Tuesday, September 15, 2009

COL 2 @ SFO 10; Giants Rebounding with a Fury!

Ladies and Gentleman, the San Francisco Giants are only 2.5 games behind the Colorado Rockies for the wild card, after decimating the Rockies for the second time in so many games. With Matt Cain taking the mound tomorrow, it looks like the Giants will be able to leave San Francisco for Los Angeles while only being 1.5 games behind the wild card. This is great news. The series with the Dodgers is the only series the Giants will have for the rest of the year against teams above .500. Luckily, the Rockies have two such series remaining in the year, one against the Dodgers and one against the Cardinals. If the Giants can come within 1.5 games, the chances of them tying the Rockies or overcoming them by the end of the season is pretty good. Last week I was fairly forlorn about our chances of seeing the post-season. Now, I think we can do it. We are definitely in this.

The game tonight was epic, and the Giants showed up. Everyone did. Zito's pitching was amazing. The Lefty walked one, struck out nine, and let up only on one in seven innings. What a thug. If they gave out Cy Youngs for the second half of the season, Barry Zito would win it. Hands down.

The offense showed up as well. The lineup tonight was similar to the ones seen in the past few days:

Velez (LF)
Sanchez (2B)
Winn (RF)
Sandoval (3B)
Molina (C)
Uribe (SS)
Ishikawa (1B)
Rowand (CF)
Zito (P)

Everyone got at least one hit tonight, except Rowand (who still got two RBIs) and Zito. Uribe was able to knock in three RBIs, and has really proven himself to be one b
ad ass. Bengie Molina had a great play, where he hustled in from third and was able to beat the throw. It was refreshing seeing him beat a throw for once. Good job Bengie!

I really like this line-up, and I am so afraid to see what will happen once Renteria returns. Bochey stated in his post-game interview that Rents would play tomorrow, which I hope to all that is holy and wonderful will not happen. However, tonight was a great victory, and I cannot believe the Giants have blown out their opponents three times in a row.

Another Reason Why Giants Fans Are Better than Dodgers Fans

It hardly needs explaining, but Giants fans are vastly superior to Dodger fans. Dodger fans show up at the third inning and leave before the seventh. They tend to be the biggest fair-weather fans in Major League Baseball, and most of them show up to games just to fight and go to jail. In fact, this season, I am sure about 40% of Dodgers "fans" can't name a single player on the team besidew Manny Ramirez. That aside, I came across some interesting information that proves once for all how much better Giants fans are than their mentally disabled southern counterparts:


Year Attendance Percentage Record
2001 66.5 86/76 (W)
2002 69.0 92/70 (W)
2003 69.2 85/77 (W)
2004 76.9 93/69 (W)
2005 79.4 71/91 (L)
2006 82.9 88/74 (W)
2007 85.0 82/80 (W)
2008 82.2 84/78 (W)
2009 81.6 ****


Year Attendance Percentage Record
2001 100.1 90/72 (W)
2002 98.4 96/66 (W)
2003 97.1 100/61 (W)
2004 96.8 91/71 (W)
2005 94.6 75/87 (L)
2006 93.0 76/85 (L)
2007 95.8 71/91 (L)
2008 85.1 72/90 (L)
2009 85.8 ***

The statistics do not lie: in every season in recent memory the Giants have been able to fill their stadium more consistently than the Dodgers. Clearly, Giants fans are more loyal and more dedicated to their team, than those who follow the Dodgers. Even during losing seasons, Giants fans show up considerably more often than do Dodgers fans (Dodgers fans reading this might respond: "Oh yeah? Well we just don't have as many losing seasons!" Well, I'm sorry to say that the Giants have a better franchise win/loss record and percentage than do the Dodgers. Try again).

An astute baseball fan might say, "Well, that's not really fair. The Dodgers have a larger stadium than the Giants, so it is harder for the Dodgers to fill it up." It is true, Dodger Stadium has a significantly higher capacity than does AT&T Park (compare 56,000 to 42,000). But then again, there is a clear answer to that, and one that actually makes Dodgers fans look even worse: examine the populations of the two areas, and you will find that Los Angeles dwarfs the entire San Francisco Bay Area in terms of population. In fact, Los Angeles has some 8 million more souls living in it than does the Bay Area. This population difference in LA's favor should compensate for the much larger stadium. However, it fails to do so, proving even further how laughable Dodger-fans' dedication to their team is.

There are certainly some factors that probably led to a higher Giants attendance: Barry Bonds chasing the record, going to the World Series (LA fans probably can't even remember what that is like), and the opening of a new stadium. However, even in losing seasons, after Barry Bonds retired, and many years after AT&T opened, Giants fans still fill out their stadium better than do Dodgers fans.

