Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My last 4 months

Sorry for the long delay in posting to NuschlersNews. I'm sure I lost a lot of readers along the way as potentially this could be thought of as just another forgotten blog. I'd like to reassure those of you who still check in here that this isn't just another idle site, but that I am still around and will begin postings again. Let me take a minute to share with you about my life, outside my life long obsession with the San Francisco Giants. As it turns out, there is something more important.

Back in April of 2009, my wife and I found out we were expecting our first child. More excited than anyone can imagine, although I expect anyone who is happily married and has been in the same situation was equally thrilled as we were. We tried for 3 years to get pregnant and finally had. Early on, it was an extremely difficult pregnancy for my wife. She was sick 24 hours a day until 16 weeks along.

At 18 weeks, we found out it was a girl. At the same time, we discovered our daughter had a fairly common kidney problem that usually went away prior to birth but they wanted to monitor it with complete ultrasounds monthly just to be safe. Although at worst, this would require a small surgical procedure post birth to clear a block in her urinary tract, it turned out to be a life saving discovery.

At both the 22 & 25 week ultrasounds, the kidney problem remained fairly unchanged but not too worrisome for the doctors. At the 28 week ultrasound, our life changed.

Our daughter was diagnosed with Ascites on Halloween and we were told she would likely need to be born via emergency C-Section within the week to hopefully keep her alive. We went home for the next 30 hours thinking things couldn't get worse but we were wrong.

First thing monday morning we had another ultrasound at our perinatologists office and complete body Fetal Polyhydrominoes, or Hydrops, were discovered. The doctor told us, at 28 weeks 3 days, that our daughter had a 10% chance at living born today and 30% if we could keep her enutero until 34 weeks. Our options were to home and "let nature take its course" or check ourselves into the labor and delivery unit for both my wife and daughter to be on 24 hour monitoring with the first signs of fetal distress, an emergency C-Section would be performed. The doctors all agreed, they didn't expect us to make it to 29 weeks, but were just hoping against the odds we could make it to 34.

Hydrops is fluid buildup in a body cavity, usually isolated to one area. Our daughter had it everywhere. Around her heart and lungs, putting pressure on them and causing the lungs to stay collapsed inhibiting development. Around her head, between the scalp and skull. In her abdomen. In all 4 extremities. At 28 weeks, she measured 34 in size.

It turned out we had a brilliant perinatologist and she diagnosed the Fetal Hydrops origin. She was able to perform both an amniocentesis on my wife and a thorocentesis on our baby. It was caused by a block in her thoracic duct of the lymphatic system backing fluid up everywhere. The Thorocentesis worked and the lungs expanded instantly. From then on, the fluid gradually receded. It was a long process, but well worth it. It was one of the hardest things I could imagine. Feeling the pain my wife was going through with the giant needle in her stomach and watching my squirming unborn child have that same needle enter her tiny chest, just centimeters from her heart.

My wife was in the hospital the entire month of November. She had Thanksgiving in a hospital bed. Our daughter slowly beat the odds and at 34 weeks, my wife went home. 35, 36, 37, and 38 weeks passed and out December 31st ultrasound showed complete resolution of the Hydrops. Something we never thought possible.

January 14th my wife went into labor as her water broke... which coincided with what would be my late brother, Jeff's, 30th birthday. At 0345 am on January 15th, our daughter, Clara, was born.

Completely healthy.

We are home now and trying to raise a little girl. 5 days old and the center of our lives.

Some things do take the lead over the Giants apparently. But please stick with me everyone. I'll be back writing Giants posts very shortly... hey, look there, Bengie Molina just resigned with the Giants...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Starting to think beyond this week

