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The Tigers are rusty? The Giants have momentum? Well, fine, I guess we have to go with that

Oct 25, 2012, 6:00 AM EDT

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander watches from the dugout in the seventh inning during Game 1 of the MLB World Series baseball championship against the San Francisco Giants in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO — The crowd at AT&T Park cheered a 5-4 putout in the first inning of last night’s Game 1 as though it were a walkoff home run in Game 7. This is not a criticism. It is merely an observation. They were hyped from the get-go — I think it started with the Blue Angels flyover following the National Anthem — and had every reason to remain hyped throughout.

So hyped, I assume, that they wouldn’t want to think too hard about the fact that the Giants won Game 1 in the 2002 World Series too, and that their playoff series wins so far this year all began with Game 1 losses. Put a less annoying way: it is still only one game and anything can happen in a seven game series, even if it did feel like the beginning of a trouncing.

I’ve mocked narratives pretty constantly lately, but two of them which were widely adopted before last night’s game started have fresh currency today: (1) the Tigers were going to be rusty; and (2) the Giants had momentum. They may not have a basis in reality, of course — Justin Verlander‘s velocity and lack of command of his fastball was such that fatigue, rather than rust may be the bigger problem and, if anything, the Giants habit of losing the early games of the series and then roaring back is anti-momentum — but I doubt that will change the overall story. The Tigers layoff and big San Francisco MO are likely going to be all the rage today.

A few things we certainly can take away from Game 1 (apart from Pablo Sandoval‘s history-making performance anyway):

  • The Tigers looked lost against slow junk like Zito was flinging. The Giants shouldn’t give them fastballs all week;
  • That little weird double that kicked off the third inning rally — the one that ricocheted off the third base bag — is the second weirdo vodoo hit the Giants have had in the past two games. If they get something like that or the Hunter Pence broken bat dipsy-doodle in Game 2, they are officially charmed and wicked in some strange way;
  • It may have been overlooked because the game was already out of hand, but the Tigers bullpen is still a hot mess and based on how he looked in mopup duty last night Jose Valverde should not be given the ball again. Not even once. Even in a blowout he’s so unreliable that Leyland has to use other relievers just to bail him out. He should be done.
  • It’s random, but someone needs to talk to Delmon Young about where he’s playing left field. I watched the game from way up high in the auxiliary press box in left, and I could not see Young, he was so close to the wall.  Given how bad his arm is, anything hit out that way to him should be an instant double. Not sure what that was all about.

That’s all I have as far as in-game action goes (I’ll have more on-the-scene observations a bit later this morning). The Tigers have to shake this one off. It’s still just one game. If people still want to credit momentum, fine, but the idea of momentum being your next day’s starting pitcher has been around a lot longer than the current momentum story. So it’s up to Doug Fister to re-set the storylines.

  1. chubasco408 - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:22 AM

    This Writer is A Hater…. Just like every so called “expert” The Giants Are really feeding off all the Analysts that doubt them! Great Job Giants….

    • stex52 - Oct 25, 2012 at 8:39 AM

      C’mon fanboys! The fact that a writer actually analyzes your team instead of worshipping them does not make him a “hater.” You’re going to make me miss the Phillies and Red Sox fans on this site.

      • heyblueyoustink - Oct 25, 2012 at 8:46 AM

        Screw you, Stex.

        – Signed, Phillies Fan

      • stex52 - Oct 25, 2012 at 7:55 PM

        Touchy touchy. Nothing personal bluey. Just a random cheap shot. Actually I like the passion you guys bring, most of the time.

    • scatterbrian - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:38 PM

      Why is it that only people who bitch about so-called experts refer to them as so-called experts?

      There’s not one baseball analyst that says, “I am an expert, and I think…”

  2. rockthered1286 - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:44 AM

    Doesn’t this make Verlander 1-3 in WS starts? Not exactly a stellar number for your ace.

    • nflfollower - Oct 25, 2012 at 8:38 AM

      Umm….no. his first WS he was a rookie, and he definitely did not have 3 starts. So he’s not 1-3. That being said, as a tigers fan it sort of feels like we stepped in the ring, gave our opponent our best punch, he took it and decisively won the first round. You go back to your corner shaking your head. But baseball is a beautiful game and 7 game series are a beautiful thing. Go tigers!

