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The Backwards Cap Was a Trainwreck, But the Rest of It Wasn’t

Barry Zito is one of the most puzzling creatures currently gracing Major League Baseball.  And I mean that in the nicest possible way (for now).  He took the mound last night in San Francisco and led the Giants to their fourth straight win.  Those four straight wins, incidentally, have been the four games following the MCM.  Speaking of puzzling news.  Sabes should really take note of the fact that this team evidently responds quite well to reverse psychology and the media saying their world has come crashing down and all that stuff.  Heck, maybe he should start paying the media to say nasty things about the team’s future.  Four-game win streaks might follow.  Might be awesome.  Might be the new Moneyball.  Might stop the Bay Area is a cheating hotspot! chatter (lookin’ at you, Bartolo Colon) and usher in a new era of, Bay Area is a baseball innovation hotspot!  Or is paying the media to write something about you cheating…?

Either way!  Back to Zito.  It’s August 24th and he’s sporting a winning record and an ERA of 4.31.  He’s had some terrible starts and some absolutely dazzling ones, but he’s been good enough overall that I don’t feel the difficult-to-resist urge to cringe every time he pitches.  And yesterday, he pitched a shutout into the ninth.  And got “Barry!” cheers.  And was like, “Duuuuuude,” in his postgame press conference.   (Just kidding about the last part.)

He also wore a backwards cap, which was kind of a trainwreck, but nothing else about last night was, so I’ll just forgive and forget.

Angel Pagan went on being über-Angel Pagan who’s his amazingly fabulous alter ego, as far as I can tell.  The offense actually hit and Hunter Pence put down a marvelous bunt which all left me in a state of slight disbelief.  In a good way.  A very, very good way.

Diamond Girl

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What, One Can Simply Score More Runs?

I may have said something along the lines of “One does not simply score more runs,” the other day.  My blog is the virtual equivalent of a fascist state, so you can’t confirm whether or not I actually said that.  (Okay, fine.  You can.  That’s what the neat “scroll” feature on your computer is for.)  Anyhows, Friday, it sure looked like it and the Giants went down quietly, 3-0.  Silently.  But then today rolled around and… things were different.

Nine runs, thirteen hits different.  This team has kind of morphed to a point that it’s creepy, except not creepy because it’s completely wonderful.  Actually, still creepy.

Boromir is happy.

A lot of different pieces fell into place.  Matt Cain delivered what was probably his best performance since the perfect game way back in June – June was also, incidentally, the last time a Giant other than Buster Posey hit a homer at home, so there’s that –, Hunter Pence started to look a little bit like the Hunter Pence we know and love and, um, traded our souls to the devil for and Buster Posey kept hitting ‘em homers at home.   Angel Pagan also had a lovely little two-run triple.  He can do everything except, you know, catching a ball in a sensible fashion.

I love the Rockies.  I really do.  If Dan O’Dowd ever comes to the Bay Area to catch a game, I will gladly invite him over for tea and thank him from the bottom of my heart for creating such an, ahem, fun team to play.

Diamond Girl

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Being Cold In 99° Weather

It’s not like Colorado is all that fantastic this year (understatement of the century?  Perhaps.) but still, coming off of that sweep, seeing a little momentum carry over would have been good.  The Cardinals very unceremoniously killed any momentum that might have been there, taking the first game of the series by a final of 8-2.  Angel Pagan led off the game with a homer and is staying hot, along with Buster Posey who is way beyond hot right now, but then Carlos Beltran gave it right back.  We love you too, Carlos.  Not.  (That’s out of my system now.  I will attempt to cease being bitter to him.)  The story just got sadder from there, basically, with Matt Cain continuing his iffy numbers since the perfect game back in June and the offense proving that even though the high in St. Louis is 99° there today, they can still hit like they’re in a fog.

Our home stadium, ladies and gents.

ButyouknowStLouiswontheWorldSerieslastyearsoitsnotlikeyoucanblametheGiantsforhavingtroubleagainstthemright?  Eh.  Maybe not.  Logic is not exactly in my favor.

Still, Barry Zito’s on the mound tonight for San Francisco so this one should be interesting.  He’s 8-8 on the year with a 4.27 ERA and has basically taken a nosedive since starting the season very strongly.  It’s not like our chances look fantastic for tonight, but I am curious to see what he’ll do tonight and haven’t completely written him off for the year.  The win-loss statistic is this side of meaningless, but if he could squeeze out a win and take a winning record for the moment, it might mean a tiny something in his Giants career.

Seriously, though, if you’d like to feel better about the Giants chances at winning this division, check out who the Dodgers lost 2-zip to, yesterday.  Colorado, people.  They went 0 for 8 with RISP.  Against the Rockies.  And they do not have anything close to the excuse of theywontheWorldSerieslastyear.

