Giants lose fifth straight, fall to Rockies in series opener

USA TODAY Sports

Jake Dunning looked sharp tonight!

This opening was all set. It was going to be a retrospective of all the complete-game shutouts in Coors Field history. Then the Rockies took … /looks at notes … Jhoulys Chacin out of the game. So that ruined that idea. Then when I was looking at the list of all the combined team shutouts in Coors Field history, the Giants scored a run.

The Giants are literally awful at everything, including helping us all learn a little about Coors Field history.

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Thanks, technology.

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Jake Dunning looked sharp tonight!

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Remember the first game the Giants played in Coors Field earlier this year? They were down 6-0, and they scored eight unanswered runs. The Giants continued their newfound dominance in Coors. They were outrockiesing the Rockies. They were 24-17 and a game up in first place.

They haven't won a game since. In Coors Field, I mean.

/looks at notes

Right, just in Coors Field. The Giants have lost four straight in Coors since that first game. Although, heck, maybe they haven't won a game at all since then. This whole season has been a messy, miserable blur. Who knows? It's September weather here, so I'm all confused anyway.

When the Giants got down a run in the first inning, though, it seemed like an insurmountable deficit. It's an old pair of comfortable slippers, that feeling. Down a run at Coors? Can't score, can't score, can't score, all is lost, can't score. Two runners on with one out? Can't score, can't score, can't score.

My favorite part of the game (read: least favorite) came when Andres Torres was up with a runner on first. He quickly got behind in the count, and Mike Krukow said this:

They're looking for someone in that lineup to get hot … they need three or four of those guys to start swinging.

Literally two seconds later, Torres hit into a double play. It was pristine comedic timing. Torres might as well have flipped off Krukow from the field. Yes, the Giants are looking for a few people in the lineup to get hot. No, that's not going to happen tonight. Or tomorrow. Or until Gustavo Cabrera comes up in 2017. Sweet Gustavo. You'll save us.

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It's taken a while for me to express this properly, but I think I have it now. Say the Giants have a choice between two pitchers on the free-agent market next year. Pitcher A is a veteran. Pitcher B is Barry Zito. Before the Giants have to make a decision, a wizard comes to visit you in your dreams.

"Behold! I am a wizard! And I can see the future. I will guarantee that Pitcher A will finish with a 4.90 ERA and 0.5 WAR. I will also guarantee that Barry Zito will finish with a 4.70 ERA and 1.0 WAR. Use this to guide your decisions, my friend!"

I choose Pitcher A. Even if it's a guarantee that Zito will pitch a little better, I'll just the not-Zito because he won't look like Zito. He'll lose games in a different way. He'll have different flaws and foibles. He'll irritate us in different ways. I want the variety, and I'll give up a little production if that's what it takes.

That isn't to say that Zito was dreadful tonight, or that the Giants' offense isn't the real reason the team lost. But I'm just tired of watching the guy pitch. It's year seven, and after the slowball down the middle to Carlos Gonzalez, I think I snapped. For years, the mantra on this site has been Zito has value, Zito is average, average has value, Zito has value, and considering his relative health, it was all true.

But I yearn for Pitcher A. In my baseball-watching soul. Something, anything other than Zito. It's not his fault. It's just been too long. Tonight was the 188th start for Zito as a Giant. That's a lot of Barry Zito starts. Enough, enough, enough, give me Pitcher A.

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