Thursday, October 11, 2012

EPIC!!! Your 2012 Giants Win the NLDS!!! Makes History!!!

"We will see you tomorrow" Hunter


The Giants set history by winning the NLDS!!!  First NL team (out of 22) to come back from 0-2 to win a 5 game series!!!  First time any MLB team has come from behind 0-2 in a 5 game series to win three on the road to win the series!!!  The Giants are just the fifth team to come back from 0-2 to win the playoff series!!!

(got gif link from a comment on MCC)

Barry Zito ended up on the good side of history this time, as his A's were the loser in the last two times this situation has come up, losing to the Yankees in 2001, Red Sox in 2003, but now winner with the Giants in 2012.  They survive the gauntlet to see each other for another day, another series.  They will, indeed, see each other tomorrow.

They don't know who they will face next.  If the Cards win, the first game of the NLCS would be in SF, but if the Nats win two, the first game would be in DC on Sunday.  The talk is that they will stay in Cincinnati until that is decided, as they want to avoid jetting home only to have to jet back East to D.C.  (DrB heard that the Giants had hired a sleep consultant who advised them to not fly out to Cincy after the game, to fly out the next day instead, whereas Cincy flied in on a red-eye after the game)

"You know what? We feel good," Posey 

Matt Cain pitched well until the Giants scored 6 runs in the 5th off Mat Latos, punctuated by Buster Posey and his upper-deck, no doubt about it, grand slam.  However, nothing happens if Brandon Crawford didn't come up and triples in the first run with his first hit of the playoffs - his first hit in the playoffs was an extra-base hit, much like his first MLB hit was an extra-base hit, that grand slam homer - then scoring the second run.  But the big blow, ultimately, was Posey's grand slam as the Reds kept on pecking.

Because, as the Giants flashed back to 2010 with torture after that, the Reds kept the pressure on, scoring runs, getting runners on base, heck, ending the game with the winning runs on base, Sergio Romo going 30 pitches, which is way more than he usually does.  Hope his arm is OK, but he got the clinching save, got the chance to celebrate on the mound the winning of the series.  That is what he has said he wants to do, be the closer, be The Man like this.

Have to say "hats off" to the Reds for not lying down after that gut punch the grand slam delivered.  The Reds actually outhit the Giants, 12 to 9, and got 3 walks to the 1 the Giants got.  So they were bringing up the winning run to the plate every inning at the end of the game.  They have nothing to be ashamed of, they went down fighting.

But whereas their homer was a solo job, the Giants homer provided the winning margin.  The Giants offense won the game again for the team, as the bullpen was leaky in this game and Cain was merely solid, as the delay for all the scoring appeared to take his focus away (or something).  Still, for 4 innings, neither team was doing much of anything, it was still scoreless until suddenly you couldn't stop the offense.

"Play for each other not yourself. Win each moment. Win each inning." Pence 

Buster's grand slam is the SF Giants third in playoff history, from what I heard on the radio.  Chuck Hiller had one in the 1962 World Series, Will Clark had one in the 1989 NLDS against the Cubs, and now Posey.  It was pretty much no doubt, Posey did something uncharacteristic by watching it fly off, and the catcher clearly knew it was gone, as his shoulders slumped after Posey connected, and he walked slowly away from home plate so that he don't have to watch it.  Buster was not having it, hitting this homer, also throwing out a runner at 3B later in the game, which was huge too, ultimately.

Gregor Blanco had a great catch in the game (he also scored the first run, driving in by BCraw) that made me think of his catch in Cain's Perfect Game.  Angel Pagan had a great sliding catch in the 8th that made me flash back to Candy Maldonado's sliding catch that he failed to get, costing us that game in 1987 against the Cards, but instead, Pagan caught it and prevented the Reds from scoring more runs, possibly saving the game for us there.  And while he barely caught it, he needed every inch, as he moved in four steps for Navarro, knowing that the hitter does not have much power.  Both played for the team, winning those moments.

