CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 25: Angel Pagan #16 of the San Francisco Giants keeps track of his team's hits with runners in scoring position in 2012 while playing against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on April 25, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Baby, if you’ve ever wondered, wondered whatever became of me… I’m blowing all these games in Cincinnati… Cincinnati screws Bruce Bochy.
No point in getting too worked up about another loss. This was a Giants game through and through.
For the second night in a row, Bruce Bochy left his starter out there a bit too long and got burned. The defense got weird. The bullpen -- still recovering from the Mets series -- once again expLOLded.
Still, Melky Cabrera added a couple of hits (#Melky200), Pablo Sandoval hit in his 18th straight game – tying the Giants’ franchise record (sharing it with Johnny Rucker) – but, mainly, he hit a baseball so hard (and so foul) that it caused these facial expressions:
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Last year, the Giants hit .219/.301/.329 with runners in scoring position. Heading into tonight’s game, they were putting up .195/.282/.317. In the game itself, they left 9 more on base and were 1-6 with RISP. More of the same and another unsurprising loss. This is the life of a .500 team, so, brace yourself. And, because it cannot be stressed enough: curse the hope-sustaining elixir of the second wild card.
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It’s okay to admit that you wrote off Barry Zito a long, long time ago. You’re not alone. The people who say they "always believed" should be commended for their fanaticism more than their prognostications. Barry Zito was done. No life on his pitches, no control, no "look" of an ace… just an inert, sexy, money-suckling mass of ballplayer. The Giants had even begun to phase him out, first by demoting him to the bullpen in 2008, then by leaving him off the 2010 playoff roster, and finally by insisting he was injured in sort of fake workers’ comp claim in reverse.
But that summation leaves out a lot of the emotions. BARRY ZITO IS A BAD PITCHER. BARRY ZITO IS SO BAD AT PITCHING THAT IT MAKES ME MAD. I HATE BARRY ZITO FOR BEING SO BAD. HE DOESN’T CARE THAT HE IS BAD, BECAUSE IF HE DID HE WOULD NOT BE SO BAD. BARRY ZITO IS A BAD PERSON FOR BEING SO BAD.
And that’s what it all comes down to: good and bad. The way we moralize player performance is a curious trait of the sports fanatic. It’s certainly not specific to sports fans to be sure, but it is a trait that can be observed with little coaxing. It should be obvious that the quality of a person has nothing to do with their ability to play the game of baseball. One of the tenets of adulthood, I feel, is accepting the "absolute value" of behavior, dispelling the notions of "good" and "bad" as much as possible, especially when it leads to judging our fellow human beings.
So, if this is a Barrenaissance, then let’s enjoy it for what it is: good player performance from a sunk cost. He has pitched in Colorado and Cincinnati and allowed 1 run. When he nibbles and gives up 8 runs to the Padres, yelling at him from the stands or tweeting his goofy face in a bowl of cereal will certainly help us vent our frustrations, but ultimately it’s up to us to adapt to how he makes us feel. At least, that’s what I’m going to try to keep in mind going forward.
Also, hang with 'em and get well soon, Aubrey.