THE San Francisco Giants Blog

Back in….FIRST PLACE!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 30, 2015

I think it was 1978 but don’t hold me to that. I opened up the Sporting Green and my Giants were on top of the NL West. Back then, it was SF, LA, Cincinnati, SD, Houston and the Braves. I sat there marveling at *SF* being in first place. I think they tumbled down shortly after but they were in it all season long.

Fast forward to today. It wasn’t the same feeling, obviously. But it reminded me of the day when I was a kid and I saw my team on top for the first time ever.

firstplace

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  1. willedav said, on May 30, 2015 at 7:31 am

    Strick did look good last night, and blew away Uribe.
    Braves just look lifeless and have lost 4 of 5 on the road. Maybe Freeman’s blast woke them up a bit.

    Heston now has 5 Ws, along with Lincecum, and Vogs (gulp) has 4…so maybe a few of them wind up with 10?

    Mike Easler was (is?) a hitting coach for a couple teams wasn’t he? gotta be a thankless job, and if the team sucks that’s a time honored move, fire the hitting coach. Meulens used to get a lot of grief; not sure how much of that is really deserved. I mean, what was he gonna do with Rowand or the Bowker gang?

  2. zumiee said, on May 30, 2015 at 7:40 am

    It’s a beautiful thing seeing the Giants in first place, but there’s just one thing that still needs to be cleaned up: the Giants are one game down in the loss column. Just keep winning a lot, and that will take care of itself.

  3. blade3colorado said, on May 30, 2015 at 7:43 am

    Looking for another win today. Timmy has a good match-up, with park factors in his favor and the Braves not having a lot of right handed batters who can do damage. Right-handed hitters have hit him for a .364 wOBA this year. Consequently, Timmy needs to keep Cameron Maybin, Juan Uribe and Andrelton Simmons in check and things should go smooth.

    • zumiee said, on May 30, 2015 at 7:51 am

      And Zumiee will be in the House, rockin’ the Flap shirt! 🙂

      • blade3colorado said, on May 30, 2015 at 8:04 am

        You’re going to be at the game? Pfffttt! Braves don’t have a chance then.

      • snarkk said, on May 30, 2015 at 11:52 am

        Bring a win home, zum!…

  4. zumiee said, on May 30, 2015 at 7:45 am

    Several people in MLB got tossed last night for arguing balls and strikes. With technology (replay) used in so many other situations, it seems like there is added frustration now on balls and strikes, because it’s so subjective, depending on the whims of the homeplate ump. The idea that the homeplate umps have their own particular strikezone is maddening to the players, managers, coaches, and fans. It seems like MLB could work harder at getting the umps on the same page on that.

  5. Carstie Clausen said, on May 30, 2015 at 7:51 am

    Now Huddy. When you have a Rotation where each of the five guys can pretty well shut them down ~ even if it’s only at home ~ you got something. Add some tight defense, a usually dominant bunch of bullies and the surprise ingredient, the ML leaders in base hits and NL tops in BA; you currently sport a .600 W-L percentage with a record of an even 30-20 for the first 50 games of the season.

    Who wouldda thunk it back in April when the team “sported” a 3-9 record and looked to be an ML version of the Bad News Bears? What happened was that the team jelled, managed to hang around .500 until the Very Most High Reverend Underpants came off the DL and at which point all hell broke loose. But what seems incredible is that Lincecum and Vogelsong have staked out a new pair of leases on their pitching careers and have become essentially dominant starters once again.

    And you gotta credit SF’s scouting and development people who did the work which resulted in a couple of relatively low-rated kids, Panik and Duffy, becoming major contributors to an offense which is fast becoming the most electric in baseball.

    Then there’s the steady performance of the brains behind the operation on the field, the quiet but commanding Buster Posey, who almost singlehandedly provided the offense last night versus a surprisingly tough Braves starter. Don’t omit our shortstop. Crawford constantly pulls off highlight reel level plays and at the same time has become nearly an odds-on favorite to be the starting SS in the All Star Game ~ in large measure due to his arrival as an RBI machine.

