Last night was Social Media Night at AT&T Park. The special event giveaway was a Pence on the Fence doll, this kooky looking doll with Hunter Pence’s face and surprisingly life-like Pence hair. What kind of voodoo did they pack into that thing? The Pence doppelganger unleashed a landslide of hitting from my boys, including some slump busting for a few who had been struggling of late. Granted the Phillies are by far the worst team in baseball this season, but still. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to watch the game last night. When I checked my phone and was greeted by a text from my son asking, “Are you watching the game?” followed by some expletives, I knew something significant was happening. When I checked on the score, I realized how amazingly significant. I feel a list coming on – the beneficial effects of the Pence on the Fence voodoo:
- The guys managed to rack up 22 hits, an all-time record for AT&T Park. This is the same team that got swept by the Marlins last week.
- Three guys had 4 hit games – Panik, Duffy, and the recently struggling-to-connect Maxwell (who only had 4 hits in his last 40 at bats). That hasn’t happened on a Giants team since 1965 (thanks for the info, Alex Pavlovich).
- Brandon Belt broke out of his slump, hitting 2 for 3 with 2 walks. Kudos for making the pitcher work.
- Another recent struggler, Angel Pagan, went 3 for 6, including a double. He hadn’t had an extra-base hit since June 25th.
- In honor of his mini self, Hunter hit a grand salami. Grand slams are always great. Voodoo-induced ones are just that much better.
- Madison joined in on the fun and had 2 hits of his own. It’s always great to see Madison connect.
- They scored 8 runs in a single inning. But they didn’t stop there, continuing to score until they reached 15 runs. Way to keep that hitting momentum going!
- Even though the Phillies suck, the starting pitcher last night doesn’t. Cole Hammels “had” an ERA close to 3 before that game, and he has been eyed by several teams as the trade deadline approaches. We scored 8 runs off of him.
- A guy flung himself over a railing into McCovey cove to retrieve Panik’s homerun ball. That voodoo was affecting everyone!
Since this was supposed to be the toughest of the three games for them, I’m really hoping they can come through and sweep their way into the All-Star break. And I seriously think the Giants marketing department needs to come out with a line of “on the Fence” voodoo doll giveaways. An “Angel in the Outfield” doll could work, or a “Panik at the Disco” doll with a mini disco ball included. That Giants voodoo is a powerful thing!
Speaking of Joe Panik, he mentioned in an interview the other day that Brandon Crawford is basically the clubhouse DJ, selecting the music they play in the clubhouse after they win a game. He said that the type of music he selects varies in style from hip-hop to old school rock. It was also interesting to hear that when they lose, they don’t play any music. Must have been jumping in the clubhouse last night.
So happy that Matt Cain had a fantastic game the other night after scaring me in his first start back. And Jake continues to do well. They will be so important to us as we make a run at the post-season during the second half. Plus the more they can pitch, the more of a rest the over-worked relievers can get.
One reliever who continues to wow us is Josh Osich. What a pleasant surprise this kid has been. I heard an interview he did on KNBR the other day, and he seems like such a nice kid. He mentioned that he was only able to pitch one complete season in the minors due to injuries and some major surgeries. He even revealed to the guys that if he didn’t make it to the majors this season, his plan was to quit and become a park ranger. Glad that ain’t gonna happen. For all you ladies out there who think he’s pretty cute, the kid revealed that he is happily married. He also gave some insight into the types of rules some of the minor league clubs have. Apparently in the Giants minor league system (along with a lot of other teams, including some major league teams like the Yankees), you aren’t allowed to have any facial hair. Osich sports a light beard, and on the day his manager called him into his office to inform him of his trip to the bigs, he thought he was going to be reprimanded about his facial hair!
On the topic of facial hair, what is up with Andrew Susac’s attempt at a moustache? What are you thinking, Kid? You’re so cute – that thing is awful! Somebody take a razor to that thing! And while you’re at it, Andrew, knock it off with the spitting!
Had mixed feelings when I heard that Casey McGehee was picked up off waivers by the Marlins. Will miss him but glad that he will still be playing baseball, and with his old teammates. Plus he’ll get to hang out with Michael Morse. That’s always a good thing. Good luck, Casey. Hope you can find that offense again.
Maybe I’m slow, but I learned something new the other day about pitching changes. I already knew that you can always tell when there is going to be a pitching change because Bochy will go out to the mound. If a pitcher just needs advice, he’ll usually send out Righetti. But a Bochy visit pretty much means you’re done. Typically when Boch approaches the mound, you’ll see him tap one of his arms. Well, I recently learned that he taps the arm that corresponds to the pitching arm of the pitcher he wants. For example, he’d tap his left arm if he wanted Javy or his right arm if he wanted George. He only does it when there are two relievers warming up. Did you all know that already? Am I just not very observant? Plus it’s kind of funny how this became apparent to me. Remember the game where Boch and Vogey got thrown out by the umpire who didn’t know a strike from a hole in the wall? Ron Wotus, the bench coach, took over as manager for that game. When it came time to switch pitchers, he went out and waved his left arm to signal for a new pitcher. But not only was there only one pitcher warming up at the time, the pitcher was a righty (George)! Of course the broadcasters had to bring this to everyone’s attention and rib the guy. Here’s the video of that moment in case you’d like to join in on the Wotus-roasting.
I also have a new spit count for you:
- Belt 5
- Posey 2
- Duffy 2
- Bumgarner 2
- Heston 2
- Adrianza 1
- Susac 1
- Romo 1
- Casilla 1
- Pagan 1
- Maxwell 1
- Niese 6
- Tejada 3
- Granderson 2
- Duda 1
- Familia 1
- Umpire 1
Game Spit Master General = Niese at 6
Giants Game Spit Master General = Belt at 5
That’s a total of 33 spits during a 2 hour and 30 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 4.5 minutes.
Even though Heston pitched during this game, he only logged the two spits in the dugout after he had come out of the game. Plus Madison logged two spits even though he didn’t pitch today. I really don’t get that. I find some relief in the fact that Andrew Susac’s sole spit was logged when he was spitting out sunflower seeds. However he wasn’t in the game today, either.
My awesome brother Paul has offered me Club Level tickets to Sunday’s game. Besides the fact that I’ll get to watch my niece run the bases again which I love, I get to watch Chris Heston pitch. Considering how the Phillies have been playing and how well Heston has been pitching, I seriously think there is some history-making potential right there. Plus the guy’s got a 4-game hitting streak going, and it’s always fun to see a pitcher help himself out. Also I know that my buddy Megan is going to the game tonight with her family. She doesn’t get out to the park much, and I know she is thrilled about being able to see our boys. Will be looking in center field for all your signs, Megan! Hope you all have a fabulous time! Speaking directly to my boys now – enjoy these next two games. Then get some rest over the All-Star break. You all sure could use it, especially since the game schedule for August looks pretty challenging. Come back to us fresh next weekend. Until next time, GO GIANTS!!