Tag Archives: gregor blanco

Cloudy With a Chance of Winning

The day of clinching is a grab-the-popcorn and cross your fingers kind of day.  The day after clinching is quite the opposite.  It’s a slow, lazy, happy sort of day.  But it was as soon as today’s lineup hit the internet that the reality began to set in.  The reality being that Giants are the 2012 National League West Champions.   2012.  National. League.  West.  Champions.

Blanco CF, Theriot 2B, Arias 3B, Nady LF, Pill 1B, Peguero RF, Whiteside C, Burriss SS and Petit RHP.

For the second time in three years, which is not bad at all.  A sense of inevitability set in, oh, every time Marco Scutaro came up to bat and when, a few thousand pitching changes later, they did clinch it, I was ridiculously happy.  Even happier, I think, than 2010.  The comparisons are many and unavoidable, but I think these two teams, in many ways, couldn’t be more opposite.  And I’ll go on record saying I think this one is better.  It’s anyone’s guess how the postseason will go – cloudy with a chance of winning, if you ask me – but I think we’ve got a really solid group here for a few years to come.

And that’s a gratifying feeling.  It gives way to elation, because this is just the beginning.  Bochy said that chances are all five starters will make the postseason roster, one of them as a reliever, and it seems right now that the Giants will be opening the NLDS against Cincinnati.  I’m already getting excited for it.  The way last night’s game ended, with all that fantastic relief pitching, was one of the big things that’s been key to the Giants success this season and that Pablo Sandoval catch was also completely spectacular, even if it wasn’t quite a Jonathan Sanchez triple.  We missed a year, but we’re back and better than ever.  Weird lineups and 2012 postseason, we’re ready for you.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  They lost today.  But I’m still smiling, so go figure.

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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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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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Sigmund and Aesop Would Have a Field Day With Us

Aesop would have a field day with us Giants fans.  (That is my bit of wisdom for the day.  You are very welcome.  If you are a little puzzled – understandable – then read on.)

Giants fans spent the better part of the last several years, with the exception of a few World Series drunk months, calling for the Giants management to play the young guys.  Heck, play the semi-kinda-sorta-not-even-really-all-that-young guys.  We all know how Bochy loves his veterans and Sabean has a bit of a penchant for them as well.  In 2010, lightening hit a bottle and those veterans were brilliant, brilliant enough to win the team a championship.  But as 2011 showed, perhaps, it was just that:  lightening in a bottle.  Which means it can’t be repeated.  So the calling for the young guys started again.

Then partially by necessity (injuries) and maybe partially by design, it happened.  2012 has seen a whole crop of young guys decorating the Major League roster.  Observe:

Those are the birthdates of the 25 man roster right now, excluding the pitchers – because nobody has really been calling for young pitchers lately.  With a few notable exceptions, they are young, young, young.  They are also, to put it rather bluntly, losing games.  They are winning some as well and Gregor Blanco, for instance, is performing quite nicely at the moment, but a lot of them are just simply not performing.

Bruce Bochy has made a few variations of the comment “this is a part of young player’s development” and while that feels a little ridiculous at face value, it is also intriguing, I think.  The Giants could go out and get some older players off of waivers or through mini-trades, around the deadline, but even if they won with those guys, would it be worth it, exactly?  Maybe they need, at this point, to be finding younger players and building a core.  They already have a pitching core and an excellent one at that, but otherwise, they just don’t have one.  Not to be completely ornery, but if that is what they do, I am happy to wait through a few losing seasons.

Mostly, I think as fans we have to take a moment of respect for the fact they are playing the young guys, they really are.  Maybe not the young guys we want them to play, but it’s happening.  Sure, Edgar Renteria looks awfully appealing at this very second, but… I kid, I kid.

Moral of the Story:  We want what we can’t have.

Come to think of it, Sigmund (Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund, that is) might also have a field day with us.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Currently learning to speak with an Aussie accent, by the way.  Because Billy Beane loves his Aussies, it seems, and will totally hire me if he thinks I am one.  Good career move, mais non?  I mean, good career move and g’day mate and all that.


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