Tag Archives: tim lincecum

Statistics With Too Many Modifiers and Some Helpful Tips for Ryan Dempster

I am a Giants fan, so I am genetically programmed to like low-scoring games.  Especially when those low-scoring games feature Madison Bumgarner going eight innings, scoreless, and the offense squeezing out enough to just win it by a final of 2-1.  The Sergio-Romo-can’t-deal-with-Hanley-Ramirez-and-D-list-celebrities is a blip on the map.  This series in LA, which is a pretty huge one, couldn’t have gotten off to a better start.  Sure, a little more offense might have induced a little less nail-biting, but overall, the Giants pretty much did what they’ll have to do to win games down the stretch.  Additionally, they took first place in the National League West  – up half a game up from the Dodgers – and set a slightly suspect record.  Per @MLB:  For first time in liveball era, pair of LHPs (Bumgarner & Kershaw) reached double digits in K’s and issued 0 walks in same game.

Which is kind a cool statistic, despite the multitude of modifiers which make it roughly similar to me telling you that I made lemon cupcakes on the third Tuesday in August for the first time ever and expecting you to be really stoked.  Okay, maybe not exactly similar.  But roughly.  Definitely roughly.

Anyhows.  Lincecum is taking the mound tonight, so I’m kind in limbo about how to feel.  I’m just going to try to be mellow and peace out, because that’s what we do in the Bay Area when we’re stressed, right?  No?  Well, it’s worth a try.  The rivalry with the Dodgers is certainly a lot of fun this year, with both teams being in contention again, but I may not think it’s fun at all after tonight.  Right.  Optimism only.  Tonight is going to be fantastic, people!

Lastly, one more thing for GMs to consider before finalizing a deal!  Make sure the player has a current passport and he knows where it is and all that jazz.  Especially if you’re in the American League, but even if you’re not, because Bud Selig does love his Interleague Play, you know.  And if the thing that’s scared the guy away from getting a passport is the dreaded photo, never fear, USA Today has lots of useful tips for that!  Playing Jose Bautista and whoever else is on the Blue Jays, come hither.

Diamond Girl

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Sweeping the Astros Has Upsides and Downsides, Evidently

So, this happened.

The Giants have started off the second half with a bang, sweeping the non-pesky Astros in a three game series and taking hold of first place over the also non-pesky Dodgers.  That would make me happy under any circumstances but since I am heading down to Los Angeles for a family event later this week, it’s pretty much put me in full on the-world-is-a-beautiful-place-and-I-love-absolutely-everyone mode.  (Sweeping the Astros has upsides and downsides, evidently.)  Family event, see, means lots of Dodger fans.  Lots of Dodger fans.  Dodger fans everywhere.  (In addition to a lone Mariners fan, but he’s irrelevant.)  It is, therefore, of the utmost importance that the Giants hold on to a tidy division lead through my trip there so I can quietly – or non-quietly, as the case may be – gloat.

It sure looks like they will.  They’re not doing everything or blowing the competition out the water, but they’re doing enough of the little things right.  They’re playing neater baseball and Tim Lincecum came through in a huge way last night, in what might have been a start for his spot.  Bochy, in typical Bochy fashion, was oblique about what would have happened if he’d struggled, but he’s staved that off, if only for a little while.  Hector Sanchez one again proved his affection for walk-off hits and although Melky Cabrera is on paternity leave, the rest of the team actually hit.  Enough to score runs.  Enough to win games.  It’s been a pretty fab second half so far.

On Tuesday, East Coast Roadtrip 2.0 will get started, with the Giants hitting Atlanta and Philly.  In the visiting-them sense, but also, hopefully, in the hitting-off-of-them sense.  Since East Coast Roadtrip 1.0 was pretty much a disaster all around, there’s a lot riding on this one.  Although there’s obviously a while to go until the postseason, pulling ahead in July can big indeed later on.  Three in a row is making good things look pretty possible at the moment.

