Much Happier Tonight

I went back and read my blog from yesterday and realized I was really ticked off.  Today is much better.  They won the first one against the Phillies, and it wasn’t that close.  This is the kind of game I love to watch (even though it was getting scary there for a while).  They lost the lead a couple of times, but they got it back.  That’s my team.  That’s what they need to keep doing – keep on battling, especially against weak teams like the Phils.  Not the greatest outing by Vogey, but in his post-game interview he mentioned that he has been battling a cold, so I’m going to let him off easy for this one. It seemed like everyone was contributing to the win tonight.   And wasn’t it great that the two guys who got called up today, Duvall and Kontos, were the stars of the game?  Duvall with his lead taking homer and Kontos with his win, coming in with guys at the corners but getting out of that inning run-free and then pitching another beautiful one after that.  Keep it up, boys!

There’s always something to burst my bubble, though.  Matt Cain ended up going on the DL today with elbow issues.  We all knew something wasn’t quite right with him, and now we know what it was.  Cain claims it’s a new thing, but Bochy says he’s had issues with bone chips ever since Spring Training.  It’s something he might have to deal with surgically in the off season because apparently they can continue to cause inflammation.  For now he’s on the DL, which was retroactive to July 11th, meaning that if he’s OK he could pitch Sunday against the Dodgers.  Tomorrow, Petit will pitch for him.  Hope they can pull of that game because Petit has been kind of iffy as a starter of late.  Get better and come back soon, Matt!!  We need you!

In other news, the Giants signed Dan Uggla to a minor league contract today in an inexpensive attempt at putting a bandage on their second base woes.  He was picked up off waivers from the Braves.  Tim Hudson (Uggla’s former teammate) may have swayed the Giants into taking a chance on Uggla.  I don’t get this move at all.  I know he’s a Giant now, and I should embrace him, but he really stinks.  This season, he had been batting .162, and last season he batted .179.  How is that supposed to solve the problem of run generation???  Also, the guy’s batting stance is really kooky – check it out.  Check out that front leg dance he does.  This video doesn’t even do it justice – it’s so much more goofy than this.  Will be interesting to see how he does in the minors and if he actually sees any time with the big boys.  Welcome to the team, Dan, but I definitely have mixed feelings about you!

So my husband enlightened me with some baseball trivia the other day.  Yes, my husband, the “are you watching another game” guy.  Everyone knows that Abner Doubleday invented baseball, right?  Well, IT’S ALL A LIE!!!  This lie was perpetuated for years.  The myth is that Doubleday, a decorated Union Army officer, invented baseball in 1839 in Cooperstown.  But it was later discovered that Doubleday was at West Point in 1839.  Also references to baseball date back to the 18th century.  It is now accepted that Alexander Cartwright came up with the rules that are the basis for the modern game in the 1840s.  So there.  You can toss that bit of trivia out and impress your friends.  Thanks, Dan!

I have a new spit count for you from tonight’s game.  Here you go:

July 21st

Giants:

-          Posey 4

-          Colvin 4

-          Sandoval 2

-          Kontos 2

-          Bochy 1

-          Vogelsong 1

-          Casilla 1

Phillies:

-          Brown 11

-          Rollins 2

-          Byrd 2

-          Howard 2

-          Asche 1

Game Spit Master General = Brown at 11

Giants Game Spit Master General = Tie between Posey and Colvin at 4

That’s a total of 33 spits during a 3 hour and 30 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 6.4 minutes.

So glad that I can go to bed tonight with happy Giants thoughts in my head.  Hope they can keep this momentum going and sweep the Phillies.  They have the ability, even though they are missing key guys.  Take advantage when you can!  GO GIANTS!!  KEEP ON WINNING!!

Belt Buckled

Due to a freak accident, Brandon Belt will be placed on the DL tomorrow, probably the 7-day concussion DL.  The plan is for Adam Duvall to meet the team in Philadelphia to replace him.  According to Andrew Baggarly, the incident occurred during batting practice on Saturday in Miami.  Belt was looking to center field for a throw when a ball came at him from second base (from either Joe Panik or Marco Scutaro) and hit him in the head.  Tests today confirmed a concussion.  Belt played in the game on Saturday for three innings, even hitting a double in the second inning and scoring a run.  But in the third he complained of an intense headache and nausea, so Bochy pulled him out.

Can you believe this luck???  He had just come off the DL with his broken finger and had started contributing and now this.  How often do you hear of something this freakish happening??  Almost as bad as Cain cutting himself with the knife while making a sandwich.  However the league knows to take concussions seriously.  And it’s an issue that hits home with the Giants.  Catcher Mike Matheny (now manager for the St. Louis Cardinals) had to end his baseball career due to too many concussions.  The 7-day DL was actually instituted in 2011 to address concussions, since teams were reluctant to put a guy who had sustained a concussion on the 15-day DL if they thought he could be back in 7 days.  So it’s good that Brandon will get the time off he needs to recover, but it stinks that this whole thing happened at such a key point in the season when he is needed so badly.  And he won’t be in against the Dodgers next weekend!!  Take it easy, Brandon, and get lots of rest.  You will definitely be missed.

Belt wasn’t scheduled to play today anyway since the starting pitcher for the Marlins (Brad Hand) is a lefty, so we can’t blame the loss today on that.  Kudos to Buster for stepping up and tying the game with his two run double, and Hunter got two hits, but it’s sad that other guys couldn’t step up and get things going.  I thought for sure they would win this one with Timmy pitching, but it just goes to show you that you never know what you’re going to get with this team (sad to say).  I’m happy that at least they took the series, but they really should take advantage of playing teams with records below .500 and sweep them.  That’s the only way they are going to be able to compete against the Dodgers.  Win series and sweep weak teams.  We’ll see later this afternoon if we can hold on to our spot at the top of the West after today’s loss (Lose, Dodgers, LOSE!!).

I did a spit count today while watching the guys lose (sigh):

July 20th

Giants:

-          Scutaro 5

-          Sandoval 3

-          Posey 2

-          Sanchez 2

-          Meulens 1

-          Hudson 1

-          Arias 1

-          Colvin 1

-          Lincecum 1

Marlins:

-          Hechavarria 3

-          Valdespin 2

-          McGehee 2

-          Hand 1

Misc.:

-          Umpire 6

Game Spit Master General = Scutaro at 5

That’s a total of 31 spits during a 2 hour and 40 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 5.2 minutes.

I have to applaud Timmy for only getting caught once during a game where he was the starter.  All the umpire spits came from home plate umpire Tony Randazzo.  Tony, you’ve earned the opposite of applause.

Now it’s off to play four games against the Phillies, another below .500 team.  I’m asking for a sweep.  I know we’ve got injuries to deal with, but this team should still be able to do it.  Everyone’s got to step up and contribute.  Do it for the fans that stand behind you!!  GO GIANTS!!  BEAT THE PHILS!

Two Grand Salamis in One Game!!

Were you as shocked as I was that day?  Not only did Buster hit a grand slam, but so did Madison.  It was the first time in MLB history that a starting pitcher and catcher got grand slams in the same game.  And it’s the second grand slam this season for Madison.  AND HE’S A PITCHER!!  That boy has a good chance to win the Silver Slugger award this year.  What a way to take the series from the D-Bags and go into the All-Star Break!  WOOHOO!!  Hopefully they can take that momentum into the second half of the season and get that beginning-of-the-season magic back.

