Fresh Start?

Whew!  We got a W yesterday!  Thank goodness!  So happy for the boys, especially Madison with his amazing showing.  Their last win was also on one of his starts.  He’s really become the ace of the team this year.  And the boy struck out Dodgers phenom Yasiel Puig three times!  That’s a feat in itself!  Puig ended up earning a golden sombrero when Sergio struck him out for the fourth time.  BWAAAHHHHAAAAHHAAA!!  Even though I do appreciate that kid’s talent, it’s always nice to see a Dodger choke.

Kudos also to Gregor Blanco for getting on base 4 out of 4 times yesterday (3 hits and 1 walk).  That guy doesn’t get the credit he deserves – he’s really come through in Angel’s absence.  Pablo came through with a couple of amazing plays yesterday as well, especially on his play to home to get Hanley Ramirez out.  Great job!  Ramirez definitely seems to have matured since he joined the Dodgers, but I still hate him because of the “lo viste” crap he pulled on us last year.

What did you think of the lineup mishap yesterday?  I was listening in the car at the time, and Kruk, Miller, and Flem were in total shock about it.  The managers’ lineup card showed Buster batting 4th and Pablo batting 3rd, but the digital lineup in the clubhouse (some new technology they’ve started using in the last couple of days) listed Buster 3rd and Pablo 4th.  Buster came up 3rd and hit a double, bringing home Gregor.  The Dodgers’ bench coach realized what happened, then Manager Don Mattingly brought it to the attention of the umps.  The ruling was that Pablo (who should have been up) was declared out on a groundout to the catcher (interesting – why that specific ruling?), the run was taken away, Gregor had to move back to his base, and then Buster batted again in the right order.  Unfortunately, Buster flied out the second time, ending the inning.  Net result – the Giants lost a run on the gaff and Pablo got credited with an out he didn’t make, thus lowering his batting average!  Poor Pablo!  The mistake can be traced back to whoever entered the lineup into the digital system incorrectly, and Bochy, being the gentleman that he is, would not reveal any names.  It was also mentioned that Bochy had been preoccupied with All Star business and that may have led to the oversight.  Come on, Dude!  Get your head in the game!  These boys can’t afford mistakes like that!  Thankfully, they pulled off the win anyway.  The announcers mentioned that Mattingly was getting payback on this for the time in 2010 that Bochy complained when Mattingly (who was hitting coach at the time and was filling in for the manager and bench coach who had been ejected) went to the mound to talk to the pitcher, turned around to head back to the dugout, and then walked back out.  You can only walk out to the mound once, so Bochy called him on it, the umps agreed, and the Dodgers’ pitcher had to leave the game.  Guess they’re even now (even though the Dodgers ended up losing that game in 2010 anyway!).

This game was so welcome after Friday night’s fiasco.  Going in I figured we had a good chance with our other rock, Matty, on the mound, but then all hell broke loose.  He ended up giving up 8 runs in 2 1/3 innings!  That’s so unlike him, but unfortunately par for the course lately.  I never turn off a game partway through, but I just couldn’t take it anymore and went for the remote after the top of the  7th inning (I did feel like I let my boys down after a bit and came back to watch the last inning, though).  Mike Kickham came in as a relief pitcher and looked sharp at first, but then gave up 2 runs in his 3 innings pitched.  Poor guy – he’s really struggled with the big boys.

There were some changes made to the roster in the last few days.  Angel went on the 60-day disabled list (sigh).  The Giants purchased the contract of outfielder Cole Gillespie from Fresno.  Gillespie showed promise during spring training, and he’s been doing well in AAA.  Unfortunately this meant that my boy Juan Perez had to go back to Fresno to make room for him.  He hadn’t been hitting well lately, so I guess it made sense, but I love that kid.  Hope to see him back soon.  On a positive note, he went 3 for 5 in his first game back with the Grizzlies.  Hang in there, Kid!

The Dodgers acquired starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco from the Marlins.  He is one of the guys who was on the Giants radar, but of course money talks and the Dodgers seem to have an unlimited supply.  Wonder who else is on Sabean’s radar, especially with the trade deadline approaching.  Will we see some roster moves in the near future?  Will keep an eye on this for you.

The most positive news in a while came with the announcement of the All-Star roster.  Buster, Marco, and Madison made the list.  It will be the first time for Marco and Madison and the second time for Buster.  I’m so happy for all three, and they all deserve it.  Madison has really shown his stuff this season and I’m sure we’ll see him on many more All-Star teams in the future.  Marco came through for us in the clutch last season and has made an impressive start to this season.  I can just picture him with his arms outstretched like in his rain moment when he heard the news that he made the team.  And Buster – well, he’s just Buster and deserves everything he gets!  Looking forward to watching the game now that I know our guys will be represented.  Bochy will be managing and the rest of his staff will be there supporting him.  Hunter is one of 5 alternates, and he still has a chance to make it.

In other news, my brother Paul had an amazing encounter yesterday.  He went to a barbecue at a neighbor’s house, and thought he recognized someone there – Giants insider Andrew Baggarly!  He walked over to his neighbor who was speaking with him and joined the conversation, playing it coy and not revealing that he recognized him.  When his neighbor introduced his friend as Andy, Paul said, “Baggarly?” and he said yes.  They ended up having a great conversation about the Giants, and Paul said that he was very forthcoming and just an all-around nice guy.  It was his day off, and Paul apologized for talking shop with him, but he said he didn’t mind and that he loved his job and loved talking about my boys.  Can you believe it??  I am so envious, but I’m so glad my brother had that opportunity.  Andy even made a point of finding Paul before he left the party to say goodbye and tell him he enjoyed chatting with him!  HEEEEEEEEEEE!  Lucky guy!

Going to the game vs. the Mets on Wednesday with Manny.    Matty will be pitching, and I hope it well be a redemption for him.  Can’t wait to get back to my home-away-from-home.

So was yesterday’s game the turning point for our guys?  I don’t know – that game was good, but the Dodgers did us a big favor by blowing it several times.  They made 3 key errors that allowed some of the runs.  My boys took advantage of them, but the Dodgers didn’t bring their A game.  And I’m scared about the matchup for today.  Clayton Kershaw always shuts us down, and Gaudin is just coming off the DL.  Marty Lurie mentioned on KNBR yesterday that they may send down Mike Kickham to make room for Gaudin.  No announcement yet, but there definitely will be by game time.  We’ll see – I guess Kickham makes sense as he hasn’t shined very brightly since he came up (actually, probably got tarnished if anything).  If they can pull this one off, I would say yes, this is the fresh start we’ve been looking for.  And I’ll even give them some slack today because even though I hate to compliment a Dodger, Kershaw is pretty phenomenal.  Will be cheering them on today and hoping that they can pull it off.  Also hoping that they can gain some ground in the NL West during this homestand.  GO GIANTS!!  BEAT LA!!!

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