SF Giants third base blues

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Brandon Belt and Ehire Adrianza complete a strike ’em out, throw ’em out double play that started with  Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford.

I still miss Matt Duffy. I’m not crying, I told you I’d have the sniffles for awhile. I made it worse by watching his game today. You know how when you were a teenager–you suffered a heartbreak and spent hours and hours listening to old records that reminded you of your sweetheart? Maybe only if you were a teenage girl. Anyway, you just couldn’t imagine a world without her/him, so you spent hours making yourself even more miserable. Same theory applies.

You think we have a tough time with other announcers? I watched the Tampa Bay feed on MLB.tv and during Duffy’s AB, every time he got a hit, the broadcast network took the opportunity to use his AB to demonstrate baseball plays. When the demonstrations were over, you could see old #5 running to first. Unbelievable. He contributed a couple of hits in his five AB’s. The Rays beat Boston in extra innings.

Speaking of old third baseman and Boston, Pablo Sandoval was at the Trop today since Boston was in town and he’s been working out at their ST facility in Florida. He showed off his new 22-pound lighter self. I guess he’s decided to get back into the game next season. Good for him.

I don’t really want to live in the past, but I’m starting to think we got snakebit when Duffy got traded. I have read posts on Facebook of people suggesting that theory, and every time I thought “nah”. Lately though, I wonder if they might be on to something. We’ve been in trouble since the All∗Star break and although Duffy wasn’t traded until two weeks later, it could be the guys are in a funk because he was placed on the DL June 20th and then he was gone. Our home grown infield was dismantled.

The irony? Tropicana Field is where he got broken. Now it’s his home field. I miss the DuffMan.

I’m not suggesting we send Matt Moore back–even if we could–although his outing tomorrow may make others feel that way, but not me. I’m not even ready to suggest that. I hope his outing tomorrow is the answer to every Giants fan’s prayers.

Wednesday was a Johnny Cueto start and Cueto was great. Our defense was great. Our bats were even doing well. We just couldn’t string enough hits together to score a run. Or a hit that would go over the wall. We came so close. It was a frustrating night–even Buster Posey showed signs of frustration. The sad part is we had six hits and the Dodgers only managed to get five, but Justin Turner–the Dodger’s third baseman–sent one of their hits yard. The final score was:

Giants 0, LA 1

You seeing a theme here? It’s all about third base, about third base, about third base. Sing it with me.

Thursday’s game starts at 7:10 pm, like I said–with Matt Moore on the mound. The game will be on CSN-BA and KNBR 680. Looking forward to it.

Keep your chin up and Don’t Stop Believing.

Toni Cecchetti

24 August 2016

 

 

SF Giants Ace folds

08.23 usa-today-9431623.0 (1) A Madison Bumgarner start means one thing to me: when he’s on the mound, I like our chances.I was hoping for more Tuesday night, but it wasn’t our night. OK, it wasn’t then it was, then it wasn’t, then it was…you get the idea.

The Dodgers started off the scoring first, but the Giants jumped in pretty quickly to tie up the score. The Dodgers pulled ahead, the Giants tied it up. I’m starting to sound redundant. The Dodgers rookies–guys we’ve never even heard of–hit home runs, one off Bumgarner and one off Javy Lopez.

Here’s the good news: Angel Pagan is better, he played today and continued his hitting streak; Brandon Belt found his swing.

The bad news: Gregor Blanco was placed on the 15-day DL and  the rest of the Giants couldn’t get the bats going in long enough to score a few more runs–except Denard Span who sent one over the right field fence in the bottom of the ninth. The final score was:

Giants 5, Dodgers 9

Scariest moment of the night: Buster Posey took a foul ball to the chin in the bottom of the eighth that would have done some major damage if Buster wasn’t wearing a helmet. As it was, it looked like he kept trying to adjust his jaw after the trainer came out and gave him a look-see.

I did what I suggested to everyone else–I sent tweets to all the guys on Twitter. I don’t know that it helped, but it sure as heck didn’t hurt. I’m going to go ahead and send tweets after the game and tomorrow too. Anything to build some energy.

