This reminds me of one of those “What did you do last summer” assignments that you used to get at the start of a new school year.
1. Matt Cain is pretty good. It’s easy to forget that he’s actually younger than Lincecum and already has two full seasons of pitching under his belt. He’s tended to bounce around between starts this year but watching him shut down a very-good Cubs offense was fun. In fact, it was probably his best start of the year. Definitely his best by Bill James’ Game Scores metric. Using BB-Ref’s handy dandy Play Index, Matt Cain’s start on July 1st against the Cubs was the 4th best start, so far, in all of the National League when using Game Scores.
Cain struggled in yesterday’s loss against the Dodgers but give him some time, the talent is there.
2. Mays Field is still a really nice place to watch a game, even if the product onfield is a little weak. We sat in Viewbox Section 315 for all of our games — my dad has season tickets in that section — and the vantage point was awesome. It’s behind homeplate and because you’re higher up in the Viewbox area, you can see straight out into the Bay and watch all the sailboats and ships pass by. The food was good even if it was overpriced, but I guess that goes with the territory. Between 8-dollar beers and at a minimum of 5-dollar meals, you can go broke pretty fast.
Best Experience: I was pleasantly surprised to find both Lagunita’s IPA and Sierra Nevada’s Pale on draft. I had one of both. I remember having the IPA last year but I don’t recall seeing the Sierra Nevada before. I wanted to grab a Anchor Steam but I ran out of time. The garlic fries are still good and the Cha-Cha bowl was tasty and filling, even if the chicken was a little dry and under seasoned. Not a bad value.
Worst Experience: Paying 10 bucks for the chicken tenders and garlic fries combo meal. For 10 bucks I got two minuscule chicken tenders, a BBQ sauce, and some garlic fries. The chicken wasn’t bad but for 10 bucks, I want more than two measly pieces of chicken! Also, sitting behind that Dodger lady with a screechy voice and having to hear about how much she wanted to marry Russel Martin had me thinking very-bad-things.
All-in-all, the park still looks good and is, in my opinion, a top-5 park in the game.
3. Watching John Bowker knock one into the drink was sweet. I wasn’t sure before this season started how many Giants hitters would be able to reach that section of the park. Now that Bonds was gone, I had the number at a very conservative three players. Freddie, Bowker, and Nate were my picks to splash down. Has Fred hit one into the cove yet? I can’t remember.
4. Man, there are a lot of Cubs fans out there. For the Cubs series the stands were dotted with blue. It seems that no matter where you go you’ll see someone wearing either a Cubs, Braves, or Red Sox hat. The first two seem to have a huge following because of the early years of WGN and TBS that allowed many people that didn’t have local baseball to watch it on TV. My favorite Cubs fan experience was after a Giants win. We we’re walking out of the park through a parking lot and a group of Giants fans ahead of us started chanting “1908″. This caused a nearby Cubs fan to go into a rage, he started yelling about how the Giants were a bunch of steroid freaks and that the Cubs were so classy, they never had players like that. As soon as those words left his mouth, the maybe 6 or 7 of us, just busted into laughter, threw our arms up in the air, and said “Sosa!”. Good times. Most Cubs fans seemed really cool and nice but I think this particular guy had exceeded his quota of Old Style and Bratwurst.
5. Dodger fans are still morally corrupt and should be shipped to a deserted island.
6. Omar started way too much for my tastes. I know he’s a cagey veteran dancer, but he looked bad at the plate. Save for a bunt that went for a hit and a single up the middle, we didn’t see him do much at the plate. It was good to see Burriss start yesterday — and get three hits — but he did make an error.
7. If you saw Rich Aurilia play for the first time over the games I saw him, you’d think he was a superstar. He hit two homeruns over the games I saw him in and he hit another one out yesterday. His slash-stats on the year are currently at (.284/.341/.445) which are entirely respectable for a playoff-ish team needing a utility player. Stay hot, Richie, boost that trade value!
8. Tim Lincecum is awesome. A highlight of my trip was to see him throw in person. He’s small, but nasty. He sliced his way through a tough hitting Cubs team just like Cain did. The crowd was definitely jacked up to watch Lincecum pitch. It was one of the more lively crowds that I saw during my time in San Francisco.
9. Bruce Bochy left Matos in way too long. Ouch. And, what’s the deal with Jose Castillo? One one play he’ll look awesome and make an amazing grab on a ball, and the next, he’ll let one roll between his legs. I’ve never seen a player range from great-to-terrible so fast as Castillo. I still don’t care for the guy, but this play he made against the Cubs would make Pedro Feliz blush.
It was a great trip. Getting to see the G’s play on their home turf always makes me happy, regardless of the outcome of the game. Let it be known that I’m very jealous of you west coasters. I’ll let you guys have the traffic, but I’ll take the Giants.