On paper, it looked like the Giants would have smooth sailing at the beginning of their 2017 season – NL West matchups for the first two weeks against the Diamondbacks, Padres, and Rockies. Not even any games against the Dodgers. Who would have predicted that after 13 games they would be sitting at the bottom of the NL West with a 5-8 record? Not to mention that the Diamondbacks would be at the top of that list? Craziness! There have definitely been some exciting moments, but these last couple of weeks have been rough.
Unfortunately, we’ve already suffered some major injuries. Buster was hit in the head by a 94-mph pitch from the Diamondbacks Taijuan Walker on Monday. Being extremely careful with any player who potentially has a concussion, he was put on the 7-day concussion DL. He appears to be doing well, slowly adding his normal baseball activities to his routine, but I’m sure the Giants aren’t going to rush anything. And that’s the way it should be. However, this leaves us without our prized catcher for at least a week. I love Nick Hundley, and he’s really stepped up both offensively and defensively to help the team out with Buster gone, but there’s still that factor of the starting pitchers not being as used to pitching to him. You wonder how that affects them. Word is that if everything goes well, Buster will travel with the team to Kansas City and probably be the designated hitter for those games, giving him a longer break away from catching. And maybe in the long run, having more time pitching to Hundley will be good for the starting rotation.
Then today, there was another devastating injury. Jarrett Parker raced to make an amazing catch in the outfield, but in the process crashed into the wall and sustained a broken right clavicle. There’s no estimate yet as to how long he’ll be out, but sheesh! The guy broke his clavicle! I’d assume it won’t be any time soon. And of course, left field has been the position where we’ve been lacking this season. This sure doesn’t help, especially since recently Parker had been hitting better, going 1 for 2 with a walk on Monday (finally getting his first hit this season), then 2 for 3 with a walk on Wednesday. WHY???
It will be interesting to see who ends up taking Parker’s place. Maybe Chris Marrero, the guy that got his first major league homerun yesterday (after 144 plate appearances in the majors), the guy who showed amazing power in the spring, and the guy who ruined Tyler Chatwood’s perfect game in the 6th today when he came in to replace Parker. He’s also made some beautiful defensive plays. There’s also Aaron Hill, but he hasn’t been very hot offensively. Kelby Tomlinson is also a possibility. Mac Williamson and Michael Morse still aren’t ready to come back. Then recently the Giants added two more possibilities, signing both to minor league deals: Melvin (formerly BJ) Upton and Drew Stubbs. But though both of these guys are great defensively, they are lacking offensively, and isn’t that really what we need over there? Some pop? Pop from somewhere? ANYWHERE?? This whole left field issue is really annoying, like an uninvited house guest that keeps eating all your food. Yeah. I don’t like it. Wonder if Bobby Evans is making some frantic phone calls right now. I kind of hope so.
Speaking of Melvin Upton, I was wondering why he no longer goes by BJ. Most people suspected that since he had recently been struggling professionally that he wanted a new start. But Upton commented, “This has nothing to do with starting a new chapter. I just wanted to. My father thought enough to give me his name, so why not?” He also mentioned that most of his friends call him Mel or Melvin anyway, so it’s just natural. Plus I would imagine having the nickname BJ would be difficult around baseball dugouts (sorry – just had to go there). Guess Melvin wouldn’t be much easier. Sorry.
On a much more serious note, we all received some sad news this week – a reminder that tomorrow, no matter how young we are, is never guaranteed. I found out through an Instagram post that Jalynne Crawford made earlier this week, and even though she didn’t say exactly what happened, you could tell it was terrible. Jennifer Pippin, Jalynne’s oldest sister, passed away suddenly on Wednesday due to a severe asthma attack. She leaves behind her husband and two daughters, ages 9 and 6. What a terrible tragedy for this extremely close family. Brandon drove down to LA on Wednesday night to be with the family, then drove back on Thursday and even pinch hit in the game that night. Then Friday, when he hit his homerun, he looked up to the heavens when he crossed home in tribute to her. After the game, Brandon said (regarding the home run), “That one’s for Jen. That one’s for my sister in law. I know she was watching this game tonight.” AWWW!! Jalynne has set up a GoFundMe page to help the family with expenses here. Sending my deepest condolences to all of the family members.
Did you folks watch the game on Friday night? At one point, some of the crowd starting using their flashlights on their phones like you do at a concert. It really caught on, and soon there were lights around the entire stadium. The boys must have really loved that! And they sure responded, piling on hit after hit and scoring 4 runs in the 7th inning. That was truly beautiful! I wonder if that will be a thing at night games from now on. Or could it be a distraction to the pitcher? Even if it was a distraction, would security be able to stop it? We’ll have to wait and see. I personally loved it!
Going to end with some random craziness just because. First, the other night, Mike Krukow kept saying that Conor Gillaspie was a pig farmer. He said that’s why he doesn’t wear batting gloves – he builds up calluses on his hands so he doesn’t need them. I didn’t realize that Conor Gillaspie was a pig farmer, so I Googled it, but nothing came up. Is he, or was he, really a pig farmer? Or was Kruk just being a weirdo as usual? Is pig farmer the nickname of some weird team he played on? If anyone knows about this, please let me know. Then there’s this. This is Yadier Molina, catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, stopping a wild pitch in the most unusual manner ever! The ball stuck like Velcro to his chest protector! I have never seen anything like this! After the game, he denied having put pine tar or any other adhesive on his chest protector to make the ball stick. Sounds kind of fishy to me. Even if he had, apparently there’s no rule against it, as long as the sticky stuff is not on the skin or the ball. Crazy! Then I noticed last night that the Rockies catcher had a wristband on with codes for play calls. I had only ever seen one other guy wearing this thing, but apparently they are becoming more popular. You can even buy them on Amazon.com. It’s a way for a coach to relay pitches or plays to the catcher with multiple signs (usually numbers) so that the other team can’t pick up on the sign. For example, the wristband could show 10 different numbers that all mean pitch out. Always trying to stay one step ahead of the competition. Personally, I’m sure that would be too complicated to keep track of!
