Saturday, October 4, 2014

Game Wrap 2014 NLDS Game 2: Giants 2 Nationals 1

The final score does not begin to tell the story of this game.  In fact, I am not sure there are words to adequately describe it at all!  This game!  This game will go down in history along with Bobby Thomson's Shot Heard Round the World, Willie Mays' The Catch, Buster Posey's Grand Slam Home Run in Giants legendary history.  I mean, the Giants were down to their last out.  Last out, I tell you, without  so much as  hint that they had a chance of getting a man on base, let alone tying the game an eventually winning it!  What ensued at Nationals Park tonight was just jaw dropping.  All you could do was just sit there in amazement as inning after inning went by.  So many stupendous performances the term Key Lines hardly gives them credit.  Key Lines:

Joe Panik- 0 for 6, BB. BA= .182.  In what was otherwise a tough game for Panik, he somehow worked a walk out of Jordan Zimmermann with 2 outs in the top of the 9'th inning and the Nationals leading 1-0.  The walk caused Nationals manager Matt Williams to panic and pull Zimmermann, which may have been the right move, but will likely go down in history as one of the more controversial managing moves in the history of the game. More on that later.

Buster Posey- 3 for 6, BB.  BA= .400.  Buster also had not done much before the 9'th inning, nobody in the lineup had.  He greeted Nationals closer Drew Storen with a single to put runners on first and second.  Still no great cause for alarm by the Nationals.

Pablo Sandoval- 1 for 7, 2B. BA= .167.  Another guy who had a tough night except when it mattered most.  Pablo's opposite field double down the LF line almost won the game in the 9'th inning but it did tie the game up and set up the epic extra-inning battle to follow.  I still think Buster's front foot touched home plate before the tag was applied, but it was probably too close a call to overturn the on-field decision.

Brandon Belt- 1 for 7, HR(1).  BA= .267.  Speaking of guys who were having a rough night.  Belt was 0 for 6 when he came to the plate in the top of the 18'th inning.  He somehow put together a huge AB working his way to a 3-2 count.  At that point, I knew he was going to get a pitch to hit and had a good feeling he was going to do something really good with it.  He crushed it!  3'rd deck!  As the announcer's pointed out, it was a night when a lot of really strong hitters had promising drives die on the warning track.  He crushed it!

Tim Hudson- 7.1 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 8 K's. ERA= 1.23.  I was hoping for 5 strong innings from Huddy.  He gave one of the best games of his career!  Talk about pitching your heart out!  We all knew what kind of competitor Huddy is from facing him against the Braves many times and especially in the postseason in 2010.  This is what he was signed for and boy, did he ever deliver!

Yusmeiro Petit- 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 0.00.  Before I talk about Petit's performance, it should not be forgotten that the bullpen pitched 3.2 innings of shutdown baseball before Petit even entered the game.  Yusmeiro Petit!  What a long strange trip it's been for this guy, but he was brought to the Giants for such a time as this!  6 innings of shutdown baseball against one of the toughest lineups in all of baseball.  Every inning was sudden death.  One mistake and the ballgame was over. He never flinched, not once!  A legendary performance within a legendary game!  Whatever happens from here on out, Yusmeiro Petit goes in the books as a good Giant!

Hunter Strickland- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, Save(1).  ERA= 9.00.  Meet the new Giants closer!  Apparently Bochy was more impressed by the strikeout of Ian Desmond to end a bases-loaded jam in Game 1 than by the 2 dingers he gave up the next inning.  Bochy burned through every available pitcher except Tim Lincecum and Hunter Strickland.  Had the game remained tied, I'm sure Timmy would have come in, but Bochy saved Strickland as his ace-in-the-hole closer.  This time, Strickland topped out at 97 MPH, and MLB hitters aren't too impressed by 97 MPH, but he had good enough location and was able to throw enough sliders for strikes that he kept the Nationals hitters off balance just enough to keep it in the yard and in to gloves.  It was anxiety time when he walked Rendon with 2 outs and the really bad guys coming up, but he got Werth on a heart-stopping, but ultimately fairly routine flyball to Hunter Pence in RF.

