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Posts Tagged ‘2014 S.F. Giants’

Yesterday, the Kansas City Royals turned in one of the dominating performances of any World Series Game 6 winning by 10 runs to nil to tie the Series three all.  Going into today’s Game 7, NO home team has lost a Game 7 since 1979 (35 YEARS), so it was looking pretty dim for the boys in Orange and Black.
Amazingly, the S.F. Giants got it done.  They jumped out to a 2 to 0 lead.  The Royals stormed back to tie the game at 2 – 2.  The Giants managed to squeak ahead by 1 run and then – in what can only be described as a performance for the ages – Madison Bumgarner came in to pitch five scoreless innings to close out the game with the tying run sitting on third base.  A pop-up foul ball was caught by Pablo Sandoval to end the Game and Series!!
I am emotionally spent…  The game was so close, so dramatic, so tense…  Wow!!  And that’s why it’s so easy to love Baseball !!!
I AM ORANGE INSIDE !!
It’s looking like it’s going to be an ORANGE OFF-SEASON!!
My wife (Hil) is a massive Giants fan and has watched almost every single game this year (and last).  She was extremely disappointed by last night’s crushing loss because she knew what it meant to throw the Series into the “toss-up” of a Game 7.  Today is Hil’s birthday.  (Happy BD, again!!)  Our daughter texted Hil just after the game ended.  “Happy BD, Mum!!  The Giants won it for you!”  It’ll be a birthday present she’ll remember!!  LOL!
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On This Day In:
2013 Hours, Days, And Years
2012 In Kev Are In Hil
2011 No Game, Didn’t Really Happen
A Good Post

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And yes, we’re in for one heck of a World Series!!  As I said a few days back, you can’t have a great World Series until both teams lose at home.  So far, the Giants have taken Game 1 in K.C.  The Royals won Games 2 (in K.C.) and 3 (in S.F.) and now the Giants have evened the Series with a big 11 to 4 victory in Game 4 (again in S.F).  All 15 runs were scored without a single home run!  Solid pitching (by both sides), great defense (by both sides) and exciting hitting (by both sides).  Whew!!
With three games left, it’s the first team to win two which gets to raise the trophy.  Hopefully, it’ll be the boys in Orange & Black.
As trite as it sounds, this Series is revolving around hitting it (the ball) where they ain’t.  In games 1 and 4, the Giants have done this.  In Games 2 and 3, although the Giants hit the ball hard, it was mostly hit hard right to the Royals players.  Almost all of the “spectacular” defense has come from both teams outfielders.  With a few notable exceptions by the Giants infielders in Game 4, this has remained true.  The teams are turning out to be incredibly balanced.  It’s a bit of a shame the TV numbers are so low.  The rest of the country is missing some great baseball.  (Of course, the numbers are strong in the S.F. Bay Area and phenomenal in the K.C. region, but elsewhere, only so-so.)
I must admit to being nearly crushed when the Giants fell behind 4 to 1 in the third inning.  I was even saying, “Well, that’s the series…”   It just goes to show you how much I know – and my wife cheerfully reminded me of my comment in the 9th inning.  (LOL)  Needless to say, there was even more elation when the Giants tied the game in the 5th inning and then scored seven more runs (3 in the 6th and 4 in the 7th) to cruise to the Series tying victory.
So, tomorrow is Game 5 and it comes down to the two teams’ aces to see which team gets the key victory.  If we win the game, we fly back to K.C. with a lot of optimism looking for a split.  If the Royals win, it’ll be a long flight into a steep climb of two must win games.  So, it looks like the Series will turn on the strong left arm of Madison Bumgarner.  Go Maddy!  Go Giants!!
I AM ORANGE INSIDE !!
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On This Day In:
2013 License Problem
2012 Giants Win Game 2 Of The 2012 World Series 2 To 0!!!
Adage, n.
Questions Women Should Ask Before Voting…
2011 What Are You Looking At?

 

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With another dominating playoff pitching effort, Madison Bumgarner followed his team mates to an impressive 7 to 1 win over the Kansas City Royals!  The Giants can now play loose in Game 2 and try to steal another out-of-town win.  The Royals, on the other hand, are in their first MUST win game of the World Series.  They do NOT want to travel to San Francisco for three games behind two games to none.  In recent history, the winner of game one has gone on to win the series in 10 of the last 11 series.  Bumgarner is 60 wins and 3 loses in his career in games when his team has given him a three run lead.  The Giants provided the three run lead in the top of the first inning!!
The Royals will now be facing the Giant’s Jake Peavy with their fast ball flamer – Yordano Ventura.  He of 100+ fastball fame.  Peavy, who joined the Giants for the second half of the season, has been an emotional spark for a team which had fallen into a major slump.  Peavy is now an elder statesman, but he still has demonstrated great command and competitiveness.  So far that’s been enough to make up of an aging arm and degreasing mph fastball.
The good news is that if the rest of the team can supply half tonight’s output, Peavy and the bullpen should have enough to bring us home with the heavy (2-0) advantage.  Even if we return home with a split, we will stand a great chance of holding serve and Bumgarner can close out the Series in Game 5 (at home).
Man, I can’t wait for tomorrow’s game two!!
I AM ORANGE INSIDE !!
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On This Day In:
2013 Trying To Capture Serenity
2012 Above The Vaulted Sky
2011 Active Learning

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The San Francisco Giants closed out the National League Championship Series (NLCS) by 4 wins to 1 with a 6 to 3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on a three run, walk-off home run!!  Wow!!

