Tag Archives: Sergio Romo

2014 San Francisco Giants Team Preview

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There’s now a shelf life to Fat Panda pictures on the internet.

The 2013 San Francisco Giants had a weird year coming off their World Championship which saw them go 76-86 and finish fourth in the NL West.

This season will be interesting for the Giants. They are a veteran team with much enough of the core remaining from the World Championship runs that if they were to make a run, it wouldn’t be completely shocking. At the same time, I look at this Giants roster and I just don’t get excited. That’s not different from how I felt writing the 2010 and 2012 season previews for the Giants.

Really, the Giants play a certain style of game out in that big park by the bay. It’s a slow paced game most nights. There are a lot of ugly wins. The Giants have built a quality organization of which the main cornerstones remain in-tact. They will be competitive, but they have a few blemishes we see that will keep them from making a serious run in 2014.

Major Off-season Moves:

  • Signed Tim Hudson to a 2-year, $23 million dollar contract
  • Signed Mike Morse to a 1-year, $6 million dollar contract
  • Signed Tyler Colvin
  • Signed Hunter Pence to a 5-year, $90 million dollar contract extension
  • Signed Tim Lincecum to a 2-year, $35 million dollar contract extension
  • Signed Javier Lopez to a 3-year, $13 million dollar extension

There’s nothing that overwhelms me here. I like Mike Morse more than a lot of the new-age sabermetrics crowd. But you have to wonder what kind of team the Giants were trying to scrape together here. Defense? Keep the core together? I look at the amount that Lincecum and Hudson signed for, and I say to myself the Giants could have landed a top-tier arm for this amount. At the end of the day, it’s kind of cool that Big-Time Timmy Jim is staying put in San Francisco. He’s an icon there, and the contract kind of signifies that the Giants got sentimental on us.

Click through the jump to learn the fates and facts of the 2014 Gigantes.

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Rank Relief: Anything you can do, I can do worse.

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Sergio Romo watches Delmon Young hit a game tying sac fly.

The Phillies have had a bit of a rough season what with Roy Halladay crashing to earth and…well…just employing Delmon Young.  But they were fighting hard on the west cost today.  Sergio Romo came in to shut down the Phillies offense but ended up blowing his second save of the season.  He wasn’t dominated but two runs are two runs.

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The damage:  2 hits, 1 walk, 2 runs.  Fortunately for Romo, he got out of the inning with the score only tied at 3-3.  The Giants couldn’t do anymore damage in the bottom of the 9th, but in the 10th Anthony Bastardo decided to do his best Sergio Romo impression.  Same deal.  Nothing spectacular but when you just need a run to win this is all you have to do:

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Here we have 2 hits, one walk, one wild pitch, and one run.  Game over.  This is what Anthony Bastardo looks like when Anthony Bastardo gives up a game winning single.

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There it is Anthony, to your left. Right over Chase Utley’s head.

 

Rank Relief: A double dose at Wrigley

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When you see a rank relief post you always have a good chance of the Cubs being involved – usually the bad side.  Well today they played both parts.  The Cubs were looking at a 2-0 victory if they could hold off the Giants in the top of the 9th.  Well Kyuji Fujikawa would have none of that.  Cubs fans may have thought they got rid of this kind of thing with Carlos Marmol.  History and a goat’s head says otherwise.  Here’s what Fujikawa did:

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One inning, 3 runs.  Not what you want out of your new closer.

But remember this is a double dose of rank relief.  Sergio Romo was also feeling generous today.  Trying to capitalize on the second save chance of the game he entered in the bottom of the 9th.

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Details of how Romo gave up the save and the win and moved Fujikawa from the loss to the win column.  The best part is giving up a home run to Dioner Navarro.  Baseball is funny sometimes.

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San Francisco Giants 2013 Team Preview

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The San Francisco Giants caught lightning in a bottle for the second time in three years last season in winning the World Series. They parlayed a ragamuffin lineup and a makeshift pitching staff with a couple aging former stars into a title. They’ve been spoiled. There were about a four other teams last year that entered the postseason looking better on paper than the Giants.

And I’ll admit, I’ve got a little bit of a sore spot because they took the title that should have belonged to my Cincinnati Reds. At least, the NL title should have belonged to Cincinnati. We had them down two games to zero and heading back to Cincinnati for three. And then it all fell apart. Or it all came together if you’re looking at it from the San Francisco viewpoint.

They had a quiet, Giants-like offseason. They’ll be there all season long, pesky and ready to slip in and steal another title that should belong to another team and another fan base.

Major offseason moves:

  • Re-signed Angel Pagan to a 4-year, $40 million dollar contract
  • Re-signed Marco Scutaro to a 3-year, $20 million dollar contract
  • Re-signed Santiago Casilla to a 3-year, $15 million dollar contract
  • Re-signed Jeremy Affeldt to a 3-year, $18 million dollar contract

Really, the Giants offseason consisted of retention of the key components of their title run in 2012. There are few teams in baseball that underwent less change than the Giants this past offseason. This roster of familiar faces will remain competitive but will fail to capture another championship in 2013. No one can be that lucky.

Let’s look at the Giants in-depth after the jump.

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Yes, You Choked; Yes, I’m Still Proud of You

This was the toughest loss I’ve ever had to swallow in baseball; or in sports.

For as long as I live, I’ll never forget this. I’ll never get over it. It will never be easier to accept. It will always sting. It now exists as a spot place-marked forever in my life; an irreversible eternity. Never again in my life will I allow myself to think “hey, we might really have a shot to win the whole damn thing”. Not after this. If this team couldn’t do it, I’ll never be sold again.

The Reds made the kind of history you do not want to make yesterday afternoon in Cincinnati in losing 6-4 to the San Francisco Giants.

Sometimes in loss we learn the most about ourselves.

I have never in my life seen a team scratch, claw, and fight with such life or death desperation as the Reds did after getting down 6-0 yesterday. The image that will forever stick with me yesterday was Ryan Hanigan immediately when Buster Posey connected with his grand slam home run. Don’t watch Latos. Don’t watch the crowd behind him. Don’t look at the hitter or the ball’s flight. Watch Hanigan.

I have never seen a catcher react that way to a ball in play in all my years watching the game. Hanigan turns in immediate pain, anguish, and disgust and swings his arm in angst. He knows when Posey connects that it was the kill shot. The Reds at that moment probably knew they were dead. But like a cowboy in an old Western whose gut-shot, they kept shooting until they drew their last breath.

For instance; when Jay Bruce got down 0-2 in the ninth inning, he decides that even in defeat; he’s going to make the Giants closer earn it.

What ensues after Bruce gets down 0-2 in the last frame of the game and the Reds down to their final two outs of the season, was one of the gutsiest things I’ve ever seen in watching sports my entire life.

Bruce proceeds to battle Sergio Romo for 12 pitches in total as if he’s battling a damn lion or dragon. He stubbornly fouls off pitch after pitch, laying off many off-speed pitches that have long been to Bruce’s liking. As the at-bat wears onward, you realize Bruce is doing more than just trying to come up with a big swing that will result in a 3-run homer. He’s battling for himself, for his teammates, for all of us fans, and for what might have been his manager’s swansong. I don’t know what Bruce was thinking during the course of that at-bat where the Giants continually stayed away from his big time power to right field. I can only think he knew he owed it to everyone who hadn’t lost hope.

Bruce eventually flies out to right field, and the Reds came up short. But I had chills for much of that at-bat. It was a moment based on sheer will and determination. It was what baseball was all about. One man competing against another, knowing his probable fate but refusing to just roll over and die.

Forever etched in our memories is something different. I will never forget the hurt of this series collapse, but I’ll always know that the team I rooted the hardest for and held the closest to my heart fought like Hell for a different outcome, even when it would have been easiest to quit.

Like often the man who spends his days writing about them and living and dying with them, they just came up tragically short.