There are obvious consolation prizes for a season that probably isn't going to end well. Watching Belt play, or Surkamp pitch, or whatever tickles your baseball fancy is about all we have.
Wait, are you excited that the Giants moved 8.5 games of the Diamondbacks today? Oh. Well, it's going to be hard to communicate. It's like being at a cocktail party and talking to someone who really believes that they'll ascend to the heavens on a comet that's approaching Earth. Maybe that will happen! And if it does, I'll be happy for you. But right now, I'm a see what's going on with those crab cakes over there, nice to meet you.
But for the people who prefer reality to fanaticism, those modest consolation prizes weren't satisfying with this series. You realized that if the Giants scored one run while being swept in a three-game series by the Dodgers, that would be the kind of thing that could make a team panic in the offseason. Maybe you couldn't tie it directly to this series, this game, but in 2017, there was a chance that you'd be looking at a $28 million Prince Fielder and wondering, boy, how did that happen? There was, like, a 1% chance that another shutout today would have led to something goofy. Not insignificant.
So apart from the obvious -- Giants beating the Dodgers, and all that -- there might have been real benefits to scoring runs today. Heck, maybe you're geeked on a 10-year deal to Prince Fielder. Don't know. But there's bad, and there's worse. A win today was good because it keeps things steady at bad. That's great!
After the game-specific joy, then you can dig into the consolation prizes within the context of the season. Belt had a hit and a walk, which might mean something to the people who make decisions. Just ignore the double-switch on which he left the game. Brandon Crawford had a great at-bat against Kuo. Pablo had three doubles. Bumgarner wasn't especially efficient, but he continued to show silly strikeout ability. I think he has a chance to be good one of these years.
But of all the consolation prizes, I think I'm most interested in signs of life from Aubrey Huff. He's the starting first baseman next spring, after all. Don't fight it. Don't argue. If he's not the starting first baseman, it's because he's the starting left fielder with Albert Pujols or Fielder at first. Huff will start next year They're not cutting him, and Belt isn't beating him out for anything. So now it's time to root for him.
The Huff/Belt debate in July/August was worthwhile because there was a chance that Belt might have made a bad offense a little better. It's not Huff v. Belt anymore; it's Huff v. Giants. If Huff really has lost all of the talent he possessed last year, well, that stinks. Because Belt still isn't going to be the first baseman, and Huff being bad again would be ... bad. Again.
So even though I don't buy into the even/odd-year thing with Huff, I'm rooting for it. And a game like today's makes you think, okay, maybe there's a little hope after all.
Of course, Huff could play left to make room for Brett Pill, who starts the season at first. There's always that. Maybe I should just stop with the silver linings.