Diamond Girl

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13-Minute Cupcakes and Assorted Rangers Pitchers

When I looked at the probable pitchers for this weekend’s Rangers-Giants series, I was disappointed.  If Twitter is any measure of the general population’s opinions (which it, well, isn’t, but no matter), a lot of other people were too.  Why?  Because we all wanted to see Yu.  Not you.  You’re awesome and all, and it’s not you it’s me… but I’m talking Yu Darvish.  Because he is pretty much the best thing to happen to Major League Baseball since Ryan Braun’s haircut.  When I saw, then, that he was starting in Oakland today, my fingers were on StubHub in record time and soon enough, I had tickets and had suckered my family into dropping everything and coming with me.  I have a delightful family, on occasion.

I got to the O.Co Coliseum sort of, um, early because apparently they open the gates an hour and a half before gametime, rather than two full hours, like they generally do in civilized pla— I mean, AT&T Park.  I’ve never been to Arlington, Texas but I imagine it’s something like it was in Oakland today.  Rangers.  Fans.  Everywhere.  It was kind of weird, but kind of fantastic.

Anyhow, for reasons I discovered and will explain later, My Favorite Ranger Ever (as much as I love Yu, this one goes to Alexi Ogando) was throwing a bullpen session when I did get into the stadium.  I was, oh, four feet away from him and it ranks up there in Greatest Moment of Emily’s Life, right up with the time I made cupcakes from scratch in just under thirteen minutes.  True story.

Pictures or it didn’t happen, you say?  Okay, I say.  I will gladly oblige.

Also, isn’t their Rangers-themed ball bag the cutest thing on earth?  I want one.  Even though I don’t really tote around baseballs.  Ever.  Still, I bet it could double as a fab makeup bag.

I would once more like to say thankyouAJPrelleryouarethebestandsoisAlexitheend.

The game itself was not nearly as fun.  Yu was not in tiptop Yu shape and sort of seemed to forget where the strike zone was, midway through.  Josh Hamilton, in good ol’ Josh Hamilton fashion, hit a double and Beltre singled him in, for the only Rangers run of the game.  I like the A’s just fine under normal circumstances… normal circumstances being when they are not scoring seven runs off of Texas.  I glowered into my avocado sandwich for a while and then the Yu jokes started and I had a good time.

All with one eye, of course, on the out-of-town scoreboard.  Yes, guys, I’m still a Giants fan, believe it or not!  It was getaway day in San Diego and the Giants had their first three-homer game since the beginning of April at Coors Field and they, you know, have a humidor and things so that doesn’t really count.  Today, it was the magical and marvelous combo of Buster Posey, Gregor Blanco and Angel Pagan.  Good times, eh?  The Giants head into this weekend’s matchup with the exact same record as the Rangers, by some fate:  33 wins, 25 losses.

To say I cannot wait would be a massive understatement.  Sure, my loyalties are a bit messy, but the games are also sure to be loads of fun.  And yes, Alexi is starting on Sunday, in place of newly-DL’ed Derek Holland.  Which is why he was throwing a bullpen.  So he can mow down the Giants.  Yep, messy loyalties, indeed.

Diamond Girl

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Why I Am Now Fabricating Giant-Related Disasters

It is now time to exhale and laugh a little at ourselves for the mass hysteria that has ruled the roost for the past few days.  Well, maybe not completely exhale just yet.  We are only one game removed from all of that, but what a game it was.  A 2-1 victory in Los Angles, dealing Clayton Kershaw his first at-home loss in over a year and playing respectable defense at last, too.  There was a bit of clutch hitting and a lot of good pitching.  Overall, very encouraging and very calming.  Leastways, I felt calmed.

We did not leave unscathed, of course, seeing as Pagan got some sort of a nasty cramp in the eighth, but that was just to be expected, right?  No pain, no gain, as my brother reports they preach in Little League.  (And you wonder why I didn’t play Little League, guys.  Positive mantras and I tend to, er, clash.)  Hopefully, this wasn’t that big a pain, though.  Bochy says Pagan will be back in a day or two and he was planning to give him a rest today, anyhow.

This feels weird to write, really.  There are no horrors to describe or disastrous turns to narrate.  I swear, I am this close to inventing a storyline about Ryan Vogelsong’s freak injury as he was combing his hair with a silver comb given to him by a suspicious-looking witch in a cottage in the middle of the forest.   The witch was probably jealous, you know, about his amazing good looks and pitching and stuff so she gave him aforementioned poisoned comb.

I mean, do you see the spike in the hair there?  I know it’s mostly gel, but a comb has got to involved somewhere too.

See?  Now I feel like a Giants blogger again.  It’s Disaster Inside and all that.

In all seriousness, though, I am stoked for tonight’s game.  I think this is going to continue going swimmingly (hopefullyhopefully) and soon I will become accustomed to It’s Magic Inside and all that.  In the purely non-Magic-Johnson sense of the phrase.

Diamond Girl

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