And this is not to say that the Dodgers have had no reason for their fans to show up. The Dodgers have been a successful franchise during the past decade (and beyond). In the past ten years, the Dodgers have gone to the playoffs thrice (and will go a fourth time in 2009). Of course, because the Dodgers are a suckfest, they failed to win more than one playoff game between 1989 and 2007, but hey, they still made it to the playoffs, right?

Oh yeah, in that same period, the Giants won 17 post-season games. Ouch.

Who's the best? Suck it, LA.

Video of Me at The Giants/Dodgers Game


Monday, September 14, 2009

COL 1 @ SFO 9

Wow. Just wow. I am speechless.

Coming into this series, the Giants knew one thing: they had to win. Not only did they have to win, but in order to really get back into the playoff picture, the Giants need to sweep the Rockies while we have them here at the phone booth. We just embarrassed the Rockies so bad, I bet they are glad they only have to play in San Francisco for two more days. Hopefully I won't be eating my words, tomorrow is a crucial game, but I think the Giants just might get back in this thing.

I noted in an earlier post that Bochey made a good move by knocking Molina down to the fifth spot in the lineup. This was a great move, as tonight the offense really came alive and gave Tim Lincecum some of the best run-support he has seen all year. I do not know how much of this is attributable to Bengie batting in the fifth spot, but I hope Bochey keeps the trend up for the rest of the year (and hopefully the post-season).

I noted it in an earlier post but here was the lineup:

Velez (LF)
Sanchez (2b)
Winn (RF)
Sandoval (3B)
Molina (C)
Uribe (SS)
Ishikawa (1B)
Rowand (CF)
Lincecum (P)

Panda didn't have a good night; he went 0 for 4. One thing I have noticed, and he has done it all year, is the guy gets over-zealous and tries to hit anything that comes at him. Pablo is already a great hitter, however he really needs to learn how to take a pitch. This is what separates the men from the boys down the line. Barry Bonds was one mean hitter, and it wasn't just because he could crush a ball. He could see a pitch and knew how to read it. Pablo needs to take a lesson from Bonds and pick his pitches a little better.

Aaron Rowand had a crucial hit in the second run that ended up as a 2-run RBI. Molina, Ishikawa, and Uribe all got two hits tonight. Kudos to them. Randy Winn even put up a hit.

While Molina came through offensively for the team today, I am still very disappointed in his abilities and I really want him off the team. His defense continues to fade away. Molina can't make the throw to get guys out stealing second. I watched the same text-book steal happen three times during the game, and each time Molina was too throw to slow it over. Bengie also missed a change-up from Tim Lincecum that ended up being the only run scored against the Giants tonight. I hate to say it Bengie, but Buster Posey would not have let that go by. Oh well, here's looking forward to seeing Buster next year . . .

Tim Lincecum, as usual was a beast. He struck out 11 over the course of 7 innings, while giving up only 4 hits. Welcome to AT&T, welcome to K-ville.

Tomorrow is a crucial game. It is the one game I am truly worried about during this series against the Rockies. Zito takes the mound against Rockies Ace Ubaldo Jimenez. Jimenez is a good pitcher, and he has put up some good stuff against the Giants this year. Zito is a great second half pitcher, and I hope he will show up with the good stuff tomorrow. I also hope the bats keep up tomorrow and keep the runs rolling in. Zito is good, but he will definitely need the run support.

This series is crucial. Giants, you gotta keep your head in this, get the bats going, and keep the pitching good. If we sweep these suckers, then we go down to LA to show the blueberries how baseball is played in the west.

We aren't "in this thing" like we were before. But we might be in a couple days.

COL @ SFO: Bochey Does Something Right

I am writing this as the game progresses between Colorado and the Giants in a do or die series. I have noticed one thing: Bochey actually did something right. Take a look at the opening line-up:

Velez (LF)
Sanchez (2B)
Winn (RF)
Sandoval (3B)
Molina (C)
Uribe (SS)
Ishikawa (1B)
Rowand (CF)
Lincecum (P)

The bold might have drawn your attention to something. If not, I won't hold out any longer: Bengie Molina is not batting in the number four spot! Finally. So far, this game it has proven to be pretty good for the team. The offense showed up today. So far, the Giants are shelling the Rox, and we are up 4 to 1. Lincecum, as usual, is pitching like a freak.

