Like a lot of you, I circled this game when it was announced last year. It was a September game against the Yankees, in New York. That's a combination you might not see again for 50 years. The Giants were supposed to be good. That's what we thought when the schedules were announced, at least. And the Yankees were, well, the Yankees. There's a mythology there, even if you do your best to ignore it. And I looked forward to this game.
Then, about the second inning, there was a moment of clarity. My god, these guys … they're … they're basically the Padres. They're a no-hit, bullpen-fueled monstrosity with just enough starting pitching to make them a contender.
I was horrified, stunned. I slumped back on the couch, and that's when it happened. A 210-foot home run to deep second. Oh, that's not a Padres thing. That's the Padres with a remote-control wall. They'd giggle and titter as they moved the walls in every half-inning, like they were playing a game of Fireball Island. The Yankees weren't the Padres. They were just horrible people.
Also, maybe the Giants should invest in players who can hit the ball 210 feet to right field.
Say there, I guess it was a learning lesson. And it might have lowered Lincecum's price just a bit. Maybe it gave the Giants a protected draft pick.
Did you know that Alex Rodriguez broke Lou Gehrig's record for career grand slams in this game? Of course you didn't. Because no one cares. Yankees fans were quietly disgusted. They wouldn't be if Rodriguez broke Harmon Killebrew's record. But A-Rod took down the Iron Horse's record. You know what the Iron Horse's problem was? He wasn't half-man. That's what grand-slam legends are made of.
Alex Rodriguez breaks Lou Gehrig's grand slam record? I think not. Gehrig didn't juice— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) September 21, 2013
Damn, those takes are so hot, you'll think you're on MERCURY.
This was an annoying game, my friends. It was the kind of annoying that you'd expect from a Padres series. Lyle Overbay was in a lineup tonight. An actual lineup. In the majors. And he wasn't playing for the Giants. He was on a team that still considers themselves contenders. And that lineup beat Tim Lincecum and the Giants.
That team had Chris Stewart, but they didn't feel like using him.
The Yankees, man. If they make the World Series, at least they'll lose when Mark Langston gives up a grand slam.
Tim Lincecum pitched well. Tim Lincecum got hosed. This has been your update into the world of Tim Lincecum.
There was a point earlier in the season where Lincecum couldn't throw strikes. He wanted to. He wanted to pipe pitches down the middle, even if it meant bad results. He couldn't.
Back before Lincecum was in the middle of his Cy Young dominance -- maybe just a little before? -- I remember reading a comment from a scout who didn't think Lincecum would ever throw strikes consistently because of the balance required by his delivery. As in, his delivery had a part to it that required ninja-like balance, which isn't something that most mortals have.
Like most of you, I made a scrunchy-face-wanky motion for a minute before registering my complaint with the ombudsman of that site. But it sure rang true last year. And for the first 10 starts this year, it seemed prescient.
I don't think Lincecum will ever be Maddux. Or Randy Johnson, for that matter. There's never going to be a strike epiphany that turns him into Lincecum 2.0. But at least he's not Jonathan Sanchez. For a while, I was pretty sure he was.
With Alex Rodriguez's grand slam, Lincecum's ERA went up to 4.44. His FIP is still 3.78, and his xFIP is 3.57. We used to mock those stats because they didn't tell us what we wanted to hear about our favorite players. But now that they're feeding us optimism, I embrace you, statistics that help justify my previously defined position. Look at that xFIP! Lincecum's just getting hosed with the home runs and bullpen, that's all. He's fine, everyone. Just fine. Look at the xFIP.
Rodriguez's homer traveled an estimated 300 feet, give or take. Cool ballpark, there, Yankees. Mind if we just borrow Phil Hughes for a bit and show him how the other half lives? Cool, cool.
I had a note for a bullet point here, and here's what it reads;
just the cat
When I wrote it, I was sure it would be a trenchant, amazing insight that was worth sharing. Two hours later, I can't figure out what it means. And it's not like it's on the tip of my tongue. It might as well be in cyrillic. Just the cat. Giants baseball: Just the cat.
The important thing, though, is that game was miserable. An Alex Rodriguez grand slam. My goodness. What have the Giants done over the last decade to deserve a loss at the hands of a roided-up goon who should be suspended? I'll tell you, this universe just isn't fair.