Same old story, am I right? National media gives the Giants none chance of taking down the Nationals, the best team in the NL. Giants find a way with gutsy pitching, surviving an 18-inning thriller in the process. Just as they lost game 3 on Madison Bumgarner’s errant throw to 3B on the bunt play, they won the clincher last night on a wild pitch.
Look, we all know great pitching wins postseason games, and Peavy, Hudson and Vogey were absolute beasts in this series. But I would say playing mistake-free ball (and out-managing your opponent) might be right up at the top of the priority list this time of year. Bochy had a questionable call last night with Strickland pitching to Bryce Harper, but for the series he completely put Matt Williams to bed. These are not new storylines folks. The Giants have done this before. But for some crazy reason, people always count them out.
They score 9 runs in 4 games (really 5 games), and still knock off the #1 seed in the league. 25-10 in postseason games dating back to 2010. Yep, the Giants know how to win this time of year.
And so it goes, for the 3rd time in 5 years, the orange and black are playing for a shot at the Fall Classic, while the Dodgers go back to the drawing board once again. Does it get any better than this?!
What to do while we wait for the NLCS to begin in St. Louis this Saturday night? Can I take you up on some minor league news? The AFL kicked off last night for the Giants affiliate (Scottsdale), and yesterday morning I previewed the prospects the organization sent to Arizona. The Scorpions won their opener against Salt River, and to be honest I could care less about the score. My concern is focused on the individual players. Blake Miller and Steven Okert saw the only action among Giants farmhands, Miller starting at 2B and batting 1-4 (with 2 K) out of the 9 spot. Okert pitched a clean 8th inning, striking out 1 and not allowing a run.
As of this moment, the Scorpions are tied with Mark Appel and (#1 prospect in MLB) Byron Buxton’s Salt River club. Kelby Tomlinson is batting 7th and playing 3B (a new position for him). He’s 0-2 with an RBI tonight. I’d look for Tomlinson to play all over the infield.
I expect Clayton Blackburn to start the 3rd game for Scottsdale (tomorrow afternoon), but I haven’t seen any probable pitching reports. The early development for me is the lack of action for Daniel Carbonell. I had just assumed he would be the starting CF, but that position seems to belong (at least for the moment) to Phillies prospect Roman Quinn, a 2011 prep draftee whose career stats don’t jump out at me. Carbonell will get his chances, and I’m sure there are politics that go into AFL playing time just like every other athletic league in this world, but I would really like to see the Giants Cuban signee win that position battle at some point this month. In the meantime, I’ll keep you updated!
In other prospect news, MiLB.com released its Giants organizational “All-Stars” for 2014 today. This is not a list of the best prospects in the system, but more the ones who had the best statistical performances among their positions. The writer who put together the Giants list, Ash Marshall, added in some comments from Assistant VP Bobby Evans on each player. You can find the entire list HERE.
Adam Duvall made it, as did Gary Brown, Matt Duffy, Chris Dominguez and Chris Heston. Those guys have all graduated from their prospect status at this point for me. The two names that jumped out at me were: Tyler Horan, who had a very big year at the plate, and has a chance to move quickly if he can produce next spring, and Miguel Gomez, a switch-hitting catcher who tore up the Dominican Rookie League in his 3rd attempt. To me, a 21 year-old in the DSL has very little chance… but Evans had some interesting comments about the kid. Maybe a name to watch for next year.
If you’ve made it this far, I’ll end with an exciting update… exciting to me, at least. Over the past year and a half, I have learned both how difficult and rewarding it can be to run a quality blog. As I’ve made clear in the past few months, there often just isn’t enough time in a day to get a post in. During that time, I’ve also been connected with some awesome, awesome Giants bloggers. And truly, I spend much more time these days reading their work than I do writing here.
So I asked myself a question: Is there a place where a devoted Giants fan can go to get both daily fan and media perspective? Sure, we all check in with our favorite blogs, as well as the beat writer and newspaper sites… but I truly can’t think of any site out there that I’d call a “one-stop-shop” for all things Giants news. CSN tries, but they run so much fluff that I hardly check in over there anymore.
So…. here’s my grand idea, folks. I’ve created a Facebook page (I think many more people are on Facebook than Twitter, and Facebook allows for more interaction in my opinion) where I hope to connect fans, from the casual Joe to the most loyal of followers, to non-stop Giants perspective. I’ve already linked NLDS reaction posts from some blogs and newspaper sites. I’m really excited about this, and with time (and your support) I hope it takes off into a full-fledged Giants community. I have no plans of shutting down Cove Chatter, and at some point I’ll even think about linking some of my own posts there… but for right now, I think this is something a little less time-consuming that I can put my efforts into. I truly hope you’ll give it a look and a “like.” If you’re interested in stopping by, here’s the link: Facebook.com/sfgblogs