Tag Archives: rangers

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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Let Them Be Free and Let’s Play Ball

As many of you probably know, fighting human trafficking is a passion of mine, right up there with Giants baseball, so I’m terribly excited about tonight, which is Human Trafficking Awareness Night at AT&T Park.

The lovely t-shirt comes from a Not For Sale Campaign – you can read all about them here – and Sevenly team-up (it reads “Let Them Be Free” in case you can’t read it through my multitude of hair) and the Giants cap is actually my brother’s, because his is definitely more fab than mine.  Thanks for lending it to me, darling.  It’s for a good cause.

Diamond Girl

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In Case You Ever Wondered What An Eugenio Velez in a Toy Shop Is Like…

Baseball Sundays are just the best, aren’t they?  The Giants won very tidily in Arizona today, by a final of 7-3 and got loads of hits in the process.  14, to be precise.  Is that the best or is that the best?  After such an up-and-down couple of weeks, a game that just goes down nicely is an anomaly and a welcome one, at that.  Gregor Blanco and Brett Pill were the stars of the show and Barry Zito squeezed out a quality start, too.  It is games like these that make you think – or, at least, hope – that the squad can work things out.  It may not be neat, but it may work.  They are back at .500 with 17 wins and 17 losses and they are six games out from the first place Dodgers.  Not terribly shabby for May 13th.  I think we may make it out alive, after all.

I am watching the Rangers (hopefully) rip through the Angels on ESPN, so I have to get going, but I would like to leave you with this two Mother’s Day stories.  This first one comes from the Giants official blog about former Giant Eugenio Velez and it’s a smile-worthy story.

“Pura Eugenia Vancamper named her son after herself, and they always had a particularly close bond. She knew early on that baseball had a hold on him. When she let her three children choose a toy one day at a store, her older son chose a truck, her daughter a doll and Eugenio, still just a toddler, went straight for the plastic bat and ball. She tried to talk him into a tricycle but he insisted on the bat and ball.”

This story, about Texas’ Alexi Ogando, is also wonderfully heart-warming.

“It took five years for that second chance to come, but it did come, and there came a day last July when Fefa Ogando was not cooking in San Pedro de Macoris. She was riding in a truck through Phoenix streets that were lined with baseball fans. Her son was on the back of the truck during the Red Carpet Parade on his way to his first All-Star Game at Chase Field, and the fans were shouting ‘Ogando! Ogando!’

Fefa Ogando turned to Rangers broadcaster Eleno Ornelas and said, ‘They know my son’s name! I can’t believe it. Thank you so much for talking me into coming here!’”

Lastly, of course, our very own Gregor Blanco dedicated his fantastic game to his mother, who passed away six years ago.  Bittersweet, but mostly sweet.  A very lovely day around Major League baseball.  Totally talking about the mother stories, but did I also mention that Nelson Cruz just hit a grand-slam in Texas?  Yes.  A lovely day.

Diamond Girl

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25 Words Can Speak Volumes

Haiku #1 of the Day:

So the Marlins are

in town now and I am so

absolutely stoked

 

Haiku #2 of the Day:

Why?  Because, of course,

I am going to go to

the ballgame.  Oh, yes.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  “Yu” and “Darvish” have been pretty much the only words to come out of my mouth for the past 24 hours.  He is beyond amazing.  MLB called his start dazzling and I have to agree.

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