Monthly Archives: June 2012

My Cupcake Calendar Knows Andy Pettitte, Kinda

Since there never seems to be enough time for anything on a Friday, I’m going to put allthebaseballnewsyoucouldeverwant into a 10 piece rundown.  ‘K?  K.

10.  The Giants lost the final game against Houston yesterday, but seriously, who’s thinking about that?  I, for one, am still coasting on the perfect game and ten runs and all of that fabulousness.  Zito gets out of jail free, in terms of blog ripping.

9.  Birthday bonanza!  Andy Pettitte is turning 40 today and that reminded me that I’ve been meaning to talk about him.  Do you see what he’s doing over in New York?  He’s rocking a 2.81 ERA over six starts and showing no signs of slowing.  Ah-mazing.  Can I please be like that when I’m 40?

8.  Also having a birthday today is our very own Tim Lincecum.  Say what you will about him at this moment, I got to thinking about when I was at the stadium on his birthday two years ago and we all sang Happy Birthday to him as he signed autographs.  It’s a rather nice memory.  I think we should all have peace on earth and goodwill to all, especially Tiny Tim.  And I think I have a good feeling about his start tomorrow in Seattle provided, of course, that my sunglasses are present.

7.  It is also Neil Patrick Harris’s birthday, for whatever it’s worth.  Actually, this is what it’s worth.  It seems appropriate for my blog, because I think it all the time after I publish a post.

6.  Aubrey Huff apparently injured his knee jumping over the railing to celebrate da perfect game.  Ow.  CSNBayArea reports he’s headed to the DL and we’re going to be seeing Justin Christian in his place.  The plot thickens.

5.  My cupcake calendar (Do. Not. Laugh.) has had birthday cupcakes for the past few days and today, as well.  It knows me!  It’s psychic!  It knows Timmy and Andy and Neily!  Maybe!  Probably not, but still!

4.  Madison Bumgarner is facing King Felix on Sunday and I cannot wait.  It promises to be a great pitching matchup/total blowout, just because we all thought it would be a great pitching matchup.

3.  For once, I am totally rooting for the Diamondbacks as they take on the Angels who are a nerve-inducing 3.0 back from Texas.  Go Diamondbacks.  I can’t bring myself to include an exclamation point, but seriously, beat them Angels.  (Scoreboard watching?  Heck yes.)

2.  I think I’ve failed to talk about the now infamous “Clown question, bro,” incident, so I am going to do right that right now.  Bryce Harper has got some serious ‘tude.  I alternate between loving it and loathing it.  His use of “bro” which needs to die now is kind of edging me onto the loathing it side, but the deadpan delivery is helping with the love.

1.  Oh, did you hear?  Matt Cain pitched a perfect game.  Yeah.

Diamond Girl

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A Black-and-White World and a Technicolor Baseball Game

Beyond all of the rivalries and the noise, I like to think we all become baseball fans for the same reason.  We become baseball fans for moments, however rare, that put the rest of the world in black-and-white while the baseball field is full Technicolor.  We become baseball fans because when something like that happens – the connection to the other fans, to the players, to what is happening before our eyes – is very tangible and very, very magical.  Those moments get lodged inside of you and through losing seasons, through August blowouts, through crushing walk-off wins down the stretch, those moments are keeping you a fan, even if you don’t know it.

Last night, Matt Cain pitched the 22nd perfect game in the history of Major League Baseball and the first in Giants franchise history.  27 up, 27 down.

I don’t have any fabulous story for where I was when it happened. I was where I usually am during games:  in my bedroom, snuggled up to my radio.  As it got really close, I turned on the video stream from MLB.com and even my long-suffering sister who has very little interest in baseball, other than being unequivocally convinced that Rickie Weeks is actually named Wiki Leaks, was cheering and biting her nails.  I truly believe Cain is a player no one can root against and in a career of high points, including zero earned runs in the 2010 postseason, this was the highest point of all.

