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…. Sweep?!?!

Three games, three wins, three shutouts!!!

Tied for first. The Giants delivered a crucial, mid-season knockout punch to their hated rivals,

sweeping the three game set, and unbelievably, not allowing a run to score:

…. The year was 1890. Benjamin Harrison was president. Bread was 3 cents a loaf. Milk was free because you just squirted it out of the cow. Bruce Bochy’s great-grandfather first uttered the words, “There’s no getting around it,” and the teams that became the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers played their first game.

They have met 2,361 times over 123 seasons. Through all the generations the Giants had not shut out their ancient rivals in three consecutive games.

Wow. That was nice. The Dodgers are reeling, and the Giants are surging. Great time to

be a Giants fan.

UPDATE: OK, maybe not a knockout punch. Maybe more like a standing eight count. ;-)



…. Failure

Whatever is happening with Lincecum, it's clear that his problems are completely derailing the team's chances to compete for a playoff berth this season. The team is now viagra generic

.DTL”>2-11 in his starts, as he fails once again to solve his control issues. One can only hope that this stretch will make him a better pitcher, having gone through such stark adversity. However, with his dramatic velocity decline, perhaps there's more than meets the eye.

It's unfortunate. Lincecum in his prime would have the Giants at least tied for first place, and there would be no talk about the juggernaut Dodgers, we'd be talking about an historic NL West race. Instead, the Giants are left thanking God for Barry Zito's unexpected contributions, while a still embarrassingly fat and out of shape Sandoval adds another anchor to a season that could be so much more.

It sure seems that the two young stars are well on their way to Strawberry/Gooden territory, instead of Jeter/Pettitte.

There's simply no excuse for players making millions of buy cialis online uk dollars showing up with this kind of effort and results.

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Actually, it sure sucks to be a GIants fan

Forget about Brian Sabean.

No Brian Wilson, no Panda, no Lincecum, (or, should I say, no Freak)…. When are we going to add Freddie Sanchez’s name to the list of players who go from the Giants to the broadcast booth?

This team is boring, bori

ng, boring. Actually, when they are bat, they are boring. In the field, they are brutal. They look like the ’62 Mets.

How about a home run every once in a while? How about catching the fucking ball, I mean what the hell were Burriss and Crawford doing last night?

Since I wrote about the good hitting back on April 26th, Posey has absolutely cratered. 9 for 50 in May with all nine hits being singles. Um, maybe he’s not healthy?

Belt is at .239 with no homers. Schierholz never plays, why? Matt Cain has a better batting average than Burris, Crawford, Huff and Theriot.

25 home runs? The whole team has 25 home runs? Do I need to point out that Josh Hamilton has 18 all by himself?

This team has been ravaged by injuries, but still, we are among the very few teams in baseball who simply do not develop position players at all. Other teams have injuries and they bring up guys who can at least pick it and throw it. We apparently cannot. Why bother fielding minor league teams when you can’t pull somebody up who has even the fundamentals down? No strike zone judgement, no speed, and no glove? What the hell is going on in our system?

Let me ask a clearer question: When does this failure get fixed? When do we bring in somebody who knows how to put together a minor league system. Because whoever is running the system for the Giants absolutely and unequivocally does not?

No veteran minor leaguers who can hit .250 and catch it at any positions?! A handful of young players who show any promise at all, (aside from the apparently talented Mr. Brown, which begs the question, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?!

Honestly, this is a travesty.

UPDATE: Jim, you have a point, to a degree. “Developed” Posey? Sandoval? When 21 and 22-year olds make the majors and excel, there’s not very much development going on. It’s more a point of being lucky or, at best, prescient in the draft. At worst, it’s

finding a needle in a haystack. If the Giants had a record of developing young hitters, I’d be inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. There is no such track record. Two real hitters in 20 years is disgraceful, a failure of such immense proportion as to be almost unimaginably bad.

Without looking, I’d bet the Royals have had better results than that. The Mariners. For that matter, even you want to give them that they have focused on developing pitchers to use as trade bait to get hitters, the results doing that, basically since the Kent and Burks deals, have been flat-out abysmal. Their free agent signings have been equally preposterous. So, on every front available to a team to put out a major league offense, the Giants have failed completely.



