In the bottom of the eighth inning, with runners on second and third with one out, Brandon Belt hit a single to the outfield. Before the ball reached the outfield, I jumped up in jubilation. I knew it was a single. I knew it scored two. I knew it tied the game.
Before the ball landed, my ass changed the channel. I guess I was sitting on the remote. My ass changed the channel to Death Wish 4: The Crackdown.
Nothing about this opening was embellished. Nothing was fabricated. And now we're left to ponder it, to ruminate over its possible meaning like a vivid dream or a David Lynch movie. Because what did that mean?
A bunch of crap, that's what that meant.
All game long, Ed Hickox was calling a strike zone the size of an 8-track. All game. For both sides. This wasn't some wild cowboy reinventing the strike zone as he went along. He was consistent. That's kind of his thing. And describing it as the size of an 8-track is kind of glib. It was a pretty tight strike zone, but it wasn't an abominable zone. There was a little hole inside to right-handers. Casilla got it in the ninth. Romo got it once in the 10th. The sliders that wrapped around the plate weren't called. The front-door sinkers weren't called.
And that lil' ol' #6 there wasn't called. I don't know what that fuzzy white rectangle represents. Maybe it's land of magic and dreams, where pixies and sprites cavort, and a man can remember how to feel whole again. But it's not an automatic strike with the zone that Hickox was calling tonight. With, oh, 80 percent of the umpires in baseball, the Giants go into the tenth inning tied. That pitch was millimeters away from being a strike. We're into fractals, here.
Instead, it was a walk with two outs. Hanley Ramirez came up next. So it goes.
Because if you really want to focus the magnifying glass of rage on some ants of blame, here's where you do it:
All game long, Matt Cain and Steven Fife were dueling. Is it Steven, or Stephen? Fuck it, that's kind of the point.
Fife. Bang, bang, bang. Down in the third.
Cain. Bang, bang, bang. Down in the third.
Dueling, battling. Back and forth. Ali and Frazier. Leonard and Hagler. Body blows. Will. Perseverance.
Except one of these jerksticks is Stefen Phife, and the other one is Matthew F. Cain. The Dodgers are supposed to flail against Cain. Fife mowed down the Giants down like it was no big deal. Nope, no big deal. Nope, I pitched this well against the Tecumseh Wiggly Drawers last week, so I'm feel pretty confident these days. Yep, yep, stuff's feelin' pretty good tonight.
And how did the crucial rally start against Cain? A double by the pitcher, a doink double down the line by a Hairston, and a soft liner from Mark Ellis. If you're going to sit back in a nice leather chair with a pipe in your mouth, amidst a backdrop of leather-bound books, and discuss exactly how a theoretical caining would take place, this was a good hypothetical scenario. Yessss, goooood show, Matthew, you'd say, that sucked in exactly the proper way to cost you a win. Good show!
Had a note in here to complain about Angel Pagan in some fashion, but he actually had a good at-bat in the tenth against Kenley Jansen. On the fourth and sixth pitches of the at-bat, he took a good cut against a nasty cutter. He fouled them both away, just missing something substantial. Millimeters. A nanosecond's adjustment away from being a double into the gap.
I'll chose to believe that Pagan is coming out of his funk. He didn't look totally oblivious tonight. The lineup looks much, much better when Pagan is hitting well.
Until then, dang. That close.
It was a weird disconnect after finding out that Marco Scutaro was traded to the Giants. Marco Scutaro! Why, he could mean an extra win for the Giants!
/ hit off Cain
Scutaro is a clear upgrade over Emmanuel Burriss! This is exciting!
/hit off Cain
This could be an extra win!
/win is handed back to closest divisional rival before the fax even goes through
But, of course, the Scutaro trade is a good move. Considering what the Giants gave up, it was a great move. I've railed against Justin Christian being removed from the 40-man. I've blown up over Matt Downs being removed. Same thing with Kevin Frandsen. I'm an ignorant reactionary when it comes to the 40-man roster. But I wouldn't have blinked if Charlie Culberson were taken off the 40-man roster.
Yet I'm welcoming Marco Scutaro onto the roster with open arms. That's the sign of a good trade. It might be a minimal upgrade, but the Giants really did get better.
Takes the sting off of tonight. Kind of. Not really. Two games up. Whooop.