In the latest Sully Baseball Daily podcast, I talk about Mike Trout not winning the Gold Glove. Then I threw the script away and went on a rant about how stupid MLB would be starting the season in Australia.
In today's Sully Baseball Daily podcast, I talk about watching the last game of the World Series while on the phone with my dad, why I am happy for Barry Zito and a warning for teams that spend too much during the off season.
The San Francisco Giants won it all. Again.
And frankly there is no reason to believe that the San Francisco Giants will not win another World Series before this decade is out.
Before we wrap this season up with a nice bow, here are some thoughts on the finale.
- Supporters of Mike Trout for MVP must be having a field day with Cabrera getting a called third strike to end the series. "Trout would have at least swung and missed."
- Supporters of Cabrera would be quick to point out that the Tigers had a grand total of one lead in the entire World Series: When he smacked a two run two out homer to take the lead. Then again the Trout supporters would say "Well, Trout would have hit a THREE run homer, made a home run saving catch, pitch a scoreless inning and revived someone in the stands who had a heart attack."
- Throughout the game I was questioning Bruce Bochy's pitching moves. I would not have let Cain pitch the 7th inning because I thought he looked gassed in the 6th. I would not have taken out Affeldt because he looked awesome and I hate taking a pitcher out with two outs and nobody on.
- In the end, it did not matter what I thought of Bruce Bochy's handling of the pitching staff because, well... the Giants won the World Series. I guess that's why Bochy is the manager and I am writing a blog.
- Speaking of Bochy, and we were, he should start working on his Hall of Fame speech. Six division titles, three pennants and two World Series titles say a lot.
Beating teams like the Randy Johnson 102 win Astros, Bobby Cox era Braves, Roy Halladay led Phillies, the Cliff Lee led Rangers, the Joey Votto Reds, defending World Champion Cardinals and neutralizing Justin Verlander, Prince Fielder and for the most part Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers should ad a lot to his prestige. He belongs in the Hall of Fame.
- I think Jim Leyland is a Hall of Fame manager but batting Quintin Berry second in Game 3 and 4 was a horrific disaster. He batted .000 and had an OPS of .111. And because he batted second, he had the second most chances to bat of anyone. Now I agree with Keith Law that Cabrera should bat second. But even if they wanted to keep him third, the fact that Jim Leyland pinch hit for Berry TWICE in the inning says everything you need to know. Put a batter in front of Cabrera who doesn't need to be lifted in big situations.
- The fall of Jose Valverde also raised its ugly head last night. Coke was wonderful in the 9th inning, but Leyland brought him out again in the tenth basically because he could not trust anyone else. If Valverde was still effective, he would have been in that 10th inning and not Phil Coke who is a closer simply because nobody else could do the job.
- Santiago Casilla was the least impressive pitcher the Giants threw last night. Matt Cain may not have been stellar, but he was good enough to give them 7 innings and only three earned runs. Jeremy Affeldt was amazing striking out Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Delmon Young and Andy Dirks in a row. And of course Sergio Romo striking out the side. Casilla hits the first batter he faced and then got a grounder. Naturally it is Casilla who gets the win.
- It is good to be Ryan Theriot. Last year he played part time with the Cardinals and picked up a World Series ring for his troubles. This year he played part time with the Giants and got a second World Series ring and scored the game winning run.
He's played seven plus seasons in the majors and made a couple of million bucks and has two World Series rings. Must be a nice life.
- I feel very happy for Barry Zito. He got a World Series ring in 2010, but he was not on the roster not because he was injured but because he stunk. He didn't stink in the NLCS nor the World Series. In fact he was one of the big playoff heroes.
- If the two teams with their league's best records were facing off in the World Series, it would have been the Nationals vs. the Yankees... and the World Series would have been a Hurricane Sandy disaster freak show. Just saying.
- The Giants earned it. They won their Division, beat another Division Winner in a Game 5 on the road, beat the defending Champs and swept the team that everyone (including yours truly) picked to win. Nobody can say a bad thing about this squad.
Today on the Sully Baseball Daily podcast, I realize that the Tigers offense was as bad as a team not trying to win and wonder if I need to make a chart breaking down which teams I should root for if the Red Sox and Giants aren't playing.
Click here for my Let Me Hear Ya channel. I will be doing a simulcast of Game 3 of the World Series tonight.
Tired of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver? I'll be doing MY play by play and commentary live from Lucky Baldwin's in Pasadena California.
Simply click HERE to go to my page.
Turn up your computer and there will be a synch mark for the first pitch of each inning. Listen to what I have to say and if you have any comments, fire them along via Twitter to @sullybaseball
This should be a lot of fun, so join me and some of my friends for Game 3 of the World Series tonight!
