Pinch Me!

What an amazing time to be a Giants fan!  Can you believe this??  I can’t!  I really can’t!  No one could imagine this team would be where they are right now.  I need a pinch to make sure it’s all real.  It’s gotten to the point where I just expect these guys to win every game.  And that might be the secret – they are doing the same thing.  They never give up.  Since you know I love lists, here’s my list of why I need a pinch right now:

–          They lead all of baseball in wins, with 42 under their belt thus far.  Not just the NL – ALL OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL.  The next best team has 39 (and they just happen to be another local team, the Oakland As).  This is the best record the Giants have had at this point in the season since they won the pennant in 1962.  Plus we have a 9.5 game lead over those stinking Dodgers!

–          They’ve won or swept the last 8 series they’ve played in.

–          Sergio Romo leads ALL OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL in saves, with 20 out of 22 opportunities.

–          Angel Pagan has the 5th highest batting average in the National League.  Plus he rocks it on so many other levels, like getting to first on a third strike.  Amazing instincts right there.

–          Michael Morse is tied for 4th for most home runs in the National League with 13.  He’s also tied for 3rd in the NL for RBI with 42.

–          Madison Bumgarner is tied for the lead in NL wins at 8.  He was named the NL Pitcher of the Month for May.

–          Tim Hudson has the second lowest ERA in ALL OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL.

–          The Giants are second in home runs in the NL with 69 (need a huge pinch for this one).

There’s so much to be excited about.  I finally got to watch a couple of complete games this weekend, and I was in heaven.  Always enjoy texting with my brothers and Ginny about how they’re doing.  And it’s just that much sweeter when they win!  Yesterday’s game was especially sweet.  I had chosen Michael Morse for one of my Beat the Streak picks for the day, and up until the 9th inning he hadn’t gotten a hit.  Nick texted me a picture of himself wearing the orange and black rubber band bracelet I had made him, hoping it would start a rally (they were behind at that time).  I decided to put mine on as well.  Bracelet power!  And right before Morse came up to bat, I texted Nick and Paul “…—…”  That’s SOS in Morse Code!  Not only did they come back to win, but Morse got the game saving walk-off hit in the 9th and my streak was saved! (even though Jose Bautista blew it for me today)  Wore my bracelet today and they won, so I think I will definitely make that a habit.

I heard a great story about Michael Morse.  Hunter Pence (Morse’s BFF) had some special T-shirts made for the team.  The front says “May the Morse be with you,” and the back has a picture of Morse dressed as a Jedi batting with a light saber.  The guys wore these for batting practice on Friday under their warm-up jerseys to try and get some of that awesome power.  So far Morse is the only player with home runs in the double figures (13).  Hope the shirt works.  And I want one – maybe they’ll have a “May the Morse Be With You” theme night.  So happy they can all have fun like that.

I haven’t written in a couple of weeks, so I have a bunch of old news.  Everyone heard about Hunter’s scooter being stolen and then returned.  So glad someone came forward and returned it, and then the great guy he is, he is donating proceeds from its sale to charity.  Love that guy.  And Timmy finally shaved that caterpillar of a moustache, but I noticed today it’s back!!  After he shaved it, AP sports writer Janie McCauley tweeted a quote from Timmy, saying he only shaved the stache “to grow another.  I’ve been told if you shave the hairs come back thicker and fuller.  I’m trying it out.”  From the looks of it today, that is a myth.  We shall see.  I think he should just give it up – he’s cute enough without it.

As far as the disabled list, Santiago Casilla remains on it after straining his hamstring while running to first base when he connected in a rare at bat.  This whole thing just amazes me.  Why would you take that chance, even at batting let alone running all out, when you are a relief pitcher?  Especially when David Huff had done exactly the same thing a few weeks earlier.  If I were Bochy, I would fine any relief pitcher who even swung at a pitch.  Just take the out – it’s not worth it.  Luckily Casilla has been doing better and is expected to rejoin the Giants in a couple of weeks after a rehab assignment.  And Matt Cain is back after straining his hamstring in the same game.  He pitched really well in his first stint back, so that is a relief.  Brandon Belt had the pins in his thumb removed and is now wearing a removable cast.  Bochy said he expects he might be back in about 3 weeks.  And Marco Scutaro remains MIA with no expected date for return.  Luckily Brandon Hicks continues to do an amazing job in his stead.

