The San Francisco Giants need to re-sign Angel Pagan for several reasons, not the least of which the way he caught the last out on Tuesday night. Pagan’s made a habit of charging in to catch the final outs of important games with Sergio Romo on the mound as of late. On Sept. 22, Pagan ran straight in and after catching the ball, spread his arms triumphantly. His face looked as happy as one would expect for a guy who was heading to the postseason for the first time.
On Oct. 2 in Los Angeles, Pagan caught a liner from Mark Ellis, and instead of sprinting toward the infield, he held his glove straight out and veered slightly to his left, angling his body and circling his gait — sort of like how Dashon Goldson does that “hawk” thing after he drills some poor, unsuspecting receiver. Pagan’s face: expressionless.
Well, that’s not quite exactly correct.
Pagan’s face said, “Everybody here at Dodgers Stadium in Chavez Ravine — which is a very nice place, don’t get me wrong — needs to keep their thoughts to themselves and stay quiet because their favorite baseball team will not be advancing to the playoffs.”
The Giants have to re-sign Pagan after this year is done, simply because in one season he has to have reached “most hated” status among a good number of Dodgers fans. Pagan is going to get booed pretty harshly in L.A. next season; luckily he’s a leadoff hitter so he won’t hear much of anything until his second (or third) at-bat.
— The other least favorite Giant in Los Angeles, 2012 edition? Joaquin Arias, who will give Ned Colletti and Stan Kasten nightmares. “I had this awful dream that Kobe was wearing a Giants uniform and chasing me and Chris Capuano! Only he was shorter and needed some dental work…”
— My favorite Barry Zito Moment of Tuesday night: when he got so excited after firing that changeup to first to retire Matt Kemp, even though he could have flipped the ball to Hector Sanchez and gotten Luis Cruz by two steps.
— The whole thing makes more sense after this quote: “I was pretty fired up,” Zito said. “Just a lot of history with Kemp, you know? In a big situation like that, it was good to be able to jam him a little bit.”
— Another great moment from the elimination game: Pagan taking a disjointed route on a Mark Ellis line drive to left-center, then saluting someone after throwing out Ellis at third (I’d like to think Pagan saluted Ellis for his decision-making on the bases).
— Guillermo Mota has a history with the Giants, really sold that cough syrup story, and San Francisco needed arms at the end of August. Okay. But the Giants are setting themselves up for a winter of I-told-you-so’s if he pitches in the NLDS and allows even one earned run.
— If the Giants are really carrying 11 pitchers, here’s how I see it shaking out:
Game 1: Matt Cain
Game 2: Madison Bumgarner
Game 3: Tim Lincecum (with Ryan Vogelsong close behind)
Game 4: Barry Zito (crouching Zito, hidden Vogey)
Bullpen: Romo, Javier Lopez, Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla, Jose Mijares, George Kontos (for slamming the door on the Dodgers’ season a couple innings before Romo did it officially, and walking off the mound like that – via @carmenkiew)
— And I want everyone to know that those pitching projections are coming from someone who was absolutely positive just a few days ago that Buster Posey would catch every significant postseason inning for the Giants. ¡Yo soy Insider!
— Speaking of Posey (and I’m still going to hold onto my prediction that he’ll catch Lincecum AND Zito, just because), even if he sits on Wednesday he’ll play in 147 games. I’ll save the reasons why he’ll win MVP for later, but with all the absurd numbers Posey has produced I’m worried that 147 might get ignored. Remember when it seemed like a miracle when Posey flied out in his first Spring Training at-bat and didn’t crumble to the ground on his way to first? Only Pagan (and Clay Hensley, if I recall correctly) appeared in more games for the Giants this season.