That was well documented.
Matt Cain breezed through the Rangers en route to a 9-0 beatdown.
It was Game 1 that was pictured as a pitches duel but when Cain faced off with C.J. Wilson. Both pitchers looke dominant until WIlson suffered a finger bruise and was forced to sit for the remainder of the contest.
That’s when it went downhill.
The heralded bullpen of Texas went haywire and surrendered seven runs. The wheels successfully fell off.
The left side of the infield was the saving grace for the Giants. Juan Uribe was the hero in game 1 and shorstop Edgar Renteria followed in game 2 with a solo shot to get San Francisco on the board in the fifth inning.
In 1997 he downed the Indians in Game 7 of the World Series with a sharp line drive that brought in Craig Counsel for the winning run.
I love a good walk-off and they just seem more special in the Series.
Renteria finished the game 2-for-4 with 3 RBI.
Nealry every Giant reached base and hero awards could be given to many players.
Aaron Rowand delievered a key, pinch-hit triple that brought in a pair of runs.
Uriber continued to contribute with a double that brought in two as well.
There is no doubt the game ball goes to Cain. He really is in line for playoff MVP after scorching through round by round. He has yet to give up a run.
That’s history book material.
Now not every event that occured by the bay tonight was good.
Freddy Sanchez laid an egg going 0-for-5. A horrific display after garnering four hits and three doubles the night before.
Despite the struggles he was featured in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette column by Ron Cook.
Transcribing the tribulations throughout his life Sanchez said playing major league baseball was a miracle. He was born with a foot deficiency and overcame the inability to walk, to play professional baseball. Cook concluded the article with a quote from Sanchez that brought tears to my eyes.
Freddy Sanchez has been the Freddy Sanchez I have seen since 2004.
Wednesday’s 11-7 lopsided victory for the Giants was not only dominant, it was nostalgic.
I have been cheering for the Giants all October long. They have been my “second team” for a few years now. After visiting AT&T Park and the city of San Francisco I fell in love with the Northern California mentality.
Not only are the girls warm, the ambiance is as well.
I like to say I’ve adopted San Fran as a place of my own and the Giants followed.
WIth my favorite former Pirates, Freddy Sanchez a key member of the National League champs, my fan hood grows deeper.
Look to the left. That is what I wore this evening, Representing the Bay Area in Morgantown, West Virginia I got chills when the starting lineups were announced and went nuts when I heard the soulful sounds of Tony Bennett sing before the game and God Bless America.
This game was great for baseball and set up for a great World Series. Yes it was a blowout and yes a closer (Brian Wilson) entered with a non-save situation but it was a fun game to watch.
Sought of as a boring World Series or not relevant in some minds I think tonight showed that other teams are deserving and th Giants mean business.
PS How bout Freddy?
3-for-4 and a sparkplug the entire night. FOX gave him player of the game honors. The three doubles were a world series record. If the champagne is bubbling notch up Sanchez for the MVP.
I still miss these days…
I know where i’ll be Wednesday night.
Once I get out of my public relations class I’m heading straight to the nearest televsion and planting myself in front of it for the next three or so hours.
All I want to hear is the voices of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver talking about one of the most anticpated World Series, at least in my mind.
If you follow me on twitter (@pittpeaswv) you’ll know that
I’ve said from the beginning that I wanted the Giants to reach this spot. San Francisco deserved it with their team chemistry, clutch hits and pitching perfection. Plus, Freddy Sanchez. Come on, I love the guy.
The Rangers are an intriguing group as well. Relatively unheard of throughout the season Texas proved doubters wrong all year. WIth one of the lowest payrolls in the game the small-market domination is a great thing to behold.
It wil be an excellent match up for baseball purists.
From America’s standpoint, it won’t be.
I’ve seen tweets, statuses and headlines regarding the series and it doesn’t look to favorable. Without the Yankees, Phillies or Red Sox who will watch these games?
I do know a large baseball contingency that will be hinging on every pitch religiously, even when these two teams really have nothing to do with them. That’s the beauty of baseball. The excitement of October comes full circle and the two best teams are left standing.
