Finally put together a playlist covering the Rocky Point Recharge Zone. Here are videos of birds, deer, reptiles, amphibians and insects in our area of study
This was a noisy Sunday in the field as the Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) were out screeching away trying to teach their young to fly and to walk across the street. Incredibly funny to me the way they act.
The first great blue heron, Ardea herodias, I’ve ever seen at the field and stream visited this past December, 2016.
It never let me get close enough to get good footage, but its immense blue wings are clearly visible.
the footage from the first visit is even worse, but it was exciting to see this guy.
The Giants swept the Braves with good pitching and home runs, a LOT of home runs.
In today’s final game of the series, Madison Bumgarner was dominant, striking out the side twice and ending with 9Ks. Brandon Crawford had his first ever multi-homerun game with two dingers that provided all the runs.
Giants win 4-1.
Game one of this series was a doozy. A great pitching duel with crisp defense and good baseball all around. National League Ball. Again here’s the diagnosis I came up with last year of the Giants’ basic strategy:
1. Starting Pitching Hangs in There, ‘Pen Holds
2. Score Just Enough Runs
3. Play Crisp Defense
4. Take Advantage of Opponents Mistakes
and yesterday, it worked.
Tim Lincecum found himself starting the Braves Series in Atlanta facing the strong lefty Mike Minor, who was making his season debut after enduring several weeks off from baseball due to a urinary tract procedure.
Minor was cleared to play and given a minor league start to ensure he was all right. But in that start he gave up four home runs. Though Braves staff felt he looked good in general, it was a concern. Angel Pagan made sure they stayed concerned, by smashing a homer off him in the lead off at-bat of Game one, Giants up 1-0.
Minor was quick to settle down and rarely gave the Giants opportunities, though when they got them, the G-men continued to fail to plate runners in scoring position. This game would be decided by homers once again – a recurring theme in Giants’ wins this season (credit due to Morse, Belt, Pagan and Posey).
Tim Lincecum hung in there and showed command. He kept the ball down and looked like he was putting it where he wanted it. In the third he threw a pitch down and out and it was popped up into center field. Immediately after the ball hit the bat, Timmy pointed up and looked down, confident the ball wasn’t leaving the park. It showed an increasing confidence in his command.
Tim pitched his way out of jams twice and went six innings, giving up just one run off six hits. He had only four strikeouts, instead relying on his command to generate ground outs and popups. This was what we have been looking for from Lincecum: to turn to other options than a strikeout fastball, to work out the hitter and force him into a 3rd strike mistake like a weakly hit ball.
After Pagan’s homer, Michael Morse added a solo shot to give the Giants the 2-1 lead they would never relinquish, but it was a tense affair.
The Braves stranded 12 runners and were 1 for 9 with RISP. Timmy’s pitching at key moments wasn’t the only reason why. Brandon Crawford provided the crisp defense in this one. He made several good plays and one monstrous one that saved an inning. Crawford slapped down a hard driven liner and picked it up and fired it to first to end an inning and in another made a leaping throw to get the runner. Then there was this gem in the 9th:
Way to go BCraw!
Jeremy Affeldt entered in the 7th and was good again, getting two quick outs, but giving up a hit. Santiago Casilla came in and slowly, his way, picked up the third out and manhandled the 8th inning.
Sergio Romo struggled at the very end of this one again, giving up a walk and a steal. But as Marty said, “He was working.” With two-out and one on in scoring position, and the score 2-1, Giants, Sergio Romo battled with the Braves best hitter Justin Upton.
On a 3-2 count and after several foul balls, Romo froze Upton with a fastball to win it. Dave Flemming made an awesome call, “strike three called on a fastball in-there! and … shades of Miguel Cabrera in the World Series …”
It was a great pitching duel, with only the two home runs given up by the just-returned Mike Minor being the difference.
Brian Sabean looks like a genius right now for picking up Hudson and Morse in the off season. This week they looked AWESOME.
Game Two later today will be considerably tougher for the Giants as they face the Braves’ ace, Julio Teheran (2-1) – a big, hard-throwing right hander who has 26 strikeouts in the young season and boasts a 1.47 ERA.
Pitching for the Giants today, it’s the up-and-down Ryan Vogelsong. It’s very difficult to tell which Vogey we’re going to get nowadays. When he feels steady and gets support he can go six innings, but when he implodes he does so badly. Hopefully Yusmeiro Petit will be available if necessary, but I hate thinking like that.
These games are my favorite kind of baseball – National League pitching duels requiring alculated management, situational hitting and crisp defense. Looking forward to another good one. #RallyEnchiladas #RallyVogey #BeatATL
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Giants 12, Colorado 10 at Coors Field
The wind and altitude collaborated to help the ball out of the yard at Coors Field, but most of the nine homers in this one were towers of power that traveled 420+ feet. Troy Tulowitzki started it with a two-run blast in the first. Michael Morse answered with a 455′ solo shot in the top of the second.
