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April 2014
17

Giants Fail to Sweep the Dodgers…Again - 4/17/2014

Still waiting on that first sweep of the year. Stiiiiiiil waiting. If yesterday felt like 2010, then today felt like 2011. If the offense felt like garbage to you, well, that’s because it was. Six hits on the day, three of them from Ehire Adrianza. That’s…something. Make no mistake, Hyun-Jin Ryu is very good and no one should expect the Giants to score eight runs off of him every time he pitches. Still, that was some atrocious hitting. 

Seth Buckminster may have an 80 grade name but he has a 20 grade strikezone. Yasiel Puig is lame. So is Matt Kemp. And Brian Wilson. And the Giants’ offense.

Guh

April 2014
17
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April 2014
17
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April 2014
17

Giants Take Second Game from Dodgers 2-1 - 4/16/2014

Is it 2010 in here? I can’t take too many more of these one run games. I couldn’t take them when it was Aubrey Huff and Andres Torres playing everyday and I can’t take them with Hunter Pence and Michael Morse playing everyday, even if the latter is much better for gif purposes. 

The game started off with one hell of a double play in the first. It would be embedded here, but no one actually runs the MLB media department. Its just a family of raccoons that sleeps under one of the computers because its nice and warm. That’s also why it took five minutes to make it official that Matt Kemp got picked off in the second. 

For a while, it looked like the game was going to be a repeat of last night. Two very inept offenses duking it out for way too many innings. Ah, but then JP Howell made the stupid mistake of walking Hunter Pence (.183 avg) in favor of Pablo Sandoval (.186 avg). Those three thousandths of a point really mean something. Sandoval singled, the Giants took the lead and they didn’t look back. Dodger fans sighed loudly and somewhere an angel got its wings. 

Ryan Vogelsong should earn trust points until the end of time. He’ll throw enchiladas and two seam fastballs at you if you don’t trust him. But at the same time, he shouldn’t get the benefit of the doubt. He arrived from another planet and seemed to leave just as soon as he came. Which would make sense. Except his career doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense at all. So it shouldn’t be surprising if he MacGyver’s his way through diminished velocity and a drop in control. But it also shouldn’t be surprising if the tire fire of a pitcher from 2013 is the for realsies Vogelsong. 

All that said, Vogelsong kicked some serious ass tonight. He was biting the corners of the zone like usual. He was getting guys to make weak contact, as evidenced by his grand strikeout total of two. He only had maybe one or two blemishes, much like Tim Lincecum last night. A walk to the pitcher Paul Maholm, because he was being a little too fine and because Andy Fletcher’s zone was poop. The subsequent triple by Dee Gordon, which is a phrase that makes about as much sense as losing a game to Tony Campana, was the reason why Vogelsong didn’t get the win. Them’s the breaks, man. 

April 2014
16

A’s Make Epic Comeback Against Angels, Win 10-9 in 11 Innings on Jackie Robinson Day - 4-15-14

Tuesday’s game between the A’s and the Angels should have been called “first team to 10 runs wins.” The A’s managed to win this round with a 10-9 win.

The Angels got off to a hot start, scoring two in the first. The A’s didn’t answer back until the third inning when they scored three. The Angels then scored 4 runs in the 4th… it seemed as though the A’s were doomed.

Then came the 7th and 8th innings when Oakland was able to get to the Anaheim bullpen for another late inning rally. Reliever Joe Smith didn’t retire a batter, giving up 3 hits, 2 walks, and 4 runs. Brandon Moss got the rally going by singling home Jed Lowrie. Alberto Callaspo also did his part by getting home Josh Donaldson. Derek Norris continued to work his pinch hit magic and also got two RBIs in the 8th.

Thanks to a Mike Trout homer, the Angels would later tie the game in the 9th inning.

The A’s wouldn’t score again until the 11th, but it was the game changer. After a Lowrie single, Donaldson followed by hitting a double to the left field corner.

Lowrie went 3-for-5 on the day and Craig Gentry went 3-for-4. Donaldson went 3-for-6 in Tuesday’s game and doubled in the game winning run. Josh Reddick managed two walks on the night and didn’t strike out. Progress.

Dan Straily had a rough outing, going just 3 ⅔ innings. He allowed 6 runs, one home run to Kole Calhoun, and struck out just three batters. The Angels had 7 hits off the Oakland starter, so it was a bullpen night for the A’s.

Drew Pomeranz relieved Straily and managed to allow 0 runs. Ryan Cook also was solid, though he allowed one run in his outing. Dan Otero went ⅔ innings, allowing two hits and striking out two. Sean Doolittle allowed the game tying home run to Trout in the 9th, making the game go onto extras. Jim Johnson relieved Doolittle and did his thing, going two strong innings and getting the win.  

April 2014
16
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oaklandathletics:

Josh Donaldson deserved some pie for his Friday, April 12 walk-off home run. Friday Family Packs for 4 tickets + 4 meals are on sale now! www.oaklandathletics.com/friday

April 2014
16
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April 2014
16

Giants Walk Off After Five Hours - 4/15/2014

Happy Jackie Robinson day! Also, its now Bruce Bochy’s birthday BECAUSE THIS GAME TOOK FIVE GOD DAMN HOURS. 

