Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Nice win, weird game
That was fairly amazing. I wish I could've been at the yard, but it doesn't matter. It didn't matter if you were with a group of friends, listening on the radio at work, or getting blind drunk with strangers at a bar... We won a World Series game, and we need to win three more. That right there is an absolute rush.
I said in my last post that if the Giants wanted to beat Cliff Lee, it was up to Tim Lincecum. No one could've predicted that Lee would've had such poor command with his fastball and that his offspeed pitches would've been non-existent. The Giants capitalized on Lee's lack of high quality stuff, as good teams do, and that was really the difference.
Lincecum on the other hand, has to be a cause for concern. Since his first start against the Braves in the NLDS, he's been pretty good, but certainly not great. He's been bailed out a couple times, including tonight. As I alluded to on Tuesday, if Cliff Lee is right, Lincecum giving up 4 runs is a near death sentence.
Obviously, you can never rule out these Giants-- we all know that. But without those 7 earned runs of Lee's and that monstrous dong by Uribe allowed by O'Day, the Rangers probably have the lead into the late innings.
I won't say we got lucky, but this is the first time that Cliff Lee has shown any semblance of humanity/mortality, and it was a rather big showing of vulnerability.
This does two things:
1) The Rangers, who have grown accustomed to Lee shutting down teams automatically, have had their noggins shaken up a bit. Their world has not been turned upside down, but it means something. I wouldn't expect Lee to do this again.
2) It gives the Giants a HUGE shot of confidence heading into Game 2 and beyond
Notes & Observations:
-- I said on Tuesday that one of the keys to success was Andres Torres and Freddy Sanchez doing a better job of getting on base and setting the table for the rest of the lineup. They did just that, especially Sanchez, who went 4-5 with 3 doubles.
-- Andres Torres & Freddy Sanchez went a combined 5-9 with 4 runs, 3 RBI, and one big HBP. These two did what I told them, and it was huge.
-- Another key I mentioned was Pat Burrell needing to get hot. He is on the ball... and by on the ball, I mean he is just off the ball. He is very close to getting a hold of a couple pitches and I believe big things should happening shortly. He still has a good eye and drew a huge walk off of Cliff Lee to prolong that big inning.
-- Good to see Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo doing well. A 7 run lead is a great time to get your struggling relievers into the game. While Romo and Casilla came out of the game with a confidence boost, the same cannot be said for the totally lost Ramon Ramirez and the up and down Jeremy Affeldt.
-- Everyone knows about Vladimir Guerrero's declining mobility in the field; everyone but Ron Washington apparently. Guerrero is a future hall of famer and has always been one of the most unorthodox, exciting players in the league since he began with Montreal all those years ago.
Personally, I would not have played Guerrero in perhaps the most difficult right field in all of baseball. Vlad's arm is still stronger than hell, but he just can't move anymore. Those years of torment by playing on carpet-covered concrete in Montreal absolutely devastated this man's knees and he has no business playing out there anymore.
What happened out there in Game 1 was beneficial to the Giants, but to see Vlad struggle with routine plays and fumble the ball around was hard to watch. It is most difficult because he has been so good for so long, and his skills are eroding in front of the whole world. The man can still hit the hell out of the ball, but he shouldn't be out in the field. You know it. I know it. He knows it.
David Murphy should play in RF in Game 2. Murphy is an offensive downgrade, but not by a huge margin. He is a decent hitter that adds an element of speed and defense that is more conducive to the National League style of play. He hit .291/.358/.449 this season with 14 steals. You make the call.
-- Great to see Ishikawa and Nate Schierholtz getting big hits and making good plays on defense (other than Ishi's ugly throw).
-- Stay hot Cody Ross. He had a rather pedestrian game for his standards, but it was still 1-5 with a run and RBI. He will never have to buy a drink in this town again.
-- How huge is Juan Uribe? That guy is an amazing, funny little man and I love him. If he's not re-signed to a two year deal this offseason I will fill a mason jar with an unpleasant substance and FedEx it to Brian Sabean.
-- Nice little tidbits here:
-- Heading into the World Series, the Giants have the lowest team ERA since the '01 Cardinals and '01 Diamondbacks.
-- The team that wins Game 1 of the Series wins 61% of the time
-- 6 of the last 7 and 11 of the last 13 Game 1 winners have won the series.
-- Cain against Wilson coming up Thursday night. I would expect our lineup to be the same, going against another lefty. For the Rangers, I would expect lefty David Murphy to play in place of Vlad and hit 7th.
-- It's gonna rain tomorrow. If you're lucky enough to go to the game, bring a poncho with a funny slogan on it. Hopefully that doesn't screw up our game.
You guys like my rally beard? I applied a second coat of Walt Frazier Just For Men. Looks delicious. ---->