Wednesday’s game starts at 7:10 pm with Johnny Cueto on the mound for the Giants. The game will be on CSN-BA and KNBR 680. Get your dreads on–everyone loves a Cueto start. #johnnybeisbol

Toni Cecchetti

23 August 2016

SF Giants-we love you!

08.21 giants_jeff_samardzija_no_hits_mets_through_6_innings_m12Sunday afternoon I re-watched the SFG Productions video about the 2014 Championship. I got misty. It drove home something I mentioned the other day: We Love the Giants and we need to let them know–just like voting–early and often.

Every time they play in AT&T Park, they get energy from the fans. From now, to the end our 2016 run forever, we need to let them know we’re with them. No matter what. Like it says on the electronic sign that surrounds the park: Let’s Get LOUD! Really loud. Let them know we’re there.

If you can’t get to the park, but you follow some of the guys on Twitter, send them tweets, before, during and after the game. Don’t expect a response, just let them know you’re with them. Together We’re Giant. If you aren’t on Twitter, sign up. It’s not rocket science.

Sunday’s game was a heart breaker. Jeff Samardzija pitched a no-hitter going into the seventh-it would have been a perfecto, but the Shark got a bad call that walked Thor. Either way, it ended in the seventh. Not happily, I might add. The ESPN announcers wouldn’t shut up about his no-hitter. Broadcaster jinx.

The Mets lead-off hitter in the seventh drove a double to left that not even Gregor Blanco could reach. Yoenis Cespedes was up next and hit a high fly home run out to left. I liked the Mets so much better when Cespedes was on the DL.

The Giants managed to squeak a few hits out of Thor, but got caught stealing a couple of times and never closed the deal. The final score was:

Giants 0, Mets 2

It’s ok. We’ve been in tough spots before. These guys know how to get it done. Plenty of baseball left. Don’t give up now, and whatever you do–Don’t Stop Believing. Play Ashkon on infinite loop if you have to. I do. We Are the Champions.

We’re headed to La La Land to take on the Boys in Blue. According to the schedule, Madison Bumgarner will be on the mound. Good. We could use our fearless Ace right now. Send good thoughts their way–and tweet them something nice if you can. See you all Tuesday.

Toni Cecchetti

21 August 2016

PS  if you send the guys a tweet–make it nice, show support. We’re the 26th man like Bochy says, so let’s act like it.

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So proud! Fellow St. Mary’s alum (she graduated many years later-her mom, who is standing to her left was a few years behind me), Demi G, threw out the first today. Nice throw, Demi!

SF Giants, two steps forward, one step back

08.20 1024x1024Our victory celebration was short lived. Still, we had a celebration, and for good reason. We won two in a row. The bats are definitely on the road to recovery and the defense is magnificent. It’s our pitching that’s spotty.

It’s ok, we’re still having fun, right?

Matt Moore had some trouble with some of his pitches and  Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon out-pitched him. In the five innings he pitched, Moore allowed three runs–one a home run–on five hits, three walks and he struck out three. Jake Peavy pitched two innings and gave up five runs on five hits and struck out four. The Mets scored their final run off Cory Gearrin in the ninth.

Denard Span hit his first splash home run in the third, and in the fifth, Joe Panik tripled and scored on Conor Gillaspie’s ground out. The Giants started a rally in the eighth, adding three runs to their total. Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford and Hunter Pence all drew walks, and Eduardo Nunez hit a double scoring Belt and Crawford. Pence scored on Panik’s ground out. The final score was:

Giants 5, Mets 9

More bad news: Angel Pagan strained his groin running down a fly ball. According to Bruce Bochy, Pagan will sit out Sunday and with any luck, be ready for the game in LA Tuesday. He reached an 18 game hitting streak in Saturday’s game.

Sunday’s game has been chosen as ESPN’s Sunday game. Oh joy. That means we will be subjected to the ESPN announcers. Or you can listen on KNBR 680. Game time is 5:05 pm. It promises to be a pitching duel of the show hair.

Join the Facebook group SF Giants Game Time Thread & Chat for the witty banter we’ll be missing from a non-Kruk and Kuip game. It’s either that or turn on your radio. Of course, if you want, you can listen to the ESPN broadcast. Pick your poison.