    • indaburg - Oct 25, 2012 at 8:41 AM

      Actually, he’s 0-3. Those other two losses came his rookie year, 2006. If he blows up his next start, I would start the “Verlander melts under the brightest of bright lights” narrative, but I’m giving him another chance.

  3. tomemos - Oct 25, 2012 at 7:00 AM

    Of course it’s one game, but it’s one in which the Tigers shot their best bullet and SF shot its third- or fourth-best.

  4. crispybasil - Oct 25, 2012 at 7:07 AM

    One order of garlic fries or two?

  5. oldcat157 - Oct 25, 2012 at 7:12 AM

    Haha, this writer is obviously a Tiger fan. Try to be subjective and not put so much feelings into it. It will be all right bro.

    Loved it how everyone was saying Giants need to try to win the World Series starting with game 2. Karma sucks.

    • nategearhart - Oct 25, 2012 at 8:57 AM

      That’s not what karma means.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 25, 2012 at 9:35 AM

        Craig also isn’t a Tiger’s fan. So 0/2?

      • clydeserra - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:29 PM

        And Craig picked the giants to win. 0/3

  6. darthicarus - Oct 25, 2012 at 7:18 AM

    Every Tiger fan feared a Verlander dud, and that’s what happened. This is also baseball and nothing can be etched in stone until the final out is recorded. I don’t think the series is over but then again I never thought the Tigers would sweep as it’s a very talented Giants team. Some good Sandoval hitting, a lucky bounce off the third base bag, some great Giants defense, and Zito making the Tigers hitters look silly = a Giants win.

    Hats off to SF for Game 1, still plenty of games left in the series.

  7. koufaxmitzvah - Oct 25, 2012 at 7:20 AM

    What’s important is that Giants fans keep shooting themselves in the foot with their comments.

    I hate to say it (I REALLY hate to say it) but the Gints looked great last night. Scutaro is still the stud he was proclaimed to be last week, and Sandoval’s swing is as big as his tummy.

    • temporarilyexiled - Oct 25, 2012 at 10:07 AM

      What’s important is that certain Dodger fans pretend to be good sports, thereby cancelling out any supposed bad karma.

      Actually, from what I can see, there are lots of comments, from lots of sides, and it’s the usual combination of good, bad, and ugly – from all.

      We COULD start discussing how the NL West will be packed with contenders (unless, of course, your team plays a mile above sea level).

      • koufaxmitzvah - Oct 25, 2012 at 10:28 AM

        You know what’s really important now? A bona fide Tempor Tantrum, detailing, yet again, how the entire Gint Nation is misunderstood and yet tough enough to whine about a Dodgers fan’s perspective.

      • temporarilyexiled - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:05 AM

        Go right ahead.

        By the way, what exactly is a “tempor” tantrum?

        You know, I don’t trade barbs with you all the time simply because you troll Giant fans. I devote plenty of posts to trolling Dodger fans, so what’s fair is fair.

        But what you might want to look at is:

        You NEVER actually post anything having to do with the Giants that ISN’T trolling.

        I’ll know a sincere positive comment from you when I see one. You have no problem writing them about other baseball topics.

        But the Giants seem to make you go poopie, and I feel obliged to mess with you. Call it what you like. It’s all in good fun. At least for me.

        The Giants just won one game. And the script COULDN’T be more cool for a Giants fan. They need to win three out of the next six. As we’ve seen, anything can and will happen.

        And judging from what nearly everyone was saying up to last night, the common crow is now an endangered species.

        So, koufaxmitzvah, poster who I assume is named after a commendable, inspiring, righteous act of faith, do you have it in you to actually be a good sport?

      • koufaxmitzvah - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:44 PM

        A Tempor Tanttrum is something you’re bound to say with a prissy, moralistic stance.