    June is looming. Will they swoon like they did last season? Maybe just a tad, but hardly likely it will be anything like last season. Why? This is one incredibly balanced team, with a sparkling rotation, a generally very effective bullpen, solid defense and an 8-man featuring guys with averages ranging from the low .290’s on up. No notable weaknesses. Only a major injury or two would seem capable of derailing the Halloween Machine this even year. If that does not happen, expect another October run.

  6. Macdog said, on May 30, 2015 at 7:57 am

    And Padres only 2 from the bottom.

  7. eddacker said, on May 30, 2015 at 8:32 am

    For many years now this team has provid_edd thrilling baseball moments followed by great games; amazing highs, glamorous wins, unforgettable series against every foe available, championship years, parades songs and a blog.
    What a ride. The greatest game and a team of miSFits.
    🙂
    – enjoy the game today, zummie

  8. Carstie Clausen said, on May 30, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Taking note of the Giants ascension to their proper place in the NL West, Yahoo’s Big League Stew commentator Mark Townsend dined heartily on fricasee of crow today as he noted that the World Champs may not have been the popular choice of pundits, prophets and prognosticators on the sports blogs, but that they have persevered and returned to the top.

    • Lurker John said, on May 30, 2015 at 12:18 pm

      Since I was a kid in the 70’s anxiously awaiting the latest Street & Smith’s annual, the Giants have NEVER been the popular choice of pundits. Screw ’em. These purported pundits almost to a man picked against the Giants in each of their 3 WS championship years, overwhelmingly. What the hell do they know? 😉

  9. alleykat69 said, on May 30, 2015 at 10:03 am

    What’s cool about this Giants team to me is that their not undisciplined hackers like previous teams.
    Hitters like Aoki&Panik at the top of the LU constantly get a lot of pitches out of a starter getting his pitch count up early (something that wasn’t always the case as well in the past) and Belt&Posey do a good job at working counts as well, then hammering a mistake.Really all down the LU with Craw,Pagan,and thank the lord our new 3rd basemen Duffy,who proves to have a good approach as well, this team is exciting to watch and can put up a crooked number by just keeping the conga line moving.

    • snarkk said, on May 30, 2015 at 11:14 am

      Agreed, Kat. I made this observation/prediction right after ST was over, then they proceeded to slash at the plate out of the gate, and cratered offensively for the first few weeks, and I thought my take had been FOS. But, maybe that was due to the Pence injury, Belt was out, and guys trying to make something happen before they all settled in. Taking good ABs and hitting well are obviously related. With Panda and his often situationally ridiculous ABs gone in the middle of the LU, these guys are now relentlessly taking good ABs up and down the LU. Pence is the only regular guy that hacks it up sometimes, but he’s a legit 20+ dinger guy, so that’s OK.

      Giants show top end plate patience so far. They’re 12th in the NL in total number of strikeouts made. They’re 6th in the NL in number of BBs taken, but 3rd in total number of pitches thrown against them in plate appearances. Cubs and Padres are #1 and #2, so that’s maybe not the greatest indicator stat, but does show this team has patience at the plate. Arguably, this club so far is the most patient at the plate of the past 6 clubs in these NL stats: (pitches thrown against, BBs)
      2010 = 14th; 13th
      2011 = 15th; 14th
      2012 = 8th; 7th
      2013 = 10th; 7th
      2014 = 9th; 11th
      2015 = 3rd; 6th
      Still early, but this starting LU has the looks of being the strongest in terms of plate smarts in quite a while…

  10. Lurker John said, on May 30, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    What a fine turnaround from the early season doldrums to a red-hot May and ultimately passing the Dodgers into first place. With the return of Pence and rebirths of Vogey and Huddy, the team all of a sudden looks really solid. And the hitting! A Giants squad that has been tearing the cover off the ball for near a month now and it doesn’t look like a fluke.

    Go Giants!

  11. giants54 said, on May 30, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Optimistic the good hitting/pitching will continue, but as we’ve seen so often in this game, things can change quickly. They looked well on their way to 100 wins last May then …..
    But they are a post- seasoned qroup who have been through the good bad and ugly, so looking good.