Toni Cecchetti

20 August 2016

SF Giants raise the Tony B!

08.19 CqR4ptTUMAAk1yQBefore any baseball got played Friday night, SF Giants president Larry Baer announced not only will every home victory be punctuated by our favorite Tony Bennett song, a new flag honoring Tony Bennett–and his signature song–will be raised in Willie Mays Plaza to celebrate the victory. A framed victory flag replica was presented to the iconic singer in honor of his 90th birthday.

We got to see the flag raised right away after the Giants beat last year’s NLCS champs for the second game in a row, that’s two in a row–for the first time this month.

Are we having fun yet? I know I am. BFF Vickie was there to watch and she had a blast. If she’s their good luck charm, I say we take up a collection to send her to every game. Job? She don’t need no stinking job. This is way more important.

Johnny Cueto was on the mound, and even though he made a couple of mistakes, he had some great back-up. Especially some of the amazing plays turned by Hunter Pence and Brandon Crawford. The guys were clicking–especially at the plate.

The Mets smacked a solo home run in the second and the Giants tied the score in the bottom of the third after Joe Panik’s single and Cueto’s sac bunt put Panik in scoring position. Panik scored on Denard Span’s RBI single.

The Giants were able to hold the Mets to one run, while the Giants added on. They scored two runs in the seventh–with two outs, Eduardo Nunez hit a double and Panik drew an intentional walk. Nunez scored on Ehire Adrianza’s pinch hit single and Panik scored on Denard’s single to left.

The Giants scored five runs in the eighth inning, Brandon Belt singled, Buster Posey ground into a force out–reaching first base while the Mets took Belt out at second. Brandon Crawford and Hunter Pence singled to load the bases. Nunez hit into a force out that got Hunter at second while Buster scored, and with Panik batting, Nunez stole second. Panik reached on an error that scored Crawford and Nunez, and allowed Panik to reach second. Conor Gillaspie topped it off with a pinch hit a home run, bringing Panik home with him. The final score was:

Giants 8, Mets 1

That was fun. It was exciting and the guys were playing like Giants. I said I wouldn’t talk about standings and what the Dodgers are doing and all that, but I would like to point this out: we’re back!

Saturday’s game starts at 1:00 pm with Matt Moore on the mound. I hope he tries to have some fun. The game will be on CSN-BA, FS1 and KNBR 680. Join the fun, friendly Facebook group–SF Giants Game Time Thread & Chat for a chance to get acquainted with other Giants fans. Buy some hot dogs. We’ll do lunch.

Toni Cecchetti

19 August 2016

SF Giants Bumgarner rules

08.19 keep-calm-i-am-not-feeling-wellI watched Thursday night’s game for quite awhile, but unfortunately, I went to bed before it was over because I wasn’t feeling well. Hopefully, the meds will kick in and I’ll be back on top in no time.

What I watched was great fun, though! See you soon…

Toni Cecchetti

19 August 2016

SF Giants Cain’t

568Pirates Giants BaseballI have to hand it to the Giants–this season is starting to read like a good old fashion mystery. It’s got most of us scratching our heads.

We lost today’s game for reasons no one can explain. It was there, until it wasn’t.

The Giants scored two runs in the first when Angel Pagan hit a double and scored on Buster Posey’s single who scored on Brandon Crawford’s double. In the third inning Angel and Buster both hit singles and scored on Crawford’s triple.

Matt Cain pitched an amazing first four innings–he gave up one hit and struck out four. He was the Horse–vintage Cain. Then, in the fifth, for reasons no one can fathom, the Horse pulled up lame. Cain hit the first batter he faced, then walked two more to load the bases. He walked the next batter too, walking in the Pirates first run. The next hitter’s base hit scored two more runs and after that, a sac fly tied the score.

Andrew McCutchen was up next–before this series he was snakebit–and he hit a two run home run to give the Pirates the lead. The fifth was the only inning the Pirates put runs on the board.

The Giants loaded the bases for Buster in the ninth, and although Eduardo Nunez scored on Buster’s grounder, Buster didn’t get credit for an RBI because he hit into a double play. The final score was:

Giants 5, Pirates 6

Look on the bright side–Angel continued his hitting streak. 15 games so far. Stay hot Angel Pagan! I guess that goes without saying.

