A Mixed Bag of Feelings Kind of Win
The last three games against Arizona have been nothing short of spectacular to say the least. There’s been timely hitting, solid pitching, action, adventure, romance, and fun for the whole family. So needless to say, I missed what looked on paper to be the best game of the series.
Having spent a good portion of my day on a boat in Puget Sound enjoying the best weather Seattle has to offer, I missed out on my daily Giants baseball fix. Needless to say, when I got back and checked the score (10-4, Giants victory), I thought everything was peachy.
Then I saw the news that Jeremy Affeldt is hitting the DL, followed by the replay of Eugenio Velez getting hit in the head by a foul line drive into the dugout. Everything from the look on the hitter’s face (Pat Burrell) to the stretcher and board the medics brought out brought back some scary memories from Joe Martinez’ line-drive-to-the-head experience. Whenever something like this happens to any player, baseball seems kind of frivolous in comparison. Velez may not be my favorite player, but I’ll be damned if I wasn’t genuinely concerned for the poor guy after seeing that replay.
Thankfully, all reports coming back are telling us that while he’s suffered a concussion (something I myself have experienced twice), he should be alright. Wishing you a speedy recovery Eugenio. Seriously.
With all this happening, it’s hard not to have mixed feelings about today’s shelacking of the Diamondbacks. On one hand, the Giants have completely shown their mettle as a team during a stretch where 18 of 22 games were played on the road. In their last 17 games, their 14-3, showing their capability to put together a consistent period of winning. On the other hand, we’ve lost Jeremy Affeldt, Eugenio Velez is in the hospital, and the Padres are determined to never lose another game ever again.
On the other, other hand, it’s really quite therapeutic to see this much winning. It represents a nice change from the normal, heart-breaking style of play the Giants have become so accustomed to in my lifetime. They’ve done all this on the collective backs of the starting pitching, Aubrey Huff, Andres Torres, and of course, perennial Rookie of the Year candidate Buster Posey. The most important stretch of the season though has yet to come.
I’ve mentioned this before, but it deserves some further review. From August 27th through September 16th, the Giants play NL West opponents in rapid succession. The schedule as it sits now has the Giants playing Arizona and Colorado at home, then the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and Padres on the road. The NL West swing concludes with a three game set against the Dodgers at home. That’s 19 games total (10 on the road, 9 at home).
If the Giants can get through this stretch, they’re home free through the end of the season, finishing up against the Brewers, Rockies, Cubs, and finally the Padres (at home). My point here is that things are far from over. Maybe an extra bat will fall into our laps at the deadline without hurting the pitching staff. Maybe Buster Posey hits .350 for the remainder of the season. And maybe, just maybe Pablo Sandoval will rediscover his long-lost power.
WIth my parting words, I’d once again like to give my best wishes to Eugenio Velez and wish him a speedy recovery. From personal experience, I know how scary head injuries can be. Get better soon Geno.