A Tiered MLB Hall of 200 - Left Field

Monday, October 31, 2016

The explanation for all of this is here.

First Basemen
Second Basemen
Third Base

Inner Circle
Barry Bonds (1986-2007, Giants) WAR 167.8 OPS+ 182 PA 12606 (WAR/PA .0133)
Ted Williams (1939-60, Red Sox) WAR 117.55 OPS+190 PA 9788 (.0120)
Rickey Henderson (1979-03, A's) WAR 120.8 OPS+127 PA 13346 (.0091)

Middle Circle
Manny Ramirez (1993-2011, Red Sox) WAR 78.65 OPS+154 PA 9774 (80)
Carl Yastrzemski (1961-83, Red Sox) WAR 86.4 OPS+ 130 PA 13992 (62)
Tim Raines (1979-2002, Expos) WAR 75.05 OPS+123 PA 10359 (72)
Pete Rose (1963-86, Reds) WAR 78.35 OPS+ 118 PA 15890 (49)
Ed Delahanty (1888-1903, Phillies) WAR 69.9 OPS+152 PA 8400 (83)
Lance Berkman (1999-2013, Astros) WAR 57.45 OPS+144 PA 7814 (74)

Outer Circle
Willie Stargell (1962-82, Pirates) WAR 55.6 OPS+147 PA 9027 (62)
Ducky Medwick (1932-48, Cardinals) WAR 54.8 OPS+ 134 PA 8143 (67)
Fred Clarke (1894-1915, Pirates) WAR 64.3 OPS+ 133 PA 9838 (65)
Bob Johnson (1933-45, Athletics) WAR 53.65 OPS+ 139 PA 8050 (67)
Ryan Braun (2007-,Brewers) WAR 52.1 OPS+ 137 PA 6691 (78)
Billy Williams (1959-76, Cubs) WAR 60.4 OPS+133 PA 10519 (57)
Albert Belle (1989-00, Indians) 50.05 OPS+ 144 PA 6676 (75)
Al Simmons (1924-44, Athletics) WAR 58.95 OPS+ 133 PA 9518 (62)
Matt Holliday (2004 -, Cardinals) WAR 51.15 OPS+ 132 PA 7981 (64)

Last Out
Jose Cruz (1970-88, Astros) WAR 56.7 OPS+120 PA 8931 (63)
Jesse Burkett (1890-1905, Spiders) WAR 55.85 OPS+ 140 PA 9620 (58)

On Deck
Justin Upton (2007 – Diamondbacks) WAR 40.25 OPS+121 PA 6808 (59)

Center field is here.

October, 2016 Athlete of the Month

September is here.

Corey Kluber. Runners-up: Andrew Miller, Candace Parker, Javier Baez

January-Von Miller
February-Lionel Messi
March - Buddy Hield
April-Breanna Stewart
May - Klay Thompson
June - LeBron James
July-Serena Williams
August-Michael Phelps
September - Lamar Jackson
October - Corey Kluber

10 months down - 2 to go in the race for 2016 Athlete of the Year.  

Tendown, October 30, 2016

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Tendown 247 is here. This is Tendown 248

Here's the millenial projection.  Good luck down the road, GOP.

1. The Piece You Read This Week.

 In 1974, young liberals did not perceive financial power as a threat, having grown up in a world where banks and big business were largely kept under control. It was the government—through Vietnam, Nixon, and executive power—that organized the political spectrum. By 1975, liberalism meant, as Carr put it, “where you were on issues like civil rights and the war in Vietnam.” With the exception of a few new members, like Miller and Waxman, suspicion of finance as a part of liberalism had vanished.

Over the next 40 years, this Democratic generation fundamentally altered American politics. They restructured “campaign finance, party nominations, government transparency, and congressional organization.” They took on domestic violence, homophobia, discrimination against the disabled, and sexual harassment. They jettisoned many racially and culturally authoritarian traditions. They produced Bill Clinton’s presidency directly, and in many ways, they shaped President Barack Obama’s.         
The result today is a paradox. At the same time that the nation has achieved perhaps the most tolerant culture in U.S. history, the destruction of the anti-monopoly and anti-bank tradition in the Democratic Party has also cleared the way for the greatest concentration of economic power in a century.

 Chris Wallace was a stylistically credible moderator. The Fox News host kept both Trump and Hillary Clinton on topic, more or less, and he even asked a couple of follow-up questions.

But when it came to the austerity issues that have so clearly shaped the 2016 presidential race, Wallace got the substance all wrong; and, in so doing, he maintained the agonizingly low standards for economic discourse that have always characterized forums organized by the lamentable Commission on Presidential Debates.

Wallace’s questions about economics and fiscal policy featured wrongheaded recitations of false premises that were every bit as absurd as the Republican nominee’s repetition of discredited claims about “rigged” elections.

3. It's not a campaign - it's hat sales.


5. Black Jeopardy and How to think About the White Working Class



6. So hard to be on the same side with these people.





And one more...

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time....if there is a next time....

Your pal,


A Tiered MLB Hall of 200 - Third Basemen

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Through 2018.

The explanation for all of this is here.


Second Basemen

Inner Circle
Mike Schmidt (1972-89, Phillies) WAR 108.5 OPS+ 147 PA 10062 (WAR/PA .0108)
Eddie Mathews (1952-68, Braves) WAR 91.7 OPS+ 143 PA 10100 (.0091)
Wade Boggs (1982-99, Red Sox) WAR 92.2 OPS+ 131 PA 10740 (.0086)

Middle Circle
George Brett (1973-93, Royals) WAR 90.1 OPS+ 135 PA 11625(78)
Miguel Cabrera (2003-, Tigers) WAR 78.85 OPS+ 151 PA 9687 (81)
Edgar Martinez (1987-04, Mariners) WAR 75.35 OPS+147 PA 8674 (87)
Chipper Jones (1993-2012, Braves) WAR 81.5, OPS+141 PA 10614 (77)
Adrian Beltre (1998-, Rangers) WAR 84.65 OPS+116 PA 12130 (70)
Paul Molitor (1978-98, Brewers) WAR 80.2 OPS+122 PA 12167 (66)

Outer Circle
Scott Rolen (1996-2012, Phillies) WAR 71.35 OPS+ 122 PA 8518 (84)
Ron Santo (1960-74, Cubs) WAR 68.75 OPS+ 125 PA 9397 (73)
Dick Allen (1963-77, Phillies) WAR 59.55 OPS+ 156 PA 7315 (81)
Ken Boyer (1955-69, Cardinals) WAR 58.6 OPS+ 116 PA 8272 (71)
Graig Nettles (1967-88, Yankees) WAR 63.2 OPS+110 PA 10228 (62)
Buddy Bell (1972-89, Rangers) WAR 61.45 OPS+ 109 PA 10009 (61)
Brooks Robinson (1955-77, Orioles) WAR 66.45 OPS+ 104 PA 11782 (56)
David Wright (2004-18) Mets) WAR 53.55 OPS+ 133 PA 6872 (78)
Evan Longoria (2008-, Rays WAR 53.45 OPS+ 122 PA 6663 (80)

Last Out
Home Run Baker (1908-22, Athletics) WAR 51.35 OPS+135 PA 6667 (77)
Darrell Evans (1969-89, Braves) WAR 60.75 OPS+119 PA 10737 (57)

On Deck
Ryan Zimmerman (2005- Nationals) WAR 41.35 OPS+117 PA 6939 (60)

Left Field is here.