I cried about baseball for the first time since Bengie Molina was traded – because, seriously, that was heartbreaking – but this time it was happy tears.  Because while Gregor Blanco dove in the outfield like gravity did not exist and Matt Cain threw the final pitch into Buster Posey’s glove, there was just the game, statistically the best Giants game ever ever, and there is nothing better than that.

I will never forget it, as I am inclined to think none of us ever will.  A tip of the white beanie to Matt Cain who is perfect, now and always.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Also, it was totally the sunglasses.  These things are way lucky.  I don’t believe us fans can bring bad luck, but good luck?  Heck yes.  You’re welcome, Matt Cain, history books and Bud Selig.

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Why the Astros Helped the Giants Break the Drought (Don’t Worry, It Was Subconscious)

I bought new sunglasses at the always fantastic H&M yesterday.  I called them my Victoria Beckham shades, but after last night’s game, I think they might actually be rose-colored.

These may look black to you, but trust me, they will make you see the world (and especially Giants) in a whole new, home-run-hitting light.  But!  In case you are considering coming to steal them from me after my tirade about their awesomeness, know that I am highly trained in the fine art of… origami.  Not a good idea.

Madison Bumgarner rocked pretty much everything, including hitting his first Major League home run to tie up the game in the third inning.  It was the Giants first long ball at home since Gregor Blanco did the feat – yep, homers are a feat ‘round here – on May 14th.  Not to be one-upped, Brandon Belt hit another one later in the night and along with Madison’s 12 strikeouts over nearly eight innings, they led San Francisco to a 6-3 win over Houston, who might be AL or NL at this point.  I’m not entirely clear on that.  (Just. Kidding. People. With. No. Sense. Of. Humor.)

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, that right there was the longest at-home homer drought since the Astros in 1990.  History just happened here, guys.  (Also, yes.  Astros.  Who we’re playing.  I bet they have an innate remembrance of that, even though none of the players are the same, so they subconsciously felt badly for the Giants and allowed those home runs.  This makes so much sense now.)

According to Dave Flemming, I tweet too much like a valley girl.  Victoria Beckham sunglassed valley girl, I might add.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Melky is back!  Melky is back!  Melky is back!

Why the Astros Helped the Giants Break the Drought (Don’t Worry, It Was Subconscious)

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The Rough Spot Strategies

Hello, hello!  Yep, that was me who said on Saturday that I thought “the Giants were coming into their own”.  Needless to say, by that I did not mean “were going to very nearly get no-hit by the Rangers bullpen”.  Yesterday’s game was just ugly.

I was excited about Alexi Ogando starting for the Rangers and figured if he shut down the Giants offense, I wouldn’t be too torn up about it, because he’s pretty much my favorite pitcher ever.  And he did do rather well, but then… he injured himself running out a bunt in the fourth before he’d reached his designated pitch count (65) and is now probably headed to the DL.  Also, Tim Lincecum now has the fourth-worst ERA in the National League and Aubrey Huff got the Giants first hit of the game, pinch-hitting in the sixth.

Ouch does not even begin to cut it.

The Giants have fallen to five games back from the Dodgers and the Rangers only narrowly lead the American League West by three games.  Additionally, Texas has won just one more game than San Francisco overall.  Did anyone see that one coming?  The plot has most certainly thickened.  (Also, who predicted that the White Sox would be super awesome this year?  If you say, “I did,” I do not believe you for a second.  Sorry, guys.)

The biggest story out of the weekend, I think, is Timmy, as mentioned above.  He is not looking good.  He is not even looking better.  There is the occasional encouraging sign here and there, but mostly, he is just not helping the Giants, period.  The numbers about their record without his starts is pretty mind-boggling, at least to me.  It’s June 11th and the season has not just started.  Very simply, every starter makes a big, big difference and the difference Lincecum is making is negative.  But as much as that’s all statically inarguable, I wonder how much good it does to repeat it over and over.

