421giants-padres-baseballThat’s our second half nickname–”Winsome and Losesome.”

I’ve been scoreboard watching all day, or more precisely, baseball watching. And not just the Giants, but the other teams who are in the hunt as well.

Teams like the Dodgers–who clinched the NL West with their 10th inning walk off win over the Rockies. I can’t begrudge the Dodgers their win–chances were they had a lock on the title after our second half struggles. But before you string me me up with orange and black rope, hear me out–this was Vin Scully’s last home game as the “Voice of the Dodgers” and the win was for Vin. They had to bring this one home.

I didn’t watch the Mets, but from what I read, the Phils could have been spared some pain if the umps had imposed the Little League “mercy rule.” The Mets prevailed, 17-0. If the mercy rule had been applied, the game would have ended in the seventh. But the game when on and the Mets added on in the eighth–six runs. That’s just overkill. And it makes no difference to the Phils–a loss is a loss is a loss whether you lose by one run or by ten. We should know.

The Cubs saved our bacon with a 3-1 win over St. Louis. That leaves us in the hunt for a Wild Card spot, with the Mets a game ahead of us in the first spot and the Cards a half game behind us for the second spot.

The Giants lost today, but even with the loss, we are–by some miracle and an amazing first half–still in it. Ty Blach did a good job today in his debut as a rookie starter. I think he held his own. He got into some sticky situations, but worked his way through them, keeping the game within reach. The final score was:
Giants 3, Padres 4

The good news is Brandon Crawford came back. The bad news is Eduardo Nunez left the game with a hamstring issue.

Sunday began with tragedy and ended in sadness in the sports world. The Marlins Ace, 24 year-old Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami early Sunday morning. Sunday evening brought the news that the King of Golf, Arnold Palmer, died at the age of 87. May they both rest in peace.

We have Monday off, then we’re back in the fight–facing the Rockies at AT&T Park Tuesday at 7:15 pm. I’ll see you after the game. Don’t Stop Believing.

Toni Cecchetti

25 September 2016

SF Giants making me punch drunk

09-24-2ckrqqyzuuaa6cd

My uncle (on the right) sparring a little with boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

We won again. These up-down, up-down outings are starting to make me queasy. Don’t get me wrong–I am deliriously happy about the win.

I won’t complain about the torture, or the runs Madison Bumgarner gave up, or talk about the fact that Sergio Romo got the strike out, gave up a single and then got the double play ball to end the inning and the game in the tenth.

I can’t really. I didn’t see the game. But I read about it. I missed free baseball. You all know how much I love free baseball. I know this much: the final score was:

Giants 9, Padres 6

I had family dinner Saturday night. Family dinner is when a few of us gather at my cousin’s house to spend the evening with my uncle–my father’s younger brother. He’s 86 years old and he runs circles around most of us. He’s the best part of what my dad left behind and I’ll be honest with you–if it meant missing the Giants in Game 7 of the World Series to spend time with him, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I’m going to spend as much time with him and the rest of my family as I can, while I can.

We discussed spending time with parents, and since I’ve lost both of mine, I always tell people “you’ll never regret time spent with your parents.” I’m going to change my advice to “you’ll never regret time spent with loved ones.” They’re all we’ve got in this crazy, discombobulated world.

So am I sorry I missed a Giants win in extra innings? You bet. More than you know. Would I do it again to spend time with those I love, respect and admire the most? All day every day. Just try to stop me.

Sunday’s game starts at 1:40 with Ty Blach–our very talented rookie–on the mound for the Giants. Nothing I like better than rookie luck in September. Go get ’em Ty! You can watch the game on CSN-BA or listen on KKSF or KNBR 680.

Scoreboard watching today proved to be another mezza-mezza day. The Dodgers won–by a country mile–and since we did too, their magic number is now 1. The Cardinals clobbered the Cubs and the Mets lost to the Phils. So we are tied with the Mets for the Wild Card spots and the Cards are a half game behind us. It can still happen! It’s baseball–anything can happen…you know that.

Spend time with your loved ones. Take them out to the ballgame.

Don’t Stop Believing. I know I won’t.

Toni Cecchetti

24 September 2016

SF Giants…AGAIN?!?!

