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Posts Tagged ‘Orange Inside’

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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The San Francisco Giants stormed to a Game 5 victory winning 5 runs to 0 on the complete game shutout pitched by their ace Madison Bumgarner!  In a golden age for Giants baseball, which seems to be hosting a handful of potential hall-of-famers – MadBum is emerging as one of the strongest of all.  Across three World Series (2010, 2012, and now 2014), Bumgarner has now won four games in four opportunities with a combined score of 1 run allowed in all four games!  He now has the lowest runs allowed average (career) in World Series history for pitchers who’ve thrown more than 20 innings.
But now the Giants face a tough test of going into Kansas City having to win one of the last two games.  The odds are in their (the Giants) favor.  Historically, the winner of Game 5 goes on to win the Series 68% of the time (.683), but it would have been so much more satisfying to have swept the Royals at home in S.F.  Still, the main thing is to keep the pressure on and try to take Game 6.  We don’t want a let down to give the Royals (and their fans) hope for a Game 7.
So now it’s time for the team to get a good night’s sleep and board a long flight to K.C. tomorrow for the Tuesday Game 6…   (And for those of you who’ve lost track: my prediction was Giants win Series 4 Games to 2.)   Go Giants!!!
I AM ORANGE INSIDE !!
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On This Day In:
2013 Hard To Deserve
2012 Cloudy Between Games
Admiration, n.
2011 One, Two, Three – Blink

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Well, it looks like we’re in for one heck of a World Series!!  In what can only be politely called a “collapse” by their bullpen, the Giants gave up five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to the Royals and Kansas City never looked back rolling to a 7 to 2 victory.
The Royals pitching, particularly the bullpen, looks formidable with everyone throwing heat in the 95+ mph range and off-speed in the low 90’s.  By comparison, low 90’s are what the Giants were throwing as their top end pitches.
The disappointment of the game was a squandered first inning, lead off home run by Gregor Blanco.  It was a thing of beauty.  We touched the Royal’s starting pitcher (Yordano Ventura) just as frequently as they got to our starter, but in the end, Ventrua outlasted Jake Peavy and the K.C. bullpen was “all that and a bag of chips”.   Real deal…
So, the Giants leave for home with doubts and the Royals leave for San Francisco with hope.  There is a saying in sports that you can’t have a great Series until both teams have lost a game at home.  Now we find out if the Royals can turn the 2014 Series into a great Series.  The next three games are in S.F.  I’m still predicting a 6 game, 4 to 2 victory by the Giants.
But it’s back to being interesting…
I AM ORANGE INSIDE !!
By the way, this post is my 1,901th post – not counting pages.  What a long, strange trip it’s been…  I’m looking forward to 2,000.  🙂
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On This Day In:
2013 Complacent Reality
2012 Two-minute Sex
Just Staring, Why?
2011 A World Of Difference

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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 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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SF Giants Beat the Washington Nationals In Game 1

SF Giants Beat the Washington Nationals In Game 1

On Wednesday, the Giants went into Pittsburgh and defeated the Pirates 8 to 0 in a game (the National League Wildcard Game) which wasn’t that close.  Today, they went into D.C. to play the best National League team (this year): the Washington Nationals.  We are in a best of five (“short”) series and having won (3 to 2), are now in the driver’s seat for the series.  Historically, the first game winner of a short series has gone on to win the series 70% of the time.  We only have to play .500 ball in the next four games to take the series.  The Nat’s have to play at least .750 to advance.
The odds have suddenly gotten a lot better!!
I AM ORANGE INSIDE !!
Update:  And it gets sweeter, still!!!
The Los Angeles Dodgers just lost the first game of their series (at home) to the St. Louis Cardinals by 10 to 9!!!
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On This Day In:
2013 Ignore The Man Behind The Curtain
For A Time
2012 What Are Your True Measurements
2011 What It Is All About
2010 The Magnificent Seven
Giants Fever!!

