Part of me wanted to troll, writing a post-game thread that was nothing but complaints about the things that didn't go well. Tejada's double play. Mota's ninth-inning run. Just spew vitriol for 900 words. It's almost certainly funnier in my head than it ever would be in execution.
But that wouldn't have been believable. This wasn't the perfect game, but it's probably about as close as we'll get this year. There's one performance I wanted to highlight, though ...
I don't hope that Brandon Belt will have a nice career; I'm expecting it. Same goes with Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, and Pablo Sandoval. Sure, there are hopes above and beyond the day-to-day successes -- grander and ridiculous cooperstownier hopes -- but for the most part I don't have hopes as much as I have expectations.
For Brandon Crawford, though, it's all hope. He wasn't a first-round pick, and he's never been the organization's top prospect. Other than a couple months in the Cal League, he's never had super-impressive numbers. Heck, he's never even played in AAA. Expecting him to succeed is probably a good way to be disappointed later.
But watching him over the past two days has made me hope. I'm still expecting just as much, or as little, for the short-term. But his at-bats have been patient. He's worked the count and made pitchers throw a lot of pitches. Compared to Edgar Renteria or Tejada, he plays defense like Ozzie Smith crossed with Dhalsim.
The hope is that he can be a good shortstop. Not a star, not even an All-Star -- just a Jason Bartlett or Erick Aybar type. Because the Giants could use one of those for the next few years. There isn't a whole lot coming up in free agency, so unless the Giants want to give a Zito-like contract to Jose Reyes -- who has hamstrings made of graham crackers -- they'll need to get creative. Miguel Tejada was an attempt at being creative.
If Crawford could be that guy ... oh, man. This isn't even as greedy as it could be. In 2008, the Giants were starting a Pirates castoff at third, and what they really needed was a third baseman who could hit in the middle of the order. And -- zounds! -- out of the depths of A-ball, not even on the top-30 prospects list, a guy came up and filled a need for the next few years. Expecting that sort of thing again is probably greedy and certainly unrealistic.
But Crawford is so close to being a complete player -- he's almost there except for the whole hitting thing! -- that nights like tonight fill me with an extra serving of hope. He took a walk, he rapped out a single, and he hit a homer. Maybe he can do it. I'm not expecting it. I'm just hoping for it. It would sure as hell be convenient.