I told you I was spouting optimism.  I better go before I start reminiscing fondly of the days when Miguel Tejada and Aaron Rowand peppered the Giants field.  I was reminded of them when I experimented with MLB the Show ’11 yesterday and played as the Grizzlies against the ’11 Giants.  Let’s just say a Grizzly I’d never heard of took Tim Lincecum deep into the Allegheny River beyond PNC Park.  Video games are strange.  And no, I’m do not really have fond memories of Miguel Tejada and Aaron Rowand.  Not even close.  Even this breed of optimism has limits.

Diamond Girl

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Fun In DC. Just Kidding, Not Fun At All.

DC has not treated us well.  It’s not that, big picture-wise, things are that bad.  The Giants are tied with the Dodgers for first place with a few days to go until the All Star Break and they’re currently on track for a 90-win season.  Brandon Crawford is edging in on .250 and The Pablo Sandoval of the Cute Nickname hit a single, a double and a pretty fab homer.  We have a million and one All Stars on our team, for Pete’s sake.  Things are looking up.

Well, no.  Not exactly.  Yesterday, Tim Lincecum got shelled and basically looked like a drowned animal out there and then Madison took the mound today and things were not a lot better.  See, I know that the ball flies well in hot weather but isn’t that supposed to apply to, um, both sides?  Perhaps in the nation’s capital all the rules change.  Because the Nationals are hotter than hot at this moment and holding onto the best record in the National League.  Get those conspiracy theories about the Nationals having the same name as the National League out of your system.  Done?  Okay.  Let’s move on.

Anyhows, this was a bad moment to head to DC.  The weather is dismal and the Nats are very, very good.  The Giants are showing signs of fading.  Before you snap at me, I don’t mean fading for good.  Just fading as in can-all-25-of-us-go-to-the-All-Star-Game-already kind of fading.  It’s like the last week of school.  Everyone wants to get to the good stuff.  Good stuff being the second half.  Because I have a rather fantastic feeling about the second half.

But first, all 25 of them need to go to the All Star Game.

And first first, there’s one more game in DC, which we can just skip over and pretend isn’t happening, and then a series at PNC Park.  Them Pirates currently lead the NL Central (and no, they do not have the same name as the league so, see, that was irrational) by half a game and are 7-3 in their last 10.  Read: pretty hot.  This is going to be fu-un.

Seriously, though, to those of you who are screaming that the Giants have to trade for a pitcher, ssshhh.  The pitching is just fine, en général (except when they face the, eh, aptly named Nationals) and as for Lincecum, we probably shouldn’t get rid of him just yet.  Or that might go down in history as the worst trade ever, right behind Melky for J-Sanch.  Oh burn, KC.  Oh burn.

Also!  Did you know that the Royals do not play in Kansas?  Yeah.  Fun fact of the day.  Also, Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory is the only factory in that world that mixes its chocolate by waterfall.  Just worth noting.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  I almost forgot… happy 4th, people!  I may or may not have said earlier today that I wanted to watch fireworks on TV, because I like the celebrations from around the world.  Because, duh, they celebrate American Independence Day around the word.  (May or may not have been thinking of New Year’s Eve.)

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In Which I Hit Fenway Park

Boston is a really amazing city and everything but when I first started planning this trip? The first (and pretty much only) thing I thought was: Fenway. So yesterday I braved the blistering heat in the city and took a stadium tour in the afternoon. I could feel the ghost of Theo Epstein everywhere, but other than that, it was loads of fun. Our tour guide was named Owen and he was very funny and eerily Red Sox knowledgeable. Other than all the Yankee hating and pesky sunshine, says the San Francisco girl, I had a blast.

I was so excited to be at Fenway that I blinked. Ah, well. Also, yes, you are seeing that right. I wore borderline pinstripes. Sometimes my brain ceases to work, I admit it.

It really surpassed my expectations, actually. What people always say about the old stadiums is that while they are interesting, they’re a bit dinky. Fenway was not at all dinky, from what I saw. It feels very small and intimate and I love the way it’s nestled right in the center of the city. From the higher parts (read: Green Monster. Oh yes. I sat on the Green Monster. More on that later.) you can see the whole city skyline in a way that you can’t at stadiums that are more on the outskirts, like AT&T. I adore AT&T, but this had a whole different energy.

