Saturday, May 28, 2011

Maybe there is some magic left inside!?!

The second game after "the incident" regarding Buster Posey had Giants fans, and probably Giants players, fearing the worst.  After all, it had been 18 innings since the Giants had scored a run and Shaun Marcum was dealing.

Then, Andres Torres singled, stole second base, and scored on a single by Freddy Sanchez.  Despite this development many fans were still unsure that the punchless Giants could score 2 more runs and even tie this game much less win it.

They were proven wrong in the 7th when the Giants loaded the bases against Marcum and the guy who was taking only his second major league AB showed that the magic is still there if you look hard enough.

Now, I'm sure that most rational Giants fans don't expect that Brandon Crawford is going to be yanking balls out of the yard like Jose Bautista (I can't believe I just said that) but this is the stuff that legends are made from.  Crawford has always been regarded as a slick fielding. light hitting shortstop.  This season he was batting .322 with 3 homeruns but he had only played in 3 games.  But the Giants really don't have any other option at SS so he is going to get a lot of time there.  At least until someone comes off the DL.

But regardless, the Giants formula from last season was there.  Good pitching, although Lincecum gutted it out with less than his best stuff, and a different hero every night.  Last season this team got a boost from a rookie.  This season this team got a boost from a rookie.  

Even if was only for one game

Friday, May 27, 2011

A tough break for Posey, Giants

As I'm sure you all know, Buster Posey is likely out for the season with a broken femur and torn ankle ligaments.

This is the absolute worst news that the Giants possibly could have received this season.  I guess it's not the worst news considering he could have had some torn knee ligaments and been out into next season.  So I guess there is a bright side.

The possible impact on the Giants has been talked to death so I'm not going to rehash that here.

What I do want to talk about are some controversial discussions about the events that surrounded Posey's injury.

The first being that Bruce Bochy is to blame because of the way that he handled the Bullpen.  The theory is that if he had Romo pitch longer in the 8th rather than put Lopez in to pitch to a bunch of righties that the Giants' 9th inning rally would have won the game.


Shoulda, woulda, coulda.  Bochy's utilization of Romo this season has been confonding to be sure.  But Lopez has thrived in just about every situation that Boch has thrown him into.  The Marlins are a good hitting team and there is no reason to believe that Romo would have done any better.  Or that the Giants would have still gone on to score 4 runs in the bottom of the 9th (they wouldn't have since they only would have had to score 2 runs to walk-off) but the pitchers would have taken a completely different approach, the hitters would have taken a different approach, and the managers would have approached things different.

Cousins play was a dirty play.  Of course it was dirty because it happened to our guy.  But that isn't necessarily the case.  Despite what Buster Posey's agent says.  It doesn't matter where Posey was, it doesn't matter what position he was in, Cousin's job is to score there.  No matter what the cost.  The throw beat him and was on the money.  He doesn't know that Posey dropped it.  He can try to avoid the tag or he can go for contact to try and knock it loose.  He chose to knock it loose.  For whatever reason, he thought that was his best chance to score the game winning run.  Now, if it's the top of the second rather than the top of the 12th he probably makes a different decision, but as Giants fans always say after a Bochy decision "what if they lose the division by one game?".  The play was legit and it is part of baseball.

That leads to the ridiculous talk about trying to outlaw collisions at the plate.  Despite what the various blogs around are trying to tell you, there is a lot more contact in baseball than they are saying.  All we hear about is that the only time players collide is when they are coming home.

That's total B.S.

What about when a player comes in hard to break up a double play?  What about when a pitcher covering first base can't slow down in time and runs into the baserunner?  How about when a player gets hit by a pitch?

People are calling for some kind of a rule change to prevent collisions at the plate.  What are they going to do?  Do the softball thing where the runner doesn't even touch home plate?  Call him out if he does?  Then you need to outlaw hard slides, don't let pitchers cover first, and outlaw beanballs.  It's ridiculous.  For all the talk about the danger of collisions at the plate, the only one I can think of that really ended someones career, or at least changed that player forever, is when Pete Rose destroyed Ray Fosse in the All-star game.

