Great Day at the Park

Yesterday was one of those days when everything falls into place, when baseball seems like the easiest game in the world.

We scored 10 runs against St. Louis — Ishikawa and Renteria both went three for four with three RBIs a piece.

Timmy pitched what might be the best game of his already amazing career, a two-hit complete game – his third complete game in his last four starts.

And we were in St. Louis, so I got to spend time with my brother, Yadier, and my mother and aunt, who were visiting from Puerto Rico.

What more could I ask for?

One thing, actually.

I could ask to have a big game at the plate after a disappointing month of June.

And, sure enough, I got that, too.

I went three for five with an RBI and a run. To be honest, I hit the ball well all five times. I felt great up at the plate. It felt good to see the ball flying past fielders instead of right at them. Hitting is mostly skill, of course, but there’s a little luck, too. Sometimes you can be swinging the bat and seeing the pitches as well as you ever have, and every ball you hit finds a glove. And sometimes the balls fall exactly where you want them to.

Despite the slump, it’s satisfying to still have the most RBIs of any catcher in the National League and to lead the major leagues in game-winning RBIs.

The best part of yesterday’s game, though, was partnering with Timmy. I take a lot of pride in calling his games and strategizing with him through every inning, every batter, every pitch. I don’t need to tell you that this kid is really special. He’s one of a kind. I have never seen a pitcher exactly like him. He trusts his pitches. He trusts what he’s going to throw. When I call for a fastball, he just unleashes it. The real good pitchers, they execute their pitches.

Sounds simple, right? But there’s a confidence and trust a pitcher has to have in himself, his catcher and his skills. Timmy has four pitches he can throw for strikes. Four good ones – meaning he not only throws them for strikes, he throws them hard.

And this kid doesn’t rattle. He’s really relaxed before his starts, but he’s a very fierce guy when it comes to pitching his game. He has the perfect personality for a pitcher.

Even between innings, when most pitchers sit off by themselves on the bench, Timmy will ask me about the location of a certain pitch, things like that. This kid is the whole package.

I didn’t catch Ryan Sadowski, but I had fun watching him. He really, really impressed me, the way he controlled the game, the way he threw strikes, moved the ball around. He threw breaking balls, sliders when he had to. He looked like a veteran out there.

He spent more than six years in the minor leagues, and he learned how to pitch. Some guys have all the raw skills in the world but they get to the majors too quickly without first learning HOW to pitch. Believe, I understand why everyone wants to get out of minors as fast as they can. It’s no fun being the minors. It’s a tough lifestyle. But there are a lot of advantages to paying your dues in the minors.

That’s where you do all your learning. The major leagues aren’t instructional leagues. It’s not the place to be working on your skills. You get here and you have to execute right away. That’s what Sadowski did. He did his job and now he’s getting another chance.

Here’s another advantage. When you spend that much time in the minors, once you get to the majors, you really, really appreciate where you are. You appreciate the game of baseball and how blessed you are to play it for a living. I was in the minors for more than seven years, so I speak from experience.

Jamie is getting closer to having the baby, so I gave Bochy the heads-up that if I get the call that she’s in labor, I’ll have to go. I’ll keep you posted, of course.

21 Comments

Good luck with the baby!!! I’ll keep you all in my prayers! And congrats on a great game!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

I am a Padres fan and I know how great Tim Lincecum can pitch. He dominated the Cardinals last night, which is no surprise. Good luck with the baby!
http://hyunyoung.mlblogs.com

Tim Lincecum was STELLAR. I loved it.
-Dillon
http://dillonm.mlblogs.com

Congrats on a great game! You guys are doing great!
And can’t wait to hear about the baby when it gets here!🙂

Congrats on the great game! And I can’t wait to hear about the baby when it arrives!

Keep up the good work. You guys are playing some good ball.

~ King of Cali
http://kingofcali.mlblogs.com/

im so happy for the giants
im glad we are doing good
we can win the wild card take down whoever first round then take those dodgers in the second round
world series
our top three pitchers will win every series

Bengie, I’m so happy for you and the rest of the team. Sadowski has paid his dues in the minors and it’s definitely paying off. He was amazing tonight, as in his debut. As for you and Timmy being partnered for games, I don’t think there’s a better set up. You and him work great together. Both of you are strong mentally. If Timmy keeps going the way he is, do you think he has a good chance of capturing the CY Young again this season? I think it’s very possible. I doubt it’s ran through his mind, though.
What are your thoughts on Matt Cain this season? He’s been doing great this year also. He’s showing more dominance on the mound than he has his previous years.
It’s great that you got to spend time with your brother, mother and aunt. I know it must be hard to have to leave.
Good luck with Jamie and the baby! I can’t wait to hear about it! You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. =)
Also, I enjoy reading you blog very much. It gives me insight on what truly happens not only behind the game, but the game itself. I’ve always had respect for the game, but after reading your blog, I have more respect and I’m grateful for that. Thank you, Bengie. You’re truly an inspiration to me.
Much love to all,
Katie

