14 Innings of Fun

Fun: Watching a 14 inning, 4 hour 34 minute, baseball game, particularly when the Giants win.

Not fun: Watching 12 innings, or approximately 3 hours and 54 minutes in which the Giants don’t score.

I’m a diehard baseball fan; I would be happy if it never ended. You can ask my wife, who every year gets a false sense of hope when the season ends, only to hear me talk incessantly about who is doing well in the winter leagues, how much weight Pablo lost, or who got traded into or out of the NL and how that affects my NL only fantasy league.

So while I would much rather see Bumgarner pitch a gem, get around another costly Crawford error, and take a win home, the prospect of more baseball in extra innings takes a bit of the sting out of a game-tying HR by Ryan “Doesn’t do PEDs on a Technicality” Braun. However, watching the Giants went 4 extra innings in which they could only muster 2 base runners (1 hit and 1 HBP) and went down in order thrice does not make for riveting baseball; particularly against the 4th worst bullpen in the majors. Finally, in the 14th, Hector Sanchez got his 2nd Major League HR to win it for us. He reportedly told Krukow that he isn’t much of a power hitter, with relatively few HRs in the minors. Guess what…he’s 22! He’s got a lot of time to build his power.

A lot has been said about Bochy’s decision to leave Madison in there to face Braun in the 8th. He had Romo greased up and ready to go, and Romo is a better matchup given that he pitches right handed and eats right handed batters for breakfast. But let’s not forget that in 2012, Bumgarner has been eating all batters for breakfast. He has a sub-3 ERA and righties are hitting only .239 off him. He had just struck out 10 batters and had been dominate all game. I think it’s a no brainer to leave him, and I would have criticized Bochy for not doing so. Yes, Romo is likely the most reliable relief pitcher in the majors right now, but I’ve never understood the logic of pulling a pitcher who has been doing it all night, getting outs left and right, in favor of a guy who has been sitting on a bench, usually with a worse view of the game than the fans in the nose-bleed seats.

Aoki and Arias. They have similar names, similar builds, similar skills, and kept getting each other out all night long. It seemed like each was making a point of hitting the ball to the other, as if to say “go ahead, I want you to get me out.” Arias made an amazing off-balance throw from foul territory on an attempted bunt hit to get Aoki out by a couple steps. It will be interesting to see what happens to Arias when Pablo comes back. Bochy has been stacking his lineups defensively rather than offensively of late, and it seems to be working. Joaquin is a magician in the field; he looks like the clumsiest guy out there, yet always manages to coerce his lanky limbs into making tough play. And he has a hell of an arm. Obviously Pablo will need to be in the lineup, so will Arias move to 2B? It looks less and less like Sanchez is going to come back to claim that spot, so it’s a definite possibility.

Now, the best moment of the game. Great defensive work by Arias? 14th inning homer by the rookie catcher? A season high 10 Ks by Bumgarner? All good moments, but the greatest was Casilla’s first official career at bat. He came to the plate sporting an OBP of 1.000 with 1 career walk. It was hard to not laugh as he flailed at the pitches from the extreme edge of the batter’s box, particularly as they kept cutting to Affelt as he was clearly composing his postgame recap of the at bat for the reporters. He went with, “It was embarrassing. He looked like someone was shooting at him.”

Who doesn’t love gifs? @Gidget sure does, and she made some great one’s capturing Casilla’s swings (or lack there off). Below are two of my favorites.

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