NLCS Giants Vs Cardinals Game Thread

Who do you want to win?

  • STL

    Votes: 8 6.6%
  • SF

    Votes: 79 65.3%
  • meteor

    Votes: 34 28.1%

  • Total voters
    121

JimD

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Nov 29, 2001
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Couldn't be happier with this outcome.  The Giants seem like a fun team and Bochy is a great manager.  Plus, I'm just so sick of the Cardinals and the national media's love affair with them and their 'best fans in baseball' narrative.  Thanks for knocking the Dodgers out of the postseason, guys, but please go away now.  Oh, and I'll root for Jake Peavy any day over John Lackey.
 
The Neyer column linked above was spot on - Matheny managed that inning as poorly as it could be managed.  When Wacha went to 2-0 on Ishikawa, the Fox announcers were questioning whether he should take the next pitch.  I turned to my son and said that Wacha was almost certainly going to groove one here, Ishikawa wasn't going to let it go past and it's going to be game over.  It was completely obvious and Matheny and his staff letting it happen is borderline negligence - if that had happened to the Red Sox, I'd never trust that manager again.
 

MakMan44

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Aug 22, 2009
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Average Reds said:
 
I think that's a weak argument, but even if he didn't want Rosenthal out there, he had other options.
 
Wacha was the emergency reliever, which means his role was limited. In essence, he was their version of Curtis Leskanic in 2004.  Unfortunately, he was used like he was Mike Timlin and it cost the Cardinals.
Exactly. I understand that a lot of his LHP had let him down in the series, but he left two of them in the pen with Wacha up to face 3 straight LHH. It was insane. Awful, awful managing. 
 

MakMan44

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Also, congrats to all the Giants fans. Heck of a series, even if Matheny threw away the last game. 
 

InsideTheParker

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MakMan44 said:
Also, congrats to all the Giants fans. Heck of a series, even if Matheny threw away the last game. 
Ditto congrats. But more than one of the Giants' wins were the result of bad play by either the Cardinals or their manager. The spiffy defense of the Royals as well as the great bullpen pitching gives them an advantage, it seems to me.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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InsideTheParker said:
Ditto congrats. But more than one of the Giants' wins were the result of bad play by either the Cardinals or their manager. The spiffy defense of the Royals as well as the great bullpen pitching gives them an advantage, it seems to me.
You still have to put yourself in position to take advantage. The Sox have won their share of WS games with help from the blunders of Pete Kozma, Kolten Wong, Jeff Suppan and so on. Just last year the Red Sox handed StL two wins. These things happen.
 

Al Zarilla

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gaelgirl said:
I haven't read the thread yet (sorry, been busy celebrating the BEST TEAM IN THE NATIONAL LEAGUE!!!), but I have some thoughts.
 
It seems impossible that the Giants are here. It seems like they've played five different seasons just in 2014. They started off as the best team in baseball. They could do no wrong. They hit, they fielded, they pitched. It was remarkable and amazing and there looked to be no reason why it couldn't continue for months. There were almost no weak spots, there were no easy outs. Brandon Hicks was getting big hits, Brandon Crawford was killing pitchers, Brandon Belt was hitting home runs in literally every park they visited. They were as good a team as anyone could see. Then there were some mistakes. Romo had a rough outing against Colorodo and blew a save... then another, then another. Brandon Belt got hit by a pitch and broke his thumb. Cain struggled, then had season-ending surgery. Hicks stopped hitting anything, and the brief return of Marco Scutaro lasted only long enough to accidentally give Belt a concussion that lasted for six weeks. Pagan was ailing, then gone entirely. Morse, too. Lincecum threw his second no-hitter, then devolved into disaster. The once-unbeatable Giants, the best team in baseball, went into a months-long free fall. They were as bad a team as anybody could see. Dan Uggla made it onto the roster, played four games, made two errors and didn't get a single hit before asking for his release. But somehow, improbably, they pulled it together. They got Peavy and Panik. But more than anything else, they play with heart. 
 
Here is what the Giants bring: each other. Immediately after the game, the Giants sideline reporter interviewed Jeremy Affeldt. She asked him his thoughts on the game, on his performance, on making those critical pitches that kept the game tied and let the Giants win in dramatic fashion just a few minutes later. And after a moment of stammering about how he can't even identify his thoughts, he said this: "That home run can't happen to a better individual, man. That ball right there, to be able to hit that after I know that he was kicking himself, to have that moment of redemption, he deserved that. ... That Ishikawa, man. That's a book. That's a movie." His first thoughts were about his happiness for another. Not that he got to go to the World Series again himself, but how happy he was that his teammate came through when it mattered most. 
 
