Posts Tagged ‘Giants’

Last year the Golden State Warriors had a commanding 3-1 lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers…

… and then Klay Thompson insultingly wore a freakin’ Dodger cap to AT&T Park and never apologized and the next thing you know the Cavs beat the Warriors 4-3.

This year the Golden State Warriors had a commanding 3-1 lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers…

… and then Klay Thompson had the good sense NOT to wear anything remotely looking like freakin’ Dodger blue… and, guess what?

The Warriors win the 2017 NBA Championship!

Coincidence?  As they say… ahem… “I THINK NOT!”

Congrats to all Warriors and Warrior fans!

2017 Warriors Win!

I believe the Giants had a season-changing win last night.

A young (almost) rookie Ty Blach will pitch against Mr. Universe Clayton Kershaw tonight.  This will tell us if its season changing or not.

For those that follow this blog, I thought Giants Skipper Bruce Bochy really mismanaged (blew!) the last two months of the 2016 season, including the last playoff game that could have sent the Giants to the World Series…

… and there’s no way the Cleveland Indians were going to beat the Giants in the World Series… the “even year” mojo would have been ON… ’10, ’12, ’14, AND ’16.

One of the many solutions open to Bochy last year was to put Ty Blach in the bullpen.  He didn’t.  And the Giants lost.

Tonight’s game is a reasonable proxy to see how this strategy would have worked.

Please stay tuned.

UPDATE:  The strategy would have worked GREAT!  Ty gave up 1 hit in 3 innings!  THAT would have taken us to the World Series… and beyond.

That also shows something else:  That Bochy’s “platooning” strategy of mathematically matching pitcher to hitter has big flaws.  The axiom in sports has ALWAYS been:  If someone has a hot hand, don’t take them out… let them play.

It’s just flat out weird that someone as experienced as Bochy doesn’t get that.

For the game, the Giants lost 2-1 but Blach pitched admirably well.  He gave up 4 hits and 2 runs in 5 innings… biggest issue was he’s been training as a reliever, not a starter, so apparently Bochy was concerned about arm strength/stamina/injury.

Welcome to the starting rotation, Ty!

My post below (“The Definition Of Insanity: Bruce Bochy Bullpen Management“) includes the following paragraphs:

Why he pulled Madison Bumgarner in the 7th — with 10 strike-outs, no walks, and a ONE HITTER going — is beyond all baseball reasoning.

The fact that he won’t share his reasons why he did this — he offered all of:  “I said we talked. I’ll leave it at that.” — is simply an irresponsible cop-out.

Sorry, after the September he’s managed, we fans deserve more than that.

I finally heard a reason that, while hard to swallow, does makes everything make sense… and if you’re a parent with a teenager, it makes doubly sense:  Bochy might have had some parenting to do.

I think Bochy told Bum something like, “you have a history with Puig but we need you on the mound tonight so don’t lose your head… because if you do, I won’t hesitate to pull you.”

Any good parent knows you have to set clear boundaries for your children… articulate clear consequences… and take immediate action if necessary.

I think that’s what happened.

That’s the only explanation that explains everything, including Bochy’s reluctance to discuss after the game… including former Giant and current Giant Broadcaster Duane Kuiper’s “frosty” demeanor on his usually even-keeled radio spot the next morning.  Sometimes family matters need to be kept within the family.

I still think the way Bochy is managing the bullpen is insane.

And, like all parents, Bochy is probably wishing he articulated some other consequence, especially in such a pivotal game.

But, I respect the hell out of him for sticking to his parenting guns if, indeed, that was the case.

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.

I’d say FIVE blown leads in the 9th inning — using the same, completely ineffective bullpen management — qualifies.

I obviously — and painfully — misspoke in my “One Other Thing I Know” post below.  I want to say last night’s loss to the Dodgers — with the Giants winning by one run going into the bottom of the 9th — was a terrible, horrible gut punch…

… but, the truth is, it’s no worse than our other terrible, horrible, gut-punching 9th inning losses in September.

Giants Manager Bruce Bochy, sadly, is insane.

Why he pulled Madison Bumgarner in the 7th — with 10 strike-outs, no walks, and a ONE HITTER going — is beyond all baseball reasoning.

The fact that he won’t share his reasons why he did this — he offered all of:  “I said we talked. I’ll leave it at that.” — is simply an irresponsible cop-out.

Sorry, after the September he’s managed, we fans deserve more than that.

I’m only a fan.  But it seems pretty obvious to me that (1) the Giants don’t have a reliable bullpen, so (2) the Giants should have been playing September like we’re in sudden death — because WE ARE — so (3) they needed to use STARTERS to close games, and (4) Bochy needs to abandoned his ineffective bullpen platooning and if a reliever is getting the job done (like Smith was in the 8th inning), just let him keep throwing.  Duh!

Call a spade a spade:  Bochy may be a Hall of Fame manager, but he’s completely mismanaged the Giants down the stretch.

Boch, please get your stuff together before it’s too late!

When the Giants bullpen blew yet another save a few weeks back, I suggested that the Giants trash their entire bullpen and have starters close games.

After all, desperate times called for desperate measures.

Knowledgeable baseball people scoffed, however.

Two weeks ago the Giants looked to have a firm grasp on at least a wild card spot.

Then they blew FOUR 9TH INNING LEADS in about a dozen games.

Now, they’re barely hanging on to the last wild cards spot by a thread.

For those of you who aren’t baseball fans, that is a COLOSSAL, COLOSSAL fail.

Finally, Giants Manager Bruce Bochy got a clue… that he better play these last dozen or so games LIKE THEY’RE PLAYOFF GAMES… and he used a starter last night to close a game.

It wasn’t a save situation… the Giants were already down by 3 runs.  Still, it was nice to see an experienced hand take the ball… and shut the door.

Desperate times called for desperate measures.  That’s Management 101 and that should have been initiated two weeks ago.

Never too late, though, to do the right thing.

I hit a low point in my San Francisco Giants fan career.

The Giants were the best team in baseball before the All Star break.

And the worst after the break.

It’s been an oh-so-painful ride straight downhill.

I was watching the Giants-Mets game last night… tied in the 4th… the Giants Ace Madison Bumgarner on the mound… and with a 1-hitter going into the inning… somehow loaded the bases… and I thought to myself:

This is it.  This is the entire Giants season right now.  We have our best pitcher on the mound.  What team are we really… the before-the-All-Star-break team that will find a way to get out of this jam… or the after-the-All-Star-break team that will continue to get abused… ?  This next pitch will tell…

And just when you think it couldn’t get any worse… the very worst thing happens:  The batter hits a GRAND SLAM!

I’ve been a lifelong Giants fan… which means I’ve suffered my share of heartbreak…

… but that one was one for the ages.

I distinctly remembering at that very moment giving up hope for the season.  That’s NEVER happened to me before while there’s been a mathematical chance to win and a pulse left in my body.

I was dejected.  Heartbroken.  I turned off the game.

I climbed in my car 30 minutes later to hear the Giants announcer say something I will NEVER forget:

“After allowing 4 runs in the fourth, the Giants rally right back in the bottom of the inning to drop a 5-spot on the Mets and take the lead, capped off by none other than Madison Bumgarner’s two-run homerun.”

People thought I was crazy in my car…  it’s hard enough scoring 1 run in baseball, let alone 5 in the same inning… I was cheering and clapping unabashedly… just as if I were at the game!

Thank you, San Francisco Giants, for reminding me that until you are dead — no matter how improbable — there is ALWAYS HOPE!