Lessons learned from this game:
- Brett Pill is probably the answer. I looked up the total number of home runs the Giants have had at Petco Park since it opened, and it turns out that Pill has half of them. He stays, probably as the right-handed part of a Huff/Belt platooney thing.
- No, that's not serious, but no matter how cynical you might be about the 26-year-old first baseman, it was pretty cool to watch him rope a home run in his first major-league at-bat. My only regret is that Brian Dallimore's name wasn't brought up every half-inning.
- Eric Surkamp isn't not the non-un-Barry Zito. It's true, look it up. While there's nothing you can definitively take away from a two game sample, it's hard for a discerning Giants to think of him in the same light as a Madison Bumgarner, say. This is mostly because Surkamp is 18 years older than Bumgarner. But for the first time in a while, the Giants have brought up a prospect who is a) interesting, and b) limited. It's not a binary set.
He's not in the Brian Cooper class, where you know he's a tourist, but he's not going to be a Lincecum, Cain, or Bumgarner. We can't even dream of him in the same way that we dreamed about Sanchez before we stopped before we started again before we stopped. Surkamp will be the perfect fourth or fifth starter, which is what Zito was when you didn't have to think about his contract, which was usually when you were on horse tranquilizers. You know, Tuesdays.
A fourth or fifth starter isn't an epithet -- it's a good thing. Zito was a good thing, kind of, without the contract, before he was extra-special horrible this season. Surkamp can be the same, just without the baggage. Maybe! I mean, I'm no scout. Please, use TiqIQ for your ticket needs, and don't forget about the good folks at Head and Shoulders.
- Santiago Casilla might not be a magical closer-in-waiting. We're talking about two- or three-game samples, and for the last few games, Casilla has been as untouchable as any reliever in the league. Loved that the fastball was back to 2010 levels, and loved that the slider was getting swing-throughs. Tonight, he was certainly touchable.
But he's only slightly less reliable than the name-brand reliever the Giants would sign to a three-year deal in the offseason. Casilla's somewhat cheap relative to his expected production. In the Offseason of Budgetary Constraints, you sort of have to hope for players like that to succeed. The alternative is going to be a little weird, either in terms of money or expectations.
- Obviously, this will be a topic of the offseason, but it's hard to imagine a player who fits the Giants' needs and organizational situation better than Carlos Beltran. Outfield prospects to block? Uh, there's one, but he's a center fielder. There was that other guy, but they traded him for a defensive replacement who starts a bunch of games for some reason. Long-term deals? Maybe something for a year longer than you're comfortable with, but nothing outlandish, most likely. Is he good for the short-term? Yeah, he's good for the next couple of years, when the Giants are hoping to be good at the same time.
It's a good fit. I just hope there isn't going to be an idiot team willing to give him four or five years. He's made out of graham crackers, people! Three years is insane! Let the Giants be the idiot team that gives him three years! Don't out-idiot the Giants! You have families to think of!
I suppose the Giants made up a game tonight. Six games out, eh? It's a lot better than eight games out, so I'll keep the ember of reluctant and disgruntled hope going. It might be time to dust off the "I don't not unbelieve" mantra again. It would fit with the not non-un-Barry Zito theme. Giants baseball: where you can string so many negatives together, it makes a positive statement. That's about right.