The All-Star break is a completely artificial separation of the baseball season, but I’m guessing that a lot of players view it as something more definitive. I don’t have any way to prove this, but I have a hunch that Pablo Sandoval is one of those guys. When Sandoval roped a run-scoring double in his first at-bat of the second half, he practically did a dance on second base. Goodbye, first-half struggles. Hello, old Panda. At least, that’s what it seemed like he was thinking. And we should let him.
Again, just a hunch, but Lincecum doesn’t seem like one of those superstitious types. He seems a little too pragmatic. If his velocity is down, or his control is wonky, he probably doesn’t chalk it up to anything other than a little funkiness in his delivery. Still, it had to feel pretty good for him to pump a 94-mph fastball by a Mets hitter in his first start of the second half. Even better, he didn’t have any of the control struggles that mucked up more than a couple of his first-half starts.
Buster Posey doesn’t have superstitions. Superstitions have Buster Posey. He’s a really, really good catcher. It’s unbelievable -- absolutely stunning -- how much attention the Giants wanted us to pay to Posey’s defensive inexperience. It’s like a movie studio promoting a summer blockbuster by whining about the shoddy work their key grip did. What was the point of all that?
Lincecum. Sandoval. Posey. Yeah, that’s how encouraging games are made.