09-23-mlbf_1184421183_th_45Not what we expected. Again. A quick glimpse of our pre-All∗Star Break Giants Thursday and the unrecognizables were back Friday night.

Albert Suarez’s not so terrific outing was capped off by reliever Matt Reynolds absolutely, unbelievably horrific fifth inning. Add to that our ho hum offense, and you have a recipe for a bleak October.

I’m not going to recap Friday’s game. I’d just as soon forget about it. The final score was:

Giants 2, Padres 7

My scoreboard watching was mezza-mezza today. The Dodgers have a seven game lead over us-with eight left to play-after beating the Rockies tonight. The Mets won today and are the only team in the first Wild Card spot with one game on us. The Cardinals lost today and are a half game behind us for the second spot. We’re hanging on by an orange thread in the second spot all by ourselves.

Let’s put this one behind us. I’ll feel better tomorrow. Tomorrow’s a new day and we have Madison Bumgarner on the hill. You know me–I like our chances. Game time is 5:40 pm. The game will be on NBC Bay Area, the MLB Network and KNBR 680. Tune in and Don’t Stop Believing.

 

Toni Cecchetti

23 September 2016

SF Giants anything can happen

09-22-ap_hunter_pence_cvye9mul_tomhey7fAnother team and another pitching duel. This time between the veteran Jeff Samardzija for the Giants and the former Rockies pitcher, Christian Friedrich for the Padres.

Samardzija was great–he pitched seven shut out innings, allowing four hits and striking out nine. Derek Law relieved Samardzija in the seventh and gave up a home run with the only hit he allowed.

The Giants were held scoreless through seven, but came to life in the eighth when Joe Panik opened up the inning with a ground rule double and advanced to third on Kelby Tomlinson’s base hit. Eduardo Nunez ground into a force out that took Kelby out at second. Angle Pagan hit a single to right, scoring Panik and Hunter Pence hit a double, plating Nunez.

The Giants went into the ninth with a one-run lead and didn’t add on. Sergio Romo pitched the ninth, causing all of us to move closer to the edge of our seats. I mean, we love Romo, but you gotta admit, he’s had some problems with consistency. As Kuip put it–”moderate torture” at the end. Like Wednesday night, Romo came through–getting the save so the Giants could win the game. The final score was:

Giants 2, Padres 1

Scoreboard watching wasn’t nearly as successful. The Rockies had the Dodgers on the ropes until the seventh when Yasmani Grandal hit a grand slam to give the Dodgers the lead and the win. We’re still six games in back of the Dodgers with nine left to play. LA’s magic number is down to four.

The Mets won their game in an 11th inning walk off and the Cardinals had the day off. The Giants and the Mets are tied for the Wild Card spots and the Cardinals are half a game back. Things could get interesting though–the Mets have a cream puff schedule, facing the Phils, the Marlins and the Phils again, while the Cardinals face the Cubs, the Reds and the Pirates. And of course we have the Padres, more Dodgers and our final regular season home stand against the Rockies at home. It’s baseball–anything can happen.

Friday’s game starts at 7:40 pm with Albert Suarez on the mound for the Giants, against the Padres Edwin Jackson–Mr. Inconsistency–who has pitched for almost all the teams in the bigs. I’ll say it again–anything can happen. Don’t Stop Believing.

Toni Cecchetti

22 September 2016

SF Giants-we was robbed

09-21-mlbf_1180751183_th_45That’s right. Somebody call the cops. I want to report a theft. 25 men, ages 18-40 were stolen from AT&T Park on or around July 11th. They were last seen on July 10th, wearing their Sunday best–a white baseball uniform with the word “Giants” on the back. Their jerseys and pants are trimmed in orange and black.  Madison Bumgarner had just pitched a complete game shut out to sweep the Diamondbacks in a three game series. No one has seen them since. We’ve had a few sightings, but they were false alarms.

There will be a reward for all Giants fans–a whole lot of Orange October–if they can be found. Contact Bruce Bochy, Bobby Evans or Brian Sabean if you see them. It’s urgent–there’s only ten games left–I’m not sure how we’ll get to the post season if we don’t find them.