Hmm, I wonder what your likely All Star brother thought about the crushing you gave him tonight…

My turn to do a little catching up:

Mel’s on Lombard is the choice of MLB ballplayers…🙂

Take a look around the walls. They have a Herb Caen column about Joe DiMaggio quietly having dinner with a friend on the night of one of his birthdays. Of course, for him, it was a simple walk from his house…

And very nice that that young man Johnson got his 300th win…🙂 He’s a kid compared to me at 46 and a half. Went to Sacred Heart and missed Bonds. Went to Cal and missed both Bonds and Randy. (At least I was there for The Play and have memorabilia to prove it!🙂 ) Oh, well…

FYI: Missed, as in *didn’t* go to the games despite attending at the right time.

Shrimp Boat

Bengie, Good luck with the baby!!

RobertJ
http://superbaseball.blinkweb.com/

Bengie, nice Sac Fly!! Glad to see you hot again. Keep that mohawk going, it looks like it’s growing out a bit! Yadier was right!!

Good playing Bengie and another good blog entry. The offense has seemed to click at times with Rowand in leadoff and Pablo gaining power with you driving in runs.
Congrats on the baby and good luck
GO GIANTS

Congrats papa (third time over)! I’m sorry you missed Sanchez’s no-hitter. It was fantastic to see him do so well after what he’s been through this year. I’m sure the birth of your new one was also a fantastic thing to behold. A good night in the Giants family! 🙂

Unfortunately you still can’t say you’ve caught a no-hitter.

Hi Bengie!
Congratulations on your new baby girl, and happy birthday!!!!😀 You guys had a great first half, and I really look forward to seeing what you guys can do for the rest of the season. It has been so much fun not only watching you play but also reading your blog and learning a little more about inside baseball.🙂 I can’t wait til you come back home to play next week! Until then, good luck on the rest of the road trip.
Hope you have the best birthday ever!
Lauren

Happy Birthday sweet Bengie! Hope you have a wonderful day!
Congratulations to you, Jamie and all your girls on your newest arrival…. and my thoughts are with all of the Giants on the loss of Sue Burns.

Best wishes and hugs,
Sue

Happy Birthday Bengie! Congratulations on your new baby girl:) I can’t wait to see you guys back at the park.

Bengie; congradulations on the Baby….Now you guys have to really win,do it 4 ur kids….

Bengie; congradulations on the Baby….Now you guys have to really win,do it 4 ur kids….

Good morning Bengie. Congratulations on the new addition. We have five adult children, 9 grandchildren and 2 pet kids. We now live in Houston, Texas. I was the driver for the San Jose Giants in 2006. Of course we won the Calif League championship that year. Travis, Nate, Kevin, John, Ryan, and others were a part of that team. Bengie, would you please mention to Travis and Nate that my wife and I would love to see and chat with them when you are in Texas. Please help me with this communication. I have been a SF Giant fan since the 60’s. I have lots of history with the team. Please help if you can. My name is Terry Traylor and they call me the Shadow. I am the Bus DRiver. Lets make this a second half of the season the League will not forget.
The shadow

Bengie- I keep checking in for an updated blog entry… and then when there is none, I remind myself that your wife just had a baby girl, and any free time you have should be devoted to them. Congrats, and my best wishes for health and happiness for all. And thanks for doing the blog at all- I’ve enjoyed it.

Also, thanks for your clutch hitting. I know you probably aren’t hitting like you’d like (I see you mumble and swear as your eyes flash angry after a bad at bat) but you are still Big Money. We love you for your game management, toughness and skill at the plate and leadership. When you come up to bat with RISP, my husband and I always look at each other and say “Once again Bengie, we must ask too much of you” because honestly, we often are.

Yet you continue to deliver and we appreciate it. We also appreciate the way the Giants have played this year, exceeding our expectations and making it fun to watch again.

We will be in SF Aug 8-14, visiting from AZ to take part in the Giants slumber party and I’m looking forward to seeing wins over the Reds and the Dodgers. See you then!

Courtney

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: