SF Giants Godfather Rules

meeting on the mound 06.15

And not the good kind of Godfather rules, like “leave the gun, take the cannoli” or “go to the mattresses.” Tonight’s game reminded me of Godfather III, “just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”

There I was with my scorecard, going along keeping score, although the Rockies blew the game wide open in the second, and had eight runs on the board to our one run by the third. The Giants scored the one run in the second when Hunter Pence drew a walk, Joe Panik got a base hit, Austin Slater singled and Matt Moore drew a walk with the bases loaded, scoring Panik and earning an RBI. It looked like it was going to be a long night.

I got out my jigsaw puzzle app, because sometimes it’s easier to look away from the TV when the game gets too ugly to watch, and by the fourth inning I was feeling pretty queasy.

Just when I thought I was going to finish my jigsaw puzzle, the game sucked me right back in. The Giants suddenly sprang to life in the seventh inning, and scored two more runs when Eduardo Nunez hit a single and Buster Posey followed with a home run. The Rockies still had a six-run lead, but suddenly the game looked like it could get interesting again.

The bad news is Nunez and Buster both came out of the game after that. Nunez for a tight hamstring and Buster for inflammation in his surgically repaired ankle. The good news is Nunez could be back anytime and Buster may only miss a couple of games.

The Giants tacked on five more runs in the eighth. Nick Hundley led off with a solo home run. Denard Span singled, Gorkys Hernandez reached on a fielder’s choice and Brandon Belt drew a walk. Manager Bruce Bochy tapped Ty Blach to pinch hit and he hit an RBI single, scoring Gorkys. Brandon Crawford smashed a three-run HR–the first one this year, bringing the Giants to within one-run.

The Giants tied it up in the ninth after Austin Slater hit a single, advanced to third on Denard Span’s single and scored on Gorkys’ sac fly.

The Rockies scored a walk-off run in the bottom of the ninth.

The final score was: Giants 9, Rockies 10

Even though the Giants lost, it was a great game because we got to see the spark light up and watch them battle back—something we haven’t seen from them in a while.

Whatever they did to get the line moving, I hope they keep it up. A girl could get used to this.

Toni Cecchetti

15 June 2017

 

SF Giants Reality

kontos 06.12

Happy Birthday George Kontos! Just a smidge late-it was June 12th

San Francisco Giants fans have some hard truths to face. I count three big ones. They are (in no particular order): 1–the Giants haven’t been very good so far this season, 2–we’re not getting any better and 3–our win percentage is below .400, not good, not good at all. In fact, only the Phillies are in worse shape. The good news is we’re right on San Diego’s heels.

I have asked myself the question “what happened?” over and over again.

Even the guys are getting tired of it. When Brandon Crawford made the third out in the fifth inning with a swinging strike during Wednesday’s game, he tossed his bat aside and yanked his batting equipment off–you could tell he was clearly frustrated.

Does this mean I’ve lost the faith? Does this mean I’ve stopped believing? No and absolutely not. It only means I am preparing myself for the worst, while still hoping for the best.

Like most Giants fans have lately, I’ve come up with a wish list of trade possibilities. The odds of us getting an interesting player or two at the trade deadline are growing smaller right alongside our win percentage—a player being traded at the deadline is usually traded to a contender. The Giants aren’t near contention. But a girl can dream. Here’s my wish list:

  1. Gerritt Cole, starting RHP for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He’s 26 years old. He’s enjoyed a fairly decent career. He’s had some struggles this season and last season, but–according to the pundits–is still on track to be a great pitcher. I like him. He’s Brandon Crawford’s brother-in-law. He’ll fit right in.
  2. Andrew McCutcheon, outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He’s won awards: NL MVP, Golden Glove, Silver Slugger; he’s a five-time NL All∗Star outfielder, and the list goes on. He hasn’t put up great numbers in a couple of years. He’s perfect for us. It’s like Cody Ross, Pat Burrell and Michael Morse all rolled into one.

We have about a snowball’s chance in hell of getting either one of these guys, but a girl can dream, right?

I know what you’re thinking, when Madison Bumgarner returns–and he’s on track or ahead of schedule–what will we do with another starting pitcher? I have an answer for that. We’re gonna need one. Ty Blach should stay in the rotation–he’s earning his stripes. And although I hate to see him go, Johnny Cueto is probably leaving. Matt Moore will find his spots, gain more control–hopefully sooner rather than later–and pitch like he usually pitches at AT&T, no matter where we’re playing. Jeff Samardzija could use run support, otherwise he’s been pretty good. Matt Cain bounced back for awhile, but it looks like his salad days are behind him. Maybe he’ll thrive in the bullpen.

Add Cole to Bumgarner, Blach, Moore and Samardzija, and you’ve got a helluva starting rotation.

The big question would be where to put McCutchen. Move Denard Span to left and put McCutchen in center? Move Hunter Pence to left and put McCutchen in right? or just stick McCutchen in left because he’s the new kid. I don’t know the answer. I came up with the idea, let someone else figure out what to do with him.

Anyway, it’s all just conjecture and guess work on my part, nothing based on credible baseball knowledge. Besides, I hear we have some decent  prospects coming up and manager Bruce Bochy was impressed with the recent draft picks.

It doesn’t matter whether we end this year with a a bang or a whimper, our future looks bright.

I still believe.

Toni Cecchetti

14 June 2017

 

SF Giants I cry Uncle

BCraw 06.04

I give up. Not on the Giants. I won’t give up on them. But I’m going to give up trying to figure out what’s wrong.