A Tiered MLB Hall of 200 - Shortstops

Friday, October 28, 2016

Through 2018. 

The explanation for all of this is here.


First Basemen

Second Basemen


Inner Circle
Honus Wagner (1897-17, Pirates) WAR 130.95 OPS+151, PA 11749 (WAR/PA .0111)
Alex Rodriguez (1994-16. Yankees) WAR 123.7 OPS+140 PA 12207 (.0101)
Cal Ripken (1981-01, Orioles) WAR 105.6 OPS+112 PA 12883 (.0082)

Middle Circle
Arky Vaughan (1932-48, Pirates) WAR 76.2, OPS+ 136 PA 7722 (99)
Barry Larkin (1986-04, Reds) WAR 76.1, OPS+116 PA 9057 (84)
Ozzie Smith (1978-96, Cardinals) WAR 82.3, OPS+ 87 PA 10778 (76)
Robin Yount (1974-93, Brewers) WAR 81.8 OPS+ 115 PA 12249 (67)
Alan Trammell (1977-96, Tigers) WAR 78.35, OPS+110 PA 9396 (84)
Derek Jeter (1995-2014, Yankees) WAR 74.5 OPS+115 PA 12602 (59)

Outer Circle
George Davis (1890-09, Giants) WAR 78.5, OPS+ 121 PA 10178 (77)
Bill Dahlen (1891-1911, Colts) WAR 78.1 OPS+110 PA 10405 (75)
Lou Boudreau (1938-52, Indians) WAR 63.65 OPS+120 PA 7024 (91)
Joe Cronin (1926-45, Senators) WAR 67.7 OPS+119 PA 8840 (77)
Luke Appling (1930-50, White Sox) WAR 73 OPS+ 113 PA 10254 (71)
Pee Wee Reese (1940-58, Dodgers) WAR 64.1 OPS+99 PA 9470 (68)
Ernie Banks (1953-71, Cubs) WAR 62.75 OPS+ 122 PA 10394 (60)
Jack Glasscock (1879-95, Blues) WAR 63.35, OPS+112 PA 7552 (84)
Bobby Wallace (1894-1918, Browns) WAR 64.65 OPS+ 105 PA 9612 (67)

Last Out
Troy Tulowitzki (2006-, Rockies) WAR 50.75 OPS+118 PA 5402 (94)
Nomar Garciaparra (1996-09, Red Sox) WAR 49.95 OPS+ 124 PA 6116 (82) 

On Deck

Third base is here.

Let's Pick Some College Football Games, Oct 29 2016

I'm 31-31

Temple -7.5 Cin win
K St -6.5 Iowa St loss
OK St +3.5 WVA win
Baylor -3.5 Tex loss
SMU +2.5 Tulane win
Tenn -13.5 SoCar loss
Missouri -4.5 UK loss


The 100 Best Players in the NBA: 2016-17

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Real world projection, not a fantasy list, 100 best NBA players for the 2016-17 season; it's a combination of multiple advanced metric calculations.

1. S.Curry PG GSW
2. R.Westbrook PG OKC
3. J.Harden PG Hou
4. L.James SF Cle
5. K.Durant SF GSW
6. K.Leonard SF SA
7. A.Davis PF NO
8. D.Green PF GSW
9. K. Lowry  PG  Tor  
10. D.Cousins PF Sac

11. D.Jordan C LAC
12. C.Paul PG
13. P.George SF Ind
14. P.Millsap PF Atl
15. N.Jokic PF Den
16. D.Lillard PG Port
17. KA Towns PF Minn
18. J.Wall PG Wash
19. K.Love PF Cle
20. J.Butler SF Chi

21. K.Walker PG Charl
22. R.Gobert C Utah
23. B.Griffin PF LAC
24. K.Porzingis PF NY
25. A.Drummond C Det
26. A.Horford  PF Bos  
27. D.Favors PF Utah
28. R.Rubio PG Minn
29. K.Irving PG Cle
30. C.Anthony SF NY

31. G.Antekounmpo SG Mil
32. I. Thomas  PG  Bos
33. J.Crowder  SF  Bos
34. K.Thompson SG GSW
35. E.Bledsoe PG Pho
36. M.Conley PG Mem
37.   H.Whiteside C Mia
38. B.Lopez C Brook
39. P.Gasol C SA
40. N.Batum PG  Charl
41. G.Monroe C Mil
42. G.Dieng C Minn
43. L.Aldridge PF SA
44.   G.Dragic PG Mia
45. G.Hayward SF Utah
46. CJ McCollum SG Port
47. M.Gasol C Mem
48. J.Valanciunas  C Tor
49. M.Williams PF  Charl
50. D.Green SG SA

51. M.Smart PG  Bos
52. N.Mirotic PF Chi
53. A.Bogut C Dall
54. D.Gallinari SF Den
55. C.Parsons SF Mem
56. M.Plumlee C Port
57. E.Davis C Port
58. D.Nowitzki PF Dall
59. T.Ariza SF  Hou
60.   S.Ibaka PF Orl
61. O.Porter SF  Wash
62. A-F. Aminu PG Port
63. P.Patterson PF Tor
64. R.Covington SF Phi
65.   A.Gordon SF Orl
66. R.Hood SG Utah
67. M.Gortat C Wash
68. C.Capela C Hou
69. M.Ginobli SG SA
70. K.Faried PF Den

71. K.Olynyk PF Bos
72. D.DeRozan SG Tor
73. T.Harris SF Det
74. G.Hill PG Utah
75. J.Teague PG Ind
76. J.Noah C NY
77. A.Johnson C Bos
78. R.Lopez C Chi
79. C.Zeller C Charl
80. J.Holiday PG NO

81. C.Aldrich C Minn
82. D.Howard C Hou
83. S.Adams C OKC
84. T.Thompson C Cle
85.   N.Vucevic C Orl
86. W.Mathews SG Dall
87.   E.Fournier SG Orl
88. K.Korver SG Atl
89. L.Deng SF LAL
90. J.Nurkic C  Den

91. P.Mills PG SA
92. R.Hollis-Jefferson SG Brook
93. B.Marjanovic C Det
94. A.Iguodala SF GSW
95. Z.Pachulia C GSW
96. R.Rondo SG Chi
97. T.Young PF Ind
98. K.Caldwell-Pope SG Det
99. N.Noel C Phil
100. J.Sullinger PF Tor

2016 NFL Super Contest Picks, Week 8

I'm a disasterous 14-21

NO +2.5 win
Jax +3 loss
SD +5.5 loss
Ind +2.5 loss
Cle +3 push


A Tiered MLB Hall of 200 - Second Basemen

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Through 2018.

The explanation for all of this is here.


