To look at Roy Oswalt’s numbers against the San Francisco Giants in 2010, you’d have to say he had a great season against the G-men: Six starts, 1 relief appearance, 41 2/3 innings pitched, 13 earned runs, 2.81 ERA, all six of his starts against SF were quality starts.
Yet, out of the 103 games the Giants won this season (92 in regular season, 11 in postseason), there was only one pitcher they beat four times in 2010. And that was Roy Oswalt.
It all started when Oswalt was a member of the Astros. He pitched opening day, giving up three earned runs in six innings, but took the loss against Tim Lincecum as the Giants won, 5-2.
On May 15 in San Francisco, Oswalt made on big mistake, giving up a two-run homer in the fourth to Juan Uribe. But that was enough for another loss to Lincecum in a 2-1 loss for the Astros.
On June 22 in Houston, Oswalt sailed through six scoreless innings. But in the seventh, he gave up a single to Aubrey Huff and a walk to Uribe. A single by Pat Burrell scored a run, and a groundout by Pablo Sandoval scored another. That was enough for yet another loss to Lincecum and the Giants, 3-1.
In July, he was traded to the Phillies and his luck suddenly changed against the Giants. Funny how that worked.
On Aug. 17, he gave up three earned runs in seven innings in a 9-3 win for Philly.
In Game 2 of the NLCS, he gave up one run in eight innings as the Phillies won, 6-1.
Then came his relief appearance in Game 4 of the NLCS, when he gave up back-to-back one-out singles to Huff and Buster Posey to put runners on first and third. Then Uribe drove home the winning run with a sacrifice fly to left. That was loss No. 4.
He came back to pitch six solid innings in Game 6 of the NLCS, giving up two runs (one earned). But he left with the game tied and received a no-decision in a game that Giants eventually won, 3-2.
So, Roy, you were awesome this year. But some bad luck and terrible run support led to a 2-4 mark against SF. Tough luck, but thank you, Roy.
And while we’re at it, thank you Astros for being feeble against the Giants. San Francisco had more success against Houston than any team this season, winning 7 of 9 games. The Giants won their first seven meetings with the Astros, with Houston scoring 13 totals runs in those seven loss.
The Top 10 List of Non-Giants Who Should Be on Every Giants Fans Christmas Card List:
No. 8, Bud Black
No. 9, Paul Emmel
No. 10, Bengie Molina
Bud Black was the National League manager of the year, and rightly so. He did a great job with the San Diego Padres this season.
More Splash Hits kept waiting all year for the Padres’ carriage to become a pumpkin, and it finally happened between Aug. 26 and Sept. 5, when the Padres went on a 10-game skid.
It’s hard to pin the blame for that losing streak on one person, so we’ll stick it on the skipper … Bud Black.
On Aug. 25, the Padres led the second-place Giants by 6.5 games. By the time the skid was over, the Padres’ lead was down to one.
The Giants didn’t play particularly well at the start of the Padres’ slump, dropping three of four. Then they won 8 of 11 to share the lead with the Padres.
The Padres didn’t completely fold after that 10-game skid. But they drop 4 of 5 before beating the Giants in back-to-back game and forcing the Giants to clinch the NL West on the final day of the season.
Now, the Giants could have still reached the playoffs with the Padres’ slump. But it would have been as a wild card, not a division winner. So who knows what that would have meant for the Giants’ playoff run.
So thanks you Padres and Bud Black
Paul Emmel was the second-base umpire for Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Braves.
Emmel was the umpire who called Buster Posey safe on a steal attempt at second base on a busted hit-and-run play in the fourth inning.
Posey eventually scored the game’s only run on a two-out single by Cody Ross.
The Giants went on to win the series 3 games to 1. All four games were one-run game, so the value of one play that led to one run cannot be understated.
Replays showed that Posey was out. Even Posey admitted as much in post-game interviews.
Now, a lot has been made about blown calls by umpires, especially in the postseason. But for the most part in the 2010 postseason, blown calls were not a big deal. This call may have been the biggest.
But it’s really hard to fault Emmel on this play. The throw from Brian McCann was high and to the right field side of the bag. Second baseman Brooks Conrad had to reach across his body to catch the ball. Normally, with an actual base stealer, that’s an easy steal. But because Posey is not the most fleet of foot and was only running on a hit-and-run play that the play was close.
Also, because of the high throw, Conrad’s tag came on the outfield side of Posey’s body, and Emmel was positioned on the infield, blocking his line of sight.
And no one from the Braves argued the call. Bobby Cox didn’t come out and get run out by Emmel (Emmel got that pleasure in Game 2).
But the bottom line is that Emmel made his call. It was the wrong call. And it helped the Giants. So thanks, Paul Emmel.
Christmas Card List
- No. 9, Paul Emmel
- No. 10, Bengie Molina
These selections are intended to be tongue-in-cheek, but this one is a bit more sincere.
Bengie Molina spent 3.5 seasons with the San Francisco Giants. And for most of the years, the Giants asked Molina to do things that he had never done before — like bat cleanup.
This was never more evident than in 2007, Molina’s first with the Giants. Early in the season, Molina found himself batting cleanup for the Giants on one of Barry Bonds’ scheduled days off. A career American Leaguer prior to ’07, the story goes that Molina chatted with Bonds before that game as asked the home run king “What kind of league is this that I’M batting cleanup?”
Bonds responded: “It ain’t the league, man. It ain’t the league.”
But Molina responded with solid offensive numbers with the Giants. He had 19 HRs, 81 BI and hit .276 in 2007, 16-95-.292 in 2008 and 20-80-.265 in 2009.
Not only that, Molina played a solid catcher for the Giants and helped with the development of the Giants young pitchers like Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez. Remember, Molina was the catcher when Lincecum won back-to-back Cy Young Awards.
His teammates knew Molina’s value to the team. That’s why they voted to give him a World Series share and ring.
“He helped me mature and succeed. I’ve said time and time again that he deserves half of those awards that I’ve gotten.” Lincecum said of Molina and his Cy Young Awards.
“The things he’s done for me – for calling a game, to give me confidence throwing different pitches in different counts – really, really, really benefited me,” Cain said.
Unable to secure a multi-year deal in the offseason after 2009, Molina returned to San Francisco for the 2010 season. He hit well enough in the first month of the season, batting .344 in April. But his power numbers waned, with just 1 HR and 8 RBI in April.
Then in May, the batting average went south. By June 1, he was hitting .250. That made the decision to call up Buster Posey from Fresno that much easier.
And by the end of June, Molina was traded to Texas, having hit 3 HRs, 17 RBI, and .257 with the Giants.
Coincidentally, or not, the Giants lost the last five games that Molina played for them. They lost 8 of the 10 he played for them.
About a week after the trade to Texas, the Giants went on a stretch in which they won 15 of 18 games. That stretch basically matched Buster Posey’s 21- game hitting streak. Also during that stretch, Pat Burrell hit five home runs. Both those things don’t happen if Bengie Molina is still on the roster.
Oh, and in the World Series for the Rangers, Molina hit .182 with one RBI.
So thanks Bengie for everything you did for the Giants … and also for everything you didn’t do in 2010.