The worst losses of 2010

This is the most fun I've ever had writing one of these posts. These losses these devastating losses were so, so painful at the time, and yet for some inexplicable reason, I wrote about them with this song stuck in my head. I giggled a little bit. I might have even tittered a time or two.

So here are the worst losses of 2010. I was thinking about doing the best wins of 2010 first, but that’s a four-part fantasy epic, with each part happening in an alternate dimension in the time it takes Edgar Renteria to touch each base after his three-run homer in Game Five. The first part "Edgar and the Wyvern of Ice" is coming out on Doubleday as soon as Ethan Hawke finishes the damned foreward already.

10. June 30th against Dodgers

This wasn’t a late-inning crusher this was a slow burn of a loss. The Dodgers were about to sweep the Giants in San Francisco, and something called Vicente Padilla was dominating. The Dodgers scored first, padded the lead, and then never looked back on their way to their third straight NLCS appearance.

That’s what it felt like, at least. The Giants had lost five in a row, they were 5.5 games back, and they were slinking back toward a .500 record. They couldn’t hit, and they had just let the Dodgers sweep a series in San Francisco. This was the game that made it okay to start thinking about the prospects Aubrey Huff could bring back in a trade.

Upon further review, this game did not prevent the San Francisco Giants from winning the World Series in 2010.

9. The Phil Cuzzi game

It hurt, but it would have hurt a lot more if the Giants hadn’t already taken the first three games of the series. Blown calls happen, but it’s actually really rare when they happen in a spot where the correct call would have instantly given the win to the losing team.

If Cuzzi makes the right call, the Phillies would have had waiver priority over the Giants in August, and they would have decided to put a claim in on Cody Ross, hoping the Marlins would pay part of his salary. The Marlins would have refused and pulled Ross back. I JUST BLEW YOUR MIND. Phil Cuzzi should get a ring.

Upon further review, this game did not prevent the San Francisco Giants from winning the World Series in 2010.

8. Comeback against the Reds

I tried to rationalize it at the time, but in retrospect, it really, really stung that the Giants were able to come back from a 10-1 deficit only to lose in the 12th inning. A Pablo Sandoval error in the ninth led to the tying run, and Barry Zito in relief lost it. Shoddy defense by Pablo and poor pitching by Zito were going to be the reasons the Giants couldn’t advance in the playoffs, I just felt it.

Upon further review, this game did not prevent the San Francisco Giants from winning the World Series in 2010.

7. Troy Tulowitski is annoying, good

In a game the Giants really, really would have liked to win, they reclaimed the lead on a Cody Ross home run and then watched the lead get Coorsed. Run here, run there, double here, double there, and suddenly you see some mulleted goofball running around the bases, celebrating ,and saying, "Look at that, golly, we’re out of innings, mister! Looks like we won! Hyyuk!"

Upon further review, this game did not prevent the San Francisco Giants from winning the World Series in 2010.

6. Wilson gets BABIP’d on by the Phillies

It would have been cool to sweep the Phillies, but it turns out that the Giants would have to be satisfied with a series win. That sentence applies to April and October, and upon further review, this game did not prevent the San Francisco Giants from winning the World Series in 2010.

5. Cody Ross is a bad player and he should be released

When the Giants go to Colorado, they get pounded on and lose games in horrid ways. When the Rockies come to San Francisco, they lose slowly and find creative ways to not score. It’s kind of a de facto agreement the two teams have. So this game was especially crushing. The Rockies didn’t hold their end of the deal! Cheeeeeaters!

Even worse was the fact that most of the wizened folks here were screaming for Cody Ross to start over Jose Guillen for defensive reasons, and then Ross took a funny break on Carlos Gonzalez’s ninth-inning triple, which scored the tying run and set up the winning run. That was the last we would ever hear from Ross again.

Upon further review, this game did not prevent the San Francisco Giants from winning the World Series in 2010.

4. Padres think they have a chance

I actually bought champagne before this game too. Heck, the Padres were certainly going to lose to Matt Cain, right? The Padres were a battered team that had just coughed up a substantial division lead surely they couldn’t put up a fight.

And then Adrian Gonzalez. That’s when I really started to worry about the Giants winning another game in 2010. There was a little comeback, and then nothing. Just a void with Barry Zito starting back from Saturday’s game.

Upon further review, this game did not prevent the San Francisco Giants from winning the World Series in 2010.

3. Sanchez and Zito lose games in which they allow one hit.

Lumped together for effect. The Giants lost two games in which they allowed a single hit. That sort of thing is rarer than a no-hitter. The Giants had it happen twice in the same season. It was proof that even if the Giants made the playoffs, they wouldn’t have enough offense to do anything. There’s no explaining the frustration of spending three hours watching another team win after they flail all Giants-like at the plate.

Upon further review, this game did not prevent the San Francisco Giants from winning the World Series in 2010.

2. Born on the Fourth of July

This was the demarcation line. This was the game that separated the season right down the middle. We just didn’t know it at the time. After losing and losing in June, they Giants finally managed to have a late-inning comeback against the Rockies in Coors Field. In the middle of that comeback, Buster Posey roped a single to the outfield with two outs, and he was promptly replaced for a pinch-runner. When he was on first. With two outs. The pinch-runner was the backup catcher.

The official reason given by Bochy was that he thought Whiteside would have a better chance at scoring on a ball hit in the gap. The real reason was probably something to do with Bochy not trusting Posey defensively in a tie game. Maybe not, but that’s my theory.

Whiteside struck out twice in extra innings, once with a runner on third and less than two outs, and he also popped up with a runner in scoring position. This was after he made an error. So obviously, Bruce Bochy was about to be fired, and the Giants fell 7.5 games back. The season was over, and Huff was going to go to the Rangers for Bengie Molina and prospects.

Upon further review, this game did not prevent the San Francisco Giants from winning the World Series in 2010.

1. Rick Ankiel

I can still see TBS showing replays of this home run when I close my eyes. After Pat Burrell hit a three-run homer to make me think, gee, maybe this is the Giants’ year, the Giants frittered away a lead. It all led to Buster Posey getting a hanging slider from Kyle Farnsworth with one out and the bases loaded in the 10th.

Easily the worst loss of the season. The difference between a 1-1 series and a 2-0 series lead before going on the road was huge. Every freaking time the Giants made the playoffs, they’d have a game like this a total defenestration of the soul.

Upon further review, this game did not prevent the San Francisco Giants from winning the World Series in 2010.

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