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20070426 Thursday April 26, 2007

Temperature Swings At The Old Ball Game

The rhythm of the baseball is always about hot streaks and cold streaks. In the 2006 season, the Giants couldn't put together any sustained hot streaks; it was a dark time for Giants fans -- I don't think they won more than 3 games in row and that they only did a few times. The first weeks of 2007 baseball were even darker; losing 7 out of the first 9 games disheartened a lot of fans. But what a difference now, the Giants have gone from a polar chill to an equatorial blaze in a matter of weeks; they've won 9 of their last 10!

Matt Cain finally has the victory he's been deserving; he's got a 1.55 ERA but what should be a 4-0 record is only at 1-1 so far. I think we're gonna see his W:L ratio shifting favorably in the weeks ahead. Barry Bonds is getting pitches, and smashing them. I'm sure soon enough competing team managers will get the message: the old Barry is back and crushinger than ever and we'll see lots of 4 finger calls. But for now, enjoy the ride.

Yesterday's victory came on the backs of a partial relief squad (Todd Linden and Lance Niekro) as Omar Vizquel and Dave Roberts took a rest (Roberts came on late in the as a pinch runner and scored). Next up this evening, Russ Ortiz will duel against Brad Penny and I'm looking forward to an exciting game. Three words: beat sweep el aye!


( Apr 26 2007, 07:14:56 AM PDT ) Permalink

20070419 Thursday April 19, 2007

A Giant Turn Around?

Could the extra-inning push last night, kicked off by Barry Bond's tying slash homer in the 8th be the harbinger of baseball to come? I'm quite impressed with how Armando Benitez and Jonathan Sanchez held back the Cardinals long enough for 12th inning surge from Randy Winn, Omar Vizquel and Rich Aurilia. We're seeing real solid playing from those guys and Ray Durham. The pitching rotation is solid, the losses that Matt Cain has suffered... are really an injustice. The guy's pitched fantastic, if we see the run support turn on he'll be putting up the W's. I expect Barry Zito's shutout the other day to be the first of many. Noah Lowry, Matt Morris and Russ Ortiz get props too, those guys and much of the roster are pretty damned solid.

Today's 6-2 romp over the Cards has me thinking that the Giants won't be spending too much more time down there at the bottom of the division. I think the offensive slump from the season's start can be declared officially over. What remains to be seen is whether they can sustain this kind of solid play day in and day out. I have faith they will! Let's Go Giants!

Now if only the temperatures felt like baseball weather; it's cold!

( Apr 19 2007, 06:57:28 PM PDT ) Permalink

20070414 Saturday April 14, 2007

Finally, some Giants' offense

After a few weeks of sleep walking to the batter's box, it's invigorating to see the San Francisco Giants bring on the show of force in last night's win in Pittsburgh. With Barry Bonds hitting a pair of HR's (no. 736 and 737!) and Russ Ortiz reeling in the strikeouts, we're finally seeing the team that I was imagining going into opening day: lotsa long ball for the innings and tight pitching for the outings.

It's really irritating that the Major League Baseball's websites are so... last century. Where are the blogs, widgets, microformats and feeds? Just for giggles, I took my Technorati Favorites and plugged them into a Giants page. I also wrote a little script that puts the next Giant's game in the header. An hCalendar implementation shouldn't be too hard. It's really lame that MLB doesn't just put that on their web sites; CSV files and instructions for importing into Outlook is just so silly. This morning, it is raining like mofo in the Bay Area, hmm... maybe a fine day to write a CSV to hCalendar converter.


( Apr 14 2007, 12:01:09 PM PDT ) Permalink

20041004 Monday October 04, 2004

The Bad Time Of Year With the Astro's defeat of the Rockies yesterday, the Bad Time of Year has begun.

Sure, this is always the time of year when the weather gets a little colder, the sun sets earlier and the volume of junk mail catalogs arriving from the postal service goes up. But what makes this Bad is obvious: the Giants aren't playing baseball until the spring. I just can't wait until spring! Any claims that the lack of October play is Felipe Alou's fault is just silly. The last few years' bad deals with Sidney Ponson and Damien Moss and bad luck Rob Nenn have taken away payroll that coulda been used more productively -- those situations are more blameworthy. But hope springs eternal and this spring we should see Jessie Foppert and Jerome Williams in the rotation and if some good luck (and payroll availability is on our side) Moises should be a Giant and batting behind Bonds. ( Oct 04 2004, 10:04:14 PM PDT ) Permalink

20040720 Tuesday July 20, 2004

Johnson/Schmidt has nice ring to it It wasn't that long ago that the Arizona Diamondbacks were a force to be reckoned with. The pitching duo of Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling was something to fear.