Because of those grand slams, I learned the definition of “battery” as it applies to baseball.  It’s a term for the pitcher and the catcher.  Some new knowledge for me that I thought I’d pass along.  And thanks to Brandon Crawford’s blog, I also learned about the hierarchy involved in catching fly balls.  You know how you see guys run toward each other and call the other guy off when making a catch?  There’s actually a method to this madness.  Here’s how it works with respect to fly balls according to Brandon:  “The center fielder has priority over everybody — outfielders and infielders. Outfielders have priority over infielders. If there’s a popup between the OF and the IF, it’s an easier play for the OF. The shortstop has priority over all infielders. If the ball’s near second base and the shortstop is calling for it, he has priority. If it’s in shallow left field behind third base, and I’m calling for it, Pablo backs off. Infielders have priority over the catcher. And everybody has priority over the pitcher. A pitcher would catch a fly ball only if it’s a low pop-up that only he can reach. You don’t see it very often.”  I wondered how they don’t crash into each other more often.  Always learning here!

While watching a game last week, a hit and run play was put on.  My hubby asked me what that actually meant.  I kind of knew (the guy on base starts running assuming that the batter is going to connect with the ball), but I wasn’t totally sure so I decided to research into it.  Basically it’s what I mentioned – a sign comes from the coach, both players know it’s on, the base runner starts running as soon as the pitcher commits to throwing to the plate, and the batter makes contact with the ball.  But there’s so much more involved, like the best situations to use it and where the ball should be hit.  I found a great article explaining the hit and run play – you can find it here.  I learned a lot from it, and next time I’ll be able to impress hubby with my amazing knowledge!  Maybe I’ll dedicate a blog to it in the future.

Gregor Blanco made an interesting comment in one of his recent blogs.  He questioned the idea of making heroic plays, like catches where an outfielder crashes into a wall.  He made the point that this isn’t always a good idea.  If you get injured on the play, you might be out of commission for several games, so is it really worth it?  Sometimes you might think a guy is not hustling on certain plays, but maybe he’s just using his self-preservation skills and keeping himself in the game.  You have to weigh the importance of one play vs. losing a guy for several games.  Interesting perspective.

Wishing a big welcome back to Marco Scutaro.  Who would have thought at the beginning of the season that it would take over half the season for him to make his first start??  But I’m so glad he has.  He’s going to take it easy at first and only play a few days a week, but I’m sure his presence is going to make a huge difference in the lineup and in the clubhouse.  So happy I’ll be seeing your great at bats again!  And I love that he’s using AC/DC’s Back in Black as his walk up music!

Bruce Bochy made a change in the pitching rotation after the All-Star break.  It is now Bumgarner, Hudson, Lincecum, Vogelsong, and Cain.  It used to be Bumgarner, Cain, Hudson, Lincecum, and Vogelsong.  Bochy claims that Cain is fine and the change wasn’t made due to any illness, but that’s a pretty major change and it makes you wonder.  Glad that Timmy has moved up in the order since his recent starts have been amazing.  And congrats to Tim Hudson on being named to the All-Star roster as Madison’s replacement.  Very well deserved, and a nice 39th birthday present for him!

On the spit front, I’m immensely excited to report that we may be seeing a lot less spitting going on in the near future during baseball games.  The players are thinking about banning chewing tobacco during games.  This will be discussed when they negotiate their next labor contract in two years.  According to the players’ union leader, Tony Clark, several members quit “cold turkey” after the recent death of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn due to oral cancer.  So it appears Gwynn’s outspokenness about the dangers of chewing tobacco is already having an impact.  You can read more about this here.  I love the fact that the initiative on this is coming from the players themselves.  One interesting note is that there is a rule already in place that states players cannot use chewing tobacco during pre- and post-game interviews, but in a post-game interview that Juan Gutierrez gave in June that I linked to in my blog (see “Rocked by Rockies, Socked by White Sox, Bitten by Snakes), he obviously has a huge wad of tobacco in his mouth.  Guess they haven’t been enforcing this one, but maybe they will now.  That will definitely be a day for me (and all the other spit haters) to celebrate if this all comes true!

On that note, here’s the latest spit count for you.  Are these results just a coincidence?:

July 12th

Giants:

-          Scutaro 2

-          Posey 1

-          Lincecum 1

-          Belt 1

Diamondbacks:

-          Hill 3

-          Inciarte 2

-          Miley 2

-          Parra 1

Game Spit Master General = Hill at 3

Giants Game Spit Master General = Scutaro at 2

That’s a total of 13 spits during a 2 hour and 45 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 12.7 minutes.

THIS IS INCREDIBLE!!!  That is the lowest spit average EVER RECORDED!!!  Can we attribute this to the effect of Tony Gwynn’s passing?  In honor of an amazing man, I am going to say yes.  Let’s see if this trend continues in the weeks to come.  Keeping my fingers (and everything else) crossed!  Maybe the goal of a spit-free game is within our grasp!!

So it’s a fresh beginning tonight as we start a series against the Marlins.  The guys should be refreshed and rested after their break and ready to cruise on into the second half of the season with a new intensity.  We’re only a game out of first place in the West after all, and I know we can rally the troops and get out there and win.  Do it for your loyal fans, Guys!  We’re still behind you through thick and thin, and we know the thick is coming back!  GO GIANTS!!  GET THAT MAGIC BACK!!

Two Wins in a Row! WOOHOO!!

I was so excited about my boys winning 2 games in a row that I just had to blog about it.  The last time they did that was two weeks ago vs. the D-Bags.  Isn’t it funny how your expectations change so much over a season?  Are they coming back?  Those bats sure woke up the last 2 days, even the long ball.  And the pitching has stayed stellar.  I sure hope they’re getting back to their winning ways.

Congrats to Madison Bumgarner and Hunter Pence on making the 2014 All-Star Team!  Both so deserve this.  I was disappointed that Tim Hudson didn’t as well, but hopefully he can take Madison’s place as he won’t be able to pitch that day (he’s scheduled to pitch the Sunday before the All-Star Game, and that wouldn’t give him enough rest).

Well, I guess Jeff Samardzija won’t be a Giant after all.  He was picked up by the A’s from the Cubs.  Wonder if the Giants had given up on him since the pitching has been pretty good lately.  Oh well, there is a bright side – at least I don’t have to learn how to spell that name (though they do call him “The Shark”, so I could have used that instead).  As the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline nears, I wonder if Brian Sabean has anything up his sleeve.  Seems like the biggest need is at second base (though Joe Panik had a really nice showing today) and more depth in the outfield.  We shall see.

Wanted to share a cute routine I’ve noticed lately.  Have you noticed that when Michael Morse reaches first base he head butts First Base Coach Roberto Kelly?  I even found a YouTube video of it - check it out (the head butt occurs at about 19 seconds in).  I love this!  Kelly doesn’t seem like the type who would go for this, but he plays along.  I think Michael Morse, with his never ending enthusiasm and energy, has become my favorite player on the team.  He did let me down today, though (details to follow).

