Coors Field is the worst, empirically the worst, a pile of bricks held together with the mortar of failed dreams and sadness. And yet ... I'm softening to its charms. Did you see that center-field camera? Boy, I'm a sucker for a good center-field camera. This one might be one of the best, certainly up there with St. Louis and Pittsburgh. You see the slider break, the fastball seam back over the edge. It's a shame that a camera like this is the exception, not the rule.
And if you're ever going to watch Vogelsong with his best stuff and command, you need a center-field camera. Here was perhaps his best start of the year, considering the park and the need for innings. It was a grinder of a start, with Vogelsong walking three and getting close to 100 pitches through just six innings, but none of the walks felt like an absence of control. They happened because of the presence of command.
That's the very definition of a successful Vogelsong grinder. Never give in. Never surrender. You saw it so clearly with the center-field camera, just how he was using the edges and the corners. He was playing a game of chicken with the hitters. At least a game of dare-you-to-lick-the-frozen-flagpole. And he was winning. Bless that camera.
It didn't hurt that he had some of his best stuff, too. He got out of the first inning on a double play, throwing three well-placed fastballs in the low-90s before dropping a quick curve right below the zone. It was the kind of ground-ball fishin' that you need in Coors. Or anywhere. It's the kind Giants pitchers need often in Coors, but never seem to get.
Tim Lincecum's ERA is almost under 2.00. Madison Bumgarner is as good as ever. Chris Heston has been surprisingly effective, and Tim Hudson has his innings-eating charms. Now Vogelsong is on a four-start streak of success. And you were so worried about the rotation. Not me. Nope. Pretty sure this is how I expected the season to go before it started.
Lincecum's fine. Vogelsong will start slow, but he'll be fine. Cain and Peavy are probably hurt, but Chris Heston will be fine. And the Giants will hit! So don't sweat it. That's the McCovey Chronicles Guarantee.
Yeah, I remember writing that.
Vogelsong in Coors seemed like an obvious way to bust the winning streak. It wouldn't have even made you mad. Sometimes you're holding an 8-J off-suit when you're the big blind. It's not like you're going to get mad at what happens after that. And then you nut a floppy four after the stream, and ... okay, I don't really know all the jargon, but sometimes you're expecting something, and you get surprised. That's Vogelsong pitching like that in Coors to save a winning streak. The best part about it was the center-field camera.
Maybe Coors Field isn't that bad. Maybe it ... wait, is that yet another stupid, inconvenient rain delay that's stupid and inconvenient? And what's that? That, over there?
Coors Field is still the worst, still empirically the worst, a soulless, concrete sarcophagus that holds the remains of what baseball was always supposed to be. But it has a neat camera! And Ryan Vogelsong pitched very, very well there, extending the winning streak to seven games. Maybe it's not so bad afte
The Rockies had fireworks in the middle of that dumb rain delay.
Theory: The only reason the game wasn't called was because Coors Field is a godless temple of blood sacrifice and death. If this game were at a normal ballpark, the umpires would have guffawed and assumed it would have ended like a normal game, then called it.
Instead, everyone's time was wasted, and your blood pressure went up. THEY GOT THE TYING RUN UP TO THE PLATE. Never forget that Coors Field literally used to have Impact font on the dugouts, the horrid place.
In this portion of the recap, we discuss Brandon Belt's dinger.
Good gravy. This seems to be a good place to bring up jctgamer's GIF:
Ayup. Now I get it, even if I only pretended to before. There's a quick bat at work. All that's missing is the, you know, supernatural understanding of baseball and hitting. Still, you can get why Belt was a demon in the minors, and why he's been a perennial breakout candidate since Aubrey Huff was the incumbent first baseman.
The obvious comparable is the Nate Schierholtz dinger from way back when.
The all-timer is a Bonds homer in BP from 2001 that's not easy to find on the Internet, but trust me, it's mighty fine. In a game, though, Belt's was as impressive as I can remember. It was measured at 475 feet, which is one of the longest by anyone this year. The guys ahead of him -- Trout, Stanton, Ortiz, Upton -- are beefy. Belt is ... not beefy. He's a large man, but he's more of an inflatable man in front of a car dealership than beefy.
Still, I would pay $500 to hit a baseball half as hard as he hit that one. That's the kind of dinger you'll remember in 12 years. There's a six-year-old now who will be in college and active on whatever Giants site you'll still be on. You old jerk. So you'd better appreciate that homer now.
Was going to make a 64-pitcher bracket of "How has this guy never been a Giant?" with Kendrick as a #2 seed. Then the rain delay sapped my will to live/be creative. For the offseason, then. For the offseason.