Archive for October, 2010
Is this the second time I’ve written those words?
I think it is.
Bumgarner proved himself tonight. The Giants pretty much dominated the Rangers again, and now, the franchise is as close to its first championship in San Francisco as it’s ever been.
Lincecum goes tomorrow, for the clincher.
UPDATE: Lee against Lincecum. Can the Giants beat him again? Maybe this game will be decided by the bullpens, after the two aces throw seven innings of shutout ball. Can’t wait. Oh, and I could care less if they clinch on the road. Get it done, regardless of where you are. I wouldn’t want to give the Rangers any hope.
Sorry it’s taken me so long to write. It’s a 10 hour round trip. driving, and I added shopping and a stay over, so….
That said, it was an awesome game to be at. Terrific comeback win against a guy who looked unbeatable with a two-run lead. Now the Giants have a 2-0 lead in the Serious, and head into Texas looking to put a hammer lock on the series.
The pitching, outside of a few struggles by Lincecum, has been nails. Cain is able. Freddie is ready. Uribe is a “whole lot of happy.” So am I.
As for my experience at PacBell….
The food is horrible. It’s embarrassing, really. In a city that prides itself on having some of the best restaurants in the world, the shit, the absolute SHIT that they sell should make them hide their faces in shame. Especially at those prices. $9 dollars for a Silver Bullet that is hardly even cool. The hot dogs, at Triple A Club Level, no less, were abysmal. The garlic fries were soggy, and warm. The sushi –in San Francisco, mind you– was inedible. Were I in charge, I’d fire every vendor in the place, save, Cha Cha’s. Somebody told me the brats were good. I didn get one, because not one of the vendors could handle the crowd. There were lines everywhere, for the entire game.
The Giants do so much so well, they handle the history of the team, the fly over was great, Tony Bennett, come on. Awesome.
They were understaffed everywhere, and, inconceivably, left money on the table by being so. It definitely took a little away from the experience. Just a little, but still. Warm beer?
Anyway, great guys in my section, 211, K, 5,6. Parker, I never got your email. Leave me a backtalk with it, and I’ll keep up with your travels in Texas. Fly safe.
To everyone else I partied with… If you leave a backtalk, tell me your seat so I can put a face with the name.
UPDATE: Ummm….. Ian? A Silver Bullet is a Coors Light beer, not a slice of pizza. :-0
Other than that…. I am a food snob, sure. But the food I’ve had at PacBell has gotten worse. It’s been ten years since they opened. I was there the day they played the very first baseball game there. Preseason, 2000, against the Yankees. Posada hit it in the water, first home run at PacBell. The food that night was very good, not great, but very good. Wednesday night, the food was atrocious. So was the service.
OK, not what I was there for, fine.
San Francisco is one of the great food cities in the world. The standard is, and should be, higher.
Yup. I am going to Game One tomorrow night. Me and my good friend Joel will head down to the Bay Area, and walk into the most electric atmosphere baseball has. Game One of the Serious. Lincecum vs. Lee. Three Cy Young’s on the mound at the same time. And I will be there.
Really, as much as I am busy beyond belief, as much as the ticket prices were obscene, as much as I am getting old and sometimes would just rather watch the game on my HD TV….
Lincecum vs. Lee in Game One of the Serious –4 hours from my house– absolutely demands that I attend. And so, I will.
UPDATE: In 2002, I met Jayson Stark, Rob Neyer, and a couple of the other –at the time– superstar baseball writers. Many of those guys recognized me then. Hopefully, after I’ve been ripping on them for going on 8 years now, these writers will still be classy enough to recognize me tomorrow. In 2002, I was able to walk right up to them and introduce myself. Let’s not forget that Peter Gammons linked to me this year:
…. John Perricone’s superb “Only Baseball Matters” blog this week recalled a 40-year-old piece by Bill Gilbert in Sports Illustrated…..
…. At the least, Perricone should make us all think. Alex Rodriguez’s admission doesn’t bring baseball to an end; it should help those who love the sport edge closer to the truth, and allow players who want level playing fields to force the union into finally allowing one.
In the link, Gammons cut and pasted a huge section of my work –which, of course, cut and pasted a huge section of Gilbert’s work. Nonetheless, I would love to say hello to Peter, and have him recognize me.
Rob Neyer threw me a bone this year as well. I mean, I’m just saying…. Maybe I’ll be on TV tonight.
For someone in the national media to say something
stupid uninformed about the Giants:
…. If we look exclusively at the factors pitchers control most directly, which are strikeouts, walks and home runs, they look more like league-average innings eaters than shutdown stars.
…. the 2010 Giants are hardly a historically great run-prevention team. Their hitters will probably have to pick up some slack for them to win the World Series.
That someone happens to be Dan Rosenheck of the NY Times, who apparently was asleep every night of September while the Giants posted one of the great stretch runs of pitching in baseball history.
Over a span of 26 games, –during which they had to win every game– all the Giants pitching staff did was roll out a 1.78 ERA, throw 5 shutouts, allow 46 earned runs in 232 innings, pile up 234 strikeouts, allow just 58 walks, and hold the opposition to a Neifi Perez-like .181/.241/.283/ .524 OPS line, with just 15 home runs, and post a team-wide .90 WHIP, 4.02 K/BB and 9.06 K/9IP.
Just for the record, St Louis posted a 2.46 ERA in September of 2001, the only team in baseball over the last ten years to be within one run of matching what the Giants just did.
I was gonna do a side by side with Texas, but, really, there is no point. That is, in fact, an historically great run of pitching, and I challenge Dan Rosenheck (or anybody) to come up with a team that has had a run like that in the last twenty years.
By the by, during the postseason, the Giants numbers have regressed, just a bit.