On a day when the Giants salvaged 1 of 4 games against the Chicago
Cubs, one would expect the topic of conversation to center on Matt
Cain's brilliant 8 innings of shut out ball, maybe Eli Whiteside's 2
double night at the dish, or Juan Uribe's continuing torrent hot
streak. Instead, we find rumors floating about of who may or may not
want to be back next season.
> God forbid, we might muster a few thoughts about the fact that the
> Giants still aren't mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet.
> Already in the last 2 days, the Giants have been linked to Milton
> Bradley and current middleinfielders Juan Uribe & Freddie Sanchez
> are wanting to return.
> Other questions have begun to arise as well.
> What to do with Aaron Rowand? Is this the Real Barry Zito?Is Edgar
> Renteria ever going to be healthy? What about our Free Agents? Winn,
> Molina, Penny, Lowry, Frandsen, Johnson, Uribe, Aurilia, etc
> But the two biggest issues of them all ought to be 1- Do we Fire
> Bruce Bochy? Do we fire Brian Sabean?
> It seems like everyone is talking already, why not us?
> Over the next few weeks we'll be taking a closer look at everything.
> Check back often

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

MasterZeet Theatre

Champions are those who step up and deliver the best they have when
needed most.

Tonight, watching Barry Zito take the mound in what was arguably his
biggest night as a San Francisco Giant, I wondered if he would dig
down and deliver a performance reminicant to his Oakland Athletic
days... And did he ever come through!

Entering the game, the Giants trailing the Rockies 3.5 games with 19
to go, the fate of the season seems to be residing on each game.
Coinsiding with the recent momentum of Brad Penny & Tim Lincecum's
dominance as well as the offensive resurgance, the Giants were in a
must win situation hoping to keep their momentum progressing.

To make matters worse, Barry Zito would be facing Ubaldo Jimeniez, the
Rockies Ace...

A game definitly full of pressure and expectations; completely worthy
of the billing "Barry Zito's biggest start as a Giant".

How would he respond?

7 innings of 5 hit ball, 1 walk, 1 hit batter, 2 scattered runs, and 9
strike outs...on just 95 pitches.

Zito was lights out from the first pitch, attacking hitters and
getting ahead of 10 of the first 11 hitters. Minus the cheap HBP to
Carlos Gonzales in the first (hit his hands on the bat) Zito struck
out 3 in the first on a curve ball the Barry Bonds couldn't hit.

Zeet's continued throughout, whipping the hook in for a strike every
time. It was so good, he started getting swingthru strikes on his fast

If it hadn't been for the Giants manufacturing 10 runs and a lead so
big even Bobby Howry could hold it together, Zito would have nailed
down a complete game.

The Giants still have alot of ground to cover and big games to play,
but it's nice to see the guy making all the money stepping up at the
right time!

As it stands right now, Zito is the projected pitcher for a one game
playoff game...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Madison Bumgarner in... Tim Lincecum out?

Ladies and gentlemen, the future is here!

Today, the Giants have called up super prospect Madison Bumgarner and he makes his MLB debut as a spot starter for the injured Tim Lincecum.

Bumgarner comes from AA Connecticut, bypassing AAA Fresno altogether. He's been ranked all season as a top 6 prospect. Recently he's been referred to as the number 1 prospect in any organization. The number 10 overall pick in the 2007 draft, Bumgarner is on the fast track but still slower than Lincecum, Pablo Sandoval, or Buster Posey were.

Standing at 6'4", 210 lbs, the Left handed Bumgarner is much closer in comparison to an early Randy Johnson (except not nearly as wild) than other Giants such as Lincecum or Matt Cain. Yet still, Bumgarner comes with no less expectations than Lincecum did when first promoted. Bumgarner's biggest problem will be following in the massive footsteps that Timmy has left in his wake and fulfilled.

He excelled through both A San Jose & AA Conn this season, posting a combined 12-2 record with an ERA of 1.85, 92 K's in 131 innings, 1.02 WHIP, 6.9 H/9, 2.3 BB/9, 2.71 K/BB.

Lincecum on the other hand, was scratched due to a stiff back. Bruce Bochy said it didn't seem to be too bad, but it scares the crap out of me.

I really don't want to believe it.

It can't be true.

I don't believe it.

You know what... it can't possibly be true... God just wouldn't do that to us...

I'm gonna get to the bottom of this.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Our New, New #5 Starter, Brad Penny

According to multiple sources around the web, without officially confirmation, the Giants have signed Brad Penny to a contract through the end of the season today.

