World Series Game One – Swwwwwweeeeeet!

Detroit Tigers power-pitching right-hander Justin Verlander was just too much for the hapless San Francisco Giants’ power starved batting lineup, proving once again that any team who can beat the Yankees MUST be the favorite in the World Series.  Oh, sorry, my bad.  That should read, All-Star Justin Verlander gets buried by the merciless onslaught of Pablo Sandoval and the San Francisco Giants. (more…)

Zito Leads Giants to Win in Elimination Game

I was pleased and relieved when the SF Giants managed to live another game with a 5-0 playoff win in Saint Louis behind Barry Zito.  The often criticized Barry Zito shut down a good-hitting Cardinals team for 7 2/3 innings in the Giants fourth win-or-go-golfing game of the year.  After signing a huge seven-year contract before the 2007 seven, he has struggled to attain mediocrity before this season.  This season he has posted more than one key win.  He also got roughed up by the Reds in the last round of the playoff, before Lincecum came in and cleaned up the mess.

Right now on KNBR Ray Woodson is talking about how nobody expected Zito to go 7 innings of shutout ball.  I gotta be honest.  I hoped he would do well, but I didn’t KNOW he was going to do well.  Every Giants pitcher has had losing streaks this year.  None of them are a sure thing (although I like their chances with Vogelsong in Game 6 after he throttled the Cardinals in Game 3). (more…)

Giants Tie National League Championship Series with 7-1 Win

It sure was a lot of fun for Giants fans to watch Ryan Vogelsong lead the team to a 7-1 win.  The series is now tied 1 game to 1, much to my relief.  A pitching rotation has gotta be luckier than a leprechaun with a rabbit’s foot in his jock and a horsehoe stuck in his plumber’s crack to go all season without an injury  like these guys have.  On the other hand, all five of them have strung together at least one streak of bad outings, many of them recent.  It’s been said that none of the Giants pitchers have had a good post-season start before tonight; I would argue that Vogelsong was pitching well in game 3 before being removed in the sixth for a pinch hitter for offensive purposes. (more…)

Giants Offense Magically Reappears in Cincinnati

Sometimes baseball fans have to endure watching the entire lineup of their team go cold at the same time.  If you’ve watched the San Francisco Giants over the past five days you know what I mean.  You never see all eight of your hitters get hot, but if two or three can get hot and the rest of them don’t stink it up, your team can win some games.  That’s what the Giants did today to tie their playoff series with the Cincinnati Reds. (more…)

A Little Post Season Torture

The San Francisco Giants just squeezed out a 2-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds to avoid playoff elimination.  As a Giants fan, I’ll take it and run, but they’re gonna need to do a little bit more on offense to keep winning.  The three players at the top of the lineup, Pagan, Sandoval and Scutaro, rather than getting it started, fumbled around the house looking for the keys for the third outing in a row.  The team as a whole was horrendous at the plate all day, as they were Sunday night, striking out about 35 times.  (more…)

SF Giants Clinch Playoff Spot

The Giants guaranteed themselves a playoff spot with an 8-4 win over the San Diego Padres last night at AT&T park, after the Dodgers had lost earlier in the day.  With ten games left in the regular season, the team can now take the opportunity work in some rest for key players like Buster Posey, give the pitching rotation extra rest days, and tune up bench players like Ryan Theriot.  As fans, we now have ten days for speculation about how far they can go in the playoffs. (more…)

The Giants Home Field Advantage

It seemed to me like there was a lot of talk in the local sports media about how the Giants don’t have much of an advantage playing at home this year.  Their home win-loss record (40-31) and their away win-loss record (39-31) are roughly the same.  More interesting – perhaps I should say more concerning – fact is that they score far fewer runs at home (248 at home versus 357 on the road).  Going into the playoffs, Giants fans would like to see them play well at home and cash in on the crowd noise and opportunity to bat last.  I decided to dig into the numbers a little bit and see if I could figure out a bit more about what’s going on.  (more…)

Trade Deadline Approaches. What Will the Giants Do?

It’s interesting, as it is every year, to hear people on the local radio, and around the coffee machine at work, talk about what the Giants need to do before the trade deadline to make the playoffs.  They could use a closer, what with relief pitcher Brian Wilson injured and out for the year.  They could use a right-handed outfielder, what with their lefty-dominated lineup in a somewhat lefty-unfriendly ballpark.  Then again they could use a slugging first baseman as well.  Or, at least an offensive upgrade at first base.  A professional .275 hitter who hits one out now and then.  What they don’t need is to trade their top prospects for a single player with only half a year left on his current contract, no matter how good he is. (more…)

Two Wins in a Row for Lincecum

Before the baseball season started, every Giants fan’s biggest fear was that the batting lineup would post another “historically bad” season of hitting futility.  Not that there isn’t room for improvement there, but at the All-Star break, every Giant’s fans biggest fear was that Tim Lincecum would never be the same.  His performance in 2011 was not quite what it was in 2010, and his performance in the first half of 2012 was like a grainy, black-and-white film clip of a train wreck played in slow motion.  There was unfolding disaster; fear of impending doom; dust and smoke; and glimpses of panicked faces on people who had just gone along for the ride, not knowing what was about to happen.

But then the All-Star break.  Tim Lincecum came back from the professional athlete’s equivalent to the long weekend and put up two outstanding outings in a row.  It’s definitely good news, but how good? (more…)

Looking Forward to the Second Half of the Season

Despite their offensive struggles, the San Francisco Giants find themselves only half a game back in the National League West on the eve of the second half of the season.  At this point, it looks like they will contend in their division, though their offense gives us concern about their ability to go deep in the playoffs. (more…)