George Kontos came in again and got some key outs for us again.  He has really stepped up in this playoff series and has earned himself a bigger role in the bullpen going forward.  He won his moments.

"Glue, Glue, Glue!!!" Giants Team Calling for Pence After the Win

Hunter Pence gave another rah-rah speech before the game, once again, just like he did before the last two games.  His football style speech is not seen much in baseball, where players try to keep themselves calm and not to over play with the adrenaline.  It appears that it has worked, and I know I get misty and verklempt every time I think about it.  I assume he's going to be doing this for as long as the Giants continue in the playoffs.  And he finally started contributing some, no runs, but he got two hits.

Here is the basic outline of the speech, as passed by Flannery:
"Get in here, everyone get in here. Look into each other eyes. Now! Look into each others eyes, I want one more day with you. It's the most fun, the best team I have ever been on and no matter what happens we must not give in. We owe it to each other. Play for each other. I need one more day with you guys, I need to see what Ryan Theriot will wear tomorrow, I want to play defense behind Ryan Vogelsong because he's never been to the playoffs. Play for each other not yourself. Win each moment. Win each inning. It's all we have left."
ogc thoughts

This series was incredible, though obviously after the games at home, especially with that whipping in game 2, all that we could realistically hope for was to extend the series some.  Somehow, someway, the Giants did it.  They looked into each other eyes and fought to see each other again the next day.  And they did it, doing what they were doing big time in the second half of this season, playing well on the road.

Ultimately, Cueto's injury 8 pitches into his game 1 start costed the Reds the series, though that wasn't so evident after the beat down the Giants got in game 2.  The dominoes started falling with the usage of Latos as a reliever in game 1.  That took him out of his game 3 start, which pushed Bailey from game 4 to game 3, which pushed the Reds to drop Cueto to place Leake on the playoff roster to start game 4, then Latos became the 5th game starter.  He was great until the 5th inning.  Who knows what would have happened if Cain was facing Cueto today.

The opposing manager again made mistakes in the NLDS to help the Giants.  The Braves' Cox made mistakes that cost them, and the Red's Dusty Baker also make a number of mistakes.  Mistakes that make me remember why I was happy when the Giants moved on from Dusty.  He made a number of mistakes in the 2002 World Series that  I was not happy with, basically the same thing here:  he don't really know what is the right thing to do with pitchers at key moments.  He stayed with pitchers too long - like Latos today, Leake yesterday - or would take a pitcher out too soon, like Bailey in game 3.  Bailey was dealing like he never did before - he will probably have a monster season in 2013 - and his pitch count wasn't that high, yet Baker came in and took him out.  And by the time he took out the other pitchers, the damage was done.

Epic, Epic, Epic!

For another epic moment, Jeremy Affeldt had another odd injury, as he was in the tunnel when a Blanco foul ball went zipping his way.  He could have been hit but in the process of avoiding the ball, he slipped and fell down a small flight of stairs, injuring himself.  That forced the Giants to burn Lopez the next inning instead of having Affeldt pitch, and make Lopez unavailable when Romo was facing Bruce, a power lefty hitter.  It was just meant to me, I guess.

Go Giants!


  1. Forgot that I wanted to mention that Cain did not get a DOM start, making it zero DOM games for the Giants starters in this game. So the starters were not much help in winning the games, except Vogelsong in game 3. And there were 2 DIS starts, games 2 and 4, by Bumgarner and Zito. Cain and Vogelsong both had 3 PQS starts, though each were very close to DOM starts, and would have had it if Bochy had stayed with them longer.

    The pitching and fielding were 2-3 in Pitching Win/Loss, as they only kept the Reds at 3 runs or less in two games. The offense were likewise 2-3, scoring more 4 or more runs twice. The Giants got some luck to win this series, based on this.