Say, do you like games where both teams get a bazillion runners on base and don’t drive any of them in? You don’t? Well too bad, the Giants don’t give a shiny shit. They’re too busy hitting into eighteen thousand double plays and putting 24 runners on base and only driving in three of them. 

That’s just some kind of weird, avant-garde modern art. Three times the Giants loaded the bases tonight. They left them loaded all three times. Remember, this team lead the majors in home runs and was in the top three in a runs, RBI and slugging just a week ago. One week is what it takes for a neo-Murderer’s Row to revert back to the unfathomable suck that was the 2011 Giants offense. Which is to say, it took one week for Brandon Belt to stop hitting everything over the fence. 

I suppose all I can do is laugh at a game like this. Mostly just because I haven’t slept in nearly 17 hours and I’m pretty much delirious as I’m writing this. This is the sport that I chose. This is the sport that you chose. This isn’t just torture, to beat a dead horse. This is masochism. This is repeatedly being pimp slapped by something you care about. We are Charlie Murphy and baseball is Rick James, just waiting to punch us in the face or jump on our white couch with muddy shoes. 

Its not all bad, though. Tim Lincecum started this game. I think. It was like an eon or two ago so my memory is a little fuzzy. His line looked great - five hits, a run, no walks, five strikeouts - but someone must have spiked his pitch count with Jonathan Sanchez. 93 pitches through five innings. His arm is obviously made of flubber - see 148 pitch no-hitter - so its not concerning or anything. Just kind of weird and annoying. If we knew then what we know now, Lincecum probably should have gone out for the sixth inning, even if it was probably ill-advised. 

The only blemish to his night was a solo home run to Juan Uribe that came on a hanging slider, which is basically the worst pitch you could possibly throw to Juan Uribe. That’s all he hit in 2010: hanging sliders 15 rows up the bleachers. Still, I’ll take a one run outing is pretty much any form, especially from Lincecum. 

After Lincecum came out, Bochy went to David Huff. Who pitched for all of one inning. Oooooooookay then. I have no idea why Huff only threw for an inning. He has experience as a starter and he hadn’t pitched in five days. He could have easily gone two or three innings and would have saved the bullpen a lot of turmoil. Jeremy Affeldt is supposed to be activated tomorrow and I suppose they could snag Heath Hembree or George Kontos from Fresno should the need arrive. Its still a really weird decision. 

Of course, it also would have helped if Jean Machi had been in any way effective tonight. He came in for the seventh, gave up a double, a sac bunt and a walk. Javier Lopez couldn’t bail him out, and just like that the Dodgers had the lead 2-1. Juan Gutierrez, the unsung hero of the game, pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless ball after Lopez was lifted, which allowed Brandon Belt to squeeze one past Juan Uribe to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth. Four for you JC. 

Then the tenth inning rolled around. It takes special talent to have a runner at second with no one out and strand him. It takes a masterful performance to load the bases with one out against Jamey Wright and walk away empty handed. Its weird how you can hate a team so much even when they just won. On the other hand, that win was incredibly frustrating and the means to the end could have easily been avoided if the Giants could do better than 2-13 with runners in scoring position. 

In the end, the real winner is the Giants fans. Well, also Hector Sanchez, who curled up into a rollie-pollie after his fourth (!) career game winning hit, as everyone just kindof fell to the ground around him because they were too tired. Even if we, Giants fans, had to sit through a five hour game, our team won. Imagine how the Dodgers and their fans feel right now. I mean, imagine it for the joy that you should feel at their expense, but also think about the fact that that could have easily been you. Remember how you felt after that monstrosity against the Mets last year, when the Giants signed Jeff Francoeur the next day? That was like taking a punch to the sprouts from a prime years Holyfield. This game? Annoying, sure. Tedious. But the Giants won. They won this game. Somehow. 

April 2014
15
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April 2014
15

John Jaso Lifts A’s to 3-2 Win Over Angels - 4-14-14

The A’s sit in first place, with a record of 9-4 after Monday’s late inning 3-2 win against the Angels.

The Angels got to Jesse Chavez early, but they didn’t get to him enough. The Angels scored 1 run in the first inning and later would score in the third, but that was all Chavez allowed them to.

The A’s got a single in the 1st by Josh Donaldson, but after that, the bats were silent. That is, until Yoenis Cespedes hit his 3rd homer of the season to get the A’s on the board in the 4th. Oakland just could not figure out Hector Santiago on a Monday night in Anaheim, getting just 5 hits off the Angels’ starter.

Craig Gentry started in place of Coco Crisp on Monday and went 1-for-3. Josh Donaldson also had a good night, going 2-for-4 at the plate. Then there was that one big hit of the night: John Jaso and his pinch hit home run. Replacing Derek Norris in the 9th inning, Jaso hit the go-ahead home run, his first of the season, scoring Josh Donaldson.

The struggles still continue for Josh Reddick, who had another 0-for-4 night with two strikeouts. Daric Barton and Jed Lowrie also had 0 hits in the ball game last night.

The real story of the night is Jesse Chavez and his lights out performance. He only managed to give up 4 hits (2 of which were to Albert Pujols) and 2 runs, one a home run to Pujols. Going 7 strong innings, Chavez struck out 9 and walked no batters. Yet he was given another no-decision. Jim Johnson got the win, his first of the season, with Luke Gregerson getting his second save.

(Photo: the Washington Post)