When I watch the Giants, a million thoughts course through my mind. Usually, I have an output for these thoughts. When I’m watching the game on TV, it’s often my wife or a friend. When I’m at the game in person, it is my Giants game buddy, my dad. But when there isn’t anyone…it is you. The following is a rambling, unconnected stream of thoughts that came up during the Giants game. Enjoy.
Man, I love watching Timmy go out there and deal from the mound. Retiring 14 out of 15 batters, striking out 8, countless swing and miss pitches, making good hitters (yes, the Padres still have a few, they won tonight on the long ball) look bad; classic Timmy. Oh ya, I started watching in the 3rd inning. I’m getting tired of saying this; Lincecum looked great…except for that one inning. (I promise that I’ll do some research and figure out his stats on this year without that one inning, but here is a teaser, 30 of his 43 runs come from 8 innings). Since it is fairly consistently one inning that is doing Timmy in, it seems clear to me that it is a concentration issue. Earlier in the year it was a bit easier to accept that it is mechanics or his conditioning is off, but when he deals like he does for 5 out of 6 innings you can’t tell me that his mechanics are off. Even if they are off for that one inning that is just a concentration issue. He knows what it feels like, he knows how to do it, and he just isn’t. He’s got to keep that concentration through that one inning; the Giants are 2-10 in Lincecum starts. That needs to change.
Yes, Timmy should be the ace of the staff. He should be winning games for the Giants. Any starter always shoulders the responsibility of winning the game for the team. But he’s not along; this is a team sport. Lincecum gave up four runs in 6 innings, Affeldt gave up 1 run in 1 inning, and Edlefsen gave up 1 run in 0 innings. Timmy didn’t do his job, and we would have won had it not been for the 2nd inning. But two other pitchers didn’t do their jobs either.
Melky Cabrera has been doing it all year long. He steals bases, he has his signature shoe-top running catch, he throws strikes from the outfield, and he is leading the majors in hitting. And he does it all quietly. Tonight, he decided that people weren’t talking about his base running enough, so he put on a clinic. In the 6th inning, in the midst of a rally, the hottest hitter in baseball comes up with a runner on second and lays down a bunt. I know that statistically the bunt is almost always a bad play; I know 99 out of 100 managers would never have their hottest hitter bunt in any situation…but I admire a guy who can lay down an advantageous sacrifice in the middle of a rally and a personal hot streak. I admire that guy even more when he can beat it out for a single. Cabrera is a good basestealer, he is on par for around 20 steals this year. But he’s an even better base runner. He’s been doing this all year as well. I’ve rarely seen a player who can read the ball and fielders better than Melky. He often runs full boar on balls in the air that would have most runners pausing. Today, on a hit and run, he read Pagan’s line drive perfectly, didn’t slide into 2nd and advanced to third, which set him up to score on the sacrifice from Posey.
Giants fans are spoiled. It’s true. Yes, we have the best pitching staff in the majors. The view from basically all the seats is pretty awesome as well. There aren’t too many ball parks out there with the breadth of food that we get served up to us. But I’m not talking about any of that. Those are perks, but not the spoils. When was the last time you were at AT&T Park and the visiting fans out numbered the home fans? Can you imagine hearing cheering erupt from the seats if Kershaw struck out Posey? Or Tulo chants echoing around China Basin? It can be hard not to take the dedication and spirit of Giants fans for granted, but every time I watch our team play at Petco Park it reminds me that not all teams have that sort of fan base.
When will they start automatically tazing anyone who steps one unauthorized foot on the field? Clearly a night in the slammer, a fine, and an unenforceable lifetime ban isn’t enough to keep the idiots off the field. I’ll bet 50,000 volts would be enough.