SF Giants “cook up a win”

team 06.26

Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper—our unwitting leaders—opened Monday night’s game with Kruk in a chef’s coat, conjuring a recipe to “cook up a win.” And there’s the answer. They just needed the recipe. Someone must have left the cake out in the rain.

It was a game that looked like hundreds of winning games from years past. Hard work and moving the line. This time the big production came from extra base hits and good situational hitting.

First of all, Jeff Samardzija pitched a gem. He went six and a third, allowed two runs, six hits, NO walks and he struck out five.

The Giants scored early and often, beginning in the first with a little two-out thunder. Hunter Pence hit a single, Buster Posey doubled and Pence scored. They scored two in the third: Denard Span drew a walk and scored on Buster Posey’s sac fly. Joe Panik singled and scored on Brandon Belt‘s triple.

The Giants scored two more in the fourth when Gorkys Hernandez singled and scored on Span’s triple, Span scored on Panik’s sac fly. Hunter Pence singled in the seventh, advanced when Posey singled and scored on Brandon Crawford‘s single.

The Giants tacked on three insurance runs in the eighth. Gorkys Hernandez led off the inning by reaching on a Rockies fielding error and scored on Kelby Tomlinson‘s double. Panik’s single scored Kelby and Panik scored on Buster’s base hit.

The final score was: Giants 9, Rockies 2

My question is this: is the Giants win just because they were due? or did they– and the baseball gods–heed manager Bruce Bochy‘s “enough is enough” warning? or is it because the team got fired up from all the silly rumors flying around baseball?

You’ve heard them I’m sure. They range from the Giants bonded over a mutual hate for Giants former OF Angel Pagan, and now that he’s no longer with the team, they have fallen apart because their mutual hate was the tie that bound. BS. These guys are pros, not junior high schoolers.

The other one is about Mark Melancon changing routines. The bullpen stretches at a certain time and Bochy’s rule is they all do it together. Melancon doesn’t stretch with the guys. The team has responded to that one. Bochy basically scoffed at the idea,  chalked it up to miscommunication and said that it being an issue was “like pole-vaulting over mouse turds.”

I’m sure before the season ends, we’ll hear a lot more about what has caused the Giants abysmal first half. All I can say is let’s root for the abysmal part to be completely over by the time the Giants get back from the All∗Star break.

But for Monday’s game we can put a check mark in the W column— I’m going attributing this win to Bochy announcing that he’s had it. A big thank you to the baseball gods, and as ever, I am grateful Philadelphia still has our back.

Toni Cecchetti

26 June 2017

SF Giants Broomless and Batless

k & k 06.25

Everybody seems to be sweeping up lately. And here we are without any brooms. The Mets were swept by the Dodgers, then the Mets turned around and swept the Giants.

I think the Giants may have checked out mentally.

Sure we get hits here and there. It is grating on the entire team. Our pitchers so far in the first half—for the most part, there’s been exceptions—have tried to keep each game within reach, all the hitters had to do was pick it up with a few hits and a run every now and again.

Sunday was another day, another loss. This time the Mets ate up our pitcher, Matt Moore. After four and a third, Moore allowed five runs—two were home runs, seven hits, three walks and five strike outs. He’s had better outings.

The Giants scored two runs : one in the third when Denard Span and Joe Panik hit singles, Hunter Pence drew a walk and Buster Posey got Span home on a sac fly; basically they encored in the eighth—this time Conor Gillaspie led off the inning with a double, Span and Pence hit singles, and Gillaspie scored from third on Buster’s ground out.

The final score was: Giants 2, Mets 8

Manager Bruce Bochy said after the game “the baseball gods are really testing us.” I’ll say. And the Giants are flunking.

The Giants have been in this funk since last year’s All∗Star break. and when you think about it, it doesn’t sting as much as it did in August when it was fresh or as much as it did in April and May when our renewed hopes for better year were dashed like wreckage on the rocks surrounding McCovey Cove.

What does that mean? We have to cheer louder, stay with it longer and never, ever give up. We’re Giants fans, after all.

As always, perpetually grateful and appreciative of Philadelphia. They have our back. Literally.

Toni Cecchetti

25 June 2017

SF Giants Lose, Lose

gorkys 06.23

The good news is we didn’t expect to win Friday night’s game. Here are my rationalizations for not expecting to win: the Giants flew all night after playing Thursday night in Georgia. A ridiculous schedule. It’s June, so there’s the June Swoon factor, and well, let’s face it—lately, wins are tough to come by.

So, if not expecting the Giants to win is the good news, what’s the bad news? We don’t expect the Giants to win. We’re coming up with rationalizations for the losses. Out of 30 MLB teams, the Giants come in at a solid #29. I keep joking about Philadelphia, but they just went on a two-game winning streak. If they keep this up, they’ll be thanking the baseball gods for San Francisco.

The sad/glad news is I continue to hope. I wait in eager anticipation for the game where it will all come together as if by magic. The pitchers will be lights out, the hitters will hit ’em where they ain’t and the defense will turn plays like a well-oiled machine.

