SF Giants, Giants, Giants

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San Francisco Giants 2014: a Dynasty

Yeah, I’m shaking my head. Or as they say on social media–when annoyed–SMDH (shaking my damn head). Or sometimes when I’ve reached the limits and I’m beyond annoyed–SMFH. You know what the F stands for. Here’s a hint: it’s not firetruck.

I told you to stay tuned because I was going to report all the interesting and relevant theories I gleaned from a study of our game stats. I’m gonna need a bigger brain. Or at the very least, a better one. Every time I start looking at the rhyme or reason of why we won this game and lost that one, the thread I thought I’d carefully woven starts to unravel. Bottom line—like the experts have been saying all along, there is no rhyme or reason.

The past ten games have been a small sample size of our season this year. We won four and lost six. We are hovering at .400. People are talking rebuild.

Matt Cain is going to make his farewell appearance against the Padres in the final weekend of the season. It will be sad to see him go. He was a big part of what made this team special.

It’s the end of an era. And I’m shaking my head because we got caught up in the fervor of a dynastic run and forgot that one day we would return to this spot. It was a hard jolt because we hit rock bottom and we didn’t see it coming when the season started.

And you know what? That’s ok. Because this baseball. And anything can happen in baseball. It sure did this year.

Just wait till next year.

Toni Cecchetti

23 September 2017

SF Giants winsome and loathe many

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Forever Giant Ryan Vogelsong and his son Ryder, as Vogey walks away from playing the game.

I haven’t written about our the Giants in a few days. It’s getting harder and harder to write something that doesn’t sound like bitching, moaning, griping or complaining. So I decided to quit. Not writing! I decided to quit bitching, moaning, griping or complaining.

I decided to get scientific. Sort of. I approached the Giants season-to-date like a huge puzzle, mostly to look for a pattern. Pick your poison—logic puzzle, jigsaw puzzle, word puzzle, math puzzle. I looked at the season from each of those angles using the stats from the games played and results so far.

Here’s how it looks:

  • the Giants have played 151 games so far, with 11 games to go. 58 wins and 93 losses.
  • the Giants best months were May and August, where we won 13 of  29 games played in each month, for a .448. The worst month was June–of course!–when we had a .333 win percentage. We lost two-thirds of the games we played in June. Ouch!

Obviously, I was going to need to take a closer look, because all these numbers tell us is we’ve had a lousy year. We all figured that out without looking at any numbers.

So, I decided to delve further. We’re gonna need a bigger boat. Or a bigger brain. Whichever will hold the myriad of statistics I’ve downloaded, charted, highlighted and studied.

Stay tuned.

Toni Cecchetti

19 September 2017

Happy Birthday Noni. Miss you more every day.

SF Giants all out of mojo

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I think the Giants are fatigued. Really. You know how tired you get when you work at something day after day, but you see progress, so somehow you get a second wind? Our guys haven’t been able to scare up a second breeze, let alone a second wind.

Instead, it’s like they are working against the wind. The harder they push without getting anywhere, the more fatigued they become.

So Wednesday night they faced the wind and were almost totally blown away. And for the second night in a row, Hunter Pence and the second baseman–Tuesday it was Joe Panik and Wednesday it was Kelby Tomlinson–literally dropped the ball. Ok, they literally let the ball drop.  It was actually amazing to watch the second time, because I was sure it wouldn’t happen again. And then I was sure it was a replay.

Make no mistake—LA didn’t win either game, the Giants lost both games. Sloppy defense and little or no offense were the twin culprits Wednesday. It was almost like Matt Moore was having to pitch for four or five outs each inning.

Wednesday night the Giants avoided being shut out at the very last minute. With two outs, Hunter Pence hit a single, advanced to second on defensive indifference and scored on Jarrett Parker‘s single.

The final score was: Giants 1, LA 4

We have Thursday off. Maybe the Giants can take the day to review fundamentals. Like catching a simple fly ball—they just gotta do like the seagulls in Finding Nemo: “Mine. Mine. Mine.” It’s not rocket science.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, we’re dead last.

Toni Cecchetti

13 September 2017

 

SF Giants #BeatLA

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It’s what we’re all about now. Put a kink in the road of a contender.

Last night’s San Francisco Giants’ victory was sooooo worth the wait–and it was a long one–42 minutes for the game to start. Chris Stratton faced the first LA hitter, Curtis Granderson–aka The Grandy Man–a mid-August acquisition from the Mets. Stratton struck him out. Great start. And finish as it turned out.

The game was suspended for 2 hours and 52 minutes after the first out.

Ty Blach took over the mound when the game resumed at 10:50 pm. We had nine innings to play and all night to do it.

