The first two runners of the game reached on balls that just snuck under the outstretched gloves of Padres infielders. The difference between a single and an out was about the length of a small zucchini. You figured things were going to go well after that.
The top of the sixth featured a Brett Pill floater, a Brandon Crawford infield single, and an error to score two. That was the same thing that happened in the Giants/Padres game back in May, 2010. I'm not sure which one. And I'm not looking it up. Probably all of them. But you know it happened.
The good news is that Giants scientists spent the last two years reverse-engineering a Padres beam that Miguel Tejada forgot to return when he left San Diego. Tejada tried to destroy the evidence with a bat, but it somehow survived intact. Today, the Padres beam was fully operational. Melky's double and Gregor Blanco's home runs were well-struck. Thinking those were the only well-struck balls of the day. Six runs. What a weird day.
Even weirder: That was a bad Madison Bumgarner start. His command was wonky. He fell behind hitters. He walked a couple of hitters. He had to deal with an inconsistent strike zone. He left pitches up, and they were hit hard. And all it did was make me love Bumgarner even more. Because if that's the bad start -- six innings, gives his team a chance to win -- we're spoiled. Well, I knew we were spoiled by the starting pitching. We've known that for years. But sometimes it takes a start like this to remember.
So a game without a lot of good contact that also featured a down start from Bumgarner against the Padres at Petco. Four things that normally portend doom for the Giants. Six runs and a well-deserved win for Madison Bumgarner. That's "well-deserved" in the grand scheme of things. He's still owed a few more.
If you missed the CSN feed for the Blanco home run, you missed some sweet, sweet soothsaying from Mike Krukow
"3-2. I think that's the final score. Seen it happen before."
Before he could say the last syllable, the ball was flying over the fence. I watched it six times, and it kept getting better.
The important point, though, is that Gregor Blanco is the greatest minor-league free-agent signing in the history of the last five months. He's now up to .284/.390/.440. I was worried that he'd be a Reggie Willits-type -- unsustainable walks without any semblance of power. But he has just enough power to reach that Luis Castillo tipping point -- just enough to make pitchers wary of laying pitches in the strike zone. He's been a revelation.
Sort of like the entire outfield to this point. The year started with Huff and Schierholtz getting a lot of at-bats, and Pagan playing his way out of a job. That's what things were like way back in April. The corollary is that if it could get weird in a good way over a two-month span, it can get weird in a bad way too. But for the moment, let's take a moment to realize that Brian Sabean acquired three new outfielders this year, and they've all been dynamic additions.
It's the kind of thing that almost* makes you want to turn in your Lunatic Fringe card. Now I know what those ex-hippies were feeling when they cast that first vote for Reagan. The starting outfield for the All-Star Game should be Cabrera, Pagan, and Blanco. Let the rest of the league fight over the scraps.
Little late to the party, but I'm on board with the Free George Kontos movement:
Hopefully Santiago Casilla comes back soon. I understand the reluctance to put him on the DL if they think he'll be back any day now. But the wafer-thin bullpen is freaky, man. You knew that Steve Edlefsen was fresh because he'd thrown only two pitches the day before. And when you saw Romo working on his knee in the bullpen, there was that brief moment of panic. Who's left, if not Romo? WHO'S LEFT????
This sketchy period of day-to-day late-inning guys will pass. But for right now, it's a little nerve-wracking. Romo came in and through, so he gets one of these:
Just kind of starin' you down, looking like a general badass. There might be a little confusion and doubt mixed in. Couple of blinks. Possibly a little thirsty But still a badass. Still Romo.