Crawford, too, said much the same thing: "I don't want to sound like a proud dad, but, we're all just so proud of what he's done." The same Crawford who prepared for Affelt's nail-biting relief appearance by stealing Belt's glove like the were just playing around in practice. Biggest defensive moment? Eh, 
Belt, after describing how he "almost passed out about five times" during the game because of the intensity, said: "I'm just so happy for these guys, I'm just so happy for Ishikawa." It's almost as if he wasn't himself a critical member of this the team. He's not happy for "us," he's happy for "these guys." It just illustrates their mindset. 
 
Ryan Vogelsong said a few days back that he was pitching to get Tim Hudson into the World Series, and tonight he appeared to get choked up describing how he felt watching Ishikawa batting, hoping that he, of all people, could have this heroic moment. Hunter Pence, of course, has consistently preached playing for their teammates, not for themselves. Tim Hudson said he couldn't be happier for Madison Bumgarner. 
 
I love MadBum. He is incredible. He was spectacular in Game One and great tonight. But I personally think the true NLCS MVP was Travis Ishikawa. He had, what, eight RBI? Two of the biggest hits in the series? He made some great plays out there in left, despite today's miscue. As much as the Giants wouldn't have gotten to the World Series without Bumgarner, I don't think they make it without Ishikawa either. Incredible. 
 
By the way, Barry Bonds gave Morse some pre-game hitting instruction. He happened to see Morse in the hallway, told him to keep his foot down because he can't generate power if his foot isn't down early. Afterward, Morse worked on it in the batting cage. He said he got his foot down early when he hit the home run. If the Giants win the World Series--and this looks like it will be a difficult and hard-fought series--Barry Bonds will earn himself a ring. He is, after all, a Giants special instructor. 
 
Good night, everyone. Giants are National League Champions and I couldn't be happier. 
I watched a lot of the postgame, of course all Amy Guttierez interviews on Comcast. Can't stand her sometimes (still says Bumgardner), but they all seem to like her. You captured it all, esp. the Affeldt, Crawford and Vogelsong comments.
 
Hunter Pence is funny with his speeches. Some call him the preacher, but one of them, forget if after the Pirates game or the LDS, he dropped about three F bombs before they took the mikes away. Obviously live.The next one (OK the F bombs must have been after the Pirates game) he was all clean and preacher like again. Bochy called Pence "the lowest maintenance" player he's ever had. Never complains or asks for a day off. Great guy to have. 
 

nattysez

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JimD said:
Couldn't be happier with this outcome.  The Giants seem like a fun team and Bochy is a great manager.  Plus, I'm just so sick of the Cardinals and the national media's love affair with them and their 'best fans in baseball' narrative.  Thanks for knocking the Dodgers out of the postseason, guys, but please go away now.  Oh, and I'll root for Jake Peavy any day over John Lackey.
 
 
 
I think Bochy did a good job, but I'd love to hear his thinking behind two decisions:
 
(1)  Last night, he brought in Casilla to pitch the 9th -- this was this third consecutive day pitching.  Peralta grounded out, Adams walked, and Grichuk hit a hard single.  Bochy left Casilla in to face Wong, one of the Cards' hottest hitters and got away with it only because Panda made an incredible play to deflect a ball to the 5.5 hole that Crawford then managed to field and throw to second.  One inch further from Panda and the run scores and everyone's asking why Casilla was left in after allowing a hit and a walk.
 
(2)  In Game 3, having Hudson start the 7th was bad enough, but then he left him in after he gave up a very loud out to AJP.  He should've been on a one-baserunner leash.  Instead, he left Hudson in and he gave up the game-tying HR.
 
Those seem like pretty easily-questioned calls.  Playoff Tito would have yanked both guys, I think.  
 

Max Power

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nattysez said:
 
 
Those seem like pretty easily-questioned calls.  Playoff Tito would have yanked both guys, I think.  
 
This box score disagrees.
 
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS200910110.shtml
 
It's easy to pull underperforming middle relievers when you have a closer who doesn't give up any runs, like Foulke and Papelbon in his first 23 postseason innings. But when your shutdown guy can't get the job done, it's hard to go with someone else.
 

Remagellan

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Hee Sox Choi said:
Rosenthal looked bad most of the series.  I wouldn't have wanted him out there if I was Matheny. 
 
I agree with this.  I think if Matheny made any mistake it was pulling Wainwright an inning too early, as I would have tried to ride him as long as he could go and use Neshek to close if necessary.  But given Neshek surrendered the lead, maybe there were no good options. 
 
Assuming Wainwright was tanked after the seventh, the other option I would have considered would have been using Lackey last night for an inning as Farrell did last year in Game 4.  Because going into last night's game, there wasn't a single guy coming out of that pen I would have been comfortable handing the ball to if I were Matheny, least of all Rosenthal, who had been shaky all playoffs.  
 
