Carlos Marmol walked a batter, deflected a ball with his ass, and walked another batter before inducing a double play. That's how the Giants won, and how the Cubs lost. There's more to it than that -- there was the Castro boner* and the runners left on base -- but as brief snippet of why the game turned out the way it did, that'll do nicely.
The second-best thing Marmol did in this game was try to catch a ball between his butt cheeks. Take that sentence out of context. It still tells you how successful he was today.
But instead of looking at why the Cubs lost the game, it's better to look at what the Giants did to win the game. I don't think it's news that the Cubs are having problems. But it's (kind of) news that GIants hitters can take advantage of those problems. The Giants worked deep counts against Jeff Samardzjia. They took pitches, and they had good at-bats, even if more than a few of them ended in outs. The end result was Carlos Marmol in the seventh inning.
I'm not sure when I'm going to allow myself to be hurt again, so I can't say when I'm going to open up my heart to this new hitting approach. I want to believe. I do, I do, I do. And games like this get me closer. I'm convinced that Samardzjia would have pitched into the eighth inning against the 2011 Giants. And because I made that scenario up, you can't argue against it, so it's clearly correct. But it feels like a different hitting approach.
Heck, here it is in table format:
Normal teams can work walks against Carlos Marmol. It's why he's having crazy struggles. And look up at that table again. The Giants are a normal team now. They can work walks with the averagest of them.
And that's a good thing. All I've ever wanted was for the Giants to support this pitching staff with an average offense. Don't forget the Foolproof Theory of Giants Roster Management:
- When the Giants have an average offense, they win the World Series
- After the World Series was over, I had an It's It
- Therefore, the Giants should get another average offense, and I should see about going to a Stop 'N' Grab for an It's It after finishing this recap
An average offense is the goal because they have pitchers like Ryan Vogelsong, who pitched seven innings. Again. He does this a lot. I had a feeling that when Samardzjia was knocked out before the sixth inning, one of the three or four relievers would mess the bed for the Cubs. That's what bad teams do while we're complaining about Clay Hensley. The Giants didn't have to go to Shane Loux or Steve Edlefesen because Vogelsong was so good.
The pitching staff is on a roll, and the offense is cromulent. That's the blueprint, alright. We'll grumble about it after the 3-2 losses, so we might as well roll around in the pheromones left behind by the 3-2 wins. Feels good. Still rollin' around in it. Think I chipped a tooth. Not stopping.
*SEO optimization, ahoy!