If we win this series, we just might be able to get back in this thing.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

LAD 2 @ SFO 7; 13 September 2009

The Giants entered this game enduring a terrible and embarrassing two-game loss at the hands of their hated rival, "Dem Bums" from LA. I went to the game with my roommate, Ben, who is a huge Dodgers fan. Regardless of what the standings are, I always have a good time at Giants/Dodgers games at AT&T, so the past two games didn't weaken my spirits as I took the muni down to the game.

The game had a pretty good turnout, although I was bummed to see some empty seats there. I don't think it was a sellout, unless a lot of people didn't show up after the Dodgers handed us a good beating on Friday and Saturday. Regardless, the fans were pumped for the game. That is one thing I love about the Giants and Dodgers: no matter what the standings are, no matter what happened yesterday, today is always a new day. No matter what is going on in the season at large, each game seems like we are in it for the pennant.

I was seated in section 141, right behind center field in the bleachers. Despite the many times I have been out to the phone booth, this was the first time I had the opportunity to sit in the bleachers. I really enjoyed the experience: the fans out in the bleachers are much rowdier and know how to have a good time. There is a lot more heckling, which I love; it's part of the game.
In fact, I saw something today that I have never seen: a baseball player react to fan-heckling. During the 7th inning, the Giants fans had a long chant for Matt Kemp, saying things like "What's the matter with Matt Kemp? He's a bum!" to "Matt Kemp's mom takes steroids!" Eventually, Matt Kemp turned to us and cupped his ear with his hand and then laughed. He seems like a good guy, despite the fact that he wears that ugly blue uniform. I certainly got a good laugh out of it.

Brad Penny took the mound for the Giants, and he was a beast. He pitched 7 innings, and held dem Bums to a meagre 5 hits. Considering the Dodgers explosive offense, that is quite a feat. He gave up a 2-run jack, but other than that, the Dodgers were unable to get anything going against Penny all day.

Chad Billingsley started for the Dodgers. I really have no faith in Bills, but it pleases me so much that Dodgers fans have a true love for the guy. After this game, Bills has a 3.99 ERA and a 12-10 record. For a supposed ace, that is not very impressive. In fact, the Giants lackluster offense forced Torre into taking Bills out after just 4 innings. Pretty nice.

Our lineup was pretty good today, and it is something I wish we could see more of. The starting lineup for the Giants was:

Torres (CF)
F. Sanchez (2b)
R. Winn (LF)
Sandoval (3b)
Schierholtz (RF)
Uribe (SS)
Ishikawa (1b)
Whiteside (C)

No Rowand, no Renteria, and no Molina. It's not that I dislike Rowand, but he is far too inconsistent and it really irritates me. However, he does play a mean center-field and he is a gamer. Renteria has the mind of a great baseball player, but I don't think he has the physical strength left. Unfortunately, I know we are going to have to deal with him for at least another year; there is no way he will sit on the bench with a $9 million contract. Molina is just a piece of crap and I cannot wait for him to leave the Giants. He can't call a game, can't hit, and is the slowest man on the base paths in major league baseball. Get him out of here, fast. I cannot wait for Buster Posey to be our starter next season.

Offensively, we did amazingly well. Juan Uribe (aka the man) got a two run jack to get us started in the second inning. The ball fell fairly close to me, but far enough away that it would be impossible for me to have retrieved it. The Dodgers had a couple bizarre plays that led to some runs for us later in the game. James Loney ran into an umpire during a hit from Schierholtz, which would later result in a run for the Giants on a subsequent.

The Dodgers weren't out of the game until the sixth inning, when they completely collapsed. My homeboy Jeff Weaver came into the game, and ended up destroying any hopes the Dodgers would have had for a comeback. By the end of the sixth inning, the Giants would be up 7 to 0, thanks to a nice RBI from Freddy Sanchez, who is becoming one of my favorite players on the Giants (assuming he will remain healthy).

All in all, the game was a very fun experience. At one point, a scuffle broke out between some Giants and Dodgers fans, very close to where I was sitting. I do not know what started the fight, but it ended before anything serious could happen (except for a Giants fan spraying some dorky Dodgers fan with a beer). The best part about the whole incident was a Dodgers fan who was wearing a white turtle-neck beneath his jersey. I found it utterly bizarre that anyone would wear a turtle-neck under their jersey, even some wuss from LA who can't take a little cold weather. It was fairly ridiculous seeing him yell at Giants fans, in a futile effort to act tough, while wearing his Macy's turtle-neck.

Once again, I love Giants baseball. I love Giants baseball even more when those bums come to town. Following the game, the Giants still lead the all-time rivalry, however that deficit is shrinking. Hopefully next year we can widen it once again.