Jordan Zimmermann- 8.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 1.04.  Zimmermann must be still grinding his teeth on this one.  One out away and seemingly with plenty of gas left in the tank.  Panik draws the walk and Williams yanks him.  I know there are good arguments for Williams' move.  Heck, Bochy pretty much has the 1 baserunner in the 9'th and you're gone rule himself.  Me?  I was happy to see Zimm out of there and the Giants are on record as saying they felt the same way.  Gotta feel for Zimmermann who pitched a helluva game and came away empty.

Matt Williams- Williams will be second guessed on this one until he wins a World Series, much like Bochy and some of his moves earlier in his career.  What was probably worse than the decision was Williams getting himself thrown out arguing balls and strikes after Asdrubal Cabrera went nuts over two calls that were clearly in the strike zone.  The ump, BTW, was a bit inconsistent and more so after the ejections, but he was right on the two strikes that Cabrera and Williams went ballistic over.  Williams had to watch 9 more excruciating innings on the clubhouse TV.  Not a good night for Matt Williams!

The Win gives the Giants a dominating 2 game lead in the best of 5 series with the next two games to be played in San Francisco.   The Giants have to be feeling good about their chances with Madison Bumgarner starting Game 3 on 10/6/2014 facing Doug Fister, although Fister is a very tough customer himself.  Giants lose Game 3 and all bets are off as Game 4 looks very iffy with Vogey going and then they would have to beat Strasburg again in a Game 5.  That's if Strasburg does not come back on 3 days rest for Game 4 with Zimm coming back for Game 5.  Ain't the postseason great?!

Dodger survived another scare and avoided another bullpen meltdown after Matt Carpenter hit a 2 run dinger to tie it 2-2 in the top of the 8'th inning.  Matt Kemp untied it on the first pitch of the bottom of the 8'th and Kenley Jansen closed it out.  That series now moves to St Louis tied 1-1.


  1. Not to play Debbie Downer, but I trust the Reds felt confident with Bailey going in game 3 as well.

    1. I think I said that Fister is no slouch of a pitcher himself.

  2. very happily eating crow once again

    dont understand it, but this is a much different team once they hit october

    and to the nats fans who ran for the exits long before this game was decided....shame on you

    wasnt like anyone had to get up early to go to work

    forecast for monday is 81 degrees at game time

    balls fly out of att in that type of weather. perfect weather for the nats bats

    this series isnt over by a long shot


    1. I don't think it's that different, Bacci. Gotta do some good things to make the postseason in the first place.

    2. Big B, the Giants couldn't play this type of baseball for 162. At least, I couldn't take it. I do think the Giants prepare better, scout better, pick their roster better and manage better than any team I have ever seen. Cudos to Bochy, Rags, et. al.

    3. Nobody plays with postseason intensity for a full season. I just don't think the Giants are a fundamentally different team in the playoffs than the regular season. I do think there is something about the makeup of the team and Bochy's leadership that enables them to handle pressure and channel it in a positive way better than some other teams.

  3. If you don't think this clubhouse believes in themselves; then you don't believe in apple pie.
    I expect one mighty pissed and defiant look on Bums face tomorrow.

    Richard in Winnipeg

    BTW, when Williams pulled Zim ; I out loud said Matty you will live to regret that move.

  4. I despise hipsters and teams in which the players sport hipster beards - what a bunch of poseurs. Hope Mad sweeps out the Nats… come Monday, though a Peavy win in a deciding 5th game would make this a series for the ages.

    Ten post-season wins in a row is no fluke. Clubhouse harmony prevails on a Bochy team. Under his leadership players pull for one another, play as a team and play hard.

    Different hero every day - there is a role for every man on the roster.

    Petit's record of consecutive outs was no fluke either. The man can pitch. Hope G's sign him to a three year contract off season.

    Game ball for last night - I give to Rags - 18 innings of one run ball. I think Rags' tutelage helped Petit turn his carer around … with all of the praise for Bochy I think Rags does not get enough love….

