Please, can we put an end to the “nobody believes in us!” nonsense?

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A comment in the Cliff Lee thread from a reader named “feartherallythong”:

 

“All the Giants-haters are cracking me up (I’m looking at you, Mr. Calcaterra). Of all the posts post-Game 1, I see a bunch of “How could the Rangers lose?”, and “What happened to Cliff Lee?” posts and stories. Even the MSM is referring almost exclusively to the game as a Rangers loss, not a Giants win. It’s funny. Lee had a sub-superhuman game, the Giants are hot and at home, their offense doesn’t suck as much as everyone says, and the only person to give props to the Giants for getting good wood on the ball was Cliff Lee himself. He gave up one walk, he wasn’t wild – the Giants are just hot, and seeing the ball well.

“This may be a 6 or 7-game series in the end, but when every pundit had the Rangers winning in 6, I was reminded of the underrated Graham Chapman in “Yellowbeard”, when he says, “We Yellowbeards are NEVER more dangerous then when we’re dead!”

First: this guy wins the internets for a “Yellowbeard” quote. That is FAN-tastic.  I saw that flick at the theater when it came out. I think that makes me one of six people in the country who can say that. And I loved it too. Of course, I was like nine at the time. Not sure it holds up. Not sure I want to watch it again to find out.

Second: Can we please dispense with the “nobody believes in us!” rebop?  I know that has become the custom every postseason, but it’s beyond tired. Even Yankees fans were doing it last season.

The fact of the matter is that, while more pundits picked the Rangers to win this thing than the Giants, no one I recall said it would be a walk. Almost every prediction I read was that this thing would go six or seven games, that it was very evenly matched, and that if x, y, or z didn’t happen, the Giants would be more than able to take control of the series.  Mad props were given all around to the Giants’ staff, which most people agree is stronger than the Rangers’ after you get past Lee, and almost everyone noted that despite the Giants’ poor offense, they’ve found a way to get past some excellent pitching in the postseason, so you can’t count them out.

But hey, if you need to think that everyone is hating on your team to get excited for the series, don’t let me get in your way.

And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Twins 14, Orioles 7: Baltimore jumped out to a 5-0 lead and led 6-2 after four but then the Twins started bashing. Actually, it wasn’t so much bashing as the ten runs they scored between the fifth and sixth innings all came without the benefit of a homer. Max Kepler and Miguel Sano did homer at other times in the game, however. Kepler drove in four. Sano and Eduardo Escobar each knocked in three. Minnesota even scored on a balk. This game had a bit of everything. Adam Jones hit a homer. It was his 125th dinger at Camden Yards, giving him the all-time lead in that park. The old record holder: Rafael Palmeiro.

Yankees 4, Royals 2: Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius and Chris Carter all went deep as the Yankees beat Jason Vargas. Vargas had a 1.01 ERA through his first seven starts. In his last two he’s allowed nine runs on 11 hits in ten innings. Both of those games have come against the Yankees, though, so maybe it’s more them having his number than him turning into a pumpkin.

Rockies 8, Phillies 1: Top prospect Jeff Hoffman got called up for a spot start and struck out seven over seven three-hit, one-run innings. Nolan Arenado hit a two-run homer. Philly has lost 18 of 22.

Reds 5, Indians 1: The Battle for Ohio Begins. With the loss, Cleveland is in the early lead to be stuck with Ohio. OK, I kid — I’m an Ohioan, I can do that — but I don’t know for sure what the winner gets. It’s either some cup or a trophy or maybe they get to cut in line at Cedar Point or something. Anyway, Scott Feldman was sharp, allowing one run and striking out nine in six innings, and Scott Schebler homered for the third straight game. Great Scott.

Angels 3, Rays 2: J.C. Ramirez outdueled Jake Odorizzi and the Angels broke a 2-2 tie on a Jumbo Diaz wild pitch in the seventh. Five total runs scored and 12 hits between the teams over nine innings yet this game went three hours and thirty seven minutes. Eleven walks and 20 strikeouts is the likely culprit. Sounds like a slog.

Braves 5, Pirates 2: Welcome to Atlanta Matt Adams. The newest Brave hit a two-run homer in his second start since being acquired from the Cardinals and Brandon Phillips hit his 200th career homer. Center fielder Ender Inciarte had a career-high five hits for the Braves who were not fooled at all by Gerrit Cole. Meanwhile, Mike Foltynewicz and four relievers held the Buccos in check.

Giants 6, Cubs 4: Joe Panik homered to lead off the game and doubled twice. Not to lead off the game, though. It’d be impossible to do all of that in one plate appearance. Brandon Belt and Justin Ruggiano homered as well, also in their own distinct at bats. There are rules here.

Astros 1, Tigers 0: A combined one-hitter in a bullpen game. The bullpen game was necessitated by a pinched nerve in Dallas Keuchel‘s neck. Brad Peacock got the start and allowed only one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over four and a third. Chris Devenski, Will Harris and Ken Giles went the rest of the way for a combined four and two-thirds perfect innings. Michael Fulmer only made one mistake in walking George Springer to lead off the game and then giving up an RBI double to Jose Altuve. Otherwise he scattered eight hits and allowed only that one run in seven innings. That, however, was enough to lose the game.

Diamondbacks 5, White Sox 1: Zack Greinke struck out a season-high 12, allowing only one run in eight and two-thirds. Daniel Descalso hit a three-run homer in the fourth that provided all of the cushion Greinke needed.

Astros’ bullpen throws combined one-hitter for MLB-best 30th win

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The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.

Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.

The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.

After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.