Tomorrow is the last game against the Rockies, then the boys travel to Kansas City to play on Tuesday and Wednesday. Hoping that Buster can come back healthy by then and the pieces of this team can start working together better. There have been many moments of promise, but also many cricket-filled innings where you are just waiting for something to happen. Hoping the spark will come along soon. You never know where it will come from. Until next time, GO GIANTS!! GET US SOME WINS!!
Sorry I haven’t blogged for awhile. Hubby and I went on vacation for a week, and I was pretty much off the internet. Ginny was a true friend while I was away and gave me updates on the boys every day. I was so bummed that I missed Angel’s inside-the-park-home-run. That would have been amazing to watch. Unfortunately, they went 2 and 5 while I was on vacation. So I’ve got to get back to work and get them revved up for some wins so we can take back 1st place from the D-Bags. This weekend’s series is so important in that respect. Got to get it together and sweep those guys!
Noticed that Ramon Ramirez was back in the lineup magically when I got back from vacation. He came up for the injured Santiago Casilla. Hope he can help out the bullpen which has been pretty taxed of late. Welcome back, Ramon!
The Giants chose Christian Arroyo from Florida as their first round draft pick the other day. Here’s what Baseball America’s scouting report says about the kid: “At 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, Arroyo has surprising pop and grades out as a solid-average hitter if not a tick better. He wants to play shortstop and has excellent hands, a quick release and instincts that allow him to make all the routine plays and some spectacular ones. Still, few scouts see him as a shortstop in the big leagues. Those who don’t think he can catch see him as a tweener, not quick enough for second and not powerful enough for third base. Arroyo is a Florida recruit.” Doesn’t sound so spectacular, but you really can’t question the ability of those scouts to chose talent with the likes of Buster, Timmy, Matty, Brandons, Sergio, and Madison (did I forget anyone??) on their resumes. Will be interesting to see how this kid works out if he does indeed sign with the Giants.
Learned something the other day from the game where Yadier Molina was out at first on a fabulous throw made by Brandon Crawford. Molina proceeded to slam his helmet to the ground with both hands and was ejected from the game by the first base umpire. The announcers were saying that you are not automatically ejected for throwing equipment (you usually only receive a fine), and they thought Molina threw the helmet in frustration over the fact that he didn’t start running to first immediately after hitting the ball, thinking (stupidly!) that the amazing Crawford could not make the play. Lesson – don’t underestimate Brandon Crawford’s abilities! It also looked to me like Molina threw the helmet in frustration over his mistake, not in protest over the umpire’s out call (instant replay showed he was definitely out). I tried to find the rules for thrown equipment in the MLB official rules, but I couldn’t come up with anything. I did, however, find this rule, Rule 9.01d: “Each umpire has authority to disqualify any player, coach, manager or substitute for objecting to decisions or for unsportsmanlike conduct or language, and to eject such disqualified person from the playing field.” Seems to me that this rule would allow the umpire to eject him whether he was protesting the call or not – he still showed unsportsmanlike conduct by slamming the helmet. And really, it’s not the umpire’s job to decide what was going on in his head at the time. He’s got to make that call. Not only was Molina ejected from that game, he was also suspended one game and fined for contact with the umpire in the melee that ensued after the ejection call. My comments on this – CONTROL YOURSELF!!! Nothing justifies that sort of behavior, especially when you know there will be consequences that affect your team, and besides the fact that kids are watching, looking to you as an example of good sportsmanship. Plus, he looked like a maniac! Molina is appealing the ruling, and the appeal decision has not come through yet.
I have a spit count for you, in case you are having withdrawals. Here you go:
– Scutaro 4
– Quiroz 3
– Bochy 3
– Bumgarner 2
– Vogelsong 1
– Sandoval 1
– Arias 1
– Posey 1
– Lincecum 1
– Wainwright 18
– Molina 10
– Holliday 4
– Beltran 3
– Descalso 3
– Matheny 1
– Carpenter 1
– ? 1
– ? 1
– ? 1
– Umpire 4
Game Spit Master General = Wainwright at 18
Giants Game Spit Master General = Scutaro at 4
That’s a total of 64 spits during a 2 hour and 35 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 2.4 minutes.
Kudos to the Giants for a pretty low spitting game (relatively). Lots of the Cardinals were caught chewing sunflower seeds and spitting them out (especially Beltran and Molina). Guess that’s not as bad as chewing tobacco, but it’s still gross. And I apologize for the 3 unidentified Cardinals caught spitting, but they kept turning the cameras to the Cardinals’ dugout and finding the newer players, and I didn’t recognize any of them. Also, since it was a Bumgarner game, I did a snot rocket count – 4. Pretty low for him.
Now I’m going to take a moment to speak directly to my boys. OK, Guys. This series against the D-Bags is BIG!! Matty, Madison, and Chad – you really need to step up your game. Chad – just continue the amazing work that you did last time you pitched. You really came through for us! Matty and Madison – please, try not to do that “one killer bad inning” thing! Stay focused and crush those guys! Know that I’m at home rooting my heart out for you, punching my rubber snake. Please, all three of you – BEWARE THE GOLDSCHMIDT!! And all the rest of you – please back up your pitchers with some runs! I know the D-Bags’ pitching staff is pretty amazing, but you can do it. You’ve done it before. Now go on out there, and get a sweep! That will put us back in first place! I know you guys can do it! GO GIANTS!! BEAT THE D-BAGS!!