I also noticed that Brandon Crawford changed one of his walk up songs recently.  He used to use Ellie Goulding’s Burn for one of his walk up songs and I would always rock out to it when I heard it.  Then at a recent game I noticed he changed it to something else, and I couldn’t figure it out.  Turns out it’s from Lady Gaga’s Applause, but it doesn’t start until part way into the chorus.  Here are the lyrics:

Give me that thing that I love (I’ll turn the lights out)

Put your hands up, make ‘em touch, touch (make it real loud)

I love his music choices, but I’m so curious as to why he chose this.  Does he like Lady Gaga, or does he want us to clap when he comes up to bat?  Or maybe just get excited?  I think I’ll ask him next time he blogs.  If you’re curious as to what each guy is using as their walk up music this season, here’s a link that has pretty up-to-date listings (even Crawford’s recent Lady Gaga change).  It’s not listed, but Santiago Casilla uses Cult of Personality by Living Colour.  I remember this because I love that song as well.

I’ve got 2 new spit counts for you from the recent Padres series (that we won!!).  Here you go:

July 4th

Giants:

-          Sandoval 4

-          Perez 2

-          Belt 2

-          Arias 1

-          Posey 1

-          Bochy 1

Padres:

-          Medica 5

-          Grandal 4

-          Smith 2

-          Amarista 1 (sunflower seeds)

-          Stults 1

-          Maybin 1

-          Goebbert 1

-          Headley 1

Game Spit Master General = Medica at 5

Giants Game Spit Master General = Sandoval at 4

That’s a total of 27 spits during a 2 hour and 35 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 5.7 minutes.

July 6th

Giants:

-          Belt 4

-          Lincecum 3

-          Arias 3

-          Affeldt 3

-          Posey 1

-          Meulens 1 (sunflower seeds)

-          Perez 1

-          Morse 1 (AAAAAAAHHHHHH!  But they were seeds)

-          ? 1 (one of the trainers)

Padres:

-          Hahn 4

-          Grandal 3

-          Denorfia 2

-          Goebbert 1

Misc.:

-          Umpire 1

Game Spit Master General = Tie between Belt and Hahn

That’s a total of 29 spits during a 2 hour and 55 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 6 minutes.

Both of these games had relatively low spit counts.  YAY!!  Keep it up, guys!  However, Pablo didn’t play in the second game (he got hit by a pitch on the arm), so that might have affected things.  Neither did Buster, but he showed up in the count anyway!  But alas, my boy Michael Morse showed up today for the first time.  I’m giving him some leeway because the spit I counted was sunflower seed expulsion, but I’m still disappointed.  Also the spit that the umpire logged occurred during a replay while he was standing there with headphones on.  Yeah, that’s a valid reason to spit.  NOT!!!

The boys take on the A’s this week.  Should be an amazing matchup as the A’s have the best record in baseball right now at 55 and 33.  I am so hoping that the momentum from the Padres series can fling my boys into a frenzy and they can bring it like they did at the beginning of the season.  Brandon Belt’s return has definitely made a difference in the offense.  And Hunter has done a great job at the front of the lineup.  Really looking forward to the next 4 games (and hoping I can make one of them in person somehow!).  Let’s hear that rally cry everybody!  GO GIANTS!  WIN THE BATTLE OF THE BAY!!

Timmy Logs Another No-No! (Accentuate the Positive)

OK.  What would you rather have first?  The good news or the bad news?  Personally, I like to end on a positive note, so let’s get the bad stuff over with and move on.

My boys are now tied for first place in the NL West with the Dodgers.  First place doesn’t seem that bad, but it seems like yesterday we were living it up, enjoying a 9.5 game lead.  Where have those days gone??  I went to the game on Sunday with my brother, my sister, and my niece, and I have to say I was depressed from start to finish (my record is now down to 5 and 3).  And I narrowly missed attending a no hitter FOR THE OTHER TEAM!!  Of course, we always manage to have fun at AT&T (and the crab sandwich and Ghirardelli sundae I had helped), but I couldn’t shrug the feeling that they weren’t going to win it, even before the game started.  I hate that!  Even though Matt and Tim Hudson had amazing starts the last two games, they just couldn’t get any run support and ended up losing.  It’s that same familiar story – like we’re going down the same path as last year.  We start slipping and the Dodgers gain momentum.  There are so many depressing statistics to share.  They were swept in a 4-game series for the first time ever at AT&T Park.  Sunday was the 12th loss in their last 14 home games.  What’s up with that???  They’re supposed to win in front of us!!  They’ve won only 4 of their last 19 games.

So what’s the deal?  Why has the same team that was doing so amazingly been struggling so severely lately?  For a while it was the starting pitching, but at least that seems to be back on track.  The bullpen has had some major issues.  Jean Machi, who had been doing so amazingly well that he even received a midseason award from Sports on Earth for his near zero ERA (you can read the article here), has fallen back to Earth, and big time, giving up 4 earned runs (including one homer) in his last two appearances.  Sergio Romo blew another save on Saturday, which finally prompted Bruce Bochy to take his closer position away from him.  Jeremy Affeldt also gave up two earned runs in his last appearance.  HELP!!  But it’s not just the pitchers – the bats have died.  The only one who’s been hitting consistently lately is Buster.  The fire we had from Michael Morse, Hunter, and Pablo has died out.  Plus two of our major offensive contributors, Brandon Belt and Angel Pagan, have been sidelined with injuries.

Do we have any hope to put the pieces back together?  Of course we do!  Never give up that Giants faith!  The starting pitching has shown significant improvement.  Hopefully that will rub off on the relievers, and someone will establish themselves as a new closer.  And the two guys who seem to light up the offense are on their way back – Pagan is supposed to start the game tomorrow and Belt is supposed to start the series with the Padres next week.  So at least there’s that.  And there’s been some crud making its way through the clubhouse, with guys succumbing to it, so maybe that’s why they’ve been off.  It must have run its course by now.  And the team we have now is still the same team that wowed us at the beginning of the season.  They just need a little of that Giant magic to come back.

OK – so no more negative.  On to the positive!  TIMMY!!  He did it again!  He pitched his second no hitter in less than a year!  And he did it this time with only 113 pitches (he needed 148 last time).  The kid’s still got it!  He became only the second pitcher to no-hit the same team twice (the San Diego Padres).  He’s also only the second pitcher to have multiple Cy Young Awards, multiple World Series Rings, and multiple no hitters (the other is Sandy Kofax).  But the sweetest thing is that he prevented the Dodgers from having the only no hitters this season (Josh Beckett and Clayton Kershaw each have one this season – I actually have to thank my Dodger-fan coworker for sharing this information with me.).  Timmy was named National League Player of the Week this week because of his feat.  And this joy-bringing event couldn’t have happened at a better time – when this team was in a true funk and needed something to celebrate.

I got to see the majority of the game at Ginny’s house with her, but I had to leave for work at the end of the 6th inning.  I listened to the 7th on the way to work on the radio, then my Giants fan coworker and I were following it on our phones.  We were both in shock when it happened.  So excited for Timmy and the team to have a moment to celebrate.  And my lucky brother Nick and my nieces Rosey and Elizabeth got to be there!  What are the odds??  Actually I know this because my brother looked it up – the odds of attending a no hitter are 1 in 1500!  My nieces said they were getting really nervous at the end.  My brother shared a video he took of the last inning with me.  It was hysterical!  As soon as the last out was made, the camera starts to pan everywhere but the field because he was so excited!  What a crackup!  Nick said it was his best day EVER!  What a thrill!

In other news, Adam Duvall came up from Fresno to help out the struggling team, and proceeded to hit a homerun in his first game.  Plus the day he came up to the bigs was the day Timmy pitched the no hitter.  Keep that kid around for luck!  He hasn’t been as hot lately, but hoping that we’ll see more offense from him.   Plus he seems like a really nice kid.