We don’t expect to win every game. We don’t expect to win every series. We don’t expect to win the NL West, the NLDS or the NLCS. Most of all, we certainly don’t expect to win the World Series. For some reason, though, it’s starting to feel like that’s exactly what we’ve been expecting. It’s an even year. We were in first in the NL West at the All∗Star break. Yada, Yada, Yada…

We’ve gotten spoiled. We’re focusing on the end game and not appreciating the road we have to take to get there. We’re forgetting to enjoy the game for the joy of the game itself. We’re not having fun. We need to stop focusing on where each game will get us and start looking at each game as it takes us wherever we end up. Let’s face it–watching the Giants play and lose is better than not watching the Giants play at all.

Maybe Hunter Pence needs to pull us all together and shower us with sunflower seeds. Or maybe we should do it ourselves. Let’s stop focusing on the win or lose and start focusing on the fact that we get to watch these guys play one more day. We’re watching the boys of summer.  Win or lose, we should be spittin’ seeds and blowing bubbles. It’s still summer.

Thursday night we open a four-game set against the Mets. Madison Bumgarner is on the mound. Game time is 7:15 pm. You can watch the game on CSN-BA or listen to it on KNBR 680. Join the Facebook group SF Giants Game Time Thread & Chat for a chance to visit with fellow fans. Spit some seeds, blow some bubbles. Follow the link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1754172101534296/

I’m not going to talk about where we are in the NL West or where the Dodgers are–because frankly, who cares? I will try to focus on the game itself. Who’s with me?

Toni Cecchetti

17 August 2016

SF Giants play second fiddle

08.16 9351347-buster-posey-mlb-san-francisco-giants-tampa-bay-rays-768x642We’ve finally gone and done it. We lost the lead. The consolation prize. The Dodgers are in first place in the NL West. All I can say is this: Don’t get comfortable, Dodgers. That’s our spot and we’ll be back to get it.

Tuesday night the Giants faced the Pirates with Jeff Samardzija on the mound. He’s made some mechanical adjustments and he looks much better out there. He went six innings and allowed three runs on six hits, one walk and struck out five.

The Giants scored two runs in the first–Denard Span and Angel Pagan hit singles and scored on Buster Posey’s double. They scored another run in the sixth to tie the game. Buster hit a single, reached third on Brandon Crawford’s double and scored on Hunter Pence’s ground out.

Speaking of Buster, he looked like he was playing through the pain. I wonder if he realizes when he’s sixty, he’s gonna walk just like Bochy. Buster wasn’t moving very quickly through the bases–even for Buster–but he was quick enough to mow down former MVP Andrew McCutchen when McCutchen attempted a steal at second. The final score was:

Giants 3, Pirates 4

We almost had this one, it was so close. Who knows what might have happened if Buster was in top form?  Derek Law gave up a home run in the eighth that went unanswered. I’m not blaming our bullpen for the loss,  although Law gets the L. He is still a rookie and I think he’s doing great for his first turn in the show–this is the first run he’s given up since June 30th–who else can say that?

Wednesday we’re playing a day game. It’s scheduled to start at 12:45 pm. It will be on the MLB Network for the out-of-town folks and CSN-BA for the locals. You can hear it on KNBR 680. Join the Facebook group on the SF Giants Game Time Thread & Chat to hang out with other Giants fans. Baseball. It’s what’s for lunch. Follow the link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1754172101534296/

Look around everyone. Recognize it? This is what second place looks like. Don’t unpack. We won’t be here long. Giants are second to none.

Toni Cecchetti

16 August 2016

 

SF Giants-bitter with a side of sweet

08.15 vogelsongwrap_r25tnwl9_xqrhjwa7@2xIt was really good to see Ryan Vogelsong on the mound. He looked right at home–which, let’s face it, he was–and it looked like he’s recovered from getting hit in the face and the surgery that followed.