First Basemen

Second Basemen

Inner Circle
Rogers Hornsby  (1915-37, Cardinals) WAR 115.8 OPS+ 175 PA 9480 (WAR/PA  .0122)
Nap Lajoie (1896-16, Naps) WAR 107.8, OPS+ 150 PA 10461 (.0103)
Eddie Collins (1906-30, White Sox) WAR 114.6 OPS+ 142 PA 12046 (.095)

Middle Circle
Joe Morgan (1963-84, Reds) WAR 98.25, OPS+ 132 PA 11329 (87)
Bobby Grich (1970-86, Angels) WAR 80.5 OPS+ 125 PA 8220  (98)
Robinson Cano (2005-, Yankees) WAR 79.5 OPS+ 127 PA 8841 (90)
Lou Whitaker (1977-95, Tigers) WAR 80 OPS+ 117 PA 9967 (80)
Rod Carew (1967-85, Twins) WAR 77.75 OPS+ 131 PA 10550 (74)
Charlie Gehringer (1924-42, Tigers) WAR 76.3 OPS+124 PA 10245 (74)

Outer Circle
Roberto Alomar (1988-04, Blue Jays) WAR 75.6 OPS+116 PA 10400 (73)
Jackie Robinson (1947-56, Dodgers) WAR 61.9 OPS+ 132 PA 5804 (107)
Chase Utley (2003-, Phillies) WAR 62.05 OPS+ 117 PA 7863 (79)
Ryne Sandberg (1981-97, Cubs) WAR 70.45 OPS+ 114 PA 9282 (76)
Willie Randolph (1975-92, Yankees) WAR 70.65 OPS+104 PA 9461 (75)
Jeff Kent (1992-2008, Giants) WAR 63.95 OPS+ 123 PA 9537 (67)
Frankie Frisch (1919-37, Cardinals) WAR 69.65 OPS+110 PA 10999 (63)
Joe Gordon (1938-50, Yankees) WAR 57.55 OPS+ 120 PA 6535 (88)
Ian Kinsler (2006-, Rangers) WAR 62.95 OPS+ 108 PA 8018 (79)

Last Out
Bobby Doerr (1937-51, Red Sox) WAR 60.75 OPS+ 115 PA 8028 (76)
Craig Biggio (1988-2007, Astros) WAR 64.05 OPS+ 112 PA 12504 (51)

On Deck
Dustin Pedroia (2006-, Red Sox) WAR 53.55 OPS+ 114 PA 6756 (79) 

Next up shortstop

A Tiered MLB Hall of 200-First Basemen

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Through 2018. 

The explanation for all of this is here.


First Basemen

Inner Circle
Lou Gehrig (1923-39, Yankees) WAR 105.25 OPS+179 PA 9663 (WAR/PA .0109)
Albert Pujols (2001-, Cardinals) WAR 108.7 OPS+149 PA 11686 (.0093)
Jimmie Foxx (1925-45, A's) WAR 88.5 OPS+ 163 PA 9676 (91)

Middle Circle
Cap Anson (1871-97, White Stockings) WAR 95.45 OPS+ 142 PA 11331 (84)
Frank Thomas (1990-08, White Sox) WAR 84.05 OPS+ 156 PA 10075 (83)
Dan Brouthers (1879-04, Bisons) WAR 81.3 OPS+ 171 PA 7691 (.0106)
Roger Connor (1880-97, Giants) WAR 87 OPS+153 PA 8847 (98)
Jim Thome (1991-2012, Indians) WAR 81.6 OPS+ 147 PA 10313 (79)
Johnny Mize (1936-53, Cardinals) WAR 71.35 OPS+158 PA 7370 (97)

Outer Circle
Mark McGwire (1986-01, Athletics) WAR 68.65 OPS+ 163 PA 7660 (90)
Jeff Bagwell (1991-05, Astros) WAR 75.55 OPS+149 PA 9431 (80)
Joey Votto (2007-, Reds) WAR 64.5 OPS+ 155 PA 6764 (95)
Todd Helton (1997-2013, Rockies) WAR 66.8 OPS+133 PA 9453 (71)
Willie McCovey (1959-80, Giants) WAR 65.9 OPS+147 PA 9692 (68)
David Ortiz (1997-16, Red Sox) WAR 66.9 OPS+141 PA 10091 (67)
Rafael Palmeiro (1986-05, Rangers) WAR 73 OPS+ 132 PA 12046 (61)
Eddie Murray (1977-97, Orioles) WAR 69.95 OPS+ 129 PA 12817 (55)
Hank Greenberg (1930-47, Tigers) WAR 54.4 OPS+158 PA 6098 (89)

Last Out
Keith Hernandez (1974-90, Cardinals) WAR 63.25 OPS+ 128 PA 8553 (74)
Jason Giambi (1995-2014, A's) WAR 61 OPS+ 139 PA 8908 (68)
Will Clark (1986-00, Giants) WAR 60.1 OPS+ 137 PA 8283 (73)
John Olerud (1989-05, Jays) WAR 64.4 OPS+ 129 PA 9063 (71)

On Deck
Paul Goldschmidt (2011-Diamondbacks) WAR 45.3 OPS+ 145 PA 4708 (96)
Adrian Gonzalez (2004-Padres) WAR 52.55 OPS+ 129 PA 8043 (65)

Second base is next..

A Tiered MLB Hall of 200-Catchers

Monday, October 24, 2016

The explanation for all of this is here.

Through 2018.


Inner Circle
Johnny Bench (1967-83, Reds) WAR 78.1  OPS+ 126  PA 8674  (WAR/PA .0090)
Gary Carter (1974-92, Expos) WAR 72.9 OPS+ 115 PA 9019 (.0081)
Pudge Rodriguez (1991-2011, Rangers) WAR 82 OPS+ 106 PA 10270  (.0080)

Middle Circle
Bill Dickey (1928-46, Yankees) WAR 62.95 OPS+ 127 PA 7065 (89)
Gabby Hartnett (1922-41, Cubs) WAR 62.75 OPS+ 126 PA 7297 (86)
Carlton Fisk (1969-93, Red Sox) WAR 71.55 OPS+ 117 PA 9853 (73)
Mike Piazza (1992-2007, Dodgers) WAR 61.55 OPS+ 142 PA 7745 (79)
Yogi Berra (1946-65, Yankees) WAR 64.35 OPS+ 125 PA 8359 (77)
Buck Ewing (1880-97, Giants) WAR 58.85 OPS+ 129 PA 5772 (102)

Outer Circle
Mickey Cochrane (1925-37, Athletics) WAR 53.9 OPS+ 129 PA 6207 (87)
Joe Mauer (2004-, Twins) WAR 61.2 OPS+ 124 PA 7960 (77)
Joe Torre (1960-77, Braves) WAR 56.85 OPS+ 129 PA 8802 (65)
Gene Tenace (1969-83, A's) WAR 47.95 OPS+ 136 PA 5527 (87)
King Kelly (1878-93, White Stockings) WAR 54.7 OPS+ 139 PA 6457 (85)
Buster Posey (2009- Giants) WAR 45.15 OPS+ 132 PA 4708 (96)
Jorge Posada (1995-11, Yankees) WAR 54.2 OPS+ 121 PA 7150 (76)
       Brian Downing (1973-91, Angels) WAR 53.5 OPS+ 122 PA 9309 (57)
Ted Simmons (1968-88, Cardinals) WAR 52.35 OPS+ 118 PA 9685 (54)

Last Out
Thurman Munson (1969-79, Yankees) WAR 46.25 OPS+ 116 PA 5905 (78)
Charlie Bennett (1878-93, Wolverines) WAR 45.2 OPS+ 119 PA 4310 (105)

On Deck
Russell Martin WAR 45.2 OPS+ 102 PA 6399 (71) 
Yadier Molina WAR 50.35 OPS+ 99 PA 7203 (70)
Victor Martinez WAR 41.5 OPS+ 118 PA 8166 (51)

First base is next.

