Quantcast

Hunter Pence speech credited for Giants’ turnaround

Long before the Giants were a dominant postseason force reeling off 3 straight wins in the NLDS, and seven straight wins to capture the World Series, San Francisco was about to make an early postseason exit. That’s when outfielder Hunter Pence, who was acquired from the Phillies at the trade deadline, stepped up with an impromptu speech that shocked — and motivated — his teammates.

According to reliever Jeremy Affeldt, Pence got “loud” and “crazy” and delivered a terrifying pregame speech typically reserved for the likes of Ray Lewis.

Manager Bruce Bochy called it a “powerful” speech that came “from the heart.”

Third base coach Tim Flannery described Pence’s speech this way on his band’s Facebook page:

[Read more...]

Jim Leyland nearly in tears after Tigers lost World Series (Video)

Tigers manager Jim Leyland was as classy and respectful in defeat as one can be. Though he was extraordinarily disappointed that his team was swept in the World Series by the San Francisco Giants — and nearly in tears during his postgame interview — he praised the Giants.

“I want to first start by congratulating the Giants,” Leyland told FOX’s Ken Rosenthal. “There was nothing fluky about it. They beat us. They swept us. They were the better team. … They deserved to be the world champs. It really turned out to be no contest.”

Leyland ultimately concluded that making the World Series “was pretty darn good” despite the finish.

Though we were disappointed the team only scored six runs in four World Series games, we have to agree. It was a solid run for Detroit, and an even better run for San Francisco.

Pablo Sandoval deserved World Series MVP, and so did Giants’ pitching

Pablo Sandoval practically added his name to the World Series MVP trophy when he clubbed three home runs in Game 1 against the Detroit Tigers, so it was no surprise to hear him named MVP of the Fall Classic after the Giants swept the Tigers on Sunday night.

Sandoval was as deserving as a World Series MVP can get. The two-time All-Star hit .500 (8-for-16) in the World Series with a team-high 4 RBIs and 18 total bases. He also made history in Game 1 by becoming the fourth player in MLB history to hit three home runs in a World Series game.

Sandoval was also the team’s overall postseason MVP. His 24 hits were one short of tying a postseason record. He led the Giants with the 24 hits, 6 home runs, 13 RBIs, and 47 total bases. Sandoval posted a 1.098 OPS against what’s supposed to be the best pitching in baseball.

While Sandoval was the clear offensive standout for the Giants throughout the playoffs, San Francisco had many pitchers truly elevate their games during the postseason.

[Read more...]

Prince Fielder was out at home; Dan Iassogna made the right call

Umpire Dan Iassogna deserves credit for making the correct call on a difficult play to judge at home plate during Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday.

Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder was trying to score from first on a double down the left field line by Delmon Young in the second inning. Left fielder Gregor Blanco threw in to home as Prince Fielder was rounding third, and the relay throw in to catcher Buster Posey barely beat Fielder.

Fielder slid into home, which slowed down his momentum. As his body was dragging through the dirt to the plate, Posey used a sweep tag to get him on the behind. Though Fielder was upset with the call, and manager Jim Leyland came out to ask Iassogna about it, there is little doubt the correct call was made.

The next two Detroit batters made outs — Jhonny Peralta popped up to the infield, and Avisail Garcia struck out — so the game remained scoreless. What a great relay by the Giants, and what a great call by Iassogna.

Delmon Young made one of the worst throws you will ever see

Being in San Francisco and without a DH for Game 1 of the World Series, the Tigers had Delmon Young play the outfield for the first time in 52 days in order to keep his bat in the lineup. Now you can see why they rarely let him play the field.

Young, who typically serves as the designated hitter for Detroit, absolutely butchered a throw home during the fourth inning.

Young’s spike of a throw came on Barry Zito’s two out single to drive in Brandon Belt from second. I dunno, maybe he thought the play was a third. Because if it were, Young would have nailed the runner with a one-hopper. Instead, he practically threw a ground ball to home. I mean that ball literally hit the ground BEFORE the edge of the outfield grass. Brutal. Now you know why Young rates so lowly in defensive metrics every year.

His pathetic spike throw earned him some jeers from fellow ballplayers. Here’s A’s pitcher Brett Anderson on Twitter:

You honestly have to wonder how a major league player could have committed such an embarrassing play. Ugh.

Pablo Sandoval hits three home runs in historic night (Video)

The San Francisco Giants trounced the Detroit Tigers 8-3 in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night in San Francisco, and they were led by Pablo Sandoval who had a historic night.

The pudgy third baseman affectionately nicknamed “Kung Fu Panda” went 4-for-4 with three home runs, a single, three runs scored, and four RBIs in what was nearly a perfect night at the plate. Sandoval was pulled for a defensive replacement late in the game, but not before amassing 13 total bases — one less than Albert Pujols’ record 14 achieved in last year’s World Series.

Sandoval, a two-time All-Star, joined Albert Pujols, Reggie Jackson, and Babe Ruth (twice) as the only players in MLB history to homer three times in a World Series game. His three-homer game was also the second in AT&T Park history. Former Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Kevin Elster was the first player to hit three home runs in a game at the park. Elster accomplished the feat on April 11, 2000, in the first game ever at the park, back when it was named Pac Bell Park.

Let’s recap Sandoval’s three home runs:

    - First off Justin Verlander went 411 feet to center
    - Second off Justin Verlander went 360 feet to left field
    - Third off Al Alburquerque went 422 feet to center

Sandoval was already considered one of the better hitters in the National League, but Wednesday’s magical performance may have put him in a new category. He is now in a class with three other players, two of who are already in the Hall of Fame, and a third who will be joining them before long. Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, Albert Pujols, and Pablo Sandoval. That is some impressive company.

Hunter Pence hit the ball three times on bizarre broken-bat double (Video)

The San Francisco Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals 9-0 in Game 7 of the NLCS to advance to the World Series, but they really broke the game open early thanks to a strange play in the third. Right fielder Hunter Pence hit a ball that twisted and turned so much it was befitting of the quirky player he is.

Pence swung at the first pitch from reliever Joe Kelly with the bases loaded and broke his bat on a 94mph fastball. After the initial contact, FOX’s 3000 frames-per-second camera showed that the ball slid down his bat where he hit it a second time, and it slid down further where he hit it a third time. By that point, the ball was slapped away with so much spin, it started tailing and curved away from Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma.

The ball went into the gap and allowed two runners to score. Buster Posey scored from first after Jon Jay was unable to pick the ball up cleanly in the outfield, giving the Giants a 5-0 lead. They scored two more to go up 7-0 after three innings.

Was Giants manager Bruce Bochy surprised with the bizarre play?

“Only Hunter, maybe Pablo [Sandoval] could do that too, but I think only Hunter has the ability to hit a ball like that.

“He’s unique in his style of hitting. I don’t know a shortstop that would have made that play. We’ll take it. Breaks help you win games like this,” said Bochy.

And what did Pence think of the play?

“It was weird.”

Yes it was.