Thursday, October 30, 2014

World Series game 7: Damn.

On July 29, the Giants lost to the Pirates 3-1.  It was their sixth straight loss.  Dan Uggla went 0 for 3 and struck out twice.  Dan Uggla, ladies and gentlemen.


No, nobody said that.  Everybody said this team sucks.

Today, Dan Uggla is sitting in a man cave somewhere looking down at his hand and picturing a World Series ring on it.

It is hard to describe how improbable this whole thing is.  On October 1, me and a friend agreed that it would just be better to lose the wild card play-in against the Pirates than have to endure the grim reality of getting ground up in the playoffs.  The Giants winning the World Series this year is like Matt Damon just hanging around Boston and sticking with his construction job at the end of Good Will Hunting.

So after getting genocided 10-0 on Tuesday night, things did not look good.  The Giants were sending out Tim Hudson, a retiree from Georgia who broke into the big leagues before players used mitts and has a postseason record of 0-132.  Tim Hudson managed to carry the ball to the plate for about an inning and a half.  Thanks, Tim.  You can hit the early bird now.

The Giants cobbled together a couple of runs in the top of the 2nd and then in the bottom of the 2nd Billy Butler, who I'm sure is a nice man with a good family, singled and then Alex Gordon doubled and then Omar Infante sac flied and Gordon scored and it was 2-2.  Jeremy Affledt came in and calmed shit down.  Now the Giants just needed a run.  HAVE NO FEAR, BRUCE BOCHY IS KISSING SOME BATS.

The side-eye is tremendous.
They got it in the 4th, a Morse single that scored Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval.  3-2.  NOW WHO SHOULD PROTECT THAT LEAD.

Everybody knew what was about to happen.  Madison Bumgarner was coming in.  Based on what I understand, Madison Bumgarner grew up in a log cabin HE BUILT WITH HIS OWN HANDS AS AN INFANT and invented cows.  He is as strong as rhinoceros on androstenedione and as calm and placid as a 37th-level yogi.  Despite having already pitched in 2 other games, he came into this one on 2 days rest and threw 5 innings.  Poor Royals.

Afterwards, Chevy Man passed from mortal to legend. And the Giants have won another World Series.  Prior to the start, The Wife said that whoever scored first would win.  She is an oracle, I'm telling you.

Prepare to be hated, fellow Giants fans, for we are now basically Yankees fans.  Oh well.

They've already got the banners up.  That was fast.

CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this story, we reported that Kansas City Designated Hitter Billy Butler "looks like chromosome damage and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome got together and had a party." After further consideration, this was unnecessarily mean and not in the spirit of being a good winner.  40 Going On 28 regrets the error.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

World Series Game 6: What the fuck was that

I mean, Mark Ibanez, you know "Anchorman" was just a movie, right?  Or are you heading back to 1979 in your time machine after this wraps?  RIGHT ON, MY BROTHER.

Ugh, that was an ugly little scene last night.  First inning, nothing really happens.  Top of second, nothing really happens.  Bottom of second, ARMAGEDDON CAGE MATCH WITH FIRE EXPLOSIONS.

- Alex Gordon singles
- Salvador Perez singles
- Mike Moustakas doubles, Gordon scores
- Omar Infante strikes out.  WHEW, EVERYTHING'S GOING TO BE OK. IT'S ONLY 1-0.
- Alcides Escobar singles
- Nori Aoki singles. Perez scores. Everything is not going to be ok.  Peavy out, Pettit in.
- Lorenzo Cain singles. Moustakas and Escobar score. Everything is terrible. Men fall to their knees.  Women weep and rend their garments. A baby is heard crying in the distance.
- Eric Hosmer doubles. Aoki and Cain score. And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood.
- Billy Butler, who looks like Larry the Cable Guy after reconstructive facial surgery, doubles. Hosmer scores.
- Gordon grounds out. Perez flies out.
- The fifth angel sounds; locusts upon the Earth advance to second on wild pitch; great dragon scores.

