Waking Up After Last Night’s 14 Innings

In a way we can say we’ve been playing these guys, in this League, for 131 years.

Last night’s was a trench battle.

Games like that reveal what kind of fans we are and today, as we all wake up – some of us to read what happened, others to bemoan having stayed up – it’s also a gut-check.

Here‘s Steve Berman’s take at Bay Area Sports Guy and Grant Brisbee’s can be found here.

My first reaction is often lunging for reasons we lost that are our own responsibility and I landed upon Bruce Bochy – who let Jake Peavy stay in after Jimmy Rollins singled to lead off the bottom of the sixth.

I have pent-up frustrations from years of having a shorter leash than Bochy, and it makes me, ultimately, irrational, sometimes. So I contain myself and stare at the situation I questioned for minutes after a loss.

Waking up this morning it remains the problem. Leaving Peavy in to allow the homer that tied it 3-3 was frustrating … but then still leaving him in to face the hottest-hitting player in the League? That was just enraging. Too much trust, man.

When Ethier homered to give them the lead, this game felt doomed.

Berman defends Bochy of course; in ways not even Marty Lurie would.

Me? I realize Bochy’s the guy in the chair. Skip has won us three world series, not me or Marty or Grant Brisbee, but I still have so many issues with his crazy decision-making.

So I disagree with him, but what do I know? There have to be hundreds of more reasons than I can possibly fathom for putting in Broadway instead of Petit last night.

But a second point sticks with me about that fateful bottom of the sixth: blatantly and in extreme close-up and high-definition, Jake Peavy shook off Buster Posey on the pitch he delivered to Ethier. What did Posey call? What did Peavy throw?

(Jenkins informs me later: “It was a curve, and not a good one.”)

If Bochy left him in because he still had enough in the tank, did he also approve him blowing off whatever Buster Posey put up against the hottest-hitting batter in the league?

Bruce Jenkins, Alex Pavlovic, anyone ask that? Probably not much time or desire for such a question after a gut-wrenching loss.

Imagine asking the guys that. It would be hard to do. It takes being a kind of a dick as a reporter. But it ought to be done.  In New York they do it.

But we’re nicer guys than that. So much so, the guys kicked Baggs out for asking too many such questions. Which in my opinion was bad-form, whether we won the World Series or not. I do not like the way Comcast has us going – toward rah-rah coverage and TV-series spoof videos.

I’m the kind of fan who misses the days of reporters being in charge and being able to ask tough questions. I despair over the bimbo cheerleaders on TV asking catch-phrase rhetoricals. I honestly don’t think CSN Bay Area is good for the SF Giants.

Comcast turns coverage of local teams into collegial homerism. I find it clownish, actually, and the focus of the sportstainment-driven Comcast is way too far off-the-field. I rarely say any of this, of course, because it’s bad social-media form. When I do mention it, I immediately lose followers, so, enough of my media criticism.

We fought back after what I consider Bochy’s managerial mistake. I am proud of this. I love our never-say-die attitude. Bochy himself has it and he admires his guys for it. We don’t quit. It’s team-wide and seems infectious … every new guy gets on board.

In this regard, Marlon Byrd has stepped right in for Hunter Pence. It has taken exceptional effort by this crafty, very professional veteran to keep us in this race. I really love his hustle, heart, smarts – just the way he plays the game. Thank you, Marlon, you are a good Giant.

When my new favorite Giant, Josh Osich – the big lefty rookie – came in last night, he looked shaky, so it was George Kontos’ turn in a tough situation at Chavez Ravine. Yikes.

I have been harsh on Kontos in the past and also tried to praise him when he does well. He muted me a few weeks ago for being critical. I don’t feel bad about being critical. I do think the guys ought to take it.

In Los Angeles late yesterday George Kontos was excellent in relief in a place where he must have been haunted a bit. He dealt with it and hopefully even put it behind him with his performance. Forced to enter because Affeldt was unavailable, Kontos rose to the challenge. Way to Go, George!

One issue however was at the plate, where Kontos, like Adrianza earlier, botched a bunt to advance runners, dropping three straight fouls wide of the first base line and showing little control.

“So the inability of Kontos to bunt took all the pressure off the Dodgers. Here they come, bottom of the 13th, four to four!” -Vin Scully, midway through the 13th last night.

Kontos, Adrianza, and, I surmise, half the team should be practicing bunts every single day until the end of the season. Do they not know about Aubrey Huff’s critical bunt – the only bunt ever in the month of November – that helped us win our first World Series? and Bochy telling him to take bunt practice in September? uh, Hello?

Still, it was a great game. Both defenses were crisp, base running was excellent. Pitchers were good just up until the moment they weren’t, which means it was taut.

Duffy continues to impress to the point that he should be gaining ground in the race toward his ROY award for the National League.

The Dodgers let us hoist ourselves on our own petard – which in this case was injury-depletion – and they closed it out.

It hurts to lose one of those like a kick in the gut, but to be frank, I love baseball and that was a gritty 14-innings.

Waking up today, perspective is important. We’re the champs and still mathematically in this. But if we go down, let us do so with grace.

I believe we can do it: win back-to-back, especially since we have those four games against the nemesis at home to end the season and our schedule in September is much better than August was and we are finally getting back Joe Panik …

I still believe.

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About mtk

"focus on the relentless flow of the positive river," is a mantram of San Francisco Giants Left-handed Reliever Javier Lopez
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