Giants Win Fifth Straight, Become the Talk of Baseball

The first game of the post-Adrian Gonzalez era. Or the Carl Crawford epoch. Maybe the Nick Punto intermission. There will be 35 games for the rest of this season to evaluate the trade in the short term, and about 800 games after that to evaluate it in the long term.

All I knew tonight, is that if the Dodgers won and the Giants lost on the same day the Dodgers acquired the Red Sox, it would have been extra annoying. Ten percent? Fifteen percent more annoying? It wouldn't have meant anything dire, other than a loss in the standings late in the year. But it would have been extra annoying.

The Giants humored us.

This will be a somewhat truncated post-game thread because a) I was at the game, and I didn't take notes, and b) I'm writing this on the train, and the guy next to me smells like a Chevron urinal. No, not you, guy reading over my shoulder. The other guy. No seriously, inch closer to him. You'll get it. A little closer ... a little closer ..

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I guess you don't have to go back that far to find a Giants lineup with a dynamic leadoff hitter/#2 hitter combo, even if just for a month-long, unsustainable hot streak. When Andres Torres and Freddy Sanchez were both healthy and going right in 2010 -- hey, it happened once -- it was pretty sweet to watch. Since then, there's been Torres in his down year, Emmanuel Burriss, Ryan Theriot, the ashes of Jeff Keppinger before he was reborn … there has been a lot of dreck at the top of the lineup for the past year and a half.

Angel Pagan is the streakiest Giants hitter since, what, Randy Winn? He's on an unbelievable streak right now. And if you pretend the Giants traded Tommy Joseph for Marco Scutaro and Charlie Culberson for Hunter Pence, everything makes a lot more sense -- Scutaro's been that good.

It's been a while since the Giants have paired two hot hitters at the top of the lineup. It's the kind of thing that leads to five straight wins. It's not as simple as saying, "Say, these guys are the best!" -- they're just both in a groove in the same place at the same time, and there will be valleys after the peak. But it's propelling the team right now. The timing is especially sweet, what with that one guy with the beard doing that thing and leaving the team.

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One last note on the trade: I'd like to think that Ryan Theriot and Nick Punto have a thing going like Maggie and the baby with the one eyebrow, and the next time the Giants play the Dodgers, they'll just stare at each other from opposing dugouts all game. Like, enough to make their teammates uncomfortable.

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There isn't a law of diminishing returns, or some sort of entropy that requires the Giants to have one struggling starting pitcher at all times. I'm not even sure what those terms mean, but you get the idea. For the first half of the season, It was Timmy this, and Timmy that. Then right when Lincecum started to do okay, Matt Cain started getting knocked around. When it became clear that Cain was back to his old self, Ryan Vogelsong hopped on the weird wagon.

It was as frustrating as a rotation can get while still remaining a rotation that it wasn't right to complain about, if that makes sense. We're still spoiled. But there was nothing wrong with wanting it all. Because why go for half-spoiled? Let's have them all pitching well at the same time, dammit.

We're getting closer to that spoiled, beautiful dream, then. Vogelsong wasn't good in his last two starts, but he did have his share of wonky luck. It probably wasn't time to worry. It was time, though, to get encouraged by a typically good Vogelsong start, lest the worrying start. There did not need to be worrying.

He obliged by giving up only four hits. Sure, three of them went over the fence, but don't get picky. Extra homers aside, that was the Vogelsong we're used to. And it was good.

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I don't have time to note what a badass Javier Lopez can be, so I'll just leave this sentence here and make it up to him later.

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