"It's not your fault." "I know." "It's not your fault." "(laughs) I know." "It's not your fault."
After Casilla got the second out of the ninth inning, I realized I didn't have a single opinion about this game. I'd been watching the game in a fugue state. Matt Cain was good. He's supposed to be. The Astros were bad. They're supposed to be. The Giants scored just enough to win. That's what they do. It was like a fake, scripted game that made you say, "Wait a sec …", as if you just figured out you were in some kind of Inception or Matrix-style manufactured world. It was a game that was wholly devoid of surprises.
That's too glib by half, though, assuming that the Giants should have won, should have swept the series. This is baseball. Weird stuff happens. Last year the Astros took a ball-peen hammer to the junk of the Giants' playoff hopes. The Diamondbacks were riding a little momentum into the All-Star Break, clawing closer and closer to first place. They got swept by the Cubs. I'm not sure I can name a player on the Cubs. Do they have a guy named Keith Cub? Probably. I'll bet Keith Cub had a whale of a series. He's totally my favorite Cub. And the Diamondbacks, who should have at least taken two of three, got swept.
Here's what people think of the Astros: When Cain gave up a leadoff double in the third inning, the crowd groaned. They groaned because they were actually half-expecting another perfect game. At least a no-hitter. Cain's pitched in other games since the perfect game, and it's not like people groaned when he'd give up a hit in one of those. But against the Astros, a couple of perfect innings makes it okay to think Cain might just do it again.
That still doesn't make it okay to gloss over the sweep, as if a home series against the Astros is something of a guarantee. The Giants played well. For three games, they outplayed the Astros. They should have. But baseball is filled with should haves. Ryan Vogelsong should have retired and studied for his real-estate license. The Phillies should have trounced the Giants in the NLCS. A sweep against the lowliest teams is still a sweep to celebrate emphatically.
You know what? I'm just going to post the notes I took during the game in a bullet-point format. You don't need to read the crap that I force out when I don't have any angles or ideas. I mean, you probably do all the time without knowing it, but I opened this PGT by declaring that I didn't have any angles or ideas, so now you're picking this stuff apart, looking for the sentences that are particularly bereft of inspiration. So here are the notes:
- It used to be that the Giants and Astros were rivals.
- I don't
- Astros not in the NL.
- Screw you, Mike Scott.
- Batting order. Having burriss hit instead of
- If this is Posey's ceiling for the next few seasons
All of these thought-nuggets could have been expanded into something brilliant. By someone else, I mean. Me? I watched the Giants beat the Astros in a way that very much resembled what I'd expect from a game in which the Giants beat the Astros. I mean, I don't want to mail it in, or anything, so I'll spend a lot of time doing something else in good faith. Here's a face that Mike Morse made that I've been meaning to GIF for a week or so. It took me a while to find that and GIF it. It's not that interesting, but please accept it as an offering.
Because I got nuthin' today. The Giants won. They should have, except you can never say they should have, except it was Matt Cain pitching against the Astros, so, yeah, they should have. And they barely did. But are you really going to be the dink who looks at a series sweep and sees negative things? Matt Cain.