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Cubs Can Take Giants Series

By bullpenbrian - August 30, 2011 - 12:33 am Leave a comment.

If there’s any team scuffling as bad as the Cubs are offensively, it’s the Giants.

Since August 4 the Giants are averaging an MLB-worst 2.6 runs per game, undercutting its dominate starting pitching and dropping them 4.0 games back of Arizona in the West.

The Cubs, meanwhile, are right on par with San Fran averaging 2.5 runs per game over its last eight contests, seven of which have been losses.

However, it’s reasonable to believe the Cubs have a shot at taking this series, if for no other reason than the Giants being as bad, if not worse, than Chicago when it comes to hitting in the clutch.

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Freak Show In San Francisco

By bullpenbrian - November 2, 2010 - 11:30 am 2 comments.

This wasn’t the World Series I was looking for six days ago. The two teams I  wanted were there, but the five-game series was largely dominated by San Fran.

Other than the Giants’ brilliant starting pitching, neither side played well. There was a lack of drama and the big-ticket pitching match-ups never fully materialized. Just wasn’t a very memorable Fall Classic, unfortunately.

I still believe having two teams that were not expected to be league champions is good for baseball, despite the low TV ratings.  A competitive six or seven game series would have been better, of course, better  for the fans, and yes, better for television. But for me, this series was still better than watching New York vs. Philly.

Lots of praise was heaped on Cliff Lee, and rightfully so, but Tim Lincecum  reminded us he’s an ace, too. Lee loss both his starts. ‘The Freak’ won both of his. I think most fans, including myself, thought Lee would nab at  least one victory. Lincecum’s performances, however, was the deciding factor in the series.

Tim Kirkjian said it best about the Giants: “They’re not always pretty to watch, but they win.” Curt Schilling said on ESPN that he believes “the best team always wins.” For certain, the Giants had the better pitching, and better pitching usually wins.

Looking back, I think the Giants would have toppled either New York or Tampa Bay. The Yankees pitching is on par with Texas, and the Rays’ lineup is sub-par to Texas–not that such speculation really matters.

You could see Edgar Renteria’s three-run homer coming from a mile away. Lee was looking tired having allowed back-to-back singles to Ross and Uribe, which marked the first time a Giant reached second base all game.

When Lee missed badly on his first two pitches to Renteria, you knew a strike was coming next. Renteria didn’t miss it, clubbed the winning home run and pocketed the MVP Award. I understand Lee’s mentality to go-after hitters, but the decision not to pitch around Edgar will always be questioned.

Here’s to wishing Lee doesn’t sign with the damn Yankees this offseason. He’s a good fit for the Rangers, or any team for that matter, but anywhere other New York would suite me fine. St. Louis, however, would be tough to swallow!

I’m very interested to see were the Giants turn. Do they keep their castoffs that just won the title or start moving again in a younger direction?

And after watching San Fran’s starting pitching end 56 years of frustration, remind me again why the Cubs dealt Ted Lilly?

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Lincecum Halladay Lee & Pettitte

By bullpenbrian - October 18, 2010 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

Rarely do games hyped-up to the extent of Friday’s match-up between Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum live up to the billing. But this one did with S.F. winning a close 4-3 ballgame.

I got the feeling most fans were siding with Halladay given his no-hit performance against Cincinnati. But the nine days off in-between starts seemed to zap Doc of his dominate stuff from a week earlier.

Lincecum didn’t steal the show either, but found ways to get big outs when he needed them.

Most surprising is that both hurlers allowed home runs to the No. 8 hitters in the lineups. Another beauty of postseason baseball!

Meanwhile, Halladay’s hitless streak of 11 innings is second longest in postseason history to Don Larsen, who tossed 2.3 hitless innings against Milwaukee in the 1957 World Series following his perfect game for New York in the 1956 Series.

I’d put Tuesday’s duel between Andy Pettitte and Cliff Lee on the same stage as Halladay vs. Lincecum.

Pettitte is going after his 20th career postseason win and Lee is quickly shaping up as one of the most dominate starters in postseason history.

I venture to say that whoever wins Game 3 will win the series. For my money, I like Lee.

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Timmy Time Wins Cy Young Award

By bullpenbrian - November 23, 2009 - 12:15 am Leave a comment.

Not hard to believe Tim Lincecum won consecutive Cy Young Awards.

On the other hand, what is hard to believe is that ESPN’s Keith Law and Will Carroll from Baseball Prospectus both left Chris Carpenter off their three-pitcher ballots.

Both writers are entitled to their opinions, of course, but I still find it rather ridiculous to write off Carpenter completely.

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Zambrano & The Rat

By bullpenbrian - September 26, 2009 - 12:15 am Leave a comment.

cubssan-francisco

No doubt Zambrano wanted to best Tim Lincecum Friday night.

He did it, too: complete game two-hitter. Impressive stuff for sure.

I’d like to ask Zambrano why he can’t crank it up like that more often.

The thing is, I think he could if he wanted to, but he’s just too lazy to care, and that’s a shame.

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