Tendown, October 23, 2016

Sunday, October 23, 2016

246 is here. This is Tendown 247.

Incidentally - told you so.

1. So, this doesn't have much subtext.

2. And then this.









and one more...

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time...if there is a next time...

Your pal,


2016-2017 NBA Wins Prediction

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Each of the last two seasons I've predicted Warriors/Cavs finals (in my MLB picks before this season I picked a Cubs/Indians World Series) and I'm doing it again this year.  Here are my 2016-17 NBA wins total predictions; if I see a play above the Vegas line I'll indicate.

Post season update -- You're welcome.

1. Cleveland 56
2. Toronto 50
3. Boston 48
4. Detroit 43
5. Charlotte 43
6. Chicago 42
7. Washington 40
8. Atlanta 39 (under 43.5)  WIN

9. Indiana 38 (under 45.5)  WIN
10. Orlando 37
11. New York 35 (Under 40) WIN
12. Miami 34
13. Milwaukee 33
14. Philadelphia 27 (over 23.5)  WIN
15. Brooklyn 25 (over 21.5)  LOSS

1. Golden St. 67
2. San Antonio 53
3. Utah 49
4. LAC 48 (under 54) WIN
5. OKC 48
6. Houston 46
7. Portland 46
8. Minnesota 42

9. Denver 41
10. Memphis 38 (under 43.5) WIN
11. Sacramento 36
12. New Orleans 36
13. Dallas 36 (under 39.5) WIN
14. Phoenix 30
15. LALakers 24
Once again, Warriors v. Cavs in the NBA Finals.

Let's Pick Some College Football Games, Oct 22 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016

I'm 29-30

Wyo -4.5 Nev win
Col +2.5 Stan  win
Miss St -2.5 UK loss


2016 NFL Super Contest Picks, Week 7

I'm 12-18

Niners +2 loss
NYJ pick win
Eagles +2.5 win
Steelers +7 loss
Jags -1 loss


Forever Giants: 2016 San Francisco Giants Year 59 (Franchise Year 134)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

2015 is here.

My WAR calculation is a combination of Baseball-reference and Clay Davenport; I believe it to be the "best" WAR number available for historical comparison. 8 WAR is an MVP quality season.  The record is pythagorean adjusted for 162 games.

2016 (90-72)
C Buster Posey 5.6 
1B Brandon Belt 4.85 
2B Joe Panik 1.65 
SS Brandon Crawford 4.15 
3B Matt Duffy 1.1 
LF Angel Pagan 2.3
CF Denard Span .65 
RF Hunter Pence 2.3 
OF Gregor Blanco -.75 
3B Conor Gillaspie .85 
3B Eduardo Nunez 1
C Trevor Brown -.1
OF Jarrett Parker .45 
OF Mac Williamson .45
2B Kelby Tomlinson .6 
SP Madison Bumgarner 6.25 
SP Johnny Cueto 5.9
SP Jeff Samardzija 2.85
SP Jake Peavy -1.1
RP Derek Law 1.95
RP Hunter Strickland 1.4 
RP Santiago Casilla 1.25 (13.75) Last season

-One of the best teams in the first half, one of the worst in the second, it all came out on the wash as the Giants made (and won) the Wild Card game and then lost the NLDS in four games to the Cubs.  With a 90 win pythag+postseason appearance this is the 14th best regular season club in San Francisco history. Bumgarner cracks 30 career WAR, Posey nears 40. Giants say goodbye to Pagan, Blanco and the three remaining relievers with 3 World Series rings (Casilla/Romo/Lopez).  Starting third baseman Matt Duffy is also gone, dealt at mid-season for Matt Moore.  

Every San Francisco Giants Team Ranked by Pythagorean Record

Monday, October 17, 2016

Updated through 2018

Here's every regular season team in SFG history ranked by pythagorean record, normalized for a 162 game season.  I've included what happened to each of the teams which made the postseason, and included the best position player and pitcher on each team, as determined by regular season WARP (Davenport version) plus WAR (baseball-reference version).  Ranking is regular season only.

