Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad, Right?

Oh, well – at least we took the series against the Dodgers, right?  Guess I got a little cocky there.  I did figure out the reason behind the failure to sweep in the end though – it was the nationally televised game jinx.  I should have figured that in to my calculations.  For some reason, my boys tend to lose games that are on national television (except for post season games, of course).  In fact the last time they played the Dodgers and one of the games in the series was televised, that also was the only game of the series they lost.  Does the pressure get to them?  They should grab that spotlight when they can.

We’re still only one game behind the boys from down south, though.  I was hoping they could have pulled it off last night to at least tie, but even with Madison’s spectacular performance, logging 14 strikeouts, the offense just couldn’t get it together.  We’ve still got a chance to get to the top again with two more against the Pads and three against the Rockies.  They both haven’t been so hot this season, and we need to try and take advantage of that.  Want our banner back at the top in AT&T soon!  I was actually wondering about something regarding those banners:  What do they do if two teams are in a tie?  Who wins out and gets to be on top?  I would hope that if we are in a tie with the Dodgers, we would be on top.  It’s only fair, right?  It’s our home.  I’ll have to do some research on this once we tie and then beat the Dodgers!  Positive thoughts!

I’m so bummed about the fact that Nori Aoki has a fractured right fibula and will probably be out for at least a month.  That guy sure can get things going at the top of the lineup.  Wishing him a super speedy recovery.  Travis Ishikawa will be filling in for him (his contract was purchased from Triple A today).  So at least there’s something positive that came from that.  Welcome back, Travis!  I missed you!  Glad you’ll be making more moola this season!  Hunter is still ailing with tendonitis in his left wrist.  It’s so weird how the guy played in every game the last two seasons but now he’s been out more than he’s been in this season.  You just never know.  Heal quickly, Kid.  We need your energy and punch back in the lineup!  Jean Machi is back off the DL, replacing Mike Broadway who went back down to the River Cats.  What a great baseball name – Broadway.  A guy who was destined for greatness!  Pretty good showing while he was up with the bigs.  He’ll probably be back at some point during the season.  He seemed to come out of nowhere – I hadn’t heard anything about him before he showed up.  Also Matt Cain and Jake Peavy should be making their return within the next week or so, so that lineup will get a shakeup soon.  Wonder who will be going to the bullpen – I would guess it will likely be Timmy and Ryan, but maybe they’ll put Tim Hudson on the DL to get some rest.  We’ll see soon enough.

I was so disappointed last Sunday while watching a game, and it had to do with spitting.  My boy Hunter Pence, a guy who’s earned a Thank You For Not Spitting certificate in a previous season, was shown expectorating at least three times in the dugout.  These spits were no ordinary spits – they were doosies.  I wasn’t doing an official spit count at the time, but the boy is officially off my thank you list.  Blech.  Clean up the act, Kid.  We’re watching and we’re not amused.  I was amused by the fact that Hunter is now using the Lion King’s “Circle of Life” as his walk-up music.  Thought I was hearing things one day at a game.  Still doesn’t make up for the spitting, though.

I’m sure everyone by now has heard the news about Pete Rose and how it was finally confirmed that he indeed was gambling on baseball while he was a player, not just as a manager like he claimed.  He’s been trying to make a comeback and get in the better graces of the powers that be in baseball, but he’s finally officially been caught in the lie.  Pretty pathetic.  I hope he’s gotten some help with his problem, but I don’t think there’s any place for him in baseball today.  Just my opinion.

Sending my deepest condolences to the family of former Giants player Darryl Hamilton.  He was the victim of a murder suicide.  The extra tragic complication is that his 14-month-old son was discovered in the house where the murder occurred.  Keeping the little one in my thoughts as well.  According to his friends in baseball (including Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper), Hamilton was a pretty great guy who always had a smile on his face.  At the time of his death, he was employed as a network analyst.for MLB Network.  Rest in peace.

I recently learned about a play in baseball from watching a game, and I’ve been meaning to blog about it because it totally ticks me off, but I hadn’t had the time to research it.  That time has finally come.  The play is called the neighborhood play, and it became important in the May 30th game vs. the Braves.  Joe Panik was running to second base from first after the batter had hit the ball, the Braves second baseman Jace Peterson got the ball right before Panik got there, then threw as quickly as he could to make the double play.  Nothing suspect there, right?  No, except for the fact that Peterson NEVER TOUCHED THE BAG!  And because of this silly neighborhood play, the play could not be challenged.  Insanity!  In the replay, it was obvious to anyone that he was a few inches away from the bag.

So what is the neighborhood play, and why is it in use?  It occurs in a double play situation.  Basically, the defender at second base can either a) catch the ball close to second base and throw to first or, b) tag the base and then catch the ball without being in contact with the base and then throw to first.  In either case the guy running to second is out, and the play cannot be challenged.  The only challenge that can be made is if the fielder was pulled off the base by an errant throw of if the catch itself is in doubt.  Why this insanity of calling a guy out when the fielder wasn’t touching the bag?  Primarily for safety’s sake.  Guys running full on from first to second like to barrel in to the second baseman while he’s trying to make the play, putting him at risk for severe injury.  In this way he can get out of the way of danger if it was deemed he could have easily made the play anyway.

What do I think about this whole thing?  It stinks!  It’s just not right to call a guy out when he’s not.  Either tag the base, or if it’s not safe, don’t make the double play.  Or even better – heavily fine guys that obviously run at the player and not the base.  I mean heavy – make it hurt.  That would solve the problem and keep the game intact.  What do you all think?  I know that during the telecast of that game, the broadcasters agreed with me.

Hoping the guys can come back tonight behind Vogey and get some offense going, then take the momentum through the weekend.  We’ve got to take these next two series since we’re playing much weaker teams.  I know it’s going to be tough without “Seaweed” and Hunter, but we can do it.  Maybe the guys just need a Pence on the Fence for motivation (Seriously, have you seen this commercial?  Pretty darn creepy!).  And maybe the Dodgers will help us out some by continuing to lose (just had to add that in).  Until next time, GO GIANTS!!  GET BACK ON TOP!!


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