I was so excited this morning. The Giants were leading 5 to 0, and I was looking forward to blogging about how they had finally won a series against a good team and they’d have a happy flight back home to us. I thought my Vogey shirt was seriously working (I was wearing it during the game). Then my hopes were dashed, big time. How could that happen? 14 to 6?? Poor Vogey. He finally had a game where he got some run support, and it was still 6 to 3 when he left the game. What a shame. The only consolation is that the Dodgers are currently losing to the Mets 9 to 2. Not much consolation. Even if they lose, we’ll still be 4.5 games behind them in the West. Sigh.
There have been some rays of light for this team in the last few weeks, though (always try to remain positive). One such ray is Joe Panik. Man, that kid has risen to the occasion. He’s done a great job defensively at 2nd base, and he’s batting .307 (.447 in his last 10 games). Way to make a statement in the Bigs! And Travis Ishikawa, who came up to replace Brandon Belt at first, has been doing great as well. He’s been solid defensively and has hit .385 in the last three games he started. Plus he hit that important homerun today (well, it was important at the time). Even Andrew Susac has gotten more comfortable in the Bigs, hitting his first home run the other night. He’ll be so important in that backup catcher role. And lots of the bats of the veterans have woken up – including Buster, Pablo, and Mike Morse. And considering the losses of Belt and Sanchez due to concussion and Cain due to his surgery, they’ve actually come together quite nicely as a team and battled. But is it enough to make it to the post season? I’m seriously holding out hope that they can come through for us.
I was thinking the other day about the sacrifices that some guys make in order to play this game we love. I know – they make tons of money. But besides not seeing their families much during the season and the constant traveling, it’s kind of crazy the lengths they will go to to stay in the game. I was listening to an interview with Jeremy Affeldt on KNBR, and he was recalling a time when he couldn’t pitch because he was getting blisters on one of his fingers that were interfering with his delivery. He ended up having three layers of blisters on that finger. OUCH!!! It got so bad that he ended up having the nail on that finger surgically removed to solve the problem. The nail will never grow back. He basically maimed himself so he could continue to pitch. I find that fascinating. Pablo had the hamate bone in each hand removed so he could continue to bat well. Angel Pagan had one of his hamstring tendons removed – completely! According to Andrew Baggarly, “Pagan’s left hamstring tendon wasn’t just fixed, he said. It was removed completely, and the structure of his left leg was altered as a result. He now has two tendons instead of three, and he’ll have to do extra rehab and strengthening work for the rest of his career.” And how many pitchers have had Tommy John surgery in order to keep pitching? And what about Brandon Belt and Hector Sanchez who both experienced concussions that have put them on the DL probably for the rest of the season? To me, that’s pretty darn scary! It just makes you wonder how far a guy would go to keep playing.
To get your minds off today’s game I have a couple of fun videos for you. The first is an interview that Hunter Pence did on MLB.TV’s Intentional Talk. You’ll notice some guest appearances by his teammates. Fun! Here’s the link. Makes you love those guys that much more!!! They also talk about the crazy Pence signs phenomenon. Here’s an amazing video of a one-armed little leaguer. Check it out. What an inspiration that kid is! And do you think it was destiny for that kid to play baseball with that name?? Speaking of little league, did you get a chance to see the first girl to pitch a complete game shutout in her team’s first game of the Little League World Series? She’s Mo’ne Davis, and the kid is amazing! Check her out. What a great moment for women in sports!
On a personal note, I entered the Call Kuip’s Shot contest that Comcast put on. You had to video yourself calling Duane Kuiper’s only career homerun. Here’s my call. I ended up being chosen as a runner up winner! I won a signed Duane Kuiper bobblehead. Special thanks to my sister for filming the insanity and to my niece Rosey for being my teleprompter. That was so much fun!
I’ve got a new spit count for you. We’ve got a new spitter in our midst! :
- Murphy 11 (! – all seeds)
- Sandoval 5
- Susac 5
- Pagan 3
- Petit 3
- Bochy 2
- Lopez 1 (seeds)
- Meulens 1 (seeds)
- Zimmerman 2 (didn’t start spitting until the 8th inning)
- Werth 1
- Williams 1
- Desmond 1
- Thornton 1
- ? 1 (one of the coaches)
Game Spit Master General = Murphy at 11
That’s a total of 38 spits during a 2 hour and 40 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 4.2 minutes.
Murphy = Mike Murphy, the equipment manager for the Giants. Kruk and Kuip were talking about him while they showed him in the dugout, and he was eating sunflower seeds. I can’t get totally upset with him as it was seeds and not regular spit, but unfortunately for him it still gets him into my count. And if not for all the seed spitting, this would have actually been a pretty low spitting game. Another unfortunate result from this game was that Andrew Susac logged his first spits, and the boy spits a lot. I’m going to have to watch him more closely because he lifts his mask a lot while he’s catching, but I couldn’t always tell if he was spitting (usually this is a sign of spit). It’s also curious how the Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmerman only started spitting at the end of the game. What changed? Did he save up all that spit ‘til the end? Was he getting nervous? Or tired? Does being tired make you spit? So interesting.
So the boys are on their way home to start a series against the Rockies tomorrow. Time to take advantage of a team that has been struggling. The Rockies are currently in last place in the West, so we need to take at least 3 of the 4 games we’re playing against them. I’m throwing that out there to my boys. This is what we need to do to take the division from the Dodgers – beat weaker teams. And forget about the wildcard – that’s too scary. We need to win the division. We can do it with this team. They can do it. Yes, they can! GO GIANTS!!!! BEAT THE ROCKIES!!!