  1. 1962 100 Lost WS to Yankees Best WAR+WARP position player/pitcher Mays 10.3 Marichal 3.3, Sanford 3.3.  Yup, the best team in SFG history wasn't the WS Champion, it was the first WS loser, the '62 team.  
  2. 2002 98 Lost WS to Angels Bonds 12.35, Nen 3.65.  8 outs away and a 5 run lead. 
  3. 1993 98 Bonds 11.5, Swift 4.5 103 regular season wins and didn't make the playoffs.
  4. 2000 97 Lost in playoffs to Mets Kent 8.55, Hernandez 3.2. The missing great SFG team of recent vintage, the best regular season team in 2000, and bounced in the NLDS.
  5. 2010 94 World Champions defeated Rangers Huff 6 Wilson 4.65. Your First Ever World Champion San Francisco Giants
  6. 1987 93 Lost in NLCS to Cardinals Clark 4.75, Robinson 2.3. A wide open postseason in '87, the Twins are the worst WS winners in baseball history. 
  7. 2003 93 Lost in NLDS to Marlins Bonds 9,75, Schmidt 6.35
  8. 1967 93 Hart 5.6, Perry 5.75
  9. 1961 93 Mays 8.65 McCormick 4.7
  10. 1989 92 Lost WS to A’s Clark 9.85, Garrelts 3.65
  11. 1998 91 Bonds 10.2, Nen 5
  12. 1965 91 Mays 11, Marichal 9.75
  13. 1959 91 Mays 7.7 Jones 5.55
  14. 2016 90 Lost in NLDS to Cubs Posey 5.6, Bumgarner 6.15 
  15. 1986 90 Davis 4.45, Krukow 3.15
  16. 1968 90 McCovey 7.45 Marichal 6
  17. 1963 90 Mays 10.5 Marichal 7.9
  18. 2015 89 Posey 7.2, Bumgarner 6.2
  19. 1969 89 McCovey 8.35, Marichal 8.1
  20. 1964 89 Mays 10.75, Marichal 6.65
  21. 2012 88 World Champions defeated Tigers Posey 8, Cain 5
  22. 1971 88 Lost in NLCS to Pirates Mays 6.3, Marichal 2.9
  23. 2004 88 Bonds 11.6, Schmidt 5.35
  24. 2014 87 World Champions defeated Royals Posey 5.7 , Bumgarner 5
  25. 1966 86 Mays 8.9, Marichal 9.55
  26. 2001 86 Bonds 12.75, Ortiz 4.2
  27. 1988 86 Clark 7.9, Reuschel 3.5
  28. 2009 86 Sandoval 5.45, Lincecum 6.45
  29. 1973 85 Bonds 7.3, Bryant 3.2
  30. 1999 85 Kent 4.6, Ortiz 2
  31. 1960 85 Mays 9.35 McCormick 6.2
  32. 1958 84 Mays 10.5 Antonelli  4.5
  33. 1978 83 Clark 6.3, Knepper 6.45
  34. 1981 83 Morgan 3.1, Alexander 4
  35. 1990 82 Williams 5.15, Brantley 4.3
  36. 1972 82 Speier 7.5 Bryant 3.1
  37. 1970 81 McCovey 7.05, Perry 7.55
  38. 1994 81 Bonds 7.5, Jackson 2.15
  39. 1997 80 Lost in playoffs to Marlins Bonds 8.5, Estes 4.05
  40. 2011 80 Sandoval 6.05, Lincecum 4.9
  41. 1983 80 Evans 5.05, Hammaker 4.65
  42. 1982 79 Morgan 5.7, Minton 6.4
  43. 1975 79 Speier 4.65, Montefusco 6.05
  44. 2007 77 Bonds 4.2, Cain 4.1
  45. 2006 76 Bonds 4.6, Schmidt 3.8
  46. 1991 76 Clark 6.25, Wilson 2.45
  47. 1977 75 Thomasson 2.25, Halicki 5.7
  48. 2013 74 Pence 5.65 Bumgarner 4.6
  49. 1980 73 Evans 4.9, Blue 5.15
  50. 1979 73 Clark 3.3, Lavelle 3.5
  51. 1992 72 Clark 5.5 Swift 4.6
  52. 2005 71 Alou 3.75, Lowry 3.35
  53. 1976 71 Murcer 2.25, Montefusco 6.6
  54. 1974 71 Bonds 4.6, Barr 6.3
  55. 1996 71 Bonds 9.85, Beck 2.35
  56. 2018 70 Crawford 3.25, Bumgarner 2.8
  57. 1984 69 Davis 4.9, Lavelle 2.9
  58. 2008 68 Winn 4.35, Lincecum 7.2
  59. 1995 68 Bonds 8.35, Leiter 1.35
  60. 2017 67 Posey 4.7, Bumgarner 3.75
  61. 1985 67 Davis 3.55, Krukow 3.6

Tendown, October 16, 2016

Sunday, October 16, 2016

245 is here.  This is Tendown 246.

1. Enough with the Notrious RBG Stuff.

With more and more football players across the country refusing to stand for the national anthem before games, Justice Ginsburg called the protest “dumb and disrespectful.”

2. Clinton at Goldman

“There's nothing magic about regulations, too much is bad, too little is bad,” she told a Goldman Sachs symposium. “How do you get to the golden key, how do we figure out what works? And the people that know the industry better than anybody are the people who work in the industry.”

3. Taibbi.

The first symptom of a degraded aristocracy is a lack of capable candidates for the throne. After years of indulgence, ruling families become frail, inbred and isolated, with no one but mystics, impotents and children to put forward as kings. Think of Nikolai Romanov reading fortunes as his troops starved at the front. Weak princes lead to popular uprisings. Which brings us to this year's Republican field.

4. Yemen.

5. Remember, Hamilton isn't Real.

The show portrays Hamilton as a “young, scrappy, and hungry” immigrant (he was born on the Caribbean Island of Nevis, but qualified as a U.S. citizen when the Constitution was adopted), an egalitarian, and a passionate abolitionist. All of this is wrong, Gordon-Reed said.
“In the sense of the Ellis Island immigrant narrative, he was not an immigrant,” she said. “He was not pro-immigrant, either.
“He was not an abolitionist,” she added. “He bought and sold slaves for his in-laws, and opposing slavery was never at the forefront of his agenda.
“He was not a champion of the little guy, like the show portrays,” she said. “He was elitist. He was in favor of having a president for life.”
6. The Democrats are Driving me Bonkers.

come January, Democrats will continue to be the dominant political faction in the U.S. — more so than ever — and the tactics they are now embracing will endure past the election, making them worthy of scrutiny. Those tactics now most prominently include dismissing away any facts or documents that reflect negatively on their leaders as fake, and strongly insinuating that anyone who questions or opposes those leaders is a stooge or agent of the Kremlin, tasked with a subversive and dangerously un-American mission on behalf of hostile actors in Moscow.




10. You Get one Free Article a Month from Harpers - Read This One.

And one more...

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time...if there is a next time...

Your pal,


Best Players, Each Position, 2016 MLB Season

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Using the best WAR calculation that exists, B-Ref+Davenport, these are the best players from the 2016 MLB season.

C B.Posey SFG   5.6
    J.Lucroy Mil/Tex  4.8
    W.Ramos Wash  4.7
    Y.Molina StL 3.5
    JT Realmuto Mia 3.5
    Y.Grandal LA 3.5

1B A.Rizzo Chi 7.45
      F.Freeman Atl 6.9
      M.Cabrera Det 6.35
      J.Votto Cin 5.9
      P.Goldschmidt Ari 5.45

2B R.Cano Sea 7.3
      J.Altuve Hou 6
      I.Kinsler Det 5.7
      DJ LeMahieu Col 5.3
      B.Dozier Min 5.15
SS  F.Lindor Cle 5.85
      C.Correa Hou 5.1
      C.Seager LA 4.9
      J.Villar Mil 4.85
      A.Russell Chi 4.8
3B K.Bryant Chi 8.2 NL MVP
      K.Seager Sea 7.05
      N.Arenado Col 6.9
      J.Donaldson Tor 6.45
      M.Machado Bal 6.15
LF C.Yelich Mia 4.65
      R.Braun Mil 4.4
      S.Marte Pit 4.35
      Y.Cespedes NYM 4.05
       B.Gardner NYY 3.65

CF M.Trout LAA 9.2 AL MVP
      O.Herrera Phi 4.65
      C.Blackmon Col 4.5
      D.Fowler Chi 4.35
      J.Bradley Bos 4.35
RF M.Betts Bos 8.5
      A.Eaton CWS 6.4
      G.Springer Hou 5.65
      B.Harper Wash 3.25
      S.Piscotty StL 3.2
DH D.Ortiz Bos 5.55
       N.Cruz Sea 4.9
       E.Encarnacion Tor 3.65

SP N.Syndergaard NYM 6.6 - NL Cy
     M.Scherzer Wash 6.55
     J.Verlander Det 6.3 - AL Cy
     C.Martinez StL 6.3
     C.Kershaw LAD 6.25
     M.Bumgarner SFG 6.15
     C.Kluber Cle 5.75
     T.Roark Wash 5.7
     J.Cueto SFG 5.55
     J.Lester Chi 5.55
     J.Fernandez Mia 5.5
     J.Quintana CWS 5.35
     C.Sale CWS 5.2
     K.Hendricks Chi 5.2
     R.Porcello Bos 5
     M.Tanaka NYY 4.9
     J.Teheran Atl 4.85
     R.Hill Oak/LAD 4.55
     M.Fullmer Det 4.5
     D.Pomeranz SD/Bos 4.5
Z.Britton Bal 5.4
A.Miller NYY 5.15
M.Melancon Was/Pit 5.05
A.Chapman NYY/Chi 4.3
K.Jansen LAD 4.15
A.Colome TB 3.65
B.Ziegler Ari/Bos 3.6
S.H Oh StL 3.55
J.Familia NYM 3.25
D.Phelps Mia 3.25