What a way to start a game between the Giants and our arch-rivals, the dreaded Dodgers. I had good feelings about Wednesday night’s game right from the start. Matt Moore was on the mound for the Giants and the last time he pitched in Chavez Ravine he flirted–very seriously–with a no hitter.

I had high hopes for a repeat performance. My hopes died pretty early.

The Giants drew first blood–in the first inning–when Denard Span drew a walk and scored on Angel Pagan’s single to right. Yasiel Puig launched the ball to home plate in an attempt to throw Span out at home, but Span beat the throw by a split second. Not only that, the catcher couldn’t hang on to the ball anyway.

The Dodgers tied the game in the bottom of the inning, then added on four more. The Giants scored again in the second–Ehire Adrianza hit his second home run of the season–a fly ball that went over the right field fence. The Dodgers continued to add on, and the Giants scored another run in the seventh–Hunter Pence singled and scored on Brandon Belt’s double. The final score was:

Giants 3, Dodgers 9

It’s hard to think it, forget saying it out loud. I tried to and I choked.

Matt Moore had a terrible night. He gave up six runs–one was a home run–on seven hits and a walk. He didn’t strike out anyone. Matt Cain pitched two innings and allowed two runs on three hits. He struck out two. Josh Osich pitched one scoreless, Jake Peavy pitched one inning and allowed one run on one hit and a walk.

The pitching hero of the night was Ty Blach. You remember Ty. He made his big league debut at Coors Field. The ballpark near his childhood home. He pitched in his first big league game with his friends, family and even his old high school baseball coach looking on. He did a great job in Colorado, but it was nothing compared to his performance in LA Wednesday night. He pitched three perfect innings. The only question I have–can we clone him? We could use a couple more.

I’m still scoreboard watching and now the Dodgers have six games up on us in the NL West. We have ten games left to play and the Dodgers magic number is now 5. Any combination of LA wins and Giants losses equaling 5 clinches the NL West for the Dodgers.

Here’s the good news: we’re back to consolation prizes. The Mets and St. Louis both lost today also, which means we are still in a three-way tie for the Wild Card spots.

Thursday the Giants play the Padres at 7:10 pm in San Diego. the game will be on CSN-BA and KNBR 680. Don’t miss it! and Don’t Stop Believing.

Toni Cecchetti

21 September 2016

 

SF Giants look at us now!

imageThe whole game was torture. I held my breath the entire time.  Much like Monday’s game, Tuesday’s game was another pitching duel.

Johnny Cueto pitched a decent game. He got into some trouble, but he managed to get out of each inning clean. He pitched five and ⅓ scoreless–he gave up eight hits and two walks. He struck out six.

Here’s the bad news: he pulled his groin in the sixth and had to come out. We’ll know more about what’s going to happen after his MRI tomorrow. Here’s the rest of the bad news: Brandon Crawford jammed his pinky sliding head first into third base. To add insult to injury–literally–he was tagged out. His finger is dislocated. He’ll be day to day.

Steven Okert took over for Cueto and was practically perfect. He faced six hitters and gave up one hit. He struck out three. Will Smith pitched a shut down eighth inning with two strikeouts and Sergio Romo got the save for pitching a scoreless ninth–with two strikeouts.

In Monday’s game and most of Tuesday’s it looked like the Giants were going with one specific offense. His name is Eduardo Nunez. Monday night he slid around the bases on his belly for the Giants only run of the game and Tuedsay he sky’d it to left for a hit, but Bochy asked for a review and the umpires in New York ruled it a home run.

The ninth inning brought a nice surprise–Brandon Belt hit one out of the park. The Giants shut out the Dodgers. The final score was:

Giants 2, Dodgers 0

We needed that. The guys needed that. And win or lose Wednesday, I’m not giving up. The game starts at 7:10 pm with Matt Moore on the mound. The kid’s alright. Tune into CSN-BA, ESPN or KNBR 680 to catch the game.

I’m still scoreboard watching. Believe it or not, with this win we are still five games in back of the Dodgers for the NL West and we are in a three-way tie with the Mets and St. Louis for the Wild Card. Talk about wild! Whatever you do–Don’t Stop Believing.

Toni Cecchetti

20 September 2016

Baseball Books

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