The first thing you should probably do is remember how close the Giants were to losing yesterday. It adds to the effect.
The second thing you should probably do is thank Jean Machi. If he doesn't have an absolutely atrocious outing, the missed opportunities, horrible at-bats, and ludicrous baserunning would have stung a lot more. Machi was just saving us from or own delicate sensibilities, everyone.
The third thing you should probably do is go to YouTube and watch a bunch of videos of baby animals eating things. Here's a baby koala! Here's a koala with a drinking problem! Goodness, how I love koalas. I'll bet it wouldn't take too long to breed them to be pets that would just hang onto your back all day.
The fourth thing you should probably do is avoid thinking about that game and series any more than you have to. But you're here, and I'm here, so there's no point in pretending, I suppose. The Giants made more errors in the field than the Marlins this series. They made more baserunning mistakes. They were outhomered five to one. They were 4-for-32 with runners in scoring position. Their bullpen allowed nine runs -- one more than the entire team scored over the four games.
When Jean Machi allowed the 330-foot homer to Marcell Ozuna -- really, it didn't go much further than that -- the AT&T Park crowd groaned for a few seconds. After that … nothing. It was as quiet as I've ever heard AT&T Park, at least on TV. It was the deathly pall of a crowd that had paid a lot of money to watch a team that was supposed to be good lose to one of the worst teams of the decade. I'm a gonna draw some parallels at the risk of being a Chicken Little, but can can't get this one out of my head. Here goes …
In 2005, the Giants were supposed to be good. It's hard to remember now, but they were preseason picks to contend, if not win, the NL West. But Barry Bonds never showed up after his offseason knee surgeries, and the Giants were clearly hosed. For a while, though, they were at least a credible team. The Giants had contended since 1997, and for most of that eight-year stretch, it was an unspoken assumption that they were going to be good every year. The actual season was just about haggling over the little details -- how many wins over or under 90 they'd get, and if that would be enough to win the division or wild card. Even without Bonds, there was still a little hope.
And toward the end of May, the Giants were around .500. A 10-2 win over the Dodgers brought them within four games of first, and it was the kind of team that made you think they were a hot streak away from jumping into first. They were also the kind of team that made you wonder which players would be available at the deadline. They were in need of a one- or two-man cavalry, that was all.
At some point before the season was over, though, everyone had a what in the hell are we watching? moment with the 2005 Giants. Maybe it was when the Royals jumped on Jeff Fassero to clinch a series win. Maybe it was when the A's finished a sweep in the Coliseum with a 16-0 win. There were a lot of ghastly games from which to pick, and that's the point. At some point, the 2005 Giants became the 2005 Giants. And then the 2005 Giants became the 2006 Giants, who became the 2007 Giants … there was a switch that flipped, and suddenly there wasn't an unspoken assumption that the Giants would contend; there was a spoken assumption that they would be terrible.
I'm not saying the 2013 Giants are done, or that they drunkenly stumbled out of their awful-hole and saw their shadow, which means five more seasons of awful. This series, though, had a feeling of what in the hell are we watching? that doesn't have to go away just because the team was good in the recent past. They were outplayed the entire series, and they were lucky to get a game.
They might snap out of this. But they're a game over .500, and they've been outscored this season. They don't have to be good just because they were the last three years. They could, in fact, be quite bad. With each subsequent bullpen implosion, feckless hitting display, and injured player leaving for an extended period, they're starting to look worse and worse.
Looking for bullpen help from the farm?
@mccoveychron from the Fresno game notes: Fresno bullpen has allowed 30 ER last 19 IP (six games)— Mike Curto (@CurtoWorld) June 23, 2013
Looking for starting-pitching prospects? There aren't any to get you excited, at least in the short term. Hitters? Nope. Nothing that would help now, at least. This is the team, for the most part, and even the flashiest deadline acquisition doesn't seem like it would improve a bad team enough to be not-bad.
The Giants are bad. At least, they looked like a bad team this series. Just like in 2005, a six-game winning streak would do a lot to make us believe again. In 2005, that streak never came. Winter lasted for four years.
This team might not be the 2005 Giants. But they sure as absolute hell don't look like the 2012 Giants, either.
NL @AllStarGame voting leaders: 1B: Votto 2B: Phillips SS: Tulowitzki 3B: Wright C: Molina OF: Beltran OF: J. Upton OF: Harper— MLB (@MLB) June 23, 2013
Cool news, MLB. Everything's broken, and the jaded fans aren't stuffing the ballots anymore.
Baby koalas, everyone. Or, baby ocelots. Seriously, just think of an animal, tack a "baby" on the front, and search for it on YouTube.