The poor starts from Jason Schmidt and Noah Lowry were the kind of poor starts good pitchers will have. While that is a bit of rainbow chasing at best, unapologetically awful sentence construction at worst, they weren't starts filled with walks and hard hit balls at every turn. They had two-out hits going against them, and extra-base hits at the worst possible time. This isn't to suggest they were victims of bad luck. No, they were legitimately poor starts. But compare them to the horrors of the May starts, where both pitchers were walking everyone in sight and throwing tube steaks down the heart of the plate every other pitch.
The optimism ends there. And that wasn't really optimism, but more like pointing out that the apples used to make a Hostess Fruit Pie used to have some semblance of nutrition before making you sterile. It ain't exactly good news. The Giants have almost ceded the race to the Padres, losing another game because of the offense. If Randy Winn hadn't come over hitting like Jim Edmonds in his prime, the Giants might be looking at an eight, nine, or even ten game deficit. Counting on the power of Winn and Mike Matheny to win games isn't the wisest course to stay on, because as my grandpappy said, "Jus' because a gull bird dropped a fish in a bird bath once, don't mean y'all should start stickin' yer danged fishing poles in there every night."*
Indeed. About two months ago, the rabble around these parts were anxious about the future of the starting pitching. We were running around, looking for any sign of a starter like a person getting ready to move looks for boxes. That fervor settled down, and has been replaced by the great power drought of aught-five. In a sense, the team is luckier than most with this problem because they have a Barry Bonds in a glass case. However, a couple good workouts does not a complete player make, and the Giants can't reasonably expect Bonds to make up all of the difference. They can hope, sure, but not expect.
When the Giants pitching was struggling mightily, it was difficult to watch. This offensive implosion, though, might be worse in its stealth. Bad pitching is obvious. A guy gives up four runs in the first inning; that's an easily identifiable culprit. When an offense sucks like a vampire vacuuming up a pile of straws in a black hole, you keep waiting for the turnaround. First inning, no runs. That's alright, there's eight left. Second inning, no runs. Okay, there's time. Et freaking cetera. It can drive you mad.
"Oh, Randy Winn is up. Now comes the power." That sentence, in some permutation, actually crossed my mind last night. And I was right. Go Warriors.
*He most certainly did not ever say that.