I may have said something along the lines of “One does not simply score more runs,” the other day. My blog is the virtual equivalent of a fascist state, so you can’t confirm whether or not I actually said that. (Okay, fine. You can. That’s what the neat “scroll” feature on your computer is for.) Anyhows, Friday, it sure looked like it and the Giants went down quietly, 3-0. Silently. But then today rolled around and… things were different.
Nine runs, thirteen hits different. This team has kind of morphed to a point that it’s creepy, except not creepy because it’s completely wonderful. Actually, still creepy.
Boromir is happy.
A lot of different pieces fell into place. Matt Cain delivered what was probably his best performance since the perfect game way back in June – June was also, incidentally, the last time a Giant other than Buster Posey hit a homer at home, so there’s that –, Hunter Pence started to look a little bit like the Hunter Pence we know and love and, um, traded our souls to the devil for and Buster Posey kept hitting ‘em homers at home. Angel Pagan also had a lovely little two-run triple. He can do everything except, you know, catching a ball in a sensible fashion.
I love the Rockies. I really do. If Dan O’Dowd ever comes to the Bay Area to catch a game, I will gladly invite him over for tea and thank him from the bottom of my heart for creating such an, ahem, fun team to play.
So that was a pretty marvelous road trip. We’ve all heard about those teams that do well at home but are morbidly bad when they go on the road. Zack Greinke famously offered up bad hotel coffee as his reason for allowing billions of runs on the road. The Giants might offer up, oh, a ballpark that is permanently socked in with fog and has walls that stretch all the way to Southern California as their reason for not being able to really ever (never) score runs at home. Greinke needs to just bring his own coffee maker. The Giants solution is probably not so simple. Global warming might help. I’m not an Inconvenient Truth expert, but that’s not a short-term solution. It’s going to get warmer before it gets colder and stuff, right?
a) Borrow Coors Field. Prop up San Francisco so that it’s at altitude.
b) Borrow Busch Stadium. Make San Francisco 100 degrees all the time.
c) Get ridiculously good hitter off of waivers. Ridiculously good hitter who’s also ridiculously expensive, so nobody else will claim him. Winning the lottery would also help. ‘Cause we’re kind of poor right now, according to Sabes et al.
d) Have Ryan Vogelsong pitch every day. Then we don’t have to score that many runs. Any runs. Ryan VogelALLOWSNORUNS.
e) Score more runs. Why am I not a GM, guys? I have the most brilliant ideas.
They did win 15-0 last night. They may or may not actually need my suggestions. They’re kicking off a home series against the Rockies tomorrow night (smiley face – the Rockies, people) and things may very well continue being rosy. With Brian Sabean’s Brainchild Marco Scutaro in the lineup? Uh-huh. This may very well continue being rosy.
Also, I am making frappuccino cupcakes right now so I’ll have more patience with the Giants foibles. Frappuccino cupcakes make everything better.
Whew, that felt like an actual baseball game! It doesn’t feel like we’ve had one of those in a while, in both a positive and negative way. Going back to the last game of the Mets series, the finals have been: 1-9, 16-4, 11-6, 8-3 and 2-8. Lots and lots of crooked numbers. That’s why yesterday’s game was kind of a welcome surprise, because although Buster Posey pretty much blew it open and never looked back in the first with a three-run homer, it was still a final of 4-2. And can I just say again, How hot is Buster Posey? It’s a little bit ridiculous at this point. Ridiculous in the completely elated sense of the word. Ridiculously wonderful.
Barry Zito also had a huge game, in a completely different way. He’s been struggling lately and I think a lot of people (myself included, mostly) had a bad feeling coming into that start. He proved us all wrong by throwing out a quality start, 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs. He put himself back into the win column and in the middle of August, that’s pretty huge for Zito, who’s never finished with a winning record as a Giant, if memory serves me right.
