Giants Recap: Oh, Okay, Giants, So That’s How It Is

Today, Tim Lincecum was Tim Lincecum. Which could mean one of many things, but in this case, it means that he was pretty much the same Lincecum everyone has seen this season.

And, it’s frustrating — to watch a superior pitcher do so poorly this much into the season. It’s also very easy to get frustrated by these starts.

Every Bay Area sports outlet can analyze Lincecum all they want — why he’s been terrible, what he should to to fix things, when eclipses in Gemini have been intense — and ultimately, no one will still really know what’s going on with him.

Because he will have flashes of that fantastic Cy Young winning pitcher, but one bad inning can cause everything to crumble.

What’s there for a Giants fan to do when there really isn’t much else to do?

Besides screaming at the television, smashing all keys on a keyboard, or eating It’s-Its, of course.

Otherwise, I don’t know — about Timmy and what else to do with watching his starts. It’s a fickle thing.

And Bruce Bochy double switched Aubrey Huff in to replace Brandon Belt. Huff broke up the no-hitter that was going on, but then TOOTBLAN’d hard.

I’d rather not show the evidence of it and say it didn’t happen.

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Giants Recap: Nothing Brings ‘Em Out Like A Vogey Quality Start

(Photo: rocor/flickr)

Another day, another very good Ryan Vogelsong start. If he keeps this up, I’m going to run out of things to say. It’s weird, considering how different they come across, but something in Vogelsong’s approach reminds me of Jonathan Sanchez. You never saw Sanchez say “hell with it, try and hit this”; he’d stubbornly nibble and nibble, trying to hit the corners and get the batter to miss breaking balls. It was kind of commendable, that refusal to give in, but of course he couldn’t find the strike zone so it never really worked out.

Vogeltron does the same thing, but he has the strike zone’s home phone number. He outperformed his FIP last year by nearly a full run and he may well do it again, throwing pitch after pitch that’s just crap to hit. The Texas Rangers lineup is essentially a bunch of Game of Thrones characters armed with baseball bats instead of bastard swords, and then they produced an assortment of dribblers, pop-ups, and a handful of loud outs. I don’t know if it’s sustainable, but holy crap is it fun to watch while it is. Continue reading

Giants Recap: Giants Don’t Score. At All.

The San Francisco Giants returned home tonight for the first of six games in a seven day homestand, taking on the Texas Rangers. Yup, those guys. The two teams came into the game tied with the 3rd-highest winning percentage in MLB, at 33-25 each. Who could have predicted that?

Let’s just rip the band-aid off of this one. Here’s the starting lineup for tonight:

Yuck. Just yuck. Continue reading

A Few Quick Tips to Enjoy What’s Left of the World Series

The Giants are long since tucked away for their metaphorical winter naps, statistically speaking, if you picked up an adopted team for the playoffs, they’re probably eliminated by now, and if you have to hear Tim McCarver explain what “pitching around” means again you’re going to scream. So what is a Giants fan to do? A few tips to survive what remains of the World Series

Turn the volume down: When you feel your blood pressure starting to spike as McCarver and Buck act like no pitcher ever in the history of ever other than Kyle Lohse has been diagnosed with exertional compartment syndrome (*cough* Noah Lowry *cough*), when you’re wondering for the thousandth time why the Yankees and/or Red Sox are being discussed mid-game, turn the volume down. Turn on your Journey playlist. Relax. There is actually some really enjoyable baseball being played, and it’s the last we’ll get on TV for five or so months, so better make the best of it. I’ve found that ratcheting down the World Series pomp and circumstance (and the Buck/McCarver “Baseball for Dummies” commentary) can make it more enjoyable when the eliminated fan bitterness starts to set in.

Geek out: Play the “I wonder when the last time… ” game with Baseball Reference or Baseball Prospectus or Fan Graphs. Check out the stats of all the bench guys LaRussa and Washington trot out in late innings. Find some sleeper to pick up for your fantasy team next season. Bust out the graphing calculator and go to town, if you’re so inclined. If you’re statistically inclined, it’ll be fun, and if you’re not, maybe it’s a good way to get your toes into the water.

Tweet it up: If you don’t already, track down some Cardinals or Rangers fans to read and absorb their excitement. Remember the insane adrenaline of last season and be happy for them!

Cook up a storm: Make some of your favorite ballpark foods at home, grab your favorite beer (or other adult or non-adult beverage) and make a bit of an event out of it. Giants or not, this only happens once a year. I know for many of us, garlic fries hold a very special place in our heart, so in the interest of the public good, I’m going to share my own personal home made garlic fries recipe.

Garlic Fries

Garlic fries can help what ails you. Photo courtesy of Wally Gobetz via Flickr

You will need:
Yukon Gold potatoes (you can use whatever potatoes you like, but after much experimentation, I’ve found the starch content of the Yukon Golds and their general texture yields the best results)
Garlic (you can even use the pre-chopped if you’re lazy like I am, though the fries are best if you chop it fresh)
Flat-leaf parsley (you can also use cilantro if you want a Mexican take on the fries)
Olive oil
Sea salt
Garlic powder

Wash and slice the potatoes. If you like crispy fries, slice the potatoes more on the thin side, if you like softer, more potatoes fries, you can slice them in rounds.

Toss the fries in a couple tablespoons of olive oil (just enough for a light coating) and about a teaspoon of garlic powder (more or less to taste) and a pinch of sea salt. If you’re not a huge garlic fan, you can skip the garlic powder, but it really does add some nice depth to the flavor. Spread the fries out on a baking sheet in a single layer (this is very important) and put them in a 475 degree oven for about twenty to twenty-five minutes.

While the fries are baking, take a couple of tablespoons of garlic (more or less depending on how big a batch of fries you’re cooking up and how garlicky you want them) and sautee LIGHTLY in olive oil over medium-low heat. You do not want there to be any color on the garlic, you just want to take some of the raw bite off. Finely chop the parsley and toss all of this together in a big mixing bowl.

When the fries are out of the oven, sprinkle with more sea salt and toss in the mixing bowl with the garlic and parsley until everything is evenly coated. Eat quickly (and in large quantities) before they get soggy. Personally, I like them with a nice blonde beer and some tri-tip, but they’re good with anything or by themselves (I ate them as my dinner a couple of times last post-season, no lie).

Now let’s go Cards and/or Rangers, whoever is going to get us to an extra-innings game seven!