Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Four, Five...Still Alive

What are these foreign objects that have become suddenly commonplace over the past few days at Mays Field? These things called "runs"? I had heard rumors of them before, and heard whispers that being patient at the plate and hitting line drives could bring them about, but never had I actually thought I would see them. I thought they were but a myth, blurry visions seen only on dubious webcam shots like the Loch Ness Monster, or the Skunk Ape.

Yep, the Giants have scored 26 runs in the past three games, an unheard of amount for this bunch. The team showed a noticeable change in approach tonight, actually taking pitches (what a concept!) and lighting up a wild Ubaldo Jimenez. Is this new willingness to draw walks here to stay? Pshaw! Surely you jest. It's the same bunch of hackers, only tonight Jimenez was throwing pitches out of the strike zone that nobody in their right mind would swing at. Tomorrow the Giants get another guy, Jorge de la Rosa, who is prone to wildness so hopefully they can keep the bats on their shoulders when the balls fly out of the strike zone for one more game.

Give it up for Barry Zito, as he continues a year we should just call Zito III: The Redemption. You have to love the Zito chants he was getting from a suddenly adoring crowd tonight, a crowd that hated him so last season. In his first playoff push in a Giants uniform, he's pitching some of his best ball. After all the particularly heinous flak he's taken from the online community (and especially from this blog), he's suddenly very easy to root for. It's not like he was out there trying to stink it up last season.

--It's funny the kind of Jekyll and Hyde dynamic that goes on during these Giants/Rockies games every season. The troubles in Coors Field have been well-documented. In Colorado, the Rockies are like the toughest team in the world to beat. Screw the 1927 Yankees. Ask me what team I'd never want to face with something on the line and I'd say the Rockies in Coors Field in any year. Then they come to San Francisco and turn into the Bad News Bears. They stop hitting, their pitching sucks (bring on Tatum O'Neal!), and they fall down a lot. Take today's game, where their best pitcher got shellacked by the NL's worst offense and Garrett Atkins played third base like he had ping pong paddles glued to his hands.

No matter what shape either team is in during the course of a given season, it doesn't change. It's the same if the Giants are good and the Rockies stink, and the same if the Giants are bad and the Rockies good. The home/road schizophrenia has been going on for as long as I can recall. In Coors, Larry Walker used to be Babe Ruth; at Mays Field he was Ross Gload. In Coors, Vinny Castilla was Mike Schmidt; in SF, he was, well...Vinny Castilla. Needless to say, if this series right now were being played in Colorado, I'd be busy writing up a 2010 season preview right about now.

Just two-and-a-half back, baby! Gotta have tomorrow's game, but if the Giants win, they've definitely got a fighting chance.

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