So, what's been going on with you?
142 is here. This is Tendown 143.
I mean, you know. Huh.
Let's start with the analysis - we're here because the Giants pitching that we were waiting for all season has finally shown up. It's not that these are the Giants, playing as they have all season, just playing Giants baseball in late October - here were the ERA+ numbers for the SFG starters this season:
Cain 125 (meaning Cain was 25% better than the average pitcher this season)
Vogelsong 103(meaning Bumgarner/Vogelsong were slightly better than average pitchers)
Zito 84 (meaning that Zito was Zito, a solidly below average pitcher)
Lincecum 67 (2 time Cy Young Award Winner Tim Lincecum was one of the worst players in Major League Baseball in 2012)
And since the middle of the Cardinals series when we were down 3-1 we've been unhittable.
Vogelsong=unhittable, Zito - Barry Zito kept us in the Cardinals series in Game 5 and then outpitched Justin Verlander in Game 1 of the Series, Bumgarner has had a terrible last two months, including the playoffs, right up until he wasn't, in Game 2 of the Series, and as quickly as Lincecum moved from being an elite arm to a candidate to be sent to Fresno he returned to form as long as its in the bullpen.
3 weeks ago today the Giants were dead. We lost Game 2 of the Reds series three weeks ago, 9-0, getting 2 hit by Bronson Arroyo. We were headed to Cincinnati where the Reds (a superior team) just had to win 1 of 3 games at home to advance.
10 days ago today the Giants were dead. We lost Game 4 of the Cards series 10 days ago; we were down 3 games to 1 against the defending champs (a superior club to ours) with Barry Zito scheduled for Game 5.
And here's what the pitchers have done since.
Game 5 - shutout
Game 6- 5 hits, 1 run
Game 7 - shutout
Game 1 - 3 runs, 2 of which were in the 9th when the game was long out of reach
Game 2 - 2 hit shutout
Game 3- 5 hit shutout
We've outscored Cards/Tigers 32-4 in those 6 games. The pitching staff's ERA is .67. We have not trailed in our last 54 consecutive innings.
I mean - when it isn't happening to your club you'd (correctly) chalk it up to a small sample size; within a limited time frame any team can go lights out or dead cold for a couple of weeks - but when it's the San Francisco Giants, who had never won a World Series in their history - when so much of your (and by your I mean my) personal narrative was tied up in those decades of just coming up short, to have won the Series in a dominating fashion in 2010 and now to be here in this spot, just 2 years later, I mean. You know. Huh.
2. I Write.
I've made 13 posts since my last Tendown two weeks ago; mostly about baseball - for those of you who come here for investment advice, my NBA season long win total post is here, and my track record for win total forecasts is pretty good. There was a significant trade this weekend and probably that results in the Rockets ticking up a game, but I'll look at that more thoroughly before the first tip. You can also read me here if the mood strikes. I've also seen 4 star wrestling matches:
From NJPW in October:
Tanahashi v. Suzuki 4 1/2
Low Ki v. Ibushi 4
Okada v. Anderson 4
From TNA in October:
Harris v. Storm 4
Aries v. Hardy 4
Angle/AJ v. Chavo/Hernandez v. Daniels/Kazarian 4
ROH TV October:
Lethal v. Richards v. Strong v. Elgin v. Cole v. O'Reilly 4
And I'm moving - we're moving an hour north; now that I'm no longer tied to a campus, I can head someplace a little bit cheaper, so that will happen before our next Tendown.
3. X Factor
I enjoy reality competition, but the preliminary episodes of the music competition shows are now portraying the contestants as if they're seeking asylum. Please don't make me go back to America. I sell stamps in one of our decaying cities. Let me stay forever in your beautiful country of X Factor.
4. I Voted
I struggled. How is it that climate change, which was widely accepted in the United States as true and as a problem that needed to be addressed just a few years ago can no longer be discussed (like gun control or torture) in a political campaign?
Because when the Democrats stake out a position, that's as far left as the discussion is allowed to go.
I often use a device that goes something like this; after the second debate Romney's kid said he wanted to punch Obama in the face. Flip it around, we have a white President, a black challenger, and black challenger's son says he wants to punch white President in the face. The reaction is what?
So, use that here - if Republican President uses drone strikes as pervasively as has this Democratic President - the reaction from people like me is what?
The Obama Presidency has not been a disaster; Democrats have been trying to get universal health care for generations, as this is not that, but it's closer than we've ever come. We had an economy near total collapse and although the stimulus wasn't half as large as it needed to be, it was a success.
But if you're on the left and the President who you vote for is the guy with the kill list aggressively prosecuting whistleblowers you need to recognize that we're less likely to abandon those practices without opposition to those practices being allowed in mainstream discussion. Our debate ranges from the Democratic establishment out to the furthest fringes of right wing thought. From Obama out to women don't get pregnant when they're raped. That's our national conversation and that conversation is from where legislation can exist- voting for Obama doesn't help that, it moves the dialogue further right.
But we keep health care. We probably don't go to war with Iran. We probably don't appoint federal judges who will continue to install our permanent plutocracy.
I'd completely appreciate a progressive who believed this vote to be error, even one who believed this vote to be fundamentally wrong; it's not a decision I made without consideration.
(Obama's going to win, incidentally.)
5. I Have Boxes to Pack, Lets Move it Along.
I'm going way to slowly today. Gotta get to the finish.
Start here - by reading this study on the state of working America.
Spoiler alert - it's not good.
One of my longstanding discussions has been the distinction between what we call PEDs and what we call painkilling drugs is not as great as the distinction in the way we consider them - Barry Bonds gets a shot and it means his career did not happen; Kirk Gibson gets a shot (takes a drug absent which he could not perform) and he hits a legendary home run we still celebrate. It is not a discussion that mainstream analysts often engage in - but USA Today, of all places, is where you can find it.
7. Would You Like some Right Wing Quotes About the Final Debate?
It's super fun.
Religious Right Attacks 'Demonic' and 'Mean' Obama in Final Debate
8. 200 Arrested Development Quotes
9. 21st Century Feudalism
In case you missed the message that the right wing believes you are the property of your boss - consider this.
10. Zirin On Bonds
I had a similar reaction as did Zirin when Tim McCarver made the Barry Manilow reference in game one.
When I come to you in this Tendown space again, two weeks from now, I will have moved, Obama will have been re-elected, and (gulp) the San Francisco Giants will be, once again, the...
Nah. Not worth the risk.
I'll see you next time, if there is a next time...