Sunday, October 3, 2010

Game Wrap 10-03-2010: Giants 3 Padres 0 Giants Win the NL West!!

Given the history of the San Francisco Giants, and the failure of the Giants to clinch the NL West Championship when they had a chance in the first two games of this series, a Giants fan could very reasonably have had their doubts going into today's final game of the regular season. On the other hand, some of the greatest moments in this franchise's history have come when things looked the bleakest. Jonathan Sanchez pitched the game of his life, yes, I know he has pitched a no-hitter, but this one was for a championship. The offense, frustrated at seemingly every turn, kept hitting the ball hard and a few finally found some gaps to give them just enough runs to finally make them NL West Champions, holding off those Pesky, Pesky Padres! Key lines:

Andres Torres- 1 for 3, BB. BA= .268. Things didn't start off well as Torres was robbed of a first inning leadoff double when the ump clearly blew the call on a slicing drive down the LF line the clearly kicked up chalk on the replay. While he wasn't involved in the scoring, Torres partially reversed the bad karma by singling to RF in the same AB.

Freddy Sanchez- 1 for 4. BA= .292. Freddy kind of killed the excitement in the first inning with a DP grounder after Torres hung in there to hit the single, but made up for it later by singling up the middle to drive in Jonathan Sanchez with the first run of the game. When Huff Daddy followed with a double to left-center that looked like it might be caught, Fast Freddy didn't have to worry about getting doubled off since there were 2 outs. He sped all the way home from first base with the first of 2 insurance runs the Giants gave Jonathan Sanchez and the bullpen.

Buster Posey- 1 for 4, HR(18). BA= .305. Buster had been hitting a lot of balls hard, but right at people. A 3-0 lead would look so much better going to the 9'th and Buster delivered it with a blast to LF that barely cleared the wall off a Giants nemesis named Luke Gregerson. At that point, I finally had a very confident feeling about this game and winning the NL West.

Jonathan Sanchez- 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 5 K's, W(13-9). ERA= 3.07. Sanchez got himself in trouble a couple of times, but calmly pitched his way out of it each time. A truly stand-up performance by a guy a lot of Giants fans were ready to give up on earlier in the season(I'm looking at you, Bacci). A nice job of managing by Bruce Bochy who left Sanchez in just long enough pulling him at just the right time to turn it over to the bullpen. Where would this team be without Durty down the stretch?

Santiago Casilla- 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's, H(10). ERA= 1.95. Casilla got two huge GB outs to bail out Sanchez in the 6'th inning, first a GB to Pablo that Panda made a strange but effective play on to get the lead runners at 3B and 2B for a DP. Then Uribe went into the hole at SS and made a very nice quick throw back to 2B to get the lead runner for out #3 to end the threat. Casilla then got 2 outs in the 7'th before giving up a hit to Denorfia who was the peskiest Padre of all today. Speaking of Pesky Padres, David Eckstein then hit a comebacker that was softer than Casilla anticipated. He pulled his glove up too soon and the ball just rolled right through the wickets for an error and runners were at first and second with Miggy Tejada coming up.

Ramon Ramirez- 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, H(7). ERA= 2.99. This was my favorite moment of the the game. Ramirez was summoned in relief of Santiago Casilla to get Miguel Tejada. Tejada battled him, fouling off several pitches. You could see the anxiety on Ramirez' face on close-up shots on the TV. He responded by throwing a perfect pitch on the outside corner for the swinging K, as gutsy a performance as the Giants have had all season, to just one batter.

Javy Lopez- 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, H(11). ERA= 2.34. Again, it was just one out, but that out was Adrian Gonzalez leading off the 8'th inning. The Giants were still clinging to their 2 run lead. Lopez was acquired for just this situation and he came through with flying colors to get AGone on a soft foul popup.

Sergio Romo- 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, H(22). ERA= 2.18. Romo came in to face the next two RH batters after Lopez got AGone. Ludwick popped up and then Romo struck out a very Pesky Yorvit Torrealba to get the game to Brian Wilson.

Brian Wilson- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(48). ERA= 1.81. Brian Wilson ties Rod "Shooter" Beck, a great Giant, for the record number of Saves in a single season in club history. He got a 3-2 count on the first batter Luis Durango, but after finally getting him to ground out to shortstop, Wilson settled down and for another ground out and ended it with a strikeout of Will Venable who swung helplessly late on a 97 MPH letter high fastball. Congratulations to Brian Wilson on a great season, on tying a great record and for helping the Giants win a division championship. It wouldn't have happened without any number of these guys, but Wilson stood taller than most.

While the Giants won the NL West with this victory today, the Padres were eliminated from the playoffs because Atlanta hung on to win their game against the Phillies 8-7 and clinch the Wild Card spot in the NL. Since the Wild Card and the best record in the NL come from the same division, the NL East, and the Giants had the second best record in the NL, the Phillies take on Cincinnati while the Giants play the Atlanta Braves with the home field advantage.