I’ve got another spit count for you.  Yes, even during slumps, the boys continue to spit:

June 27th

Giants:

-          Colvin 9

-          Posey 6

-          Bumgarner 5

-          Duvall 3 (sigh)

-          Sandoval 3

-          Hicks 2

Reds:

-          Cueto 13

-          Frazier 5

-          Bruce 5

-          Phillips 2

-          Cozart 2

-          Mesoraco 1

-          Chapman 1

-          ? 1 (one of the coaches)

Misc.:

-          Umpire 3

Game Spit Master General = Cueto at 13

Giants Game Spit Master General = Colvin at 9

That’s a total of 61 spits during a 2 hour and 45 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 3.7 minutes.

Johnny Cueto sure can pitch, and that boy sure can spit as well!  The new kid blew it already – Adam Duvall logged three spits today.  Also Tyler Colvin was the Giants Game Spit Master General, and he didn’t even play the entire game!  Since this was a Madison start, I also logged his snot rockets – he only launched 4 today (on the low side for him).

Something happened during this game that I thought was worth mentioning, especially since I had never seen anything like it before.  Adam Duvall was playing first base, and he was attempting to tag first to get the hitter, Zack Cozart, out, but the throw to him pulled him off the base.  The weird thing was that the runner  RAN OVER THE BAG AND NEVER TOUCHED IT!  Here’s the video.  Craziness!  What a Peewee league move!  The Giants reviewed the play, and everyone wondered why it was taking so long because on the replay you could see that the guy totally missed the bag.  The weird thing was that Duvall did indeed get pulled off the bag but never went back and tagged it after Cozart ran by.  Cozart came back to the base so he was safe, and that’s what the ruling was.  So strange.

So Timmy’s pitching the first game after his no hitter tomorrow.  He’ll be facing the Cardinals who are coming off of a 2-game losing streak against the Dodgers.  Maybe the Dodgers actually helped us out with this one by roughing them up.  I’m anxious to see how Timmy does this time.  After his last no-hitter, he didn’t do so hot, but last time he logged a bunch more pitches.  Come on, Timmy!  Come through for us!  Start this series off with a win!  And Angel, show us your stuff again!  Get the team going like you always do!  GO GIANTS!!

Rocked by Rockies, Socked by White Sox, Bitten by Snakes

Ugh!  Swept by the Rockies and the White Sox and starting with a loss against the D-Bags.  Talk about June Swoon!  The last game they won was the one that Nick and I attended on June 12th (which was amazing and a ton of fun – even got to see a balk!).  And they’ve lost 9 of 11 since my sister left for France.  I think this means that my sister can’t go to Europe any more during the season, and I need to attend more games (my current record is 5 and 2)!  This is just awful!  And those blasted Dodgers are quickly creeping up on us!  We’ll see if anything changes today as my sis is due back in town right before today’s game starts.

Lots of roster moves since last I blogged.  David Huff was traded to the New York Yankees for cash.  He had ended the 2013 season with the Yankees, so at least he’ll be with guys he knows.  The Giants signed free agent Daniel Carbonell, a Cuban outfielder.  He’s not expected to reach the majors this year, but shows great potential as a 5-tool player who can give them some depth in the outfield.  My boy George Kontos was sent back down to Fresno when Santiago Casilla came off the disabled list.  I’m so glad to see Santiago back, but sad to see George “Cutie Pie” go.  He had done pretty well while up this time, but he had one horrendous game against the Nationals where he gave up 3 runs in 1 inning.  That may have left a sour taste in Bochy’s mouth.  Best of luck to George and David, welcome back Santiago, and welcome to the team Daniel!

In addition, it was announced today that Joe Panik will be called up from Triple A Fresno and added to the 40-man roster.  He may get some play at second base, a position where my boys have struggled recently in the offense department.  I can’t even imagine what that kid feels like today – finally getting called up to the big leagues.  WOOHOO!!  Congrats on finally making it, Kid!  Looking forward to seeing what you can do for this struggling team.

I was surprised that Marco Scutaro was in the clubhouse yesterday and took batting practice with the boys.  Word is that he may be back with the team sometime soon.  However I think everyone is resigned to the idea that he will be playing from the bench, not the starting second baseman.  And Brandon Belt may be back sooner than expected.  He also took batting practice yesterday, and remarked that with his changed grip on the bat, his thumb doesn’t get much bat vibration and isn’t causing him any pain.  Hooray for that!

I had a friend ask me why I thought the Giants might be struggling the past few weeks.  Tough question.  Injuries?  We did have Casilla out for a bit, and Cain was out for a couple of games, then there’s Angel’s back issues and Buster’s back issues as well.  But none of this was major and for an extended period of time.  Can it be the loss of Brandon Belt?  They were doing fine at first without him, but possibly putting Morse at first and having to put someone else in the outfield has been an issue.  Belt’s bat was also pretty hot when he left.  Or could it be the loss of Angel?  He hasn’t played for a while, and we all know what effect that had on the team last year.  Or is it the starting pitching?  All of them have had their issues this season, and even the guy who I thought had been the shining light, Tim Hudson, has fallen off a bit lately.  Or is it the relievers?  Romo’s two consecutive blown saves were so depressing.  Or is it the defense?  There have been so many more mental errors made lately.  Or did they come out so strong at the beginning of the season that they are all exhausted now?  Maybe all of these things together?  What do you think?  Or is there just something about the month of June??  Do they all just need a big hug??

There have been rumors that Brian Sabien may be considering a trade for Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija.  They would probably have to lose some high level prospects in order to do this, but the Cubs might be willing to trade as they are at the bottom of their division so far with a 31 and 40 record.  Samardzija   currently has a 2.78 ERA in 97 innings with a 90 to 29 strikeout-to-walk ratio.  I was rather surprised at this trade talk, though strong pitching would definitely be a help to this team right now.  Whose place would he take?  Timmy “The Franchise” Lincecum?  Or Ryan Vogelsong?  Will keep you posted if I hear anything.  Would hate to lose either of those guys, but I guess desperate times call for desperate measures.  Maybe I should start practicing spelling that last name (and pronouncing it correctly)!

I’ve got two new spit counts for you.  They are dedicated to the memory of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn who lost his battle with mouth cancer at the age of 54 this week.  Gwynn believed he developed the cancer as a result of using smokeless tobacco.  He’ll feature in an informative spot being developed by MLB to share the dangers of smokeless tobacco.  He wanted to keep the same thing from happening to other guys.  Class act.  Such a tragic loss of an amazing player and person.  Rest in peace:

June 14th

Giants:

-          Pagan 6

-          Colvin 4

-          Hicks 3

-          Posey 2

-          Sandoval 2

-          Romo 1

-          Bochy 1

-          ? 1

Rockies:

-          Barnes 6

-          Morneau 5

-          Tulowitzki 3

-          McKenry 3

-          Le Mahieu 3

-          Blackmon 3

-          Bergman 2

-          Weiss 2

-          Ottavino 2

-          Dickerson 1

-          Wheeler 1

-          Rutledge 1

-          ?1

Misc.:

-          Umpire 1

Game Spit Master General = Tie between Pagan and Barnes

That’s a total of 54 spits during a 3 hour and 25 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 3.8 minutes.