The last person who super-über came through is my very favorite Jeremy Affeldt who has to have put himself in the closer conversation big time, if he wasn’t there already. He has only three saves this year but quietly, he’s looked very, very good. With Casilla struggling on the field and battling a blister issue off the field, the closer-by-committee is the word of the moment. (This seems to be Bruce Bochy’s favorite thing ever. Not sure why. It’s a little like picking-what-we-should-have-for-dinner by committee. And I don’t know about you guys, but in my family, that doesn’t really ever at all work.) Romo’s been mostly fantabulous as well, but he can be fantabulous in the 8th, right? Javier Lopez can work his magic at other handpicked moments. Having a closer goes a long way, in my opinion. Just like executive dinner-making decisions go a long way. Pasta caprese every night. Also, Jeremy Affeldt every save situation.
We have two more games in St. Louis now because of this devilry called a four game series, so get used to the extremely hot weather from afar. Ryan Vogelsong is taking the mound and Buster Posey is taking the everything-else. It’s going to be good.
It’s not like Colorado is all that fantastic this year (understatement of the century? Perhaps.) but still, coming off of that sweep, seeing a little momentum carry over would have been good. The Cardinals very unceremoniously killed any momentum that might have been there, taking the first game of the series by a final of 8-2. Angel Pagan led off the game with a homer and is staying hot, along with Buster Posey who is way beyond hot right now, but then Carlos Beltran gave it right back. We love you too, Carlos. Not. (That’s out of my system now. I will attempt to cease being bitter to him.) The story just got sadder from there, basically, with Matt Cain continuing his iffy numbers since the perfect game back in June and the offense proving that even though the high in St. Louis is 99° there today, they can still hit like they’re in a fog.
Our home stadium, ladies and gents.
ButyouknowStLouiswontheWorldSerieslastyearsoitsnotlikeyoucanblametheGiantsforhavingtroubleagainstthemright? Eh. Maybe not. Logic is not exactly in my favor.
Still, Barry Zito’s on the mound tonight for San Francisco so this one should be interesting. He’s 8-8 on the year with a 4.27 ERA and has basically taken a nosedive since starting the season very strongly. It’s not like our chances look fantastic for tonight, but I am curious to see what he’ll do tonight and haven’t completely written him off for the year. The win-loss statistic is this side of meaningless, but if he could squeeze out a win and take a winning record for the moment, it might mean a tiny something in his Giants career.
Seriously, though, if you’d like to feel better about the Giants chances at winning this division, check out who the Dodgers lost 2-zip to, yesterday. Colorado, people. They went 0 for 8 with RISP. Against the Rockies. And they do not have anything close to the excuse of theywontheWorldSerieslastyear.
If Martians or whatever creatures Tom Cruise thinks planted us were to land on earth, I would greet them with a brief hello in Esperanto (‘cause everyone knows that, right?) and then I’d say very simply: this does not happen. This? they’d say in Esperanto or maybe Alien Language. In which case I wouldn’t understand it. But I’d intuit, because they’d be understandably confused.
This, I’d say, gesturing towards a piece of paper or conveniently placed smartphone with this on it:
Now I don’t know if Tom Cruise agrees with me on this, but all signs seem to point to aliens being really fantastic at math, so they’d probably assume this was a complex math problem/code/communication-thing and turn on their super alien brains and start cracking at it. Presumably within a few minutes, they’d come up with an answer, which might read something like, We want to make war with you. (It might not, but then again, it might.) So then we’d have this massive war with the aliens and seriously, aliens are way more awesome than we are, so we’d probably all die. Take heart, Tom Cruise knows exactly what to do. He’d be fine.
In which case we could blame the Giants for the catastrophic destruction of life as we know it, because it all started with the fact that they put up final scores that just do not happen and shocked poor Diamond Girl who conveniently happened to be the first person to greet the aliens when they landed on earth.
Actually, I blame Coors Field. The Giants are innocent in this one.
p.s. My Chipotle steak-and-fajitas burrito is also a Giants fan!