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Go Giants!!!!
We are ORANGE inside…
Comments and observations:  Okay, as improbable a World Series as can be imagined is now over and the San Francisco Giants are world champions!!  This is the team’s seventh championship (five were won in New York before the Giants moved to San Francisco in 1958) and the second in three years.
Although the Giants finished with a better regular season record than Detroit, the Tigers were considered the odds-on favorite to win the Series because they have the best pitcher and the best hitter in baseball.  The problem with this proposition is the pitcher only plays twice in a seven game series and so only gets two opportunities to dominate.  In this case, Detroit’s best pitcher (Verlander) didn’t win his first game and his team never got him to his second appearance (Game 5).  The other side of the proposition is that their best hitter (Cabrera) went cold and their second best hitter (Fielder) was positively frigid.
On the flip side, the Giants best hitter (Posey) had a so-so Series hitting (homered tonight for two runs), but played well as catcher.  The main difference was the rest of the team – particularly the entire pitching staff, starters, relievers and closer – were dominant.  It’s a baseball given that great pitching beats great hitting in the playoffs, and there was nothing in this Series to contradict that truism from Detroit.  I think the second big difference was the home field advantage the Giants had because the National League won the All-Star Game.  This allowed the Giants to open with the first two games at home.  Even disallowing Sandoval’s three home runs in Game 1 (4 RBIs), Verlander did not have a “great” game and Detroit would probably have still lost as the game ended 8 to 3.  Thus began the fall…
Confirming / continuing my math commentary from prior posts, the Giants won game 1.  The winner of game 1 goes on to win the Series 60% of the time.  The Giants won game 2.  The team which starts off the World Series with two wins goes on to win 79% of the time.  The Giants won Game 3.  The team which starts the Series with three wins has won all 24 of the times this has happened.  Twenty-one times the team with three wins has gone on to win the fourth game for a sweep and no team has managed to make it to Game 6 after falling behind by 3-0 in the Series.  While probabilities are not certainties, they do tend to be reliably predictive.
Like most baseball fans, I will have a week or so of “withdrawal” as baseball is now over for the year.  Oh well, I draw comfort from knowing I face the off-season with the S.F. Giants having won the last game of World Series!!
For the last time this year:  Go Giants!!!!  We are ORANGE inside…  Congratulations and we love you!!!
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Go Giants!!!!
We are ORANGE inside…
Comments and observations:  Well, the boys from S.F. now have a historically significant edge in the 2012 World Series.  Despite a tremendous pitching effort by the Detroit #3 pitcher (Anibal Sanchez), Detroit scores no runs and the Giants get their second shutout on the way to a 2 to 0 win and a 3 to 0 lead in the Series.  To put this in perspective, NO team has EVER come back to win the World Series after trailing 3 to 0 in games played.
There are four games left if the Series were to go to the full seven.  To lose at this point, the Giants will have to play .000 ball (lose 4 of 4), while the Tigers will have to play 1.000 ball (win 4 of 4).  To add more perspective, both teams are .500 ball clubs, so a change of this magnitude, while not impossible, is extremely improbable.  The odds are the Giants will win one of the next four and the Series.  Simplistic, but probable.
At this point, the question is can the Giants sweep (win game 4 to close out the Series)?
As mentioned in my prior blogs about the 2012 Series, it is difficult for a team to win three in a row let alone four in a row.  While I certainly want the Giants to sweep, it seems likely that the baseball gods will favor Detroit and the Tigers will win the next game.  If that happens, I would expect the Tigers to wallop the Giants and really run up the score.  At that point, Detroit brings in its best starter for Game 5 and if they can pull out that win, the Series will return to S.F. for the final two games and we have the potential for a Series for the ages.
More likely though, is S.F. starts our best pitcher (Matt Cain) in Game 4 and the Giants close out the Series with a four game sweep.  Four-0 or 4-1, the Giants still take the Series after facing the team with the best pitcher and the best hitter in baseball!!!
Go Giants!!!!
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Go Giants!!!!
We are ORANGE inside…
Comments and observations: In a good old fashioned pitching duel, the S.F. Giants come out ahead by playing “small ball” to take a commanding 2 to 0 lead in the 2012 World Series!  The odds now shift from 60% to 79% that the Giants will go on to win the Series.  14 of the last 15 teams to go up by two to zero have gone on to win…
