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Showing posts from 2012

Giants Force Game 5 (!!!)

Who here saw this coming?  Ok, the question was not who HOPED this would happen.  Who actually thought this was going to happen?  Let me clarify... who actually thought this was going to happen after the Giants fell behind 0-2 in the NLDS after losing two straight AT HOME and after the Giants bats looked about as hot as Antartica?  You, in the back, really? The Giants are looking to advance to the NLCS for the 2nd time in 3 years with a victory over the Reds tomorrow morning (for us pacific timers).  It's not going to be easy.  But this is Giants baseball and it's never supposed to be easy.  In fact, winning the division so easily felt kinda sorta odd, did it not?  It felt almost wrong.  No grinding the teeth, no biting the finger nails.  Just business like wins that eventually eliminated the Dodgers with about a week left in the season.  Well, we knew the torture would have to come at some point.  And it took the form of two ugly losses to the Reds at home to open the NLDS.

Looking for Signs of Hope After Game 1 Loss

SFGiantsGuy was at Game 1 last night and will be heading out to Game 2 in a few hours. With that being said, here was my takeaway from last night's loss: Got into AT&T about 6pm. Great vibe. Tons of people. Expected the Blue Angels to do the fly over but I guess the Giants couldn't pony up for that. Alex Smith threw out the first pitch. Not sure if anyone saw this but when they announced the rosters Freddy Sanchez was announced (and was in uniform). So was Brian Wilson for that matter but at least Wilson played a game this year. Was really kinda awkward seeing Freddy back in uniform and standing with the team prior to the game. Right away the strike zone seemed "off" and then I heard Phil Cuzzi was behind the dish and I realized the game was in for a frustrating night at home plate. I noticed Cueto's injury IMMEDIATELY when it happened. And my first thought was "the Giants just caught a massive break". Getting into the Cincy pen early was sup

The Giants 2012 Playoff Run Begins

For a diehard Giants fan who lives and breathes Giants baseball, follows every Giants blogger, fan, player, seagull, etc I really don't update this blog as much as I should.  I thought I'd post once a week like Grant used to do on Waiting for Boof but like Tim Lincecum this year, I just haven't been consistent.  My last blog entry was about Melky's suspension and the effect it could have on the Giants chemistry.  Well, I was right... it had a huge effect on chemistry.  It bonded the team so close together that they forgot they were supposed to go in the tank after yet another punch in the gut this season. What about that ride!?  The Dodgers acquired every expensive player in baseball and THEY were the ones that went  into the tailspin.  The Giants got an unimpressive Hunter Pence and a utility infielder and wound up winning the division a week before the end of the regular season.  And here I thought they were doomed because they didn't acquire Chris Perez at the

Farewell Melky and... the season?

I didn't know what to make of this team.  I hadn't been able to really figure out if it was a good team, a just good enough team, or a not quite good enough team.  Part of that was rarely getting to see the 3-4-5 hitters of this team all hit in the line-up together: Melky Cabrera, Buster Posey, and Pablo Sandoval.  Cabrera and Posey were fixtures except on days when Hector Sanchez needed to play.  But Sandoval was in and out of the line-up due to his injuries and the line-up never got a sustained look at its true 3-5 hitters.  Then along came Hunter Pence.  And he did his best to be a Pablo replacement except he wasn't very good initially.  But that didn't stop us Giants fans from fantasizing about what could be.  All of a sudden, this crazy line-up that scored runs aplenty on the road but barely at home started taking shape in our Giant fan minds.  Thoughts of a 3-6 line-up featuring the Melk Man, Posey, Pablo, and Pence was inspiring.  All of a sudden we had legit hit

Is This Team Good?

This team is confusing, isn't it?  The Giants have been over .500 for most of the season.  They aren't as baffling as, say, the team they're chasing in Los Angeles because there are several players on this squad that are legitimate All Star candidates.  But is this team good?  Are they good enough to secure one of the wild card spots or win the division outright?  Looking at the NL West, the Dodgers are finally starting to come back to earth but the Diamondbacks are showing signs of life.  I've thought all along the serpents in the desert were going to be the Giants main competitor for the NL West title but I can't ignore what the Dodgers are doing and have done.  If the Phillies make Cole Hamels available, the Dodgers could very realistically get him and that would be bad.  The fact that the new Dodgers owners want to make some sort of splash is already scary. But let's examine the Giants.  They have 3 lights out starters in Mr. Perfect (I can't believe I

Reviewing the 2012 Giants After One Month

What can you say about the 2012 Giants after 22 games? Well, they're looking awfully similar to the 2011 Giants and have some shared traits of the 2010 team (say like a distant cousin). That is, their starting pitching is rounding into one of the top rotations in the National League as we've come to expect and they're struggling to get key hits that would break games open and make things a lot less, well, torturous. But there are some striking differences as well. The 2012 Giants have been kicking the ball around an inordinate amount. At first, it could be attributed to beginning-of-the-season jitters. But April is over. And the defense remains suspect. Brandon Crawford has made some spectacular plays but has a surprising 4 errors already on the young season. Angel Pagan has had some misplays in the field and his defense seems to be about as average as was advertised when he was acquired. Sandoval has been inconsistent with throws and Buster Posey has had a share