Alright, my rant is over, I sure hope Buster recovers from this.  If the Giants aren't seriously looking into some kind of a position change with him, they are crazy.  Look at what has been going on with Joe Mauer in Minnesota to see what can happen to guys like this.  Hopefully it can happen BEFORE Buster signs a $150 million contract.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Baseball is a cruel, cruel, game

At the beginning of this week the San Francisco Giants were on top of the world.

Hell, even tonight they looked like they were going to win one of their patented late-inning-come-from-behind-walk-off games.

What a difference a couple of innings makes.

A sacrifice fly, an on target laser beam of a throw from Nate Scheirholtz, and a collision at the plate later, the Giants clubhouse, to quote Andrew Baggerly, was "a funeral".  

That's baseball for you.  That's what happens when your best offensive player is a catcher.  You think that nothing can go wrong and then all of the sudden it does.

Not much else to write about.  I was all excited that finals are over and then I could devote more time to this blog, which I will by the way, things looked great and then BOOM.  Giants lose, Posey's hurt.

Day game tomorrow.  Let's win one for Buster!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Giants are finally getting a little momentum!

Wow, what a weekend!

After the Giants lost 3 out of four games to the Nationals, I was really worried that this was going to be a long summer by the bay.  But they went to New York and took 2 out of three from the Mets.  I looked at the standings and realized that the Giants were 5-5 on that roadtrip.  That's not as bad as my mind told me it was.

But the offense looked, and still looks, even worse than last season.  Including tonight's game, they have only scored 4 or more runs in a game 15 times this season.  This works out to a pathetic 3.43 runs per game.  It did not look good for the Giants with those first place Rockies on their way to town.

But something else was going on with these Giants.  Up until last night's 1-0 game these offense challenged Giants had only given up 121 runs.  If you compare this to the amount of runs they have scored, which is also 121, then you get a perspective on just how good this pitching staff has been.

So these surging Rockies come to town and what happens?  They score a whopping 5 runs in 3 games and since the Giants can score 3.43 runs per game these stats = a sweep for the Giants.

Now the question is can the pitching keep it up for the entire season?

First off, I think they will.  Remember, this is a staff that set a live ball era record with 18 straight games of allowing 3 or less earned runs last season.  Which means they are that good.  They know what it takes to win, and all of them (except Ryan Vogelsong) have been pitching on these offense starved Giants for their entire careers.  So they know what it is like to pitch under pressure!

The good thing is I don't think that they will have to keep up the pressure pitching so much.  When Pablo Sandoval comes back, Aubrey Huff, Freddy Sanchez, and Buster Posey all start hitting.  This offense is going to put some runs on the board.

It's going to be an exciting summer after all!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Rough weekend for the Giants

This weekend had to have been the toughest weekend of the young season.  From the opening day loss to the Dodgers until yesterday's punchless loss to the Nationals the whole season has been a disappointment.  It is still early, so hopefully the Giants get all of the disappointment out of the way early this season, but it is hard to get the nagging feeling of seeing it all fall apart out of your head.

The list of disappointment is long.  The entire Giant offense, Madison Bumgarner's rough start, Brandon Belt showing he isn't quite ready for the show, Miguel Tejada, Pat Burrell's BA, and the long list of injuries.

I think that the biggest key to this season turning around is just getting everyone healthy.  Obviously Pablo Sandoval's injury hasn't been the main contributor to the Giants' struggles but it is symbolic of them.  Ever since opening day, more than one key piece of the Giants offense, bullpen, rotation, or defense has been on the disabled list.

The Giants opened the season with Cody Ross and Brian Wilson on the DL.  Since they have come back, both have struggled.  Wilson has had more success than Ross has had, but neither of them has really contributed in the way that the Giants hoped they would coming in to the season.  Since that time, Andres Torres, Barry Zito, Mark DeRosa, Santiago Casilla, and Pablo Sandoval have all gone on the DL.  All of these guys are major pieces to the puzzle and having one or 2 of these guys on the DL puts the Giants at a disadvantage.  Having all 5 of them on the DL at once makes the Giants a completely different team than what they thought they were going to have when they left Arizona last month.

If the Giants can get healthy and get all of these guys back on the field, I think that they will be a much better team than they have shown to this point.  Really, considering all the injuries and how many games the Giants have played on the road to start the season, the Giants aren't in too bad of a place being 1 game under .500.  One good stretch can make everyone forget these early games and, as guys get healthy, I think we will see the Giants return to their winning ways.