Can there be two losers to a World Series?

Posted: October 28, 2010 by sandydmz in Baseball
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy the Giants won. We managed to get a win with Cliff Lee starting on the mound, the scariest opponent in the postseason in my opinion. But this was one of the worst games of baseball I’ve seen in a long time. The box score really doesn’t do an adequate job of explaining this game. It’s been awhile since I’ve written, but today was a perfect game for a rant.

Box Score says 8 hits off Cliff Lee: I would love to say that the Giants got 6 earned runs and 8 hits off of Cliff Lee driving him out of the game before finishing five. Unfortunately, we didn’t see Lee in his true form and I already have his next start marked as a loss for the Giants. Lee didn’t have control of his pitches and when you’re a control and not a speed pitcher, that’s a bad spot to be in. The bright side of this: The Giants capitalized. Honestly, half the time I watch the Giants I swear they would strike out on a tee. They clearly know this (and how could you not? Everyone comments on their miserable offense) and their batting practice was evident. I’m not ready to say they took enough batting practice to be able to hit good pitching, but they did take enough batting practice to be able to hit mistakes. The recent offensive contributions from everyone on the roster not named Cody Ross have also been a welcome change. Hopefully this game was the confidence booster they needed to add continued run support.

Box Score says 8 hits off LIncecum: Lee had a bad game, but so did Lincecum. What was supposed to be an even better pitcher’s duel than last week’s Halladay vs Lincecum turned into a batting practice session.  Lincecum, known for being a strikeout pitcher, only rung up 3 today over 5.2 innings of work. He gave up a double to Cliff Lee. He issued a walk in the first with no outs and a runner on. He’s usually lights out once a runner is on. He luckily calmed down a bit after his first two innings of work and avoided the train wreck that was foreshadowed in the first two innings. He wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t the end of season Tim Lincecum. Unfortunately for Giants starting pitchers, I just don’t think we can win this if they’re anything less than perfect. Our offense produced today, but I don’t think we can count on that continuing. This team is undeniably built off our starting pitching and although it’s unfair to put all the pressure on them, it’s the situation they’ve been in all year. I expect a better outing from Lincecum the second time around…not that improvement from a 6.35 ERA today is an outstanding goal for a two time Cy Young winning pitcher.

Box Score says 6 errors: Thank God for both teams that baserunning errors aren’t included. Just about everything the Giants do on the bases is an error. For having such bad hitting, you would think the Giants would learn to be aggressive on the bases. Instead, they actually supplement their awful hitting with awful baserunning.  I guess I can’t be completely mad at him, going 4 for 5 today, but there’s still not much of an excuse for Freddy Sanchez. In the bottom of the first, a ball got away from Bengie Molina that should have resulted in moving the runner up. Sanchez didn’t even attempt to go to third. With one out, you especially need to take third base if it’s given to you for free so you can set up the sacrifice fly. To add to his baserunning upset, he got doubled up on the next play getting too far off the bag on a fly ball. I’ll give Kinsler credit, he made an amazing play, catching a ball over his shoulder and immediately spinning and throwing to nail Sanchez at second. Only thing is he would have gotten him whether or not he made an amazing play. Sanchez can say he fell, but he fell while three quarters of the way to third. What business does he have being three quarters of the way to third? With one out and a pop fly in potentially catchable zone, he should have been waiting. If they drop it, he’s making it to third even if he’s only a quarter of the way. I won’t go into it, but I also thought Andres Torres should have scored from first on the Sanchez double. As a leadoff hitter, you should have the speed and aggression to score on that when the outfielder is chasing a ball into the corner with his back to you. This also could just be the tipping point for me on Andrew Torres after he refused to steal second in the Phillies series when a ball got away from Carlos Ruiz (similar to Sanchez not stealing third today).

I don’t care if a pitcher can’t hit. Lincecum’s spin move the other day is about what I expect from a pitcher hitting. One thing they should know how to do though: sacrifice bunt. So why is Lincecum turning at the last second as if he’s bunting for a hit? Turning at the last second makes everything about a sac bunt harder; making contact with the ball, making sure your bat head is up, and cradling the ball, so that you’re not pushing It towards the fielders and making a play at second possible. From pitch one Lincecum was turning too late, so it’s no surprise that he popped out and ruined an opportunity to move up his runner.

In the other dugout, I think it was Kinsler, who made the most elementary of baserunning errors and threw away his infield single. After running through first, he made a move towards second before realizing that the ball hadn’t gotten past Aubrey Huff. Heads up fielding by Huff to immediately tag Kinsler out.

Box Score says the Giants used 5 pitchers in the final 2 innings: For a bullpen that gets as much credit as the Giants, I am a bit sad that Bochy used so many pitchers to close out the last two innings when we had a four run lead going into the eighth and a 7 run lead going into the ninth and there’s a game tomorrow. I just don’t think it’s worth the risk of having a sore bullpen.

Bright sides to the game:

It was nice to see some 3-2 counts. A characteristic swing happy team finally worked the count and got Lee out early. They were disciplined and made Lee throw over 100 pitches before getting retired.

Santiago Casilla came out hard after struggling a bit with Philly. No issues today.

Freddy Sanchez hitting 4 for 5. Our number 1 and 2 hitters are finally producing and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Juan Uribe. The following is a quote from a gchat conversation I was having with a friend around the fourth inning.

Me: “Uribe wants a homerun or nothing. Bad hitting.”

Friend: “It’s Juan Uribe. Of course it’s bad hitting.”

This friend is a Dodgers fan, so I was thrilled when he jinxed Uribe for the better and Uribe made it to those fences he was swinging for. Although his 4 at bats today included 3 swinging strikeouts (the true box score of someone looking for a homerun), I couldn’t be happier with the timing of his hit. Just as the Rangers pulled Cliff Lee hoping that that would be the end of their woes for the day, Uribe crushed it and kicked them while they were down. Wonderful and much appreciated.

Taking the first game was huge for the Giants, and more important is making sure they win as many home games as possible since it’s not gonna be easy in Texas.

I would love to see the Giants bring a championship to San Francisco, but I’d really rather see it in a good series. Tomorrow I’m hoping for the good starting pitching this series promised and less than 6 errors.

I would just like to conclude by responding to another comment made to me earlier, and say that I still don’t believe Cliff Lee is human.

I repeat: NOT HUMAN

Sand-Rant

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