I can't torch him much for rolling the dice with Wacha because all their games had been tight, so it's not as if he's had a chance to insert Wacha into a game earlier in the series to see what he had to offer.  
 
His biggest mistake might have been in putting Wacha on the roster instead of Sam Freeman, a lefty reliever who had pitched well down the stretch for them.  
 
Freeman would have given Matheny another lefty reliever, one who was more reliable than Choate in September and might have proved effective against all the lefties on the Giants and Sandoval, who is better against righties.  
 
Because if Matheny wasn't comfortable starting Wacha, then Wacha really didn't have a role in that series except the one that found him: goat.  
 

gaelgirl

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Feb 25, 2004
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Al Zarilla said:
I watched a lot of the postgame, of course all Amy Guttierez interviews on Comcast. Can't stand her sometimes (still says Bumgardner), but they all seem to like her. You captured it all, esp. the Affeldt, Crawford and Vogelsong comments.
 
Hunter Pence is funny with his speeches. Some call him the preacher, but one of them, forget if after the Pirates game or the LDS, he dropped about three F bombs before they took the mikes away. Obviously live.The next one (OK the F bombs must have been after the Pirates game) he was all clean and preacher like again. Bochy called Pence "the lowest maintenance" player he's ever had. Never complains or asks for a day off. Great guy to have. 
 
It was after they clinched their Wildcard spot. By all accounts, Pence was deeply embarrassed, as he had no idea the media were live to broadcast in that moment. After the last game of the season, he joked about it as he grabbed the mic to speak to the fans on Fan Appreciation Day. "Is this live," he asked, laughing. Last night someone cursed during the speech (him? I can't remember), then there were jokes and laughing about "ooh, language!!" I think Hunter Pence loves this team and this city more than anybody else ever has or will. 
 

singaporesoxfan

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gaelgirl said:
 
It was after they clinched their Wildcard spot. By all accounts, Pence was deeply embarrassed, as he had no idea the media were live to broadcast in that moment. After the last game of the season, he joked about it as he grabbed the mic to speak to the fans on Fan Appreciation Day. "Is this live," he asked, laughing. Last night someone cursed during the speech (him? I can't remember), then there were jokes and laughing about "ooh, language!!" I think Hunter Pence loves this team and this city more than anybody else ever has or will. 
 
That whole thing with Pence and his stolen electric scooter seemed tailor made for SF.
 

gaelgirl

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nattysez said:
 
I think Bochy did a good job, but I'd love to hear his thinking behind two decisions:
 
(1)  Last night, he brought in Casilla to pitch the 9th -- this was this third consecutive day pitching.  Peralta grounded out, Adams walked, and Grichuk hit a hard single.  Bochy left Casilla in to face Wong, one of the Cards' hottest hitters and got away with it only because Panda made an incredible play to deflect a ball to the 5.5 hole that Crawford then managed to field and throw to second.  One inch further from Panda and the run scores and everyone's asking why Casilla was left in after allowing a hit and a walk.
 
(2)  In Game 3, having Hudson start the 7th was bad enough, but then he left him in after he gave up a very loud out to AJP.  He should've been on a one-baserunner leash.  Instead, he left Hudson in and he gave up the game-tying HR.
 
Those seem like pretty easily-questioned calls.  Playoff Tito would have yanked both guys, I think.  
 
I don't think casual Giants watchers understand just how incredible Casilla has been for the Giants, or as durable. I also don't think casual observers fully understand how Bochy works and why he's such an effective manager. Pablo Sandoval said it last night, he just gives every single person on that roster a chance. You saw that with his trust in Strickland earlier in the series, for example. He sticks by players perhaps longer than other managers, and for the most part, it works out. 
 
1. Casilla only threw nine pitches in Game 3, an easy 1-2-3 inning. Game 4 was a bit more difficult, but he didn't get into too much trouble. This was an all-hands-o9Bochy trusts his guys to do their jobs, and he trusted Casilla to do the job that he'd been doing spectacularly well for the latter part of the season. The Giants have succeeded this season in large part because their defense has been spectacular, particularly on the infield. It was a spectacular play on the ball hit by Wong, I agree. It was courting disaster. But Casilla is a ground ball pitcher, and the questioning goes either way. If it's one inch away from Panda, you say it's a run-scoring single. If it's one inch closer to Panda it's an inning-ending double play. If it's five inches away from Panda, it's in Crawford's glove. Casilla can gut through innings of work, he's been one of the best Giants relievers for years despite bouncing into different situations and roles. I have zero problem with Bochy trusting him with the game on the line with two men on and one out. If Wong had gotten that seeing-eye grounder base hit, I am not sure everyone would be questioning the move to leave him in as much as celebrating Wong. 
 
