So it's hard to draw up a more frustrating game than that. I guess there could have been an Armando Benitez blown save mixed in there. But today was the basic template. Cain pitches well, gives up a two-out hit. Giants hit poorly, don't get a two-out hit. Mix in an error from a completely unecessary player to put the game out of reach, a double play in the ninth inning on a blown call, and the Giants just gave the ultimate Cain performance. The Platonic ideal. So perfect.
That's the 11th time in his career that Cain has given up two runs or fewer, pitched seven innings or more, and got a loss. He just passed Aaron Harang on that particular career leaderboard. Symmetry! Cain is now 68-72 for his career. Maybe one of these days he'll get over the hump and become an above-average pitcher.
But, hey, at least there's Brett Pill. He homered again, and he also roped a solid single to left field. Well, it looks like the first base dillema has been solved! Maybe if they draft a kid out of high school next year, he'll be ready to start when Pill leaves as a free agent in six years. Keep that cycle of talent coming. And as long as we're talking about symmetry ...
Brett Pill joined John Bowker (in 2008) as the only Giants to homer in each of his first two major league games.
It's proof that the universe has a sense of humor. The guy whom scouts and stats love is benched for the guy whom scouts and stats don't care for. This player then hits two home runs in his first two games, which evokes the name of a guy that the stats loved but the scouts didn't, and who is often used as an example on why we should just forget about the guy whom scouts and stats love. Got that? Probably not. I could explain it better if I weren't so annoyed.
Pillapalooza will pass. But it might not pass before the season ends, which will muddle things next year. At least Bowker shape-shifted back into his natural form in the middle of a season.
An aside: Did you know that Brett Pill just one year younger than John Bowker? He's closer in age to Cody Ross than Brandon Belt. But he's our starting first baseman for the rest of the year, so let's look for some positive factoids next time!
Look, I don't know if Brandon Belt thinks that Mussolini had some really neat ideas, and I don't know if Pill is a cool guy to play Madden with if he's not helping at the soup kitchen. When I root for one over the other, it's because I think that one has a better chance to help the Giants in the present and future, not because I like one as a person but not the other. If I'm wrong, I'll be thrilled. Thrilled. I love being wrong if it means the Giants win more. And I'm wrong often, so here's hoping that however the Giants move forward, it's the right move.
But it's hard not to get a little sad at how this season has gone for one of the better prospects the Giants have had in a couple of decades. It's hard to watch a manager whom I want to like, whom I want to succeed, continually make weird lineup decisions. And it's going to be hard to watch Pill start more games than Belt for the rest of the season. When Pill gets hits from here on out, it will be like eating ice cream for dinner. It'll be far tastier than a casserole, but you know it's not going to be good for you later.
I'm just hoping that I'm not sitting around with a stomachache later, bemoaning the steak that the Giants left on the counter.
Also, it's dinner time.
Also, if Brett Pill were an ice cream flavor, what do you think he'd be? I'm guessing pistachio.
I think some food will help us all forget this wretched game known as baseball.