OK. They didn’t sweep the Marlins, even though the Marlins stink (5 and 9 before our series with them). I was so bummed listening to the radio on the way home from work today when they gave up a run late in the game and they got behind. Then they lost. Why couldn’t they sweep?? But some words of wisdom came from Mike Krukow in the post-game wrap. They did take the series. They did make up some ground in this series. Slow and steady. If they keep taking series they will do fine. And the bats did seem to wake up during those first two games. And they were actually stringing hits together like when they are at their best. The potential is still there. Slow and steady. Keep the faith.
There have been lots of roster moves due to injuries that I’ve been meaning to mention. Sergio Romo (15-day – flexor strain in right elbow), Ehire Adrianza (60-day – broken bone in left foot), and George Kontos (15-day – flexor strain in right elbow) are all on the DL. Then Chris Heston was optioned to Triple A Sacramento (had a bit of a rough start this season, recording a 10.8 ERA after 4 games in relief). Poor Mac Williamson came up as a replacement but was sent back down only a week later. The four replacements who remain on the team are relief pitcher s Derek Law, Steven Okert, and Mike Broadway (who’ve all been impressive to date) and my boy, Conor Gillaspie. I’m assuming Gillaspie came in as a utility player replacement for Adrianza. He’s only had one pinch hit at bat to date, but I’m really pulling for the guy and hope he does well. He’s got a lot of potential. Also wishing all my boys who are injured a speedy recovery – we need you back!
On a totally different note, I’ve been meaning to put this out there for a while: What do you all think about having the designated hitter in the National League? Apparently Commissioner Rob Manfred has brought the idea up for discussion, but he’s got to get the buy in from the owners in order to make it happen. One reason it’s come up again is in order to prevent these multi-million dollar pitchers from not being able to pitch due to batting injuries (eg. Max Scherzer and Adam Wainwright last season). My thoughts – quit being a baby about it! I hate the DH for so many reasons. First, especially on our team, a lot of pitchers can hit. These guys would hate losing that option. Second, I love watching pitchers hit. When they connect it’s so exciting. Case in point is when Bumgarner got that recent homerun off of Kershaw. I love lipreading profanity that spews from the opposing pitcher’s mouth. Why would you want that to go away? Third, I love the strategy involved when the pitcher comes up to bat. Do you put on a bunt? Do you pretend to bunt and then hit (the famous butcher boy play)? Do you just have the pitcher stand there and make the opposing pitcher work? If it’s Bumgarner, do you have him swing for the fences? You never know what can happen. Finally, if you’re going to put in a designated hitter for the pitcher and make the game all about specializing, why not put in a designated hitter for every position? Get all the best fielders and all the best hitters and have them play only defense or offense. Why? Because that’s dumb! Just like a designated hitter for a pitcher is dumb! Every player should be a complete player, playing their position in the field AND batting. I get so worked up about this! That’s my opinion. Would love to hear yours.
Another game-related issue came up the other day on Tim Flannery’s Facebook page, something that for some reason never occurred to me. It has to do with the replay system. Here’s a link to Flannery’s rant. He mentions that over 40 percent of challenged calls were overturned. So the system is working, right? Flan who was originally against the replay is now a proponent based on this fact. But he goes one step further (I love this). He says you should use the system as a way of grading umpires, and if you get more than 10 calls wrong a season, you’re fired. Brilliant application of this! Why aren’t they doing this now? Is it that hard to find qualified umpires? I would think there would be a long list of people trying to get those jobs. He also mentions that poor calls slow down the game, so if you want to speed it up, just hire better umpires. I love it! Personally, I love the replay system. I just think that if you’re out, you’re out. It shouldn’t be up to the discretion of the umpire (who apparently is wrong 40% of the time!). This is also why I think they should use the Pitchf/x system to call balls and strikes. It’s either a ball or a strike – not up to anyone’s judgment.
On the lighter side, I have a great video to share with you. Did any of you see the Giants vs. D-Bags game on April 18th where a fan sitting down the left field line interfered with a ball? And the girl sitting next to him covered her head in her hoodie as they left their seats? I always hate it when fans do this, but thankfully it didn’t affect the outcome of the game in this instance. It did, however, affect the fans. I’ve heard that fans get ejected from the game when this happens but always wondered if it is true. Well, thanks to Jimmy Kimmel who did a story on the couple, I got my answer. Here’s the video. I don’t think I could ever sit in seats like that. The temptation to reach over at an inopportune time would be too great for me. And you’d hate to spend that much on tickets only to be kicked out and booed by everyone. I’ll just have to keep praying that a foul ball will make its way to me further back in the stands.
I’ve got another spit count for you from this weekend. One of the guys I sent a Thank You For Not Spitting certificate just last week has already greatly disappointed me…
- Peavy 6 (WHAT???)
- Belt 6
- Span 4
- Duffy 4
- Bochy 3
- Meulens 2
- Samardzija 1 (seeds)
- Kelly 1
- Fernandez 4
- Mathis 3
- Bonds 3 (seeds)
- Gordon 2
- Rojas 1
- Breslow 1
- Morris 1
- Ege 1 (pronounced “Eggy” – strangest last name ever)
Game Spit Master General = Tie between Peavy and Belt at 6
That’s a total of 43 spits during a 2 hour and 45 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 3.8 minutes.
PEAVY! Guy gets an award for not getting caught spitting at all last season and then ties for Game Spit Master General this season. UGH! I noticed that Jake had a huge wad in his cheek, but at first he wasn’t spitting at all. That started in about the 3rd inning. I’m wondering if the wad was one of those Grinds pouches that have coffee in them. Still, something was making him spit! Maybe it had something to do with his poor vision – during this game, Buster even had white paint on his fingers to make the signs more visible for him. For one of Bochy’s spits, he took a sip of water and spat the entire thing out. I call this a “waterfall”. I also call it “disgusting”. Even Barry Bonds got into the act, but at least only because he was chewing sunflower seeds. It was so weird to put his name on the Marlins side of my tally sheet! Matt Duffy did his Bumgarner impersonation during this game and logged a snot rocket.
Next, my boys take on the Padres at home and then they travel to New York to take on the Mets. The Padres are at the bottom of the NL West. We should easily take that series (if not sweep). Even though the Mets are starting out pretty well, I really think we can take that series, too. The bats are slowly starting to wake up. I have faith in my boys. And I’m not being greedy. Just win series. Slow and steady. We can do this. GO GIANTS! KEEP MOVIN’ ON UP!