Let's Pick Some College Football Games, Oct 15 2016

Friday, October 14, 2016

I'm 25-26

Nwestern +4.5 Mich St. win
Neb -3.5 Ind win
Clem -17.5 NC St loss
Miami -7.5 UNC loss
Miss -7.5 Ark loss
Utah -9.5 Ore St loss
UNLV +8.5 Hawaii win
EMich +7 Ohio win


2016 NFL Super Contest Picks, Week 6

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

I'm an ugly 10-15

Cincinnati +8.5 loss
Miami +7.5 win
Sea -6.5 loss
Oak pick loss
NO +3 win


Tendown, October 9, 2016

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Tendown 244 is here.  This is 245.

1. Evil.

2. Evil.  But also hilarious.

“Trump sniffing may have been a sign of the Holy Spirit coming out of him,” said Robertson on “The 700 Club.” “The Holy Spirit affects people in strange ways. Some people go into a frenzy, some people start laughing uncontrollably, some people bark like dogs. Apparently, Trump sniffs.”

3. Don't Talk to the Cops.

4. Kaepernick.

5. More Divisive than Kaepernick in NFL Locker Rooms - Trump

two NFC teammates—a right-leaning offensive lineman and a left-leaning linebacker—began to re-examine their friendship because of Trump.
They had known each other for four years. Their wives talked on occasion. Their kids sometimes played together. They sat next to each other in team meetings and went to dinner several times per month. They often joked that politics were off-limits because of their disparate viewpoints. Then, after their first offseason team workout in May, the lineman revealed he would be voting for Trump—and everything changed.
The linebacker, a Clinton supporter, began finding excuses for not going to dinner. The families stopped talking. When the lineman confronted his now former friend, he recalls receiving a blunt response: I can’t be friends with anyone who would vote for Donald Trump. I’m sorry.
✦ ✦ ✦


8. UN Report on US Cops

9. the Atlantic

We believe in American democracy, in which individuals from various parties of different ideological stripes can advance their ideas and compete for the affection of voters. But Trump is not a man of ideas. He is a demagogue, a xenophobe, a sexist, a know-nothing, and a liar. He is spectacularly unfit for office, and voters—the statesmen and thinkers of the ballot box—should act in defense of American democracy and elect his opponent.


And one more...

that's all for this time...i'll be back next time...if there is a next time...

Your pal,


Let's Pick Some College Football Games, Oct 8 2016

Friday, October 7, 2016

I'm 22-23

Hawaii +3 SJ St.  win
Army +3.5 Duke loss
Vandy +2.5 UK loss
Fresno +9.5 Nev win
Stan -6.5 Wash St loss
Kansas +28.5 TCU win


The History of the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Here's the history of the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS.

1997 Marlins 3 Giants 0

September 30, 1997 was 5 days after my 27th birthday and Game One of the NLDS.  It was our first postseason game since the Earthquake World Series sweep by the A's and my first ever playoff game seen in person. We got 4 hit, but took a 1-0 lead with a Bill Mueller homer to lead off the top of the 7th.  At that point, a group of fans a few rows behind began to throw popcorn at me as I cheered.  Our win probability after Barry followed with a double was 70%, but we stranded him there; the Marlins tied it in their half of the inning and in the bottom of the 9th, with 2 outs and the bases loaded, future Giant Edgar Renteria singled to walk us off.  Thanks Roberto Hernandez!  In recent years the Giants have traveled well, this was less the case in '97.  In recent years, I've become more temperate when attending sporting events where mine was not the home team; this was less the case in '97.  You ever been heckled by 40,000 people?  I felt like Roddy Piper in '85.  

Game 2 was the next night; I got stuck sitting behind the Marlins bullpen, got heckled all night, and was in a shoving match in the parking lot after the game.  We scored runs in each of the first 4 innings, Barry doubled twice, but were still down 6-5 going to the 9th inning when two errors and a single tied the game.  In the bottom of the ninth, future Giant Moises Alou singled to walk us off.  Thanks Roberto Hernandez!  Remember what I said about Roddy Piper?  Yeah, that again.  

The first Giants home playoff game in 8 years ended with a 6th inning Devon White grand slam off Wilson Alvarez.  We lost 6-2 and were swept out of the playoffs.

2000 Mets 3 Giants 1

The Giants were the best team in baseball in 2000 with 97 pythagorean wins; at the time of this writing, in 2014, it remains the 4th best regular season team in San Francisco history.  

My 2000 wasn't bad either - I spent September making multiple appearances on an ESPN game show, winning money based in no small part on my knowledge of San Francisco Giants history - my last appearance taped less than two weeks before what, by all accounts, looked to be the first step in the first ever World Series title for the Giants since the move west; that looked to be even more true after Livan Hernandez, backed by a 3 run Ellis Burks homer, beat the Mets 5-1 to open the series.

We then lost back to back one run extra innings games.  'Cause maybe we forgot how the NLDS works.  

JT Snow hit a home run we'd still be talking about had the series ended differently, a 3 run shot off Armando Benitez to tie the score in the 9th, but Felix Rodriguez, still in the game despite giving up a 2 run homer in the 9th, did his best Roberto Hernandez impression, giving up back to back two out hits and we lost 5-4 in 10.

Game 3 went 13.  Robb Nen came on with 2 out in the 8th but failed to protect a 2-1 lead; we left two on base in the 10th, 12th, and 13th - when Aaron Fultz gave up the losing homer to Benny Agbayani that you can still occasionally see on a highlight reel.

And then we got 1 hit by Bobby Jones in Game 4.  Naturally.

2002 Giants 3 Braves 2

This season ended in a much, much more painful way than did '97 and '00 - but that wasn't true of this series, the Giants first win in the NLDS. The Giants had 98 pythagorean wins in '02, as of 2014, still the third best regular season team in San Francisco history, and on our way to the first NL pennant since the Earthquake, we beat the Braves.

The Giants split the first two in Atlanta; 4 doubles staked SFG to a 6 run lead through 6 innings and we held on to an 8-5 win.  Kirk Reuter got bombed in game 2, giving up 6 earned in the first three innings and despite three homers the Giants lost 7-3.

Game 3 looked to be the knockout, in Pac Bell the Giants got smoked, 10-2, 

Fortunately, Tom Glavine couldn't deliver the final blow, he gave up 7 earned in less than 3 innings, 3 on an Aurilia homer and the series was even with an 8-3 Giants win,

Game 5 in Atlanta.  