Colvin came in as a pinch hitter and still managed to log 4 spits.  Tulowitzki of the Rockies didn’t even play today but logged 3 spits.  They kept showing him in the dugout because he was injured yesterday.

June 15th

Giants:

-          Colvin 19

-          Bumgarner 5

-          Sandoval 4

-          Lincecum 3 (all seeds)

-          Gutierrez 2

-          Perez 1

-          Hudson 1

-          Lopez 1

Rockies:

-          Blackmon 6

-          McKenry 4

-          Tulowitzki 3

-          Rosario 3

-          Morales 3

-          Le Mahieu 2

-          Culberson 1

-          Barnes 1

-          Nicasio 1

-          McKenry 1

-          Hawkins 1

-          ? 1

Misc.:

-          Umpire 1

Game Spit Master General = Colvin at 19

That’s a total of 64 during a 3 hour and 45 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 3.5 minutes.

I remembered Michael McKenry from previous spit counts – he has the talent of being able to spit through his catcher’s mask.  He logged one of his spits today that way.  Also, as Madison pitched today, I also did a snot rocket count – he blasted 9 today (a season record).

Juan Gutierrez was interviewed after this game, as he gave up his first runs at home this year (sigh).  The reason I mention it is that during the interview, Gutierrez obviously had a huge wad of tobacco in his mouth.  Check out the video (at the top of Baggs Instant Replay).  Really?  I love the guy and he’s doing wonderful things for the team, but you can’t spit out your wad before an interview?  So disgusting.

One ray of sunshine during all this misery – Buster shaved off that goatee.  It looks like he’s trying to grow something in again, but at least the baby face is back for now.  Hope the guys can get out of this funk and win some.  Will be watching this evening (may have to watch on Gameday as the TV is being dedicated to a Game of Thrones marathon this weekend!).  Come on, Guys!  We know you have it in you!  Take this series and get back on track!  GO GIANTS!!

BREAKING NEWS: Michael Morse Has Achieved Rock Star Status

I’ll start off with the spit counts today as I teased you with them last time, then I’ll fill you in on why Michael Morse is a rock star and has moved up even higher on my list.  So if you don’t care about the spit, scroll on down.  Though you might be surprised!

I actually have three new spit counts for you (forgot about one I did a couple of weeks ago).  Here you go.  Get ready for some surprises!:

May 23rd

Giants:

-          Sandoval 6

-          Sanchez 6

-          Lincecum 1

-          Affeldt 1

-          Posey 1

-          Hicks 1

-          Belt 1

-          Arias 1

Twins:

-          Hicks 5

-          Gibson 3

-          Mauer 2

-          Escobar 1

-          Colabello 1

Misc.:

-          Umpire 1

Game Spit Master General = Tie between Sandoval and Sanchez at 6

That’s a total of 31 spits during a 2 hour and 45 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 5.3 minutes.

We had a guest snot rocket during this game.  Chris Parmelee of the Twins got caught blowing a snot rocket in the outfield.  At least it was just one.

June 7th

Giants:

-          Colvin 14 (!!!!)

-          Hudson 6

-          Sandoval 5

-          Hicks 4

-          Posey 3

-          Pagan 2

-          Righetti 1

-          Bochy 1

Mets:

-          Colon 7

-          Duda 4

-          den Dekker 3

-          Tejada 2

-          Young 1

-          Wright 1

-          Mejia 1

Misc.:

-          Umpire 2

Game Spit Master General = Colvin at 14 (new Giants season record)

That’s a total of 57 spits during a 3 hour and 35 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 3.8 minutes.

This was the first spit count I did of a game where Tyler Colvin played.  I knew this was coming as I had observed him spitting up a storm on days where I didn’t do spit counts.  The reason his count is so high:  he spits into each batting glove before every pitch that is thrown to him.  So totally disgusting!  I think he will probably take over the lead in spit counts this season from Pablo.  And he seems like such a nice boy!

The two umpire spits in this game were both from the first base umpire, Pat Hoberg.  Yes, I mentioned your name.  Umpires have no business spitting.  Wear it.

June 8th

Giants:

-          Colvin 27 (Double !!!!!)

-          Gutierrez 3

-          Hicks 3

-          Sandoval 2

-          Sanchez 2

-          Meulens 2

-          Kelly 2

-          Arias 2

-          Pence 1 (NOOOOO!  Not again!)

-          Lincecum 1

-          Wotus 1

Mets:

-          Duda 2

-          Wheeler 2

-          Tejada 1

-          Young 1

-          Granderson 1

Game Spit Master General = Colvin at 27 (season record for all players)

That’s a total of 53 spits during a 3 hour and 25 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 3.9 minutes.

So now Colvin has the record for the season, passing Dodger Matt Kemp’s spitacular effort of 23 on April 5th.  Sigh.  Wonder if he knows how gross that is.  And is it really helping him grip the bat??

And we received some disappointment again this season from Hunter Pence in the spit category.  He definitely spat after reaching second on an overthrow during this game.  Sigh.  No certificate for you this season.  Still love you though, Hunter.

So now that you’ve gotten your fill of spit, I’ll solve the other mystery.  Why do I think Michael Morse is even more marvelous than before?  Well, the other day I was watching a game with my hubby and noticed once again that Mike definitely has something in his mouth during games.  However, he as of yet hasn’t logged a spit in any of my spit counts.  How can you chew tobacco and not spit?  I asked this question out loud, and my wonderful hubby responded, “Why don’t you ask him on Twitter?”  DUH!!  Why didn’t I think of that?!  So I did.  I tweeted to him, “Hey Mike, just curious – what do you have in your mouth during games? Would guess tobacco, but somehow you never spit. I’m confused” (Note the missing period – ran out of characters.  The grammar Nazi in me had to let you know that.)  And he actually tweeted back, “@getGRINDS #tobaccofree”.  So the mystery is solved!  He uses Grinds, pouches of coffee grinds that give you energy without using tobacco.  I actually blogged about these last year – Bochy uses them as well.  That’s why Mike doesn’t spit – it’s just like drinking coffee.  Love it!  Just one more reason to love the guy (besides the fact that he responded to me!).  Gotta love the Twitter!  Keeping my fingers crossed that because of this, Mike ends up getting a certificate from me at the end of the season!

I have just a couple of other things I forgot to mention in the last blog.  How could I forget that George Kontos came back up with the big guys after Santiago Casilla went on the DL.  Once again making use of the Twitter, I tweeted to him, “Welcome back, George! Knew it would happen eventually. YAY!! Enjoy the fog!” and he favorited my tweet.  He’s been doing a fantastic job (well, except for the game on Monday night) and I’m so glad I get to look at that face regularly again.  Also did you notice Buster’s goatee??  Never thought he would join the facial hair bandwagon.  I’m not a fan.  It takes that baby face thing he has going on away from him.  He was even stroking it the other night.  What do you think?  Also made an interesting observation about Jean Machi.  On the mound before he pitches, he takes his gold chain off and puts it in his back pocket.  Smart guy.  I’ve often wondered how guys can play with chains around their neck.  Doesn’t that bother them?