  2. The Gints stood tall. Amazing series in an extremely memorable season. We have some ballplayers on this team, I love this time of year when you really start using stats as a rough guesstimate, not a talking point. Crawford, Posey and Romo came up huge today. Big time players rise to the occasion - Posey sure did. Pagan and Crawford with the amazing defensive plays, and Romo hanging in there. The Reds came at us, and the pen bent but didn't break. One of the best games I've ever seen. I am sure it'll be shown a hundred more times, but did Poseys GS actually hit off the scoreboard with Latos name? I was too jazzed to notice, but I think it did.

    Dusty did make mistakes. And Bochy sure didn't. Captain Hook is a pitchers manager. And he did a superior job today. Its funny to think something as small as a passed ball and a bobble opens up the door to change the entire series, but that is what game 3 did. Amazing.

    I really like all of the players on the Giants now. That has not always been the case. They really do emphasize team over individual, and as so much of the blogosphere is obsessed about stats at all times, maybe there needs to be some new metrics. Those will be mocked - grit, heart, clutch - but they do exist in the baseball world.

    Cain stuck it out without his best stuff. For me the unsung heroes so far are Kontos and Blanco. Both have been very excellent roll players, with huge moments. Go Giants!

    1. I totally agree.

      I will have to look for a replay of the grand slam, thanks for the tip.

      Yeah, funny, shades of 2010, right? Still, many series will swing on the smallest of things, a ball through the legs, a homer from a no-power hitter, seemingly, in the playoffs.

      I really like all the players too, good point. Well, I still wouldn't mind an upgrade over Mota, I have not really thought much about him during his time with the Giants, though he has been useful, I must admit.

      I totally agree that heart and grit is something that sabermetrics and blogosphere don't really understand, don't have any measure for. You can tell when a commenter have never really played baseball much or well by comments like that, or something with little understanding of the human condition.

      I would also throw out Arias as another excellent role player, Hanchez too, but I know you got his back, as you sponsor his page on bb-ref. And both had their moments for us too in this series, particularly Arias.

      Speaking of which, do you think Bochy should have replaced Scutaro with Arias at 2B at the end there, Scoots have been having a few oopsies lately that's been scaring me.

      Eric Brynes of KNBR asked Bochy on the air what he will do with Lincecum now that we have moved on to the next series, and he said that he has to figure out how to include him in the next series.

      And check out the comment on DrB about Crawford, who you have supported there frequently, if you know what I mean.

    2. Oh dear, I am not touching that Craw stuff on DrB's for all the whiskey in Ireland.

      I agree about Scoots defense being a bit shaky. Arias has indeed been a great role player. And Sanchez. And hell, Huffy on the bench, even with no success yet. Aubrey will get another shot at it now, which warms my heart.

      Speaking of shades of 2010, lemme share a personal thing - my 2nd son was born in June of 2010, I got to watch games with him on my chest. Well, now I have a daughter, born a month ago, on my chest for these games. You never know, you always hope they will get to see some great baseball. But here it is, right here, right now. My 5 year old's favorite player is Buster Posey, he yells it proudly. Who knows how far this team can go, but there is now a chance to yell, at the top of our lungs, "The Giants Win the Pennant!". There is NOTHING in the world that jazzes me up like that. Done it 3 times in my life now, a 4th would be a huge privilege.

    3. Ha ha, I know!

      For me, it would be Peking Duck and all the Belfast Authentic Imitation Apple Cider in San Francisco. :^)

      Oh! Congrats on your new little one! Aren't they the greatest? Have fun with your new one!

      My wife and I love kids, but getting too old for that, so we are enjoying our new nephew and niece, whenever we can.

      Yep, another chance, and I feel pretty good about our chances in this next series. The pitching is starting to solidify, mostly, and the offense seems to have found the fourth gear, after riding the clutch for the first three games.

  3. Also wanted to note that Krukow mentioned on the air that Affeldt has a unique pitch that a lefty has, where it sinks and induces grounders.

    That is why you pay him $5M to keep him this season, when many thought it would have been better to get Beltran instead of Affeldt and Lopez.

