Saturday, July 23, 2016

Unbelievably Uncommon

Santiago Casilla is of a rare breed who thrives in desperate situations but somewhat staggers in any form of prosperity whatsoever. After all, who can feel secure in the fact that some things are better than others. Who's to say what is comfortable and what is uncomfortable? To each, his/her own.

Give him a lead and he'll make you sweat. Give him a "do-able" situation and he'll act as if there was something that did not need to be there. He just isn't comfortable in certain state of affairs. I think this is why Bruce Bochy puts him in the role of closer.  Casilla has a knack of pulling off things that appear highly unlikely. 

Whether it seems like there is no way he can blow "this" save opportunity or the Giants have managed to scrape across a couple of runs to make it harder for him to "BLOW" the save his mindset is only accommodating for the high-wire act above roaring flames and anything less than that is something not worthy according to his demeanor. 

On July 23, 2016, at Yankee Stadium III, he pulled off an amazing performance that was built just for him. Yes, we know that Yankee Stadium was the "House that Ruth Built" but on this Saturday in 90 degree temperatures this was what Casilla needed to show the major league baseball world that he truly does belong. 

Casilla would get the win and it snapped a 6-game losing streak for the Giants, since the All-Star break. 

Never question Bruce Bochy. And, oh by the way, this coming up week during the Cincinnati Reds homestand there will be a Bruce Bochy gnome night. If you are superstitious you might want to make an effort to pick one up.

Kevin J. Marquez

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Not a Student of the Game

On July 20, 2016, at Boston's Fenway Park,in what must've seemed like a made for television movie, Gregor Blanco came to bat with the bases loaded as a pinch-hitter and the Giants down 8-7.  This after the Red Sox had jumped out to an 8-0 lead!

In from the bullpen came Matt Barnes, a 6'4" right-hander from the University of Connecticut to see if he could douse the flame of this intense rally. And while the warm-ups are being thrown I'm wondering if Blanco is thinking about ways he could really mess with the reliever. The way I read how the old Negro Leaguers did it. Test the pitcher's fielding prowess by laying a bunt down the first base line (which is generally in the opposite direction of the pitcher's follow through when he throws right-handed). 

But then Gregor Blanco would have to be a Student of the Game to think along these lines and what happened was most definitely worst case scenario. He grounded one to the fortuitous Hanley Ramirez, who was having the game of his life in a pretty notable career mind you, stepped on first base then threw home in time to tag the runner from third (who just so happened to be Brandon Belt). 

Never again would the Giants threaten to take the lead in this game. With players like Brandon Belt and Buster Posey struggling mightily at the plate to drive runners in, along with shortstop Brandon Crawford missing some opportunities, this game seemed unlikely after the Red Sox jumped out to an 8-0 lead.

The strike zone of home plate umpire Stu Scheurwater (not pronounced, sewer-water, but close) was favorable to the Red Sox up until the 4th inning when he seemed to not like the movement of Drew Pomerantz's pitches any longer. And look what happened? Damn near an epic comeback stalled by a player's inability to be a student of the game. 

Kevin J. Marquez