NLDS Game Recap: Expletives And Crying

Giants, left, is defeated by baseball, right. (Illustration by Mac)

That sucked.

A lot of things went wrong for the Giants, and Matt Cain, as decent as he was, threw some bad pitches at the worst possible time, and there you have it. Oh, and Bruce Bochy is most definitely to blame for awful bullpen management. See: Santiago Casilla. Man, that inning was just awful.

But the offense wasn’t as bad as one would think. They were BABIP’d and BABIP’d hard. Hell, with the bases loaded, Cain hit one hard, but it was caught. Luck just wasn’t on their side.

Johnny Cueto was taken out of the game after 1/3 of an inning. Back spasms, poor guy. But the Giants — and everyone — didn’t expect that. And then they were Mat Latos’d.

Out of all the people available.

But, Mat Latos was pitching on short rest, so who knows if he’ll be able to pitch when he was scheduled to. On the KNBR Postgame Wrap, it was noted that Cueto could pitch again in this series, so who knows.

The Giants aren’t done yet. It’s only game one in a five game series. Madison Bumgarner pitches tomorrow, Buster Posey be beastin’, and the rest of the offense seemed to be adequate. All hope is not lost.

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Giants Recap: Zito Incredibly Lucky, Also Cain’d

The strike zone is too mainstream.

When the first run on of the game scores on the third consecutive walk issued by Barry Zito, it sets a tone that’s typically not going to work in the Giants’ favor.

Zito and the strike zone were not friends today, but he managed to get incredibly lucky and work out of a few jams and only give up one run. George Kontos gave up another one, and that was all she wrote.

Whoever the baseball gods were who decided that Zito vs. Latos was a remotely fair matchup is officially on my list, I’ll just say that. A lackluster recap for a lackluster game.

Giants attempt to right the ship and even the series tomorrow, as we all sob over beloved former Giants at the anniversary ceremony, with Vogelsong vs. Arroyo.

Post-game Recap: Mat Latos Loses “T”, Alas Does Not Lose Game

(SD Dirk/flickr)

Let’s start with the good news! Pablo Sandoval is now the owner of a shiny new seventeen game hit streak, which also happens to the be the longest hit streak to open a season by a Giant. The Panda passed Willie Mays on the list with his ninth inning single off Reds reliever Sam LeCure. Pretty snazzy company if you ask me.

Now that we’re done with the good news, on to everything else!

Remember that series against the Reds late last July? Remember how we collectively cursed the souls of every inhabitant of Great American Ballpark? Add Mat Latos’ smug, Children of the Corn looking face to the scenario. Nightmare fuel, yes? That was pretty much today.

A few high (err… low?) lights to illustrate the point.

First, the most distressingly 2011-y of all, Brandon Crawford went down hard diving out of the way of Drew Stubbs sliding hard into second base and was moving pretty gingerly afterwards. Word on the Twitter machine is that he hyper-extended his elbow bracing his fall, but that they believe he’s fine. We better damn well hope that’s the case, because otherwise the middle infield options are quickly approaching “reanimated zombie 1977 vintage Johnnie LeMaster” territory. Continue reading

Series Preview: Giants Take On Cincinnati

Matt Cain does not approve of your one T name, Latos. (Photo: dwighta3/Flickr)

The Giants head to the Great American Ballpark for a three game series against the Cincinnati Reds.

The Reds are … well, there’s only one team in the NL Central that is above .500 and that’s not them, so that should give you an indication of how things are going in that division.

But hey, Mat Latos is now in Cincinnati! How quaint. He’s also given up 14 runs in 15.1 innings.

[insert biased comment about how Mat Latos is not a pleasant person]

Tonight, though, it’s a battle of the Matts, except one inexplicably is missing a T from his name. Continue reading

Post-Game Recap: Giants Sweep the Doubleheader

(Flickr/Linsey)

Madison Bumgarner made his first start against the Mets in the second game of a doubleheader tonight. And it was a good one. The Giants completed the doubleheader sweep with a score of 6-1.

