OK. What would you rather have first? The good news or the bad news? Personally, I like to end on a positive note, so let’s get the bad stuff over with and move on.
My boys are now tied for first place in the NL West with the Dodgers. First place doesn’t seem that bad, but it seems like yesterday we were living it up, enjoying a 9.5 game lead. Where have those days gone?? I went to the game on Sunday with my brother, my sister, and my niece, and I have to say I was depressed from start to finish (my record is now down to 5 and 3). And I narrowly missed attending a no hitter FOR THE OTHER TEAM!! Of course, we always manage to have fun at AT&T (and the crab sandwich and Ghirardelli sundae I had helped), but I couldn’t shrug the feeling that they weren’t going to win it, even before the game started. I hate that! Even though Matt and Tim Hudson had amazing starts the last two games, they just couldn’t get any run support and ended up losing. It’s that same familiar story – like we’re going down the same path as last year. We start slipping and the Dodgers gain momentum. There are so many depressing statistics to share. They were swept in a 4-game series for the first time ever at AT&T Park. Sunday was the 12th loss in their last 14 home games. What’s up with that??? They’re supposed to win in front of us!! They’ve won only 4 of their last 19 games.
So what’s the deal? Why has the same team that was doing so amazingly been struggling so severely lately? For a while it was the starting pitching, but at least that seems to be back on track. The bullpen has had some major issues. Jean Machi, who had been doing so amazingly well that he even received a midseason award from Sports on Earth for his near zero ERA (you can read the article here), has fallen back to Earth, and big time, giving up 4 earned runs (including one homer) in his last two appearances. Sergio Romo blew another save on Saturday, which finally prompted Bruce Bochy to take his closer position away from him. Jeremy Affeldt also gave up two earned runs in his last appearance. HELP!! But it’s not just the pitchers – the bats have died. The only one who’s been hitting consistently lately is Buster. The fire we had from Michael Morse, Hunter, and Pablo has died out. Plus two of our major offensive contributors, Brandon Belt and Angel Pagan, have been sidelined with injuries.
Do we have any hope to put the pieces back together? Of course we do! Never give up that Giants faith! The starting pitching has shown significant improvement. Hopefully that will rub off on the relievers, and someone will establish themselves as a new closer. And the two guys who seem to light up the offense are on their way back – Pagan is supposed to start the game tomorrow and Belt is supposed to start the series with the Padres next week. So at least there’s that. And there’s been some crud making its way through the clubhouse, with guys succumbing to it, so maybe that’s why they’ve been off. It must have run its course by now. And the team we have now is still the same team that wowed us at the beginning of the season. They just need a little of that Giant magic to come back.
OK – so no more negative. On to the positive! TIMMY!! He did it again! He pitched his second no hitter in less than a year! And he did it this time with only 113 pitches (he needed 148 last time). The kid’s still got it! He became only the second pitcher to no-hit the same team twice (the San Diego Padres). He’s also only the second pitcher to have multiple Cy Young Awards, multiple World Series Rings, and multiple no hitters (the other is Sandy Kofax). But the sweetest thing is that he prevented the Dodgers from having the only no hitters this season (Josh Beckett and Clayton Kershaw each have one this season – I actually have to thank my Dodger-fan coworker for sharing this information with me.). Timmy was named National League Player of the Week this week because of his feat. And this joy-bringing event couldn’t have happened at a better time – when this team was in a true funk and needed something to celebrate.
I got to see the majority of the game at Ginny’s house with her, but I had to leave for work at the end of the 6th inning. I listened to the 7th on the way to work on the radio, then my Giants fan coworker and I were following it on our phones. We were both in shock when it happened. So excited for Timmy and the team to have a moment to celebrate. And my lucky brother Nick and my nieces Rosey and Elizabeth got to be there! What are the odds?? Actually I know this because my brother looked it up – the odds of attending a no hitter are 1 in 1500! My nieces said they were getting really nervous at the end. My brother shared a video he took of the last inning with me. It was hysterical! As soon as the last out was made, the camera starts to pan everywhere but the field because he was so excited! What a crackup! Nick said it was his best day EVER! What a thrill!
In other news, Adam Duvall came up from Fresno to help out the struggling team, and proceeded to hit a homerun in his first game. Plus the day he came up to the bigs was the day Timmy pitched the no hitter. Keep that kid around for luck! He hasn’t been as hot lately, but hoping that we’ll see more offense from him. Plus he seems like a really nice kid.
I’ve got another spit count for you. Yes, even during slumps, the boys continue to spit:
– Colvin 9
– Posey 6
– Bumgarner 5
– Duvall 3 (sigh)
– Sandoval 3
– Hicks 2
– Cueto 13
– Frazier 5
– Bruce 5
– Phillips 2
– Cozart 2
– Mesoraco 1
– Chapman 1
– ? 1 (one of the coaches)
– Umpire 3
Game Spit Master General = Cueto at 13
Giants Game Spit Master General = Colvin at 9
That’s a total of 61 spits during a 2 hour and 45 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 3.7 minutes.
Johnny Cueto sure can pitch, and that boy sure can spit as well! The new kid blew it already – Adam Duvall logged three spits today. Also Tyler Colvin was the Giants Game Spit Master General, and he didn’t even play the entire game! Since this was a Madison start, I also logged his snot rockets – he only launched 4 today (on the low side for him).
Something happened during this game that I thought was worth mentioning, especially since I had never seen anything like it before. Adam Duvall was playing first base, and he was attempting to tag first to get the hitter, Zack Cozart, out, but the throw to him pulled him off the base. The weird thing was that the runner RAN OVER THE BAG AND NEVER TOUCHED IT! Here’s the video. Craziness! What a Peewee league move! The Giants reviewed the play, and everyone wondered why it was taking so long because on the replay you could see that the guy totally missed the bag. The weird thing was that Duvall did indeed get pulled off the bag but never went back and tagged it after Cozart ran by. Cozart came back to the base so he was safe, and that’s what the ruling was. So strange.
So Timmy’s pitching the first game after his no hitter tomorrow. He’ll be facing the Cardinals who are coming off of a 2-game losing streak against the Dodgers. Maybe the Dodgers actually helped us out with this one by roughing them up. I’m anxious to see how Timmy does this time. After his last no-hitter, he didn’t do so hot, but last time he logged a bunch more pitches. Come on, Timmy! Come through for us! Start this series off with a win! And Angel, show us your stuff again! Get the team going like you always do! GO GIANTS!!