Archive for 2012
For the third time since I started OBM, I get to write those words. The Giants completed their second miracle comeback, winning the last three games of the NLCS to overtake the defending champs, after tonight’s improbable 9-0 wipeout. After falling behind three games to one, they outscored the Cardinals 20-1 to win the NL crown.
After going the distance in both of their series so far, early reports have them sending Barry Zito against baseball’s best pitcher, Justin Verlander in Game one. Who cares? Is there any doubt the baseball gods are smiling on them?
After seeing the super slow motion replay of Hunter Pence’s bat hitting the baseball not once, not twice, but three times on the critical three-run double in the third inning, can anyone doubt the provenance?
By the by, Sports Illustrated actually figured out that, even though no one could see it live, the extra bat contact is allowable under major league rules:
Rule 6.05 (h) states that a batter is ruled out and the play is ruled dead with no advancement by the runners when the batters hits a ball a second time in fair territory. But the rule does include a comment specifically to address the circumstance of a broken bat causing a double hit. It states, “if a bat breaks and part of it is in fair territory and is hit by a batted ball or part of it hits a runner or fielder, play shall continue and no interference called.”
Congratulations to the entire Giants organization, to Bruce Bochy, Brian Sabean, Dave Righetti and the rest of the staff, to NLCS MVP Marco Scutaro, and to the San FRancisco Giants. See you Wednesday.
The SF Giants once again stave off elimination, beating the Cardinals 6-1 behind the game of Ryan Vogelsong’s life, two days after the game of Barry Zito’s life. Matt Cain has already had the game of his life earlier this season, when he threw a perfect game. He doesn’t need to have the game of his life, just
a solid six innings, 1 run allowed or something like that.
…. Matt Cain faces Kyle Lohse in a rematch of the Cardinals’ Game 3 win. It will be the first Game 7 played in San Francisco since the 1962 World Series.
The winner goes to the Serious.
Right now, Posey is encased in
ice, Pablo Sandoval is swinging a hot bat, and the Giants have stifled the Cards offense for two straight games.
UPDATE: Still batting in the bottom of the third, the Giants leading 7-0. I’m not gonna look it up, but I bet they haven’t been up 7-0 at any time all season. Anybody?
UPDATE: 8-0, top eighth, two on, one out.
UPDATE: Giants win!!!
Of all the outcomes I imagined for tonight’s game 5 against the Cards, Barry Zito throwing 7 2/3 shutout innings wasn’t one of them. In an almost unpr
ecedented performance, Zito pitched the game of his life, took the Giants’
season on his back, and shut down the hottest offense in the playoffs as the Giants won 5-0 to bring the series back to SF.
Lincecum completely flailed. Unable to throw strikes, even to the pitcher, he put the team in another do or die hole, once again needing to win three in a row to advance. If the Giants fail to complete their miracle, the World Series will feature two 88 win teams, two teams that finished with the 11th and 12th best records in baseball.
Pretty disappointing game today.
Sorry about forgetting about the slide. Yes, it was illegal, and the runner at first should’ve been called out for baserunner’s interference. Obvious missed call. Dirty? Um, not so clear. It was a guy trying to do too much, and he was wrong; but I don’t think it was an effort to hurt Scutaro or anything like that. If the umps get the call right, and call the runner at first out, there’s a lot less to talk about.
Nonetheless, once again, we’re talking about the umpires. The missed tag on Blanco, a
call in the Giants favor, was terrible. The action happened right in front of the umpire, who was looking right at the play. The infield fly rule disaster, the constant ball and strike disputes, I mean come on….
For Bud Selig and Joe Torre to keep insisting that these mistakes are acceptable, that human error is part of the game…. well, it just makes them look ridiculous. Sure, mistakes are part of life. But everyone, I mean, everyone, does everything they can to mitigate them, to make sure they don’t happen. People spend their lives trying to atone for mistakes. People ask for forgiveness for their mistakes. If you make a mistake, fine. Apologize, fix it and get over it.
