These past two days have been amazing to watch as a Giants fan. First, I was extremely lucky to be able to go to Opening Day yesterday. Everything about the day was perfect: the weather, the banner being raised, seeing baseball back at AT&T. It was nice to be back home. Ok, maybe not everything was perfect, coughWilsoncough. It was fitting though, I suppose, that torture is back in full swing at 24 Willie Mays Plaza. After both the Giants and Cardinals blew their saves in the 9th inning, the game just kept going and going. Aaron Rowand finally won the game in the 12th inning for the DEFENDING WORLD CHAMPS ( I might try and work that into each post from here on out).
Today, I didn’t get to go to the game to see the Ring Ceremony, but at least I got to watch it on TV. (My sister on the other hand was gifted a last minute ticket… color me jealous.) This seemed even more emotional to me tonight. I have to admit tears welled up when Mike Murphy was rightfully given his ring first. It was awesome to watch each guy get his ring and to be able to celebrate just a bit more. I also loved seeing Kruk and Kuip get their rings up in the booth. You can’t blame them for not really announcing the game very well for the next inning or two.
I was wrong a few days ago to say that the celebration was officially over. As shown the last two days, it’s not over. Hopefully, it’s just beginning. This could be an epic year.
I was not happy to see Torres go out with an injury. Post game just announced it’s an achilles tendon strain. Not nearly as bad a tear, but it still can’t be good. Although Schierholtz played great tonight after coming in as a replacement, you never want to see a player like Torres go down for long.
Giants go for the sweep tomorrow and Buster gets his Rookie of the Year award. So the celebration will continue for at least one more day.
Can the Giants get a mulligan? The Giants just dropped their second game against the Dodgers. I mean really, this is not what I had in mind for the DEFENDING WORLD CHAMPS.
Tonight’s loss, a 4-3 heartbreaker at Chavez Ravine, was another sloppy game with errors prompting the Dodger’s runs. The Dodgers, down 3-1 in the sixth, came from behind and took the lead for good after a couple of errors. After Matt Kemp scored on a James Loney sacrifice, Aaron Miles hit to Pablo Sandoval. Pablo barehanded the ball, but made an errant throw to Brandon Belt at first, putting runners on second and third. The kid’s good, but there was no way he could have snagged that ball, Panda! Next batter up, Hector Gimenez, hit straight at Jonathan Sanchez, who fumbled the ball! Rod Barajas easily scored on the play. Guillermo Mota replaced Sanchez, but immediately gave up a single to Rafael Furcal, which scored the Dodgers’ go-ahead run.
These past two games have not been good for the Giants defensively. With 5 errors in the first two games of the season, the Giants’ defense has been sloppy. This isn’t an encouraging sign, but hopefully it’s just jitters or nerves and they’ll be over it soon. Whatever it is, Torture is definitely back this season. I’m just not so sure I’m a fan of it this time around.
Despite it seeming as if the Giants’ hopes of a repeat are crumbling away, or should I say being wildly thrown off line, there were some bright spots in this game. Although his error cost him the win, Sanchez was pitching very well tonight. He struck out 8 through 5.2 IP. His stuff seemed “on” towards the beginning of the game, but definitely started fading the further he went. Hopefully, we can look forward to more of the good Sanchez this season. Also, rookie sensation Belt hit a 3-run bomb for his first major league homerun. Is it too early to put him in the running for Rookie of the Year? Although we’ve only seen him in two official games, I like this guy. He had the best at bats in Thursday’s game while facing Clayton Kershaw, and, with one swing of the bat, he contributed all of the Giants’ runs tonight. I’m looking forward to watching him develop throughout the season and seeing if he remains a big impact for the team. Finally, I was impressed with Dan Runzler’s two innings tonight. I’m glad he made the team this season, and I think we can expect to see good things from him.
I know this seems all doom and gloom, but really I’m just happy baseball is back. It’s a long season and they’re not going to win them all. I’ll worry when they’ve lost their first 5… (baseball gods, please don’t let that happen).
On a brighter note, Matt Cain takes the hill tomorrow. Personally, I think that Cain is majorly underrated. Sure, I know Giants fans love him, and the nation got to see his spectacular postseason. However, I think Tim Lincecum tends to outshine Cain frequently. Not that it’s rightfully so (I mean Timmy does have those 2 Cy Young’s in the trunk of his car), but I think Cain deserves a lot more praise. I’m hoping this will be a big season for him, and if he does well enough, he could be just 1 Cy short of Timmy’s total.
