Friday, October 8, 2010

NLDS Game 2: Braves at Giants

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Tommy Hanson faces Matt Cain in Game 2 at AT&T Park.
Just how dominant was Tim Lincecum last night? Well, his 14 strikeouts were the third most in postseason history, surpassed only by Bob Gibson's 17 strikeouts in Game 1 of the 1968 World Series and Roger Clemens' 15 strikeouts in Game 4 of the 2000 ALCS. Pretty exclusive company.

But Lincecum's gem is now history and the Giants have to focus their attention on winning Game 2 tonight against the Braves. Matt Cain, a pretty good power right-hander in his own right, gets the nod for San Francisco against Tommy Hanson, also a pretty good young right-hander.

If the Braves can pull this one out, they'll have to like their chances going back to Turner Field, where they posted the majors' best home record. They'll also have ace Tim Hudson going in Game 3. So in a strange sort of way, the pressure's still on San Francisco tonight to win Game 2.

I'll post some thoughts along the way and, as always, am interested to know what you all think...

Where: AT&T Park
Gametime: 9:37 p.m.
TV: TBS Radio: WTEM-980 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 60 degrees
3B Omar Infante
RF Jason Heyward
1B Derrek Lee
C Brian McCann
LF Melky Cabrera
2B Brooks Conrad
SS Alex Gonzalez
CF Rick Ankiel
P Tommy Hanson

CF Andres Torres
2B Freddy Sanchez
1B Aubrey Huff
C Buster Posey
LF Pat Burrell
SS Juan Uribe
3B Pablo Sandoval
RF Cody Ross
P Matt Cain
10:01 p.m. -- Pat Burrell has put himself (and the Giants) one step closer to a date with his old team (the Phillies) in the NLCS. Absolutely crushed a Tommy Hanson pitch to left to put the Giants up 3-0 in the bottom of the first.

10:05 p.m. -- Another manager ejected! Bobby Cox gets the heave-ho from Paul Emmel after arguing Aubrey Huff pulled his foot off first base on Juan Uribe's throw from deep in the hole at shortstop. Looking at the replay, it was really close. Huff may not have had his foot on the base, but that wasn't a blatant missed call. In fact, if Emmel had called the batter safe, Bruce Bochy might have gotten himself ejected arguing it. Cox has got to know better than to get tossed on a call like that this early in the game.

10:29 p.m. -- So Bobby Cox has now been ejected 158 times in the regular season and three times in the postseason. That's 161 total ejections as a big-league manager, one shy of a full season. That's unbelievable.

11:00 p.m. -- I remember thinking this last year when I was in San Francisco watching Matt Cain pitch, and I'm thinking it again tonight: Jordan Zimmermann is a lot like this guy. Similar build, similar stuff. Obviously Cain is much more accomplished at this point -- witness his five scoreless innings so far in this game -- but if Zimmermann can develop into another version of this guy, I think everyone around the Nats would be pretty happy about it. Anyone agree with me on the comparison?


Faraz Shaikh said...

If I was Emmel, I would let Bobby off the hook. this is his last postseason, go easy on the guy. Anyways, Bobby shouldn't be arguing as much either I guess.

Rays must be missing Pat the bat after getting shutout in game 2. He has done really well since he came back to NL. Similar to Dunn?

Anonymous said...

The Nationals and Jim Riggleman each led the league in ejections this season.

Faraz Shaikh said...

This is my only second time watching Cain pitch and believe it or not, as best as I claim Nationals fan to be, I have yet to see Zmann pitch in the big leagues. So I can't really comment on that.

Meanwhile Braves put a run on board, unearned.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Oh my god, Wilson blew it. I totally saw that coming. I haven't seen many occasions before where manager brings in closer for 2 innings save with 2 on. that's a lot to ask of your closer.

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