Tagged: Josh Osich

These Are the Times That Try Fans’ Souls

We took a series against the Dodgers, which included a win against Clayton Kershaw.  It looked like the boys might be getting back on track.  Then in two games we gave up 27 runs, and to the Reds no less.  Adam Duvall must be eating this up.  What is going on?  This is the same team that won that series a few days ago.  The potential is there.  Why is it not showing up?  It’s definitely a tough time to be a Giants fan right now.  Am I still a die-hard Giants fan?  Am I still watching games and cheering this team on?  Am I still enduring the torture?  YES!!  That’s what being a true fan is all about.  You’re with them through the good AND the bad.  In fact, they need your support more during the bad, right?  They need it to pull them through this.  And it’s not like this kind of unexplainable slump has never happened to them before.  Look at last season.  They were flying high until the All-Star break, then it fell apart.  Not to mention other seasons where the players were the same but inexplicably the results were not.  I still have faith that something will click and they’ll get out of this.  And you know that behind the scenes, Bobby Evans is taking matters into his own hands to ensure that they come out of this.  We just have to be patient and keep supporting our boys, even though it is incredibly tough right now.  They’re still our team.

One interesting thing I heard mentioned about the Reds’ ballpark, Great American Ballpark, is that the pitcher’s mound is flatter than most in baseball.  Both Bruce Bochy and Ryan Vogelsong (in an interview on KNBR) mentioned that this can throw pitchers off.  Can that be a factor?  I wonder, especially since Matt Cain had been pitching so well before this outing.  Just something to think about (as we’re all somehow trying to explain what is going on).

As the Giants also try anything to make things better, there have been more roster moves since last I blogged.  Neil Ramirez was DFA’d and claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays.  Best of luck with your new team, Neil.  He had some promising moments, but gave up 6 runs on 2 different occasions – not what you need from a reliever.  He was replaced with Bryan Morris.  Morris played for the Marlins last season.  He’s had a pretty rough start, giving up 5 runs in 2 innings in his first two appearances, but yesterday he was able to pitch a hit-free inning, so maybe things are looking up (please??).  Chris Stratton (who started out great and then fizzled) was sent down to Sacramento and replace with Josh Osich.  Osich has pitched in 3 1/3 innings since his callup and has only allowed 1 hit.  ALLELUIA!!  Plus it’s nice having another lefty option in the bullpen.  Then due to his lackluster offense (2 hits in 22 at bats – sigh), Drew Stubbs was DFA’d and replaced with Justin Ruggiano.  Ruggiano was a standout in Spring Training and has a history of hitting well off of lefties, so there is some hope he can help out.  But he’s 35.  Sigh.  And he only played 9 games for the Mets and Rangers last season, plus he underwent shoulder surgery near the end of the season.  Double sigh.  Plus he went hitless in 3 at bats yesterday.  Heavy sigh.  Finally, Brandon Crawford remains on the DL with his groin strain, but he should be back soon.  I’m seriously hoping that having him back will be the needed spark to get something going.  Plus I’m sure it will warm Ginny’s heart, and that’s always a happy thing!

Since I’m always looking for the positive here, I would like to end with some happy memories of my favorite game of the season.  It was the April 26th game against the Dodgers.  I’m going to list all the happy things about this game to emphasize that this team does still have what it takes to win games:

  • We beat the Dodgers. That’s always a happy thing.
  • Christian Arroyo hit his first major league homerun off of Sergio Romo, and with a guy on base. I like homeruns with guys on base.  Not used to seeing this.
  • We were behind by 3 runs and came back to win it. Usually when we are behind by even 1 run this season, I figure that’s the end of it (I hate to admit that, but it’s true).  But we came back from a 3-run deficit.  It’s possible.  And possible with this team.
  • Our bullpen (Okert, Strickland, Melancon, Law) allowed only 2 hits and no runs in 4 innings. They can do it.
  • Michael Morse, in his first at bat after being called up to the Bigs this season, as a pinch-hitter in the 8th, hit a game-tying homerun. He did exactly what he was called up to do.  And watching the joy on his face as he ran the bases finally brought back some joy to that clubhouse.
  • Unsung hero Gorkys Hernandez started the 10th inning rally by getting a hit and then stealing second. Nice way to get things going, Gorkys.  I don’t care what anyone says, I love this guy, and I still think he has potential to do good things for this team.

I felt so good after this game – couldn’t remember the last time I felt that way.  And I realized a huge part of it was due to Michael Morse.  He brings joy to that clubhouse.  But it was kind of weird because he rushed into the clubhouse after he hit that homerun, and it was like the guys didn’t know how to respond.  Last year if that had happened, guys would have been going nuts.  But this time it was as if Morse was celebrating alone.  Afterwards, he just went to the clubhouse fence to watch the game and it looked like he was trying his best to remain calm.  Why???  Bring the silly and happy back, Michael!  Go nuts with Hunter again!  I loved that.  And it might just be what this team needs.  It’s like they’ve forgotten how to celebrate.  Might help them to stop grinding and relax.  Take Michael’s advice and talk to your bats (Did you all see this?  Love this kind of stuff!).

And keeping things light-hearted, I’ve got a new spit count for you.  It just happens to be from that joyous game:

April 26th

Giants:

  • Cueto 8 (4 were seeds)
  • Law 8
  • Arroyo 7
  • Gillaspie 5
  • Nuñez 2
  • Wotus 1 (seeds)
  • Samardzija 1 (seeds)
  • Bochy 1

Dodgers:

  • Grandal 2
  • Kershaw 1
  • Turner 1
  • Gonzalez 1
  • Toles 1
  • Roberts 1

Game Spit Master General = Tie between Cueto and Law at 8

That’s a total of 40 spits during a 3 hour and 10 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 4.8 minutes.

This was a fairly low spitting game.  It was weird because it started out being super low spitting, then the spitting accelerated as the game progressed.  I’ve also noticed that when games are televised on KOTR as this one was (KOTR is my local station that carries games not televised on NBC Sports Bay Area), the picture is not as clear and they don’t do as many closeups, so this could cause my counts to be lower.  Also the award for most disgusting spit during this game goes to Conor Gillaspie who ejected a large brown wad from his mouth at one point.  Thanks for making me ill, Conor.