Also forgot to mention previously that I was disappointed by Mike Krukow a few weeks ago.  I know – hard to believe as I love that guy, but it happened.  He was on KNBR during the Rockies series, and he was suggesting that Troy Tulowitzki could not possibly have as high a batting average as he did at home without getting signs for pitches.  When I heard him, I didn’t think he was kidding.  He kept emphasizing the fact.  You can decide for yourself – here’s the KNBR podcast (advance to 2:00).  That’s a pretty serious thing to accuse someone of.  Troy Tulowitzki got wind of this and was understandably not pleased.  He then proceeded to change his walk-up music to I Saw the Signs by Ace of Base.  So funny!  But the let down from Krukow was that he was asked about his comments later and said that he was just kidding.  Really?  You are someone who people respect and you outright lie like that?  So disappointing.  Kruk, I still love you, but next time watch what you say, and if you mess up, take responsibility for it.

Will close with a fun Taylor Swift sing-a-long that several of the MLB teams participated in through the Twitter.  Check this out.  So much fun!  Especially happy that the Giants were a part of it.

I hope I didn’t jinx things in my last blog, but since then the boys have lost two games to the Nats.  I know they have an amazing pitching staff, but I think we can pull off these next two behind Matty and Huddy.  I’m going to the game tomorrow with my brother Nick so I can cheer them on in person.  We’ll both be wearing our orange and black bracelets to bring them some magic.  Come on, Guys!  You can do it!  GO GIANTS!  TIE THE SERIES!!

Pinch Me!

What an amazing time to be a Giants fan!  Can you believe this??  I can’t!  I really can’t!  No one could imagine this team would be where they are right now.  I need a pinch to make sure it’s all real.  It’s gotten to the point where I just expect these guys to win every game.  And that might be the secret – they are doing the same thing.  They never give up.  Since you know I love lists, here’s my list of why I need a pinch right now:

-          They lead all of baseball in wins, with 42 under their belt thus far.  Not just the NL – ALL OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL.  The next best team has 39 (and they just happen to be another local team, the Oakland As).  This is the best record the Giants have had at this point in the season since they won the pennant in 1962.  Plus we have a 9.5 game lead over those stinking Dodgers!

-          They’ve won or swept the last 8 series they’ve played in.

-          Sergio Romo leads ALL OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL in saves, with 20 out of 22 opportunities.

-          Angel Pagan has the 5th highest batting average in the National League.  Plus he rocks it on so many other levels, like getting to first on a third strike.  Amazing instincts right there.

-          Michael Morse is tied for 4th for most home runs in the National League with 13.  He’s also tied for 3rd in the NL for RBI with 42.

-          Madison Bumgarner is tied for the lead in NL wins at 8.  He was named the NL Pitcher of the Month for May.

-          Tim Hudson has the second lowest ERA in ALL OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL.

-          The Giants are second in home runs in the NL with 69 (need a huge pinch for this one).

There’s so much to be excited about.  I finally got to watch a couple of complete games this weekend, and I was in heaven.  Always enjoy texting with my brothers and Ginny about how they’re doing.  And it’s just that much sweeter when they win!  Yesterday’s game was especially sweet.  I had chosen Michael Morse for one of my Beat the Streak picks for the day, and up until the 9th inning he hadn’t gotten a hit.  Nick texted me a picture of himself wearing the orange and black rubber band bracelet I had made him, hoping it would start a rally (they were behind at that time).  I decided to put mine on as well.  Bracelet power!  And right before Morse came up to bat, I texted Nick and Paul “…—…”  That’s SOS in Morse Code!  Not only did they come back to win, but Morse got the game saving walk-off hit in the 9th and my streak was saved! (even though Jose Bautista blew it for me today)  Wore my bracelet today and they won, so I think I will definitely make that a habit.

I heard a great story about Michael Morse.  Hunter Pence (Morse’s BFF) had some special T-shirts made for the team.  The front says “May the Morse be with you,” and the back has a picture of Morse dressed as a Jedi batting with a light saber.  The guys wore these for batting practice on Friday under their warm-up jerseys to try and get some of that awesome power.  So far Morse is the only player with home runs in the double figures (13).  Hope the shirt works.  And I want one – maybe they’ll have a “May the Morse Be With You” theme night.  So happy they can all have fun like that.

I haven’t written in a couple of weeks, so I have a bunch of old news.  Everyone heard about Hunter’s scooter being stolen and then returned.  So glad someone came forward and returned it, and then the great guy he is, he is donating proceeds from its sale to charity.  Love that guy.  And Timmy finally shaved that caterpillar of a moustache, but I noticed today it’s back!!  After he shaved it, AP sports writer Janie McCauley tweeted a quote from Timmy, saying he only shaved the stache “to grow another.  I’ve been told if you shave the hairs come back thicker and fuller.  I’m trying it out.”  From the looks of it today, that is a myth.  We shall see.  I think he should just give it up – he’s cute enough without it.

As far as the disabled list, Santiago Casilla remains on it after straining his hamstring while running to first base when he connected in a rare at bat.  This whole thing just amazes me.  Why would you take that chance, even at batting let alone running all out, when you are a relief pitcher?  Especially when David Huff had done exactly the same thing a few weeks earlier.  If I were Bochy, I would fine any relief pitcher who even swung at a pitch.  Just take the out – it’s not worth it.  Luckily Casilla has been doing better and is expected to rejoin the Giants in a couple of weeks after a rehab assignment.  And Matt Cain is back after straining his hamstring in the same game.  He pitched really well in his first stint back, so that is a relief.  Brandon Belt had the pins in his thumb removed and is now wearing a removable cast.  Bochy said he expects he might be back in about 3 weeks.  And Marco Scutaro remains MIA with no expected date for return.  Luckily Brandon Hicks continues to do an amazing job in his stead.

Dan’s boy, Juan Perez, came back up to the team when Matt Cain was put on the DL.  He had a great game the other day, hitting a 2-run homer that helped rally the Giants to a 3-2 victory over the Reds.  Go Juan!  But alas, poor David Huff was designated for assignment when Cain came off the DL.  Apparently he was surprised by it.  But Bochy is hopeful that he can end up in Fresno and possibly work things out and make a return to the team later in the season.  Good luck to you, David!  And don’t try to hit if you get up to bat!

I wanted to share some interesting things I’ve learned over the past couple of weeks, mostly from listening to KNBR.  You may have noticed a lot of talk about defensive shifts lately during games.  They’ll show a view of the outfield and guys aren’t in the position you would expect them to be.  In this era of technology, teams have started to monitor how guys hit and to what areas of the field they hit, so they’ll post their defense in those positions.  Sometimes an entire area of the outfield won’t be covered.  But it seems to be working out for the teams that are doing it.  Isn’t this cool??  Next time you watch a game, check it out.  They were commenting on KNBR that this will probably decrease batting averages as it will be harder to hit around a defense that is designed around your hitting pattern.  So interesting.

Another thing I learned during the recent series in Denver is that slider pitches don’t drop as much at altitude.  Because of this, pitchers who pitch a lot of sliders have issues pitching in the Colorado Rockies’ ballpark.  One of these pitchers is Sergio Romo.  We all know how wicked his slider is, but it’s not all that in Colorado.  My question:  Why do the Giants use Sergio Romo as their closer in Colorado?  Case in point – Nolan Arenado of the Rockies got a walk-off hit off Sergio in the 9th on May 20th to win the game because his slider didn’t slide.  Kruk and Kuip mentioned that a better fit at altitude might be Jean Machi who doesn’t depend so much on the slider, and the other types of pitches he throws aren’t affected by the altitude.  Why doesn’t Bochy take this into account??

