Here's what we're reduced to: We have to talk about Lincecum as if he were a young pitcher. We have to measure progress in the abstract -- his stuff looked good, his fastball looked crisp, he put hitters away -- because measuring it in terms of runs prevented isn't constructive. You have to give him the Homer Bailey or Phil Hughes treatment. It's depressing.
Lincecum refuses to give us closure. If it's bad luck, how can it keep happening game after game? If it's an injury, how can his stuff be so good? If he's suddenly more hittable for whatever reason, how can he look so unhittable at times? Is he hurt? Is he tired? Stomp your foot once for injury, and twice for mechanical problems, Timmy. Come on, you can do it. Give us a sign. Make a statue out of your mashed potatoes. Something. Give us closure, dammit.
The Giants had three young pitchers arrive in the majors close to fully formed. Most teams are lucky if they get one in a decade. The Giants had three come up in relatively short order. What hiccups they did have were minor. It's like they had three kids go straight from middle school to first in their class at med school, without passing through the teenage years.
One minute you're worrying about their future, and the next they're as successful as you could have ever hoped. And then one day you come home, and one of them is throwing a party in your house and using your crystal vase from Aunt Ellie as some sort of makeshift bong. You thought you were out of the danger zone. All of a sudden: surprise teenager! lololololol! And you know the next time they open their mouth, they're going to ask for money.
I don't know, man. I was so geeked after the first inning. After Matt Kemp's second strikeout, I reacted like it was Ryan Howard caught looking. Pumping fists, wriggling hips, and expletives ahoy. Screw you and your Matt Kemp face, Matt Kemp! I hope you and your oh four runs oh okay. That's how quickly it happened.
Can't pretend that every curveball Lincecum hangs is hit hard. But doesn't it feel like it? We're into "clutch!/not clutch!" territory with this one. Can't prove anything. But you know, dammit. You just know that every time he hangs a curve, it gets hit. Zito can throw three in the same at-bat right now, and they get fouled back. Just can't back that up with facts. Lincecum's control is off, but it feels like the punishment is unjust.
Or maybe he's just broken. I watched the Travis Blackley inning in fast forward on my DVR. I kind of wish I could do that for the 2012 season so I could figure out what in the hell is going on.
Nate Schierholtz has never struck me as a particularly flewisian runner in the past, so I'll give him a pass this time. This time. I'm sure I've dropped a "their" instead of a "there" at some point in my professional career, even if by complete accident, so who am I to judge? Except that was more like me sneaking a racial epithet into a headline and seeing if anyone would notice. Boy, is my face red!
I think the last time I made one of these, it turned out sloppy. So I made a new one with mah new giffin' rig, and it was cathartic.
Is it gauche to keep bringing up 2010 after a team-wide failure like tonight? Oh, yeah, I'm really worried about that. I wouldn't want to get repetitive and tired, like I haven't been making the same stupid jokes for the last nine years. /wanking motion
So with that in mind, this game reminded me of this one. Five-and-a-half games back. Five straight games with two runs or fewer. Feckless, as the kids say.
And the next day, Bengie Molina was traded. And then there was this thing, and then the other thing happened, and then Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell were drinking Bud Lights on a cable car. Tonight sucked. Hopefully, the next few months won't.