        Poor Battery Chucker…. It’s hard to take anything you write seriously. If you noticed (of course, you didn’t) when I posted about Gint fans “shooting themselves in the foot” regarding their commentary, a full 25% of the board was whining and crying about how big, bad Craig was a Hater who didn’t give even credence to the Gints in his write-up.

        So the Tempor Tantrum was how you see a full board with wide range of comments. But, see, most of those comments were written after mine. Hence, what I think of you.

        Understand? Look, if you’re saying that a dreaded Dodgers fan can’t make a complimentary comment about the Gints, then you’re pretty much painting folks into stereotypical corners so that your narrow view of the world can earn its muster.

        At the end of the day, Gint fans like you don’t get respect because you don’t deserve it.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:52 PM

        Do you have an example of me “trolling”? Since you accuse me of it all the time, we might as well be on the same page.

        Am I trolling here even though I am responding to your false assertions?

        Or was I trolling there, when I made a comment about Gint fan behavior over the first 8 comments?

        No, I know… I’m a troll because I’m a Dodgers fan who writes comments that probably mark you quite well as being a hyperactive bullshitter with the need to whine about the Dodgers so you spend a post minimizing the importance of some mindless, 20-second drivel that, not surprisingly, called Gint fans out for being narcissists.

        I’m going with #3.

      • temporarilyexiled - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:15 PM

        It’s “temper tantrum”. If you’re having one, it’s often hard to spell, at least for you.

        As for trolling examples:

        “Gints” This is about as cool as duck the Fodgers.

        Sandoval weight reference – I almost did this myself at Tiger fans, seeing as much of their team is large, but thought better of it. Clearly, there are lots of great baseball players who aren’t exactly svelt. Do we really know more about physical fitness than them? I doubt it.

        “battery chucker” Candlestick fans versus life-threatening danger in Chavez Ravine?

        Do you have it in you to be a reasonable human being, or do you take the rivalry (and yourself) so seriously that you always have to be hostile?

        There are plenty of cool Dodger fans, plenty of cool Giant fans, and a few not-so-great fans of those teams, and any other. All kidding aside, what the hell is the matter with you?

        Maybe you need to change your screen name. It’s totally the opposite of your behavior.

  8. metalhead65 - Oct 25, 2012 at 7:42 AM

    somehow I think if this had been his hometown braves craig would have run out of superlatives in describing the fan support instead of making it. what they are supposed to wait only for big plays before they get into the game? the crowd let the giants know they were behind them from the start of the game when did this become a bad thing?

    • cltjump - Oct 25, 2012 at 8:16 AM

      “the crowd let the giants know they were behind them from the start of the game when did this become a bag thing?” – metalhead65

      “The crowd at AT&T Park cheered a 5-4 putout in the first inning of last night’s Game 1 as though it were a walkoff home run in Game 7. This is not a criticism … and had every reason to remain hyped throughout.” – Craig Calcaterra.

      Giants fans. Stop imagining we all hate you.

      • metalhead65 - Oct 25, 2012 at 8:26 AM

        first of all I am not a giants fan but since they are from the national league and beat my reds I want them to win.second of all they way it is phrased and with the added it is not a criticism sure made it sound like it.

      • nategearhart - Oct 25, 2012 at 8:58 AM

        So saying “that’s not a criticism” made it sound like a criticism to you? You’re either completely clueless or just really bad at trolling.

      • bravojawja - Oct 25, 2012 at 9:22 AM

        You’re either completely clueless or just really bad at trolling.

        These things are not mutually exclusive.

      • blabidibla - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:50 PM

        As a Giants fan, I took that as a compliment. We do cheer often and loudly, even the most fundamental baseball plays.

        Tiger fans aren’t used to seeing fundamental baseball, so they don’t get that opportunity often.

  9. alexo0 - Oct 25, 2012 at 8:04 AM

    Passive-aggressive headline? An opportunity to point out how wrong everyone is? Well, fine, I guess we can do that.

    • paperlions - Oct 25, 2012 at 8:36 AM

      The Giants played better and won. That is it. No narrative is required. There doesn’t need to be any “why” above and beyond the fact that this is baseball (a highly stochastic game) and the Giants played better.

