Welcome to Czar’s blog #3 of 2019.
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Tied with the Rockies for Last place but winning series – Does that say anything?
It’s an interesting time in Giants land. The G-Men are tied with the Rockies for last place in the NL West (7.5 games back of LA) but have been settling down and playing .500 or better ball over the last two weeks. After getting hammered by the team from the Bronx, the G-Men took a series from LA, split a series on the road against Cincinnati (who comes into town tomorrow night), and right now are on the road in Colorado with the series on the line today.
We are seeing a resurgence of good hitting and good pitching – and some real power for a change. The bats are coming alive and BA’s are climbing (from below the Mendoza line). That comeback in Cincinnati for an overtime 12-11 victory after being down by 8 runs (punctuated by a game winning home run from Longoria) is the kind of event that sends a message to the team and the fans that the team is for real and don’t count us out. My message – don’t count the Giants out.
The national press continues to diss the Giants (too old, too slow, too many large contracts) and the papers all speculate that Bum is gone before the end of June, but there is still hope at Oracle Park.
Farhan is Making Moves – who is next to go?
It is fascinating to watch Farhan shuttle players in and out of the line-up. A pitcher doesn’t perform (say hello Pomeranz, down today, and Venditte – who lasted one game) is sent down and players who don’t hit are DFA’d (say hello Parra and Solarte – both gone). The players traded for (such as Pillar – who is everything he was advertised to be on both defense and offense – pulling back that HR was a thing of beauty) or brought up (most recently Mac Williamson, who has found his stroke – his HR power is back, and his defense is good) are solidifying the team.
There are many more moves to come. Buster Posey is out for a week with a concussion (effective today) so Stephan Vogt and Aramis Garcia are getting their shot behind the plate. Keep expecting sudden line-up changes. The baseball year has just started.
Are the G-Men starting to hit?
It looks like it. Panik is at .288, Duggar is at .265, Austin is at .333 (small sample size) and Williamson is at .500. The mainstays whose bats have been slow (Belt, Crawford, Longoria and Posey) are all getting hot and hitting much better; although how much of that is due to ballparks where the ball flies out (like Cincinnati and Denver) is a tale to be told this week. Regardless, seeing the Panda hit off the bench and pitching again in a blow-out – is what makes the game fun.
Farhan and Bochy are going with the hot hand; that’s different than the historical Giants, who stayed with the starters.
The Upcoming Series
This is a short series. They have played both teams in their parks (they split in Cincinnati and swept a 2 game series from Toronto in Canada) so whatever else happens these games will be competitive. The ball will not fly out of Oracle the way it did in Cincinnati so the Reds big boppers may be muted.
On the board ready to be picked up are:
SAT 5/11 v. Reds (6:05 pm – 4) Let Pablo Pitch Bobblehead! Please get me one!
SUN 5/12 v. Reds (1:05 -4) – Mother’s Day game
TUES 5/14 v. Toronto (6:45-4)
WED 5/15 v. Toronto (12:45– 4)
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.