I have some exciting news to mention as I end this.  I won a Twitter contest and I get to have dinner with Marty Lurie from KNBR!!!  I am so excited to meet Marty and talk Giants baseball with him.  Really looking forward to it.  Hoping that the boys can turn it around by then so that it can really be a celebration!  Getting ready to watch today’s game and hoping that Johnny can bring them a win in his old park.  Until next time, GO GIANTS!!!  WE’VE STILL GOT YOUR BACK!!

PLAY BALL!!

Tomorrow’s the day we’ve all been waiting for!  The baseball drought is over!  It’s time to play ball again!  The National Anthem, hot dogs, the crack of the bat, the cheers, the crazy outfits, the kiss cam, Kruk and Kuip, Tony singing, and my boys in their real Giants uniforms are all back!  The Giants start off their season in Arizona playing the D-Backs – Bumgarner vs. Greinke.  I am thrilled that I can watch my boys regularly again.  Tomorrow’s game will be extra special with all the opening day ceremonies – love ALL of it!!  Planning on spending the entire afternoon in front of the tube on the couch enjoying my boys and the official start of the 2017 season.  That reminds me – I have to get my Beat the Streak picks in!  Wonder which one of my boys matches up well against Greinke.  Hmmmmm… it says Buster, Eduardo Nunez, and Nick Hundley all have batting averages above .300 against him.  Gotta love that!!  Maybe I’ll start my first streak of the season off by picking Buster!  Are you all going to be watching along with me?

I wanted to see what the final 25-man roster is, but it hasn’t been updated on the sfgiants.com site yet.  I found an article that says they are still making some last-minute tweaks.  It did answer a question about who will be the 5th starter, though.  Matt Cain has earned that job over rookie Ty Blach, though Blach will be on the 25-man roster as a long relief option.  He may also see some time as a lefty specialist since the team lost Will Smith to a season ending elbow injury.  Kelby Tomlinson, Albert Suarez, and Josh Osich were optioned to Triple A.  The five backup position players will be Nick Hundley (catcher), Conor Gillaspie (infield), Gorkys Hernandez (outfield), Aaron Hill (infield), and the surprise of the Spring, Chris Marrero.  Marrero can play in the outfield or also at first base.  Marrero wowed his way onto the team with his power bat – he finished tied for second in homeruns this spring in all of baseball.  His defense is a little lacking, but I am so excited to see some pop in the lineup.  He will form a platoon in left field with Jarrett Parker who also showed promise in the spring.  Marrerro’s kind of similar to Michael Morse – not the greatest defender, but a powerful bat.  And though my boy Michael Morse will not be on the 25-man roster due to an injury he sustained during spring training, there is talk that he will be rehabbing in an attempt at possibly joining the team later in the season.  He also had a great spring and impressed the big wigs enough that they are still considering him.  So very happy for him!  Do your work and get back with us soon, Michael!  Hunter misses you!  Once Morse or Mac Williamson are healthy again, they would probably replace Marrero in the outfield (unless Marrero gets super hot – you never know!).

Had a fantastic time at Spring Training in Arizona last month.  I went with my brothers Nick and Paul and my sister Kathleen.  We always have a great time on our trips because we’re all pretty mellow and just go with the flow.  We watched 3 games in 4 days – all away games.  I actually plan our trips that way because away games are so much cheaper.  It’s always fun to watch the new kids and see the old familiar faces.  And being in a ballpark again is always fabulous!  We went to Surprise for the first time this year, and the ball park was really nice – a bit further out than most but not too bad.  I have to say that I’ve really liked all the Spring Training ballparks we’ve ever been to.  Besides Scottsdale Stadium, my favorite is Salt River Fields at Talking Stick (plus I love that name!).  We watched the Giants play the D-Backs there this year (a preview of tomorrow’s game).  Gregor Blanco started for the D-Backs – it was so nice to see him out there, even if it wasn’t for the Giants.  He did really well in that game, and he does have a minor league deal with them, but he won’t be starting in the bigs due to a strained oblique.  Hope he heals quickly so he can join the team – love that guy and wish him all the best.  Besides games this year, we also adventured to a couple of new spots in Arizona – South Mountain Park and Papago Park.  We drove to the top of South Mountain Park and enjoyed the spectacular view of the Phoenix area and beautiful dessert.  At Papago Park, we climbed up a mountain with a hole in it (the climb was really mild – I’m not a climber – but the view was great).  I recommend both places if you are ever there.  We were lucky to stumble upon them.

One fun thing to do is to sample the food in these parks.  It’s almost like being in the team’s real park foodwise because many of the parks carry the signature food from their team’s home park.  We got to sample two ballpark delicacies on this trip.  At Salt River Fields, we tried the signature hot dog of the Diamondbacks.  It’s called a Mega Dog – a huge hot dog covered in pulled pork and jalapeno mac and cheese – fantastic!  Then at Goodyear Ballpark, I got to try the signature food of the Cincinnati Reds – a Skyline Chili Coney Dog.  It was a hot dog smothered in Skyline Chili (famous in Cincinnati – we had it there on our trip in 2012) with onions and cheese.  It was really small, but really tasty.

The highlight of my trip this year was the single autograph I got.  At the first game we went to I just missed getting Hunter Pence’s autograph.  I noticed him signing and moved over to where he was, but by the time I got there he had to leave.  He was being so patient and friendly and signing for so many people.  I figured I had missed my chance for that trip.  Then two days later, I was lucky enough to actually be standing close to the area where he came over to sign autographs.  As he was signing, I asked him, “Are you happy to be playing with your buddy Michael (Morse) again?”  He gave me this big smile and said, “Very happy!  Great things happen when we get together!”  And luckily he eventually made his way over to me and signed my journal!  YAY!!  It was so adorable because I noticed it was taking him a while to sign.  Then he said, “I’m trying to draw you a smiley face!”  And thank goodness he told me that because I wouldn’t have known what it was otherwise!  LOL!  He’s such a cutie pie!