So far, in 91 innings, the Giants have a 2.47 ERA, with 102 strikeouts, 28 walks, and 2 more shutouts. They’ve allowed 25 earned runs, and a .199/274/.297 .571 OPS line. They’re K/BB has dropped to 3.31, while their strikeouts per 9 has increased to 10.46. Their team-wide WHIP is 1.02.
But, this isn’t the same pitching staff that started the season, just as it isn’t the same offense.
UPDATE: The NY Times’ Dan Rosenheck took the time top reply to my rant. CVheck out the backtalk. Kudos to Dan for joining the fray here at OBM. I disagree with him, but his willingness to back and forth demonstrates his character and toughness.
Giants win the pennant!!!
Is there a more improbable World Series team in recent memory?
What a performance by the pen. 6-plus innings of no run ball, after Sanchez spit the bit. Really, just a simply unbelievable performance by the pitching staff since the beginning of September.
As for the team management, and in-game coaching, I am eating every bit of crow there is in my house. While accepting the NL trophy, Sabean looked and sounded humble and classy, as did Baer, Bochy, Neukom, and NLCS MVP Ross. (Sidebar: The NLCS MVP was probably Wilson, 3 saves and a win in as close a series as you are ever gonna see).
What is there left to say tonight? Did I doubt this team? You bet. Did I doubt Bochy? Absolutely. Did I question the signings, the trades and the free agent pick ups by Sabean. As often as I had the time to do so.
What am I supposed to say here?
On many counts, I have been proven wrong.
The Cody Ross pickup, which was clearly __and understood at the time to be– a blocking claim, worked out pretty well, wouldn’t you say? The Aubrey Huff signing? Anyone who predicted this kind of season from Huff –especially his defense– send me the link –the dated link– and I’ll make you a star. Freddie Sanchez? He sure came on late. I was wrong on him, no doubt. Bochy made enough mistakes in these playoffs to last a lifetime. In the post-season, it always comes down to pitching. In the end, at least so far in the NL, the Giants had more of it then everybody.
Ask Joe Girardi, the manager of the defending champion NY Yankees:
…. Girardi did not throw a pitch or swing a bat. His job was to put players in the best position to succeed. One of his greatest strengths is his preparation, and his choice to flip Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes in the rotation, based on several relevant factors, seemed to make sense. Hughes went 0-2 with an 11.42 E.R.A. at Rangers Ballpark, and Pettitte, though he pitched well, worked only once, held back Friday in advance of a potential Game 7 start.
Once he makes a decision, Girardi says, he never second-guesses himself. He trusts his instincts — or the numbers — and accepts the outcome, for better or worse. By not bringing in Rivera to pitch the ninth inning of Game 3, with the Yankees trailing by two runs, Girardi left himself open to criticism when Texas hammered three other relievers for six runs. It put the Yankees at a 2-1 series deficit with Burnett scheduled to pitch a crucial Game 4.
Bochy swapped his pitchers, and it didn’t work, actually. Sanchez came in on a rush, cruising in his previous 80 or so innings. He failed to record a win against Philadelphia. He went 8 innings in the series, allowing 8 hits, 5 walks, 5 runs (4 earned), and failed to get out of the third inning in tonight’s penultimate game. He posted a 4.50 ERA in the series, and if it weren’t for the outrageous performance by every pitcher Bochy called upon, would have likely been the goat of the NLCS.
Instead, he was saved by his teammates. OK. Johnny like that.
Bochy used Wilson in an unusual fashion, and it worked some of the time, and it didn’t other times. He pinch hit, pinch ran, made double switches, moved his outfielders around….
Some of his moves worked, and some didn’t.
The Giants are in the World Series because of their otherwordly pitching staff. Simple as that.
Ask Joe Girardi what he would’ve given to have Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner as his two worst starters.
Same mistake Bochy made last time. He’s bringing in Wilson for a two-inning save, but, once again, he waits until the winning run in on base, and once again, Wilson is facing the heart of the lineup. Jesus Christ!!!!!
I’ll tell you what’s been a real pain…. The constant changing of the game times. Seems like every time I plan to watch one of the Giants playoff games, the time is different than what I read the day before. It’s worse than the weather reports I’ve been using to schedule my work.
I’ve turned on the game at least twice and found myself in the third inning. Never with the Yankees, of course.
Huge win! Gotta gotta gotta get me some Giants!
Widescreen, my ass. The image looks terrible, and I have a HD, 1080i, 50-inch, flat-screen TV. Thanks, Fox.
UPDATE: No Torres today. He’s struck out 12 times and walked once in 25 at-bats. Maybe a lighter bat would help? Bochy’s really shook up the lineup, but, still, what can he do at this point? Uribe’s been useless, now he’s hurt. Renteria has a torn tendon in his bicep, obviously he shouldn’t be in the leadoff slot, but the way the entire team is hitting –other than Babe Ross– does it matter where he bats these guys?
UPDATE: Let me just mention what a disgrace AJ Burnett is as a pitcher. He should blow his brains out.
Freddie Sanchez and Andres Torres were a combined 5 for 42 coming into tonight. Add in their 1 for 6 tonight, and the top of the Giants lineup is an offense-killing 6 for 48 (.125 average), all singles. Is it time for a change at the top of the lineup?
UPDATE: You don’t cut that throw off!
UPDATE: Well, errors, allowing the pitcher to get a hit with two strikes, pitchers missing their spots by a foot, no one ion the lineup other than Cody Ross hitting at all…. All in all, the Giants got their split. It’s on Cain, now.
I might also mention that maybe Torres needs to switch to a lighter bat. Just maybe.
UPDATE: It’s gotten to the point that they should just stop using Romo…. Uribe is a black hole…. Sandoval is utterly worthless…. The team as a whole could hardly look worse at the plate….
They’re lucky to be where they are.