2014 National League Championship Cap

2014 National League Championship Cap

2014 NLCS S.F. Giants T-Shirt

2014 NLCS S.F. Giants T-Shirt

Unbelievable!  The Giants start the World Series on Tuesday against the Kansas City Royals.  Format: 2-3-2; with the first two played in Kansas City by virtue of the American League victory in the All-Star Game earlier this year.  If we manage to steal one of the games back there – watch out!!
I predict this will be our fourth playoff series where we are the underdogs.  We’ve beaten the favored Pittsburgh Pirates. We’ve beaten the heavily favored Washington Nationals.  And now, we’ve beaten the slightly favored St. Louis Cardinals.  Based on the head to head competition this year, where the Royals swept the Giants in three games in K.C. back in August, a realistic person would have to give the Royals a definite edge.  They are a very good team which seems to be peaking at just the right time.  We seem to be a team which gets by on mostly smoke and mirrors.  Their strengths (power, speed at base running/stealing, and a lock down bullpen) all play to our weaknesses.  But, I still like our chances.  Once we bring them back to our ball park, their pitchers will have to hit.  They won’t be used to it and we’ll be able to claw our way back into the series.  I’m predicting a six game, 4-2 World Series win by the boys in Orange & Black.  Go Giants!!
I AM ORANGE INSIDE !!
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On This Day In:
2013 Walking The Walk
2012 Legacy Of Star Trek (TOS)
2011 Tolerating The Intolerant
Passionate Germs
2010 Giants Win Game 1 In Philly (4 to 3)!!

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Another exciting and well played game by both sides results in a come from behind 6 to 4 win by the Giants over the Cardinals.  This essentially reverses the position the two teams were in two years ago, when the Cards held the 3 game to 1 advantage over the Giants.  Of course, the Giants went on to win the 2012 NLCS by sweeping the three remaining games and ultimately going on to win the following World Series (against Detroit).  So the Giants know how quickly the opportunity to advance can slip away if you don’t keep up the pressure.
In tomorrow’s Game 5, we again have our ace (Madison Bumgarner) pitching against the St. Louis ace (Adam Wainwright).  We only need to win one of the next three (.333 ball), while the Cards need to win out (1.000 ball).  While it’s possible for the Cards to come back, it’s a tall hill to climb.  But, that’s why we play the games…   Go Giants!!!
I AM ORANGE INSIDE !!
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On This Day In:
2013 More Than Just Words
2012 Egotist, n.
2011 Good And Bad

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The glory of baseball (and most other sport) is that when a game is well played and close the drama of the competition can turn the game into a thing of beauty.  This is what happened in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series on Sunday.  Even though the team I support (the S.F. Giants) lost that game by 5 to 4 on the strength of four home runs by the St. Louis Cardinals, the game was thrilling, close and could have gone either way.  The Cardinals, who have been among the cellar dwellers for teams with home runs during the regular season, have suddenly found their power stroke.
Monday was a day off for travel and play resumed today for three games (and three days) here in San Francisco.
Today, the Giants returned the favor by winning Game 3 by the score of 5 to 4.  This was another “beautiful” game because although the Giants jumped out to a first inning lead of 4 to 0, they let the Cards hang around and hang around until they finally tied the game and sent it into extra innings.  In the 10th inning, the Giants did what they have been doing this whole postseason – they found a way to win.  The got a walk, a funky hit and then a bunt which allowed a walk-off runner to score when the pitcher threw a wild toss to 1st base to try to get the force out.  The ball sailed inside the man covering first base and down the baseline into the warm up area.  The runner was safe at first and the Giants won.  What should have been an “easy” out (meant to simply advanced the runners) ended up an error to win the game.
Well, as unconvincing as the win may have been, we’ll take it.  The Giants are now up 2 – 1 in the series with four games left and the next two are here at home.  We need to play .500 ball to advance.  The Cards need to play .750 to advance.  Pretty long odds for the “Birds On A Stick”.  Historically, when a team wins game 1 on the road and is 2 – 1 in the Series, they win game four  59% of the time and the seven game series 68% of the time.  Not as dominating a percentage as I would have hoped for, but still much better than being in the reverse.  So, on to Game 4!!
I AM ORANGE INSIDE !!
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On This Day In:
2013 Deliver Us Something Larger
2012 Bore, n.
2011 Attaining High Office