Some say it’s our starting rotation. And the next game, a starter–any starter, really–will pitch a brilliant game. Lights out even. If the Giants are down a run, the pitcher will keep the game close—to give the offense a chance to tie it up or go ahead.

Ty Blach is doing a great job. Unfortunately, our Ace–Madison Bumgarner– is still on the DL. If we could have both in our starting rotation…

Which leads me to the next group. The ones who say we have no bats in the line up. But then we’ll have a game like Friday’s where everyone got a hit except our pitcher, who reached three times by drawing three walks. Hey! On base is on base. Haven’t you seen or read Moneyball?

Christian Arroyo was brought up from AAA Sacramento to povide a spark for a slumping lineup, but eventually the slump caught up with him and he’s been sent back down.  He just needs to re-group and reconnect with his mojo and then he’ll be back.

There’s also the bunch who say it’s our bullpen. Our relievers aren’t very consistent. This past week has shown us a different side of our relief pitchers. Hunter Strickland had his dust up with Bryce Harper and got suspended—which taxes manager Bruce Bochy‘s already strained roster. Will Smith had season-ending Tommy John surgery before the season even started. The rest are having issues with consistency.

We need outfielders. Although I don’t think the lack of depth in our outfield has contributed to our losses—maybe finding a big bat who also plays outfield could help us with the W column?

We have infielders. Right now we probably have more infielders than we need, because one or another of them is playing left field more often than not.

The answers? Hell, I don’t know the answers. I’m still trying to come up with the question.

In case you’re wondering, the final score for Sunday’s game was: Giants 7, Phillies 9

SF Giants Philadelphia story

belt

One thing we can say about the Giants game in Philadelphia Saturday—the only Lively player on the field was the Phillies pitcher. And only because his name is Ben Lively.

The game itself was rather UNlively until the seventh inning. The Giants scored in the second after Buster Posey led off with a single, advanced to second on a balk, took third when Brandon Crawford ground out and scored on Orlando Calixte‘s sac fly. You notice the only hit in that sequence was Busters? That run was manufactured from mostly spare parts. But, hey, a run is a run.

The Phillies tied the score in the sixth inning when a former San Francisco Giants prospect hit one out of the park. Figures. They broke the game wide open in the seventh when Johnny Cueto and Hunter Strickland combined to give up four runs in the inning.

Brandon Belt led off the ninth with a double and scored on Brandon Crawford’s single.  Crawford advanced to third on Caliexte’s single and scored on Aaron Hill‘s base hit. The Giants staged a nice rally, but fell short before running out of outs.

The final score was: Giants 3, Phillies 5

All things considered Cueto pitched a nice game: three runs–one was a home run–eight hits, NO walks and he struck out nine. It would the textbook definition of a quality start if there was a textbook.

Here’s what baffles me—this is the same group of guys who, the day before, couldn’t stop hitting the ball. The pitcher for the Phillies was new, it was his major league debut. I suppose there’s two ways of looking at it: he’s never pitched in the bigs before, so there was no book on him and it made veterans tremble and sweat OR he’s never pitched in the bigs—HE should have been trembling and sweating.

I know I was.

Toni Cecchetti

3 June 2017

SF Giants and the hits just kept on coming

Blach 06.02

I’m speechless. Figures. The night I should be loaded with nice things to say, all I can think of is “who are these guys?” and I alternated that with “where the hell have they been?”

I know it’s Citizens Bank Park. It’s a bandbox.  But the Giants weren’t hitting dingers.  Everyone who started the game for the Giants got a hit, except Ty Blach. He just drew three walks. Amazing.

Speaking of Ty Blach—he threw a helluva game. He allowed seven hits, ZERO runs, ZERO walks and he struck out four. And he threw a complete game shut-out. Unbelievable.

The guys were on fire. Table setters putting out the good china, and the rest of the group putting it away. Base hits, extra base hits and walks. It’s all they needed. They scored 10 runs–two in the first, two in the second, one in the third, four in the sixth and one in the ninth–banged out 15 hits and drew 10 walks.

The final score was: Giants 10, Phillies 0

I said someone needed to be sure and invite the hitters to the party. They came. Let’s make sure they come back.

We got a little spark from the new Kid—he got his first big league hit, first big league run and first big league RBI. He also got his first big league strike out, but that’s ok, he got it out of the way. Nice debut Austin Slater.

Toni Cecchetti

2 June 2017

SF Giants Mama said there’ll be days like this

09.19 10430491_10204853128596286_8414036170391555023_n

That’s my mama! Highway 1, Cliff House, circa 1957

That’s what she said. But she didn’t say there would be this many. It’s been a rough couple of days. I haven’t written, using as an excuse the old rule my grandmother taught me—if you don’t have anything nice to say… you know how the rule goes.

I feel dismayed, disheartened, disappointed. The Giants three games against the Washington Nationals started out with a bang–not the good kind–and ended with fizzle. Our pitchers are working hard to keep us close in these games, but our hitters aren’t showing up to the party. Somebody please make sure they’re getting their invitations.

The Giants don’t play Thursday, and Friday night we’ll be in the City of Brotherly Love with Ty Blach on the mound. Let’s show the guys some extra love–long distance–and hope for the best. I know it’s a lousy strategy, but right now it’s the best one I’ve got.

Good luck to Austin Slater. I hope he knocks ’em dead.

Toni Cecchetti

1 June 2017