The Giants start the playoffs in AT&T Park on Thursday, October 7. It seems ridiculous to wait 3 days to start the playoffs, but I guess TV contracts force MLB to try to get as many weekend games in as possible? Anyway, that gives us fans 3 days to savor a wonderful regular season finish.

P.S. Props to both Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy, who have taken an incredible amount of heat from fans on sports talk shows and the internet, for putting this team together and leading it to the division championship respectively.


  1. Great finish to a great season! Now let's see what we can do in the post season! Go Giants!

  2. Kay,

    It's been a long road back from the end of Barry Bonds' career, but they finally made it. Whatever happens in the playoffs now, I know they did better than last year and with a great core of young players, I think they will be good for a long time. Hopefully that will result, at long last, in a World Series championship, this year or another year in the near future.

  3. doc,

    totally unfair

    you know that i have been a supporter of durty since aa....the guy has nasty stuff...for a power lefty, maybe the best stuff in the league

    that his only problem ever was his issues with concentration

    you also know that i thought his treatment by the org is what contributed to his problems on the mound

    i only thought that if they couldnt figure out how to help him, they should trade his somewhere that could

    he has been a different pitcher since the was like in one day, he grew up

    he trusts his stuff...trusts himself to get out of jams...and he stays focused throughout

    dont know if he did this on his own....but im glad he did it here

    i love our bearded twins....romo and wilson make the best 1-2 punch know, i cant remember a better 1-2 punch

    i love how this team came together through adversity...they are kinda like the 70s raiders...bunch of guys that no one wanted, or expected to do anything

    dont know how far they will go, but i do know that they will either win or lose as a team

    i think the lds schedule is nuts...but it benefits the giants...3 days for guys to get healthy and arms to rest...just hope at his next start, they have cain warming up alot more so he doesnt overthrow like he did against the friars

    btw, i cant comment anymore using firefox...did you change your commenting script

  4. I am not a Sabean fan in general, but I do blieve he deserves GM of the year. Molina for Ray and Main; Turpan for Ramirez; Ross for free; Fontenot for Crawford; Lopez for Martinez and Bowker; Burrell for free (and making TB pay his entire contract to boot); his speech after the pitching bad stretch...

    I fear what we will end up giving KC for Guillen, but one deal that I do not like out of a series of SOLID moves makes a very solid year, in my mind...

  5. OK, sorry Bacci. I just remembered you calling for Sanchez to be traded awhile back. I don't think the organization has been unfair to him. In fact, I think they've been incredibly patient. While I don't know anything about coaching, and I have no idea what the coaches say to him or do with him, it does appear that they have worked with him and it has helped. Last year, they skipped a couple of starts and he came back to pitch the no-no. This year, he got better as the season went along. Maybe he's just the classic power lefty who takes longer to fully develop than some other pitchers with maybe lower ceilings.

    I haven't done anything with the settings on the blog. I've gotten some feedback that some people can't comment all the way back to the beginning, but I have no idea why. I really know nothing about computers.

    The best part of all those trades Sabean made is he didn't touch the core of his farm system. KC was ready to waive Guillen, so I can't believe they are going to get a front line prospect as the PTBNL. It will be somebody who's on the verge of being dropped from the 40 man roster, or someone the Giants might lose in the Rule 5 draft but don't have room on the 40 man for. Something like that.

  6. Well maybe we will just flip the PTBNL we will received from Toronto in the Lewis deal to Kansas city. I don't know if it's possible.

    That was a great win, a great season and this is a tremendous team to root for. What a good feeling.


  7. doc,

    when im talking unfair, i meant how the kid was treated starting in aa

    the team needed rp's....they had decided that sanchez didnt have the head for sp...sent him to the pen...i remember screaming how it was a mistake

    that started the yo yo from sp to pen and back again....right up to his being brought up to the big club

    set him back a year in development

    its why i thought they would never get a handle on what he needed to hold his concentration when his control was off, or when he got past the 4th or 5th innings...and why he should be traded to someone that could.

    i was wrong...either there is someone in the org who has helped him, or he has been able to dig down deep and find that strength.

    he definitely isnt afraid to throw when he doesnt have his best stuff, and has become a very crafty pitcher.

  8. There are very good pitchers who have gone back and forth between starting an relieving:

    Bob Welch of the Dodgers and later the A's was a starter in the minors, but when he first came up, he was thrown into a closing role because the Dodgers were desperate.

    Johan Santana was used as a reliever by the Twins before he became the monster starter.

    The Twins have used Liriano as both a starter and reliever.

    More recently there's been Phil Hughes of the Yanks who has done both, David Price of the TB Rays.

    It's not unprecedented and has been done by teams that have very good track records developing pitchers.

    One thing I like about how the Giants handled Jonathan Sanchez is that he doesn't have a lot of miles on that arm like some young pitchers who have been starters since high school.