Watching that game was like staring out of the window of a Greyhound that was going somewhere you weren't looking forward to. There weren't any surprises. Highway. Concrete. Road signs. Cars. As soon as it's over, you're likely to never think of it again. If you were lucky enough to shut your brain off or sleep, you did better than the rest of us.
That isn't to say this game was especially dispiriting, or that there was something unusual about this game that's worthy of your scorn. It wasn't especially dispiriting. It wasn't unusual enough to earn your scorn. That's the point. In a 162-game season, there are going to be losses. Your best hitters will leave runners on base; your best pitchers will hang breaking balls at the wrong time. You hope they won't do that next time.
Okay, okay. You're expecting something here. I can't play the generic-loss card that often. I have to write something poignant or silly about this game to pass the time. Maybe a fake conversation! Those usually test well.
Madison Bumgarner and Bruce Bochy stand in a hotel elevator, traveling up to the 45th floor
Bumgarner: /blows snot rocket
Nothing. There's nothing to take away from this game. Alright, two things:
1. When Bumgarner was in a second-and-third, one out situation against Hanley Ramirez, I think that was the first time I realized that Bumgarner doesn't have a go-to strikeout pitch. Late to the party, I know. And that isn't to suggest he can't get strikeouts -- he can. With all of his pitches, actually. He can get swing-throughs with his fastball, slider/cutter, and curve. But you don't get the sense that the hitter is worried about a specific pitch, like Ramirez was muttering "watch out for the slider watch out for the slider" under his breath.
This isn't a criticism of Bumgarner. Because I have documents -- notified documents -- that suggest he's already a really, really good pitcher. Instead, this is a way to point out how he could get even better. Maybe he'll perfect the changeup. Maybe he'll take a little of the hump out of his curveball.
Or maybe he'll just continue being awesome without changing a thing. I'm still cool with that.
But it's easy to forget that he's still just a puppy. He's 22! There will be a first-round pick that old this year, and he'll start in A-ball. And if everything goes right, he'll go up to AA the following year, maybe with a stop in AAA. And then the year after that, he might get a rotation spot. And if he has some promising starts in between typical rookie nonsense, everyone will be like, yeah, this guy is onnnnnn track, baby. All going to plan.
Bumgarner is college-age, and he's already awesome. You never hear about his potential; it's as if he's a finished product. It's an unusual dynamic for a 22-year-old, and in a good way.
2. If the Mark Buehrle were in the National League this whole time, he would have been a total arch-nemesis for the Giants. Can you imagine him on the Padres? Gross.
That's it. There's a whole Saturday night to enjoy. The best way to do it is by forgetting the … whatever it was I was writing about just now. Pablo Sandoval injury, I think. Wait, no. Whatever.