The 60% represents the number of teams who have gone on to win the Series after winning game one.  As stated, 79% of the teams which have taken the first two games have gone on to win it all.  The Giants must now win only 2 out of the next 5 games to win the Series (.400 ball).  The Detroit Tigers must now win 4 out of the next 5 to win the series (.800 ball).  The Tigers entered the Series heavily favored despite having won fewer games in the regular season because they have the best pitcher in baseball (over the last two years) and the first triple-crown batting champion in over 20 years.
As stated in a previous post, it is difficult for any team to win three straight games at this level and at this time of year.  It is even more difficult for a team to win four in a row.  This means it is unlikely the Giants will win the next game, but the main point is to take at least one of the next three in Detroit.  I look for the Tigers to win game three and for S.F. to win game 4.  This will give S.F. a 3 to 1 lead and make game 5 a must win for Detroit, while S.F. will only need to win one game out of the final three.  In any case, it is now impossible for Detroit to close out the series without first coming back to S.F.
Go Giants!!!
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Go Giants!!!!
We are ORANGE inside…
Comments and observations:  Well, the Giants take game one of the 2012 World Series by a score of 8-3 over Detroit.  Game two is tomorrow, also here in S.F.  The series then shifts to Detroit for the following three games, and wraps up with the last two games (if necessary) back in S.F.  At this point the main thing is to “hold serve” and not lose tomorrow.  That will mean Detroit cannot win the Series at home and even if they are able to sweep the three games there, they’d still have to come back to S.F. to win one of the last two games.
Baseball is a unique/interesting game for me because it is so mathematically predictable (at least during the regular season).  The team with the home field advantage in a series should win because it is more difficult to win on the road than it is at home.  In general, the team with the better season record should win the series, but my cursory review of the last few years (only back to 2006) indicates this isn’t true.  Only four of the last six WS winners had the better regular season record.  In other words, once you’re over .500 for the season, it doesn’t seem to matter much if you’re .599 or 501, as long as you win enough to get into the post-season.  In fact, it seems the most reliable indicator so far (early in a series) is who wins the first game of any given series.  (Hooray for the Giants!!!)  In this case, the odds are about 60%, you’ll go on to win the Series.  Not great odds, and not a tremendous predictor, but it seems to be reliable.
In any case, the Giants now only have to play .500 ball to win the Series (six games left, win three and you win the Series).  Detroit now has to play .666 ball to win the Series (six games left, must win four of next six).  With each game, the odds turn more and more against you…  If the Giants hold serve tomorrow and go 2-0, we will only have to play .400 ball or Detroit will have to play .800 ball to win the Series.  Teams have demonstrated they can do this, but not many.  So the key is now to win tomorrow…
Two other points.  For every baseball fan of any team in a World Series, the first goal is to not get swept – win at least one of the games.  That’s done.  The second point is to not panic. It is very difficult to win a three game (sweep) series in baseball. It is even more difficult for a team to win a four game (sweep) series.  This means that even if Detroit does win tomorrow, it is unlikely they’ll be able to win all three games back home because then they will have beaten us four straight.  That implies we will almost certainly win one of the three games in Detroit even if we lose tomorrow’s game.  This in turn means the Series will have to come back to S.F.  My prediction…  if we win tomorrow, the Series goes to five games and S.F. wins 4-1.  If we lose, the Series goes 4-2 and S.F. still wins.
Go GIANTS!!!
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Go Giants!!!!
We are ORANGE inside…
Bring on Detroit!!!
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Go GIANTS !!!

SF Giants 2012 Western Division Champs (Front)

SF Giants 2012 Western Division Champs (Front)

SF Giants 2012 Western Division Champs (Back)

SF Giants 2012 Western Division Champs (Back)

(Read it and weep, Dodger Fans.)  Last night the San Francisco Giants won the MLB National League Western Division title!!!  On to the playoffs…
In honor of which, today I had to go out and get my T-shirt.  The front states the obvious and the back lists the members of the team by position.
We are ORANGE inside!!!
It’s been a long year – and it’s not over yet…  Stay tuned, sports fans…
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