Giants fall cliffly to slow, miserable defeat

Jason O. Watson
This isn't that horrible LJN baseball game for the old Nintendo. Teams can't go 162-0. Winning streaks have to end. So if you're scripting a touch of realism into every seventh game, make it a loss to Cliff Lee, who almost (almost!) always looks like the best pitcher in the world when he faces the Giants. This was the field goal that Ditka allows to God. It makes it less ridiculous.

Hey, at least Hunter Pence had a good game. That's a great sign for the short-term future of this team. And long-term, hey, it's not like they're going to sign Pence to an ill-advised four-year deal if he has a good year, right? Right?

Okay, focus, Grant. Figure out a way to make this interesting. Do something pop-culturey. People love that. Even better, people love pop-culture analogies. Is there anything relevant in pop culture these days? God, I haven't been out of the house in a week. I have no idea. But the Internet says that a big, new Great Gatsby movie is coming out. And it's by the understated Baz Luhrmann, who would remake 2001 if he could replace the monolith with the center-field sculpture from Marlins Park. I'm sure it's going to be a pip.

So here are the key players on Monday night as characters from the Great Gatsby. Remember, this is just for tonight. Tomorrow they might be different characters:

Madison Bumgarner was Fred Gatsby
Because he's just great, right? Like Fred, Bumgarner grew up in a small North Carolina town, and he suddenly found himself living in a big city -- a hedonistic city with a history of counterculture movements, at that -- but he never let his country roots fade. He used his wits to move to the top of the firm (read: rotation) and scored the big deal. This game was just a bump in the road, a part of a larger story. You can picture Bumgarner saying Gatsby's catch phrase "That'll do it, fella" after every strikeout. The runs he gave up were more of a plot point than anything else.

Hunter Pence is Nick Carraway
The scientist with a secret, Pence/Carraway is the only one who saw the problem with the experiment. He was the lone bright spot in a moral wasteland, and he was a lone rose growing out of the salted earth -- a metaphor for the speck of good in the morass of of moral ambivalence.

Cliff Lee was Skinder the Wise
He was the wise wizard who returned to the scene of a famous defeat at Brown Bay. It was one of the most humbling moments of his life, but he showed up again and persevered through the pain and bitter memories. He's ostensibly a bad guy, but you can't help but admire his fastidiousness and drive.

Bruce Bochy was Tom Hagan
His strength is in communication, not tactical maneuvering, which makes him a good peacetime consigliere. But as a wartime consigliere, you have to wonder how effective he can be at times. Hagan's advice is what got Gatsby in the hot-air balloon at the end, but you never felt it was really his fault. Things would have been a mess regardless; what was he supposed to do?

It all makes sense on the surface, but when you dig deeper, it starts to become freaky. Like, really freaky.

Also, I've never read The Great Gatsby.

Also, I started watching the Warriors game after the Phillies scored the fifth run.

Also, sports are horrible.

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