However, if you make a mistake, and there’s a way to fix it right in front of you, and you refuse to do anything about it, you’re an asshole. The cashier gives you too much change and you keep it? Pretty slimy, no? What if the cashier gives you too little change, and then tells you, too bad? That’s what happens all the time in baseball. Pitcher throws a strike. Bam. Next pitch, same spot, ball. Too bad. Move on. And not only can’t the teams do anything about it, neither can the umpires.
In baseball, if the umpires make a mistake –other than on home run calls– they are prohibited from doing something about it. They are not allowed to see a replay. They are not allowed to have someone from the commissioners office call them up
and say, hey, you just missed that call. All they can say is sorry, and let’s move on. That’s absurd. Baseball has a system in place right now that they don’t even have to pay for. It’s called television. In fact, television pays them. In these playoffs, MLB is paying two extra umpires to stand twenty feet away from the other umpires and asking them to do what all of us at home can do effortlessly, which is to see what’s happening.
Why not have those same two guys watching the game on a high definition TV? There could be one in each dugout. Or right there by the cameramen. Or up in the press box. Whatever. There’s no way this can be done quickly and efficiently? Bullshit. In fifteen seconds, everyone in the world could see that Blanco was out, everyone could see that Holliday had slid over the bag and that the play was illegal and the runner at first was out. At home, on their high definition televisions, everyone can see the runner is out of the basepath, that the fielder trapped the ball…. everyone, except for the men given the task of figuring out what’s happening and ruling on it.
You wanna know how ridiculous baseball is, all you have to do is look at what happens on disputed home run calls. First, all of the umps get together and talk about whether or not the play is in dispute. Um, yeah, that’s efficient. Then, all of the umps leave the field. One guy has to walk all the way inside the clubhouse, or wherever the hell they go, and sit there looking at what, the clubhouse TV? Who knows, who cares.
I know about ten people who could come up with something more efficient and simpler than that in about a week. Give one of the umps an iPad for crying out loud. Do something. Sure football’s system ain’t perfect. It’s a thousand times better than what we have in baseball.
The Giants head to St. Louis at 1-1, with each team sending their ace out for Tuesday afternoon. Cain has
been fairly mortal so far this postseason, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he shuts them down long enough for our offense to get moving. Since Bumgarner allowed that two-run home run to Beltran, the Cards have been completely off-balance, scoring one run in their last 14 innings.
The Giants offense (you know, the one I said was the best in the NL) has come to life, and I expect the hitting conditions in the Cards park to help
keep them pounding. One note, for all the hype he’s been getting, Posey has 2 home runs and 5 RBI, which means he’s only driven in a run in two at bats. Not that the grand slam wasn’t a big deal, but he’s in bit of a mini-slump. Three wins to get to the Serious.
The SF Giants just became the first team in baseball history to come back and win a best of five postseason series after
losing the first two games at home in the abbreviated 2-3 format. They are also the first NL team to come back from any 0-2 deficit in a best of five series. Buster Posey hit one of the most massive and dramatic grand slams in SF Giants history, and the team had to survive the tying run at the plate in all of the last four innings.
The team moves on to the NLCS, and if the Cardinals somehow advance, the Giants would be
the home team.
UPDATE: Again, this is not
smart. Not saying you start him, but leaving one of the best hitters in the game off your NLCS roster, and having, say, Aubrey Huff, on it is
shooting yourself in the foot for no good reason ridiculous. Have him as a pinch hitter, whatever. He’s the second best hitter on the team. How many chances do you think you’re gonna get for a ring? Cabrera makes them better, and all the posturing and anti-PED bullshit is pointless, misguided, and in this situation, hypocritical.
Cabrera makes them better.
In one hour, the SF Giants will
attempt the impossible; they will try to come back from an 0-2 deficit by winning three games in a row on the road. Can they pull it off? What seemed impossible just three days ago now seems likely. I say seems, because nothing is as it seems in this years playoffs. So the fact that the Giants have their ace starting today may seem like a huge advantage, but it’s just as likely the team’s engage in a slugfest, with an 8-4 final score or something like that.
