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Tuesday 22nd Aug 2017

Woo hoo.

The second round of the playoffs have begun, and with a bang, as the Rangers are all over the Yankees in the first inning.

I do really like CC Sabathia, the anchor of both my title winning Tout teams, so I hate to see him get knocked around, but well, I really want to see the Rangers advance and play the Giants.

Actually, as noted, last week was pretty much spent by me as a couch potato, and I suppose my timing could not have been any better.

Starting with the Rangers and Rays, and I also like the Rays, but thought they were lacking, and the Rangers hungry, thinking after the first two games Tampa Bay would be short work.

Not so easy, but a solid game five produced the win that sent my friend and his team to the next round.

The Giants and Braves, however, was a different animal, and once that probably increased sales of Pepto Bismol and Pepcid even in the laid back Bay Area.

All one run games, the Giants did their thing all right, with just wicked starting pitching from Tim Lincecum and his wonderful 14 strikeouts on out.

Last Friday I was allowed out of the house, and Diane and I met our friends Gabe and Kelli, and Mark and Debbi for dinner, but I kept tracking the updates on my IPhone from ATT because alas, as good as Rick and Ann's diner in Berkeley is (check it out on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives) there is no TV.

When we arrived, the Giants were up 4-0, but by the time we were on our way home, the Braves battled back to a tie, and I was tired. I got into bed and saw an inning before Rick Ankiel sent everyone home.

A friend noted to me Monday after the Giants amazing two-out ninth inning rally Sunday, how "lucky" the Giants were.

But, I got to counter with my theory that was separates teams is the ability to take advantage of a moment of potential luck.

So, let's face it. The Braves had the Giants down to their last out, allowed a walk, and then had Freddie Sanchez down to his last strike. Diane was chewing her normally well manicured nails, and I kept saying, if they Giants want someone up now, this is the guy as Freddie is a terrific contact hitter.

When he pushed his single up the middle she looked at me as if my words were magic.

Then another single and I told her "watch the plate, they have to try to score now and force the play as they cannot risk they will get another chance at a hit."

Bingo again.

And then that moment of luck when Brooks Conrad let the ball play him.

When I wrote my friend Tom, arguing it was not so much luck, I also had to point out that the Braves had the game lead, were in the position of advantage, and they let the game slip away. Plain and simple.

And that win gave the advantage more to the Giants, who could start Madison Bumgarner and hold Lincecum out for tomorrow, should he be needed. While the Braves, back to the wall, had to toss Derek Lowe back out there, and the truth is, Lowe was dominant with that killer slider that when on makes him look like Greg Maddux.

So now the really hard work, as Texas has to take on the Yankees, and the Giants those dangerous Phillies.

For, the pitching match-ups alone are so deadly with Lincecum/Halladay, Cain/Oswalt, and Sanchez/Hamels being the first three match-ups.

The Giants problem is they simply do not have a dominant player a la Ryan Howard or Jimmy Rollins.

But, well, though Diane had to go back to Chicago to take care of some business as she prepares to move out this way by first of the year, I am again sworn to hang out on the couch with the pups, and watch the next round of the playoffs.

Sigh. It is a hard path, but, well, someone has to do it. And, I am guessing some of you out there will be right there with me.

For fun!

 

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