  12. djloo27 said, on May 30, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Well I never lost faith:

    djloo27 said, on April 15, 2015 at 8:10 pm (Edit)

    No complaints from me..
    3 titles is 3 more than I thought i would ever see after 47 years of loyalty.
    But this crew is going nowhere.

    djloo27 said, on April 15, 2015 at 7:55 pm (Edit)

    Let’s face it. This team looks like shit.
    Because it is…

    djloo27 said, on April 16, 2015 at 9:57 pm (Edit)

    Duffy can send Panik to Sacramento with a hit here…

    djloo27 said, on April 16, 2015 at 8:38 pm (Edit)

    This team is so dead.

    djloo27 said, on April 17, 2015 at 8:28 pm (Edit)

    Our pitching staff has a surplus of mop-up men.
    Unfortunately most of them are in the starting rotation.

    djloo27 said, on April 17, 2015 at 9:15 pm (Edit)

    They just padlocked Finnerty’s.

    djloo27 said, on April 20, 2015 at 4:10 pm (Edit)

    They’re on a 46-116 pace.

    • blade3colorado said, on May 30, 2015 at 1:43 pm

      Hilarious. 🙂

      • blade3colorado said, on May 30, 2015 at 1:44 pm

        Waiting for snarkk to post his previous April optimistic musings too. 😉

      • snarkk said, on May 30, 2015 at 2:40 pm

        Loo may have been more optimistic than I was… 😉

  13. snarkk said, on May 30, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Long season.
    They’re clearly not going to throw 8 shutouts every month.
    7 maybe, but not 8…

  14. xoot said, on May 30, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    The 78 season–my first as a Giants fan. Won over early, listening to games on the am radio in May on a 28 foot sloop beating 5 knots against the wind from Santa Cruz to Vancouver. Took all month (with a few harbor stops). My first live game was after I hitchhiked back south in August, Giants vs. dodgers, both teams still battling for first place. Sold out Sunday Stick. Amazing experience

    I also happened to attend last night’s game at China Basin. The sold out crowd was into it, very excited. Did we notice when the hand-operated score board changed the “9” in the dodger/StL game score to an “F”? You bet. (We secondarily found much entertainment in the two third-strike WPs the hotlanta pitcher threw past AJ P.) But the Giants are three-time world champs now. The passion in the sold-out crowds these days is different–more entitled I suppose. That first Giants/dodger game in 78, however, that was a crowd with pure unselfish devotion. that was it.

    • djloo27 said, on May 30, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      Great post, Xoot…

    • James said, on May 30, 2015 at 6:41 pm

      I was also at the game last night, joined by a new programmer in my group at work. He’s here on an H1B from Europe, and was ok listening to me explain OPS to him.

      When the Belt reached on that first K, I told him he’d seen a pretty uncommon play. When the second K made it, I’d lost all credibility.

      • Flavor said, on May 30, 2015 at 6:55 pm

        “I’d lost all credibility.”
        Gold post.

  15. alleykat69 said, on May 30, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Flap’s 1st place Giants LU for tonight’s game..
    Aoki LF
    Panik 2B
    Pence RF
    Belt 1B
    Crawford SS
    Pagan CF
    Duffy 3B
    Susac C
    Lincecum P

    Posey night-off ..Usual ,Boch doesn’t want him beat up in a Timmeh start.
    Side note… Warriors lose Alvin Gentry( no surprise) to the Pelicans as their new HC…

  16. Flavor said, on May 30, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    this is pretty clever

  17. Flavor said, on May 30, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    I don’t mean to sully the first place mood but I think it’s lame that Posey is sitting. I think it’s been clearly proven that he and Timmy work well together and I don’t think Timmy has much margin for error. Let Posey rest on Sunday like all the other catchers. Who knows, it could work out. But if it were me, I’d be playing our 167 million dollar MVP on a night where I do think he’d make a difference…..
    Now watch Susac hit a bomb tonight

    • snarkk said, on May 30, 2015 at 7:11 pm

      Could not agree more. He and Timmeh have done good things when coupled this year. Posey keeps Tim’s head in the game when things get a little rough. That’s worth something…

  18. pawliekokonuts said, on May 30, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    I think if we win won more game in May it’s the best May in our history. Saw a kid at the mall with a Steph Curry shirt. In the Cuse! I tried to catch his eye and engage him, AS IF I’d know what I was talking about.