For the time being, the Giants have placed a lot of trust in Lincecum (not to mention the money) and the likelihood is, in my opinion, that to get to the playoffs and beyond, they would need him to help them out.  A lot of people are calling for them to skip him for one start and while that could help, I think there is something to be said for just hitting a rough spot.  Sometimes, the best way to get out of those is to simply keep moving.  Other options:

  1. Eating aforementioned player alive.
  2. Burning aforementioned player alive (could work with #1, theoretically).
  3. Tarring and feathering aforementioned player alive.
  4. Trading aforementioned player to the Kansas City Royals.  (Hihi, Jonathan Sanchez and Jonathan Sanchez’s walks.)

There will come a point when it’s not productive for anyone to keep sending Lincecum out, but I don’t think we’re there yet.  The Bud Selig G—I mean, the All Star Game isn’t even here yet.  Which reminds me, I gotta go vote.  I still have not worked up the motivation.  I mean, what would you choose if you could vote for the ASG or make apple cinnamon muffins?

I know.  I agree.  The apple cinnamon muffins.

Diamond Girl

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Lopsided Eyebrows and Wide, Wide Smiles

Interleague Play has kicked off in earnest, with the Rangers and the Giants facing off in San Francisco this weekend.  It’s been an interesting series, to say the least, with Texas taking Game 1 by a final of 5-0 and San Francisco winning today, 5-2.  Last night also marked the Rangers first win ever at AT&T Park, in their twelfth game here.  Personally, I credit that to our vastly peculiar weather (did you see the Rangers huddled up in jackets in their dugout, looking completely shell-shocked?), but it also could have been a voodoo curse or the fact that even Jon Daniels’ magnificence takes a while to kick in and the Rangers, aside from the World Series, haven’t played here all that recently.   Maybe a voodoo curse is the most likely theory, after all.

Anyway, I am loving the matchup… AL vs. NL always is strange and fun (and no, the All Star game does not count) and that crazy game up in Seattle was another example of that.  The Mariners, bless their most-hipster-city-in-the-nation hearts, no-hit the Dodgers, using a total of six pitchers.  In San Francisco, there was nothing that wacky but that leadoff homer from Kinsler had my eyebrows a little lopsided and the fact that the Giants were shut out for the first time this year was also, probably, somewhat telling.

The other weird thing is just that, with a few exceptions, there seems to be much more goodwill to go around, during Interleague Play.  Maybe it’s that we won’t play these people again, barring the World Series, but the fans and broadcasters both seem much more willing to compliment the opposing team.  Seriously, there’s been so much Ranger admiration flying in Giantsland that it is kind of making me suspicious.  I mean, I love ‘em too.  Just not sure why Giants people seem so doting.

About that no-hitter, though, doesn’t that seem like lots of fun?  I mean, I’m sure for the starting pitcher who didn’t get to finish it due to injury, it wasn’t all that fun at all, but in general, no-hitters feel like a bit of a solitary achievement, even though the offense and defense are absolutely involved.  I think as a fan, seeing the whole bullpen come together to pull that off would be quite marvelous.  I can’t get into the heads of the (hipster) Mariners fan, so I can’t be sure, but that was my thought.

Overall, I think the Giants seem to be coming into their own, in a peculiar way.  The loss of Melky Cabrera for this series is a painful one, but Pablo’s return is so smile-worth it is not even funny.  The pitching is really as stellar as it’s supposed to be and the offense is beginning to step up.

They’re now 4 back from the first-place Dodgers (scoreboard watching?  Heck yes.), who played again in Seattle tonight and won.  The rubbermatch is tomorrow.  Let’s have a resounding, “Go Mariners!” can we?!

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Can the Josh Hamilton drug jokes please die?  Hamilton is a grown man and he did what he did.  From what I’ve read, he takes the jokes and the criticism alike in stride, but that doesn’t mean we should all do it.  The people in front of me at the Coliseum the other day had a running stream of them and during this Giants series, it’s been the same way.  What’s so very funny about recovering from drug addiction is foreign to me, not to mention, the whole taking-the-high-road thing.  Hamilton is a really, truly brilliant athlete and ballplayer and probably the best hitter in the in the game this year.  I would be more than happy to talk about that.

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