The rhythm of the baseball is always about hot streaks and cold streaks. In the 2006 season, the Giants couldn't put together any sustained hot streaks; it was a dark time for Giants fans -- I don't think they won more than 3 games in row and that they only did a few times. The first weeks of 2007 baseball were even darker; losing 7 out of the first 9 games disheartened a lot of fans. But what a difference now, the Giants have gone from a polar chill to an equatorial blaze in a matter of weeks; they've won 9 of their last 10!
Matt Cain finally has the victory he's been deserving; he's got a 1.55 ERA but what should be a 4-0 record is only at 1-1 so far. I think we're gonna see his W:L ratio shifting favorably in the weeks ahead. Barry Bonds is getting pitches, and smashing them. I'm sure soon enough competing team managers will get the message: the old Barry is back and crushinger than ever and we'll see lots of 4 finger calls. But for now, enjoy the ride.
Yesterday's victory came on the backs of a partial relief squad (Todd Linden and
Lance Niekro) as Omar Vizquel and Dave Roberts took a rest (Roberts came on late in the as a pinch runner and scored).
Next up this evening, Russ Ortiz will duel against Brad Penny and I'm looking forward to an exciting game. Three words:
beat sweep el aye!
Could the extra-inning push last night, kicked off by Barry Bond's tying slash homer in the 8th be the harbinger of baseball to come? I'm quite impressed with how Armando Benitez and Jonathan Sanchez held back the Cardinals long enough for 12th inning surge from Randy Winn, Omar Vizquel and Rich Aurilia. We're seeing real solid playing from those guys and Ray Durham. The pitching rotation is solid, the losses that Matt Cain has suffered... are really an injustice. The guy's pitched fantastic, if we see the run support turn on he'll be putting up the W's. I expect Barry Zito's shutout the other day to be the first of many. Noah Lowry, Matt Morris and Russ Ortiz get props too, those guys and much of the roster are pretty damned solid.
Today's 6-2 romp over the Cards has me thinking that the Giants won't be spending too much more time down there at the bottom of the division. I think the offensive slump from the season's start can be declared officially over. What remains to be seen is whether they can sustain this kind of solid play day in and day out. I have faith they will! Let's Go Giants!
Now if only the temperatures felt like baseball weather; it's cold!( Apr 19 2007, 06:57:28 PM PDT ) Permalink
After a few weeks of sleep walking to the batter's box, it's invigorating to see the San Francisco Giants bring on the show of force in last night's win in Pittsburgh. With Barry Bonds hitting a pair of HR's (no. 736 and 737!) and Russ Ortiz reeling in the strikeouts, we're finally seeing the team that I was imagining going into opening day: lotsa long ball for the innings and tight pitching for the outings.
It's really irritating that the Major League Baseball's websites are so... last century. Where are the blogs, widgets, microformats and feeds? Just for giggles, I took my Technorati Favorites and plugged them into a Giants page. I also wrote a little script that puts the next Giant's game in the header. An hCalendar implementation shouldn't be too hard. It's really lame that MLB doesn't just put that on their web sites; CSV files and instructions for importing into Outlook is just so silly. This morning, it is raining like mofo in the Bay Area, hmm... maybe a fine day to write a CSV to hCalendar converter.( Apr 14 2007, 12:01:09 PM PDT ) Permalink
Sure, this is always the time of year when the weather gets a little colder, the sun sets earlier and the volume of junk mail catalogs arriving from the postal service goes up. But what makes this Bad is obvious: the Giants aren't playing baseball until the spring. I just can't wait until spring! Any claims that the lack of October play is Felipe Alou's fault is just silly. The last few years' bad deals with Sidney Ponson and Damien Moss and bad luck Rob Nenn have taken away payroll that coulda been used more productively -- those situations are more blameworthy. But hope springs eternal and this spring we should see Jessie Foppert and Jerome Williams in the rotation and if some good luck (and payroll availability is on our side) Moises should be a Giant and batting behind Bonds.
( Oct 04 2004, 10:04:14 PM PDT )
But then there were injuries and other team problems, Arizona shuffled up the team, trading Schilling away and gutting their position players to acquire Richie Sexson (who sustained a season-ending injury early in the year). They've been generously giving away the wins ever since. Now with Johnson ready to move on to pitch with a team that can win some games and Giants in sore need of some more zing on the mound, it's time for the Giant's ownership to pony up and bring Johnson to San Francisco. He won't be far from home; he was born in Walnut Creek and went to school in Livermore. Johnson has said he doesn't want to be far from his Arizona home; he's settled down there with his family. Well, it's about a 1.5 hour flight from SFO to Tucson, IIRC. So here's the rotation:
Neifi Perez has only hit five home runs since 2001. I mean, he's a great infielder but perhaps the threat of having Pedro Feliz become the everyday SS was enough to awaken his inner-slugger. This was their game to lose and for a while there, it looked like that might be the it was gonna go. But here ya go:
|San Francisco Giants||5||10||1|
It's about time the Giants show some life in their play. Sad that it was still only a one-run game, the offensive anemia long ago crossed the threshold into patheticness. Thank goodness the Dodgers have dropped five in a row; the Giants are only seven games behind them in the standings! Someone tell Alou to get a clue: ditch Dustin Mohr or Deivi Cruz and bring Brian Dallimore back in the line-up!
( May 19 2004, 09:36:40 AM PDT )
We'll take these one-run games if that's all we'll get -- after some of the recent beat-downs from the SoCal division rivals, it's fine to just squeak by for the time being. What I'd like to see is Woody restore his good name, get a strikeout or two and maybe give the G's a little momentum with a win tomorrow. But for tonight, hat's off to V-rod and Herges for keeping them at bay in the end
Let's go Giants!
( Apr 26 2004, 10:17:00 PM PDT )
With San Diego coming in with a 9th inning rally, bowling over the Giant's bullpen you just have to stare in disbelief as the three run lead that the Giant's enjoyed at the onset of the 9th evaporated into one. After coming off the high of Grissom and Bonds launching back-to-back home runs (and Bonds acquiring the number of man, 666), it's just inconceivable to have that victory snatched away. The rain pouring down was making it seem all the more grim.
But no need for dispair! It wasn't so bad. At the end of the night, it's another one run game but this time the G's were on the good side of it and the four game losing streak is snapped. Sighs of relief were audible far and wide.
|San Francisco Giants||4||7||2|
|San Diego Padres||3||8||1|
While I'll miss Jeff Kent's contributions to the Giants, it's hard not to take a little pleasure in seeing a little late inning beat down with Bond's 3 run HR in the 8th (number 659 for his career, Say Hey!)
|San Francisco Giants||5||10||0|
Happy Opening Day!
( Apr 05 2004, 09:21:23 PM PDT )
I don't understand how anyone can find baseball boring. Sure, some games are more exciting than others but when you've got a got a guy throwing a ball between 85 and 95 MPH through a little window in front of the batter and the batter's job is to launch it past the squad that he's facing, it's great! I mean, damn, you try it sometime! Baseball is the perfect mix of strategy, psychology and the boundaries of human athletic abilities.
I'm so glad spring time is here! Now if any readers happen to have an extra ticket to the game, I'm all over it, lay it on down :)
( Mar 31 2004, 10:41:31 PM PST )