  19. James said, on May 30, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    Timmy has pitched all of 50 innings this year. He’s still walking too many hitters. I’m reserving judgment on his turnaround until he’s thrown 100+ innings.

  20. willedav said, on May 30, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    Sorry, I don’t buy the Timmy Posey connection. He has done OK with Susac, and even Hector.
    If he’s on it doesn’t matter who the C is, and vice versa—when he’s the shits, same thing.
    But I will look this up on game log for this year anyway.

    Posey would sit one of next two anyway, and they are facing Teheran with Bum on the hill.

  21. James said, on May 30, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    What a great interview.

    • sandog said, on May 30, 2015 at 7:51 pm

      I logged on to say the same thing. I’ll never bitch about the Randy Moffitt plaque again. (…and I’ve bitched about it quite a bit)

  22. willedav said, on May 30, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    Game log for TL:
    W with Hector A-10 7 shutout innings
    L with Hector A-15 5 innings 4 hits 3 ER
    W with susac A-21 6 innings 1 ER
    L with susac A-27 4 innings 8 hits 3 ER vs. LA
    W with Posey 8 innings 0 runs M-3
    W with Posey 6 innings 3 hits 0 runs M-8 107 pitches
    ND with Posey 4.2 innings 5 hits 3 runs M-14 at reds 99 pitches
    W with susac M-20 7 innings 3 hits 0 runs vs. LA
    W with susac M-25 5 innings 4 runs 3 HRs vs. Brewers

    So he’s had good games and bad with everyone. 3 of 5 Ws with Susac, btw.

    • blade3colorado said, on May 30, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      Good stuff Willie . . . Just as I suspected. Timmy is Timmy and pointing a finger, only means that 3 fingers are pointed back at him. By the by, I actually thought he had an excellent chance to do well in this game. Pfffttt!

    • Flavor said, on May 30, 2015 at 8:18 pm

      this is way too simplistic. SO he’s been lights out with Posey twice except when he was in CInn where he always sucks non stop balls. And the mound was a joke in that start. Me? I woulda like to have seen how he would have done with Posey at home tonight. And as I said, he doesn’t have much margin for error. Posey should have taken tomorrow off like all the other catchers….

    • xoot said, on May 30, 2015 at 8:22 pm

      Since Lincecum’s control has improved, Posey’s caught him more often. They work well together. I don’t believe there was any personal problem involved in the decision to get Posey away from the WPs.

  23. James said, on May 30, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    William’s Perez is not like Oliver’s maybe a little more Pascual’s.

  24. alleykat69 said, on May 30, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    Agree Flavor,
    WTF Posey knocks in 3 last night including the bomb, and it’s a night game again, so that takes that theory out Guess Panik is gonna have to have another sit down talk with Bochy…

  25. Flavor said, on May 30, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    I’ve never understood the rationale of giving a catcher 100+ mil and then resting him all the time. I get it, they need rest. So don’t give them 200 mil. It makes no sense. Ask Minn how it’s going with that Mauer deal. Buster is twenty fucking eight. He’s making 16 mil this year. Fucking work.

  26. willedav said, on May 30, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    My point is simply that Tim’s done well with everyone, even Hector. Flav, I’m not arguing anyone else is a better C than Posey and I’m sure that he’d benefit any SP including Lincecum, but Bochy is gonna sit him for at least 1 guy through the rotation and the way Belt is going my guess there is lot less of sitting Belt so Posey can play 1b.

    bigger issue would be Susac performance at the plate, which has not been very good.
    I know he hit well last year, but it was less than 100 ABs. I think he’s finding out hitting at this level is not easy, and it gets much harder if you don’t get up very often.

  27. alleykat69 said, on May 30, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    For Loo..
    You were saying the other day about pitchers not wearing a jacket anymore when they reach base..
    Maybe it’s cause stupid pitchers like this Perez dude, can’t figure out how to zip up a freakin zipper and causing a major delay ..