Nothing much else happened.  The Royals scored some more and the Giants didn't.  In the interest of comic relief, human tire fire Hunter Strickland appeared in some inning - 6th? 7th? who the fuck knows? - and promptly gave up a home run that sportswriters are contractually obligated to describe as "towering." At this point, we can only describe Bruce Bochy's fascination with Hunter Strickland as disturbing.  Meanwhile Tim Lincecum sits on the bench.

You want a hot take?  I don't know if you can handle a take this hot.  Get suited up.

Ready?  Here goes. Chuckleheads like Scott Ostler say to start Madison Bumgarner tonight but that's silly. START LINCECUM.  He's got loads of big game experience, his last outings out of the pen have looked good, and he'll blow their fucking minds.  BLOW. THEIR. MINDS.

Tim Hudson is nice and a good story and all but Tim Lincecum has a proven track record of winning World Series games.  If he struggles, boom, bring in Hudson or Pettit again or Julian fucking Tavarez for all I care, just START TIMMY.

Somebody get me a petition going.  THOSE ALWAYS WORK.

So that's it.  Tonight is the whole thing.  We have a pediatrician appointment at 4 and if that doctor does anything more than twirl her around and say "Yep, looks good," we are taking that toddler and marching right the fuck out.  PARENTING!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

World Series Game 5, EXPRESS LANE EDITION: Rise of the Lizard Pitcher

INTRODUCTORY SIDENOTES: (1) Sorry this is late.  I was busy yesterday so the WSELE was OTBE (overtaken by events, as they say).  (2) I am no longer aware of what the difference is between the World Series regular posts and World Series EXPRESS LANE EDITIONS are so I guess they're all WSELEs now.  I think I thought the regular posts were longer?  And then they all turned out to be the same length?  Either way, this is a boring little peek behind the scenes that nobody asked for or wanted.

We began Sunday night with the series tied 2-2.  Both teams would have liked to win this game.  However, only one team had Madison Bumgarner.  He does not blink, ever.

Seriously, the camera would hold on him in the dugout like this and there would be no movement or blinking for the entire time.  BLINKING IS A SIGN OF WEAKNESS.  Blinking is for losers.  Madison Bumgarner is not a loser.  He is the Lizard Pitcher and we have him and you do not.  Royals lose 5-0, and it never seemed that close.

Also, you would think I would get sick of being Wrong on the Internet but my thirst for wrongness is exceeded only by my thirst for Anchor California Lager and VICTORY or something like that.  Anyway, the surest way for a player to have a great game is for me to slag him off.  First I denigrated Gregor Blanco, and he hit a leadoff home run.  Then I questioned the baseballness of Juan Perez, and Sunday night he hit a double that scored two runs.

So this is for you, Jake Peavy, starting pitcher tonight: You are terrible at baseball.  What are you even doing.  You should be running parts for a garage in Tempe, not playing organized baseball of any kind.  You scare me worse than a New York City cop with Ebola.

There, that should do it.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

World Series Game 4, EXPRESS LANE EDITION: I did not see that coming


The Giants aren't dead!  They're not even sick.

This is coming from a man who texted someone last night in the fourth inning "This series is over." So grain of salt anything you hear from me.

Last night the Giants were down 4-1 and looked like shit.  Vogelsong pitched a great first inning and then Jesus had other shit to do because he fell off a cliff and got yanked.  Yuck.  So it looks pretty bad.  The Giants are down by 3 runs and they are not especially good at coming back from 3 runs down or 2 runs down or any runs down.

So they just went out and scored 10 more.  WHAT. THE. FUCKING. FUCK.

