MLB

Lopez might be weirdest Giant of all

FOX Sports Bruce Jenkins, The San Francisco Chronicle (California)
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Some thoughts on Game 3:

The Giants are gaining a nationwide reputation for their quirky, eccentric nature, and you're well familiar with the usual suspects. But the weirdest guy on this team might be reliever Javier Lopez. There's no one in the National League remotely like him.

Throwing sidearm comes naturally to right-handed pitchers, and there have been some great ones, from Walter Johnson to Ewell Blackwell to Don Drysdale, plus a torrent of sidearming relievers. But a lefty throwing sidearm? It's hard to remember many awful ones, let alone a gem like Lopez.

Why is that, by the way? Why are all the "stylish" pitchers and first basemen left-handed? Why does a really sharp lefty slider break more radically? Why do so many lefty hitters like the ball low and in, as opposed to righties with a chest-high wheelhouse?

It's all part of the game's charm, and the Giants are fortunate to have someone who strays so far from the norm. The only two sidearming left-handers of any note in recent years are Lopez, whose latest masterpiece was a 1-2-3 eighth inning Tuesday, and Merced's Brian Fuentes, the 10-year veteran who pitched for Colorado in the 2007 World Series and is now with the Twins.

Lopez can't match dyes with Brian Wilson, hairstyles with Tim Lincecum or thongs with Aubrey Huff, but on Halloween, he should go as himself.

-- Barry Bonds was so happy to take the field again in uniform as a first-pitch thrower, he skipped onto the field. A first.

-- Add up the Phils' two hits off Matt Cain, and they amounted to a really poorly hit six-iron.

-- With that bullet double off Cole Hamels, Aaron Rowand might have bought himself another start.

-- Nobody's more ponderous than Bruce Bochy when he makes a pitching change. Love the shift in his gait when he leaves the guy in. A little hop-step in there. A bit of a jog.

-- Routines matter, and only fools panic when they're down 2-1 in a best-of-seven. Phils manager Charlie Manuel, no fool, isn't about to force three days' rest on any of his starters.

-- It's Cain in Game 7, if it goes that far. A cluster of gold in the Giants' hip pocket.

Tagged: Twins, Giants, Javier Lopez, Matt Cain

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