Penny was let go a few days ago from the Boston Red Sox after asking for his release. Penny cleared release waivers and became a free agent, allowing the Giants to sign him for a pro-rated portion of the league minimum, or only 75K for September.

Penny had been linked to multiple NL teams, most notably the Rockies & Marlins. By the Giants signing him, it at least prevents 2 of their closest competitors from getting him.

Penny had a rough go at times this year for Boston after struggling last season for the Dodgers amid injuries. Prior to that season, Penny was arguably the LA Dodgers most consistent performer. At 7-8 with a 5.61 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 6.1 K/9, & 2.12 K/BB, Penny's stats don't look like an improvement, but remember that was in the hitter friendly AL East. Penny should have an improvement in the NL West, where he had dominated before.

At the very least, Penny should be a slight improvement over the Sadowski/Martinez combo who combined as the teams 5th starter posted a line of 5-6, 5.97 ERA, 1.79 WHIP, 5.63 K/9, & 1.30 K/BB. Penny not only should bring improved performance over these two, but he actually pitched a bit better in Boston than the Sad/mart combo has done here, plus his postseason experience is worth the try.

There's nothing saying the Giants owe Penny anything. If he pitches well, he should add at least one more win to this team. If he doesn't and the Giants still make the playoffs, they can leave him off the roster if they choose.

If the Giants miss the Playoffs, we can still blame him for being a Dodger, Bochy for pitching him, and Sabean for being, well, Sabean.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Edgar Renteria & the 3 million dollar homerun

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Edgar Renteria is the best signing the Giants made all year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What ever you do, DO NOT READ ANYTHING ELSE I'VE EVER WRITTEN ABOUT HIM. Just take my word on it, i'm good for it.

Today's 7th inning 2 out Grand Slam that put the Giants ahead 6-5 on a day when Matt Cain struggled mightily was the knockout blow the team was looking to produce.

For all the so struggles Renteria's endured this season and all the difficulties he's had trying to capture fan's hearts following not only the great Omar Vizquel, but living up to the lofty expectations placed on his head after inking that 2 year, $18.5 million deal, he's finally earned endeared himself to us.

That Grand slam was clutch, not clutch like it's "cool" to say "bro, that was clutch". No, I mean the real clutch. The kind you see from savvy ballplayers who are capable of getting a hit in the 1997 world series to win game 7... Wait, that was Edgar. Maybe he still can do it. Maybe it's been there all along and he was just waiting for the pennant race. Maybe he knows how to pace himself and the best is yet to come. Maybe that $18.5 million looks a bit more like $15 million right now. Maybe, just Maybe...

Then again, if Renteria goes o-5 and leaves another 8 on base Tuesday, I'll be the voice you heard screaming "you're a bum" in the background of the Philly broadcast.

Feeling a sweep, really needing a sweep

2 Down, 1 to go... that is, in this series...

Entering the final days of August, the Giants are in an all important position today facing the Colorado Rockies. Win and sweep the 3 game series, and close the gap to a tie in the Wildcard race, or lose and fall 2 games back entering the final month of the season.

At 15-12, the Giants have already secured a winning month, but 16-12 would look soooo much better.

With only 31 games left next month, a 2 game deficit isn't impossible, there's plenty of time, but an even playing field is such a better way to go about it. The Giants have a tougher month than the Rockies, especially at the beginning.

The Giants start with 3 in Philly, then 3 in Milwaukee before coming home for 3 against S.D., 3 with LAD, then the final 3 against CO. Back on a road trip is in LA for 3, then in Arizona for 3, and they finish at home against the Cubbies for 4 and the DBacks for 3, then the final, most likely deciding series in S.D. for 3.

All the more important the Giants put a stamp on this series today. Let the Rockies know they really weren't affected by that 14 game disaster the other day and as the Giants are advertising...they really are "in this thing".

Matt Cain goes today and after Barry Zito's masterpiece last night, the crowd should be energized and Cain will be feeling it. If the Giants can score more than 1 run, it may just be enough, but lets hope they make things a bit easier on Cain.