The Giants jumped to a quick lead with Denard Span‘s two run homer–Joe Panik was on board with a single–in the first, that cleared Levi Landing and went straight into Stretch’s Cove with a splash. Jarrett Parker treated us to a solo home run in the second. Hunter Pence hit a triple in the third and scored on Panik’s ground out.

Manager Bruce Bochy‘s lineup tweak may be the magic spark we were looking for. Wouldn’t it be something if the lineup was the cause of all our hitting problems? Pence leading off and Span in the third slot—maybe we’ll get a chance to see it again.

Blach pitched three scoreless innings with a smattering of traffic, but in the fourth all hell broke loose and the Dodgers tied the game. Blach pitched a total of three and a third and allowed four earned runs, six hits and three walks.

The Dodgers added on and pulled ahead in the fifth, but the Giants took the run back and tacked on another in the bottom of the inning. Ryder Jones drew a walk, Pence hit a single and they each advanced a base on Panik’s sac bunt. Span singled, scoring Jones and Buster Posey‘s single scored Panik.

The Dodgers scored another run in the top of the sixth, but the Giants added on another run in the bottom of the inning when Pablo Sandoval singled and scored on Hunter’s single. In the seventh, Span drew a walk and scored on Buster’s double.

The final score was: Giants 8, Dodgers 6

And that’s all it took. Easy-peasy, right? Sure. After waiting all night to watch a ball game, I was hanging on every pitch because this one felt like a playoff game. It was 3:00 am by the time I got to bed.

I don’t know which team is in which place. Last, second-to-last, I don’t much care right now because we #BeatLA. Everything else is gravy.

Besides, keeping track was starting to make me crazy.

 

SF Giants Seriously?

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I’ve been off for a couple of days. I ran out of gas. It seems to happen more and more lately. You would think with Wednesday’s win and Friday’s win, I would be full of things to say.

I wasn’t.

I vowed I would have something to say about Saturday’s game. Sure. I picked a great time to try and siphon some gas.

The Giants needed Wednesday’s win to stop the skid of losing games at Coors. Joe Panik went five for six on the night, turning his hits for the series into a record-breaking affair with 12 hits in a three-game series. We left Colorado with a win, after losing the first 9 games at Coors this year.

And Friday night, Pablo Sandoval found his hitting shoes, snapping his 0 for 39 with a three-run homer against the White Sox.

Which brings me to Saturday, the game I was going to write about. Jeff Samardzija was on the mound, and he was named NL Player of the Week last week. How could we lose? It wasn’t easy, but Comiskey Park–oh, excuse me, Guaranteed Rate Field (what the hell kinda name is that?)–was playing like a band box for the Southsiders, they were swatting fly balls over the fence like it was the Home Run Derby.

The Giants were getting shut out by the White Sox too, and would have except Nick Hundley smacked a solo homer in the seventh.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

The final score was: Giants 1, White Sox 13

We were at #28, for a minute. We’ve swapped back with the White Sox. They’re #28 and we’re back to #29. God bless the #30 Phillies.

SF Giants Rocky Mountain Low

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Well, folks, that’s it. The Giants made it to the basement. And we’re covering the bottom all by ourselves.

It was nothing the Rockies did. They played an ok game. The Giants got to their starter early—he threw 61 pitches in three innings of shutout ball, allowing us four hits and three walks. The only problem is the Giants were getting on base and being left there. When they talk about this season, RISP will dominate the conversation.

The Rockies came out swinging, scoring a run in the bottom of the first and a home run in the fourth. The Giants didn’t score until the fifth when Denard Span hit a single and scored on Brandon Crawford‘s single.

Ty Blach had a great outing going until the sixth—when baseballs started flying around Coors Field like the AT&T seagulls in the ninth. Blach’s work in the sixth looked worse than it was: in five and a third innings he allowed five runs—one was a home run, five hits, two walks and two strike outs.

The Giants scored two more runs in the seventh—Mac Williamson hit a single and Denard Span walked. Buster Posey plated both with a double on a sharply hit line drive. In the eighth, Pablo Sandoval drew a lead-off walk and Mac Williamson singled. They both scored on Denard Span’s double. Span scored on Joe Panik‘s single.

Of course, the Rockies didn’t let it go at that, they maintained their lead, but when the Giants turned it into a one-run ballgame, the Rockies came out slugging.

The final score was: Giants 6, Rockies 9

Listen, it could be worse. We could be Philadelphia. Oh, wait—we are!

San Francisco Giants are #30. That’s ok, 30 is the new 29, haven’t you heard?

On a high note: congrats to our very own Jeff Samardzija, this week’s NL Player of the Week. Yay, Shark!

Toni Cecchetti

5 September 2017