I love our chances, really, but who the hell knows how it’s gonna play out? All I know is we have the best starting pitcher on our team right now going for us. If you’d told me we’d have a Game Five with Cain going after that 9-0 humiliation, I mean come on. We’re already talking best case scenario.
UPDATE: Again, Crawford has played his way onto the bench, something that Bochy apparently cannot see. He has now gone hitless so far in the postseason, he just made an obvious error in the first inning (generously scored a hit, but come on), and with Arias absolutely scorching the ball, it would seem clear that he must be given the seat, but no.
And don’t give me that Crawford’s a great glove bullshit. He’s made as many errors
(second most in the NL with 18 this season, 25 in 204 career games) as any shortstop in baseball. He’s a serviceable glove, and an awful hitter.
UPDATE: No sooner do I write about how bad he’s been, he rips a triple and drives in the first run of the game.
UPDATE: Wow. What an inning. What a massive, MASSIVE grand slam by Posey. 6-0 Giants. Oh, and how in the hell does Baker let Latos pitch to Posey there? Really questionable decision, or lack thereof.
UPDATE: Same indecision by Bochy, needlessly trying to get more out of Cain. Now it’s 6-3 and the Reds are completely back in it. It’s time for Cain to sit down. What is he waiting for? This is a huge fail by Bochy. Shouldn’t have let him hit last inning, shouldn’t have been allowed to face Ludwick, should’ve been taken out immediately after the home run, nobody up and ready…. What the hell happened to the guy who managed yesterday’s game?
I can’t believe my eyes right here. I can’t believe the Reds are batting with the tying run at the plate, and Cain is still in the game.
UPDATE: This is a mistake. Bochy should be treating this situation like the ninth. Romo is the guy for Ludwick here.
UPDATE: Man, what a game. Three straight innings with the tying run at the plate. It’s Romo’s game now, right? Unbelievable. You knew the Reds weren’t gonna roll over, but wow, what a battle.
UPDATE: Four straight innings with the tying run at the plate? Man.
There is no explanation or reason to continue allowing Brandon Crawford to swing the bat. None. He’s no 0 for 7 in the
series, after Bochy not only started him, but allowed him to hit in the top of the fourth with a man on. Has he had a bunch of line drives that have been right at someone? No. Has he put together a series of deep counts, forcing the pitcher to work hard to get past him? Nope. He has barely gotten the ball out of the infield.
UPDATE: Arias is making me look like Nostradaumus. Two doubles in two at bats so far today.
UPDATE: Wow. Sandoval just hit one out of the park. Not just into the stands, no, he hit it out of the park!!
UPDATE: OK. He only hit it 422 feet, into the bullpen. At first, it looked like he hit it out of the park. Bottom of the ninth, Giants up 8-3, looking like themselves again. Three outs away from a miracle.
UPDATE: Giants win. Miracle. 9-0 at
home in Game Two, I thought they were done. Lincecum was huge today. Arias was huge, Sandoval has three hits, Pagan had a homer and a double, Blanco is the hottest hitter on the team. We’re gonna do what they say can’t be done.
The SF Giants offense, coming into the series against the Reds, was clearly one of the top two or three offenses in the NL, scoring an average of 5 runs per game during the second half of the season, and over 5 runs per game on the road all season
long; featuring a lineup boasting the National League’s best hitter and likely MVP.
In the last two games against the Reds, the team has managed 1 hit during the first seven innings of both games, largely laying to waste any illusions Brian Sabean might have about next season.
Not changing the lineup, not replacing Crawford with Arias, not dropping Sandoval to fifth and getting Posey up third…. Does Bochy realize they are in a do or die?
UPDATE: Well, it’s the eighth, Arias is finally in, but really, I think Bochy really dropped the ball here. If today wasn’t the day to make some changes and shake up the team, I don’t know when you would. He needed to do something. This was not the time for viagra “staying with what got you here.”
As of right now, we’re looking at a 17 inning stretch in which the Giants have had a total of 3 hits.
UPDATE: Wow. We got lucky. Maybe that’s all we need. Sure hope so.