Ponce de León took a sip of his canteen, only to find it was filled with suck juice. He recoiled in horror, remembering the guy at the bus stop with the similar canteen. How? When? Oh, my, no...
Beneath the layers of snark, there was an ugly truth: Miguel Tejada was pretty darned unlucky. Yes, he often looked like he was swinging a bat underwater, but he shouldn’t have been a .195/.230/.263 hitter. Maybe .230/.280/.340. Splitting hairs, sure, but the first is essentially Matt Cain, and the second is a regular in a slump. He was awful, but he probably wasn’t the worst player to ever wear a Giants uniform, which was sort of the unspoken assumption. Or the spoken-several-times-every-game assumption, if you will.
If it were a homegrown rookie in the funk -- say, Brandon Belt -- I know I’d be the first to point out those hard-hit outs. BABIP this and BABIP that. But when we look at Tejada’s gutterslump, BABIP doesn’t even factor in. If I played in the majors with my left cleat stapled to my ear, my expected BABIP would be around .100, and that’s a pretty close comp to what the Giants were getting from Tejada.
So the lesson is this: if you come from the outside, make a bunch of money, and stink, small samples aren’t going to apply to you for long. If you’re a homegrown player with any sort of minor league pedigree, you’ll get all sorts of chances, and you can wear small samples like some cloak of invulnerability. I don’t think it’ll ever change, but it’s worth pointing out on a night when an overpaid veteran has a nice night to help his team win another one-run game. Tejada hit the ball hard all night, and he made a couple of nice plays at third. Good on him.
- Jonathan Sanchez had the most Jonathan Sanchez start of his career. There were walks, there were strikeouts, there were lapses in concentration, it was a quality start, and it was better than "Cats."
- Buster Posey taking a foul ball of his mask and leaving the game gives me Matheny flashbacks. I don’t even know if another drink is going to shake that one. He was in the dugout pointing to his cheek, but still...
- The Giants really did hit the ball hard for most of the night, when they were down it was frustrating, but it was more of a why-aren’t-they-falling frustrating rather than a why-did-you-swing-at-a-3-0-count frustrating. It’s different. The first one is all tannins and oak, while the second one is burnt spice and toenails.
- Is there a more likeable Giant than Andres Torres? The Giants have a lot of likeable characters. Maybe in the offseason I’ll make a 16-team tournament of the most likeable players and post it as a four-part FanPost to True Blue LA, Gaslamp Ball, Purple Row, and AZ Snakepit. And after I’m fired, I’ll drop the mic, blow kisses to the crowd and walk off, never to be seen again. Or maybe not. But the Giants have all sorts of players for whom you can’t help but root, and Torres is chief among them. Glad he’s back.
- The Giants are winning, so maybe it’s not worth getting angry at Sergio Romo’s inning of work over the past two weeks. The guy is one of the best relievers in the game, and the Giants can’t find him work? Eh, they’re winning. Maybe the dormancy now will keep him fresh for September.
This team is 11-3 in one-run games. Totally sustainable!