The last time the Giants were swept at home by the Dodgers, it was June 28-30, 2010. I don't bring this up for the obvious 2010 shout-out. Somehow the ol' Aubrey Huff bobblehead isn't cheering me up today. No, the sweep from 2010 is relevant still because of what happened the very next day: Bengie Molina was traded to the Rangers.
I have no idea if the Giants had been thinking of a way to trade Molina since the beginning of May. But it felt like something of a reactionary move, something that suggested the Giants knew that what they were trying wasn't working. The Dodgers swept the Giants to move them 5.5 games back, and Buster Posey became the starting catcher the next day.
If Molina calls three straight shutouts that series, do the Giants still make that trade? We would have celebrated a sweep like it was a turning point of the season, but we would have unwittingly been celebrating Bengie Molina crawling out of a hole, seeing his shadow, and dooming us to six more weeks of Posey being a part-time first baseman. The momentum shifts you instantly indentify aren't always the same ones you'll appreciate with the benefit of hindsight.
Yeah, I'm talking about this right now. Because when life gives you gonorrhea of the baseball, you just have to make gonorrhea-of-the-baseball-ade. Work with me, here.
Now back to present day. The worst part of this series was the everything. But if I have to narrow it down, I especially disliked how the Giants made it easy to pretend this was a shift in momentum. The Dodgers traded for Hanley Ramirez, and suddenly everything changed. The Dodgers' clubhouse is rejuvenated or some crap. Even if Ramirez went 0-12 in the series and Marco Scutaro had six RBI in the series, that still would have been the theme after a Dodgers sweep. Instead, everything had to go just like that, and make it even more obvious. Scutaro really helped things along by making an error and hitting into a double play in a ten-minute span.
I don't think Brian Sabean pushed his chair back after the last out of the series and thought, "Yikes. Guess I need to make some sort of trade now."
I don't think Charles Johnson is putting his Picassos on eBay for the Justin Morneau Fund right now.
The Giants were going to make some sort of minor deal for a reliever before the series started. They're probably still going to make a minor deal for a reliever. They picked up Scutaro already. That still has a chance to be the most exciting deadline move for the Giants. This series likely didn't send the Giants' front office into a panic. I'd wager they're approaching the deadline in the same way they've been planning on for the last month
But I think there's a chance -- a chance -- that this sweep burrows deep into the brains of important front-office types and starts chewing on some wires. Not in a conscious way. But as the deadline approaches, and they receive a counter-offer to a proposal they made for Hunter Pence, and they start adding up the pros and cons and risks and rewards and costs and benefits, this sweep could directly influence the team into making a move, even if they wouldn't admit it. The answer to the question of "Do we really need Hunter Pence?" sure seems like it'd be different today than it was on Thursday.
And that's how this sweep might lead to something more than three straight losses against a division rival. I opened with a tale about how a Dodgers sweep led to Buster Posey starting at catcher, which led to a World Series win. So you might think I'm setting up a positive spin. Maybe something fortuitous like that will happen after this sweep. Except maybe this sweep leads to a horrible, reactionary, stupid trade that will set the Giants back five years. Maybe this sweep leads to two months of Shane Victorino doing his best Ricky Ledee, with Clayton Blackburn winning 200 games in a Phillies uniform.
This wasn't a forget-it-Jake kind of debacle that we can just hide under a pile of blankets. There's a chance that when we wake up tomorrow, the sweep will still be messing with us. Maybe it's not a significant chance. But I'm pretty sure the Giants are (x)% more likely to make some kind of substantial move now. What x represents is the relevant question.
The last two Giants/Dodgers series ended with the two teams tied for first place. On the whole, I think I preferred the first series.