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Quest for 4th!

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on August 29, 2013

This has gotten brought up periodically in the second half of this season, but this series in Colorado is bringing to the forefront a sad possible reality: last place. Only one other team in the history of baseball has won a World Series and then fallen to last place the following year. That team was the ’97/’98 Marlins and they don’t count since their pathetic owner intentionally dismantled them after they won it all in 1997. Sabean certainly was trying to build a competitive team this year, attempting to become the first team ever (in the NL) to win 3 out of 4 World Series titles…..

Sadly, for most knowing dudes I know, that head nod has gone from vertical to horizontal. I’ve even seen some knowing dudes doing the horizontal nod with their head buried in their hands. Saw a couple of fellas doing it with tears streaming into their hands…..

So we won’t be making history by winning a 3rd WS this season out of the last 4 years. We are staring at the stark reality of making a different type of history: last place. And that’s why games against Colorado and San Diego are so critical. Maybe we can get some help from the Dodgers and the D-backs. Bochy abhors the role of spoiler but he’s missing what’s actually going on. We should be taking on the role of reverse-spoiler. Spoil the dreams of dipshit Dodger fans who are rooting for us to come in last place. Spoil the pathetic outcome of us finishing last.

Come on. We GOT this. The rest of this season is all about the “Quest for 4th”. It’ll feel just like winning it all except without the joy of winning anything. This is all about what we’re trying to avoid, like a ghostly demon trying to drag you down to Hades…..

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  1. willedav said, on August 29, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Nats and DBax are couple games over .500 but really not much in the hunt for a WC. After those two come a whole bunch of teams with similar records: Sherps, Phils, Pads, Giants, Brewers, Mets, Cubs all have btw 63 and 56 Ws. Being the *best* of that bunch would be nice, but that’s depths 2013 Giants have fallen to.

    And I think it’s to Bochy’s credit that so far he has mostly stuck with the regs, except for occasional Kiesch or Peguero starts, and no more Kickham as an SP. Pagan should return soon to play CF and lead off and I’m sure he’ll get some days off, but I doubt Bochy throws an all kids LU out there. Other than possibly shutting down Scut so his hand can heal, I don’t think he’s taking ton of ABs away from regulars. He is really trying to win games; yesterday was a nice comeback that almost got there.

    Watching the replay of Pence bomb, I just don’t recall him pulling a pitch like that out of ATT that often. His home/road splits look like this–slugging on road is 70 points higher .483 to .412, 10 HRs to 6, OPS .794 to .753. Of the 16 HRs he has, he hit 5 in May and had 9 of them at that point. So in the 3 months since he’s hit total of 7.
    He uses RCF a lot and I can see where he can reach fences at other yards going that way, but I don’t understand why a guy with his power can’t yank more balls out of ATT to LF…tho I guess that would apply to everyone in middle of the order except Belt.

  2. chipower9 said, on August 29, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Yeah, I have been saying for some time that the main things I want to see the team accomplish are 1) get out of the cellar, and 2) play solid fundamental baseball of which we can all be proud.

    Last night hurt. If the Giants had won, they would be tied in the L column with the Sherpas (yeah, and if my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle). We’re only a game back of the Friars.

    29 to play, all but six are in division (a series each against the NY clubs). The opportunity to move up to 3rd or 4th is certainly there…

    • willedav said, on August 29, 2013 at 8:10 am

      there was a stat flashed during the game that showed Giants and Sherps have two top records in division play. I think SF has lit up AZ so far, 8-4 as I remember.
      Nice to see Belt foil the L/L matchup with a ringing double to LCF last night.

  3. xoot said, on August 29, 2013 at 8:21 am

    When I manage to get past the first-to-worst annoyance, this year reminds me of 1996. That was the year Bonds had his 42/40. KTVU televised games a couple of days per week. I enjoyed watching the September telecasts with a five-year-old kid just learning the game. Now I record the games and fast-forward through a lot, pausing to replay and savor (or get pissed off at) some particular plays. The season’s a loss. But the lack of pennant race pressure is just a fact, a lull at sea. This too will pass, etc., etc. I’d be pleased to see Pence become the first RH to hit one into McCovey Cove, but in the meantime his Coors Field bomb was a nice jolt. Soon the Sept. call ups will be worth watching.

