Pray For Rain

By: Big Rygg

First of all…Happy Birthday to me!

With that out of the way, I can move on to other topics.

Do you know the old expression in baseball “Pray for rain”? For example, when a team has , for instance, two dominant starting pitchers and the others on the staff are terrible or at least sub-par, the expression is used by that team’s fans to indicate that they have supreme faith in their big two and want them to pitch every game. Like the year the Diamondbacks won the World Series, it could have easily been “(Curt) Schilling, (Randy) Johnson…and pray for rain.”

Obviously that can’t happen in baseball because there are far too many games, and everyone knows this, but it’s a fun sentiment either way.

I bring it up, not because I don’t have any faith in Jeff Suppan or Sethid McBush (the name I’ve given our hybrid 5th starter since Ned Yost has decided to try the home/road platoon with Seth McClung and Dave (David) Bush for the time being), but because I believe our opponents will start using it in a very different manner soon, if they haven’t already.

Yes, I believe that our opponents will soon be saying “Suppan, McBush, and pray for rain.” This phrase of course meaning that they’ll hope they face our pitchers that have actually been hittable from time to time and then the third game of the series will be rained out so that they don’t have to face CC Sabathia, Ben Sheets or Manny Parra.

Allow me to discuss a case-in-point…

Brewers 9, Giants 1
The Brewers opened up the second “half” of their season last night in San Francisco, California. The opposition, if you could even call them that last night, were the flu-affected Giants. Their starting second and first basemen were out sick with the same flu-like symptoms that kept Tim Lincecum from pitching in the All-Star Game.

But all that aside, Giants Manager Bruce Bochy still filled out his lineup card with nine big leaguers. One of those was young strikeout artist Matt Cain who toed the rubber for San Francisco. He lived up to his own billing for six innings before running into trouble in the 7th. He allowed two base runners in without recording an out in the frame which his relief then allowed to score. Prior to that, the only run he gave up was when Brewer starting pitcher Sabathia scored after his second hit as a Brewer (a double to right-center).

Speaking of Sabathia, he was amazing again. We all know that the Giants don’t exactly have a good offense, and they’re even worse when Cain is on the hill for some reason, but they looked foolish Friday night. Sabathia pitched a 110-pitch complete game near shutout, cruising through everyone and everything except for a bad pitch to Aaron Rowand to start off the 8th inning. 78 of his pitches were thrown for strikes, which is a strong ratio. Sabathia even helped out with his bat as I had mentioned already. He scored the Brewers first run.

Yes, the Brewers blew it open late once Cain tired and the Giant bullpen faltered, but two runs were all Sabathia needed to win his third game in three starts for Milwaukee.

Today, the Giants face Ben Sheets. Come on Sheets…how about a series win as a nice birthday present for me?

San Francisco? If I were you, I’d start praying.

1 Comment

Happy birthday Big Rygg!

With that out of the way, praying for rain was something my dad uttered to me as a child growing up. It has to do with the Boston Braves, who, shortly after this saying was made, moved to Milwaukee to become the Milwaukee Braves. A good example is to look at the 1947 Boston Braves. The top 2 pitchers on the staff were Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain. Both pitchers won 21 games that season. Back in those days, double-headers were common in the scheduling so many times, the Braves would pitch Warren Spahn (2.33 ERA in 1947) in game 1, and Johnny Sain (3.52 ERA in 1947) in game two. So, the saying became, “Spahn and Sain, pray for rain”.

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