      If the Tigers had won equally useless post hoc narratives would have been used, ignoring the simple fact that the Tigers just played better and won.

      • alexo0 - Oct 25, 2012 at 9:18 AM

        I actually agree with you. I just don’t think one needs to come across as insufferable in pointing that out.

      • loungefly74 - Oct 25, 2012 at 9:42 AM

        agree. as a Giants fan, i’m freakin’ stoked they won in that fashion…and we all know there is plenty more ball to play…so yeah, no need to go overboard on a guy doing his job…

  10. heyblueyoustink - Oct 25, 2012 at 8:08 AM

    ” That’s our secret, Craig, we’re always angry.” – Kung Fu Panda Hulk

    • cur68 - Oct 25, 2012 at 10:46 AM

      “Puny Ace.”
      – Kung Fu Panda Hulk

  11. sophiethegreatdane - Oct 25, 2012 at 8:32 AM

    Look, I’m a *minor* stat-head (admittedly, very minor). I love how much can be measured in baseball, especially compared to other sports. There are dubious intangibles that drive stat-heads crazy, romanticized notions of “clutch hitters” and “catchers that catch a good game” that create narratives which drive bar stool arguments into the heart of this first-world problem we have.

    But here’s the thing: sometimes baseball teams go through stretches where, collectively, they play good baseball. Perhaps the last four games is a stretch of good baseball by the Giants? If so, there’s another word that can be used to describe this stretch.

    Any guesses, Craig? It’s called “Momentum”. Maybe that’s not exactly an accurate description of the phenomena, but it’s accurate enough I think. And this strange swirling mist of momentum can be measured with a super-special stat called “Wins”. When team X wins 8 games out of 10, they are playing good baseball. Very few would launch an argument that team X was not playing well during that 10-game stretch. When someone else calls it “momentum”? Fine.

    Perhaps the Giants will lose this evening, and all the stories will be about how “they lost momentum” against tough Tigers pitching. Perhaps. It is true that the next days’ starter plays a large role in the outcome. However, don’t discount the idea that maybe, right now, over the past four of five games, the Giants are playing good baseball. I fail to see why I would disagree with someone who espoused this “narrative”.

    • indaburg - Oct 25, 2012 at 8:50 AM

      Funny, I thought momentum was calculated by multiplying mass times velocity.

      • sophiethegreatdane - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:09 PM

        Now that’s funny! Thumbs up.

    • Alex K - Oct 25, 2012 at 9:08 AM

      Whatever you like to call it is cool, but it’s actually just part of the random distribution of how stats are accrued.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 25, 2012 at 9:38 AM

      Any guesses, Craig? It’s called “Momentum”.

      Momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher (anonymous). Also, any mention of momentum is often ex-post facto. Do they Giants have momentum now, or did they have it before G1? If the Giants lose tomorrow, when did they lose momentum and where? Was it in the parking lot? The locker room?

      • Gamera the Brave - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:30 AM

        Parking lot, for sure.

      • sophiethegreatdane - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:10 PM

        >>Momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher (anonymous).

        Yes, I believe I discussed that in my post.

      • sophiethegreatdane - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:18 PM

        >>Also, any mention of momentum is often ex-post facto. Do they Giants have momentum now, or did they have it before G1? If the Giants lose tomorrow, when did they lose momentum and where? Was it in the parking lot? The locker room?

        Well, yes, but I do need to point out that Craig was talking about a game that happened in the past. I was responding to Craig’s comments about something that happened in the past, therefore my framework is, well, in the past. It’s all ex post facto now, and that doesn’t negate the discussion I was trying to have.

        Further, just because you can’t put a time frame on when they did or did not have momentum does not negate the idea that, just maybe, the Giants are playing good baseball. I’ll follow with an example from the Tigers. For instance, does anyone doubt that the pressure put on the Tigers has ratcheted up a notch? It’s not do-or-die — far from it — but they just lost game one with their best pitcher on the mound. It puts extra pressure on the Tigers.

        When did that pressure arrive? In the fourth inning of last night’s game? The seventh? After is was over? Was it in the parking lot? The locker room?

