Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Giants Series

This winter I decided to sign up for a triathlon that will take place in mid-August. I had knee surgery last summer so my idea was that this triathlon would be my triumphant return (to finishing in the bottom 25% of my age bracket.) Having something like this on my calendar is usually the best way to keep me on track. Without a goal, I flounder.

That is why when I started my blog last season over Memorial Day weekend, I made the simple rule that I had to write something about every game, and whatever I wrote had to be posted before the next game began. And when things got busy or I didn’t know what to say, I just remembered that it didn’t have to be brilliant or enlightening, it just had to be something—even a sentence or two would work. It was the same with my training; even if I just got in the pool and swam a few laps or even if I rode the stationary bike for 20 minutes, it would be good enough.
Of course, I find myself slacking on both fronts. Some days I can’t think of anything interesting to write. Some days I don’t want to work out. It seems like it used to be a lot easier. I used to be able to go out and run five miles without much effort. I used to write really brilliant comparisons of how baseball games were like Smirnoff Wild Grape or Mariah Carey falling on her ass. I used to see someone at the grocery store and it would end up being just like that night’s game.

Frustrated by my lack of effort/creativity, I decided to at least tackle the triathlon training over the Memorial Day weekend. On Saturday, I went for a 13-mile bike ride and worked in the garden. (I’m always surprised by what a good hamstring workout gardening is.) On Sunday, I did the P90X legs (think lots and lots of squats and lunges) and back workout with ab ripper X. I then jogged “around the block” (one mile) to stretch out my legs and then I walked around the Mall of America for an hour or so. You know you’re going to be in trouble when laying down hurts. Sleeping was painful. I could hardly walk on Monday so I sat on the couch and watched 11 episodes of Friday Night Lights because it hurt too much to do anything else. And then I watched the Brewers-Reds game.
Today is blogger boot camp (because, apparently, I was too sore to write anything). Hopefully it won’t take 11 more episodes of Friday Night Lights to recover from this exercise.

Brewers take 2 of 3 from Giants

1.       Funny how things work out sometimes. Buster Posey’s season came to an abrupt end last Wednesday when a home plate collision resulted in a broken bone and torn ligaments in his leg/ankle. Along with Posey, San Francisco placed Mike Fontenot and Darren Ford on the DL and called up Chris Stewart, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt for the Milwaukee series. Crawford collected his first big league hit in the game—a grand slam—that ended up being the difference in the game.

Milwaukee did have a chance to tie the game in the eighth inning, but Posey’s back up, Eli Whiteside, held onto the ball in a play-at-the-plate as Prince Fielder tried to score. It was pretty risky sending Fielder and the throw arrived at home plate with Fielder only two-thirds of the way down the line. Seeing Prince running home at top speed has to be one of the scarier things a catcher can experience. I’m glad that the play was clean and that Whiteside didn’t get hurt. I do wish, however, that Prince would have been safe.  Giants 5, Brewers 4. Game played 5-27-11

2.       Finding new and exciting ways to score. Carlos Gomez hit a ground ball down the right field line in the first inning of Saturday’s game that turned into an inside-the-park home run when Cody Ross missed the ball and it went into the corner. Sometimes I wonder how my life might be different if I were as fast as Carlos Gomez.

Milwaukee led 2-0 for most of the game but the Giants tied the score in the top of the eighth. Braun and Fielder singled to start the ninth. McGehee moved them over with a ground out. Yuniesky Betancourt was intentionally walked (!) to load the bases with one out. Jonathan Lucroy batted for Wil Nieves and took the first pitch for a ball. The next pitched was bunted at the pitcher Mota. His only chance was to catch it with his glove and shovel it home in one motion. Mota whiffed and Braun was safe. Game over. I celebrated with a piece of chocolate cake. I think chocolate cake is the best thing ever. Ryan Braun is only slightly behind chocolate cake on my list of best things ever. Brewers 3, Giants 2. Game played 5-28-11

3.       Less close is good, too.  Milwaukee led Sunday’s game from start to finish and Yovani Gallardo gave up just four hits and one walk over eight innings in a 6-0 shutout of the Giants. The win upped Milwaukee’s home record to 21-7. I have no idea why Milwaukee has been so good at home and so bad on the road. Much has been written about it; theories abound. Now would be the time to solve that riddle. Brewers 6, Giants 0. Game played 5-29-11  

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