…. Tumbled

The Giants just finished off being swept in Arizona, as Matt Cain couldn’t hold a six-run lead, Jeremy Affeldt couldn’t earn his salary, and Buster Posey couldn’t deliver a game-winning hit for the second time in the series. The Giants are 0-3, last

in the division. Excuse me, but someone needs to tell the Giants the games count now. Brandon Crawford, a glove-first shortstop last season, has already made two game-changing errors, and the pitching has failed to live up to any of the hype that had so many pundits picking the Giants to win the West.

Zito heads out to Colorado to try and stop the skid. Good luck with that.

UPDATE: Guess I should be dismissive of Zito’s chances to win more often. ;-)

4-hit shutout? Unbelievable. Good for him. Good for the Giants.

UPDATE, Part II: Is something going on with Lincecum? Rob Neyer details the pitcher’s surprising decline since his Cy Young days:

…. Lincecum finished (spring training) with the Giants’ third-best strikeout-to-walk ratio, behind Bumgarner and Cain, and the Giants’ third-best home-run ratio, behind Bumgarner and Cain. Based purely on last season, we might have guessed that Lincecum actually entered this season as the Giants’ third-best starting pitcher. Based purely on this March, we might have guessed that Lincecum actually entered this season as the Giants’ third-best starting pitcher.

Also in the piece is some data stating that Lincecum’s velocity is down all the way to 90.

His strikeout/walk data seems to clearly show him losing velocity and command since ’08. That worries me. I’m not panicking, but I’m worried.



…. Reply?

At yesterday’s Fanfest, Lincecum answered questions about his new contract:

…. “Just because I signed a two-year deal doesn’t mean

it eliminates extension talks in the future,” Lincecum said.

“I’m worried about now, now. I’ve never been that guy who could make plans four years from now. If someone’s going, ‘You want to hang out a month from now when

I’m down there?’ I’m like, ‘I don’t know. Just call me when you’re down here and I’ll see what I’m doing.’

“That’s the way I’ve always been. That’s the way my friends know me. My family knows me that way. This is no different.”

Sounds very reasonable, but I wouldn’t expect him –or anyone, for that matter– to just blithely express his true feelings of uncertainty and worry. Maybe I’m wrong about this, but if I were in his shoes, I’d be damn sure the team was solving the lack of offense before I locked my ass up in a long-term deal. But that’s me.



…. I like

Lincecum gets what he wants, and I guess the Giants do as well.

….The two-year, $40.5 million deal, which was completed Tuesday but will not be

official until he passes a physical next week…

This deal shows

that Lincecum is saying that unless the Giants start building an offense that matches his talents, he won’t be a Giant once he reaches free agency. Another two seasons of winning 13 games instead of 20, of seven starts without a single run to work with, of losing four 1-0 games…. these things are not acceptable to him, and if they continue, he will become a Yankee.



…. Offensive

Well, so much for Pablo Sandoval coming off the DL and giving the team a spark. He comes into tonight 15 for 58 since his return, with 3 doubles, 6 runs scored, and 3 RBI. His batting average was at .313, it's now at .259.

Aubrey Huff, even though it seems like he's had a decent June, in fact, he's simply vanished. He had 4 home runs in 5 at bats on the

1st and the 2nd of the month. Since then, he's had 4 doubles, 1 triple, 21 singles, and made well over 70 outs. His season, essentially a worse case scenario, has resulted in a .242/.294/.380 .674 OPS, which is killing the team, by the way, since he's hitting at the top of the order every day.

Andres Torres has disappeared as well. A disgusting .205/.326/.308 .634 OPS for the month of June is pretty much putting him on a path to the broadcast booth.

I can't for the life of me see how this team is winning games.

Right now, I get to listen to Krukow telling me that Lincecum and Dempster are locked in a pitcher's duel. Yeah, that's Ryan Dempster, who came into tonight's game 5-6 with a 5.07 ERA.

UPDATE: Heading into the ninth, Dempster has retired 20 consecutive Giants.

UPDATE: Burriss absolutely has to go on that bloop. The mindset has to be that we're not gonna get another chance. What a wasted opportunity.

