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I swear... this act is getting really, REALLY old.
I've just never seen anything like this in all my days. We are, in effect living and dying with a team that literally loses by one run nearly every time. It is just the most frustrating damn thing on earth, it really is. Being positive is becoming harder and harder... pretty soon we're all going to start having a recurring nightmare where we're standing up at the altar, and the Giants don't show up for the wedding-- I mean playoffs.
We have now lost our past 4 games by a total of, yes you guessed it, FOUR RUNS. I'm becoming enraged as we speak.
Serenity now, Mr. Costanza. Serenity now. Deep breaths.
You probably saw the game, so I'll try not to dwell on details. After all, you don't read this for recaps. Let's talk about Madison Bumgarner. Come on, you perked up a little bit just now, didn't you?
To be honest, I thought I knew more about the kid than I did. For some reason, I thought he threw harder... like 94-96. Heh. I kinda felt like a scout or a pitcher on his day off, charting Mad-Bum's pitches in my notebook.
True fans chart pitches!
Anyway. He threw 76 pitches (I missed 1 or 2 due to CSN) in 5.1 innings with 2 earnies and 4 K's. Certainly a very respectable outing for a 20 year old Double A callup who didn't even expect to start.
I got a pretty good idea of his three pitches tonight-- especially once he settled down. His three quarter release from the left side is certainly part of why he is going to be an effective pitcher. It's a deceptive and almost a total cross-body pitching motion. Coupled with pretty damn good control, he's certainly got the tools.
It's difficult to truly gauge what a pitchers strengths and weaknesses are going to be from just one sample size, but here are my observations:
-- I charted 43 fastballs, most of which fell between 88-92 mph.
-- He threw 15 circle changeups which fell between 81-86 mph. He got a couple of big swings and misses on them early in the game. If he can improve this pitch, he could be a seriously good pitcher. This appears to be his weakest pitch.
-- His slider is his most deceptive, and in my opinion, best pitch. It appears really slurvy and flat, but it takes hitters by surprise, and is especially filthy to lefties. He got Adrian Gonzalez to look foolish on a couple of these. He threw this pitch 16 times and it nearly always landed on 78 mph. Bumgarner seemed extremely comfortable with his breaking ball.
-- He needs to work on keeping the ball down. Too many of his fastballs were up, and the two dingers he gave up-- one to Chase Headley, and one to Will Venable-- were both fastballs, one was 90 mph and one was 92 respectively.
-- He simply doesn't throw hard enough to get away with fastballs up at the waist. Once he learns how to pitch, he'll be able to mix speeds even more effectively than he already does. I'm no pitching guru, but I'm thinking that if he is able to improve his changeup, he could really be something. Establishing his offspeed stuff first, then "blowing" them away with a 92 mph fastball could be filthy.
-- Bumster has incredible poise out there. He shows very little emotion, and seemed truly unrattled out there. He just strikes me as a confident, quiet Carolina kid that doesn't say too much and carries a big stick.
-- I really think we need to come up with a better nickname than "Mad-Bum". It's a cop out. My vote right now is "The Carolina Kid". I'm going to refer to him as that until someone comes up with something better. (This is what the comment section is for).
Game Notes & Quirky Observations
-- Hey Will Venable! Can you, like, not hit home runs against your hometown team? I'm happy to see a fellow San Rafael native do well in the majors, but dude! No more dingers for you!
-- Will's younger brother Winston is the starting safety for Boise State and his dad Max played for the Giants. San Rafael rules, but San Rafael High School sucks!
-- Jeremy Affeldt could be unraveling a bit. I really wouldn't be surprised. He's been incredible all year, but he's gotta be totally exhausted at this point. He's already appeared in 64 games, and is on pace to pitch in 75. Not a record, but still.
-- What a great play by Freddy Sanchez (I believe in the 7th). He saved the game from being a "three run blowout". A huge sno-cone job against Nick Hundley with the bases juiced.
-- Everything about David Eckstein bothers me.
-- Krukow's first observation of The Carolina Kid (see, told you I was starting it) was that "...he's a walker." As in, he walks out to the mound. Guy never ceases to crack me up on the simplest, stupidest things.
-- The effing Colorado Rockies won a-goddamn-gain. Can we get a little help here Cincy? Please?
-- I'm burying the fact that we're now three games back in the wild card all the way down here, as to prevent our anger from boiling over.
-- It's not working.
-- Pablo Sandoval has the highest single season batting average for a switch hitter in Gyros history. Currently at .326.
-- Chili Davis had the previous record at .315
-- An amazing thing has happened. Juan Uribe is so awesome, that the AT&T faithful have brought back the "OOOOOOOOOOOOOO! REEEEEEEE-BAAAY!" chant back. It's effing awesome. It was originally Candlestick chant for the late, great Jose Uribe, Juan's second cousin.
-- Why do these worthless old Balldudes get to have a #1 on their uni's? Screw that. The only #1 on the Giants is Big Money Molina. Give those guys double zero. Disrespectful oversight. I'm gonna talk to some people... straighten this out.
-- On that note, we absolutely need to bring back the black alternate uni's for next year. They were awesome. Seriously, just wear them on Friday nights at home, like we did back in the day. They were slick, sharp, and they've got some great mojo in them. The hats were sick too.
-- No effing way. Aaron Rowand hit a home run at AT&T. He now has 14. He makes $12 million dollars
-- Juan Uribe has 12 dongs and makes one twelfth of what Rowand does.
-- Congrats to Randy Winn and Dave Flemming who just had a couple little bundles of loud, crying joy delivered by their wives in the last few days.
-- Merkin Valdez is not to be trusted anymore.
-- The only thing I'll say about the Milwaukee series is the following:
Prince Fielder, you better be able to run, because you are getting drilled in the ribcage with a 95 mph widowmaker the next time we meet. You sons of bitches will not get away with that grotesque, choreographed monstrosity of a celebration. That kind of crap belongs off the field. You're not LeBron James, and you can't do that crap during a game.
Completely unacceptable. The entire Brewers organization should be fined for that garbage. Eff you guys. If you Giants fans aren't outraged by this, you don't care enough.
Okay Zito. We need a shutout I guess. Work your magic!
We're still in this!