I have a mild obsession with pitchers getting the last out of a playoff series. It was my great fantasy as a kid to be like Tug McGraw, arms up in the air, celebrating a last out.
And I like it when unlikely people get to have that honor. Usually it is the bullpen closer who does it. Last year Jason Motte was the closer for the Cardinals and threw the clinching pitch of the NLCS and World Series.
The year before Brian Wilson of the Giants was the closer and he did the honors in all three rounds of the post season. Mariano Rivera did so the year before. Brad Lidge the year before that.
If not a closer, then the other most common scenario has a starting pitcher throwing a complete game. We saw that with Justin Verlander and CC Sabathia in this year's Division Series. Jose Contreras closed out the 2005 ALCS for the White Sox. Josh Beckett went all nine to finish the 2003 World Series for the Marlins.
But every once in a while you get an unlikely guy to toss the final pitch. Usually it either happens in an extra inning game where the closer was already used (like Toronto's Mike Timlin clinching the 1992 World Series) or a middle reliever was very effective in a situation (like Ramiro Mendoza in the 1999 ALCS for the Yankees) or the closer is just gassed and they needed someone else (like Alan Embree giving Keith Foulke a break for the 2004 Red Sox in the ALCS.)
They are not common occurrences, but I love it when they happen.
So in the ninth inning during a monsoon, Javier Lopez was on the mound. He is usually a one batter relief specialist. He appeared in 70 games in 2012 and threw 36 innings. He rarely throws an entire inning and finished only 19 games with seven saves.
He usually does not get the glory. He has a thankless job of coming into the game, getting one batter out, and leaving.
So here was his chance to be on the mound when the Giants clinched. It would be an image of Lopez jumping in the air when they clinched. The team would run out and mob Lopez.
Like Timlin, Embree and Mendoza before him, this was going to be the signature moment of his career.
And he got two outs in the ninth inning, but walked Carlos Beltran.
Bochy came out and brought in his closer, Sergio Romo, who clinched the Division Series against the Reds.
I thought "Oh come on Bochy. Let Lopez face Matt Holliday. The worst thing that could happen is he hits a home run to make it 9-3. Give Lopez this moment to shine."
He took him out. Romo got the last out and the cool clip of dancing on the mound.
The Giants mobbed Romo and the celebration was on.
I do not know where Lopez was in that celebration. No doubt he was hugging and high fiving his teammates.
But if he got that last out, I would know exactly where he was, and so would the rest of the baseball world.
I called my dad last night and told him about my sympathy for Mr. Lopez.
"I wouldn't worry about him" my dad said. "If you came up to him, he'd show you his two World Series rings and say it was OK."
Maybe so. But he would have had a cool clip to go along with those rings.
Soon the Giants will be playing Game 7 of the NLCS.
And if you thought that was going to happen a few days ago, you are a liar.
Hell, if you thought that when the Giants and Reds were tied going into extra innings of Game 3 of the Division Series, I would demand evidence.
The Giants have played five games where if they lost, they would be eliminated.
And because they are still playing, they are clearly 5-0 in those games.
They surpassed the 1981 Dodgers, 2003 and 2004 Red Sox and last year's Cardinals who all won four do or die games.
(2003 was not a typo. The 2003 Red Sox won three elimination games against the A's and Game 6 of the ALCS against the Yankees. Had Grady Little managed Game 7 a little differently, they would have had five.)
Only one team ever won six elimination games in the same post season: The 1985 Kansas City Royals wiped out 3-1 leads against the Blue Jays in the ALCS and against the Cardinals in the World Series (with a little help from Don Denkinger.)
A win tonight would have the Giants match the Royals.
If the Giants go on to the World Series and fall behind the Tigers, 3-1, how could any Giants fan be nervous?
Who thought that Barry Zito would throw shutout ball for 7 2/3 innings, look like the ace the Giants signed after the 2006 ALCS and possibly save the season.
Everyone who raised their hand is a damn liar.
I thought five innings and three runs would be a best case scenario.
Instead the man with the most notorious contract on the team was worth every penny, shut down the Cardinals, kept the bullpen fresh for Game 6 and bunted home a run for good measure.
The Giants still have an uphill battle to climb against the defending champs, but beating the Cardinals in San Francisco with Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain on the hill suddenly doesn't seem so outlandish.
We are living in a world where Tim Lincecum struggles and Barry Zito dominates.
Keith Olbermann wrote on his baseball blog that the Yankees and Marlins are kicking around the idea of a trade.
And it makes partial sense because A-Rod and the Yankees are heading for an inevitable messy divorce.
But in my latest article for Bleacher Report I ask the question: Even if the Yankees paid most of the contract, why would the Marlins want him?
You can read the whole article HERE.