        Just because we don’t collectively know when (and how much) pressure is put on the Tigers does not need we need to negate the very idea that there is pressure in this world. And yeah, we can’t measure it. Such is the way of the world.

        Same with “momentum” or “good luck” or “bad luck” or whatever you want to call it.

    • thereisaparty - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:39 AM

      Calling yourself even a minor stat head seems like a stretch if you believe in the notion of momentum. It has no predictive powers – it is just a silly term people use to describe teams that have already performed well. What’s the benefit of this?

      • sophiethegreatdane - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:27 PM

        When did I say that momentum had any predictive powers? I didn’t. Neither did I advocate for it to be a stat, or anything like it.

        Also, I very much am a minor stat-head, but I don’t have to live my life by baseball stats. I’m not that passionate about it, but I’m thankful that there are people in this world who are, because I find it fascinating. Saying that a team has several players that are playing well does not negate the thought process behind sabermetrics.

        Momentum, or “good luck” or “bad luck” or “being in the groove” or whatever you want to call it — these things are the reality of the human experience. Everyone goes through slumps and high points. Have you ever done something really well for a little while, and then a week later, you kinda suck at it?

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 25, 2012 at 4:26 PM

        Have you ever done something really well for a little while, and then a week later, you kinda suck at it?

        There’s a sex joke in there somewhere…

      • Alex K - Oct 25, 2012 at 4:33 PM

        You’re on fire today, FC!

    • temporarilyexiled - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:56 PM

      I think what we’re seeing is that old school (think dead-ball era) baseball done right is a good formula for winning in the postseason. WAY back LONG before I was born, striking out was actually considered a bad thing. Now? Hit a few out of the park and all is forgiven.

      Yeah, okay, Panda hit three. But much of the reason the Giants’ offense is hard to stop is due to the fact that statistically, they’re also hard to strike out. Pence and Belt are the only ones who do strike out a lot, and Belt is starting to put it together. As for Rasputin, if and when he ever gets his body under control at the plate, the Tigers are REALLY in trouble.

      If you pitch reasonably well, play good defense, and put the ball in play, what a lot of people call “magic” happens. The Giants are doing the best job of playing as a team I’ve ever seen.

      They’re saying the right things. They’re doing the right things. The fanbase is great. The ballpark is great. The organization seems to know what they’re doing. Hell, until recently, you’ve seen multiple posts from me suggesting they trade Sandoval.

      At least for right now, it appears the organization has forgotten more than I’ll ever know. Bochy, Righetti, Sabean, and all the rest. Nice job, guys. Did I ever doubt you? What was I thinking?

      I’ve followed the team on and off for over forty years.

      It’s the best time to be a Giants fan I can remember.

  12. cshearing - Oct 25, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    All I know is that Verlander wasn’t focused at all. His laughter at the visit from the pitching coach was telling ; someone focused in doesn’t react that way. Then he immediately gives up the 2-run shot? Not the usual Verlander.

    • darthicarus - Oct 25, 2012 at 8:39 AM

      I viewed the Verlander laughing as more of he was so frustrated it was funny. Plus, during the regular season there were probably a handful of times the pitching coach actually came out to talk to Verlander so the fact that he made one of his brief appearances during Game 1 of the World Series has a bit of humor to it.

      Also, Verlander bad outings do happen & they are usually pretty outstanding. It happens, life goes on, and he’ll pitch again this series (hopefully).

    • indaburg - Oct 25, 2012 at 8:45 AM

      He appeared more flabbergasted than amused. “You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me?”

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 25, 2012 at 9:07 AM

        Did he do that in a DeNiro voice? That’s the problem. it was Robert DeNiro pitching out there. Jones should have brought a Snickers bar to the mound.. Everyone knows you’re not yourself when your hungry. I’d pay big money to see a commercial like that.

      • indaburg - Oct 25, 2012 at 10:19 AM

        Genius, FC, genius. :-)

    • SOBEIT - Oct 25, 2012 at 10:15 AM

      Verlander looked rattled because the Giants would not let him get comfortable. Also the ump called a tight strike zone and that seemed to get to V early. But Zito had the same strike zone. He just dealt with it and continued to pitch.

