That’s what I text to my siblings when things are going well for the boys during a game: This is great! And this is indeed great, considering they’ve won 11 of their last 12 games, topped off by a sweep of the Bay Bridge Series. Fabulous even! This is the kind of consistency they will need to maintain over the next few weeks as they play the Brewers and the Rangers next, both of whom have below .500 records to date. They need to take advantage of these losing teams because they’ve got their work cut out for them come August 6th. That’s when the fun begins. They will face in succession the Cubs, Astros, Nationals, Cardinals, Pirates, Cubs again, Cardinals again, and Dodgers. These are all playoff worthy opponents, so it’s going to be a tough month of work for them. With the way they’ve been playing, though, I think they can handle it. Starting pitching has finally come back on track, the bats are on fire, and the bullpen is wicked. Even Dieter Kurtenbach, KNBR.com’s senior staff writer, thinks that this is the team that can break the odd-year curse. You can read his story here. And I’m feeling the same way about “Bochy’s Guys.” They can do it if they keep this up.
Tim Hudson hit a milestone after his win against his former team today. He has now gotten a win against all 30 Major League teams. What a feat! Congratulations, Tim!
There have been a few roster moves since I last blogged. Jean Machi who has been struggling of late was designated for assignment to make room for Tim Hudson’s return. I was kind of surprised by this move as he’s still a solid reliever, but I guess Bochy had a really tough choice to make when deciding who to let go – they’ve all been playing so well. Machi has not been picked up as of yet, so I’m hoping he’ll end up in Sacramento. Josh Osich was sent to Sacramento to make room for Jeremy Affeldt who returned from the DL on Wednesday. We knew this was coming as Osich has options remaining. But I’m sure that kid will be back. Nice to hear that Brett Bochy cleared waivers and is back in Sacramento with the River Cats (thanks for the heads up, Kat!). I’m sure Bruce is happy that his boy is still close to home and remains with his organization. On a happy note, Nori Aoki is likely to be activated on Monday. Boy, how I’ve missed that guy! Not sure who will leave the roster to make room for him yet. Would guess it might be Justin Maxwell. Will keep you posted.
The Giants kept things pretty hush hush when Timmy went on the DL, but it appears that his whoas are more than meets the eye. Boch finally came clean and said that LIncecum had gone to Tennessee to see a hip specialist, receiving cortisone injections in both hips due to some degenerative issues. I don’t know about you, but this sure scared the bejebus out of me when I first heard it. Considering this is the last year of his contract and in light of this new info, I don’t see how he can come back either this season or after that. I feel so bad for the guy. I hope everything works out for him. I know so many people that consider him the face of the franchise. So sad.
The Giants signed free agent shortstop Everth Cabrera to a minor league contract. He was released by the Orioles in mid-June. According to Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles, the move is designed to provide infield depth. But Cabrera has a history of a PED suspension (and his numbers dropped significantly after he was caught, causing his release from the Padres) plus he’s been arrested for domestic violence before, driving while high, and resisting arrest. Things that make you go hmmmm… Doesn’t seem like the type of guy to fit into this organization. We’ll see if he ever makes it up with the big boys.
I always hate it when the benches clear at a baseball game, so I can’t blog without mentioning the event that happened this Tuesday against the Padres. The pitcher, Dale Thayer, walked Gregor Blanco with one out to load the bases so that he could pitch to Hector Sanchez. As I knew it would (as this has happened to Hector before), this moved ticked him off and he proceeded to hit a grand slam. Of course, this made Hector extremely happy (and avenged), so he flipped his bat and took a look at the ball soaring out of sight. Wouldn’t you? But Thayer thought this was a no no, so he decided to fling his gum at Hector as he ran to first base. (Side note – would that have counted as a spit in my count?? After all, oral contents were expelled!) At that point, Hector, being the professional that he is, did not respond to Thayer’s silly action. In the ninth, facing another pitcher (Shawn Kelley), Hector grounded out. As he was making his way back to the dugout, Kelley started chirping at him. At this point, Hector had had enough and started to approach the mound, clearing the benches, even causing the bullpen to empty onto the field (that always makes me crack up – those guys aren’t anywhere near the action but they just have to get in on it!). Luckily no punches were thrown, but it’s just all so silly. Personally, I think Thayer and Kelley were at fault. I watched it live, and I really didn’t think that either his bat flip or his linger to watch were extreme. I wondered if my feelings were colored by the fact that I’m a Giants fan, but Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports Hardball Talk also saw it my way. I would think he’s an impartial source. You can read his article here, plus watch all the fun and decide for yourself. One final note on all this silliness – You go, Hector!
Besides the controversy over whether or not Thayer’s gum flinging counted as a spit, I really wish I had done a spit count on that game. Hector would probably have come out on top. That boy is obviously chewing tobacco. He even had the tell-tale circular can in his back pocket. He was spitting up a storm, and the spits were some of the most spectacular I’ve ever seen. Streaming brown waterfalls. Plus I didn’t witness any personally, but my brother Nick said Mr. Sanchez launched several snot rockets as well. Hopefully I’ll get to do a spit count on him before Susac comes back so I can do a comparison – what is it with catchers anyway??
Speaking of spit counts, I have a new one for you:
- Hudson 4
- Lincecum 3
- Posey 2
- Pagan 2
- Bochy 2
- Belt 1
- Petit 1
- Adrianza 1
- Vogelsong 1
- Upton 8 (mostly seeds)
- Gyorko 7
- Norris 4
- Alonso 4
- Kotsay 3
- Upton 3
- Kemp 2
- Amarista 1
- Maurer 1
- Kimbrel 1
- ? 1 (someone in the dugout)
- Fan 1
Game Spit Master General = J. Upton at 8
Giants Game Spit Master General = Hudson at 4
That’s a total of 53 spits during a 3 hour and 15 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 3.7 minutes.
I can’t remember the last time I logged a fan spit. Yeck! Timmy logged spits today and he didn’t even pitch. Adrianza logged his sole spit while spitting out his gum as he left the field. That ball field is a veritable minefield of foreign objects! The surprise today was the lack of spitting from Matt Kemp. Any time he has been involved in a spit count to date, he has been the Game Spit Master General. Today he logged only 2 spits. I did also note that he was chewing gum. Either this has reduced his saliva expulsion or possibly, seeing as he’s a Padre now, he’s under the influence of the Tony Gwynn legacy and he’s quit chewing smokeless tobacco. Whatever it is, kudos to you, Matt Kemp! Thank you for not spitting as much!
I’m planning on going to the game tomorrow with my sis and her family. That should be a ton of fun. We’re facing the Brewers who are currently in last place in their division, so I’m hoping we’ll get to see a win. Plus Chris Heston is pitching so it will definitely be a good show. Will also keep my ears open for any trades as the trade deadline approaches (July 31st). After speaking with my brother Paul today, I’m really not expecting any. My boys rock as they are. Until next time, GO GIANTS!! SPOIL THE BREW!!