Just had to share this observation with you as it wasn’t something you see every day.  During one of his at bats from the game on May 21st, I noticed something strange about Hector Sanchez.  It appeared as if he had something sticking out of his mouth.  And I don’t mean gum or tobacco – something long and thin.  It was a brown straw!  He went through an entire at bat with a straw sticking out of his mouth!  Check out this video and Kruk and Kuip’s response.  My favorite comment is Kuip mentioning that there aren’t any RBIs in that straw!  I would assume he’s not going to do that again anytime soon as he struck out.  Aren’t there any rules about batting with objects protruding from your mouth?  I tried looking it up but couldn’t find anything.  I wonder if someone bet him to do that.  What a goofball!

My boy, Andrew Baggarly, took a week long break recently from his duties as the Comcast Giants Insider.  I know I gush about the guy all the time, but it’s really not the same when someone else writes the replay of the game.  Here’s an example of why I love this guy.  In today’s summary, he was discussing the turn of luck for the Mets, and he writes, “But even when it appears Mr. Met gets sprinkled with good fortune, it turns out to be a seagull using his massive head as target practice.”  If you don’t know who Mr. Met is and why this comment is so appropriate, here you go.  Love it!  I tweeted to him that this comment made my day and asked how he comes up with this stuff.  His reply:  “Bourbon.”  Secret revealed.

I’ll end on a silly note.  50 Cent threw out the first pitch for the New York Mets the other day.  The guy needs to keep his day job.  Check this out.  That one has to rank up there amongst the all-time stinker first pitches.  So funny!  At least he had a sense of humor about it.

I have two new spit counts to share, but as this got kind of long, I’ll hold off until later this week to post them (I’m such a tease!).  I’ll tease some more with the fact that we may have a new Spit Master General amongst us this season!  My boys start a 4 game series against the Nationals tomorrow.  The Nats are tied for first place in the NL East.  Should be a great match up, and I know we can take yet another series cause we never give up!  Come on, Guys!  Just keep doing what you’re doing!  I don’t want to wake up from this dream EVER!  GO GIANTS!!

BRANDON CRAWFORD ANSWERED MY QUESTION (AGAIN!!)!!

For the second time, Brandon Crawford answered one of my questions on his blog.  WOOHOO!!  Here’s my question:

“What is it like traveling so much and having to adjust to different beds and climates and time zones? Do you ever have issues sleeping? I know I do when I travel. Do you have any special things you do to help adjust?”

Here’s Brandon’s response:

“It is kind of tough to adjust sometimes. The time zone messes me up the most. We’ll have a game in Atlanta, let’s say, and we’ll get back to the hotel around 12 o’clock. I’m still wide awake because it’s 9 on the West Coast. To be honest, that happens even when we’re home. I can’t shut myself off right away after a game. It helps sometimes with the kids because they’ll wear me out a little bit and help me sleep. But on the road trips when they’re not there, and we’re on the East Coast, it’s hard to go to sleep. I’ll watch a movie or play a video game to wind down and get myself to sleep.

Some guys have trouble with different beds and pillows. But that hasn’t affected me that much.

We actually had a sleep doctor come in this spring and talk to us about some of those things. What I remember is you’re supposed to stay away from anything with light, which means TV, laptops and video games. But they help shut my brain off, so I still do it. I don’t remember what he said about time zones, but I don’t think there is really any way to adjust with as much travel as we do.

As for climates, we’re used to playing all over. You bring the clothes you need for that trip and you’re fine. And playing in San Francisco, we get every climate. Yesterday and today we have hot weather. And obviously we get a lot of cold nights and wind and fog. We get it all.”

Interesting that they had a sleep doctor come in and talk to them, but funny that Brandon basically ignored what he said!  I would have to agree with him, though.  When I can’t sleep, I get up and watch TV to wind down.  We have that in common!  Also cute that he said the kids wear him out.  Another thing I can relate to!  If you would like to read the entire blog, here’s the link.  I highly recommend subscribing as you can get some great insight into what goes on behind the scenes with our boys.

The boys have continued to impress with their play, maintaining their lead in the NL West.  New kid in town Tyler Colvin sure has made a splash – literally!  His first hit as a Giant was a splash hit homer!    He’s played in 8 games to date since being added to the 25-man roster on May 10th, and he’s batting .333.  Great to have someone on the bench who’s hot, especially since he and Gregor are filling in for Michael Morse who’s filling in for Brandon Belt.  Other guys have also been looking impressive offensively lately.  Pablo’s bat seemed to wake up once Brandon B. got injured and we needed him most.  His batting average over the last 7 days has been .393.  So excited about this.  We knew it was coming, but so glad it’s coming NOW!  Also Hunter has hit .406 over that same period.  And Gregor Blanco has been contributing as well since he started the left-field platoon with Tyler Colvin.  Of special note was his game on Wednesday where he stole three bases and scored three runs, something even Willie Mays never accomplished in his career.  It’s the first time that’s been done since 1991.  And the pitching has remained strong – both starters and relievers.  Sergio Romo has been a force, achieving his 15th save today.

Angel Pagan has continued to be the team’s driving force, also hitting amazingly with a .409 batting average over the last 7 days.  Unfortunately he was injured yesterday while attempting to dive for an outfield hit.  An MRI performed this morning showed that he has a sprained shoulder.  The Giants are taking it day-by-day and hoping he’ll be back in the lineup in time for Tuesday’s game.  Please, I hope this is true!  I was at that game yesterday and cringed when I saw him drop to the ground in pain after that dive.  Seriously don’t want that guy to sit out for ANY amount of time.  And I hate to say it, but I think my boy Andrew Baggarly may have jinxed Angel.  An hour before the game, Baggs posted an article specifically about Angel that included this quote:  “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Angel Pagan.”  He was referring to his comeback after hamstring surgery last season.  Kind of creepy, don’t you agree??

In other injury news, Tim Hudson has been suffering from a strained left hip.  It appears he’s had this type of injury before and was being proactive about not having it get worse (he missed two months of play with the A’s during a previous bout with the same thing).  The Giants are hoping that he’ll be well enough to make his start this week against the Rockies.  He pitched off flat ground today and said the hip continues to improve.  Whew!  We need you, Tim!  Also Marco Scutaro had a procedure done on his back to try and relieve some of the pain.  Bochy described it as “a blood spinning thing,” but Andrew Baggarly comments that it’s different than the platelet-rich injections that athletes often receive to speed healing to injured areas.  They still have no timetable for his return to the team, though.  He does baseball activities for a few days, but then has to back off so he doesn’t overdo it.  Frustrating.

Our other injured boy, Brandon Belt, had an interesting thing happen to him on Friday night.  He now has his left thumb in a cast since he broke it when he was hit by a pitch.  He was in the dugout Friday night when a warm-up ball thrown toward the dugout by Michael Morse took a weird bounce and landed in the dugout – right on Belt’s cast!  He was in the dugout again on Saturday night, but took the precaution of wearing a helmet over his thumb!  According to Andrew Baggarly, Brandon B. has a new nickname – Chubbs (from the movie Happy Gilmore).  For those of you, like me, unfamiliar with this character, here’s a clip from the movie that explains the similarity.  And thanks for the heads up on this story, Ginny!

When relief pitcher David Huff was activated from the disabled list, unfortunately Dan’s boy Juan Perez went back down to Fresno.  Sigh.  Wonder how many times that’s going to happen this season?  Yo-yo times.

