The GIANTS and the Royals each have 1 win under their belts as they head to San Francisco for Game 3. The bad news is the GIANTS lost last night. The good new is they’re coming home. Remember when Bochy tried the Panda at 1st? He reached–or over-reached for the ball–and ended up doing a split? It put him on the DL. I think that split hurt worse than this one.
I was a little nervous when last night’s game started–but the GIANTS looked really good coming out of the gate. Blanco led-off in the 1st with a solo home run over the center field wall–always a good sign when we draw 1st blood. Well, almost always. Not this time, though–this time was the exception to the rule. Why? This time we had a 6th inning that buried the GIANTS. More about that later. When Blanco hit that blast, I thought it was a really good sign. I’m going to swear-off thinking for awhile. The Royals tried stealing 2nd in the bottom of the 1st, but Posey fired a rocket to Panik, who laid down a perfect tag and the runner was out–caught stealing. The famous Royals wheels got flattened by the GIANTS. After that, they did manage to score a run, tying the game, then scored another run in the 2nd. After 2, the score was:
GIANTS 1, Royals 2
GIANTS 2, Royals 2
Peavy started off a little shaky–in the first two innings he gave up 5 hits, 2 runs and a walk–but he settled in after the 2nd to deliver 1, 2, 3 shut-down innings in the 3rd, 4th and 5th. He pitched 1strike out, so the GIANTS defense got busy–they were fantastic. I was relaxed and excited, at the same time, because the GIANTS had a shot at going home with a 2 in the ‘W’ column. Then along came the 6th inning and the wheels came flying off the bus. It got so ugly I started watching the game between split fingers covering my eyes. Bochy, whose management style I consider unassailable–actually more like infallible–made some moves that had me asking myself over and over again–“what the hell?” Alright, it was really WTF, but I’m trying to keep it clean here! First of all, let me say this–I’m not questioning Bochy’s moves–he is, after all, the one with some serious World Series bling, and you don’t get that by being a hack. I’m just trying to make some sense of it. This is what happened in the 6th:
Peavy started off by giving up a base hit. Then he walked the next batter. And Bochy had apparently seen enough. So he took Peavy out–I wish he hadn’t–and brought in Machi. NO! NO! NO! Machi makes me more nervous than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. His last few appearances have ended badly for the GIANTS. What we needed right then was somebody who could pitch “lights out” not ” lights off”. He gave up a hit and a run scored. I did not feel vindicated. But it was just 1 run and Bochy took Machi out–it could have been worse–and replaced him with Javy Lopez. Much better. Lopez faced the next batter–a lefty–and got the out. But Bochy, using his lefty/righty match-up theory, took Javy out and brought in Strickland to face the righties that were coming up. My best friend Vickie, Gamer Babe extraordinaire, had the same reaction to Strickland that I had to Machi. “Don’t worry” I told her, “he only gives up hits to lefties, this is the perfect time to use him.” Well, Vickie was right and I was wrong. So horribly, horribly wrong. I like Strickland, if Strickland was campaigning for a regular spot in the bullpen, he had my vote. But Strickland gave up a hit–a double–threw a wild pitch, handing the 2 Royals on base a free 90 feet, then tossed in a homerun to add insult to injury. And, in a move that turned the situation from bad to really bad, Strickland engaged in a nasty bench-clearing verbal exchange with one of the Royals hitters. To be fair, it looked to me like the Royals hitter started chirping at Strickland, who didn’t take it well. Bochy took him out and brought in Affeldt, who gave up a base hit, but threw for a grounder to the next batter and the GIANTS turned a perfect–and close–double play to end the inning. The GIANTS didn’t score again, neither did the Royals–but they didn’t need to–they had this one. The final score was:
GIANTS 2, Royals 7
I looked for a silver lining on this dark cloud, and found one. Bochy reached into the depths of his bullpen and pulled out Lincecum–Big Time Timmy Jim–who proved he’s still a GIANT and has what it takes to get some outs. He pitched a 1, 2, 3 shut down 7th and got out the first two hitters in the 8th, but he pulled something in his back and had to be helped off the field. Santiago Casilla came in and struck out the next batter to end the inning. The good news is Timmy still has some gas in his tank–at least as a reliever, the bad news is he hurt himself. He’s undergoing an MRI today, so fingers x’d it’s nothing too serious. I’ll let you know if I hear any thing.
Game 3 tomorrow night. Huddy’s on the mound. The GIANTS want to win this one for him. I’ll vote for that.