So much for the humidor conspiracy rumors.
Tonight at Coors Field, there was no offensive barrage as predicted by most. There was no incredible Rockies comeback from nowhere in the late innings. There was no Rockies win. There was, however, a good old-fashioned pitcher's duel.
It was not the hitters, but the pitchers who stole the show tonight in front of 49,071 in Denver. Tim Lincecum (15-10) was the headliner, pitching eight strong innings of 1-run ball, while only giving up 2 hits, no walks, and striking out 9.
Rockies' rookie starter Jhoulys Chacin (9-10) was nearly as impressive, but stumbled in the 7th inning with the Rockies up 1-0. After giving up a lead-off walk to Buster Posey, Pat Burrell crushed a two-run homer run to left-field, his 19th, giving the Giants a 2-1 lead.
It didn't look good before that. The Giants were shut-out for six-innings on only 2 hits. It looked as if the Giants were destined to be blanked again, but they made Chacin work. In 7 innings, Chacin threw 120 pitches. Their patience ended up paying off, as one of their walks, Buster Posey, would go on to score.
Brian Wilson came on in the ninth and retired the side in order for his 45th save.
As Jason Giambi walked off the field after grounding out to end the game, the Rockies now find themselves 4.5 games behind the Giants in the NL West. As of now, San Diego is 1 game behind the Giants, pending their game against the Reds at Petco Park.
For now, the humidor appears to be functioning fine, but you never know what you are going to see at Coors Field. Stay tuned this weekend.
I know this sounds crazy, but I believe that the Giants' media crew (CSN Bay Area, KNBR, Marty Lurie, Mychael Urban, Amy G, FP Santangelo, and everyone else working at Coors) deserves an assist for tonight's Giants 2-1 win. The mass media is pervasive, it's everywhere. When the Bay Area Sports media makes salient an issue about a team cheating, everyone is going to know about it (the players, the accused team, fans). For those non-Communication Studies majors unlike me, this is a perfect example of agenda-setting theory, where the media doesn't necessarily tell you what to think, but what to think about. Since the Rockies don't want to be found out if they are indeed switching humidor balls for non-humidor balls and they know that the Giants' CSN Bay Area crew is there watching every move the Rockies make with the balls, they will certainly be hesitant to tamper with the ball bag (for those of you who don't know, non-humidor balls will travel significantly further if hit than a ball in the humidor). Also, it helps when you got Marty Lurie and other Giants' media constantly asking questions about the humidor.
In addition, the Giants' players benefited from their media staff investigating the humidor conspiracy. There was an incident in the 6th inning where Miguel Olivo was up against Tim Lincecum. Lincecum tried to rub up a baseball, but something didn't feel right. It was clearly discernible on the CSN TV side when he appeared to mouth something to the effect of "this ****** juiced up baseball is **** ****. Lincecum then proceeded to request a new ball. Who knows if that ball was a non-humidor ball? If it was, give the media crew credit for making the Giants' players even think about the issue. It's not something players would generally think about, but hey, players read and listen to what reporters say too (and F.P. Santangelo after the game!). If Lincecum threw that ball and it was tampered with, a pop-up to right field may have just sailed on out.
Tim Lincecum is back. That fastball of his is finally being located on the corners again, setting up that devastating change-up. The fastball also has some nice movement on it like it once did back when he was on top of his game. Having that fastball back is important because now teams can't eliminate that pitch and just look for the change-up and be ready to hit it when it comes. Now, that change-up will appear to look like the fastball (because hitters still have that pitch in the back of their mind and will see that he can get it over for a strike), and hitters will be way out in front of it when it comes.
This and That
The Giants have now gone 18 straight games where they give up 3-runs or less. The Giants' pattern of scoring 2 runs or less for two games and then scoring 6 runs or more in the next game continues. Andres Torres came into the game as a late-inning defensive replacement after having his appendix removed on September 12. He had 1 at-bat and flied out. He will be starting in CF and leading-off tomorrow, according to Bruce Bochy. Rockies' 3B Melvin Mora was removed from the game in the fourth due to illness. Tomorrow, Barry Zito (9-13, 3.98 ERA) will take on Jason Hammel (10-8, 4.56 ERA).