  4. Alleykat said, on August 29, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Yeah we all want to get out of the cellar,but the “Quest for the highest draft pick” would be good.I would like to see Panik come up and see how he works with Mudbug, since that’s are future DP combination.

    • blade3colorado said, on August 29, 2013 at 8:53 am

      I’m on record as well – wanting Panik up here next season (in fact, I hope he gets an opportunity this September).

      Agree with Flav about finishing above the mountain ski team and the San Diego Jihadists (said as much yesterday – asking Santa Claus for 3rd place instead of the lump of coal).

  5. zumiee said, on August 29, 2013 at 8:56 am

    “It’ll feel just like winning it all except without the joy of winning anything.”

    🙂 Awesome sentence.

  6. Nipper said, on August 29, 2013 at 9:23 am

    The only cellar I like is a wine cellar. Burp!

  7. Macdog said, on August 29, 2013 at 9:40 am

    I have a dream that one day this team will rise up and get out of the basement of the NL West.

    I have a dream that Buster will break out of his funk.

    I have a dream that Belt will play every day, even against lefties.

    I have a dream that Marco will someday be pain-free.

    I have a dream that Pablo will be more excited about home plate than the dinner plate.

    I have a dream that Pagan will return with a renewed vigor (and a new glove).

    I have a dream that Hunter will stop swinging at pitches headed toward the backstop.

    This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the ballpark with.

    Let’s show those rings from the majestic skyscrapers of New York City to the winding streets of San Francisco.

  8. Flavor said, on August 29, 2013 at 9:40 am

    I’m not really feelin’ the Panik love yet. Even at double A, he doesn’t hit for power or average and his moderate speed (10 sb’s this yr) is tempered by his 66% success rate.
    Maybe down the road, but he’d be completely overmatched up here right now

    • salty said, on August 29, 2013 at 9:59 am

      Agree. He was over matched in ST. He needs to turn it up several notches or welcome to Frandson/Culberson/Fontenot inc.

  9. unca_chuck said, on August 29, 2013 at 10:00 am

    The unknown draft pick certainly is less a concern to me than this team playing like the 1984 Giants. At least pass the pathetic Pads and the crappy Colorados. Please (shit, I looked at the 1984 lineup and we had Hacman, Chili dog, Jack the Ripper, Moon Man, the future boradcasting team of Kruk and Kuip, and Dusty Baker. Not a horrible lineup, but 66-96 nonetheless).

    • blade3colorado said, on August 29, 2013 at 10:41 am

      Sent you an email response Chuck.

  10. salty said, on August 29, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Other than maybe Hembree, I also don’t see much interest with the Sept kids. Am I missing someone?

  11. chipower9 said, on August 29, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Just end the season out of the cellar and I am a happy camper…

    That is it.

    That’s all.