Congrats to Brandon Crawford, Buster Posey, and Mark Melancon (even though he didn’t play much) on their World Baseball Classic championship!  Sounds like all three had a blast playing in that series.  I know that there were a lot of comparisons to the All-Star game, but it was even nicer for them because they actually got to build a relationship with their teammates over several games, not just one.  It’s kind of more like the Olympics in that sense.  It was very nice for Brandon to be in the national spotlight, even being mentioned by the announcers as a possible WBC MVP candidate.  I had a lot of fun watching the games and enjoying the different ways different countries play and enjoy the game of baseball.  Those Japanese fans really get into it, even coming up with different songs for each of the different players!  And the Latin celebrations are fantastic!  Bottom line, though – really glad no one got hurt!!

Melancon reminds me that I have two new questions from Angel to answer.  The first is about the pronunciation of Mark Melancon’s name.  Angel wonders why you pronounce the c like an s.  I assumed it’s because it’s French.  I looked it up, and it is a French name.  The c is actually ç (cedilla), and it is pronounced like s.  Melancon is the Americanized version since we don’t have that letter in our alphabet.  Another interesting thing I discovered about the name Melancon – it means “an ill man”.  Why in the world did that first Melancon choose that as their last name???  Angel was also curious about how they select the managers for the WBC teams.  Well, I couldn’t find an outright answer to this question, but I did find out that no manager currently working in the Major Leagues can head a WBC team, although coaches are potential candidates if they are given permission from their individual clubs.  That’s why Hensley Meulens was able to manage the Netherlands team.  And Jim Leyland could manage the US team because he’s retired.  If anyone else has any insight into this question, please help Angel out.  Thanks!

Saw my first intentional walk of the season on Friday (well, preseason anyway).  Brandon Crawford was intentionally walked.  Bob Melvin, manager of the A’s, simply held up four fingers to the umpire and that was that.  One second Brandon was warming up swinging the bat and the next he was on first.  I don’t like it!!  Angel and I were texting about how much we hated it.  Oh well – I guess that’s what we’ll be seeing this season.  Even Kruk and Kuip mentioned how weird it was.  BOOO!!

There will be some new pre and post-game analysts at Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area (soon to be NBC Sports Bay Area – why do they have to change things???) this season, and I’m really excited about the additions.  Besides Javier Lopez, Matt Williams and Cody Ross will be joining the team.  I was surprised about Matt Williams because I thought he was still a manager somewhere, but I guess not.  So glad he’ll be talking about my boys.  And who doesn’t love Cody Ross??  Look forward to seeing that great smile again!

Will end today on a silly note.  I heard a crazy story about the Giants on KNBR the other day, on the Tolbert and Lund show.  Those two guys make me laugh out loud all the time!  Anyway, they were talking about how the Giants have full-time sports scientists on their medical staff.  They can use all sorts of cutting edge gadgets to make sure that the players are working at their optimum capacity.  Well, one of the areas they are interested in is proper hydration.  I can see how this would be a good thing, and I would imagine that good hydration could give the players and the team a competitive edge.  It’s just the way they are going about it is pretty hysterical.  They measure the player’s hydration by measuring their urine specific gravity.  Of course, this is accomplished by taking a urine sample, and it’s taken before batting practice.  The testing is 100% voluntary, but in order to get guys to buy into this, they’ve turned good hydration into a competition – the best hydrated player after every series wins a coveted prize.  That prize is a golden urinal trophy!  Check it out!!  And I love the Twitter quote: “Think of it as the M-V-Pee trophy!”  HAHAHAHAHA!!!!  What would you do with that thing if you won it??

Hope that the boys can carry the momentum of an A’s sweep with them to Arizona.  So looking forward to all the pomp and circumstance of an Opening Day game.  I should go out and buy some hot dogs just to feel like I’m there!  Come on, Boys!  Show us what you’ve got!  We’ll be cheering for you!  Until next time, GO GIANTS!!  PLAY BALL!!

Coming and Going

Wow.  I had planned on blogging this morning.  Then I decided against it, realizing that the trade deadline was this afternoon.  The Giants might make another move today, and I wanted to be able to post about it if they did.  And oh boy, did they make a move.  Two even.  And one was extra unexpected.

Let’s start with the first.  I need to thank my brother Paul for alerting me to this one via text.  The Giants got left-handed reliever Will Smith from the Brewers in exchange for pitching prospect Phil Bickford and Andrew Susac.  I had mentioned in previous blogs that Will Smith was on Bobby Evans’ radar, so that’s not really a surprise.  The Giants feel they needed another lefty in the bullpen to enable Bochy to work his bullpen magic.  I understand that and agree with that.  But is it worth losing Phil Bickford, probably their best pitching prospect, at a time when they will soon need to bolster their rotation?  And Susac?  I know he’s been hurt, but the guy is a solid catcher.  Sounds like they were pretty desperate to get someone to me.  And they new it was going to cost them.  As far as Smith, there are several positives.  He’s not a temporary acquisition – he’ll be under Giants control through 2019.  And he’s a good pitcher.  Well, if you ignore his July, he’s a good pitcher.  So I’m hoping he can overcome whatever changed during last month and get back on track, because there is a lot of potential there.  So I’m trying to be positive about this one.  But we sure had to give up a lot of potential to get this guy.  Welcome Will Smith (the Fresh Prince of SF), and goodbye Phil and Andrew.  And special thanks to Andrew for filling in as backup catcher and helping us win that ring in 2014.

I can’t leave this topic without bringing up something I found while doing research on Will Smith.  Besides the fact that I need to remember to put something besides just “Will Smith” into Google when I do a search for him, I came across an interesting fact about him.  He had an unusual, Affeldt-like injury at the beginning of the season during Spring Training.  Is it just a left-handed reliever thing to be accident prone?  The incident occurred while Smith was trying to take off one of his cleats.  He was standing on one leg to take off his other shoe when he lost his balance and twisted his knee.  “My knee just went up and popped,” claimed Smith.  Wow.  This caused him to start the season on the DL, and he didn’t pitch in his first game with the Brewers until June 2nd.  Wow.  Just hope this kind of freak accident doesn’t follow this guy around like Mr. Affeldt.  Please, please, please stay away from knives and small children!