For the second time today, the Giants came out swinging in the first inning. CF Gregor Blanco led off with a single, followed by a towering Pandamode HR from Pablo Sandoval for two runs. Nate Schierholtz continued his day’s hot streak with a triple*, followed by a sac fly from Hector Sanchez for another run.

*Nate would finish the game 3 for 5, and 6 for 10 for the day.

Of note, Sandoval extended his season-starting hit streak to 16, tying Willie Mays’ team record set in 1960. The Panda also has the longest current hit streak in the majors.

The Giants scored another 2 runs in the 4th inning, when Blanco’s fly ball to LF went into Jason Bay’s glove, but then right back out as Bay fell over, scoring Brett Pill and Emmanuel Burriss. When I was an assistant coach for my girls t-ball teams, I always told the kids that when the ball goes in the glove, you close the glove. Or, as we put it: “When the fish goes in the mouth, the croc snaps its jaws shut.” AND THAT’S WHY YOU DO THAT, JASON BAY. Continue reading

Post-game Recap: Giants do that thing where they lose

Tonight’s game was the kind of crazy contest where the opposing pitcher (Mat Latos) preserved his no-hitter through the 4th inning by walking the bases full to face Aaron Rowand (who promptly grounded into a force out). After the no-hitter was broken up by Chris Stewart in the 5th (Chris Stewart? Yes, really Chris Stewart), both teams seemed really intent on letting the other win for a while there.

Going into the 8th inning, this was originally going to be my opening:

Backed up by shoddy offense and shoddier defense, Matt Cain takes the loss as the Giants fall down on their face in front of the Padres by a score of 5-2.

Instead, I got to cheer on a Giant rally in the 8th inning that included rookie catcher Hector Sanchez’ first major league hit and RBI. Orlando Cabrera laced one into left field to put the finishing touches on the 3 runs scored that inning to tie the game at 5. Of note, Carlos Beltran came in to PH in his debut AB upon his return from the DL, only to pop out to short, leaving 2 men on for PH Miguel Tejada. After reaching across the plate at pitches that were closer to the on-deck circle than home, Tejada lined out to 3rd, leaving the game tied.

But then the Padres put up two runs in the top of the 9th to re-take the lead and win the game. Heath Bell came into the 9th to put the Giants down in order to record the save.

So I started thinking that maybe I could recycle my opening:

Backed up by shoddy offense and shoddier defense, Matt Cain gets a no-decision as the Giants fall down on their face in front of the Padres by a score of 7-5, with Ramon Ramirez taking the loss.

Yup. That works.

That doesn’t quite sum it all up, though. The Giants committed 3 errors, nearly matched by the Padres’ 2 errors. And the very best error of the night was Jesus Guzman’s skitter at first and quadruple-clutch when fielding a grounder from Brandon Belt that allowed 2 runs to score in the 5th. Go watch it. You’ll thank me.

Old Foes, New Annoyances

This time last year, the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants certainly didn’t like each other. More or less because of the standings. The former atop, the latter trying to catch up. Then, the only thing to be seen was the former’s demise into second place. A free fall, if you will.

And … oh, wait. Now it looks like the Padres are wanting to add insult to injury, aren’t they?

There’s not much you can add insult to when you can just throw the entire team onto the disabled list at this point.

The injury bug is still hovering around the Giants’ clubhouse. Orlando Cabrera, Jeff Keppinger, and Jonathan Sanchez are all still day-to-day at this point. At which you wonder how long it’ll take for them to just place Sanchez on the DL all together.

The other guys still haven’t healed completely — Carlos Beltran, Pat Burrell, Andres Torres. And, hey, just when is Barry Zito returning, anyhow?

In the face of adversity — and adversity’s name is the Padres and/or Mat Latos — the Giants look like they don’t stand a chance. Even if they’re up against a team as terrible as the Padres.

After all, they did just lose a series to the Houston Astros, a team that was mathematically eliminated in August. August.

For the next two games, they Giants will do all that they can to avoid waving that white flag that’s been stored with the Crazy Crab.

Probable pitchers for the series:

Tuesday: Matt Cain (10-9, 2.86) vs. Mat Latos (6-12, 3.83)
Wednesday: Tim Lincecum (11-10, 2.53) vs. Tim Stauffer (8-9, 3.43)