He hiccuped a little–in the first when he walked Joe Panik with the bases loaded and Angel Pagan scored, he gave up a run in the third–Brandon Belt hit a ground rule double and scored on Hunter Pence’s single–and a couple of solo home runs in the sixth (Eduardo Nunez and Denard Span), but in the end, the W belonged to him. I couldn’t help but stand up and cheer for him. And then I remembered–although he’ll always be a Giant, he wasn’t pitching for us. I wanted the win for Matt Moore and the Giants, but how do you root against Vogey?

When he took the mound Monday night he received a standing O from a packed AT&T Park. He got another one when he left the game. It was touching. It looked to me like Vogey was overcome with emotion from the crowd response. In an interview after the game he said: “I don’t expect anything less from these fans, they’re first class and they always have been…” Right back at you Vogey, right back at you.

I know, I know. I said I wasn’t going to watch the game because of the whole jinx thing. (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you didn’t read my blog post after Sunday’s game) I couldn’t help myself. I had to see Vogey pitch.

All in all, our guys played a good game. How about those amazing defensive plays? Hunter Pence tripped over the bullpen mound, landed flat on his back and still caught the fly ball–mid roll/somersault–for the out in the fourth. I gave him a 5.5 for the gymnastics and a straight up 10+ for the catch. In the fifth Eduardo Nunez landed on his backside and one-hopped the ball to first for an out. He got the next out when he bounced a grounder to first from his knee.

The guys did a good job. They did enough to win. On any other night, they probably would have. That’s baseball. The final score was:

Giants 5, Pirates 8

We’re still half a game up over the Dodgers. They had the day off.

Tuesday’s game starts at 7:15 pm and is on the usual stations: CSN-BA and KNBR 680. Jeff Samardzija is on the mound. Let’s turn some of those Pirates into Shark bait. Join the Facebook group SF Giants Game Time Thread & Chat for that Take Me Out to the Ball Game experience without leaving your living room. Buy your own peanuts and Cracker Jack. Follow the link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1754172101534296/

SF Giants and fans: I apologize

08.14 core_promoIt’s me. Seriously. I think I’m the jinx.

You all know how crazy super-superstitious I am. I know you think I’m nuts, but the baseball gods sent me a message. No. It was not “if you build it, he will come.” It wasn’t even a voice in the dark.

It was much more subtle than that.

Friday night I watched the game–sporadically–it was the beginning of a busy weekend for me. It was hit and miss and I didn’t write about it because 1) I didn’t see enough of it to talk about it–I only watched the 1st, 2nd & 3rd–the O’s had a 4-0 lead when I had to give it up, 2) we lost AND 3) I was tired of talking about our losses.  I’ve said as much as I want to say about losing. The final score was:

Giants 2, Baltimore 5

I didn’t watch Saturday’s game at all. We all know how the turned out. You see where I’m going with this? The final score was:

Giants 6, Baltimore 2

I didn’t think I’d get to see Sunday’s game either. But I was wrong. I was really excited because when I checked on the score, we had a 7-1 lead.  I got home in time to catch the last inning. Casilla was on the mound, one out to go. Apparently the O’s scored a couple of runs while I was in transit. I wasn’t worried though, it was the 9th inning–it was over. And then BLAM! The O’s hit a three-run home run, giving them a one run lead. The final score was:

Giants 7, Baltimore 8

Do you see the pattern here? I have to stop watching the games. I hope the baseball gods will give me a special dispensation to listen to them on the radio.

The Giants are still clinging to the consolation prize–LA is holding at one game back.

The Pirates come to town Monday and our old friend and fan favorite, Ryan Vogelsong is pitching for the Bucs. He faces our newest guy, Matt Moore. Much as I love Vogey–and you know I do, I still get the sniffles when I hear his “I will always, always be a Giant” speech–I’m rooting for Moore.

Game time is 7:15 pm and the out-of-market folks can watch it on the MLB Network. The home towners can catch it on CSN-BA. For those of us who are being sent to our rooms without a TV, as always it’s on KNBR 680.

Join the boisterous Facebook group at SF Giants Game Time Thread & Chat for good fun, good beer and good food. Bring your own. Follow the link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1754172101534296/

PS–It could also be we win the games where we dedicate a Giant statue to a former Giant. Maybe we could make do that more often.

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