To paraphrase Carole King: “sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes the [Dodger] blues get ahold of you….” And those damn boys in Dodger blue got ahold of our G-Men in 2 of the 3 games we played at Chavez Ravine this week. Going with my usual good news/bad news theme: the good news? Out of the 6 games the GIANTS have played vs. the Dodgers this season, the GIANTS have won 4. The bad news? Same song, B side–you know, the less popular side?–the GIANTS lost 2. I know, I get it–we can’t win ’em all, but if we have to lose some, I’d rather suffer defeat at the hands or bats of any other opponent in the MLB. That’s why they call it a rivalry.
Monday’s game was a bit of a shocker. The GIANTS had Sunday off, and we had high hopes for victory after a day of rest–just like the last time we met up with ‘dem Bums’, not only that, we had Big Time Timmy Jim on the mound and his outings have been pretty solid of late. Things didn’t go according to plan. The Dodgers got on board with a 4-run 3rd inning–basically sealing the deal–and although the GIANTS staged a 3-run rally in the 5th, it wasn’t enough. The Dodgers have a new, not-so-secret weapon–their rookie Joc Pederson. We might still be in extra innings if it weren’t for him. The final score was:
GIANTS 3, LA 8
Tuesday night’s game was pleasant, but no surprise. It was the return of the Battle of the MVPs. This time the decision was clear–our ace trumped their ace. It was close–real close–but Madison emerged the victor of this battle, where the previous match ended in a draw. Bumgarners’s night looked like this: 8.0 innings pitched, 5 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk and 9 strike outs; and Kershaw’s went this way: 7 innings pitched, 7 hits, 2 earned runs, No walks and 8 strike outs. On the decision–Bumgarner was given the W, Kershaw the L.
Bumgarner didn’t win the game all by himself–it takes a team–and a pitcher can’t win without a good battery mate. This time Buster went above and beyond–besides catching a great game, he drove in both scoring runs–the first on an RBI single in the 1st inning, and the second when he launched a solo HR in the fourth. Joaquin Arias distinguished himself by going 3 for 3 against the Dodger’s ace–the 1st GIANT ever to make that claim. PDG (pretty damn good) for a utility guy! The final score was:
GIANTS 2, LA 1
Wednesday night’s game was a disappointment. My disappointment has nothing to do with Vogey’s performance, and everything to do with how some of our fellow GIANTS fans reacted. Vogey’s pitching–while not like his 2011 version–is not the worst in the MLB. How’s that for a ringing endorsement? I was hoping he would get off to a better start–but if you look closely at what he’s done, you’ll see that if the numbers do all the talking, it looks much worse than it actually is. First of all, in his last 2 starts–he’s had 3–he’s given up a total of 8 hits, 6 of which were HRs. That drove his ERA up faster than a bank robber in a getaway car. Baseball really is a game of inches. Second–before the season started, Vogelsong landed a job n the bullpen, not the starting rotation. I caution those of you who think pitching is pitching–no matter where you end up on the staff. Pitching is mental and Vogey got himself mentally prepared to pitch out of the bullpen. Suddenly he’s in the starting rotation, for now, so he’s working on getting his mind there. Third, and this how you spell irony–let’s take a look at the big-name, big-money pitcher the front office tried to get before re-signing Vogey–you know, the one Bobby Evans says didn’t “give us a rose” when he passed up a GIANTS offer of $150 mil for 6 years?–Prior to today’s game, which was in progress when I wrote this, Jon Lester had pitched 21.2 innings for the Cubs, given up 29 hits and 15 ERs. Vogey has gone 19.1 innings, given up up 28 hits and 20 ERs. I don’t want to get into bunch of stats and “what ifs”–I just wanted to remind GIANTS fans that Vogelsong is a GIANT, so back off. Those of you who are calling for his head like Herod looking for The Baptist–you should be ashamed. Think you’re mad at Vogelsong? Think again–he’s got that one covered all by himself. Just do what every good GIANTS fan should do. BELIEVE and remain #Vogelstrong. The final score was:
GIANTS 3, LA 7
Tonight we take on the other LA team. What’s it gonna be? You with me?
Hey! Speaking of Bumgarner–would you like to know how he spent the evening yesterday? How about as Mayor of “The Biggest Little GIANTS Town”–The Waterloo Restaurant in Waterloo, CA. When he walked in I’ll bet he was thinking “Finally! Other people from my planet!” That’s right–The Waterloo–famous for Bette’s ribs and pesto–is a regular cowboy cookout. Boots and jeans recommended. And an appetite, don’t forget to put on your feed bag.