      The reason the coach went to the mound is because V threw a ton of pitches. That was to give him a quick breather before getting to the heart of the Giants lineup. But Panda beat good pitches…they were at his chin and low and away…those are tough pitches. But Panda can hit anything and that is why he swings at everything…and that is why pitchers in the NL do not pitch strikes to Panda.

      • cur68 - Oct 25, 2012 at 10:54 AM

        But Panda beat good pitches…they were at his chin and low and away…those are tough pitches.

        YES! That’s what I saw, too! Not this “Verlander failed” crap. JV had some good stuff there. Sandoval hit his first homer off a collarbone high FB at ~97mph. The next was a low and away mid shin breaker, lots of movement: not a strike either of them and both ordinarily unhittable. He went after them and shouldn’t have been able to T them up but he DID. Shades of Kirby Puckett, oh yeah. All this hand wringing over HRs off of 2 very good Verlander pitches diminishes what Sandoval did. Clutch Power Hitting, baby.

    • clydeserra - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:35 PM

      Verlander was flabbergasted that the home plate umpire was only giving him a 17″ plate.

      He is justin g.d. verlander after all, be should get 22.”

  13. albertmn - Oct 25, 2012 at 8:39 AM

    I can’t guarantee the accuracy, as I heard this on the radio and didn’t do further research. But, apparently, only 3 previous times has one WS team coming off a sweep while the other was coming off a Game 7. Each of the three previous times, the team coming off Game 7 has won the World Series, and never in more than 5 games. Admittedly, small sample size. And, previous WS don’t necessarily guarantee future results. But, while you can complain about the layoff as being just “narrative”, the results were an unexpected Giants win against Verlander.

  14. 9foldmuse - Oct 25, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    The blase tone of the post ignores some salient facts:

    1] The sweep of the Wankees was a poor indication of the Tigers’ worth as a ballclub; neither their defense nor bullpen [sans Coke and Valverde] were duly tested, and they needed but scant offense in games 1-3. The A’s, had they been less of a swing-and-miss line-up, could have just as easily taken the ALDS from Detroit. Also remember the Alphonse and Gaston routine they played with the Sox for the AL Central [what’s the old line, “I got it, you take it!” ?].

    2] I don’t believe the oxidation theory for a minute; seems rather that when forced to play real NL baseball the Tigers may be found incompetent. It will be interesting to see if they rebound with the DH.

    3] While neither superstitious nor romantic, I find the denial of extent phenomena bizarre. Mojo or whatever you want to call it exists even if we can’t predict it nor understand how it works. And it is equally incapable of beneficence and wickedness.

    As to the final sentence of Mr Calcetera’s second paragraph, I’m unconvinced that he can put anything in a less annoying way.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 25, 2012 at 9:40 AM

      seems rather that when forced to play real NL baseball

      What’s real NL baseball? Is that the hit-and-run, move runners over, bunting (smallball) type of play? Seems a bit odd to bring that up when you just had a player hit 3 HR in one game…

      • 9foldmuse - Oct 25, 2012 at 10:06 AM

        Defense, no DH and hustle [see Delmon DP]. Any four HR game at ATT is an anomaly.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:37 AM

        The whole “real NL baseball,” thing pisses you off like no other doesn’t it Church?
        Although (being an NL guy) I naturally lean towards the “real baseball” line of thinking…
        I appreciate where you are coming from. If I were an AL guy it would piss me off too.

      • clydeserra - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:37 PM

        I am reasonable sure american league teams have to play defense too.

        Also “hustle” is not exclusive to the NL, its just Detroit has a bunch of big dudes that don’t run well.

  15. itsonlyaspeedbump - Oct 25, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    @cltjump you’ll have to forgive us. Two days of coverage that basically told us that the Giants should worry about game 2 because beating Verlander was impossible have made us overly sensitive. Add in an East Coast bias (real or imagined) and us Giants fans have a full blown persecution complex.

    For example, while I understood rationally that Craig’s comment was not meant as a slight, the emotional fan side of me immediately thought of a guy who starts off a sentence with the phrase ‘No offense, but–‘ and then goes on to insult you.

