Three things that scare me silly:
- Aaron Rowand: leadoff hitter. You can just picture Bochy saying something like, "Hey, remember that guy who was so wretched, so helpless at the plate that even I benched him? Well, circumstances have changed, and I have to play him. I don’t have that much of a choice. So, I guess I’ll just make sure that he hits leadoff so he can get more at-bats than anyone else in lineup. Because when you have prepaid coupons to the Salmonella Cafe, you can’t just have a small taste of room-temperature chicken; you have to load up your plate like a man. You just have to."
Come back, Andres.
- Bruce Bochy’s gambling with the outfield defense in the early innings. He knows Jose Guillen and Pat Burrell are stone gargoyles in the outfield, but he still starts both of them behind fly ball pitchers like Matt Cain and Barry Zito. Bochy is hoping to get a couple of runs out of Guillen -- he of the .419 slugging percentage and .314 on-base percentage -- before going for defense in the later innings. It hasn’t burned the Giants yet. Yet.
- Three more games in Colorado, and three more games against San Diego. The last series against the Padres made me think a) fine, the Giants aren’t cursed against the Padres, and b) if the Giants can win in San Diego, they can win in Coors. That’s rational. Baseball isn’t. Those two series make me forget about the comparative advantage the Giants have with 12 home games and six road games remaining. I’m still terrified of the Padres’ small-ball tomfoolery, and I’ll never, ever, ever feel comfortable when the Giants travel to Colorado.
Three things that make me think good thoughts:
- Did you know the Giants have a comparative advantage, with 12 home games and six road games remaining? It’s true. I read it on the internet. The Padres have 13 road games and seven home games left. The Rockies have nine home games and 10 road games left. This makes a difference because the Giants keep a set of baseballs in a vat of seal urine. And as Casey Stengel once noted, "Baseballs that are waterlogged with seal urine don’t travel as far when hit." This is why the Giants play so well at home (42-27 this year, even though I don’t remember going to 27 games.) It’s not cheating if you don’t get caught.
- The Giants have three off days left, compared to the Padres’ one and the Rockies’ two. It’s not like I’d know from experience, but I’d assume that days off in September are a huge deal. That’s an extra day to reset the bullpen and to rest Posey’s legs.
- Both of the competing teams have four-game series against the Cardinals in St. Louis. Want that Cy Young, Adam? Want the Rookie of the Year, Jaime? Fancy another MVP, Albert? Fine. Take them. All yours. Sweep the postseason awards. Just play well against the Padres and Rockies.
So I’m optimistic until I start thinking pessimistic thoughts, which usually fade when the optimism peeks through before the next wave of pessimism that lasts until the optimism that precedes the pessimism. September baseball is just a little stressful. Fun, but stressful.
Comment starter: Things that scare you silly. Things that make you think good thoughts. Things that make you go hmmm. Like, did you know that Madison Bumgarner’s middle name is "K"? That’s it. It’s not short for "Kris" or "Kevin." It’s just K. Hmmm baby.