Finally, it’s April Fool’s Day. No, the summary I just wrote is not a joke. Unfortunately. But Comcast Sportsnet Central tried to play a trick on us Giants fans. They started their post game edition with the breaking news that Lincecum had been traded to the Dodgers, complete with a picture of Timmy in Dodger Blue. Now obviously I didn’t buy this for a minute. Honest! But I’d be lying if I said my heart didn’t sink a little bit. I just don’t ever want to hear the words Lincecum and trade in the same sentence. EVER. Unless of course it’s to thank Sabean for not trading Timmy for Alex Rios.
With excellent timing on my part, I gave up writing about the Giants last August. I got busy with work, my new puppy (Willie Weez “the Thrill” McMays), lost interest in writing, found it too difficult to come up with anything insightful to write about, etc. But I didn’t stop watching or cheering on my beloved black and orange.
Like the countless other fans, I never stopped believing in the Giants. Now they are World Champions. It has been a surreal offseason to say the least. Time seemed to have flown by and it is now the eve of the first Spring Training game. Yes, tomorrow we can once again wish each other “Happy Lincecum Day!” During the offseason I attended the Parade, faithfully watched Wilson’s late-night TV appearances, read blogs and articles to keep up to date, got the obligatory photo with the trophy, and attended Fanfest.
Despite it feeling like such a short offseason, I am so ready for baseball to be back. I can’t wait to be able to turn on the TV and watch every game, or listen to day games on the radio while I’m at work. I’m thrilled and so lucky to be able to go to Opening Day again. And I hope I’m lucky enough to be able to go to some more Postseason games this year too.
It all starts up again tomorrow, and as I learned last season, anything can happen.
After Sunday’s game I had dark thoughts that the Giants’ season might have been fading (fast). But after last night’s game and today’s, what the heck was I worried about?! THE GIANTS ARE BACK AND THEY ARE GOING ALL THE WAY!
Ok, so I shouldn’t get carried away, but it certainly felt that way just last night. I sat in 312 behind home plate for the Giants’ 11-2 rout of the supposedly hot Reds. 11 runs! It seemed like an impossibility that the same team that was shutout on 3 hits Sunday could have scored 11 runs on 17 hits. BUT WAIT! In tonight’s game, the Giants scored another 16! Sure, Sanchez didn’t get the win tonight after giving up 5 runs and only going 4 1/3, but who freaking cares (besides Johnny)? 16 runs! The Giants haven’t scored more than 11 runs in back to back games since 2000 at Coors Field (stat via @extrabaggs and @hankschulman).
These past three games highlight the fickle nature that is fandom. Sunday you hate the lousy bums that call themselves ballplayers while discarding all hopes of seeing a game past October 3. Two days later, I’m ready for baseball on Halloween! Speaking of, Game 4 is currently scheduled for Halloween. Sounds like the perfect time for a World Series win for the Orange & Black, no?
Alright on a less depressing note, I’ve been taking pictures at every game I’ve been to this season. I splurged pre-season and bought a zoom lens for my digital slr. It has been worth every single penny. I’ve been getting amazing pictures, even sitting way up in the top deck. Anyways, I started a flickr page to share my photos. You can find it here: SF Giants Pictures. I have to admit some of them aren’t mine. I’m no plagiarizer though! I let my sister borrow my camera because she got to sit in ridiculously good seats; Larry Baer’s (he’s the president of the Giants, so they were pretty good seats.) So some of them are ones she took. You’ll be able to tell which ones cause you can actually see the players’ faces in hers.
Alright, hopefully the Giants can get some much needed rest on their day off tomorrow. They’re going to need it. Despite today, I’m loving Giants baseball in 2010. It’s been an exciting ride so far, and it’s only going to get better as the season winds down.
The Giants just pulled off their first at-home sweep of the Dodgers since 2004! And to top it all off, Matt Cain finally got his career first win against the bums. It’s a glorious day for Giants fans!
This whole weekend was amazing to watch. First, we had Timmy take the mound Friday night. Saturday’s game looked bleak until Pat “The Bat” Burrell stepped up to the plate and belted a go-ahead 2 run homer that ended up being the winning blast for the G-men. Finally today, Cainer goes 7.2 strong innings giving up only 4 hits, and striking out 7. Edgar Renteria saved the day with his 2 RBI triple in the sixth. New Giants reliever, Javier Lopez finished up the 8th. Brian Wilson, and his magic orange shoes, closed out the game, earning his 31 save of the year.
Maybe the ad campaign for the team is right this year. It’s magic inside.