Now we’ll move on to that second trade.  I really thought the Giants were done after the first one, so I was very surprised to hear about another one.  Credit goes to my brother Nick this time for informing me of the details.  The Giants acquired left-handed starting pitcher Matt Moore from the Tampa Bay Rays.  Sounds great.  I wasn’t expecting a trade to bolster the rotation, but a lefty is definitely nice, especially when you consider the heavy lefty lineup of the Dodgers.  With the inconsistency of Peavy and Cain, it’s also nice to have some insurance.  His ERA is a little high (4.08), but it’s been consistently moving downward since mid June.  Combine that with having Dave Righetti as a pitching coach and I see a lot of promise there.  But what did they give up for Moore?  Two prospects (shortstop Lucius Fox and pitcher Michael Santos).  Oh, and MATT DUFFY!  WHAT?  How desperate were they to bolster the rotation?  Thinking about it, though, that trade for Eduardo Nunez makes a lot more sense now if they knew this was coming.  I’m still in shock that Matt Duffy is no longer a Giant.  I know it’s just a business and stuff like this happens all the time, but I loved Matt Duffy as a player and a Giant.  Going to be so weird seeing him in a Rays uniform.  So weird.  The guy threw his batting glove to me at Spring Training (I didn’t catch it, but I almost did!)!  And I love his dad, too!  I’m really gonna miss that guy!  Come to think of it, it’s kind of ironic that he gets traded this year.  He was on the flip side of this kind of thing when he came up to the bigs last season and Casey McGehee was released.  You really never know in this sport.  Giant today.  Ray tomorrow.  We welcome one Matt and say goodbye to another.  Welcome to the team, Mr. Moore.  And all the best to you, Duffman.  You’ll always be a Giant to me.

With the addition of Eduardo Nunez to the team and the returns of Joe Panik and Hunter Pence, there were corresponding moves to make room for them on the roster.  When Joe Panik was activated, Grant Green was designated for assignment.  Hoping he won’t be picked up so he can remain a Giant as he did a fine job as a replacement.  When Eduardo Nunez came to the team, Jarrett Parker was sent to Triple A.  This was expected, as Mac Williamson made his case to stay in the outfield (and in the batting lineup) a little more strongly than Parker.  At least he’s still in Sacramento and could easily come up again if needed.  Then when Hunter came back to the team, Ramiro Pena was designated for assignment.  I’m most upset about this one.  Pena was key to keeping this team going while guys were injured.  He came through with some clutch hits while maintaining an incredible batting average during the games he played as a Giant.  Keeping my fingers crossed that no one picks him up off waivers so that we can keep him.

Another guy who snuck into the roster when Josh Osich went on the DL is left-handed reliever Matt Reynolds (so many Matts to keep track of!).  Reynolds is not a newbie to the bigs, having played several years for both the Rockies and the Diamondbacks.  He’s pitched in two games thus far while not allowing any runs.  I like that.  Welcome to the Giants, Matt!

It’s been a crazy rollercoaster ride for the Giants since the All Star break, but it appears things may have finally settled down with these last two wins against the Nationals.  Those wins are extra significant as the Nationals top the National League East Division.  My boys went from the low of winning only 2 out of 13 games, capped by that horrible triple play on Friday night (was anyone else just sitting in shock, dumbfounded, staring at the TV with their jaw dropped like I was?), to the high of winning two in a row against the Nats.  And to counter that unbelievable triple play, on Sunday Bum (a pitcher) pinch hit for Cain (a pitcher), got a double, and was pinch run for by Samardzija (a pitcher) who ended up scoring the game winning run.  You can’t make this stuff up!  I’m not totally sure, but I can’t believe that’s ever been done in the history of baseball!  Kudos to Bruce Bochy for being a maniac and bringing the entertainment!  And kudos to Matt Cain on getting his 100th win during that game yesterday.  So proud of you!  Nice accomplishment, Matt!  So many Matts!

I forgot to mention that Ginny and I discovered two new taste treats at AT&T Park when we attended the game last Tuesday (that they won!).  We both had loaded tater tots (loaded = sour cream, cheese, scallions, and bacon bits) and grilled brussel sprouts.  Both were fabulous!  We found them on the View Level near section 321 where we were sitting, and I’m not sure they are available anywhere else in the park.  They are definitely worth a trip up those stairs!  And Ginny realized that since they won that game, we need to do that every time we go to the park as a good luck charm.  I’m game!

I’ll end on a funny note.  Came across this on Facebook today.  I absolutely love it when players do stuff like this.  Makes the game that much more fun.  Silliness is a good thing!  Poor Bochy gnome!  At least he was returned to his owner (breathing might be a bit difficult, though).

The Giants start a series against the Phillies tomorrow at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, one of the ballparks I just visited.  Nice park – dull fans.  Hope the quiet isn’t too distracting.  And hope all these changes to the roster aren’t too distracting, either.  Hoping they can carry the momentum of those two wins to the other side of the continent.  Unlike the Nats, the Phillies are in 4th place in their division, so I’m looking for lots of Ws.  You can come together as a new, improved unit and do this, Guys!  Until next time, GO GIANTS!  TAME THE PHILLIES!

(cue the fat lady)

It’s over.  They made a valiant effort at the end, staying in it up until 5 games before the season ended, even with all those injuries, but it’s over.  Maybe there is something to this odd year curse.  Am I sad?  Not really.  It was a great season, with lots to be happy about.  And there were so many great memories and moments to savor.  I found so much joy watching these guys since back in Spring Training that it’s tough to be sad.  And in the spirit of ending the season on a high note, I’ve decided to make a list of all the great things that came out of this season that will carry forward into next season:

