Thursday, June 7, 2012

Throbbing Thursday

The title of this screed will make no sense unless the phrase, "102.3, Bethesda, Maryland," somehow resonates in your memory.

And so much for that. We were greeted with the following image when we visited the Giants' website this morning, and while it may not replace "The Riverdance" any time soon, we were rather, uh, taken with it:

Anybody wants to come up with a name for this thing, we'll see if we can start a new craze.

Meanwhile, Madison Bumgarner got a cheap win last night, thanks in part to a couple of timely hits by the dancin' fools up there, but mostly thanks to some truly appalling defense by the Padres. No less than four runs scored on a series of miscues, and while second baseman Logan Forsythe's two-run error in the sixth effectively decided the outcome, when was the last time you saw a team score runs on both a passed ball and a wild pitch?

All this allowed "Bum" to win his seventh game of the season. In twelve starts the young lefty has only one no-decision (contrast with teammate Ryan Vogelsong, who has four in ten starts), and if he continues on pace and starts 34 games, he'd win 21 of those. You usually need some cheap wins to get there, and Bumgarner, who had plenty of tough losses a year ago, was averaging a Game Score of 65 in his six wins prior to last night, so this was a good example of even-up, or "karma" if you're one of those who believe in same.

Yes, we said  "usually." In his 18-win season of 2008, Tim Lincecum did it the hard way: not one cheap win, lowest winning Game Score 52. The more we review that Cy Young season (remember, the team went 72-90), the more amazing it becomes. Great pitchers adjust when the league figures them out; perhaps this is the year we find out whether Lincecum is, truly, great. His last two starts offer a modest measure of hope.

And in the wacky world of baseball scoring decisions based on tradition that no one can explain without a bellyful of alcohol, we note that only two, not four, of the Giants' error-gifted runs last night were unearned. That's because runs scoring on wild pitches counts as earned. Sure, we understand the basic intent: the wild pitch is the pitcher's fault, and should hurt him where it counts-- right in the old, uh, ERA. And Clayton Richard's wild pitch was indeed his own doing. But we remember an afternoon during the last days of Candlestick when Shawn Estes pitched a gem of a game, leaving with two out and a runner on third. Robb Nen came in,  promptly wild-pitched the runner home, and Estes was charged with an earned run. If you can explain that one to us sober, well--  well, we'll give you a ride home.

(Credit to the San Francisco Giants website for the above image.)

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