Hey, I feel completely comfortable with this game plan. Have a rookie pitcher allow all sorts of runners without allowing more than a run. Get Mark DeRosa up there in extras, have him loop a single, have him take off for second, and then get a two-strike single to win the game. That's the blueprint. There are probably special drills the can run and everything to practice that. It's all 2-1 victories behind DeRosa's speed from here on out, fellas.
Well, that, and Keppinger's bat is unstoppable.
Pitchers' win/loss records are pretty useless for evaluating pitchers. But they can give you a half-decent idea about the pitcher in the context of their team. Brett Myers and J.A. Happ were a combined 7-27 this season coming into this series. That doesn't necessarily mean they've been terrible ... but, yeah, it gives you a decent idea. If two pitchers are a combined 7-27 without being terrible, well, that most mean that the rest of the team is absolutely miserable whenever they pitch.
Thirteen innings vs. Happ and Myers. Two earned runs. Yay.
But you know what's worse than looking absolutely feckless against the worst pitching staff in baseball? Looking absolutely feckless and losing. If the Giants would have lost the last two games, moving five games out of first, I think it would have been completely appropriate to get some canned food, head for the bomb shelter, and not come out until we see Buster Posey's shadow. As is, welp, at least they didn't lose. Hyuk hyuk. Wasn't pretty. But a lot of the games earlier this season weren't pretty. We've just forgotten what those wins were like after the misery of August.
Post-game quote from Bochy: "We're better than this." Couldn't agree more. Just, uh, wish they'd start showing it a lot more. Still holding the faith. Still swearing a lot during the games. It's a fine line.
Don't know if this is going to get me shunned in the greater internet Giants nerd community, but Surkamp is basically Zito with the promise of better control. It's not a perfect comp -- the curves break on different planes, and Surkamp does have a couple of extra feet on his fastball -- but it's close enough. While it sounds like damning with faint praise, it's not. A Zito with command is a good thing. Surkamp was wild tonight, but that was probably nerves. If he can paint corners, he'll be a good pitcher. Not Zito in his Cy Young season -- still don't know how that happened -- but like Zito in those halves where we thought he'd found whatever it was he'd lost.
Of course, the control has to be there for Surkamp. His walk rates in the minors have been good, but not elite. Here's hoping he takes his command to the next level. I think that next level is 4-2, and there are hella warp zones in there that can take him to All-Star Games and everything.
I remember my first reaction when I heard that Marvin Benard was getting a plaque on the Giants Walk of Fame: laughter, shock, and laughter. Then I settled down, and reevaluated my reaction, which I then changed to shock, laughter, and laughter. After careful consideration, I settled on laughter, laughter, shock, and uncomfortable laughter. I also allowed for the fact that the Giants might have given him the plague, and that there was a typo somewhere, but that just would have made me feel bad.
Then I saw the interview with Benard during the game. He was so, so Pac Bell. He was the hot-button on talk radio. He was the player you'd hate to boo, but when he'd break in then out then in then out before a ball sailed over his head in center, you felt like you had a duty to boo. It wasn't personal; it was like attending a city-council meeting. You just had to make your opinion count.
But he was also pretty good, too, considering. Better living through chemistry and all that, but he had a four-year run of being perfectly cromulent. Heck, he'd hit cleanup for this team. Not if the young Bernard were magically transported to the 2011 team -- I'm talking if the dude were on the team right now, as-is. And he's totally a brick in my Giants-fan foundation. When I was moving from fan to rabid nerd, Benard was a huge part of the team. I love the guy in my own way, and watching him tonight brought back a flood of memories. Of course he gets a plaque. He's Marvin Benard. And he brings good luck to the Giants.
Also, when Jason Schmidt bought a churro tonight, he did it with Frank McCourt's money. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Right back in our coffers, sucker.