The last time the Giants lost three games in a row in which they scored four or more runs: May 14-16, 2009, against the Mets. Randy Johnson was the losing pitcher of the last game. Also, Randy Johnson was on the Giants.
I'm not even sure how to react to the Giants losing when they score runs. Who am I going to be irrationally angry with? Tim Lincecum? Madison Bumgarner? Matt Cain? Not bloody likely. They could all set my car on fire, and I'd thank them for recycling the plastic bottle of lighter fluid.
Could be angry at the defense, of course. I think I reference this old Mitch Hedberg joke every year:
"If you had a friend who was a tightrope walker, and you were walking down a sidewalk, and he fell, that would be completely unacceptable..."
That's how I feel about Brandon Crawford making a crucial error. Like, that's your thing, man. That's why we hired you. Don't care that your resume said that you were familiar with C++ and that you had two years of jazz and two years of tap -- it's the defense that's supposed to be the thing we can count on from Crawford, dammit.
But if I'm mad at Crawford, I'm mad at Posey for his defense, and that means I'm mad at America and Thomas Paine and Miles Davis. That's no way to go through life. There's no reason to be mad at anyone. Teams have bad defensive games. All you can do is stare at the box score with a dull, glazed look. The Giants scored runs. The Giants still lost. Three one-run games, all winnable in the last at-bat. Well, maybe "winnable" isn't the right word. Take-a-lead-able. That's a hell of a way to start a season.
There's still not anything to take away from the first series of the season. You can think that Matt Cain is going to give up two home runs every game, just like you can believe that Willie Bloomquist is going to hit .444 for the season. Just because those aren't especially likely doesn't mean that the eventual truth is going to be pleasant, but we're in Occam's Razor territory. The Giants just might lose a bunch, and the Giants just might have a rough season. But the way they lost these games probably wouldn't be the way it would happen. These aren't the 2001 Giants. All you can do is say, "Huh. Welp. That stunk." And hope that they get better in … let's see … get the ol' pocket schedule out and see where the next series is, and …
oh coors field dammit so much
I can't decide if this was a better way to be swept than a series with three different 2-1 losses. With three different low-scoring games, there'd be a sinking feeling of déjà vu there'd be a sinking feeling of déjà vu. The despair would be more familiar and tangible. Instead, there just the "Huh. Welp. That stunk." feeling of watching the Giants score and lose. I think it's better to lose this way, but I guess the correct answer is "no."
Maybe this is the kind of overreaction that comes with watching a team get swept to open the season, but I think I'd trade any hope of the playoffs in exchange for Matt Cain having one season where he caught all the breaks. Like, just one season where he'd give up five runs and win the game. Give up one run and win the game. Give up eight runs and get a no decision.
I know that win-loss records are meaningless bunk, but it'd still warm the cockles of my heart to see a big ol' "21-3" next to his name just one of these years. I think I'd give up a shot at the playoffs for that.
A lot of us chuckle at the Giants whenever they pretend like they know what's wrong with a player who isn't hitting, or when they describe what makes a good hitter good or a struggling hitter bad. And when they described a hole in Brandon Belt's swing at the belt, it was easy to roll the eyes and figure that they were looking for reasons not to play Belt.
Nope. Turns out that hole is riiiight there. Middle-in, middle-away. Doesn't matter. Fastballs up are just murdering Belt right now. I can only hope that the Giants give hime more than a couple of weeks to figure it out.
The Giants paid Jeremy Affeldt a lot of money to be the fourth reliever in a deep bullpen. I don't know if they could have applied that money to a hitter who would have dramatically improved the offense, so it's probably a little unfair to state unequivocally that he cost the Giants a shot at a real hitter in the middle infield.
But, boy, it sure stings when he struggles. When he doesn't pitch like a $5 million reliever, it makes you think of all the shiny baubles the Giants could have had with that money. That's not entirely fair to Affeldt, but I'm sure he'll get over it.