One sidenote - I was shit talking Juan Perez yesterday and he went out last night and GOT A HIT so apparently all I have to do is hate on someone and then they're great.  Oh, same thing with Hunter Strickland! I bad mouthed HS after his meltdown the other night and then he just came back last and pitched a 1-2-3 lights out ninth.  Granted, there's a lot less pressure with a SEVEN RUN LEAD but still!  Nice to have you back, Hunter. And your 100% predictable Instagram feed (courtesy of Encyclopedia Benner who tracked that down).

That was fun! I had forgotten about the Giants scoring runs. It's a thing they do sometimes when they're not KILLING ME.  It's tied 2-2.  Bumgarner tonight.  You know what that means.  Inning-long interviews with people while the game is going on. I hate Fox.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

World Series Game 3, EXPRESS LANE EDITION: This is a drag

Sorry I don't have time to do a full-length in depth update or whatever it is I usually do.  I've got an 18-month-old running around yelling "Trapes!" and "Patchik" (because she can't say "g" or "c" so "grapes" comes out like "trapes" and Patrick is the name of the T. Rex skeleton at the Academy of Sciences which she is in love with and wants to go see every day) and so I'm kinda in the weeds here.  This will be the ultra fast drive by edition.  Luckily nothing memorable happened, from a Giants point of view.

(That would be a great SF trivia question - what is the name of the T.Rex at the Academy of Sciences? - because I don't think the name is on the sign anywhere.)

Tim Hudson is 55 years old.  First pitch, KC leadoff hitter Alcides Escobar launches a double that looked like it was going out.  Oh no.  The only end up scoring 1 in that inning.

An old man looks for a comfortable place to sit.  Photo stolen from SFGate but fuck it, I paid for a Chronicle subscription in the '90s and only got like 2 papers so they owe me.
Fuck, not like it's Hudson's fault.  His job is to keep the opponent from scoring a bunch of runs and he did that.  His job is not to score runs, and he didn't do that.

The Giants cannot hit baseballs.  If the Giants were your phone it would have no bars.  They had 4 hits in the whole game, which as a team is only 4 more than I had personally, and I'm not playing in the World Series.

Michael Morse got a hit.  He's about the only one that gets any hits anymore.  The Giants did get 2 runs in the sixth but it never seemed like they were in it.

This is the scariest thing I've read all day:  "Bochy plans to start Juan Perez in left field in Game 4 against left-hander Jason Vargas, but did not eliminate the possibility of going with Morse even with his lack of defensive playing time since he got hurt."  This is the scariest shit since The Ring.  If you think "we need help on offense," you do not think "JUAN PEREZ IS THAT HELP."  Juan Perez is batting .125 in the postseason.  Tim Hudson is batting .250, and he's not supposed to be able to hit.

Meanwhile, we're all just Waiting for Bumgarner.  If they lose tonight it may already be too late for the Angel of Hickory NC to save them.  It's very hard to win 3 games out of 4.  It's much harder to win 3 games in a row, all of them elimination games.

If I could only think of some time in the past that's ever happened.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

World Series Game 2: This Pitcher Is a Pipe Bomb

When Gregor Blanco hit his leadoff home run to begin this little shitshow, I was on the bus, listening to the MLB app, which cuts in and out, at least on the 5L, but was on when Blanco hit the opening HR.  Me and one other guy wearing headphones both fist pumped and said "YES" at the same time.  It was a great beer commercial moment.  We should probably be friends now, Guy On The Bus Who Also Fist Pumped.

That was pretty much the last good thing that happened.  Also, I got some feedback from the public after that about how I had questioned Blanco's leadoff skills, but leadoff guys are supposed to get on base, not hit home runs, so I stand by it.

The game goes on.  It's 2-2 when Peavy leaves.  Machi comes in and promptly gives up a run-scoring single to Billy Butler, who looks exactly like what you'd expect someone named Billy Butler to look like.  Then Javi Lopez gets an out.

Then shit went seriously south.

Hunter Strickland is a conundrum, a pitcher who can throw 100 miles per hour, which is good, but who also has a demonstrated propensity for giving up home runs in the postseason, which is very, very bad.  He gives up a 2-run double, then the expected home run.  Let's see what happens next.

