We’ve Still Got a Chance

Well, the boys made it into the post-season by the skin of their teeth.  At least we’re in it, right??  Still not sure who we’re going to play as St. Louis lost tonight and Pittsburg is only behind them by a game.  But we’re still in it.  That’s all that matters.  We still have a chance to continue the even-year streak.  And Ginny and I still have the chance to go to another parade.  It can happen.

Even though it didn’t really count for much as we will definitely be playing the Wild Card game on the road, I still enjoyed watching today’s game.  Guess I just truly love baseball (and my boys of course).  And even though the makeup of the team today was a bunch of kids, they still pulled it off.  That’s got to count for something.  I’m sure some of those kids will make it into the post-season lineup.  Gary Brown got his first major league hit today in his first major league start – and it was off of a bunt!  And aren’t the Giants fans amazing, giving the kid a standing ovation?  That must have been so special for him.  He also logged another hit during the game.

Hunter Strickland got his first win today (he also logged another first which you’ll learn about later).  Don’t you love that kid??  I am so excited about the potential he has to be a closer in the near future and I’m looking forward to the help he’ll give us in the post-season.  I love to watch his pitches – hard to keep your eye on them they are so fast!  Bochy commented that he’s got a “great makeup.”  He seemed like a really nice kid when I met him in Spring Training.  I saw him signing autographs before the game again today.  Always like to see a good one succeed.  I heard from reading Andrew Baggarly’s blog that Hunter got doused with some not so nice liquids after his first major league save.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “After he earned his first major-league save in the 13th inning of Monday night’s 5-2 win, rookie Hunter Strickland’s teammates shoved him into a laundry cart, rolled him into the showers and seasoned him with all manner of liquids: salad dressing, lotion, whatever” on the day before his 26th birthday.  And I was actually at that game!  The Dodgers were in shock when they saw his stuff.  Love it!  And to think that we got that kid off waivers from the Pirates two years ago when they designated him for assignment to make room for Jonathan Sanchez (The Walk King) on their roster.  Sabean, you’re a genius!

Today the other Hunter, Hunter Pence, didn’t start for the first time in 331 games.  It was his first day off since September 23, 2012.  That was the longest active streak in baseball.  How does the guy do it?  According to Andrew Baggarly, “Bam Bam” Meulens asked Hunter how important the streak was to him, and Pence replied, “Winning a World Series is important to me.”  He gave up the streak for the sake of the team.  However, since he did pinch hit at one point during the game, his consecutive game streak is still going at 382.  Did you see Hunter’s sermon the other day right before their playoff celebration?  If not, here you go.  Supposedly he didn’t know that live video cameras were rolling, and he was embarrassed that some F-bombs made it onto live TV.  I love that guy.  So glad he’ll be with the Giants for years to come.  After the sermon video, there are some other videos of the post-game celebration for you to enjoy.  I can never get enough of that stuff!

Madison Bumgarner won the Willie Mac Award on Friday night.  From the press release sent by the Giants, “The award was established in 1980, in honor of legend and Hall of Famer Willie McCovey.  Bumgarner will receive a plaque prior to tonight’s game. Engraved on the plaque are the words “Competitive Spirit, Ability and Leadership” to characterize the qualities both McCovey and Bumgarner exemplify.”  Considering the amazing season Madison had and the leadership he brings to the team, the award is well deserved.  Unfortunately, due to a serious infection in his legs, this was the first time in the award’s history that Willie was unable to attend the ceremony.  Hang in there, Willie.  We’re all thinking of you and hope to see you back at the park soon.  And congratulations, Madison!

Just because I haven’t in a while, I decided to check in on how my boy Eli Whiteside is doing.  He played in eight games for the Cubs this season in June, had 25 at bats, got 3 hits (one of which was a double), and 2 RBI.  He was designated for assignment on June 22nd and cleared waivers on the 24th, and was assigned to the Cubs’ Triple A affiliate.  At least he’s still playing baseball.  Hang in there, Eli.  I’m still pulling for ya!

I did my last spit count of the season today.  It was very interesting, to say the least:

September 27th

Giants:

  • Susac 15 (!!!)
  • Sandoval 3
  • Petit 1
  • Wotus 1
  • Meulens 1
  • Peavy 1
  • Strickland 1
  • Casilla 1

Padres:

  • Grandal 13 (!!!)
  • Venable 2
  • Goebbert 1

Misc.:

  • Umpire 1

Game Spit Master General = Susac at 15

That’s a total of 41 spits during a 2 hour and 35 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 3.8 minutes.

It was the battle of the catchers today as each logged the highest spit count for their team.  Susac’s actual count was probably even higher as I didn’t realize how often he was lifting his mask to spit until a couple of innings into the game.  I’ll definitely keep a closer eye on the guy next season (I’m assuming he’ll be Buster’s backup again as he rocked it this year).  This was the second highest spit count by a player for the entire season!  The highest will be revealed at a later date – I’m such a tease!  If you can’t stand not to know, just scroll through my earlier blogs.  Even I was surprised!  Also, as I hinted at earlier, besides getting his first major league save today, Hunter Strickland logged his first spit as well.  Sigh.

I had the privilege of attending three Giants games on the road with three of my siblings recently – two in San Diego and one in LA.  Of course, we had a fantastic time (even though my boys lost more of the games than they won).  I’ll detail our escapades in a future blog.

Tomorrow marks the last game of the regular season.  It doesn’t really mean much for us, but I’ll be watching.  Chris Heston will be making his first appearance as starter, and it will be fun to see what potential he has as a starter for next season.  And of course, I always love to watch my boys any chance I can get.  A win would be nice to get some momentum going into the Wild Card game.  Come on, Boys!  Keep fighting!  Win one for the fans on Fan Appreciation Day!  GO GIANTS!  AND KNOCK OUT WHOEVER YOU PLAY NEXT WEDNESDAY!!!  YOU CAN DO IT!!!!  ONE MORE DAY!!!

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