    Something they neglect to realize, as well, is that signing Beltran would have cost more than Affeldt and Lopez as well, where would they have cut another $3-4M off of the roster in the pre-season? Casilla and Mota? Pagan? Theriot and Vogelsong? Are they as easy to replace in their minds as these players?

    1. At the time of year you are talking, most likely a salary like Casilla's, if you are strictly trading the relievers salary to match Beltran's. I grew tired of defending the lefties, but here it is, why it is such an advantage to have 2 or 3 lefties. Being able to burn off an arm in the middle of an inning is huge. (Lopez has pitched 2/3 of an inning now in the post season - 5MM worth yet or did he earn it in August/Sept?)

    2. I don't think we strictly have to talk relievers, the cuts must come from somewhere.

      Plus, I realize now that the Naysayers were saying that they would sign some cheaper relievers, which would add, say, $2M per replacement, making it now $7-8M that needs to be lopped off to get Beltran.

      I agree that being able to throw in a LOOGY multiple times late in the game is key, plus, Lopez don't always pitch just 1/3 of an inning, he sometimes went one plus IP as well.

      I think that $5M was already earned during the season, but the efficacy of having him, Affeldt, and Mijares has been shown by how Bochy handles the end of the game.

      What a lot of people don't realize is that there is a lot of stuff that is missing from the stats that a team only really knows from interacting with him in the clubhouse. Not that you pay him anything he wants, but what they were paid was the going rate for free agents with their experience and performance.

      And, as my Performance gadget on the side showed, it was not our offense that was lacking this season, it was our defense, our pitching and fielding.

      Whatever, I'm just enjoying all this.

    3. I agree, it was earned already, this is just gravy, but the important type of gravy. Good teams play to get a chance to advance in the postseason. You need specialized weapons such as a Lopez to be able to do that. And he is absolutely market rate, actually I think Sabean got a bargain on him.

      The 1/3 of an inning is interesting. I think Bochy stretches him out, but is fully aware he is a LOOGY specialist, as opposed to Affeldt. Some of the flack Bochy gets during the season is a bit impatient, notice how he tightens up his game when it really counts. So Lopez has been used quite seldom in the past month, which means he rested. That becomes important next series.

    4. Yes, very important type.

      Yeah, I think you hit the nail on the head about the flack that Bochy gets from Giants fans. That's something I've been noodling on for a while, and discussing a little here and there, here, about how he modifies his managing to the situation the team is in. That is why I changed my stance on him late in 2010, when I went from ambivalent to thinking that he could lead us to the final victory. A manager needs to have that killer's instinct when the prize is near.

      That is one reason I was happy to see Dusty go, he didn't have that instinct, he showed that by playing Lofton in CF while DHing Shinjo. He's a great manager because he's a player's manager, but at some point, winning needs to be the objective, not being your player's best pal. As you have aptly put it often, flags fly forever. Bochy gets that difference.

      Early on, it is about getting everyone involved, saving his key players strength for later in the season, staying close, using players in new and different situations to see how he performs.

      Using horse racing an analogy, you start your horse galloping to get it warmed up and see what it got, but also to see who the pace setter is. You try to stay close, but don't want to expend all your horse's energy. But once you get into the home stretch, that is when you start whipping the horse, urging it on to the finish line.

      Bochy definitely does that, making harder decisions, having, as you put it recently, a quicker hook, doing less experimentation, setting everyone into the role that they had earned with their performance up to then, driving them to the finish line. I'm still amazed that he's been able to get good work out of Zito after the 2010 snub. That showed that he had the balls to win it all, but the people skills to soothe the ruffled feathers enough to be able to continue to have a productive relationship with those players.

      That, as they say, is why they pay him the big bucks.

  4. I've also seen a number of mentions about a cutter or sinker that Romo added before this season which is what changed him from a ROOGY to being able to handle both LHB as well as RHB.



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