I went to the game yesterday with my sister and two of her kids (Rosey and Nicholas).  It was orange fedora day – I love mine!  I’m not really a hat person, but who wouldn’t love an orange fedora??  Nicholas enjoyed wearing his sideways (what a goofball), and one of the ushers told Rosey that she was the only person in the park who actually looked good wearing it!  Unfortunately my boys lost, bringing my season win/loss record down to 4 and 2.  Of course, we had a great time anyway.  We had club level seats, so we took advantage of the amenities, especially the food.  I had a SF Giants Roll from the sushi place (had them cut up the bok choy so it was easier to eat) and a glass of wine.  Keen and kids split some of the yummy caramel corn.  Two things stand out from this game.  First, there was someone playing a trumpet getting the crowd hyped up.  Whoever it was, they were amazing!  You rock, Trumpet Guy!  Second, there was a group of kids on the suite level that was the best cheering squad ever.  They would cheer for every Giants batter that came up as loudly as they could.  Those kids were true fans!  Of course, no game would be complete for me without the tallest man in the world sitting right in front of me.  I spent the majority of the game at a 45 degree angle so I could look around him.  I know it’s not your fault, tallest man in the world, but why am I so lucky??

The boys are going to Colorado to take on the Rockies next.  This series is so important as we now have a 3-game lead over the Rockies and we need to keep that intact.  I’m a bit concerned as last time we were in Colorado we lost 2 of 3.  But my boys have been playing better than ever, so I know a sweep there is a definite possibility.  Enjoy the long awaited day off tomorrow, Boys, then go get ‘em!  Until next time, GO GIANTS!!

One Brandon Short

It always breaks my heart when one of my boys is injured.  Brandon Belt was hit by a pitch on Friday and fractured his thumb.  When you see a big, huge, strong guy in agony like that after being hit, it just pulls at your heartstrings.  Poor kid.  He even toughed it out and stayed on base afterward, but came out the next inning.  It’s estimated that he’ll be out for at least four weeks, more likely six.  I know injuries are just a part of the game, but WHY????  I can’t wait to read his next blog to hear about how he’s coping.  Six weeks is an awful long time.  When you think about it, if he comes back June 21st (six weeks from when he was injured), he’ll miss 38 games.  That’s almost a quarter of the season!  Bet he’s hating this.  And he was just starting to contribute offensively again, hitting .462 in his last four games.  Poop.  Get well soon, Kid.  We miss you already.

There was lots of conjecture about who would replace him, but the head honchos finally decided that Michael Morse will be doing the majority of the work at first base.  Really??  I wasn’t expecting that!  I didn’t even know that he had played that position, but according to Andrew Baggarly he’s played 130 major league games at first base (though none of these occurred after 2002).  Guess he’s got the credentials.  And according to Boch, this way Morse won’t come out in the late innings – he’ll play the entire game.  Happy that we’ll have that bat in there longer (and that gorgeous face!).  We’ll also probably see more of Buster at first and Hector catching while Brandon B. is out.  Fine with me – besides today (where he had some struggles behind the plate), Hector’s been doing a fantastic job.  And hopefully he’ll do even better with the extra practice.

To replace Michael in left field, the team has decided to platoon Gregor Blanco and Tyler Colvin (hope Dan’s boy, Juan Perez, gets some of that work out there, too).  Colvin’s contract was purchased from Triple A Fresno before today’s game.  Marco Scutaro was placed on the 60-day disabled list to clear a spot for him on the 40-man roster.  Colvin actually pinch hit today, but struck out.  It will be interesting to see how he does with the big boys.  In Fresno, he was hitting .267 with 2 home runs and 16 RBI through 35 games.  Welcome to the Bigs, Tyler!

Also noticed while looking at the Giants transactions page that George Kontos replaced Jake Dunning on the team on May 6th, but then he was sent back down today.  What a rollercoaster life.  Guess you have to appreciate every minute you can while up with the big guys.  He even pitched in one game vs. the Pirates for two innings, giving up three hits but no runs and striking one guy out.  Nice job, George!  Oh well – at least that beautiful face was up with the big boys again for a minute.  Hope he’s back up again soon.

Matty came off the disabled list today after the dreaded sandwich incident, and though we lost, his outing was pretty solid.  He lasted 5 innings, allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, struck out 4 and walked 4.  Glad he’s back.  We got more details on the sandwich incident from Matty himself recently.  The sandwich in question was of the ham and cheese variety, and the incident occurred after said sandwich had already been made.  He cut himself while trying to “make it fancy in triangles.”  Yes – that’s a quote straight from Matty.  He dropped the knife while doing this, and cut himself while trying to catch it.  This is the second time in his career he’s been on the DL.  The first time was during the 2013 season when he was struck by a line drive.  Another quote from Matty:  “One of them was a freak accident and one of them was my own stupidity.”  Well, at least he gets it.  Silly boy.  Think I’ll send him one of these.  It even cuts off the crusts to take his sandwiches to a whole other level of fanciness!

Have to comment on that 13 inning comeback game vs. the Pirates on Monday night (5/5).  I had to work that night, so I didn’t get to see the game or listen to it (it started at 4:10 pm – darn those away game start times!).  A coworker said last he heard it was 8 to 2 Pirates in the 6th, so I hate to admit it, but I assumed they had lost.  I know – I should know better than to doubt my boys EVER!!  I went out to my car at around 9 pm assuming I could turn on the radio and listen to Marty Lurie with the post-game on KNBR.  But the first thing I heard was Dave Fleming’s voice announcing that it was the top of the 12th and it was tied 10 to 10!!  WHAT???  Those are MY boys!  They came back from an 8-2 deficit to win it in extra innings 11-10.  And what a crazy way to win.  Jean Machi, who had never been asked to bunt before in his career, laid down the most beautiful bunt toward third base, ended up making it to first due to the throw bouncing off the bag at first (even though he’s big, that kid can run!), thus allowing Hunter to score the winning run.  Craziness!  Then the guys in the dugout were so freaking excited that Michael Morse almost fell headfirst over the dugout fence!  Check out the excitement!  I am so thankful that Morse didn’t fall – that could have been horrible!  Remember the Aubrey Huff incident of 2012 when he sprained his knee during the celebration after Matt Cain pitched his perfect game?  If not, here’s a reminder.  Huff ended up on the DL because of his celebration.  Guys, I know you have team spirit and you can’t help but get excited when amazing things happen, but MODERATION PLEASE!!

A very thoughtful guy who works with my brother Paul made me a wonderful gift – a rosary made out of orange and black beads (Paul told him I’m a huge Giants fan).  I’m sure it will come in handy for all those 1-run ulcer-inducing torture games I’m sure we’ll have this season.  I have it hanging from my bobblehead shelf, ready for action.  Probably should have pulled it out for the game today.  But I know even though Clayton “The Force” Kershaw will be pitching tomorrow, we will have Tim “The Amazing” Hudson on our side giving it everything he’s got.  We can take the last game of the series from those stinkin’ Dodgers, then have a happy flight home.  So excited at how well the boys are doing, and our 23-14 record is tied with the Brewers for the best in the MLB!!  Keeping my fingers crossed (and toes) that things will work out while Brandon B. is out and that maybe, just maybe, this will light a fire under Pablo and that bat will finally wake up.  It can happen.  I have faith in my boys.  Until next time, GO GIANTS!!!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 159 other followers