  • Have to start with the most important in my book, Matt Duffy. This kid didn’t even begin the season as a starter, and had rarely played third base, but he took over for Casey McGehee when we needed him and earned his spot in the lineup.  He can hit, he can play his position, and he’s got stamina.  Not only is he a super talented kid but he’s a great interview and has a great sense of humor to boot.  Just imagine what next season will be like with him there from the beginning.  Who’s Pablo Sandoval again??  By the way, congrats on capping off a great season by winning the Willie Mac Award, Matt.  Definitely well deserved.
  • Kelby Tomlinson.   The kid who saved us when Joe Panik went down.  Another kid who is amazing both defensively and offensively, plus he’s got super-human speed (did you see that inside-the-park home run yesterday??).  I’ve heard that he’s going to get practice in the outfield during the offseason so that he can be a super-utility guy next season.  Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
  • Jarrett Parker. The kid with the bat.  As long as he can get better defensively before next season, it will be hard for Bochy to keep that power out of the lineup.  And kids are much cheaper than going elsewhere.  We’ll see what happens, and I’m looking forward to seeing him at Spring Training again.
  • Matt Cain. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at his outing today.  He seemed like he really had it together, like the Matt Cain we used to know.  A healthy Matt Cain next season to take some of the pressure off Madison would be lovely.
  • Mike Leake. I think we didn’t really get a good look at him this season because of his injury, but I like the fact that he can go deep into a game (allowing the relievers some rest), he can defend, and he can hit.  And he wants to come back.  Will be interesting to see if the Giants give him that chance.
  • Josh Osich. The guy who said that if he didn’t make it to the bigs this season, he would have become a forest ranger.  The lefty who pitched in 35 games with a WHIP of 1.12.  The guy who would be a shoe-in for a Jeremy Affeldt replacement.  Talk about serendipity.  Expect that he’ll be back with his wicked stuff.
  • Chris Heston. The “who’s that?“ kid who’s talent was discovered because others had to leave the lineup due to injury.  He came right in and became number 2 to Madison right away.  Then he pitched a no hitter.  If he can figure out how to condition himself to make it through an entire season, the kid can be a force next season.  He’s definitely a possibility.
  • Marlon Byrd. This one’s kind of a mixed bag.  I’ve loved this guy ever since he became one of my boys.  I love his power and his hustle.  However he is 38, and his defense isn’t the best.  But he could be added for a decent price.  We’ll see how this one plays out.
  • Nori Aoki. I miss this guy so much.  At the beginning of the season, when he was at the top of the lineup, you were pretty much guaranteed that he would find a way to get on base.  Whether it be a walk, a bunt, or that throw-the-bat-at-the-ball swing for a hit.  Hope the offseason gives him enough time to recover from the concussion issues and that he really wants to come back, because I’m pretty sure if the price is right, he will be welcomed with open arms.
  • Gregor Blanco. The unsung hero who is constantly filling in for injured outfielders and rising to the occasion.  Well, even Gregor outdid himself this year.  He played in 115 games, batted .291 with an OBP of .368, having the best statistical season of his career.  I absolutely love this guy, and I’m sure he’ll be part of the outfield next season, if not as a starter as a backup.  Plus he still doesn’t spit – always a plus.
  • George Kontos. For this one, please ignore today.  It was a blemish on an otherwise remarkable season.  The guy really outdid himself, pitching in 73 games with a 0.94 WHIP, the lowest of his 5 year career.  And all this considering that at the beginning of the season, the guy was being worked to death due to the fact that the starters weren’t going deep.  What a nice surprise he was this season.  Hopefully he can continue next season and work less with a strengthened rotation.
  • Brandon Crawford. Yes, Ginny, I’m mentioning your boy.  And he deserves it.  The kid earned his All-Star title this season.  This was definitely his breakout year, and though he only had a .256 batting average (seemed to slump of late), he racked up a .321 OBP, 21 homeruns and 33 doubles (both the highest of anyone on the Giants), and 84 RBI (second only to Buster).  He also significantly decreased his errors from last season, plus his WAR almost doubled, from 3.2 to 5.6.  And he’s still a kid.  He’s in the conversation for both the Silver Slugger and the Gold Glove for short stop this season.  Looking forward to even better things to come from Ginny’s boy.
  • Joe Panik. Forget about a sophomore slump for this kid (well, except for the injury that ended his season).  In the 100 games he played in, the kid batted .312 and surprised us with some power and 8 homeruns.  We’ve definitely found a permanent second baseman, and last year wasn’t a fluke.  Looking forward to his return next season and hopefully his presence in a lot more games.
  • Jake Peavy’s September and October. OK, the first half wasn’t stellar and he got injured.  But those final month numbers were amazing.  In his last 6 starts of the season, he had an ERA under 2.  And he went 7 innings in two of those games.  He’ll definitely be back next year, and hopefully he can start off the season like he ended.
  • Hunter Strickland. Last year’s post-season was definitely not fun for the kid, but he was able to come back this season and make a name for himself.  He’s still got some control issues, but he’s definitely worked something out.  He pitched in 55 games and ended the season with a 0.86 WHIP.  And even more significantly, he only gave up 4 homeruns.  He gave up more than that last postseason alone!  Plus lefties this year (the problem last year) only hit .185 off of him.  I love his pitch speed, and I really think if he continues to improve he can be the closer of the future.
  • The overall offense. The Giants ended the season first in the National League in batting average.  The last time that happened for the Giants was in 1993 (thanks for this info, Andrew Baggarly).  I like offense, and it was definitely a breath of unexpected fresh air this season.  And pitchers like run support.  With the majority of that lineup slated to return, those numbers should return as well.

Pair all this wonderfulness with the return of proven players like Madison, Buster, Hunter, Angel, Brandon Belt, Javi, Sergio, and Santiago, plus some strengthening of the starting rotation (which Baer has pretty much promised is their priority this offseason) and I think we’re in good shape to make a run for it next season.  Hopefully the hellish injuries are behind us.  Like Bochy said after today’s game, “Next year’s an even year.  We have work to do!”

I need to mention the careers of two amazing Giants as they leave us to be with their families:  Jeremy Affeldt and Tim Hudson.  Jeremy – I will always remember your sense of humor and how you were the butt of everyone’s jokes but were able to laugh with them.  Your pitching was wicked and helped us win so many games.  I thank you for that.  Keep doing all the wonderful work you do for so many people in the world.  Enjoy the family and stay out of trouble!  Hope you can somehow stay in baseball because you are wonderful in front of the camera.  Tim – we were so blessed to have you as a Giant, albeit for such a short time.  People seem to only mention your contributions during the post-season last year, but you played a big role in even getting us there in the first place.  You were basically the ace for the first half of last season.  You were the guy we could count on to get a win during that period, even more so than Madison.  I thank you for that, and I thank you for sharing your wonderful family with us.  Thanks also for all the knowledge you shared with our pitching staff, especially your little buddy, Madison.  Best of luck with all of your charitable endeavors, and enjoy your kids and your wife.  I’m sure they’ll enjoy you.  Come back from Alabama and visit please (I’m sure Madison would love that).