UPDATE: There is no place for conservative base-running in that situation. There is no waiting for the next guy. Get doubled off second. You can see it's an out or a hit. You have to be coached to see that, and you have to chance it. And so, they lost. Just as I said yesterday, they didn't save any runs for Lincecum, and they lost a game they should have won.

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…. Nate the great

The Giants won tonight behind what was perhaps Nate Schierholtz’s best game as a a pro:

…. Nate Schierholtz did have a great night with three big hits.

He singled against Jake Westbrook to start the three-run tying rally in the sixth, a mere trifle compared with what he did later.

Cardinals closer Fernando Salas, who had been 10-for-10 in saves, retired the first two Giants in the ninth on three pitches before he walked Huff on four. With Schierholtz batting, Burriss, a pinch-runner, stole second. With his team down to its last strike, Schierholtz shot a single through the middle to get Burriss home for a 5-5 tie.

…. In the 11th, also with two outs, Schierholtz broke

the tie with a single against Ryan Franklin after Freddy Sanchez hit his second double. Schierholtz scored an insurance run on a Brandon Crawford single.



…. Freaky

Here’s a nice little article about our Freak:

…. Lincecum may look ordinary, but consider a few tales of his athletic prowess: His junior year in high school, he went out for the golf team, having played three rounds of golf in his life. Needing to shoot under 40 for nine holes, he carded a 39. (One of Lincecum’s former baseball coaches told me that he once saw him drive a golf ball 315 yards, in sandals.) He can do a standing back flip and walk on his hands. (Some sneaker tread marks on his living room wall attest to his ability to do vertical push-ups, too.) He can throw a baseball more than 400 feet on the fly, far enough to clear the outfield wall from the batter’s box in any big-league park. Admittedly, these feats don’t necessarily conform with our prevailing notion of “athleticism,” which has essentially come to mean strong and fast.

But that’s the point: Lincecum has redefined and even reclaimed the term. He’s a pure athlete in the classic, schoolyard sense.

It’s a NY Times piece, and it’s worth

your time.



…. Nice touch

Tom Verducci chose the 2010 San Francisco Giants as his Sportsmen of the Year:

…. In three homes over 52 seasons did San Francisco follow this serial in wait for a championship. The Giants lacked the historical and literary embellishments of Brooklyn, Boston and Chicago, and so their suffering went underplayed, though much suffering did they know. Five times in those years they played a Game 6 or Game 7 with a chance to win the series, and lost every one of those games, getting shut out in three of those five potential clinchers.

The agony began with a 1-0 loss to the Yankees in Game 7 of the 1962 World Series, which ended when Willie McCovey lined out to second base with the tying and winning runs in scoring position. In the 1987 NLCS, up three games to two, they were shut out in back-to-back losses to St. Louis. And in the 2002 World Series, up 5-0 on the Angels with one out and nobody on in the seventh, they managed the biggest collapse in a potential clincher in series history, followed by a 4-1 whimper of an elimination in Game 7.

This is all you need to know about the cruelty of Giants culture: Charlie Brown is a Giants fan. Two months after McCovey’s lineout, Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz, from Santa Rosa, drew a strip in which Charlie and Linus sit brooding silently for three panels, only to have Charlie wail in the fourth, “Why couldn’t McCovey have hit the ball just three feet higher?”

…. Not only did the Giants give their fans a winner, they also gave them an unforgettable one, one with a Playbill’s worth of characters who exuded joy and thankfulness about what was happening. They are now characters, and not unlike the misfits and urchins Dickens himself gave us, who are established eternally.

Wilson and that frightfully awful beard. Aubrey Huff and the red thong. Lincecum and the hair. Cody Ross, the greatest in-season claim in the history of waivers. The prenaturally cool Buster Posey. The unflappable Matt Cain. The very roundness of Pablo Sandoval and Juan Uribe. The redemption of prodigal Bay Area son Pat Burrell. Watching these Giants, you half expected Jean Valjean to pop up in the on-deck circle at any moment.

Well done, Tom.



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All commentary is the opinion of John J Perricone unless otherwise noted.
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