Interleague Play has kicked off in earnest, with the Rangers and the Giants facing off in San Francisco this weekend. It’s been an interesting series, to say the least, with Texas taking Game 1 by a final of 5-0 and San Francisco winning today, 5-2. Last night also marked the Rangers first win ever at AT&T Park, in their twelfth game here. Personally, I credit that to our vastly peculiar weather (did you see the Rangers huddled up in jackets in their dugout, looking completely shell-shocked?), but it also could have been a voodoo curse or the fact that even Jon Daniels’ magnificence takes a while to kick in and the Rangers, aside from the World Series, haven’t played here all that recently. Maybe a voodoo curse is the most likely theory, after all.
Anyway, I am loving the matchup… AL vs. NL always is strange and fun (and no, the All Star game does not count) and that crazy game up in Seattle was another example of that. The Mariners, bless their most-hipster-city-in-the-nation hearts, no-hit the Dodgers, using a total of six pitchers. In San Francisco, there was nothing that wacky but that leadoff homer from Kinsler had my eyebrows a little lopsided and the fact that the Giants were shut out for the first time this year was also, probably, somewhat telling.
The other weird thing is just that, with a few exceptions, there seems to be much more goodwill to go around, during Interleague Play. Maybe it’s that we won’t play these people again, barring the World Series, but the fans and broadcasters both seem much more willing to compliment the opposing team. Seriously, there’s been so much Ranger admiration flying in Giantsland that it is kind of making me suspicious. I mean, I love ‘em too. Just not sure why Giants people seem so doting.
About that no-hitter, though, doesn’t that seem like lots of fun? I mean, I’m sure for the starting pitcher who didn’t get to finish it due to injury, it wasn’t all that fun at all, but in general, no-hitters feel like a bit of a solitary achievement, even though the offense and defense are absolutely involved. I think as a fan, seeing the whole bullpen come together to pull that off would be quite marvelous. I can’t get into the heads of the (hipster) Mariners fan, so I can’t be sure, but that was my thought.
Overall, I think the Giants seem to be coming into their own, in a peculiar way. The loss of Melky Cabrera for this series is a painful one, but Pablo’s return is so smile-worth it is not even funny. The pitching is really as stellar as it’s supposed to be and the offense is beginning to step up.
They’re now 4 back from the first-place Dodgers (scoreboard watching? Heck yes.), who played again in Seattle tonight and won. The rubbermatch is tomorrow. Let’s have a resounding, “Go Mariners!” can we?!
p.s. Can the Josh Hamilton drug jokes please die? Hamilton is a grown man and he did what he did. From what I’ve read, he takes the jokes and the criticism alike in stride, but that doesn’t mean we should all do it. The people in front of me at the Coliseum the other day had a running stream of them and during this Giants series, it’s been the same way. What’s so very funny about recovering from drug addiction is foreign to me, not to mention, the whole taking-the-high-road thing. Hamilton is a really, truly brilliant athlete and ballplayer and probably the best hitter in the in the game this year. I would be more than happy to talk about that.