Odds & Ends-Volume 78

OddsEnds

Brandon Belt trots around the bases after hitting a solo home run in the 18th inning of the Giants 2-1 win in Saturday's NLDS game 2.
Brandon Belt trots around the bases after hitting a solo home run in the 18th inning of the Giants 2-1 win in Saturday’s NLDS game 2.

This is what the Giants do when they get to October, kids. Saturday night’s 18-inning marathon proved that.

The Washington Nationals had their foot on the throat of the Giants in the ninth when Jordan Zimmermann, who was pitching a brilliant game and had retired 20 straight Giants batters, was pulled after throwing 100 pitches after walking Joe Panik. Drew Storen was brought in to save the game and Pablo Sandoval hit an RBI-single to bring in Panik and tie the game at 1.

During the 10th inning,Nationals second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera was ejected after striking out for arguing a questionable strike which led to his manager Matt Williams to also get the early shower. Yusmeiro Petit pitched six scoreless innings for the Giants beginning in the 12th.

“I was trying to get as much as I could out of him,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

The game went all the way into the 18th when Giants first baseman Brandon Belt hit a solo home run into the second deck to give the Giants the lead for good as they seal the win, a commanding 2-0 lead in the series, and win the longest postseason game in baseball history.

“That’s how we do it. On paper, it might not be the flashiest thing, compared to a lot of teams. But I like this group against anybody in baseball,” said Tim Hudson, who started for the Giants and went 7⅓ innings, leaving hours before the game ended. “Who’d have thought we’d have came here and won the first two? Everybody in America probably didn’t think we had a shot. But everybody in this locker room knew that we did.”

The Giants will send Madison Bumgarner to the hill for the home crowd today and the Nationals will send Doug Fister.

The Giants are in what I like to call October Mode. They’ve been in this position before, they don’t lose their cool, and they give themselves a chance when nobody else will. They also give their fans a reason to believe they just might win it all again. It is,after all,an even numbered year.

It was another disappointing postseason for the Oakland Athletics that was over before it started.Oakland_Athletics

In Kansas City, the A’s had a 7-3 lead in the eighth inning when the Royals came back to tie it and force extra innings. The game went into the 12th when

Salvador Perez hit a single to give the Royals a 9-8 win, their first postseason win since 1985 when they won the World Series.

A thrilling game to watch and we’ll get to the Royals in a moment, but another end for the A’s where they come up empty yet again in October.

So where do they go from here? Well,it’s obvious that “genius” GM Billy Beane will be back as will manager Bob Melvin. You have many free agents including Jonny Gomes, Luke Gregerson, Jon Lester, and Jed Lowrie and chances are many of those guys in particular will not be back for 2015. I don’t see the team at this point making the playoffs next season unless they make moves to get this team into a position to be better. The Mariners got a lot better this season and could supplant Oakland as the AL West’s second best team. Then again, I’ve been wrong about this team before,and honestly,so have you.

Mike Moustakas hits a home run in the 11th inning of Game 1 of the ALDS in Anaheim, Calif. The Royals won 3-2.
Mike Moustakas hits a home run in the 11th inning of Game 1 of the ALDS in Anaheim, Calif. The Royals won 3-2.

Now onto the Kansas City Royals and the magical postseason they’ve been having so far. That magic has earned them a trip to Baltimore and the ALDS.

It’s not hard to be happy for them being so successful in their first postseason run since 1985. Even if you’re an A’s fan or an Angels fan.

When I was watching them dismantle the A’s on Tuesday, I didn’t realize how much fun they are to watch. They play small ball and have great speed on the base paths. They don’t hit the long ball very much, but they produce runs when they need to and have to,and that’s what has been the key for them so far this postseason.

It’s great to see this team play so well after the futility they’ve had for nearly three decades. This team has been due for a break forever and they’ve got it. Plus,it’s cool to see October baseball being played in that awesome stadium of theirs with all the fountains. For that alone, you gotta love it and I think the ALDS is going to be a great match-up.

The New England Patriots losing badly to the Kansas City Chiefs looked to be the wake-up call they needed to get their asses in order as they beat the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday Night Football last night 43-17.Patriots

All week prior to last night’s game, questions surrounding this team in terms of the talent on it, Bill Belichick’s performance as both coach and general manager, and even if Tom Brady’s time was up in Foxboro were all raised,even by me. But Brady and crew looked terrific. He was throwing to receivers that were not named Julian Edelman for a change. Stevan Ridley ran the ball well for 113 yards and a touchdown. Darrelle Revis was making so many great plays on defense.

While winning silences all critics (for now), I do think this team has a long way to go before they’re back to being a Super Bowl contender. They got themselves back on track last night,but the schedule itself is going to be tougher. In Week 8, they host the Bears and the following week the Broncos come into town in an AFC Championship Game rematch. If they can continue playing like they did last night,they’ll be okay. Part of me isn’t sure they can.

Cowboys fans have been declining to come to AT&T Stadium due to high costs.
Cowboys fans have been declining to come to AT&T Stadium due to high costs.

So this is what happens when your fans have been priced out of the market. Right,Jerry Jones?

If you don’t know what I am talking about,the Dallas Cowboys despite their 4-1 record have had some trouble getting their own fans to come to games. In the home opener against the 49ers, the crowd was almost half 49ers fans. Fast forward to Sunday against the Texans, a 20-17 Cowboys win in overtime, a lot of Texans made the trip to North Texas.

I could lay blame to Cowboys fans not showing up all I want to, but I think a lack of interest to go to games is anything but the problem. The problem is that AT&T Stadium is the most expensive stadium to go to watch an NFL game. For a family of four to attend a game, it costs $644 on average,that is if you buy souvenirs, food,parking,and tickets. I’m sure if those prices were lower the fans in Dallas would be open to coming to a game. If Jerry Jones has succeded at something in the last two decades, pricing the regular fan out of the market certainly is on or near the top of the list. I sure hope the 49ers stray away from making the same mistake.

Is anyone else as tired as me of seeing the guys on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown wearing sneakers with their suits?SundayNFLCountdown

Every week, I have to watch as Tom Jackson, Mike Ditka, Cris Carter,and Keyshawn Johnson talk about football wearing expensive suits and basketball shoes on with the suits. I find a lot wrong with that. It doesn’t look cool at all and makes the show and even the network look tacky. At least Chris Berman has the right mind to stay in a pair of dress shoes and that’s because he’s been in the business for 35 years and knows how to fucking dress.

At least the women on the show know how to wear the appropriate shoes on air. Wendi Nix and Suzy Kolber are the best dressed people on that show. The day they make the ladies ditch the heels for Air Jordans with their dresses, I am done watching that pregame show forever.

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