Barry led off the second with a single (his OPS for the series was 1.233) and a two out hit by Reggie Sanders gave the Giants a 1-0 lead. Bonds led off the 4th with his third homer of the series to make it 2-0, and following a Braves run in the 6th, a Lofton sac fly made it 3-1 in the 7th.

You know how this story ends - the Braves put them on the corners with nobody out in the ninth against Nen, but Sheffield struck out and Chipper hit into a series ending double play.  Benny Agbayani was nowhere to be found and the Giants were onto the NLCS. 

2003 Giants 1 Marlins 3

A year later came the rematch from '97; we split the first two, Jason Schmidt threw a complete game 3 hit shutout in game one, but Sidney Ponson and a young Giant pitcher named Joe Nathan got lit up in game two.  

I sat with my mother behind the Giants bullpen for Game 3 of the NLDS and saw us tie the game at 2-2 in the 6th, then leave 2 on in the 7th, leave a runner at second in the 8th, leave them on the corners in the 9th, leave two on in the 10th, take a 3-2 lead in the 11th, but leave men on 2nd and 3rd, having a 90% to win the game, and then Jose Cruz dropped that fly ball in the bottom of the inning - I felt like I was the only one in the stadium looking dead at him the whole way; you know how on a routine play your eyes can leave the ball - for whatever reason I looked the ball into...and out of Cruz's glove, and felt like I was a split second ahead of the entire stadium in recognizing what had happened.  With the bases loaded and 2 out, Pudge Rodriguez hit a 2 run single to walk us off.  That walk up the aisle and out of the stadium was among the longest of my life.  Thanks Roberto Hernandez! (Roberto Hernandez was long gone, but I hold a grudge).  

 Game 4 is on the MLB Network list of the greatest games of the TV era; we were down 5-1  after 4 when Jerome Williams (we started Jerome Williams in an elimination game?) got bombed.  We got them all back in the 6th, and took that 5-5 tie into the bottom of the 8th when Felix Rodriguez, just a year after his role in our blowing a 5 run Game 6 World Series lead, gave up two to put us down 7-5 going to the 9th.  We quickly cut it in half, and had the tying run on with no one out in the 9th - two outs and a hit batsman later, JT Snow got thrown out at the plate trying to score on a base hit, maybe the only postseason series ever to end on a home plate collision.  It was the last game I ever got to see with my dad; on the way home, I said we were never going to win the World Series.

2010 Giants 3 Braves 1

7 years later, I was wrong.

Tim Lincecum was once one of baseball's best pitchers; in game 1 he threw a complete game, 14 strikeout 1 walk 2 hitter.  This was fortunate as the Giants only scored a run,

Sergio Romo and Brian Wilson were handed a 4-1 lead in the 8th the following day - and the Giants wound up losing in 11 on a Rick Ankiel homer.

3 Brooks Conrad errors gave us game 3; the last literally causing the game winning run to score to cap off a 2 run Giant 9th to give us a 3-2 win.  

It took one more 2 run comeback, this time in the sixth, to give the Giants another NLDS win over the Braves in a season that would end in triumph.

2012 Giants 3 Reds 2

Matt Cain entered with a postseason scoreless streak of 21+ innings and he got beat in Game One. Cain gave up a 2 run homer to Brandon Phillips in the third.  Baseball’s a data rich endeavor; there’s enough baseball history that we know even that early in a baseball game, that home run gave the Reds a 72% probability that they were going to win the game.  When you’re watching game one of the NLDS and see that Phillips homer; if you say “not really a big deal, it’s the third inning of game one” – you’re wrong, you’re about to go down 1-0.

Which we did – Jay Bruce homered in the 4th and Cain was gone after five.  Buster Posey, soon to be named NL MVP, homered to lead off the 6th, but when you’re down 3-1 with no outs in the bottom of the 6th, you still have only a 22% chance to win the game.  Santiago Casilla took that 3-1 deficit into the ninth inning and expanded it giving up 3 singles and a wild pitch.  Add in a passed ball and the Reds took a 5-1 lead into the bottom of the 9th.  We loaded the bases with one out against Aroldis Chapman, but only managed a run and lost game one on a Posey strikeout.

That ended a streak of 8 straight Giants Game One postseason victories; San Francisco had never won a playoff series after losing game one and the Giants organization hadn’t done it since ’21.  That’s how quickly a short series can end – Phillips hits that game one 3rd inning homer and you’re in a hole the franchise hadn’t climbed from in more than 90 years.

And then we got 2 hit and lost Game Two 9-0.

Raise your hand if you had the Giants winning the World Series after Game 2 of the 2012 NLDS.  I’m as big a Giants fan as I know, my hands are down.

Well, they’re at the keyboard, but you get the point. The season was over. 

Ryan Ludwick homered off Madison Bumgarner in the second, and when the Reds got 4 singles in the 4th, scoring 3 more runs, their win probability went up to 89%.  We had only a Brandon Belt single by the top of the 8th when Cincinnati ripped Jose Mijares and Guillermo Mota for five more runs.  A Posey 9th inning double was our only other hit of the night.  We were down 2-0 and traveling to Cincinnati.

9-0 was the largest postseason shutout defeat in the 130 year history of the Giants organization.

It’s over.  Right?  Come on.  Only one team ever came back in a five game series after losing the first two at home, the ’01 Yanks.  Our season rested on Ryan Vogelsong, with a career ERA in Cincinnati over 5.00.

We got only one more hit in Game 3 than we did in game 2.  Do you see what I’m saying?  We got 3 hit on the road in an elimination game.

How did the season not end there?

It got bad quick; 3 first inning singles and a walk got the Reds a run and moved them to 64% win probability for the ballgame.

We evened it up without a hit in the third on a walk, a hit by pitch, and a sac fly.  When Vogelsong got through the bottom giving up only a couple of walks, it was the latest point in any game of the series so far that we weren’t losing.

This was not a close series is the point I’m making.  We were getting our ass beat. 

We didn’t get our first hit of the game until a Marco Scutaro single in the 6th; Scutaro had a terrific last two months since coming over from Colorado, but had done less than zero in the NLDS to that point; a quiet bat in a line of quiet Giants bats.

Jeremy Affeldt took over in the bottom and gave up a couple of baserunners – but that 1-1 tie remained until former Dodgers closer Jonathon Broxton got the ball in the 10th inning (if you’re unaware – the Giants don’t like the Dodgers.)

So, understand where we are –the Giants were getting one hit in Game 3 after getting two hit in Game 2, but greeted Broxton with back to back singles to open the 10th, by Posey and Hunter Pence (who was unable to get down a bunt earlier in his at bat). Back to back strikeouts looked to close out our inning – but a passed ball and a Scott Rolen error on a weak Joaquin Arias ground ball scored what would be the winning run.  Scott Rolen is one of the great defensive third basemen of all time; 8 Gold Gloves, over 20 wins above replacement defensively for his career; he’d be a Hall of Fame candidate if the electorate understood the value of playing the type of third base that Rolen played.  But that’s past tense, now Rolen is just a guy hanging onto a job that shouldn’t be his any longer; in this instance, taking advantage of former Giants manager Dusty Baker’s weakness for veterans and playing at the expense of NL Rookie of the Year Candidate Todd Frazier. 

