Results tagged ‘ Dodgers ’

Leading Off…

What better day to start my blog than after the most exciting game of the season?


I’ve
never been in a playoff game, but I imagine that’s what it feels like.
And I’ve never been in this kind of rivalry. I knew Giants-Dodgers was
big, but I had no idea how big because all you hear back east is
Yankees-Red Sox 24/7 on ESPN.  It is definitely intense – I think the
fans are even more into than the players, to be honest. You had 50,000
fans yelling against us last night. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a
louder chorus of boos than when the Dodgers made the third out of the
ninth. It was awesome.
It wasn’t just that we won. It was HOW
we won. We battled back in a way I’m not sure we could have done a
month ago. Now we’ve won 11 of the last 13, and we know exactly why.
Not only has our starting pitching established dominance again (with
Timmy’s struggles last night an aberration), but our offense is so much
better. I don’t think anyone expected us to be doing what we’re doing
now offensively.
Pablo is looking so much more comfortable at
the plate since the break. Torres is the sparkplug. I can’t say enough
about what he’s done – a huge hit again last night. He brings energy
into the dugout and clubhouse. (And he’s a sweet guy. He probably says
hi me nine times a day.) 
Posey – what can you say about this
guy? He’s smart, he makes adjustments, and he’s levelheaded. He’s never
going to be a big ego, a guy with the fist pumping and pointing. He’s
already got a veteran’s mentality with his approach at the plate and
catching behind the plate.

Sanchez is great little No. 2 hitter who really changes the dynamic of the lineup.


And
I’m feeling good at the plate. I know people are making a big deal
about the year I’m having but I’ve had good years in the past. I just
had them in Baltimore and Tampa Bay and nobody cared. 

It
was tough not being the lineup last night. It’s probably harder to
watch a game like that than to play in it. Bochy figured if he was
going to give me a day off, it made sense to do it when Kershaw was
pitching. He’s so tough against left-handers. I knew Bochy was likely
to call on me as a pinch-hitter at some point, so after about four
innings I was getting loose on a stationary bike in the clubhouse and
so watched part of game on TV.
But I was in the dugout when
Kershaw hit Aaron Rowand. It was a weird thing to hit him when they
were up by only one run. That got us fired up a little bit. That got us
going. I know fans sometimes have questions about these unwritten
rules, like when it’s bad form for a pitcher to throw at a hitter, or
when a hitter is justified in going after the pitcher. When Kemp took a
few steps toward Timmy, that made no sense because obviously Tim was
struggling and wasn’t trying to hit him. We were all a little jumpy
right there, waiting to see what was going to happen. And Bautista
definitely wasn’t trying to hit Russell Martin. But by then, though,
the Dodgers are all fired up because we’re making a comeback.

So
then Kershaw hits Rowand. We’re getting a little hot in the dugout, but
Rowand just walks to first because it was a “good” hit-by-pitch.
Kershaw hit him in the right place. He wasn’t going for his head. He
hit him in the leg. Now, I imagine, it’s all over and done with. They
got their retaliation shot in, and that’s it.

The
thing that’s so important about this game is that it was a real team
win. You had Rowand dropping a sacrifice bunt. Burrell with the big fly
to left (that Paul dropped). Torres with his two-run double. Pablo with
his double down the line. Posey with an RBI single. The relievers were
great, with Affeldt closing it out.

In
the clubhouse afterward, everyone was just telling everyone else what a
great job they did. It was just a big moral victory, coming back like
that with their best guy on the mound. I was thinking about how some
teams might have slipped into a funk after having a game stolen from
them the way we did over the weekend. But we didn’t let it affect us.
Now we’re on the verge of sweeping the Dodgers. Once you have two wins,
you don’t want just to win the series. You want the sweep.

I
thought last night about what Bengie said to us on the bus when he
found out he had been traded and was saying goodbye: “You guys have
something special.” 

After playing on such awful teams for most of my career, I can’t tell you how happy I am to playing for San Francisco. 
Hope you enjoy the blog. Not sure how often I’ll post. But send me your questions. Happy to answer them if I can.

See you next time