And suddenly, your weekend is three hours shorter. The fog clears from your brain. Where are you? What just happened? You look at the clock. Wait, that's not right! There were three more hours on there just a second ago! Oh, god, work's coming!
You made a poor choice, at least for this one day. Tuck it away into the deep recesses of your subconscious. When sports teams win championships, and fans in the home city riot, it doesn't make sense to outsiders. Rioting? Shouldn't they be happy? But it makes sense when you think of all the repressed memories, the buried frustrations, rising up out of those crevices like poltergeists after Ghostbusters' containment grid was shut down. You just wasted three hours of your weekend on that game. You'll see that repressed memory again.
The standard disclaimers apply: It came at the end of a five-game winning streak, baseball teams can't win 'em all, et cetera, et cetera. And that's legit. If you stomp and snort and rage about games like this in the middle of a good stretch, you're probably not built to be a baseball fan. We're talking 162 games. Don't do that to yourself, man.
That doesn't change that feeling of what did I just watch, and why? I'm looking outside my window right now, and there are bluebirds carrying daisies and twigs away to build their nests, as the sun shines on the butterflies circling them all the way up a resplendent redwood tree. Meanwhile, I was inside, staring at a pile of dirty laundry and watching Jeremy Affeldt walk in two runs.
What a horrid hobby you have.
In the sixth inning, I jotted down what the most interesting part of the game was to that point. My contribution: "Say, it's kind of weird that everyone on the field is wearing a hat. Right? I just thought about that for the first time. They're all wearing hats for their job, and that's supposed to be normal. I don't know. Maybe that's not weird. Struck me as weird, but I guess it's not." Then I dug out some of the chewed Goldfish that were stuck in my molar.
Then there was a rally! Buster Posey got a hit because we needed something to believe in, and that's Posey's gift. Brandon Belt doubled, as he's wont to do lately. And then, in a fit of managerial incompetence, Fredi Gonzalez did everything he could to make sure that Francisco Peguero didn't hit. Peguero had a .297 on-base percentage in the Pacific Coast League. He just swung at the period in the last sentence. But Gonzalez decided, nope, let's attack this Gregor Blanco cat. The next time you think bad thoughts about Bruce Bochy, remember that. Even Bochy would think two moves ahead on the chessboard in that situation.
Blanco doubled. The Giants were within a run. And the thing about being within a run is that weird things can happen. Think about the most dominant relievers you've seen in a Giants uniform. Robb Nen, Brian Wilson when he was right -- they gave up bloops and blorps at the wrong time occasionally. Even a stray home run. A one-run lead can go away for the damnedest reasons.
Then the bullpen.
Look, it's not right to torch Jeremy Affeldt for a bad game, as he's been a net positive for the Giants this year. Today stunk. It happens. Affeldt's had his ups and downs with the Giants, but he has the lowest walk rate and highest strikeout rate of his career, and he induces a ton of grounders. He's a reliever that only spoiled fans complain about.
Clay Hensley? Sort of hot garbage these days. Since the start of June, he has a 5.32 ERA and an 18/16 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 23 innings. That's … really, that's Jonathan Sanchez. That's Jonathan Sanchez in high-leverage innings, but with fewer strikeouts.
Meanwhile, George Kontos is the mop-up man. He got to face a hitter in a high-leverage situation today, but he usually doesn't come into the game unless the outcome is more or less decided. Cool, cool.
Swap Kontos for Hensley, and I'm pretty okay with the Giants' bullpen.
Whatever. The game was a dud. The important part is that we aren't talking about Mike Minor shutting down the Giants and scoring two runs after talking a walk and hitting a double. Because that would be awful.
Josh Beckett tucks his collared shirt into his shorts.