We also sat in seats from the 30s – yes, the very seats that had been there since the 30s – and while they were beastly uncomfortable, the history was pretty much worth it. I love getting a peak into what baseball stadiums might have been like a good long while ago and here, it’s incorporated into the actual experience, rather than just being museum-like.

They said they haven’t replaced partially because they, well, don’t want to and partially because now seats have gotten bigger and they’d lose about 3000 seats if they put in modern ones. Since the stadium already seats only 38,00o or so, that’d be a big loss. Of revenue. But they didn’t say that. They put it more sweetly.

Our guide showed us the Mickey Mouse Red Sox statue, too, and how it’s all bandaged up. I didn’t remember this, but apparently it was vandalized/accidentially banged up on a trip of Anaheim for the All Star Game and since the Red Sox were also pretty banged up that year – I do remember that - they decided to leave a cast on the statue. Which made me smile, although it’s a little bit terrible. Also, the whole hallway full of every issue of Sports Illustrated that’s ever featured a Red Sox player on the cover? Lots of fun.

I can’t say I side with Boston in the whole Boston-New York thing, but they’re definitely growing on me. The view from the Green Monster is also pretty much the greatest thing ev-ah.

Also so excited to be on the Green Monster that I began to blink. AKA, this was a bad day in photos of me.

Afterwards, we went a sports bar which was nice aside from the fact that they were playing some sports network that had a running banner on the bottom that showed, oh, one stat over and over and over. Which stat, you ask? Tim Lincecum’s road ERA, I hiss. I burrowed into my food and tried to watch soccer on the other TV. Didn’t work all that well. I do not get soccer. And on the other other TV they kept replaying LeBron with confetti and things which was also, of course, off limits. (Go Nets and mostly Mikhail Prokhorov, I say.) This, my friends, is why I avoid sports bars.

That evening, then, Lincecum did something pretty interesting. After a horrible first inning, he cleaned up his act and tossed his third quality start of the season. I slept through it, ’cause that’s what I do over here, but I have a cautiously good feeling about him. Did something click? Maybe. Maybe not. The best we can do is cross our fingers and beat them A’s again tonight. Okay? Okay.

Diamond Girl

p.s. Two more things! I’m heading off to another New England City That Shall Remain Nameless tomorrow and again, computer access will be spotty. So I may be in and out tomorrow and for the coming week. Back in full force next weekend. And yes, I saw the One Red Seat. Which, as a newly licensed Red Sox Trivia Lady, I can tell you signifies the longest home run ever hit at Fenway. In case there was any doubt, I can confirm that that homer was indeed… long. Very. Very.

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Who Are These People and What Have They Done With the Giants? – Answered!

So the thing about aliens is that they are generally very friendly, if you give them a chance, and they will stare at you with oversized eyes and glowing blue faces which is all very sweet.  But they also like to, well, snatch humans.  And replace them with aliens.  It’s weird, really, seeing humans have never snatched aliens and replaced them with humans but hey, I do not pretend to understand the thought process of aliens [Hollywood].

My point?  The aliens took pity on us and by us, I mean Giants fans.  They saw the team’s sufferings and the fact that we were going to break all sorts of horrible records with the whole nothittinghomersever thing.  So they turned in their oversized eyes and glowing blue faces for spikes and unis and stole away the San Francisco Giants.  And started hitting homers very promptly.  Lots and lots.  Eight in the last four games.  Three in a row for Brandon Belt.  Homers to deep-part-of-the-park-where-no-one-hits-them-but-now-fake-Melky-did.  I say fake Melky because, as you will remember, he’s actually a blue alien pretending to be Melky.

Yeah.

It was a little disturbing to me at first and kind of made me afraid for the zombie apocalypse (because all sorts of sci-fi characters kind of meld together in my head – zombies?  Aliens?  Same thing!) and I missed the real Brandon Belt, the one who is a Baby Giraffe and doesn’t hit homers, but then I adjusted.  Fast.  Because I like home runs.  We all like home runs.  And aliens are friendly, if you’re nice to them.  So there’s really no problem.  I can live with this.

I do wonder, though, if they’ve also replaced the pitchers…?  Because if so, I’m looking forward to seeing Alien Timmy tonight.  That should be fun.

Diamond Girl

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