Sabes, this is Bochy. I might sound crazy, but we need some thump, so call up Nady.
He heard it in his mind, but was it a dream or merely the sound of a parody song on its death bed? He couldn't be sure, and either way, he couldn't get the sing-songy words out of his mind.
Brian Sabean had to act before he lost his mind.
He picked up the phone and mashed his sweaty palm on the intercom. "Susan," he said, "get me Bobby. Get him now!"
But he couldn't wait. Brian threw the phone down, bolted from his office, ran down the hallway and burst into the office of Bobby Evans.
"Nady," he said, out of breath. He had the eyes of a crazy person and Bobby could see that. Bobby, too, was stunned.
"He's... we already called him up, Brian. Look." And that's when Bobby showed Brian the highlight from today's game: a double down the line that drove in three runs.
"Is he... is that... sixty-eight? On his back? His uni number is sixty-eight," Brian said.
"Yeah. That's what we had," said Bobby.
"No, no. This has to be a dream. I didn't... sixty-eight... already happened... I... might sound crazy... but..." Brian sat down on Bobby's couch, trying to collect himself. Where had his mind been the last two days? Where was it most of the time? Is this reality?
"He's helping us win, Brian. Like you said he would. As you knew he would. Always," Bobby said. He tried to smile reassuringly for his boss, but he could see that the weight of the last couple of weeks and the euphoria from finally having Xavier Nady on his major league roster had finally blown Brian Sabean's mind.
Tim Lincecum had a solid start today, and I don't mean that as a backhanded compliment. He needs solid starts, ones where he goes deep into the game. Sure, he started the game looking like Tim Lincecum and ended it like a character from Trainspotting -- the heat was rough on his wee frame -- but he "gutted it out" and pitched well. I don't care if it was the Cubs, he was finally able to string together good innings and now look at his season split:
PRE-ALL STAR GAME:
96.2 IP11 HR103 H50 BB104 K6.42 ERA
60.2 IP58 K21 BB56 H6 HR3.28 ERA
Okay! Not bad! Better! Improved! Well on his way! Whatever you want to call it, he's not stringing together bad starts, he's having fewer bad starts. He's giving the Giants more stability than they had before. Look, it's clear that he's not going to be the dominant dude of 2010, but maybe! In any case, he's pitched better, and with a Giants pitching staff that has been mostly just okay this year (starters and bullpen combined), it's a little bit reassuring to see the former ace flash some greatness from time to time.
The Giants have not put it all together, Tim Lincecum hasn't even put it all together, but you can faintly hear the creaks and groans of the machinery that will put the team together. Let's recognize how plausible it is that they're gearing up for a hot streak this late in the year...
* * *
Honorable mention to Angel Pagan. He hit his tenth triple of the year, tying Melky Cabrera for the team lead. He's one away from Fred Lewis's's's 2007 total. Personally, I'd like to see a long-standing Fred Lewis record go down. I'm also thinking I need to enjoy more of Angel Pagan's 2012. Since returning to the leadoff spot full time on August 3rd he has done pretty well overall: 1.029 OPS in 127 PA. Let's not forget that the trade for Marco Scutaro had a lot to do with this decision and let's not forget that Angel Pagan, who was acquired to be the leadoff hitter, was not hitting leadoff after the first month of the season because of a horrific slump. I don't know how to judge the glacial pace of the decision-making (I suppose characterizing it as "glacial" hints at my judgment, though) but at least it's sorted itself out. Sure, batting order schmatting schmorder, but Pagan as a pest getting on base is better than casting him as an "RBI guy". Yet another reason to love Marco Scutaro. He just makes things better.
* * *
And what a difference a night's rest makes. The lineup was able to snooze out four runs yesterday and even though they didn't do much offensively after putting up five early, they looked a lot better overall. Of course, nothing will look better than Hunter Pence running the bases, and I feel like I've been staring at this image on a loop for about ninety minutes now. So, so weird looking:
Go have a Labor Day Weekend, will ya?