  12. snarkk said, on August 29, 2013 at 10:51 am

    I’ve been out of the loop for a while due to work and other things. Musings:
    1. The thing with Torres — I agree with BF’s ripping of this guy re: the injury. What, he was hurt basically all year and didn’t tell anybody? Is that the explanation for the horrid defense? As I’ve said many times before, I have no patience for these guys that are injured and still try to play instead of getting healed. In baseball, you still get paid even if you’re injured for the season. So, I don’t get it. He took a spot somebody like Peguero or Kiesch or Perez or some other AAAAer could have taken much earlier, if he was hurt that badly, and his bad D cost a coupla games. Or, maybe he wasn’t hurt that badly earlier, it got worse, but this is the explanation for the season. Either way, ridiculous. Adios, Andres.
    2. Looks like Belt’s hitting is rounding into shape. OPS .838. He took two walks against Chacin last night when everybody else was whiffing at everything against the guy. Then, a double off the lefty. If Bochy keeps him out of playing against many more LHPs, queue the Bochy bashing. I’ll wait until the end of the season to say I told you so to the Belt Bashers.
    3. Ditto to the fourth place hunt. We must get out of the basement. That last roadie of the year in late Sept (Dodgers, Mets, Yanks) is going to be brutal towards that end. It would be great if we could get a series win against the Yanks, even though they’re down this season.
    4. Anybody want to see Zito pitch again? Not me. His every appearance now is like a recurring rash.
    5. Last night showed a key reason for the cratering this season. Defense. SF is 14th in the NL. Doesn’t explain it all (Dodgers are 12th), but it sure doesn’t help. Machi’s throw to Crawford wasn’t gawd awful, but it wasn’t good. Again, a repeat, but we must have one of the worst fielding pitching staffs in baseball. If there are worse, then that’s really bad. Do the pitchers ever take infield during the season to sharpen and refresh their defensive moves and throws? I’d be surprised if the answer is yes.
    6. I’m looking for positives. Really. They’re hard to find. Yep, when the callups happen, they ought to call up more than they will. Hopefully we’ll find a positive or two then.
    7. I’m hearing on the talk shows more than a bit of grumbling about Panda. Even Kruk said it on KNBR this week. If he could drop 20+ pounds in 6 weeks when older bro’ showed up to cook, why didn’t he do it sooner? Giants are in a quandary about extending this guy. If the minors were full of position prospects pushing to get a shot, it’d be easy. Trade him. But, that’s not the case…

  13. PawlieKokonuts said, on August 29, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Pathetic as it is, maybe #questfor4th needs go viral. t shirts. billboards. Ads. Strippers. you name it.

  14. PawlieKokonuts said, on August 29, 2013 at 11:56 am

    But let me be very honest and sincere: #questfor4th is not something I relish; compared to a year ago, it is a sick joke. But that is the reality of it. “This is this,” as the character in The Deer Hunter says. Maybe with an F bomb thrown in. (TedSpe, help.)

  15. Irish Kevin said, on August 29, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    So the fat lady has sung on this Giants season. kinda sucks. yeah the Defense is what really surprised me this year. How do 7 position and what 10+ pictchers all look like Sandlot players?? Seriously. Abbott and Costellos schtic could have been the Giants defense this year.

  16. Irish Kevin said, on August 29, 2013 at 12:37 pm

  17. Bozo said, on August 29, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    When this year started, I had no idea we were in a rebuilding mode. Wait, what? Oh, ah…
    This was a funny season. I don’t take losses well but it was still strangely entertaining for me. I had no clue, none, that winning all those walk offs at the start of the year wouldn’t continue (well, maybe I wondered a little bit about that). I don’t even think the Giants thought their season would peak after the insane, walk off inside the park.
    Playin’ for fourth, fine by me, just keep fighting.

    • eddacker said, on August 30, 2013 at 1:57 am

      The winning at the start of the season was so good you had to believe we were coming back in fine form. Da MOJO was alive. Then the Chevy got to the levee. but never forget to always – go cat go

  18. Alleykat said, on August 29, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Jonny Quest the cartoon show would have never settled for 4th.
    His dog “Bandit” with Race Bannon, Haji, and the doc took no prisoners.

  19. unca_chuck said, on August 29, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    For me, this season is just plain shittier than I ever could have imagined. By far. The thought was, no matter what, the pitching would get us wins. Well, the defense and ungodly hitting certainly put a stop to that. Yesterday’s game is the blueprint for how to do just enough to lose. The caveat being at least the G’s put a late rally together. Usually, they meekly succumb to the crappiest of opponents. It’s an absolute fucking pisser to watch them go through these games so lacklusterly (hey, it’s a new word). Trying or no, throwing in the towel or not, mailing them in or trying their damnedest, the sad results just kinda make me feel sick. It’s like they’ve never played the game before. Someone mentioned the magical DP thing, and that was spot-on. It’s like they try to make the most spectacular of plays without regard to playing the game right. Like since they have been so successful recently, they can do things differently, and not do things the right way.

