|Money In The Pocket Photo: ESPN|
Its getting late in the game. Giants have been starting to heat up, they've won 3 of their past 4 series, and should have a big winning streak going but for some bad beats. They finally solved the Rockies (worst in the majors road record) bad juju.
August 25 Rockies 3, Giants 2
August 26 Giants 3, Rockies 0
August 27 Giants 4, Rockies 2
August 28 Giants 4, Rockies 1
Shank's Keys to the series: Its put up or shut up time. 33 to go, the clock ticking big time. Have to win 3, a sweep would be great. Are these Giants up for it? Every time momentum looks like it might be starting stink-bombs come around. The Rockies are without their 3 best hitters, their pitching is never good, and the Giants bats are coming around. Go time, pure and simple. Bochy had best stop sleepwalking with Morse, I bet he is licking his chops for the expanded rosters, Bochy is notorious for bullpen changes the way Beyonce changes outfits. I'm sure a couple of defensive OFs will be a coming as well. But they have a week to go, and these games are precious.
3 of 4 is very good. Shoulda coulda had a sweep. Since their terrible play at KC, the Giants have lost six games, all very winnable, even the blowout in Washington. Two were extra inning games, three were one run games. They've won nine. Now if they can dig a bit deeper, they might be able to pull something out.
Classic games though - a one hit almost perfecto 13 K game from Bumgarner, aided by Posey going deep. Casilla blows a great game from Huddy, Posey again answers the bell with a walkoff. And today Petit sets the MLB record for consecutive batters retired with 46 straight. Pitched a mean game, that means Timmy stays in the pen for a bit.
Good hitting: Buster Posey is carrying the team on his back. Pagan is warming up. Blanco hitting home runs?
Bad hitting: Crawford is getting benched, he's injured. Pablo Sandoval continues to not bat in runs. I just don't see that guy as a classic middle of the order bat. He's an awesome #6 hitter if you have enough coverage though.
Good pitching: All 4 starters were excellent.
Bad pitching: the defense didn't help, and Casilla got shaky. Then the defense helped! Duffy to Panik to Ishikawa.
Next up: the Giants get to orange Friday it up against the Brew Crew. This is one of them competitive teams. So compete!
The Brewers gave up their 1st round pick to sign Lohse, 28th overall, the Cards (division rivals) took Robert Kaminsky with their 2nd pick of the round (Marco Gonzo with the 19th pick was their first). It is an interesting way to comp. I think they've got a lot of stability and value out of Lohse.
Keys to the Series: limit the long ball, don't be the keystone cops out there, get the bullpen to be consistent. Score first, hold your lead, pitch shutdown innings. Tighten up all aspects of play, rachet up the intensity, and start a real win streak, one with a crooked number. For the love of the Baseball Gods sub out Morse in the 6th.
Series Rundown Recap:
Giants have 23 series wins on the year, 16 losses, 3 splits. 4 series wins have been sweeps, 5 series losses have been sweeps
Playoff Watch: 4.5 back of the Dodgers in the NL West; 0.5 back of the Cards for the Wild Card spot but in the money for the 2nd spot, Braves and Bucs 2 back.
QUICK EDIT: On the You Gotta Like These Kids Front...
Show me a catcher who is ranked in the top 100 or top 10 catchers who has done anything this year. Andrew Susac gunned a fool today, hit a towering HR the other day, to dead center. Just using the MLB/Mayo/Callis rankings... Susac is #3, Panik is off now (I think he was 10 or 11, can't remember), Duffy is 17. The Giants have 4 rookies who were very unheralded playing great ball on the 25, Duvall getting shuffled here and there.
On the AFL front, its Blackburn (#7), Okert (#10), Duffy, and some unranked fun: Daniel C stands for Cubano, the 100 MPH guy Erik Cordier, Hunter TJ Strickland, and the next sleeper to look out for: Blake Miller. The Giants have a fun sleeper system to watch and root for, one that has made a lot more contributions than much higher ranked orgs.