October 24, 2010

Unheralded Giants Reach World Series : Unheralded but undaunted, the San Francisco Giants concluded an improbable run to the World Series on Saturday, stunning much of the baseball world by reaching the sportís ultimate stage with a ragtag roster filled with players other teams had cast off. But with a formidable pitching staff and a fearless attitude, the Giants persevered to win their division and their first-round playoff series, then overcame the Philadelphia Phillies, the two-time defending league champions, in the National League Championship Series.

posted by tommytrump to baseball at 07:55 AM - 12 comments

I'd like to think this is the Rangers' year, but if the Giants can beat Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt, they can beat Lee too. It ought to be a good series.

If Brian Wilson had gone with gray beard dye instead of black, he'd be the Most Interesting Closer in the World.

posted by rcade at 09:00 AM on October 24

Dear Ryan Howard,

You have to swing at that pitch.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:40 AM on October 24

Both LCS ended with called strikes. Maybe I watched too much Pete Incaviglia, but I'm up there swinging at everything in a situation like that. I marvel at how players in a deciding playoff at-bat step out of the box and act as if it's a plate appearance in May. I would be losing my shit.

posted by rcade at 09:55 AM on October 24

As a Braves fan I couldn't be happier with the results of both league championships. The Yankees and Phillies out of it.

posted by cheemo13 at 10:11 AM on October 24

You could see the ump hesitate before calling that last strike. But it wasn't the usual "is that a strike?" hesitation. He was just dumbfounded that Ryan Howard Didnt swing.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:18 AM on October 24

I think the ump was building up momentum for "the strike that ends the series".

Also, Howard's gotta swing at that pitch.

posted by grum@work at 10:45 AM on October 24

Side note:

Bengie Molina should (theoretically) get a World Series ring regardless what happens in the World Series.

He played for the Giants during this season, and teams usually give a ring to everyone that played even one game for the team during the season.

posted by grum@work at 10:49 AM on October 24

It was a dick move by Sanchez in the third inning to start yapping at Utley after hitting him with a pitch. He can drill the guy with a 94 mile per hour pitch but if Utley flips the ball back when it bounces up in his hand, he's an ass? Please. The guy was probably just pissed he couldn't make it more than two innings in his biggest start, or giving the bullpen more time to warm up. Either way, having the benches clear with that issue was ridiculous.

Howard didn't seem to have a great deal of confidence in that final at bat, and looked like he was satisfied in the idea of walking and leaving it up to Werth. The fact he didn't swing at that pitch amazes me. Seems as if he'd be absolutely salivating to lay into a pitch in that situation.

The Giants are also fortunate bringing Lincecum in didn't blow up in their face. If Werth shows more patience leading off against him, he probably draws a walk, too, and it became obvious he (Lincecum) wasn't going to be able to get outs. Bochy having the sense to pull him quickly may have saved them.

posted by dyams at 11:47 AM on October 24

Ryan Howard Didnt swing.

Grrrrrr iPad keyboard.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:08 PM on October 24

It was a dick move by Sanchez in the third inning to start yapping at Utley after hitting him with a pitch.

No kidding. I thought it was absolutely classic that Utley just nonchalantly lobbed the ball back to him after getting drilled. After Sanchez, wounded pride and all, started yapping, the incredulous look on Utley's face was funny as hell. It was a "I just got drilled in the back, and you're the one crying?" look. Like Marcellus Wallace said, pride's a funny thing.

posted by tahoemoj at 12:10 PM on October 24

Looking at the replay on MLB Network's highlight show, I think the exchange was something along the lines of this:

Sanchez: "That was bullshit."

Utley: "What?"

Sanchez: "Bullshit!"

Utley: "What was bullshit?"

Utley had given him a dismissive wave and was walking back to first when the benches cleared.

Pitchers are weird sometimes. They can plunk a guy in the back, but flipping a ball underhanded back to the mound is an affront?

posted by rcade at 01:05 PM on October 24

I was a bit surprised the Phillies didn't move their lineup around a bit. Notably, Utley and Howard were vulnerable to the excellent lefty pitching in this series and their manager did nothing to help them out.

posted by slackerman at 11:57 AM on October 25

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