I was lucky enough to go to the game yesterday with my buddy, Angel.  She likes to go to the Star Wars games and of course I was happy to tag along.  We had a fantastic time.  The giveaway was a Chewbacca bobblehead that’s standing on a Giants helmet – so cute!  We did have to wait in line for that one as they only gave out 20,000, but it was a short wait.  We went to the Public House to see Marty Lurie broadcasting, and I even gave him one of my bracelets.  He got a kick out of our shirts (we were wearing our “Anybody but the Dodgers” shirts).  We also got margaritas there – a lot stronger than the ones in the park, I must say!  We got yummy Crazy Crab sandwiches for lunch, then went to visit my friend Anne who works in the concessions (she was so happy to see us!) and decided we couldn’t leave her without buying some of the pizza she was selling.  That pizza is a new fave – we got the deep-dish kind and it was fabulous!  We sat next to a guy who had brought his grandmother to the game.  They were very friendly and we chatted with them throughout the game (always seem to sit near friendly people).  The pre-game tribute to Tim Hudson was beautiful and very moving.  I’m really going to miss that guy, and I’m sure Madison is.  We wondered why Madison went up to the podium with Jake, but only Jake spoke.  Was he too choked up??  The highlight of the game was that inside-the-park home run by the amazing Kelby Tomlinson.  What a thrill – my voice still hasn’t recovered!  We were so happy that they were able to pull off a win.  My 2015 season record stands at 5 and 2 – not too shabby!

During the game, I noticed that Andres Torres was sitting in our same section in the front row.  People were walking up and taking their picture with him.  Of course, I wasn’t going to let that opportunity slip away!  After the game I walked down and asked if I could take my picture with him and he said yes.  I asked what he was doing since he wasn’t playing baseball any longer, and he said he had moved here and has a business selling clothes and electronics.  Based on what he was wearing, the clothes must fit really tightly!  The guy is so buff!  He was very friendly and very gracious with everyone.  Needless to say I was star struck and thrilled.  I miss that guy.  I hope now that he’s local he’ll be attending a lot of games.

As I made my way back up to Angel after that, I noticed a woman walking toward us that looked familiar.  It was Kim Hudson, Tim Hudson’s wife!  I caught her eye and said, “We love you!” and she said, “Aw – we love you, too!”  She came over and talked to us and I gave her a big hug because you could tell it had been an emotional day for her.  She said that it was really nice what the Giants and everyone had done to recognize Tim, but it had been really exhausting for them to be so emotional for so long.  She had started crying that morning because she was so emotional about what the day would hold for them with the tribute.  She said that she knew Bobby Cox (Tim’s manager with the Braves) would be talking and that would set her off again.  She said that so much of their life had been spent here starting with their years in Oakland.  Her kids were even born in San Ramon.  I said that the kids must be thrilled that he will be home, and she said yes, especially her son.  He’s already asked his dad, “Can we go to the farm?” (looked it up – yes, they have a farm!)  I asked her about how tough it was to make the sacrifices she had to in order for him to play ball, and she just said that it was a blessing.  They got to meet so many wonderful people and see so many places.  She also said that they would be leaving on the red eye Sunday night to go back home.  Sad that the guys would be separated from each other so quickly after the season ended.  She was so extremely friendly and so generous with her time.  Then Larry Baer came by and she asked how his wife Pamela was doing.  They started chatting and he said they would have to come back and attend some games.  She joked that maybe Madison Bumgarner could get them some tickets!  I also asked if I could take a picture of Larry Baer’s ring, and he said, “You know, she has one, too!”  Yes, I know.  And I’m so thankful that Tim and his family could share in the joy of earning it while they were here in San Francisco.  It was so lovely meeting all of them, and I was so lucky to have the opportunity.

Some news on the new kid front today:  The Giants signed 20-year-old Cuban outfield prospect Eddy Julio Martinez to a minor league contract worth $2.5 million.  Apparently, since the Giants have gone over their international bonus pool (whatever that means), he will cost them $5 million.  He’s currently #4 on MLB.com’s top prospect list.  Sounds great to me!  Sabean had said he would be looking into the Cuban market more – guess he meant it.  And it’s surprising that we didn’t get outbid on this kid by those pesky Dodgers.  Will keep you posted if I hear anything else about him.

One fun thing to share that I just learned about from Alex Pavlovic regarding today’s game.  Brandon Crawford is apparently the DJ of the clubhouse.  He’s the one who picks out what music they play when they win a game to celebrate.  He tries to accommodate eveyone’s taste by mixing it up.  Well, he chose Mike Leake’s walk up music last week (“Ghetto Superstar”), and since it worked out so well for him, he also prepared a list of walk-up songs for all the players today and forwarded it to the stadium operations people to play during the game.  Here’s the link to the list that Alex Pavlovic posted on his Twitter account.  What a crackup!  You can tell the guy spent a lot of time on this – even his wife, Jalynne, attested to this via Twitter.  And they are all so perfect.  The one that needs explaining is the Mac Williamson one – he’s from North Carolina and that song mentions North Carolina in it (in amongst all the naughtyness!).  According to Pavlovic, the clubhouse favorite was “I’m Too Sexy” for George Kontos.  Considering his performance today, I don’t think he’ll be keeping that one!  But what a fun thing for Brandon to do, and I’m sure it lightened the spirits of the guys on this last, emotional day of the season.

I’ve got a new spit count and some more Giants nuggets for you, but this is getting awfully long so I think I’ll tease you with them until later in the week.  Now that the season’s over, I’ll have more time to blog during the week (kind of ironic, isn’t it?).  Thanks for an amazing year, Guys!  Until next time, GO GIANTS!  GET SOME REST!

It DID Get Better!

