When the Cincinnatti Reds come into your city and smack you around in the first two games of the series, it's easy to see them doing the same in the 3rd game. Didn't happen, however, and our scrappy but undertalented Giants gave out a whoopin' of their own last night, taking it 7-2 over the Reds last night.
Let's talk about it, shall we?
- Kevin Correia wasn't great, but he got the job done. He reminds me of Brett Tomko a bit at the moment, in that he hasn't got a lot of strikeouts despite having pretty good stuff. His current k rate is pretty poor at 3.6 per nine innings, but his career average is over six per nine, so I'm sure he'll bring that up. He's got to cut down on the walks, too.
- LaTroy Hawkins, despite giving up a very loud double, was looking quite filthy. As there probably isn't much chance that he'll be going anywhere, I hope he stays that nasty. The Giants bullpen was very good last night, and I'm starting to think that this current group is a solid one. Scott Munter is starting to simply be a money guy. Comes in, gets ground ball outs, leaves, all without saying a word. Laconic is the perfect adjective for him.
- Alex Sanchez went 2 for 5 at the plate, and still sucked. A bad strikeout with a man on 3rd with only one out, and getting nailed trying to steal 2nd after getting a leadoff single. With the Giants out of it, there isn't any reason on Earth for this guy to get starts ahead of Todd Linden, but then that's probably why Brian Sabean got the guy -- he was anticipating needing another oufielder after he inevitably sent Linden back down. The team isn't going anywhere, Sabes, give the guy more than 17 games to see if he can cut it. You let Neifi suck for over 300 at-bats last year, after all.
- Lance Niekro still slugging away -- at a .571 SLG percentage, he's taking full advantage of his at-bats vs. lefties. Versus lefties, Niekro is well-nigh Barry Bonds....if you don't believe me, check out the .879 SLG vs. lefties. Lefty-killer, indeed.
- Mike Matheny continues his ridiculous hitting with RISP, running a line of .362/.443/.638 with runners on 2nd and/or 3rd base. With all the talk of him by bloggers and Mike Krukow, among others, did you know that Michael Tucker has been just as good? Tucker's got a line of .341/.446/.659, and they've had about the same numbers of chances, with Matheny having 54 plate appearances with RISP and Tucker having 52.
Hopefully the boys in orange & black can salvage a series split tomorrow. Tomko's going to toe the rubber again in the starting role, after his brief exile to the bullpen. He'll either throw a complete game 5-hitter or he'll give up five runs in the first four innings. Unless he does something completely different, of course. Mark it down, you heard it here first.
sidenote: My agony of defeat in Hold 'Em continues, as I managed to just fall short of qualifying for the final tournament leading to the UltimateBet.net weekly poker show on FOX. No bad beats, really. I was at the 2nd to the last table with only 6K chips, and turned it into 50K. Two hands broke me -- both were because of a combination of bad reads and lack of cahones.
After getting the 50K I was fine, I could've tried to coast, but I ended up trapped in a hand where I had an ace and the flop was king/queen/jack. The other guy in the hand kept betting minimum, and I called him all the way to the river looking for an ace or a 10 (figuring he had mid or bottom board pair), not realizing his bets were just feeler bets and he was weak. Sure enough, after he checked the river, I checked right back -- he had pocket 4's and took the pot. I should've recognized the feeler bets and came over the top big, and he would've folded. I lost about 8K on that hand.
The 2nd hand was one where I had ace/jack suited, and raised. Getting two calls, I flop top board pair. As there was two clubs on the board and I was suited diamonds, I kept my bets small to avoid losing too much. I got calls all the way to the river on my minimum bets, which was a sure sign that they were chasing a hand. After the river didn't change anything for me, I again bet minimum and had a guy with about the same amount of chips come over the top and go all-in. The other guy in the hand folded, and I had a decision.
After thinking for a bit, I decided he had an ace and hit two pair along the way somewhere, and I reluctantly folded. Turns out he was bluffing, and was chasing a straight. That hand left me with only about 23K, and the blinds soon raised to 1500/3000, forcing me to go all-in a few hands later with king/5 suited. I got called by a guy with big slick and lost.
Sigh. At least I didn't lose by a bad beat this time.