Despite his one-of-a-kind relief appearance in NLCS game 6, Tim Lincecum is likely heading to the mound for WS game 1 in San Francisco. He lasted through just one batter but you know how much pitchers are monitored these days. The lincecum-Halladay opposition was the talk of the town for the past two weeks, now it shifts to Lincy-Cliff Lee.
It’s demeaning to call Lee a journeyman, but really, where we he call home next season? He is pretty much pitching his way out of Texas and the postseason spectacle he has put on will all but assure a huge hike in his price tag. He too will pitch on short rest and be ready for teh Giants in game 1.
This will no doubt be an even matched series. Both teams are surging right now and have a palpable chemistry that is well liked.
Whethere its the “claw and antlers” or “pandas” that get you excited this series is for you. I’ll tune in, America won’t, but my goodness they should. These two cinderellas are bursting onto the scene give hope to fans that have not seen their teams reach success recently. It is anything but a mainstream contest, which is good for baseball.
As compliments abound I will give my prediction.
You da man, Freddy!
No dissrespect to Bobby Thompson, but the Giants won the pennant.
In 1960 Bill Mazeroski led the Pirates to win the World Series.
One minute later the Pittsburgh sports scene would be changed forever.
Mazeroski’s swing of the bat lifted the ball over Yogi Berra’s head sent the crowd into a frenzy.
Seeing Maz fly around the bases, swinging his helmet around in elation is truly a sight to be hold.
A Wheeling, West Virginia native (another reason why I love him so much) Mazeroski came from humble beginnings along the Ohio River. He said he played the game with the same attitude as he did growing up.
How can you not love that attitude?
As he was flying around the bases Mazeroski is quoted as saying he never felt his feet touch the ground. He was mobbed at homeplate by teammates and fans alike in one of the greatest moments in all of sports.
Whats more remarkable is the Pirates and Yankees were in a David vs. Goalith type battle back then. Much like today, New York was favored to take the series with its star studded lineup that included the likes of Berra, Mickey Mantle, Roger Marris and eventual MVP of the series Bobby Richardson.
Mazeroski was never known as a power hitter. He rarely hit double digit home runs in a season. He was known for his glove with eight Gold Glove awards and still owns the highest fielding percentage among second basemen.
Although Pittsburgh is in the midst of 18 straight losing seasons, the Steel City has not forgotten its icons. Across the town Mazeroski’s memory lives on, particularly in the Oakland section of town.
Oakland is home to the University of Pittsburgh, which I despise. The campus does offer one of the most beuatiful sections in all of Western, Pennsylvania, though.
Portions of the outfield wall still stand where Forbes Field was located.
This summer, I toured the old stomping grounds of the Bucs with my good friend Erin, who happens to be a Pitt student. I don’t hate her too much.
She loves the Pirates just as much as I do and we share memories that I have never before been able to extend to others. They just wouldn’t appreciate it.
She showed me the wall and other historic artifacts.
Forbes Field wall
Plaque commemorating that spot at which Mazeroski’s homerun cleared the wall.
Forbes Field home plate in its exact location, well almost. It is in the hallway of a Pitt campus building, moved there from just three feet away. If it was in its rightful spot it would be in the women’s restroom. A tourist spot to some maybe? But, the plate deserves to be seen by all
One of the most famous Pittsburgh photos this captures the celebratory moment when Maz was rounding the bases. Shot from the roof of Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning it provided a stunning view of the field and still today, downtown Pittsburgh.
Walking through the WVU student unio I sat down to eat lunch in front of the TV that shows ESPN. Bob Ley of Outside the Lines interviewed a Yankees historian, Steve Blass and Tim Kurkjian regarding the legacy Mazeroski possessed. Highlights of the game were shown and Mazeroski himself spoke.
The guy sitting next to me eventually moved as I was tearing up.
I wasn’t the only one.
Thousands of fan convene on that spot this day every year to relieve the precious memories Mazeroski left behind for us. They play the radio broadcast of Game 7 and embrace each other with thoughts of yesteryear.
Game 7 drew national a couple weeks ago as the tape was found in who else, but Bing Crosby’s wince cellar. Who woulda thunk it?
This was a game that will forever be etched in the minds of baseball fans everywhere.
It is all thanks to the best man in all of sports, Bill Mazeroski.
