Inching Closer to .500!

Since I last blogged, we went 1 and 2 vs. the Dodgers in our second series against them (BOOOOOOO!!), but I like to accentuate the positive here, so you have to remember that we’re 4 and 2 overall against them (YAAAAAY!).  And speaking of positives, how about those boys taking the first 2 from the Angels, eh??  I’m liking this!  And both games were great and close.  Love the great pitching outings from Hesto Presto and Huddy, both going deep into the game.  The relievers sure needed that!  And the guys are hitting when it counts most.  My brother Paul brought up an interesting stat today that Ginny will especially like – Brandon Crawford has the most homeruns on the season for the team at 5.  Are you as surprised as I was?  And I’m so impressed with how Nori Aoki is batting that I’ve even taken him this week as my Beat the Streak pick.  He’s been wonderful at the top of the lineup.  The boys sure are keeping things torturous, though.  Bases loaded in the ninth with 2 outs yesterday in a tied game, then Joe Panik comes through with his walk off hit.  Then today the bullpen almost loses Huddy’s 5-2 lead, but they win it with a crazy ending – the runner from first got hit by the ball in play.  Here’s a link to the video of that craziness.  They love to keep us at the edge of our seats, don’t they??

Speaking of that game ending situation, I had forgotten what the rule was governing this sort of thing – if a runner is hit by a batted ball while he is off the base.  I looked it up, and according to MLB rule 7.08f, “Any runner is out when he is touched by a fair ball in fair territory before the ball has touched or passed an infielder.”  So the runner going from first to second was out, ending the game.  So weird, but we’ll take it!  The interesting thing was that the batter was credited with a single even though the runner was out.  Apparently  the batter lucked out on this because the announcers were saying that it probably would have been an easy play for Panik to get him out had the runner not deflected the ball.  Go buy a lottery ticket today, Matt Joyce!

This next paragraph is directed at all the Casey McGehee haters out there.  STOP IT!!  Give the guy a break!  Every time I read a story or post online about the Giants, someone is bashing Casey and his batting slump.  Knock it off!  Can you imagine what pressure the poor guy is under, playing for the team he loved since he was a kid and trying to fill Pablo’s shoes?  Every time he’s interviewed he’s asked about the Pablo thing.  So unfair.  I’m pulling for you, Casey!  I know you will come back.  Everyone goes through slumps.  And way to silence the haters today with those three hits, one for an RBI.  I was so happy for you.  Hope you’re feeling some relief tonight.

Did you hear about the game played this week with no one in attendance?  The White Sox played the Orioles in Baltimore this week, but no one was allowed into the stands due to the riots in Baltimore following the funeral of Freddie Gray who died of injuries after being taken into custody by the police.  The game time was moved up to comply with the curfew in place due to the riots.  The previous two games of the series had been cancelled due to the dangerous situation unfolding nearby.  An MLB game played with no fans was unprecedented.  So strange and so sad.  Can you imagine how hard it must have been for the players to concentrate?  And how weird it would be to make a great play and only hear cheers coming from your teammates?  But more importantly, can you imagine how the citizens of Baltimore are dealing with all this?  We all need to keep them in our thoughts and hope that the craziness for them can end.

I heard on KNBR that the National League is thinking of adopting the designated hitter.  Apparently this debate has been going on for years, with the powers that be attempting to make the rules for both leagues uniform.  Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper have strong feelings about this, saying that both a non-hitting pitcher and a designated hitter are not complete players.  Plus they mention that having a pitcher in the batting order makes for some interesting strategizing that would be lost.  I have to agree with them.  What do you think?  Recently, Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer commented on the topic after his teammate, pitcher Adam Wainwright, suffered a season ending achilles tear apparently after he stumbled out of the batter’s box.  Scherzer said, “Who would people rather see, a real hitter hitting home runs or a pitcher swinging a wet newspaper?  Both leagues need to be on the same set of rules.”  Well, one of my boys took major offense to this.  That would be Madison Bumgarner, that guy who earned the Silver Slugger for his batting prowess last season.  Bumgarner fired back at Scherzer’s comments, saying, “Oh, well, my wet newspaper is 34 ½ inches, 33 ½ ounces, and I’m waiting on some new ones right now.  What if [Wainwright] got hurt pitching?  Should we say we can’t pitch anymore?  I hate what happened to him.  He works his butt off out there.  But I don’t think it was because he was hitting.  What if he gets hurt getting out of his truck?  You tell him not to drive anymore?”  Scherzer later responded that his comments were taken out of context and he wasn’t directing them at any individual player.  Take home lesson – don’t mess with Big Country and his hitting!

I had a baseball question from my friend Angel the other day, and I didn’t know the answer so I decided to check it out.  She asked at what point a guy is out running the bases on a force play:  Does the ball have to be in the glove or just touching the glove?  I looked it up, and the best answer I could find came from the official MLB definition of a tag.  The definition is, “A tag is the action of a fielder in touching a base with his body while holding the ball securely and firmly in his hand or glove; or touching a runner with the ball, or with his hand or glove holding the ball, while holding the ball securely and firmly in his hand or glove.”  So according to this, the ball has to be firmly in the glove before he is out.  Of course, the umpire is the one who has to make this call, so there is some judgment on his part as to when the ball is firmly in the glove.  Thanks for the question, Angel!  I learned something in the process, too.  If you have any questions like this, please feel free to send them my way.  Always learning here!

I’ve got a spit count for you that I did last weekend.  Here you go:

April 24th

Giants:

  • Belt 2
  • McGehee 2
  • Vogelsong 1
  • Petit 1

Rockies:

  • LeMahieu 6
  • Arenado 4
  • Dickerson 4
  • Blackmon 4
  • Hundley 2
  • Morneau 1
  • Ynoa 1
  • Gonzalez 1
  • Tulowitzki 1
  • Logan 1

Misc.:

  • Umpire 1 (seeds)
  • Fan 1 (seeds)

Game Spit Master General = LeMahieu at 6

Giants Game Spit Master General = Tie between Belt and McGehee at 2

That’s a total of 33 spits during a 2 hour and 50 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 5.2 minutes.

Dickerson of the Rockies has that yucky habit of spitting into his batting glove.  And I was bummed that I actually observed Buster doing that yesterday.  Blech!  The first non-player spits of the season were logged today, and both were seeds.

I’ll end today with some bragging.  I can’t help myself – I was so excited!  The other day, I got a pingback on my website dashboard.  Of course, me being non-tech savvy, I had to look up what “pingback” means.  It happens when you post something, then someone links to it, and you get a notification that they linked to you.  Someone linked to my blog!!!  HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!  It was Mark Newman from MLB.com blogs.  Here’s a link to the blog he wrote that mentioned me.  So much excitement!  Hoping my boys can sweep (or as someone on the Gamer Babes Facebook page said, “swiffer”) the Angels tomorrow.  We need to show all the Southern California boys that we mean business!  It will be Timmy on the mound.  Keeping my fingers crossed that he can get it together and not tax the relievers any more.  Hoping, hoping, hoping!  Until next time, GO GIANTS!!  SWIFFER THE ANGELS!

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