I have a confession to make. I got hooked on Game of Thrones. I saw a skit about it on SNL last week, and since I couldn’t sleep I thought “I’ll just watch the 1st show of the 1st season and see what it’s all about.” It’s small screen Crack and I’m hooked. The only episode I haven’t watched is the one that aired Sunday night. That’s what I’ve been doing instead of writing my blog.
Johnny Cueto is a snakecharmer.
The Giants win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday was exciting for many reasons.
One, the last time we came up against the Snakes, they swept us in a four-game series in our yard. Beating them Thursday night was the very least we could do. Two, the Giants were 0 for 8 against superstar pitcher Zack Greinke. Not anymore. Three, we needed this win for our superstar Johnny Cueto. It’s a little ironic that the Giants were interested in Greinke last year–he eventually signed with Arizona for $206.5 million through 2021–but instead the Giants landed Cueto to the tune of $130 million through 2021. We won before we even started.
I’d say so far, Bobby Evans and Brian Sabean have won valuable gifts and cash prizes in the Let’s Make a Baseball Deal sweepstakes.Big ups to the front office. The lunatic fringe is on your side this time. If Sabean heard about that, he’d be shaking in his boots.
It was a good game. Cueto pitched a gem. Javy Lopez got the save and Santiago Casilla got pissed–he didn’t want to come out. To be fair, Casilla loaded the bases and the next hitter was a lefty. That’s Javy’s specialty. So he got the out, we won the game and Casilla apologized to Bruce Bochy the next day–it’s all good. Enough said.
The Giants manufactured a couple of runs in the fouth, and in the fifth, Joe Panik hit a dinger with Denard Span on board to give the Giants a couple of insurance runs. Turns out we needed them.
Hunter Pence made a diving catch in the fourth that robbed Greinke of another extra base hit–Greinke hit a double in the second–made the MLB Networks “Plays of the Week.” Way to go Hunter Pence.
The final score was: Giants 4, Arizona 2
Chalk up another win for the Giants with Jeff Samardzija dealing. I love this guy. BFF Vickie does too. He kept the Diamondbacks to one run, while he got into an old-fashioned pitching duel with the Arizona pitcher, Shelby Miller. Miller actually scored the lone Arizona run after leading off with a triple in the fifth.
Angel Pagan was back in the line up after an 11 game absence because of a hamstring injury. He led-off the sixth inning with a single. Span followed suit. Joe Panik was up next. Just like Thursday night, he turned that ball around and sent it over the wall scoring three runs. All with one swing of the bat. The best part–it was on a 3-0 count. In 35 previous 3-0 counts, he’d always take, but not this time. This time he liked the pitch and didn’t want to let it go. Good instincts.
Samardzija stayed in it through the eighth, Casilla got the save and all’s well that ends well.
The final score was: Giants 3, Arizona 1
Saturday was a Jake Peavy start. Everyone gets a little nervous when it’s a Peavy start. It’s time to put that to rest. Peavy has given us two quality starts in a row. Does that mean he’s sorted himself out? I don’t know. I do know this–the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.
Peavy has a Giant heart and a Giant soul. I know he’s only been with us for the last two seasons plus this one, but he’s one of ours. Let’s get behind him. Enter Journey singing.
I’ll give Peavy this, he hasn’t had one of those horrible multi-run innings that put the game out of reach lately. He’s worked hard to keep the game to one swing of the bat. He did a great job of that on Saturday. The Giants scored a run in the first inning–great start, courtesy of Span’s lead-off triple, followed by Panik’s single to bring Span home. The boys gave Peavy the lead from the start.
Peavy gave up a run in the second, but that was it through six innings. The game got even better in the fourth, when Buster Posey singled and Hunter Pence followed with a home run. Not just any old home run either–his 200th career home run.
Here’s the bad news: after Peavy sweated baseballs to get the Giants through six innings with the lead, I hoped Saturday’s game would land in the W column for Peavy, and the Giants. Didn’t happen. The bullpen gave up the lead–in fact, Strickland gave up the tying run, but because he was the pitcher of record when Buster saved our bacon with a bases loaded, two-run ground rule double in the ninth–Strickland gets the W. That ain’t right. Betcha Peavy doesn’t even care. It just sticks in my craw. Just a little.
The final score was: Giants 5, Arizona 3
I don’t know what to say about Sunday. What a game. Talk about a pitching duel. Matt Cain showed us in his last outing he could make his pitches work, and he could go the distance. He did it again Sunday, pitching solid through seven innings, allowing just one run. When Cain left the game we were tied, after our rookie catcher hit a solo home run in the third to put the Giants on the board.
The Giants took the lead in the top of the ninth: Hunter Pence, Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford hit back-to-back-to-back singles, with Hunter scoring on Crawford’s single giving the Giants a one run lead. No insurance. Sometimes you just gotta take a risk.
Things got pretty scary in the bottom of the ninth. With one out and runners at the corners, Arizona sent Rickie Weeks to the plate. He hit a ground ball to Panik, who fed it to Crawford, who immediately threw to Belt. Weeks was called safe, the runner at second was out, and the runner at third scored, tying the game.
But wait! There’s more!
Bruce Bochy called for a replay review for the play at first, which prompted the Arizona manager to call for a replay review at second. It took some time to get it sorted out, but when the umps took off their headsets, one umpire pointed to second, made the safe sign, pointed to first and gave the out sign. The Arizona crowd went nuts. Me too. I can’t repeat the word I used.
But wait! There’s more!
Another umpire grabbed the signalling ump by the arm and shook his head. The first ump nodded, pointed to second and gave the out sign–the noise of a gajillion Giants fans sucking in their breath could be heard all over the bay–then he pointed to first and gave the out sign again. He repeated it a couple of times. I was confused. I took my cue from Bochy–when he started clapping, I started breathing. Bottom line: double play turned, no run scored.
The final score was: Giants 2, Arizona 1
Man, that was a scary few minutes. I expected it to be the big news all over the MLB Network. It probably would have been, but the Texas Rangers/Toronto Blue Jays stole our thunder with a knock-down, drag-out fight in the eighth inning of their game.
It started last year when Jose Bautista pulled off the bat flip heard ’round the world. It was re-ignited when Bautista was hit by a pitch, and on the next guy’s hit he purposefully (and he admitted it!) made an illegal slide into second. The second baseman took issue, Bautista stuck his chest out and the second baseman cold-cocked him. I’ll say this, Bautista has a tough jaw. The double play ended the inning and bunches of people were ejected. Prince Fielder was up first for Texas, and he got drilled by the Toronto pitcher. I don’t think this one is over yet.
We’ve got the day off and I’ve spent most of the day writing. I sure hope it doesn’t take forever to read, but I kinda went long. I’m all caught up with Game of Thrones, I promise I’ll get back to writing little blog posts.
Tomorrow we’re off to San Diego. See you then!