Oh my.  That's doesn't look good at all.

Here's a closeup of Strickland yelling:

(Clip via Vine user or Viner or whatever they call themselves Ryan Pizzuto)

As you can see, some believe that Strickland said "Get in the dugout boy," which would be a very bad thing to say.  But my team of forensic lip readers have determined that what he ACTUALLY said was "THAT'S NOT SK8ER BOI," a reference to April Lavigne's 2002 hit, because Strickland heard Omar Infante's traditional home run chant, which is to sing "Sk8er Boi" as he rounds the bases, and recognized immediately that instead of "He was a skater boy, she said see ya later, boy," Infante was singing "He was a skater boy, she said he's a hater, boy," which is completely wrong.

Despite this lyrical brouhaha, one fact remains: if we see Hunter Strickland anywhere near the field of play for even 3 seconds at any point during the rest of this World Series UNLESS the Giants are up by 15+ runs, Bruce Bochy should be institutionalized and/or fired.  Hunter Strickland should be a hazy memory from here on out.  By the end of this thing, we should be scrunching up our faces and saying "Strick...Strickman? Strickfan? I don't remember."  The FBI should be looking for him before this is done.

That's all.  The Giant don't have the capacity to come back from 5 runs down so it was over. It was never going to be a sweep.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

World Series Game 1: Boring

I'm not gonna say that I have amazing predictive powers, but do I have amazing predictive powers or what?

(CAVEAT 1: Only if you consider 7-1 a "blowout." 7-1 could be a blowout!)

(CAVEAT 2: Please ignore the Readers Digest Large Print Edition font size but I'm so old I wear contacts AND use reading glasses sometimes and setting my iPhone font size to "Elderly Man" is the only way I can read/write texts without putting on glasses.  I'm at an age where every male in my peer group has to lift up their glasses to look at something you're showing them on your phone.  Don't laugh, you're going to get old and die someday too.)

OKAY THEN.  Here's the Giants plan: (1) Lay low for a whole season and don't make anyone think they're a contender; (2) Sneak into the playoffs via a one-game play-in system that didn't exist a few years ago; (3) Rough up the other side's ace in the first inning of Game 1, just like the last Series they went to.

First inning: Fucking GREGOR BLANCO gets a leadoff hit.  That should be the sign that something is very wrong.  I'm sure Gregor Blanco is a very nice man but he is not a major league leadoff hitter except oh maybe he is.  There's some silliness with Buster Posey getting thrown out at home AGAIN and then boom, Hunter Pence home run.  3-0.

“It was really loud in my head,” Pence said.

I bet it's always really loud in your head, Hunter.  Anyway, thanks to some early runs and then the coolly efficient killing machine known as Madison Bumgarner, a human lawnmower who is expressionless as he destroys and thinks mercy is for suckers, this game was boring.  Admit it, you were bored.

It gave us time to reflect on other things.  LIKE IS KEN ROSENTHAL REALLY THAT TINY??!!?

Not Photoshopped, I swear to fucking God
WHAT THE FUCK.  That's a railing behind him and then that oddly malevolent guy has to be, what, at least 6, 7 feet back.  Let's do some math.

I don't want to bore you with the calculations, but my scientists inform me that Ken Rosenthal is about three and a half feet tall.  He is a tiny Reporter Pixie, plucked from the Magic Forest to annoy the fuck out of us on Fox.

That's about it.  Nothing much happened.  One Royals guy hit a home run, and Billy Butler, whose head is as spherical and featureless as an orange, came close to one but missed and he looked so sad and little leaguer that The Wife actually felt bad for him.

Let's don't kid ourselves.  It's not over.  The Royals are an actual baseball team with real players and Madison Bumgarner can't pitch every night.  Actually, he probably could but that wouldn't be fair.  Anyway, more games coming.  It's going to be really loud in our heads.