    The hitting? Same thing. Guys get on with regularity. They patiently work the count and get on base. Whoever the guy in the RBI spot happens to be most often flails at the first pitch he sees and grounds into the inevitable DP. If that doesn’t happen, the opposing defense happens to make a great play to end a threat. When it all comes down to it, we are getting beat by teams that are playing the games fundamentally better across the board.

    What I can’t figure out for the life of me is how this same crew of players that was so successful last year came so unraveled this year. Injuries played their part, but every team in our division had more than their share of injuries to overcome. The Dodgers were this close to canning Donny two-trips amid their injury woes, but came out of it and went on a ridiculous tear. All these clowns need to do is pass the fucking Pods and the Crocks. Just play the game without the stupid mistakes.

    • Nipper said, on August 29, 2013 at 6:08 pm


    • snarkk said, on August 29, 2013 at 6:18 pm

      Good summary, Chuck.
      Almost all these guys are back next year on the starting 8, most likely.
      Bench will be a little different.
      How’s the hitting/scoring going to be much better in 2014 with the same cast of characters?
      If we assume it will be, then the answer for this down the dumper season is the players just tanked it, “lost focus” or whatever the euphemism is for collecting checks. I would hope they have enough pride to fight for wins the next 5 weeks and avoid being one of the few first to worst teams in history. I hope the same doesn’t happen to the Niners this season. Somehow, I don’t think Harbs will let that happen…


  20. salty said, on August 29, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    May come down to the final series against SD. Three yrs after playing for first on the final day, they could be battling to avoid finishing last.

  21. Flavor said, on August 29, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    I give Brandon Crawford lots of credit but maybe none more than for this: His hot wife is tweeting out shit talk right now saying that their fantasy football draft is going down in 15 minutes and she’s vowing to to kick his ass this year. Love it!

    • eddacker said, on August 30, 2013 at 1:35 am

      note to BF’s girlfriends: attitude counts.


  22. willedav said, on August 29, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Everyone builds a team differently. 2010 Sabes added a lot of guys no one wanted much; 2012 he rebuilt the entire OF and added Pence and Scutaro. Giants have had a run of being able to bring up Posey, Belt, Sando, Crawford plus all the pitching–Bum Cain Lincecum. That’s pretty impressive.
    LA has acquired most of the team in trades or as FAs–the entire IF of Ramirez, Uribe, A Gon and Mark ellis plus the back ups Hairston and Punto. Add in Crawford and Ethier, plus the SPs Greinke and Nolasco…not much homegrown.
    AZ had homegrown and dumped most of them–S Drew, Roberts the neck tat 3b, Upton (for Prado), Young, Scherzer (yeah the guy with 19 Ws)… They added in kubel, the C Montero is having down year, and their two young OFs Eaton and Pollock aren’t hitting much better than blanco (.250/.260). Their SS now are Pennington (.220 good glove no hit) and retread W. Bloomquist; Hill they got from Toronto in a good deal for them. They still run Heath Bell out there, and the pen sucks.
    There’s a lot of ways to go about getting back to where you want to be. There are enough pieces to build on, and I think this has been a sobering year for a lot of guys, who have a better idea just how hard it is mentally and physically to win consistently. I don’t think the mainstays of the group collectively lived up to the Bill Russell ethos: Everyone wants to win, but not everyone is willing to do what it takes to win.

    • eddacker said, on August 30, 2013 at 1:34 am

      quote: “That’s pretty impressive.” and indeed it was. I am very grateful for the last four seasons and very hopeful for the next four.

  23. unca_chuck said, on August 29, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Certainly Posey and Pence catch a large amount of shit for their utterly huge fall offs in the 2nd half. It’s hard to think about keeping him when you see him swing at shit literally 2 feet out of the strike zone. He’s got decent numbers but he disappears for weeks it seems like. Posey just looks burnt out. Has he driven a ball in 3 weeks?