Frankly, I think the bigger debatable move in that inning was going from Casilla to Affeldt, who was a workhorse in this series. He ended up pitching 4.2 innings, which was more than Jake Peavy, Ryan Vogelsong or Yusmeiro Petit. He admitted after the game that he was tired, but Affeldt is ALWAYS going to offer to take the ball. It's a very bold move of a manager to go to a tired pitcher with the bases loaded in the ninth inning of a tie ballgame, especially as there was a less-tired option, Lopez, still available. But, again, Bochy trusted Affeldt to do the job he'd being doing all season and all post-season. He got the job done, and quickly. 
 
2. I do think he left Hudson in a little too long. This goes more to his trust in his players, particularly veterans. Bochy is almost always going to err on the side of a bit too long than not giving a player a chance. It can be frustrating, but it can also be rewarding. Players certainly respond to his style, as we've seen. 
 

nattysez

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gaelgirl said:
 
I don't think casual Giants watchers understand just how incredible Casilla has been for the Giants, or as durable. I also don't think casual observers fully understand how Bochy works and why he's such an effective manager. Pablo Sandoval said it last night, he just gives every single person on that roster a chance. You saw that with his trust in Strickland earlier in the series, for example. He sticks by players perhaps longer than other managers, and for the most part, it works out. 
 
1. Casilla only threw nine pitches in Game 3, an easy 1-2-3 inning. Game 4 was a bit more difficult, but he didn't get into too much trouble. This was an all-hands-o9Bochy trusts his guys to do their jobs, and he trusted Casilla to do the job that he'd been doing spectacularly well for the latter part of the season. The Giants have succeeded this season in large part because their defense has been spectacular, particularly on the infield. It was a spectacular play on the ball hit by Wong, I agree. It was courting disaster. But Casilla is a ground ball pitcher, and the questioning goes either way. If it's one inch away from Panda, you say it's a run-scoring single. If it's one inch closer to Panda it's an inning-ending double play. If it's five inches away from Panda, it's in Crawford's glove. Casilla can gut through innings of work, he's been one of the best Giants relievers for years despite bouncing into different situations and roles. I have zero problem with Bochy trusting him with the game on the line with two men on and one out. If Wong had gotten that seeing-eye grounder base hit, I am not sure everyone would be questioning the move to leave him in as much as celebrating Wong. 
 
Frankly, I think the bigger debatable move in that inning was going from Casilla to Affeldt, who was a workhorse in this series. He ended up pitching 4.2 innings, which was more than Jake Peavy, Ryan Vogelsong or Yusmeiro Petit. He admitted after the game that he was tired, but Affeldt is ALWAYS going to offer to take the ball. It's a very bold move of a manager to go to a tired pitcher with the bases loaded in the ninth inning of a tie ballgame, especially as there was a less-tired option, Lopez, still available. But, again, Bochy trusted Affeldt to do the job he'd being doing all season and all post-season. He got the job done, and quickly. 
 
2. I do think he left Hudson in a little too long. This goes more to his trust in his players, particularly veterans. Bochy is almost always going to err on the side of a bit too long than not giving a player a chance. It can be frustrating, but it can also be rewarding. Players certainly respond to his style, as we've seen. 
 
First, I'll bet you $10 I've watched or listened to just as many Giants games this year as you, so spare me the condescending "casual watcher" stuff.
 
Second, every single assessment of Bochy in the post-season, along with simple observation of the post-season games, suggests that your assertion that " He sticks by players perhaps longer than other managers, and for the most part, it works out." is untrue when applied to the playoffs.  In fact, most of the praise of Bochy in this playoffs has been that he does NOT stick with pitchers too long (e.g., Vogelsong and Petit in Game 4, Peavy in Game 2, Bumgarner in Game 1, Vogelsong v. the Nats, etc.).  What you wrote is 100% true of Bochy during the regular season, which is why players respect him.  But what you said is untrue in the post-season.
 
Third, I don't see how anyone could call Affeldt over Lopez the wrong move.  Lopez has been very erratic this year and Oscar Tavares is a good hitter.  If you need to get one lefty out, Affeldt is the guy to bring in (this year). 
 
Finally, once I started thinking about this more, I think I see his thinking with Casilla.  The Cards had L/R/R coming up in Wong/Cruz/Bourjos.  If he pulls Casilla for Affeldt or Lopez to face Wong and they get the out, then he's going to either need to have that lefty face Cruz (who'd already homered) or bring in Strickland, at which point the Cards would counter with Tavares.  And if I can choose between Casilla pitching Wong carefully and then facing Cruz, or Affeldt v. Wong and then Strickland v. Tavares, I'd leave in Casilla.  They threw a low and away pitch to Wong and got the grounder they wanted -- it was just hit in a really bad spot until Panda intervened.