The day turned into a Home Run Derby between the Rockies and Giants. In total nine balls left the yard. In a burst of offense that’s been missing for days, the G-men hit six of them.
Giants LF Michael Morse smashed two, for his 7th multi-home-run game. Later, Hector Sanchez would join that club for the first time in his career in dramatic fashion. Sanchez went yard twice late in the game, both times to give the Giants the lead, the second time, a grand slam in the 11th to put the Giants ahead for good. It was a clutch performance by Hector who has been ridden by fans, broadcasters and some press recently; made the whipping boy and scapegoat for losses. Redemption.
This was a wild one.
The Giants fell behind early to the long ball, 5-1, and then fought back with homers of their own. Brandon Hicks’ solo big fly in the top of the 3rd made it 5-2 Rockies. Then Pence and Cain both singled and Morse’s second homer in as many at-bats, a deep shot 450′ to center, brought them home to tie it 5-5. ESPN and Alex Pavlovic have it that Morse is “just the third player since 2006 to hit multiple 450-foot homers in one game.”
The Giants were looking for more when Manager Bruce Bochy was ejected from the game in the top of the 4th for arguing a called third strike that resulted in a strike ’em out, throw ’em out inning-ending double play. With one out and Brandon Crawford on, Brandon Hicks had a full count and Rockies SP Tyler Chatwood looked shaky.
The call was very questionable. From Crawford’s view, running, having taken off from first, Chatwood’s 3-2 pitch to Hicks was so clearly a ball that he slowed up on the base path thinking Hicks had drawn the walk. By the time he realized it was a called strike, catcher Wilin Rosario was up making the throw. Crawford was easily out at second. Hicks confronted the ump angrily. Bochy raced out to argue to prevent the enraged Brandon Hicks from being ejected, and was ejected himself.
Blackmon homered in the bottom of the 4th and the Giants fell behind 6-5, but Matt Cain found a groove. Throwing 93mph darts, Cain held serve in the 5th and 6th. He looked in control.
With Hunter Pence on in the top of the seventh by virtue of a walk, Brandon Belt launched his league-leading 7th home run into the Colorado evening and gave Cain and the San Francisco Giants the lead 7-6.
Acting Manager Ron Wotus then did his best Bruce Bochy imitation and loyally left Cain in for the bottom of the 7th. The bullpen was fully rested having not worked at all the night before (Bumgarner CG), yet Wotus left Cain in. While it was true, Cain had looked strong in the previous two innings, they had been long innings and his pitch count was high. Leaving Cain in destroyed poor Matt’s chance to leave the game leading, in line to get his first win of the season.
In the bottom of the 7th with the one run lead, Cain gave up a walk, a steal, a liner that tied the game 7-7, and another walk, before being pulled for Jeremy Affeldt; another no decision for Matt Cain, but this time with seven runs on the board. It just slipped away.
It must be said, Affeldt was very good again. Affeldt’s first start Sunday against the Padres was excellent – three up, three down – and today in Colorado his command was evident. Jeremy looks better than he has in a long time. Stable, secure, strong.
The Giants once again grabbed the lead with the long ball, going up 8-7 on Hector Sanchez’s first homer, a solo shot in the 8th, only to see the Rockies tie it up 8-8 because of a balk.
Balkin’ Bob Davidson was the ump at 3rd in the 8th. He called Santiago Casilla for a balk when, twice in a row, Casilla made the same small move with LeMahieu on 2nd. The balk sent DJ LeMahieu to third with one out from where he scored on a Charlie Blackmon ground out against Casilla. It was an acceptable balk call. Casilla was doing some kind of shoulder shimmy thing. But it cost us the lead.
The contest was slow, long and nerve-wracking as neither team could put the other away. But the Giants ‘pen handled the extra frames well. Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez and Jean Machi kept the Rockies off the board in the 7th, 9th and 10th.
Even after Sanchez’s grand slam, which made it 12 – 8, victory was unsure. Sergio Romo gave up a single to Tulowitzki and a two-run homer to Justin Morneau in the bottom half of the 11th frame and subsequently let Drew Stubbs single making it 12 – 10 with the tying run at the plate. Romo managed to force a ground out and a game-ending double play to get the Giants out of Colorado with at least one win.
Hunter Pence was 3 for 4 and crossed the plate three times. Matt Cain singled twice and scored a run, helping his own cause, but he wouldn’t get the win. That would land in the hands of the Giants’ fourth reliever, Jean Machi, who is now 4-0 and leads the majors in victories.