Yes They Cain: Giants 2012 Offseason Review

It all came down to Matt Cain. The Giants entire offseason was going to be graded on whether or not they could lock down Matt Cain. They succeeded. In case you didn't hear (snicker), the Giants signed Cain to a 112.5M 5 year extension that could potentially keep Cainer in a Giants uniform through the 2018 season. This is very good news for Giants fans. It means even if Lincecum bolts after 2013, the Giants have Cain and Bumgarner to lock down the front of the rotation for the foreseeable future. It also gives the Giants a legitimate window to win more championships while they have The Mighty Four intact. The extension has been well received by all. The Giants seem happy about it, Matt Cain is happy about it, Giants fans are happy about it, and baseball executives and scouts seem to think it's fair. The Giants wanted to lock in their pitching this offseason while also trying to improve their offense. Overall, they succeeded. Cain: 5yrs/112.5M extension Linc

MLB 2012 Predictions

With the season about 2 weeks from opening, it's time for my annual predictions. I had some hits and misses last year ( MLB Prediction 2011 ) if you want to check the track record. Fair to say, my guess is as good as yours. I do live and breathe baseball however so consider these predictions to be based on well informed guesses at the very least. Bold = division winner, italics = wildcard. AL West: Rangers , Angels , Mariners, A's AL Central: Tigers , White Sox, Twins, Royals, Indians AL East: Yankees , Rays , Red Sox, Blue Jays, Orioles NL West: Giants , Dbacks, Dodgers, Rockies, Padres NL Central: Brewers , Cardinals , Reds, Pirates, Cubs, Astros NL East: Braves , Marlins , Phillies, Nationals, Mets AL MVP: Prince Fielder, DET NL MVP: Joey Votto, CIN AL Cy Young: David Price, TB NL Cy Young: Tim Lincecum, SF AL ROY: Yu Darvish, TEX NL ROY: Trevor Bauer, AZ ALDS: Tigers vs Rays, Yankees vs Rangers NLDS: Giants vs Marlins, Brewers vs Braves ALCS: Tige

Cain They or Cain't They?

The Giants kept telling us fans all offseason that their priority was to lock up their pitching. That's all we heard. Pitching, pitching, pitching. They didn't go after big free agent hitters because they wanted to lock up their pitching. I'm pretty sure locking up the pitching didn't mean just signing Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez to above market contracts. I'm pretty sure they meant they wanted to lock in Tim Lincecum, Ryan Vogelsong, and Matt Cain. Maybe even get some cost certainty over Madison Bumgarner. Well, one out of four is great, right? The Giants signed Vogelsong to a team friendly 2yr/8M deal with an affordable option for a third year. But aside from that? They settled with Lincecum on a 2 year 40.5M deal that did not buy out a single one of his free agent years. And while they discussed a long term deal with Bumgarner, they couldn't come to an agreement and settled on a one year deal. And Matt Cain, the potential free agent, remains u

Ranking the teams in the National League

With pitchers and catchers reporting in about a week, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at the Giants competition in 2012. I've already broke down the NL West by position but what about the NL as a whole? The Senior Circuit lost some talent this offseason. Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols left for mega contracts and future DH opportunities leaving Joey Votto (and a recovering Ryan Howard) as the only true slugging 1B in the NL. However, the NL should have a more competitive 2012 than it did last year when only 7 of the 16 teams ended the season with a winning record (by comparison, the AL had 6 of 14). I will post my predictions closer to the start of the regular season but for now, let's take a quick look at who the NL's contenders should be, who the sleepers are, and which teams don't look like they have a real shot. CONTENDERS Philadelphia Atlanta Florida Milwaukee St. Louis Cincinnati Arizona San Francisco SLEEPERS Washington Col

A Look At How the NL West Is Shaping Up

Prince Fielder is still looking for a home and the calendar just flipped to 2012. In other words, there's still roughly 6 weeks of the offseason. However, it looks as if the NL West clubs have made most of their big time offseason moves. We're still waiting on that Matt Cain extension and that Timmy signing but aside from that it's not too early to start assessing what should be a competitive Western division this upcoming season. I thought I'd look at a position by position analysis of the 5 NL West clubs to see who is strongest at each position. The 49ers may be in the playoffs but it's never too soon to start talking Giants baseball. CATCHER : Miguel Montero (AZ), Ramon Hernandez (COL), AJ Ellis/Matt Treanor (LA), Nick Hundley (SD), Buster Posey (SF) If Buster Posey comes back as expected, he's one of the games best young players. He also is an above average defensive catcher and game caller. While Montero offers solid offense and Ramon Hernandez