A late night

I can’t sleep, so I’m tracking the Sacramento River Cats game on Twitter. The game just went into the bottom of the 18th inning and has been going for over 5 hours. Position players are pitching now. Apparently there’s a curfew rule that prohibits an inning from starting after 12:50am. I’m not sure what they do after that.

The Giants game went into extras tonight because Santiago Casilla is having some trouble with the closer role. Say what you will about Brian Wilson’s methods in the 9th but dude almost always pulled it off. Usually with the bases loaded, two outs, and a full count.

Brandon Crawford fouled a ball off his knee in the 11th and because there was no one left but two relievers and four starting pitchers, he had to stay in. On the next pitch, he crushed a home run to right center. It’s one of the best, if not THE best, Giants home run this season. I mean, Crawford was PISSED. You could see it in his face as he swung through and made contact with the ball.

Chipper Jones isn’t very happy with Melky Cabrera, who taunted fans a few times tonight/did his usual wrestling crotch slam thing with Blanco. We’re to be on the lookout tomorrow (technically today) for a rib ball for Melky. And I’m sure benches will clear because everyone will be tired and cranky and rawwwwrrrr.

The only other Giants-related thing I can think to tell you is that Buster Posey’s batting average in the last like 5 games is somewhere in the neighborhood of perfect. Perfect or .595. CLOSE ENOUGH.

River Cats update: walk off homer by a Tacoma position player who pitched the top of the inning. Oh, baseball.

Pitching Duel

I knew tonight’s game against the Phillies would be good. Generally, I both fear and anticipate a series against them because so much could happen. Both teams have a strong pitching staff. The Phillies have more power in their bats. We have more…luck? I don’t really know. But tonight’s game was so good, you guys. So good.

The first time I saw Cliff Lee pitch was during the World Series in 2010 when he played for the Texas Rangers. He’s one of the reasons I became a Rangers fan during the series (but I couldn’t tell anyone this because they were the Rangers and they were the enemy and grrrr). Even though he isn’t with the Rangers anymore, the plus side of seeing the Phillies for me is Cliff Lee. When I saw that he’d be battling Matt Cain, I knew we were in for a good one. I just didn’t know how good.

I am far too tired to look up the line on Cain and Lee but it’s impressive. They were almost neck and neck the entire game, down to the pitch count (Cain was almost always 1 pitch ahead). Cain came out after the 9th inning and Lee stayed in through the 10th. Both were consistent, both were pitching clean and tight with very few mistakes. We managed to get on base a bit more than the Phillies but we couldn’t do anything there. Lee’s pitching was that good.

In the end, we won when Brandon Belt (#FreeBelt) came in one or two outs into the top of the 11th. After Brandon Crawford struck out in the bottom of the 11th, Belt singled to center (I think). With one out and one man on, Angel Pagan singled to…somewhere on the field I don’t even remember (this is the best game recap ever, right? This is why I’m going to learn scoring this season) and then Melky Cabrera stepped up to the plate, and on the second or third pitch, ripped one right and Brandon Belt stretched those giraffey legs of his and hauled his ass to home plate. Giants poured from the dugout. Timmy cleared the railing with a single hop (both legs tucked under him), and Melky was dogpiled along the third base line. It was glorious. GLORIOUS!

ETA: Brian Wilson undergoes his second Tommy John surgery today (April 19). They’re calling it Tommy John but we all know what it is: a procedure for a bionic arm. We (me) wish you a successful surgery and a Posey-esque rehab. See you soon, Willie.

Woe

So this happened tonight.

Someone please kill me now

Our season is young, very young, and right now it looks like the most uncoordinated, bumbling baby that has ever existed. Our hitting is sporadic, our fielding is atrocious, and our pitching is…improving. Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum seem to be having some sort of Freaky Friday thing going on so far, which is very bad except for the way in which it is good: Zito’s pitching some amazing games. And hey, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a fan of his but I never wanted him to fail. Take it as your personal challenge to prove me wrong, Zeets.

Lincecum’s shaky (dismal) start to the season is a bummer, but tonight he showed some resiliency (6.0 IP, 8H, 5ER, 1BB, 6K — I thought he got 7? Must’ve lost count). I mean, his ERA is like, a zillion now but after the first inning, he seemed to settle in a little and he looked REALLY good in the 5th and 6th (or maybe just one of those innings, I can’t remember — this is why I need to start taking notes). The guy who had serious ownage on him didn’t do much all night, which was a relief. If our offense had been able to string together more hits, the game would’ve been a lot closer. We might’ve even won.

I started a post on Sunday about Pablo, Melky, and Vogelsong, but I didn’t get to finish it before it faded into the obscurity of the following game. The point I most wanted to make in it stands, as far as I’m concerned, and it’s about Pablo. I think they sacrificed batting and fielding in favor of conditioning in the offseason and during spring training. I think it shows in how sloppy Panda’s playing 3rd base. This isn’t a guy I’d trust behind the plate. I don’t think it has anything to do with his weight. He’s held that post down at higher weights.

I think Brandon Crawford is going to wear himself out trying to cover all the weak spots in our defense. Huff’s slow coming out of left, Panda’s getting sloppy, Burriss is better than Theriot at fielding but he’s still missed a few vital plays. Crawford’s effectively covering a lot of ground around those areas. Definitely has more hustle than we’ve seen at SS in awhile. When his bat gets hot – and I predict it will – he’s going to be an incredible asset to this team.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) our shining hope, Madison Bumgarner, takes the mound. Wednesday, Brian Wilson goes to see Dr. Andrews in Florida. This weekend’s news (season-ending injury) might not be as bad as initially thought but Willie’s going to be out for awhile at the very least, and it’s going to suck (for those of us who lovehate his innings). He’s going to rehab in SF, so I look forward to Kruk & Kuip inviting him upstairs for a chat during a few games.

As for the rest of the season, who knows? Maybe we’re just getting all of our bad ball out of the way now so we can spend the rest of the season dominating. It’s a dream, at least, and until it comes true, I’m going to cling tight to Buster Posey’s angel wings and pray for a miracle.

*Image courtesy of estrella55

Brandon Cycle

Brandon Crawford has a double and a triple and Brandon Belt has a single and a homerun, so combined, the Brandons have hit for what the SF Giants Twitter coined the “Brandon Cycle”.

I don’t know why we waited so long to start playing this way but it is glorious and beautiful and SIXTY SPLASH HITS, BABY!!

ETA: Conor Gillaspie for an in-the-park RBI homerun. WHAT. IS. AIR.