Last I blogged, Giants Fan Carm was feeling mighty low.  The boys were about to start the series with Houston after suffering a 4-game sweep by the Cubs.  Figured we had a chance of splitting the two games with Houston, and we did.  A sweep would have been nice, but can’t be greedy after all.  The win on Tuesday was so much sweeter after that sweep.  Tony never sounded so good.  So on to the Washington series and the likes of Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer, two of the toughest pitchers in the National League.   Gulp.  Did anyone else figure those first two games were pretty much over before they started?  Come on, be honest!  I love my boys but I’m also realistic.  I should know better.  Strasburg game – even though the Nats started off the game with a homerun, my boys one upped them at the end of the inning, scoring two runs.  Vogey recovered and pitched a gem, allowing only two more hits in the next 4 innings.  His showing, combined with wicked relief from Strickland, Romo, and Casilla, allowed that lead in the first to hold.  YEAH!!  Scherzer game – Giants got 6 runs in the first three innings.  WHAT??  OFF OF SUPERHUMAN SCHERZER??  Matt Cain pitched beautifully up until the 5th when he gave up 4 runs.  But the boys had his back – the relievers came to the rescue, allowing only 1 hit (thank you Affeldt, Kontos, Osich, Romo, and Lopez).  Scherzer thwarted!  The beautiful thing about these two games was that once again this season, everyone contributed.  Timely hits, spectacular defense, and amazing pitching came from all over the place.  This is the team that I seriously still think can come through and win the division this season.  Yes, I said it.  We’re only 2 ½ games behind the Dodgers right now and presently strutting our stuff, even against tough teams and even while dealing with a bunch of injuries.  I’m liking it!  Gio Gonzalez today – piece of cake!!!

There have been a lot of rumors lately about the Giants acquiring Chase Utley from the Phillies.  It was also confirmed by Bobby Evans that a trade offer for him has been made (no details available right now).  I don’t get this.  I know he was also talked about last season to take over for Marco Scutaro, but since then the guy’s numbers have plummeted.  He’s currently hitting .208 (and that’s not a typo), down from .270 last season, with 4 home runs and 29 RBI.  But after doing some investigating, these numbers may be misleading.  Utley went on the 15-day DL with ankle inflammation in late June, and since he’s come back he’s gone 11 for 22 with 4 doubles.  That’s .500 folks.  Looks to me like the guy is trying to impress someone, even though he has a no-trade clause in his contract.  But who wouldn’t want to leave the Phillies right now, who are 17 games out and bottom feeding in the NL East??  On the pro side, Utley can give us some much needed depth at second both offensively and defensively while Joe Panik is out.  On the con side, he’s owed $4 million for the remainder of the year, he may not be interested in being a backup second baseman, and he’s an old man (36) so his recent hitting may not be sustainable.  Will keep you posted as this plays out.  Inevitably there will be some breakthrough on this right after I post today!

So many injuries to deal with lately.  Figured I’d catch you all up on what’s been going on with the roster lately.  Nori Aoiki was placed on the concussion DL as he was feeling nauseated and lightheaded a few days after he was hit in the head with a fastball.  He says that he’s not feeling that bad, so hopefully that means he’ll really be back with us after the 7 days are over.  Concussions are tricky, though, so you never know.  Keeping all my fingers crossed.  He was replaced by Ryan “Lolly, lolly, lolly, get your adverbs here” Lollis.  Angel was put on the DL (finally) due to patella tendonitis (AKA knee problems).  We all knew that was coming.  Hopefully some rest will do him good.  He has been replaced by Dan’s boy, Juan Perez.  It was nice to see him batting again the other day.  Josh Osich came back up to the Bigs when Mike Leake went on the DL with hamstring issues and Ryan Vogelsong has filled in beautifully for Leake as a starter.  Leake is expected to return early next week (more finger crossing).  Andrew Susac hit an RBI double in a rehab game in San Jose Thursday so hopefully he’ll be back soon to fill in for Buster when needed.  Joe Panik remains on the DL with no clear end in sight.  Gosh, I miss that kid!  Also of note is the fact that Nick Noonan was resigned to a minor league contract with the Giants.  He played in the Yankees organization last season, but was released recently and picked up by his original team.  Welcome back, Nick!

Congrats to Brandon Crawford on receiving the Heart and Hustle Award presented by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association to one player on each MLB team who demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit, and traditions of the game.  With his all-out play, dedication to charity, and all-around good guy-ness, you couldn’t have chosen a more deserving guy for this award.  Nice job, Kid!

The Giants marketing team is truly amazing.  They are having a Full House event at the end of September, and they have released this video promoting it.  This thing is spectacular!  All my boys surely rose to the occasion.  Of course Brandon Crawford plays the part of his doppelganger, John Stamos.  My favorite part of the whole thing is Javi Lopez – hysterical!  You can also watch the original to see how close they got with this.  Love, love, love it!

Also have one more reason to love Kruk and Kuip.  Check out this video of the pregame show on Friday night (you have to click on the thumbnail of Kruk and Kuip wearing ring hats down below).  Oh my gosh, I adore these two!  Especially love when Kuip starts making his wiggle.  And Ahmed’s initial reaction.  We are so very fortunate to have these guys around!

Today Jake Peavy goes against Gio Gonzalez.  With as well as Jake’s been doing, I have to say I’m looking forward to some late-night crooning by Tony.  I know we can do this.  Hoping the boys can finish with the Nats, and then carry that much-needed momentum to face the league-leading Cardinals and the oh-so-hot Pirates on the road.  I know these guys can do it.  Just keep on doing what you’ve been doing.  We’re all behind you.  Until next time, GO GIANTS!!  GAIN SOME GROUND ON THOSE DREADED DODGERS!!

This is Great!

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:

July 20th

Giants:

  • Hudson 4
  • Lincecum 3
  • Posey 2
  • Pagan 2
  • Bochy 2
  • Belt 1
  • Petit 1
  • Adrianza 1
  • Vogelsong 1

Padres:

  • 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)

Misc.:

  • 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!!

Sweeps Are The Best!

