Sunday’s Rocky Road

Sunday’s San Francisco Giants game against the Colorado Rockies was a bit of a nail biter.  On one of the most beautiful Bay Area Sundays we’ve had in some time, fans enjoyed a somewhat explosive first inning… followed by six innings of sleepy offense.

Barry Zito was… Barry.  He blew a 3-0 lead in the first inning, and with the help of George Kontos and Clay Hensley the Giants were losing 6-4 by the start of the eighth.

Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled with Zito’s improvement this season. I could be a twitter hater — wringing my hands and gnashing my teeth about the size of his contract.  But you know what?  It’s a sunk cost.  Why not just be satisfied when Barry gets a win, even if it’s largely thanks to Hunter Pence?  Even better, let’s celebrate when he actually does well. Why the hell not?  It’s better than the alternative!

That said, I love this revisionist quote from Barry after his shaky game. It was like the kid who takes a face plant off his bike, and tells everyone who rushes to his aid, “Oh don’t worry, I MEANT to do that.”

“We needed something like that.  We’ve had a lot of wins by sizable margins and lost some tough ones in-between there. Having come-from-behind wins is important going down the stretch.”

So you think we needed that, Barry?  Did we really?  My cardiologist says no.

After all that torture, the Giants won 9-6 thanks to a three-run homer by newly acquired Hunter Pence.  So far, I like that trade.

I was again in Larry Baer territory with my trusty Canon.  A few of the keepers:

Marco Scutaro
Marco Scutaro
Barry Zito and Ryan Theriot
Barry Zito and Ryan Theriot

I love this photo because it looks like these two guys are holding hands. Like maybe Giants’ veteran Zito is looking out for relatively-new-to-San-Francisco Theriot.  Taking him under his wing.  “Listen little buddy, nobody here calls it ‘Frisco’.  I’m just saying.”

Buster Posey takes one for the team
Buster Posey takes one for the team. Buster was BLEEDING!
Barry Zito
Barry Zito, looking fine for a guy who just blew a three-run lead.
Angel Pagan
Angel Pagan
Angel is all smiles after stealing third.
Angel is all smiles after stealing third.
Lou Seal makes his move.
Lou Seal makes his move. He appreciates maturity, and I can respect that.
Javier Lopez
Javier Lopez. Adjectives elude me.
Barry Zito
Barry Zito
Classic Zito
George Kontos
George Kontos. Eye candy, but not his finest hour.
Hunter Pence
Hunter Pence crosses home plate after his three-run homer. He looks sorta happy!

Get the Picture?

Tim Lincecum
Tim Lincecum

I played hooky on Wednesday afternoon. Can you call it hooky if you tell your boss in advance that you’ll be out of the office, and you use 1/2 of a vacation day to do it?

Well, even though I did it all by-the-book, it still felt decadent.  I had a blast. I was ITCHING to take in a San Francisco Giants game and shoot some photos — especially of Tim Lincecum since he seemed back on track after the All-Star break.

Yes, I have a soft spot for the guy.  He’s so much fun to photograph. Nobody has a pitching motion like his — certainly not cute, chubby-chubster bullpen guy Brad Penny, who I had never photographed before. Ditto for reliever George Kontos, who is not chubby.  He’s just relatively new to the team… so we were not yet acquainted with one another.

While the game was rather lackluster, and Timmy struggled despite his eight strikeouts, the weather was stunning and my seat was very good for photo taking.  It was my first time in section 125, thanks to StubHub.

It wasn’t Larry Baer territory, where I’ve taken so many photos I’m proud of.  At times I wanted to thump the third base coach on the back of his big head for obstructing my view of the mound, but I restrained myself. (That would be the PADRES third-base coach — not sweet Tim Flannery, who can stand wherever he likes as far as I am concerned.)

I’ll be back at AT&T Park on Sunday, when the Giants take on the Dodgers. Ryan Vogelsong is pitching, and I’m hoping to get some great shots of him too.  I’ll be sitting near the visitors’ dugout — another brand-new vantage point for me.

Where is your favorite place to take photos at the ballpark?