In a somewhat sarcastic way I proclaimed on October 5th that the Reds would not get a hit throughthe NLDS against the Philies.
There was not a better way to script the opening day of the postseason than the first playoff no hitter since Don Larsen’s perfect game in 1962.
So close to a perfect game too. Unbelievable. And to do it twice in one year simply baffles me. Just imagine if Roy Halladay happened to be out of Toronto for more of his career. He could possibly be one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball history. He still has a lot of gas in the tank and judging by this season alone he has punched his ticket to Cooperstown. A first ballot hall of famer in my book.
One game that may hold him out could very well be May 18, 2010.
He lost to the Pirates.
Zach Duke went toe-to-toe with the Philadelphia ace in a 2-1 ballgame where both pitchers
went the complete game. It was one of the most precise games the Pirates put together in 2010 and the best contest of Duke’s wretched year.
As I type this the game in Minnesota is going swimmingly well for the Twins. Something to say that I am pleased to see. Francisco Liriano is pitching masterfully.
Pitching has been a common theme when discussing the highs of the 2010 MLB season. So far it looks like the playoffs are going to be no exception. Cliff Lee shut down the Rays this afternoon. Halladay had a freaking no hitter. Liriano is coasting right now.
Tomorrow presents a new day with two similiar teams pinned against each other. It is sure to be anothers pitchers duel as Tim Lincecum faces Derek Lowe.
When it comes to picking a team to root for in the postseason, it hasn’t been the easiest thing. Last year I chose the Dodgers because of my good blogging friends Emma and Cat were so very kind to me. This season is a bit trickier, but not really. I am sticking with the NL West theme and will be adorning the orange and black.
I’ve always liked the logo and color scheme. The city is one of a kind. The ballpark blew me away. Besides those intangibles the Giants also offer something special for the playoff run, one of my favorite players of all time.
His time in Pittsburgh was headlined by a batting title in 2006 but what may have been overshadowed was his hospitality. Sanchez is a class act and was always a fan favorite. His work ethic and gritty glove work is topped only by his consistent bat. He is finally overcoming injuries that have haunted his whole career and he is showing he belongs in an everday lineup, especially on a contending team.
Nobody deserves the honor of winning games in the post season than Freddy Sanchez.
photos: ap, yahoo.com
John Russell was hired before the 2007 season and 299 losses later he is left looking for work.
Pittsburgh could not be happier.
A head scratching move from the beginning Russell was never seen as a quality big league manager.
He was at one time a 3rd base coach for the Bucs but was let go when the previous coaching regime under Lloyd McClendon was cleared out.
He lingered around in the minors and actually won a minor league manager of teh year award with the Philie’s AAA club.
My question: How?
Russell was a lame duck at the helm providing very little support to his team. He never
showed an ounce of emotion and was never one to rally the troops. It’s not to say he didn’t have the talent to win, because he did not. Russell was handed a team in turmoil.
Part of me thinks that was the plan. 2007 was also the time when the framework was laid for the future. frank Coonelly and Neil Huntington started their time in the front office. Something tells me they did not think the first three years of their set in Pittsburgh were going to be very, well, good. Evident by the fire sale of veteran players and many losses. I think the pair wanted to hire a guy that could just oversee the on field operations until a new wave of younger players were reaching the big league level.
Next year a core is in place. Talented rookies Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez and Jose Tabata are cemented in the starting lineup alongside Andrew McCutchen. There are still plenty of holes but they have the ability to be filled with players with hefty major league experience.
Now, who will be the lucky candidates for the open managerial position. Many names have been floating around for years now but here is my top five.
1. Andy Van Slyke
The former Bucco’s jersey can still be seen littered around PNC Park. He has always been a fan favorite since he left the team in the early 1990’s. He was a hitting and first base coach for the Tigers for three years and since being retired from the game Van Slyke has continued to showcase his baseball knowledge. He is the author of several books centered around baseball. After running into him at a Pirates game this summer it is evident the he still has an itch to return to the field. Nothing would be a better public relations move than to bring back a favorite son as the fearless leader.
2. Bobby Valentine
3. Larry Bowa
A brash contrast to what the Pirates have been used to for the past three years, Bowa will provide that much needed fire. Ousted as first base coach in Los Angeles when Joe Torre retired he will be looking for work. Giving his age it is more than likely time for Bowa to hang up the cleats permanently and return to a spot in the broadcast booth. But, there is no doubt he will not accept losing.
4. Ken Macha
There has never been a champagne shower in PNC Park, nor do i think it has ever been popped in the facility. A Pittsburgh native and former Pirate, Macha knows the area. The kicker is he has experience leading young, small market teams to success. Oakland and Milwaukee have both reached the postseason under his watch.
5. Tony Pena
It is hard to tell how much of that is wishful thinking. I’d be happy with those five and I know it would send a need message to fans that the front office is serious about moving forward. John Russell was no doubt a cheap option, those five coaches are not. In order to win the checkbooks have to be opened and some precious cash must be ponied up.
Even though it has just been a day since the announced firing of Russell the biggest name out there for the shot at becoming manager is former Indians manager Eric Wedge. Gm Huntington has experience with Wedge and he is notorious for being a homer with his former Cleveland colleagues. It is not my dream pick, but he has reached the postseason. Talking with my Tribe fan friends they say for the sake of the Bucs, that should not happen. They would feel sorry for me if Wedge was named manager.
Quite frankly, I’d be sorry too.
From the 2010 season.
Andy LaRoche popped out in the top of the 9th to conclude one of the worst seasons in the Bucs storied 124 year history.
It’s hard to say there was much promise to be held in 2010, but no one expected it to be this bad.
General Manager Neil Huntington told Jennifer Langosch that “We are moving forward. And 2010 will be a much better year,” back in January.
In fact it was a gargantuan step back, six more losses than in 2009. I can’t help but feel cheated and lied to, but as sad as it is, I’m used to it.
There were dissapointments.
Aki Iwamura was expected to be a solid advancement as an everyday second baseman. That was an experiment gone wrong as Iwamura failed to sniff the Mendoza Line forcing a demotion to AAA eventually leading to an outright release.
The pitching was horrible, to say the least.
Losing 84 games the starting pitchers failed to put the team in a position to win a game. But its not like the offense was much better either.
Garret Jones led the team with 21 homers and 86 RBI, still very much lacking in the power department. The BUcs scored 587 runs and had a .242 batting average and .304 on-base percentage, 2nd lowest in the majors across those catergories.
Fingers can be pointed in many directions but I say it starts at the top.
John Russell is a disgrace as a manger. Tabulating a 186-299 record over three seasons he honest to goodness ranks in the top-ten worst managers of all time. Statistical evidence was provided by sports writer Joe Starkey. The face you see on the right side is indicative to his mood throughout the year. He is stone cold and provides little if any backbone to an already defalted team.
Rumors have circulated throughout the weekend that this is the end of Russell’s tenure in Pittsburgh.
The sooner the better.
Now Russell has not had much to work with in his three years as manager including a lineup that was never set in stone. Also with an influx of youngsters and an always changing roster it was hard to find stability. Actually, it wasn’t. Under Russell’s watch the only stability founded was in the L column.
There were so many negatives in 2010 but believe it or not there were positives.
Here are teh top three.
1. The calvary.
Established by post game show host Rocco DeMaro, the calvary describes the young Pirates that made their way into the big league lineup in 2010. The core includes Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker and Jose Tabata. This trio really has been something to give Pirate fans some sort of hope. All three are crowd favorites and for right reasons.
Alvarez has had a series of ups and downs. He has a potent bat, but also a high strikeout tendency. He did smack 16 homers but the real kicker is his astronomical OPS. He has a strong glove and striking arm. Fellas, he’s just 23.
Walker and Tabata are carbon copies of each other. Each with speed and a strong bat they have staying power. Flirting with a .300 batting average throughout the course of their half-a-big league season the kids have a knack for getting on base. Walker is easily the new “Jack Wilson” of the team. Clubhouse leader and good guy. He is actually from Pittsburgh making the hometown hero legend a reality.
2. James McDonald
Consider the fact that no Pirate starter had double digit wins but McDonald provided a little spark, even with his 4-6 record. McDonald went deep into games and actually put the offense in charge of coming through with something. He really was in charge and control of the mound. Barring an offseason addition to the rotation McDonald really does have ace potential.
3. The Fans