Aren’t sweeps wonderful?  And aren’t consecutive sweeps most wonderfulest??  Sorry for the bad grammar, but it expresses how excited I am about my boys’ play lately.  First they swept the Phillies.  Now I know the Phillies suck, but to sweep anyone is an accomplishment.  And Megan and I were in attendance for two of those games, having the most sweetest time (I’m on a roll now).  I had so much fun at that game, and I got to watch my niece run the bases again (and got a See’s Butterscotch sucker again!).  My win/loss record now stands at 3 and 2 for the season.  Next the boys got some rest over the All-Star Break, then proceeded to sweep the D-Backs, the guys who were inching ever closer to us in the standings, threatening to take over second place in the West.  Oh, hell no!  Not with my boys playing the way they have been!  The pitching has been pretty strong, the defense has been sweet (did you see that catch by Maxwell today?), and the batting averages are creeping back up again.  My boys have the highest batting average as a team in the National League.  Can you believe this?  The future for my boys definitely looks most brightest (can’t use enough superlatives!).

During yesterday’s game, did you notice how the roof was leaking at Chase Field?  You would think that since the whole point of a retractable roof is to keep the weather out it would be designed to keep ALL the rain out.  And of all places for it to leak – right onto the pitcher’s mound!  My brother noticed that Josh Osich was looking up right before he pitched a wild pitch.  Wonder if rain dripping on him affected his concentration.  I had never seen anything like that before.  Plus since the game went into extra innings and the bullpen was fresh after coming off of the All-Star Break, Bochy used 10 pitchers throughout the game.  That’s a franchise record.  Crazy!  At least no one got tired!

One sad outcome of yesterday’s game was that Andrew Susac jammed his thumb while sliding into third on a triple.  Gotta watch those face-first slides, Boys!  Thankfully he didn’t break it – it was sprained.  But he was put on the 15-day disabled list today.  We will definitely miss that guy’s power in the lineup.  Hector Sanchez came up today to replace him.  However, since Hector hasn’t been hitting very well this season, you won’t see as much of him in the lineup while he’s up.  Buster will be playing catcher a lot more, especially since Nori Aoki should be back in the lineup soon.  Heal quickly, Andrew!  Maybe you should get in some sliding practice when you get back – that one was pretty sloppy!  And we need you!

There will be some other roster moves made in the near future as well.  Huddy comes back off the DL tomorrow to pitch.  Bochy wouldn’t comment today on whose place he’ll take.  It’s going to be a tough decision as everyone has been playing so extremely well.  Bill Laskey mentioned that he might put Jean Machi on the DL since he hasn’t been pitching as well as usual lately.  Then Jeremy Affeldt should also be coming back soon.  Will he replace Josh Osich?  That kid has been doing so amazingly well.  That will be another tough call.  Nice to have these types of problems though, isn’t it??

I was hoping my boys would have gotten some hits during the All-Star Game, but it didn’t happen.  Brandon Crawford did get an RBI, though.  At least they didn’t embarrass themselves, and at least Crawford and Panik got to play together and Bumgarner and Posey got to work together as battery partners.  Madison represented us well, pitching one inning, allowing only one hit and getting one strikeout.  He didn’t get the chance to show off his prowess with the bat, though.  In his blog, Brandon Crawford mentioned something that I didn’t know about the All-Star Game:  Everyone gets to have their walk-up music played when they come up to bat or to pitch.  Pretty cool!  From everything I read online and all the pictures I saw, it sounds like my boys had a fantastic time in Cincinnati.  Bummed that the National League lost the game.  We won’t have home field advantage during the World Series.  Even The New Yorker newspaper believes that’s the whole reason for the All-Star Game.  Check this out.  And thanks to everyone who sent this cartoon to me.  Love it!  Positive thoughts, positive thoughts.

Speaking of Brandon Crawford, he also mentioned in his blog that he and his wife Jalynne are expecting another little one in January.  Congratulations!  They will have one major dilemma though – the name.  The two girls they have now have names that are combinations of their two names – Braylyn and Jaydyn.  Any suggestions for them, Ginny?  Maybe they could start doing combinations of Giants player names, like Joester or Mattor.  Or just go all out and name the kid Boch.  Boch Crawford.  Kind of has a nice ring to it.

I have two new spit counts for you.  Here you go:

July 11th

Giants:

  • Vogelsong 16
  • Bochy 6 (mostly seeds)
  • Pagan 6
  • Strickland 3
  • Osich 2
  • Peavy 1 (seeds)
  • Duffy 1
  • Posey 1
  • Righetti 1
  • Romo 1

Phillies:

  • Ruiz 7
  • Buchanan 3
  • Galvis 2
  • Franco 1
  • Howard 1
  • Francoeur 1

Game Spit Master General – Vogelsong at 16

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.

Vogey made his first appearance as the Spit Master General this season, and with a pretty hefty spit count to boot.  So disappointed.  I noticed that he wasn’t chewing gum during this game.  He tends to spit more when he doesn’t.  Opt for the gum, Ryan!  At one point during this game, Jake Peavy and Chris Heston were chewing seeds together in the dugout.  You’ll notice that Jake made the count but Chris didn’t.  This is because instead of spitting out the seeds, Chris would pull them out with his fingers.  Nice manners, Chris!

July 18th

Giants:

  • Susac 11
  • Posey 5
  • Bochy 4
  • Pagan 3
  • Belt 2
  • Meulens 2
  • Strickland 2
  • Machi 2
  • Righetti 1 (seeds)
  • Groeschner 1
  • Decker 1 (seeds)
  • Hudson 1
  • Duffy 1

Diamondbacks:

  • Hernandez 5
  • Anderson 4
  • Collmenter 3
  • Perez 2
  • Inciarte 1
  • Burgos 1
  • The Goldschmidt 1
  • Pollock 1

Game Spit Master General = Susac at 11

That’s a total of 54 spits during a 3 hour and 35 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 4 minutes.

No surprise that Susac topped the chart again during this game.  Who knows how high his count would have gone if he hadn’t been pulled from the game in the 4th inning due to his sliding injury.  Buster didn’t come close to maintaining his saliva hurling pace.  One of Brandon Belt’s spits at the plate during this game was epic.  The only way I can explain the amount of fluid that came out of his mouth is that he took a huge drink of water before coming to the plate.  That amount of saliva is not humanly possible.

My boys are on their way to San Diego to start a series against the Padres.  I hope they can get all these games in – the game today down there was postponed due to rain.  And in July!  Hope they can keep the momentum going and that Huddy can benefit from the rest he’s gotten.  Will be watching a cheering.  Until next time, GO GIANTS!!  KEEP IT UP!!