Sunday, October 10, 2010
Game Three: Giants 3, Braves 2 (or, The Rise and Fall of Brooks Conrad)
--Brooks Conrad probably doesn't deserve this. He slogged his way through nine seasons in the minors, and starting playoff games for a big club after so much time toiling away in AAA only comes about through lots of hard work and resilience. I'm sure he's also a pleasant person and a good teammate. So watching him fumble away Game Three was great as a Giants fan but painful as a human being. He's a talented guy who won the hearts of Braves fans with a couple of big grand slams, but he doesn't belong anywhere near second base, or anywhere that requires a glove be put on, for that matter. I'd be shocked to see him start any more games for the rest of the postseason. It's tough, but I'll feel more sorry for him once the Giants don't have to deal with the Braves anymore.
--One major, and perhaps unrecognized, hero of the game is Travis Ishikawa. A week after I bashed his presence on the postseason roster, he worked a huge walk (in a great at-bat) against the flamethrowing Craig Kimbrel in the ninth to start the Giants' game-winning rally. Credit also to Freddy Sanchez for his bounceback at-bat that extended the game when the Giants were on death's door (though I still can't believe Kimbrel threw him a slider after Sanchez looked so awful against his fastball).
--For all the energy spent complaining about Pablo Sandoval's bad play, it's probably worth it to mention that Juan Uribe has been pretty godawful this series, too. He had two miserable at bats today with runners all over the place and Tim Hudson laboring, and he's been a hacktastic mess all series. Just a little patience and a hit would have rendered the late-game craziness unnecessary. I guess the difference between Uribe and Panda is that Uribe's defense is still good, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Edgar Renteria in there soon if Uribe continues to look like he has no clue up there.
--Why does Sergio Romo suck all of a sudden? Why? That is all.
--The win gives the Giants the major tactical advantage of allowing Madison Bumgarner to start Game Four instead of worrying about throwing Tim Lincecum on short rest. The success rate of pitchers going on short rest in the playoffs is pretty crummy. Now Timmy doesn't have the stats against him and Bumgarner can throw on the road, where he's been so good this year. Yeah, you know that means we'll see this guy tomorrow...
I don't think the Giants are willing to live with Panda as the backup catcher in the nightmare scenario where Posey gets injured. The guy hasn't played there in almost two years and he hasn't worked at all with the pitchers (I would assume). I'd rather see Ford on the roster at Rowand's expense.