Keeping It Together

The boys continue to hold it together while dealing with key players out of the lineup.  At the halfway point (after 81 games), we had 50 wins.  If we can keep this up, that puts us on track to win 100 games this season.  Wouldn’t that be wonderful?   And we’re still 5 games up on the Dodgers.  Plus even though I actually like Clayton Kershaw, it doesn’t hurt that he’s out with back issues.

Even the backups are starting to get hurt!  Ramiro Peña has been out with a sprained ankle the past few games, an injury he sustained while crashing into Mac Williamson as they both went for a pop up in the outfield during the third game in the A’s series.  Luckily he was back today to pinch hit, getting the game-winning RBI.  Way to come back big, Kid!  That game against the A’s was unbelievable!  Those were not my boys out there!  I think some A’s fan had a set of Giants voodoo dolls or something.  And poor Mac Williamson.  It just was not his night.  Besides crashing into Peña (which, by the way, was not Mac’s fault – the outfielder has first dibs on those plays, and he called Peña off), he also hit into a double play with the bases loaded.  Then there was that homerun ball that was in the pocket of his mitt that he just couldn’t hang onto.  It would have been an amazing catch if he had held onto it, especially since he had to jump so high to get it and time the jump perfectly, but luck was not with him that evening (voodoo dolls, I’m telling you!).  Then, to top it all off, he slid into second trying to break up a double play, but since he slid past the base, he was called out as well as the batter.  This is because of the new rule they are calling the “Tejada Rule” where you have to be able to touch the bag after you slide into second.  Oh, and how ironic was it that Ruben Tejada, appearing in his first Giants game, the guy who the rule is named after, was in the on deck circle witnessing the event as it all went down!  Poor Ruben!  And poor Mac!

I was watching the game Friday night against the D-Backs (which we won – YAY!) and noticed that my boy Johnny Cueto was acting kind of strange.  He normally takes very little time between pitches, but this night he kept walking off the mound and wandering around trying to get focused.  He just looked really uncomfortable.  I found out why.  First, he had a pretty bad stomach bug!  He kept grabbing his stomach in between pitches.  I can’t believe he was able to pitch that well when dealing with something like that.  But he was also dealing with an extremely sad event.  He had just learned that his beloved pony, Popeye (named after the restaurant), had died in the Dominican Republic.  Aw!  Double whammy for the poor guy, and he was still able to pull off a win.  So sorry for your loss, Johnny.  I know how much you love horses.  And thanks for the heads up on this, Andrew Baggarly.

Mike Krukow made an interesting comment during the Cueto start on Friday.  He mentioned, “I’d like to know at what point in Johnny Cueto’s life he came up with the shimmie.”  I’d like to know, too.  He was shimmying a lot during that game.  How do you decide that should be part of your repertoire?  If I ever meet him, I’ll have to ask.  Just keep shimmying, Johnny.  We all love it, and it’s working!

I have a new installment of “Angel’s Question” for you.  We were watching the game last night together, and she asked if I knew how players from other countries (like Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, or Japan) are able to play in the United States and stay here.  I didn’t know, so I did some research.  Found out that there are two paths they can take.  They can either apply for a green card to become a permanent resident or they can apply for a visa.  There are actually specific visas for athletes.  The visa allows them to be temporarily employed in the United States.  The team serves as the official sponsor for the player.  Established players are typically issued visas that allow them to remain in the states for up to 5 years, while minor league players usually receive visas for 1 year.  Individual teams are primarily responsible for obtaining visas for their players, though MLB works closely with the state department if any issues should arise.  Getting that visa is not always an easy proposition, especially if the athlete has had a brush with the law while in the United States.  Every season, you hear about foreign players arriving late to Spring Training due to problems with the visa process.  For example, just this spring, former Giant Juan Uribe had to return to his home in the Dominican Republic midway through spring training in order to resolve some issues with his visa.  So there you go.  Thanks for the question, Angel!

I’ve got two new spit counts for you.  A prediction came true, and sad to say one of my heroes let me down:

June 29th

Giants:

  • Gillaspie 5
  • Tejada 4
  • Belt 3
  • Parker 3
  • Pagan 2
  • Peavy 2
  • Crawford 1 (NOOOOOO!!!)
  • Kontos 1
  • Stratton 1

A’s:

  • Vogt 32 (SEE???)
  • Hendriks 4
  • Reddick 2
  • Axford 2
  • Semien 1
  • Lowrie 1
  • Valencia 1
  • Dull 1 (another unfortunate name)

Game Spit Master General = Vogt at 32 (new season record)

Giants Game Spit Master General = Gillaspie at 5

That’s a total of 66 spits during a 2 hour and 45 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 2.5 minutes (new season record).

As I mentioned in my last blog, Stephen Vogt spits A LOT, so I wasn’t surprised by this result.  At least he didn’t exceed his record of 34 from last season.  I did notice something interesting while watching him, though.  He can’t spit through his mask any more (he did last season).  I guess they redesigned the catcher’s mask so that it has padding in front of your mouth.  He had to lift the mask every time he spat.  Didn’t seem to slow him down much.  Even more concerning that Vogt’s plethora of spits was the fact that Brandon Crawford logged even one!  I’ve sent that guy Thank You For Not Spitting certificates before!  So disappointed!  I also observed him spit once yesterday (in the dugout) and again today (on the field after making an amazing play).  What is this insanity?  Is it those voodoo dolls again?  Josh Reddick’s spits spread out like a fan.  Not sure how he does that.  And Jarrett Parker spat three times in succession, catching the last one on his beard.  So totally nasty!  Also Ruben Tejada made his debut on the list this evening.  Sigh.

July 1st

Giants:

  • Cueto 17
  • Gillaspie 9
  • Parker 4
  • Green 4
  • Belt 2
  • Casilla 2
  • Posey 1 (seeds)
  • Tejada 1
  • Bochy 1

Diamondbacks:

  • Castillo 5
  • The Goldschmidt 4
  • Bourn 2
  • Hale 1
  • Miller 1
  • Segura 1
  • Delgado 1
  • Lamb 1
  • Herrmann 1
  • Gosselin 1

Game Spit Master General = Cueto at 17

That’s a total of 59 spits during a 2 hour and 50 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 2.9 minutes.

My boy Johnny Cueto “won” again, but at least he didn’t pass his record for the season of 26.  Gotta give the guy a break as he had a tummy ache that day.  Maybe spitting was helping him feel better.  Grant Green logged his first spits as a Giant today.  Every spit was launched into his batting glove.

The All Star roster will be announced on Tuesday.  If at least Buster and Brandon Crawford aren’t on there I will be very ticked off.  They’ve both played like All Stars so far this season.  Would be nice to have a couple of other guys in there, too.  I’m pretty sure Madison and Johnny will be invited as well.  We start a series against the Rockies tomorrow.  Not gonna jinx anything, but hoping we can at least take the series.  The kids have continued to come through for us, so I have high hopes.  Until next time, GO GIANTS!  MAKE IT A HAPPY 4TH OF JULY WEEK!

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