  28. blade3colorado said, on May 30, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    No idea what I was thinking “stacking” a Giant LU in a couple of DFS tourneys. Worse, having Lincecum in a cash game. I must have been fucking delusional . . . I’m checking into a 12 step program if I ever do it again. Ugh. 🙂

  29. Macdog said, on May 30, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Buster has caught every one of MadBum’s starts this season.

  30. alleykat69 said, on May 30, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    “I’m checking into a 12 step program if I ever do it again”
    That’s hilarious Blade, especially for a guy that quit drinking..

    • blade3colorado said, on May 30, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      Well, already in a 12 step program for that. Ha.

  31. alleykat69 said, on May 30, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Machi just ain’t cutting it for me anymore..

    • Carstie Clausen said, on May 31, 2015 at 9:15 am

      Been saying it for a few weeks now. Machi OUT one way or t’nother once Cain returns ~ maybe even sooner. Probably half a dozen relievers in the upper reaches of the pipeline who could do a better job.

  32. Macdog said, on May 30, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    It was a glorious 24 hours atop the division.

  33. James said, on May 30, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    At this point, you may as well tumble onto the field for a foul ball and get escorted out of the stadium.

    • djloo27 said, on May 30, 2015 at 10:07 pm

      I was kicked out of Shea in August ’84 for diving on the SF dugout to high five Brenly after a 3 run homer.
      We were about 25 games out at the time.
      #pureunselfishdevotion

      • willedav said, on May 30, 2015 at 10:29 pm

        Hall of Fame POTD. That’s impressive. How many security did you get past to do this?

      • djloo27 said, on May 30, 2015 at 10:48 pm

        Nobody even tried, Willie. Just took off down the aisle and dove head-first. Brenly and I had chatted pre-game during BP. He was happy to see me waiting for him atop the dugout. My dad (big Giant fan) was able to see my head and hand on TV from his living room. I had never made him so proud. I was escorted out by at least 6 security guys and cops. Met fans showered me with beer and peanuts. The cops told me if I tried to re-enter I would be arrested. If it was now I’d get 10 years.

  34. willedav said, on May 30, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    Funny thing is, Uribe is still an improvement over Collaspo or Johnson and was the best player in the entire deal Braves made with LA.
    And so far it appears getting Shelby Miller for Heyward was an outright steal.

    Had a bad feeling about Alvin Gentry, smart guy who was gonna be in demand anyway. Pelicans offense just took a quantum leap. couple more players to compliment Davis and look out.
    Gentry even had the patience and class to deal with Ridiculous Ros halftime interviews.

  35. djloo27 said, on May 30, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    Where’s the fuckin’ beekeeper when you need him?

  36. willedav said, on May 31, 2015 at 6:43 am

    Brenly hit one of his 20 HRs in ’84, a 3 run shot in 6th inning to spark comeback W on August 25th at Shea to make a winner of Randy Lerch. And yes the impeccable memory of Mr. Loo is accurate as always: Giants were 23 and a half out at the time and wound up 6th.
    Mets wound up 2nd that year, as Padres beat Cubs for NL pennant.

    Danny Ozark (career 3b coach from the Phils I think) was interim mgr., Krukow had an ERA of 4.50 for a pitching staff that was worst in the league, and Joel Youngblood made 37 errors, mostly at 3b. I remember seeing a few of these, double play balls thrown into the OF, yada yada.

    • Macdog said, on May 31, 2015 at 9:24 am

      One day earlier, I was at Shea for Giants-Mets twinbill. Brenly hit 2 bombs in Game 1, including 3-shot in the 8th to win it. I’m sure I went nuts, but not quite to the extent of Loo since I wanted to stick around for Game 2 and watch the last-place Giants finish the sweep over the contending Mets. I do remember almost getting into it with some drunken Mets fan in the nightcap, he kept yelling “Giants suck” while I just pointed at the scoreboard. I think we moved seats after that. And Loo, my buddy from the Finnerty’s meet-up was with me that day..


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