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Well, as I said in a prior post, it’s starting to look like “Katie-bar-the-door”…  !!!  The S.F. Giants defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series by 3 to 0!!!
Madison Bumgarner, our ace southpaw, pitched a dominating game (7-2/3 innings, 4 hits, no runs allowed) on his way to breaking a 90 year old record for consecutive playoff innings without allowing a run.  The current record is now MadBum’s and stands at 26-2/3rd innings (and counting).
The Giants scored two of their three runs off of Card miscues, so we’re still waiting for the offense to wake up.  The good news is when you don’t allow ANY opposition runs, you only have to score 1 run to win the game.  So we did have a little insurance.
So, for now, it’s mission accomplished!  We’ve gone to their home and taken game 1.  Now, we only need to play .500 ball in the next six games while they have to play .666 ball to move on to the World Series.  Both teams are certainly capable of playing to that level, but the burden is now definitely on St. Louis to win Game 2.  For the regular season, the Cards won 2 more games than the Giants and finished with a .556 winning percentage, to .543 for the Giants.  It’s far more likely the Giants will continue to play .543 ball and advance, than it is the Card’s will jump from .556 to .666.  But, that’s why we play the games.  Both teams are tested champions and I still expect the series to go at least six games.
Tomorrow is Game 2 and then the teams fly to San Francisco for three games.  The NCLS playoff format this year is 2-3-2.  Two games in St. Louis; three games in San Francisco; and, the final two games back in St. Louis.  Of course, the last three games are only played if necessary.
On the downside, the Baltimore Orioles have now given up games 1 and 2 in the American League Championship Series – both at home to the Kansas City Royals.  Baltimore now needs to win 4 of the remaining 5 games to win the ALCS and go to the World Series.  .800 ball is asking a whole lot with the next three games in Kansas City, so it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be the all Orange & Black World Series I was hoping for.
I AM ORANGE INSIDE !!
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On This Day In:
2013 Running To
2012 Suddenly
2011 Liberal Washington
2010 Giants Advance To NLCS!!

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As I predicted, the S.F. Giants have advanced to the National League Championship Series (a best of seven) by defeating the Washington (D.C.) Nationals in four games of their best of five NLDS series (National League Division Series).
The Giants have now gone on the road to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Wildcard playoff game, and then the best (based on regular season records) team in the National League.  The later by winning the first two games of the series in Washington.  As stated in previous years posts about baseball, in the playoffs, it is very difficult to beat any team three or four times in a row, so the Giants had to only “survive” by winning one of the last three games in the five game series and they were fortunate to be playing the second set of two games at home in San Francisco.
Having said that, the Giants entered game three with every hope of a three game sweep.  They had their best pitcher (Madison Bumgarner) on the mound and most of the National’s were batting extremely poorly.  As it turned out, the Nat’s managed to manufacture just enough runs to squeak by in game three, but their luck ran out while seven of their starting nine continued in tragically bad hitting slumps.
So, now the Giants face a familiar foe – the St. Louis Cardinals, with the first two games being played at the Cards’ home park.  This is kind of a “rubber-match” series for these two teams as both teams have won two World Series Championships in the last four years.  The winner of this series will have a definite leg up in being able to stake claim to being the “team of the decade”.  Of course this assumes the National League Champ goes on to win the World Series over the American League Champ.  (This is by no means, a given…)
Anyway, the immediate goal is to go back to St. Louis and win at least one of the first two.  If we can do that, Katie-bar-the-door, the Giants will be on their way…  Go Giants!!
I AM ORANGE INSIDE !!
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On This Day In:
2013 Nothing Ridiculous
2012 Keeping Faith
2011 Summon Us, Don’t Criticize Us
2010 Obama’s Wars – Book Review
Game Two – Hearbreaking Loss

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Well, yesterday – and last night – we had one of the most intense baseball games I’ve ever sat through in my life.  The game started in the afternoon and ended over six hours later.  It was the longest running (6 Hours and 23 Minutes) baseball game in playoff history and tied for the most innings played (18) in playoff history.
The Nationals scored early taking a 1 to 0 lead and holding it through eight and two-thirds innings.  The Giants tied the game in the 9th inning and then played the equivalent of an entire second game (a “normal” game is only nine innings) to get the winning run off of a solo home run (from Brandon Belt) in the top of the 18th inning.  The Giants then held on for the final three outs to leave Washington D.C with a 2 game to 0 lead in a best of five series.
As I mentioned in my prior post – Orange October (I) – the team that wins the first game in a five game series wins the series 70% (historically) of the time
Sixty-eight (68) teams in major league history have lost the first two games of a five-game series.  Only eight have come back to win the next three games.  And, of those eight, just two did so after losing the first two games at home.  The issue(s) the Giants face are: 1) they are playing the winningest team in the National League this year (96 wins); 2) this same team has already come in to AT&T and defeated the Giants in three out of four games back in June; and 3) the Giants know a team can come back to win the last three in a best of five series because they were the last team to do it – just two years ago!
In any case, 3 out of 69 are pretty long odds and I like the Giants chances to finish the Nat’s in Game 3.  Then it’s wait until the end of the 2nd series – between the St. Louis Cardinals and the L.A. Dodgers.  Hopefully, the Cards take L.A the full five games before beating them and then we get to face the Cards with a rested team.  Still, it’s all in the hands of the baseball gods at this point…
I AM ORANGE INSIDE !!
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On This Day In:
2013 Fulfilled Acceptance
2012 Error Is Tolerated Here (So Far)
2011 In Defense Of Pain

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