Dan’s boy, Juan Perez, came back up to the team when Matt Cain was put on the DL.  He had a great game the other day, hitting a 2-run homer that helped rally the Giants to a 3-2 victory over the Reds.  Go Juan!  But alas, poor David Huff was designated for assignment when Cain came off the DL.  Apparently he was surprised by it.  But Bochy is hopeful that he can end up in Fresno and possibly work things out and make a return to the team later in the season.  Good luck to you, David!  And don’t try to hit if you get up to bat!

I wanted to share some interesting things I’ve learned over the past couple of weeks, mostly from listening to KNBR.  You may have noticed a lot of talk about defensive shifts lately during games.  They’ll show a view of the outfield and guys aren’t in the position you would expect them to be.  In this era of technology, teams have started to monitor how guys hit and to what areas of the field they hit, so they’ll post their defense in those positions.  Sometimes an entire area of the outfield won’t be covered.  But it seems to be working out for the teams that are doing it.  Isn’t this cool??  Next time you watch a game, check it out.  They were commenting on KNBR that this will probably decrease batting averages as it will be harder to hit around a defense that is designed around your hitting pattern.  So interesting.

Another thing I learned during the recent series in Denver is that slider pitches don’t drop as much at altitude.  Because of this, pitchers who pitch a lot of sliders have issues pitching in the Colorado Rockies’ ballpark.  One of these pitchers is Sergio Romo.  We all know how wicked his slider is, but it’s not all that in Colorado.  My question:  Why do the Giants use Sergio Romo as their closer in Colorado?  Case in point – Nolan Arenado of the Rockies got a walk-off hit off Sergio in the 9th on May 20th to win the game because his slider didn’t slide.  Kruk and Kuip mentioned that a better fit at altitude might be Jean Machi who doesn’t depend so much on the slider, and the other types of pitches he throws aren’t affected by the altitude.  Why doesn’t Bochy take this into account??

Just had to share this observation with you as it wasn’t something you see every day.  During one of his at bats from the game on May 21st, I noticed something strange about Hector Sanchez.  It appeared as if he had something sticking out of his mouth.  And I don’t mean gum or tobacco – something long and thin.  It was a brown straw!  He went through an entire at bat with a straw sticking out of his mouth!  Check out this video and Kruk and Kuip’s response.  My favorite comment is Kuip mentioning that there aren’t any RBIs in that straw!  I would assume he’s not going to do that again anytime soon as he struck out.  Aren’t there any rules about batting with objects protruding from your mouth?  I tried looking it up but couldn’t find anything.  I wonder if someone bet him to do that.  What a goofball!

My boy, Andrew Baggarly, took a week long break recently from his duties as the Comcast Giants Insider.  I know I gush about the guy all the time, but it’s really not the same when someone else writes the replay of the game.  Here’s an example of why I love this guy.  In today’s summary, he was discussing the turn of luck for the Mets, and he writes, “But even when it appears Mr. Met gets sprinkled with good fortune, it turns out to be a seagull using his massive head as target practice.”  If you don’t know who Mr. Met is and why this comment is so appropriate, here you go.  Love it!  I tweeted to him that this comment made my day and asked how he comes up with this stuff.  His reply:  “Bourbon.”  Secret revealed.

I’ll end on a silly note.  50 Cent threw out the first pitch for the New York Mets the other day.  The guy needs to keep his day job.  Check this out.  That one has to rank up there amongst the all-time stinker first pitches.  So funny!  At least he had a sense of humor about it.

I have two new spit counts to share, but as this got kind of long, I’ll hold off until later this week to post them (I’m such a tease!).  I’ll tease some more with the fact that we may have a new Spit Master General amongst us this season!  My boys start a 4 game series against the Nationals tomorrow.  The Nats are tied for first place in the NL East.  Should be a great match up, and I know we can take yet another series cause we never give up!  Come on, Guys!  Just keep doing what you’re doing!  I don’t want to wake up from this dream EVER!  GO GIANTS!!

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