  24. James said, on August 29, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    I enjoyed Chuck’s comparison to the 1984 team:

    OPS+ 100
    ERA+ 81

    Another team that sucked almost exclusively because of horrendous, league worst pitching, which made the deficiencies in the offense look much worse than they actually were.

  25. James said, on August 29, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    More egregious than the team’s performance?


    • snarkk said, on August 30, 2013 at 1:13 am

      Wow, that is very uncool. Charles Johnson is a multi billionaire, but he and the Giants can’t pay the clubhouse people what amounts to minimum wage?…

  26. eddacker said, on August 30, 2013 at 1:28 am

    I look on this season like a great learning lesson for sports coaches everywhere. A championship, followed by a season where _everything_ goes wrong. This season is not unlike a team leaving Las Vegas – big winners! Having the championship trophy in hand, the team vehicle heads out highway 10, across the desert and first the air-conditioning stops working, then some of the windows won’t roll down. First a rear tire blows, then a front, then they are all flat – the on-board loo has quit working and they pull to the side of the road determined to make it to the “back-to-back championships in San Francisco” that they were originally headed for.

    While bochy and sabean watch the trade deadline drive by they see no reason to try and catch a ride. Then, with most of the players from the championship team baking in the desert sun of losses (except ‘the admiral’ who is on the good ship scottsdale), the vehicle burns to the ground with all the gloves, bats, balls, strikes, double plays, rbis and stunning defense burning inside it. As they watch, unable to do anything, only Murph (who is passing around crying towels) and Romo were able to save anything.

    There is always next year.

    Go Gigantes!

  27. paulinasia said, on August 30, 2013 at 2:37 am

    This is a post in no-man’s land.. about 2:30am in the Bay Area… early evening in China. Haven’t posted here in awhile… I gotta admit, and it hurts to say this: I give you all credit for being better fans than me for sticking with it and actually summoning the enthusiasm to try to root for the team to reach 4th place. Ugh. I for one am thoroughly disgusted with this team. Not sad, or despondent, or depressed… baseball is and always has been very important to my life, but it doesn’t dictate my moods much (except when they win! Knowing dude head nods rule!). This season? I don’t think *everything* went wrong, really just a few injuries (but they shouldn’t have been debilitating like in 2011, IMO).. Mostly, it was just nonperformance by guys who won it all merely a year before. That disgusts me. There is no excuse.

    The only thing that is bothering me now is… why should we expect this same team to do better next year? I don’t see the team doing an over-haul, and most of you here have opined that they won’t and they don’t need to overhaul the team. But honestly, if basically the same lineup takes the field opening day next year, I am going to be disappointed. These guys didn’t quit.. they just seemed to have forgotten how to perform as a winning team. Will one off-season change that? I don’t see it…. Fuck this year, it’s done. For me. Enjoy rooting for 4th place. I’m hoping for some magic baseball fairy dust to somehow descend upon the whole damn team during a LONG winter’s nap… And if that’s what it has come to for me, then I truly have *lost the faith*. I will be in need of a faith revival… somehow… Hey Steve, maybe I should get that angel in Bangkok I told you about to bless all the players on their pointy little heads, huh….

    • blade3colorado said, on August 30, 2013 at 9:27 am

      Hey amigo . . . I did see this (this morning). Yeah, the “angel” would be the one to bless all of our players (and do much more if you get my drift – which I have no doubt you do).

  28. paulinasia said, on August 30, 2013 at 2:44 am

    I feel kinda stupid for even posting something that no one will ever read, unless Craig reposts it in your Bay Area morning.. but hey. Flap as therapy. I can live with that…

  29. unca_chuck said, on August 30, 2013 at 8:23 am

    We’re here for ya, Paul . . . .

    I feel pretty much the same way. Like I said earlier, Pence and Posey took HUGE dumps after the break.

    James, you think Posey’s doing fine this season? 2 home runs in 2 months? 0 HRs anf 7 RBI in August?

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