Anyone who thought the Giants would clinch on Friday evening and take away all of the torture, well, they probably didn’t watch this team all season long. The Giants very fittingly took the NL West crown in game 162 in typical fashion:
Jonathan Sanchez* couldn’t go six (6) innings – like more or less usual – but didn’t give up the big hit or really much other than the typical handful of walks. He punched out five along the way and gave way to the pen. What’s more, after 34 starts, someone – Matt Latos, who better? – finally grooved one into Chez’ down and in softball sized – which was aptly pointed out by Krukow – whack me zone, which he stroked for a pivotal triple. Freddy Sanchez hit an up the middle, money two out knock to drive him in; Huff smacked the next pitch for an opposite field, run scoring double.
*It was hotly debated, by myself included, whether or not Jonathan Sanchez should be traded for a “bat.” Sabean opted against it; Sanchez pitched the Giants to the division title in the biggest game of his career and their season; Sanchez finished the 2010 season with the lowest ERA on the highly touted starting staff
After Bochy hooked ‘em, as he so often does, he went directly for the affectively wild Santiago Casilla. Casilla had a very usual, multiple inning outing and punched out two. Ramon Ramirez punched out his only batter; Lopez induced a weak popup from the only competent Friars hitter, Adrian Gonzalez, and Romo quickly dispatched the two batters he faced, including a punch out on that patented sweeping slide piece.
Buster Posey barely knocked out a semi top-spinned ball to left field for some comfort for his lights out closer, B-Wheezy – not that he needed it.
And finally, Wilson came out with his Keith Hernandez, Just for Men inspired playoff hockey beard to “Fear the Beard” chants and signs, two buttons down and jersey flapping; his shoes were orange and 51% sharpied black, and his ducktail Mohawk peaking just below his cap. He had that characteristic crazy gaze in his eyes, and between each pitch he widened his stance and stretched his back as he lowered his head to the dirt in Mike Mussina reminiscence. Wilson was like the eye of the storm in a sea of orange; he punched out Will Venable, conjuring up thoughts of 1997 and the late man whose save record he tied in that moment. It was perfect.
Notable Roster Transactions along the way
12/29 – Mark DeRosa signed
1/5 – Juan Uribe (smartly) signed
1/13 – Aubrey Huff (head-scratchingly, at the time) signed**
1/21 – Santiago Casilla signed
1/22 – Bengie Molina (mind bogglingly) signed
3/23 – Madison Bumgarner (shrewdly) optioned to AAA Fresno
4/2 – Buster Posey (regrettably) optioned to AAA Fresno
4/5 – Andres Torres makes opening day roster
4/15 – Fred Lewis traded to Jays
5/17 – Mark DeRosa (finally) optioned to 15-day DL
5/19 – Freddy Sanchez activated from 15-day DL
5/21 – Brandon Medders (mercifully) placed on 15-day DL
5/29 – Buster Posey (thank god-ly) recalled from AAA Fresno
6/4 – Pat Burrell – signed 5/29 – called up from AAA Fresno
6/11 – Todd Wellemeyer (at long last) placed on 15-day DL
6/26 – Madison Bumgarner recalled (just in time) from AAA Fresno
7/1 – Giants trade Bengie Molina (and pave the way for Posey)
7/31 – Giants acquire Javier Lopez and Ramon Ramirez via trade
8/13 – Giants acquire Jose Guillen via trade
8/23 – Giants claim Cody Ross off waivers
8/31 – Giants acquire Studded Red Thong by uncertain means***
**Huff daddy was supposed to be washed up, everyone seemed to agree. Well, he was not. Bravo, Sabean.
***Aubrey Huff wears the acquisition in the clubhouse and posits it will propel the Giants to go 20-10 the rest of the way, which remarkably comes to fruition.
Too much to list: Renteria played the DL hokie pokie throughout 2010
My predictions – and/or hope(s) – for the postseason roster
Rotation: Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez, Bumgarner
Lineup: Torres, Sanchez, Huff, Posey, Burrell, Uribe, Ross (this will be Guillen), Sandoval
Subs: Guillen (will be Ross), Schierholtz, Fontenot, Renteria, Ishikawa, Whiteside
Pen: Wilson, Romo, Casilla, Ramirez, Lopez, Runzler, Zito
Perhaps I will elaborate more later on roster decisions. For now, I will only mention that the fact that Atlanta has a lefty-centric middle of the lineup will lend to Bochy keeping more lefty relievers, and the existence of two lefties in the Braves' back end of the pen will be a consideration for bench bats.
Thursday is the day. Tim Lincecum versus Derek Lowe @ AT&T Park. The true roster decisions will be known soon enough – when the hangover subsides – and there’s still much work to do.