    1. We won and everyone's a hero...Panda, Belt, Petit, Hudson, Panik, Strickland, Posey, Bochy, Raghetti, the trainer...all of them, even the Nationals...our worthy opponents fought all the way to the end of the longest playoff game in history. How many players can say they took part in one like that?

      Tomorrow is another day and we will need more heroic acts.

    2. Jay,

      Did you hate the 2010 Giants and Fear the Beard?

    3. Doc - I think Romo had a beard in 2010, but I could not stand the Chief Beard, poseur Brian Wilson. It was all about him. And then the whining about not being re-signed just showed he was not a team player. The beard look is such a cliche now, 2013 RedSox and now Washington … but come to think of it, do the G's have a slogan / rally cry this year? And who came up with "Always October" ? The G's Marketing Department?

    4. "Always October" is an MLB wide thing. Even the A's (and Pirates) got the Always October Sweatshirts, and Oakland didn't technically make it to October.

      In one of my first Hipster impulses in a long while, I rather wanted to buy the A's sweatshirt and wear it ironically.

    5. kenny - you could do that, wear the sweatshirt, don the a's cap, and left unstated is the word "bust" - as in Always October Bust … from Jeremy Giambi getting tagged out at the plate to the most recent epic meltdown, where Molester & Co. (truly a team loss) could not win with 8 runs on the board …

  5. The soul of the Giants shines brightly into the night,
    everything tastes better this morning.
    Lucky, I sit in my hot tub with Giants joy!

    Thank you, Mr. Matt Williams. After Zimmermann, Drew Storen looked like he was throwing BP out there. At least Williams had the sense to get inside by the heater.

    Posey was safe, but I will take revenge served cold after 18 innings.

    Posey is my post-game pick. Just 18 STUD. Though a little sad seeing him cheat so much to get off a throw to 2B. If I'm the Nats, I'm running every time.

    Don't think I've ever seem so many well executed pitches, on both sides, over so many innings. Really outside of Storen, only a handful of right-down-the-middle misses all night.

    I said Strickland would be a difference maker and I'm sticking to it. Closing in the 18th, on 29 pitches, that's some stamina.

    What's THAT, the Giants pitchers got something between their legs. Huddy called 'em, Matchi showed 'em, Lopez gave us a peek, Romo served them on a frisbee, Affeldt scudded 'em, Casilla cold showered 'em, Petit tiene HUEVOS GRANDE, and Strickland punched 'em out.

  6. Petit is our secret weapon and I hope the Giants sign him to a deal this year too. Guy was a one time top prospect and at any time looks like he has the ability to throw a no hitter. A two to three year deal would seem like a good investment on him before he gets expensive.

    1. All that and Petit's been performing without any stability what his role would be from week to week.Bochy's used him as a Swiss Army knife. Giants fans have been slow to really appreciate how invaluable he's been. Having him as an option probably also saved us Susac...and it's easy to forget, but Panik the trade deadline.

    2. Great point anon #2. Petit has been huge, and saving the Giants from spending farm capital is big time hidden value.

  7. Great summary. That was one of the all time epic ball games. It felt like house money. But the Giants were completely snakebit - lots of balls hit pretty well, just straight at infielders. I felt like we finally got the little break with Panik, and then Posey gets called out... If his foot hadn't skipped I think they reverse it.

    Tough, tough game today. Hope Bumgarner can start the game clean, he has those shaky starts sometimes, particularly at home. Will a new hero emerge?

    1. Yup. Same key as in the Wild Card game. Bummy gets through the first and the Giants are in great shape. Mistakes are going to be flying out of the park today.

    2. Per Shank's question: my gut tells if not today or (hopefully) at one point in the playoffs, Lincecum is going to be the "hero" for one game.

    3. I think the fact the Giants played 18 innings and LIncecum was not used tells you all you need to know about how much faith Bochy has in him right now. Unless they get a starter blown out early and just need someone to eat innings or get into another marathon game before Petit can get rested up, we're not going to see much of Tim Lincecum, if at all.