I know it can happen. I’ve been there before. I’ve witnessed it. We all have. It will happen again. We just have to be patient.

Like Johnny Bench said:

“That’s the remarkable thing about baseball. The game has a way of having you scratch your head one minute and drive you crazy, and then the next, you’re entertained beyond your wildest hopes. That’s why it’s the best game.”

He’s right. It really is the best game.

And of course, all things being equal, I’m still grateful for Philadelphia.

Toni Cecchetti

23 june 2017

SF Giants I’m playing hooky


My uncle (left) and my dad (right)

Today is the 89th anniversary of my dad’s birth. His brother and I have been celebrating it in his memory for years. This year will be no different.

So, instead of watching the Giants play, I’ll hoist a glass in memory of one of the best men I’ve ever known with the guy who comes in a close second.

Happy Birthday Big Tony. I miss you.

I will still hope for a win while I continue to appreciate Philadelphia.


Little Toni

22 June 2017

SF Giants what goes around comes around


I’ll have what he’s having.

Back on the L side of the board. Anyone else getting dizzy? I am. Maybe it’s the heat.

The Giants were the first to score in Wednesday’s game in Atlanta when Hunter Pence singled and Brandon Belt knocked him home with a triple.

Atlanta scored two runs in the fourth and added an extra run in the seventh. The Giants added on one run in the eighth after Denard Span tripled and snuck home on a wild pitch with Brandon Crawford at the plate. The Giants scored the tying run in the ninth on Hunter Pence’s solo home run.

The game went into extra innings and the Braves scored with a walk off two-run home run in the eleventh.

The final score was: Giants 3, Braves 5

The fact is nothing changed for the Giants. We stayed in the same spot in the standings. We’re just a few games away from being awarded the very first draft pick. It’s been awhile since we’ve done that. right?!

All things being equal, I’m still grateful for Philadelphia.

Toni Cecchetti

 21 June 2017

SF Giants Snap! goes the losing streak

slater 06.20

It was a good news/bad news game. First the bad news. The Giants didn’t play that great. The good news? The Braves were worse.

The Braves scored two runs in the third inning and one run in the eighth. All runs were charged to starting pitcher Matt Moore, who had a decent outing—he even got the W. He allowed the three runs, seven hits, one walk and six strikeouts.

Mark Melancon came into the game to close it out, and got the save for the first time since May 27th when the Giants beat the Braves, 6-3 at AT&T Park. Weird.

The Giants didn’t score any runs until the eighth inning, when the wheels came flying off the Braves’ bus. Hunter Pence led off with a single–it looked like the third baseman could have made the play, but he bobbled the ball. Pence reached second on an error but was called out on the play. Manager Bruce Bochy challenged and the ruling on the field was overturned. Brandon Belt reached first on the play. With two men on,  Austin Slater hit a three-run dinger to take the lead.

Kelby Tomlinson got a base hit and scored on Denard Span‘s RBI single. Span scored on on a throwing error when Brandon Crawford reached on a force attempt. Brandon Belt put the cherry on top with a solo home run in the ninth.

It was messy, loaded with missteps, mistakes and downright errors, but right now we’ll take what we can get. Clean innings are for other teams, other times. They’re over rated anyway.

The final score was: Giants 6, Braves 3

I hate to cheer for another team to bobble the ball and miss plays, but they’ll get over it and we can’t afford to be picky.

In the meantime, could someone please shut off the heater? It’s getting way too warm here and it’s making me cranky.

Toni Cecchetti

20 June 2017

SF Giants how low can we go?

kuip bday 06.19

Happy Birthday Smoothie!

With 90 games left to play, I was tempted to calculate the trajectory of where we will end up if the Giants keep up this pace, but then I thought “why?” It’s not going to do any of us any good.

Tonight’s game was another offensive nightmare that turned into a pitching kerfluffle. Johnny Cueto managed to squeeze out seven decent innings, allowing two runs–one was a home run–five hits, no walks and four strikeouts. He held on tight, giving the Giants a chance to jump in and put up some runs.

The best opportunity for that came in the first with runners at the corners and no outs. Unfortunately, even our big bats had trouble closing the deal.

Josh Osich took over in the eighth and that’s when the wheels flew off the bus. Osich allowed three runs, one hit and two walks. Derek Law had a tough time in his attempt to put away the third out and ended up giving up four runs–one a home run–five hits and one walk before turning the ball over to Bryan Morris.

Adding insult to injury, the ump blew a call, calling Brandon Belt out at second, when he was clearly safe. To make matters worse, the call was upheld by the replay review. Boggles the mind.

The final score was: Giants 0, Braves 9

When the last out was called, I watched the guys packing up. Hunter Pence wandered around the dugout looking like he lost his best friend. After Law was finished pitching, he sat on the bench looking stunned and shaking his head. It looks to me like these guys don’t even know how to explain it.

We’ve been through worse. It’s just been a while.

As always, grateful for Philadelphia.

Toni Cecchetti

19 June 2017