After the first couple games sitting in the press box, the whole “don’t cheer” thing got pretty easy. Tonight, it wasn’t that easy. A mixture of things escalated this game, and not just the obvious National League West implications.
The entire game was a struggle for the Giants. Figuring out Josh Beckett was extremely difficult in the early going. Tim Lincecum walked a guy in every inning he appeared, which means he walked seven. The 3-4-5 guys went a combined 1-for-10 with two walks, one intentional (that was actually better than the middle of the Dodgers’ order, as Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Hanley Ramirez combined to go 0-for-17).
But in the end, all that anybody remembered was how much fun this game was.
Lincecum wild? Nah, he was fantastic at finagling his way out of jams and only gave up 4 hits, including a flukey home run on an 0-2 count to Adam Kennedy of all people. That’s about as unlikely of a homer as Ryan Theriot hitting one, except Theriot barely plays anymore.
— Speaking of Theriot, before we go any further you HAVE to check out this .GIF of Aubrey Huff possibly injuring his wrist … slapping Theriot’s buns of steel. And yes, that’s the first time anyone has written “buns of steel” since that workout video from the 1980s.
— Also, this happened:
— Picked out a few bite-sized morsels from Lincecum’s postgame interview. I’m a little far away because I refused to do what several media members did — crowd around his locker before he even had a chance to (1) get to his locker and (2) get dressed. Baseball players have an unwritten rulebook, and I think media people do as well, although many choose not to read.
Anyway, here’s Lincecum’s humorous reaction to finding out he walked seven, plus his explanation as to what was going wrong. He “leaked” his shoulder and “blocked” himself with his hip, which he considers two “keys” to getting his mechanics straightened out.
Video length: 0:42
— Lincecum talks here about how he didn’t like facing Marco Scutaro, this game’s offensive hero (along with Angel Pagan).
Video length: 0:23
— Scutaro didn’t like facing Lincecum either before they were teammates.
Video length: 0:41
— The bullpen’s performance was a huge bright spot on Friday night. Lincecum: “Can’t really say enough about this bullpen. They get very little credit for what they do, but we know what they do here.”
Lincecum’s locker is closest to the showers, and with all the yelling going on in there it was kind of hard to hear what Lincecum was saying in this particular clip.
Video length: 0:26
— Santiago Casilla was great as well, but the bullpen was led by Sergio Romo’s 4-out save. One photo that was getting passed around on Twitter showed a pretty funny/crazy/intense closeup of Romo’s face while he was on the mound. Here it is:
I asked him about it, and what it’s like to pitch with the crowd going crazy, and here’s what he said…
Video length: 1:03
After I turned the camera off, I walked out of the clubhouse with Romo and told him how his Twitter feed is probably flooded with mentions including that photo. He agreed, saying he’d gotten several messages from people asking him what was up with that crazy smirk he was doing. Then he pulled his iPhone out and within a couple swipes he had the photo up on his screen and showed me. It’s pretty cool to be a sports fan in the social media age, with photos and .GIFs and everything else getting passed around from stranger to stranger. And the athletes know what people are talking about.
— Here’s Hunter Pence talking about Santiago Casilla and the bullpen. “Awesome.”
Video length: 0:49
— One lasting image that I wish I could’ve taken a photo of (but photos aren’t allowed in the clubhouse, so I refrained): Pence riding out of the clubhouse on a motorized scooter. The scooter had a headlight that was turned on, so if Pence rode out onto the Embarcadero at least he was doing it with safety in mind.
Yeah, it’s getting to the point where this team is starting to have fun. No wonder Brian Wilson made an appearance in the dugout tonight, he doesn’t want to get left out.
— Yes, it may be a little early to start dropping magic numbers in headlines … but if I can’t cheer, at least let me have this. I love magic numbers, and once you’re under 20 the finish line is at least visible.
— Okay fine, here’s a little perspective on the Giants’ 5.5 game lead from Lincecum: “I don’t think anybody in here is saying that’s enough room left right now.”
Video length: 0:19