    Yea, we are going to be pretty insufferable if we win.

  16. ezthinking - Oct 25, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    There was nothing wrong with Verlander’s velocity last night, just too often getting behind (very few first pitch strikes) and too many pitches that split the plate.

  17. delsj - Oct 25, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    Baseball heaven just keeps moving west. Bud might want to think about putting a team in Hawaii or Guam soon.

  18. Marty - Oct 25, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    Giants fans chill. I think Craig would have enforced his “my take is far more level headed than the rest” regardless of who won.

    But those who are trouncing on the comments as arrogant, consider that EVERY corner of sports media (and sports
    Blog comments) was anointing Verlander as the greatest arm to walk the mound up until yesterday’s start. It is satisfying to proove the world wrong, which is exactly what the Giants did last night.

  19. davester37 - Oct 25, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    Wow. Tigers fan much?

  20. SOBEIT - Oct 25, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    The only narrative that seems clear to me is that the Giants beat the Tigers in game 1 of the WS with clutch pitching, hitting and defense. That pretty much sums up last nights win.

    And the Verlander was rusty narrative is a little dishonest…he had 7 days off. That’s it. Starters go 5-6 days rest so an extra day should not affect the greatest pitcher that ever stepped on the mound…well according to national media.

    Looking forward to tonights game and hoping that MadBum figured out his mechanics issue and that he is rested after looking gased at the end of the season not pitching since the NLDS…which is longer than Verlander had off. I wonder if national media will talk all day about how MadBum might be rusty like they did with Verlander?

  21. philsieg - Oct 25, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    Looking at the responses here gives me serious concern about the ability of some posters to comprehend what they read. That these same posters likely can vote in the coming election is downright scary.

    • cur68 - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      No shit. How people are seeing pro-Tigers bias is beyond me. Seems a nod to the narrative crowd & an even handed sum of the game with more than a soupçon of small sample size caution thrown in. Where’s the bias? So he isn’t slobbering all over the Giants, so what? Its like the pro-Giants crowd want a Hawk Harrelson-esque tongue bathing of their rooting interest. I guess its been a while since someone described what they saw at the game. This as opposed to openly rooting for a team and calling it “reporting”.

      • Gamera the Brave - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:06 PM

        Back in 2010, Craig got on me for a comment, and created a whole post decrying the Giants’ fan base-feeling-like-the-red-headed-stepchild-no-one-gives-us-a-chance narrative. I felt like my tone was taken a bit different than the intent – but I have to admit that there is truth to what Craig said then and now based on some comments.

        In the interest of fairness, I suspect that if most of the oddsmakers had the Giants as favorites, Tigers Nation would be making similar complaints.

        On the other hand, maybe we Giants fans just have a mild inferiority complex. Many of us are also Warriors fans, so it may be more of a masochism thing…

      • philsieg - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:17 PM


        Considering that (a) Craig grew up in the Detroit area as a Tigers’ fan before succumbing to the Braves and (b) his current significant other is a rabid Tigers’ fan, I think he’s been – how to say it? – admirably “fair and balanced”.

        (Separate rant: When are we going find descriptors for two adults in a romantic relationship that aren’tt clinically sterile, like the phrase above, or straight from the pages of a bodice ripper, like paramour?)

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:39 AM

      I am counting on them NOT showing up at the polls.
      I don’t care which side they lean…hoping they don’t actually vote.

  22. davester37 - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    Please check your objectivity at the door.

  23. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    Frankly, Verlander looked better last night than he did against the Yankees, even though the results were much different. In both games he was failling behind in counts and relying on his fastball to work his way back, but he fell behind much less frequently last night. The main difference was that the Giants were not letting him off the hook.

    That said, Sandoval was behind 0-2 and crushed a neck high fastball into the seats. Nothing Verlander can do about that.

  24. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    The Giants need to win because of this alone (site kinda NSFW)

  25. tom-a-hawk - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    It didn’t happen in reality, but in my mind, I believe Panda said the following to Cabrera as he rounded 3rd base after his third homerun….

    “I’ve got your triple-crown right here, baby”

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