Sergio Romo locked down the bottom of the tenth – and we stayed alive.

We struck out 16 times.  And got only 3 hits.  All singles.  In an elimination game.  On the road. The Giants were 5 for 61 in games 2 and 3 for a batting average I don’t feel like computing, but it’s tiny.

How did the season not end there?

The Wild Card was added in ’95, 21 times a team had gone down 0-2 in the NLDS.  21 times that team had lost the series.

The Reds best pitcher in 2012 was Johnny Cueto, but he got hurt early in Game One, forcing a shuffling of the rotation – that meant using Mike Leake in Game 4 against Barry Zito, one of the all time biggest free agent busts in MLB history.

Leake wasn’t up to it.  He gave up a leadoff homer to Angel Pagan to begin the game. The first postseason leadoff homer in the history of the franchise.

Zito wasn’t up to it.  He walked three in the first to tie the score. 

And it was game on.  Gregor Blanco hit a two run homer in the second, we went up 3-1.

Zito gave one back with a homer to Ludwick, and after a two out walk to Dioner Navarro he was out of the game, replaced by George Kontos, who was replaced an inning later by Jose Mijares, who then gave way, with 2 out and 2 on in the 4th, to 2 time Cy Young Award winner and the very worst pitcher in the major leagues in 2012, Tim Lincecum. 

He got out of the inning and then we opened it up in the fifth.  Double by Arias.  Double by Pagan. 4-2 Giants.  And when Pagan scored after a sac fly, it was 5-2 Giants and we had an 82% probability to win the game and even the series.

Lincecum got the Reds in order in the bottom, but gave one back in the 6th.  5-3 good guys headed to the 7th.

Where we put it out of reach.  Double by Arias.  Double by Scutaro.  Only his second hit of the series. A 422 foot two run homer by Sandoval.  8-3 Giants and that’s the final score.  Lincecum threw both the 7th and the 8th, 4+ relief innings with six strikeouts for Lincecum, the winning pitcher for Game Four.

We had 8 extra base hits in Game 4.  More than any game in the regular season.

Winner take all Game 5.  Our first winner take all game in a decade. 

That would be game 7 of the 2002 World Series.  Not a great result that. The guy in the wristbands in the other dugout might remember. 

In 130 seasons the Giants franchise never had a perfect game.  Not Mathewson or Hubbell or Marichal.

If we had gone .500 in 2012, Matt Cain’s perfect game in June against the Astros still would have made it a memorable season.  I assume you’re like me; somewhere around the fifth inning if your guy hasn’t given up a baserunner you start thinking about it and with increased excitement after each out.  And eventually, hundreds/thousands of times, win or lose – that excitement fades.  Matt Cain threw a perfect game in 2012, it was one of the greatest moments in Giants history and it would have made any outcome during the regular season worth it.

But the thing is we didn’t go .500 – we won the NL West and after consecutive road wins had forced a Game 5.  Matt Cain on the mound against public enemy number one for Giants fans dating back to his brash days as a San Diego Padre when he (among other intemperate comments) signed a baseball “I Hate SF” Mat Latos. It wasn’t just rhetoric – Mat Latos has whipped us; 11 career starts and an ERA of 2.19. 

So many deep breaths.

Both sides put two men on in the first – no runs scored.

There wasn’t another hit until the 4th, when both sides singled – no runs scored.

A dead even game in a dead even series going to the fifth inning of Game 5 – when we ended them.

Blanco single through the left side.

Crawford triple into the right field corner.  His first hit of the series.

An error that made it 2-0.

Scutaro walk.

Sandoval single.  Bases loaded.

Posey hits a 434 foot grand slam.  And it’s 6-0 and over. This was only the 4th grand slam in a winner take all double elimination game in MLB history. I lived in Ohio for many years and would take a trip to Cincinnati each season to watch the Giants come to town.  I had some crappy nights at Riverfront.  Every single one of them got erased in that moment; in some pocket of the space-time continuum a teenage version of me is taunting that entire Reds crowd.   Loved it.  Loved it. 

Cain gave up 3 and the Reds left two on in both the 7th and 8th; Romo gave up 1… in the 9th  at 6-4, with 1 out, 2 on and Jay Bruce up – there was a real white knuckle “did I celebrate too soon” moment – but the Reds were out of bullets; Romo survived a 12 pitch at bat, and the score held.

Somehow, someway – the Giants were alive.

2014 Giants 3 Nationals 1

There were other games in the 2014 NLDS aside from Game 2, but you'd be forgiven if none come to mind.

Game 1 was a game, for example. In Game 1, Jake Peavy (who took a no hitter into the fifth) and five relievers beat Stephen Strasburg 3-2.  The Giants hit the ball all day long; a dozen hits, including run scoring singles by Panik in the 3rd, Belt in the 4th, and Posey in the 5th gave the club a 3-0 lead which Hunter Strickland nearly blew with two long...loooong homers in the 7th (now you remember which game this was). The Nats put the tying run in scoring position in the 8th, but Romo worked out of it and Casilla locked it down in the 9th to get Peavy his first ever postseason win.

Game 2 was 18 innings, nearly 6 and a half hours, with a John Isner home run off of Nicholas Mahut sending everyone home.

Here's my favorite actual fact about the game, as of that date, the longest game in major college history was 25 innings (a Texas reliever threw a totally reasonable 169 pitches) in 2009, Brandon Belt was Texas's DH.  He also played in this game (you probably knew that already).

The Giants got a terrific, 7+ inning outing from Hudson (who started the only other 18 inning playoff game in history) who struck out 8, walked one and was totally forgotten at game's end; he was outdueled (baseball talk) by Jordan Zimmerman who left with 2 outs in the 9th and a 1-0 lead.  He left after a Panik walk, giving way to Drew Storen, who allowed a single to Posey and the game tying double to Sandoval (Posey got thrown out at the plate).

Washington scored that run in the third, but then were shut out over the final 15 innings of the game, most notably by Yusmeiro Petit, who came on in the 12th and took the Giants all the way through the 17th inning.  

In the top of the 18th, Brandon Belt (from the University of Texas) led off with a monstrous home run to (mercifully, cause that's a long, stressful day of baseball) off of Tanner Roark and Strickland finished it up in the bottom.

With a 35% Win Probability Added, Belt's home run, given the spot, is one of the biggest single moments in franchise history.

Madison Bumgarner, has in fact, lost playoff games.  He got beat by Doug Fister in Game 3, 4-1, the critical moment being Bumgarner's two run throwing error in the 7th.  Down 4-0, we put the first two on in the 9th, and eventually scored one of them for the 4-1 final.

Fortunately, the series ended the following night; Vogelsong came up strong to close out the Nats, going 5+ and giving up a run; we were up 2-0 on a couple of second inning singles, a walk, and a Gio Gonzalez error; Bryce Harper brought DC back, a run scoring fifth inning double and another gigantic homer off of Strickland in the 7th tied the game.

We won the series in the bottom, couple of singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out, Nats reliever Aaron Barrett threw a wild pitch scoring Panik with the winning run. Casilla put the tying run on in the 9th, but ended the game with a Ramos groundout.