Welcome to Czar’s blog #10 of 2019.
The available games, dates and number of tickets will be shown at the end of the blog before the rules. Remember when you email me back to identify the game, the date and the number of tickets you want. Please whitelist my email so you get the blog posts and ticket offers all season long.
What do you do with a .500 team going into September? Is there a chance?
Remember the torture team of 2010? We are on that ride again. After a break even June and a torrid July, the team reverted to form so far in August, is playing below .500 ball and is struggling to get back in the wild card race behind six other teams. What it will take to get back in the hunt is a torrid September, and winning the two series here at home this week against two of the other NL West teams with roughly the same shot as the G-men (the Snakes and the Padres).
So the answer is, yes, there is a chance, but it will be fading unless the Gigantes do to Arizona and San Diego what they just did to the A’s (a better team than the Giants, on paper and in the field); which is to scratch and claw and win games behind a 4,000 game manager looking at his last campaign.
September is brutal on paper but whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Six games against the Dodgers, three against the Red Sox, four against the Cards and three against the Braves. Every game, especially the ones early in the month, will be huge. The Dodgers and the Braves will be on cruise control and the fans when the G-Men go back east against the Red Sox will be merciless.
It gets no better than that.
The New Personnel producing, and who isn’t.
Longoria is finally producing like he did during his HOF years in Tampa and Kevin Pillar is a total stud with a reckless disregard for his own body that reminds you of Ricky Henderson. Yastrzemski will be a mainstay for years to come and Slater (Mr. Smooth) is finally coming into his own. Solano is the best thing to come out of Columbia since Edgar Renteria (remember Renteria’s home run against the Rangers in 2010 to clinch the WS?). Steven Vogt is fun to watch and is producing. Dickerson is the power hitter we need (and his stats are gaudy - .354 average in 39 games with 6 HR’s and 24 RBI’s) but he somehow seems fragile. It’s too early to tell about Scooter but it’s nice to see Panik reinvigorated with the Mets in NY.
The problem children are the mainstays of the past. Belt, Crawford and Posey are not playing to their historic levels, and look tired. Craw is making errors and his .231 BA is nothing to write home about. The other bad news is the Panda is now out for the season with Tommy John. He was the best pinch hitter in the game and a powerful force in the dugout. He will be missed.
While pitching is the strength of the team, the starters behind Bum and the Shark need to pick it up. Bum has 168 K’s, Samardzija has settled in with 9 wins (and looking stronger every game) and the new kid Logan Webb looks like Bum 10 years ago. But, Beede and Rodriguez have ERA’s in the 5’s and need seasoning. The bullpen continues to be solid in the front end with Moronta, Coonrad and the new kid Gustave in the middle and Tony Watson (even with a couple of Tony Watson meltdowns – he did well today though) and Will Smith rock solid on the back end. The September question is will Cueto come back and, if he does, will he be the Johnny Cueto of old?
The Series – The NL West
We know the Snakes and Padres as well as we know any team short of the team that shall not be named from LA. We are a half game in front of the Snakes and 4 in front of the Friars. This week (and every week from here on out; especially when the rosters expand next week) is playoff baseball.
On the board ready to be picked up are:
MON 8/26/19 – v. Snakes (6:45 – 4)
TUE 8/27/19 - v. Snakes (6:45 – 3) I’m going
THUR 8/29 – v. Padres (6:45 -4)
FRI 8/30/19 – v. Padres (7:15 – 3) I’m going
Ciao, and GO GIANTS!
THE PROTOCOL: the firm has four seats in Section 118 (Premium Lower Boxes), Rows 25 and 26. These are awesome seats directly below the press box and 25 rows behind home plate on the left side behind the screen. It is foul ball territory for left-handed batters so bring your glove – I have collected 16 foul balls myself over 19 years, and I am looking for more (although since the screens were raised in 2018 it’s become tougher to get a ball). If we can't use all the tickets ourselves (or clients and friends of the firm don't claim them by calling me and reserving a game), then my next step is to give the tickets TO THE FIRST PERSON WHO GETS BACK TO ME PROVIDED THAT THEY ARE SERIOUS. If you ask for the tickets and don't use them, you will be taken off the list unless there is a seriously good reason. There will be a wait list.
When there are four seats available (we split up a lot of games) we will allocate the tickets two and two if the first people back just want two tickets. You can also go for four and might get them. I'm the Czar, my call.