But then there were injuries and other team problems, Arizona shuffled up the team, trading Schilling away and gutting their position players to acquire Richie Sexson (who sustained a season-ending injury early in the year). They've been generously giving away the wins ever since. Now with Johnson ready to move on to pitch with a team that can win some games and Giants in sore need of some more zing on the mound, it's time for the Giant's ownership to pony up and bring Johnson to San Francisco. He won't be far from home; he was born in Walnut Creek and went to school in Livermore. Johnson has said he doesn't want to be far from his Arizona home; he's settled down there with his family. Well, it's about a 1.5 hour flight from SFO to Tucson, IIRC. So here's the rotation:

Perhaps with Hermanson as a reliever, Herges can get an occasional break and Rodriguez should be put out to pasture. Having Johnson in the line up and pitching into late innings, there'd be less milling through the bullpen, their performance would likely improve. Having a five time Cy Young winner aboard will likely give the whole team a lift.

It could happen. It should happen. Perhaps Barry Bonds will wear a world series ring after all. ( Jul 20 2004, 01:29:46 AM PDT ) Permalink
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20040520 Thursday May 20, 2004

Neifi Perez Hits A Home Run What's the world coming to when the Giants' sluggers are slumping and mister shallow blooper hits a two run home run?

Neifi Perez has only hit five home runs since 2001. I mean, he's a great infielder but perhaps the threat of having Pedro Feliz become the everyday SS was enough to awaken his inner-slugger. This was their game to lose and for a while there, it looked like that might be the it was gonna go. But here ya go:

  Runs Hits Errors
San Francisco Giants 5 10 1
Chicago Cubs 3 8 0
( May 20 2004, 02:43:50 PM PDT ) Permalink

20040519 Wednesday May 19, 2004

Thermonuclear Pitching Randy Johnson throws a perfect game in Atlanta and Jason Schmidt pitches 9 innings of one-hit baseball. Are the planets in an unusual alignment?

It's about time the Giants show some life in their play. Sad that it was still only a one-run game, the offensive anemia long ago crossed the threshold into patheticness. Thank goodness the Dodgers have dropped five in a row; the Giants are only seven games behind them in the standings! Someone tell Alou to get a clue: ditch Dustin Mohr or Deivi Cruz and bring Brian Dallimore back in the line-up! ( May 19 2004, 09:36:40 AM PDT ) Permalink

20040426 Monday April 26, 2004

Giants Beat The Braves! It's been a rough couple of weeks but having the Giant's hold back the Braves tonight is a good lift. Schmidt's obviously not at his best but even so, they did it.

We'll take these one-run games if that's all we'll get -- after some of the recent beat-downs from the SoCal division rivals, it's fine to just squeak by for the time being. What I'd like to see is Woody restore his good name, get a strikeout or two and maybe give the G's a little momentum with a win tomorrow. But for tonight, hat's off to V-rod and Herges for keeping them at bay in the end

Let's go Giants!

( Apr 26 2004, 10:17:00 PM PDT ) Permalink

20040419 Monday April 19, 2004

Nail Biter The Giant's had to keep you on the edge of your seat, ya know. After the string of one run loses, it just wasn't exciting enough to give the Pads the beat down.

With San Diego coming in with a 9th inning rally, bowling over the Giant's bullpen you just have to stare in disbelief as the three run lead that the Giant's enjoyed at the onset of the 9th evaporated into one. After coming off the high of Grissom and Bonds launching back-to-back home runs (and Bonds acquiring the number of man, 666), it's just inconceivable to have that victory snatched away. The rain pouring down was making it seem all the more grim.

But no need for dispair! It wasn't so bad. At the end of the night, it's another one run game but this time the G's were on the good side of it and the four game losing streak is snapped. Sighs of relief were audible far and wide.

  Runs Hits Errors
San Francisco Giants 4 7 2
San Diego Padres 3 8 1
( Apr 19 2004, 11:28:06 PM PDT ) Permalink

20040405 Monday April 05, 2004

Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks I was busy with other stuff but the post-game reports on today's season opener sounds awesome.

While I'll miss Jeff Kent's contributions to the Giants, it's hard not to take a little pleasure in seeing a little late inning beat down with Bond's 3 run HR in the 8th (number 659 for his career, Say Hey!)

  Runs Hits Errors
San Francisco Giants 5 10 0
Houston Astros 4 9 0
It's the most wonderful time of the year: "Play Ball!"

Happy Opening Day! ( Apr 05 2004, 09:21:23 PM PDT ) Permalink

20040331 Wednesday March 31, 2004

Take me out to the ballgame! I'm gonna be in The City tomorrow evening for some stuff; when it's all said and done, I'd love to take a trip down to PacBell^H^H^H^H^H^H^H SBC Park to see the San Francisco Giant's return home in a night game against the Texas Rangers.

I don't understand how anyone can find baseball boring. Sure, some games are more exciting than others but when you've got a got a guy throwing a ball between 85 and 95 MPH through a little window in front of the batter and the batter's job is to launch it past the squad that he's facing, it's great! I mean, damn, you try it sometime! Baseball is the perfect mix of strategy, psychology and the boundaries of human athletic abilities.

I'm so glad spring time is here! Now if any readers happen to have an extra ticket to the game, I'm all over it, lay it on down :) ( Mar 31 2004, 10:41:31 PM PST ) Permalink