Almost a hit that led to a miserable night. Almost.
My blood pressure. I'm too young for this.
This was supposed to be a riff on what a perfect game would be like. If you could pick the components of a perfect Giants game, what would they be? Probably something with the Giants scoring a bunch of runs and pitching the snot out of the ball. So … Matt Cain's perfect game, then. That was literally the perfect game. Literally!
For a while, though, this was close. Buster Posey had a dinger. Brandon Belt had one too, and he also had six or seven walks. The Giants got to watch another team play defense like they did in the beginning of the season. There was a patient, measured approach up and down the lineup. Even Nate Schierholtz walked twice (for the fifth time in his career). Didn't have to use the AK, lights on the Goodyear blimp, breakfast with no hog, et cetera.
And then there was nonsense.
When Brandon Moss came up in the ninth inning as the tying run, all I could think about was Bob Brenly. If Moss tied the game, that would have meant he was going to manage the Padres or Rockies to a World Series victory. We shan't have that. No, we shan't.
Moss took a measly walk, though. It might have been on strike three, but it's pretty gauche to argue after a win like that. There was another Brandon after that -- they were all Brandons -- and he hit a double that should have tied the game, but it bounced over the fence. Hooray for bureaucracy! The tying run didn't score, and the Giants won the game. Ryan Theriot went back on a Jemile Weeks bloop, and that's usually the kind of situation where he ends up with his own cleat duct-taped to his ass, but he deftly made the play.
Just another, snork, laugher.
I'm actually an A's fan -- I haven't hid that fact over the years. Clearly a much bigger Giants fan, but I don't hold any sort of antipathy toward the A's. I don't approach these games as if the A's are some sort of blood rival. I like the A's!
But it still warms the cockles of my heart to think of the A's fan who gets irrationally irate about the Giants. Spittle-flecked diatribes about San Jose. Every conversation about the Giants festooned with "bandwagon" this and "bandwagon" that. Still argues, under the threat of violence, that the Giants knew that Charlie Corbell was damaged goods. That A's fan. Still amuses me to think of that A's fan watching this game. So mad. So flustered. So twitchy.
In a way, then, it kind of is a rivalry. It's not Giants vs. A's, but Giants fans vs. A's fans who really, really, really hate the Giants and, hey, calm down, buddy, jeez. And it's always nice to beat a rival. Because, hey, calm down, buddy. Jeez. And neener neener. You were so hopeful! That's adorable! Here's a toffee! So close! That'll make you feel better. Seriously, toffee is awesome!. Just chill out with that for a while. I'm just going to roll around in the stink of that win, if you don't mind.
When you get to appreciate Madison Bumgarner, that appreciation comes at a price. He doesn't walk people. It's silly how good his command is for a 22-year-old -- it's mesmerizing for any major-league pitcher, much less a kid who should be in A or AA. And when a pitcher is that good with control and command, he'll have games where he's hit hard. He isn't going to have the game where he walks the bases loaded before grooving a 2-0 pitch. He'll have games like this. That's the price of being around the plate so much.
That's the trade you make. Think back to the Twins game last year. After that start, Bumgarner was 3-9, and his ERA jumped over 4.00. There was a time last year when jerkwads were wondering what might be wrong with Bumgarner. The Twins game was a legitimate concern -- how could a pitcher get hit that hard?
This is the luxury of getting familiar with Madison Bumgarner, then, is that you can brush starts like this off. He's still a slice of cave-aged awesome. He's still the best bargain in baseball -- and he's wealthy, too, so you don't even have to feel guilty about it.
Not sure why Sergio Romo was in the game with a five-run lead in the seventh inning -- and it sure bit the Giants in the ass late -- but, okay. He still gets one of these:
Hey. Just doing my job. It's a thankless job. I almost got ran off the road by some dickbag in a Range Rover, but I kept my cool. I did my job. I'll be in the tub if you need me. Hot damn, that was stressful later on. But whatever. Seriously, whatever.
Is it weird that I don't mind Eric Byrnes as a color guy? Feels like that's weird. But I thought he was fine with Dave Flemming on the national broadcast. I was expecting something wholly ridiculous, but … nah. He does his research, and more than that, he kind of pairs well with the dressed-down style of Flemming. It's not exactly a Spicoli/Mr. Hand dynamic, but it was a good balance.
Okay. So I'm alone on this. I don't blame you at all. I'm a take a shower.
That was the 66th time since 1918 that the Giants scored nine runs or more with fewer than nine hits. They did it three times each in 1995 and 2006, which were probably the only three wins of those respective seasons. The best part about it was that we didn't have to dissect the runs they didn't score. When the Giants score nine runs, they should win. When they don't, there should be flames. Everything is in order, then. Everything is in order.