Beautiful day today. Good sun, good breeze. Sit down. Pour yourself a glass of metaphor iced tea. The strange purple flecks are Dinger's tears. I hope. But focus on the metaphor.
See, the Giants almost won another game against the Rockies on a walk-off inside-the-park homer. That would have been ridiculous. The odds of that happening in consecutive years are roughly the same as seeing Clint Eastwood in a Bed, Bath, & Beyond in Bakersfield, then seeing him in a Bed, Bath, & Beyond in Tulsa a year later. He likes scented candles, but that would be ridiculous. Two consecutive years with a walk-off inside-the-parker would have been just as ridiculous.
I don't even blame Tim Flannery. When you get a chance to troll the universe like that, you take it. It forced the Rockies to make a good play, and they made it.
It didn't work, and there was a feeling of impending doom, as if the Giants were about to be punished for getting greedy.
If you'll remember last year's inside-the-parker, though, it was bittersweet in retrospect. The Giants were a contender before the homer, hoping to win their third championship in four years. After the homer, Angel Pagan vanished into the hamstring ether, and the Giants were most certainly not a contender. They weren't punished for getting greedy. They were punished for stinking and being fragile.
Another inside-the-parker would have made me nervous, though. Just as the baseball gods told the Pirates that if they wanted to make the playoffs, they had to stop playing 17-inning games, the Giants would have been flirting with some creepy omens. Heck, you even had Blanco grimacing in pain after the play. Also, it would have been another example of the Giants winning when the ball breaks just right. If they need to get the caroms to win, maybe they shouldn't expect to win.
Instead, Brandon Crawford helped the Giants win like a normal team. The ball went a long way.
He's up to .308/.417/.564 on the season, and you have to go all the way back to last April to find him having an April this good. Still, he doesn't have to give these at-bats back, and when it's time for him to hit like the Crawford we're all kind of expecting, hopefully Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval can be more consistent. Maybe Marco Scutaro can have his back.
But Crawford doesn't have to stop hitting like prime-years Nomar. He can keep doing it. We won't mind.
Now to the metaphor in the metaphor iced tea. It's … well, you see … the Giants almost hit another inside-the-parker to win a game, and the last time they did that, the season fell in the toilet. So if it happened this time, maybe it would have been a bad omen, but … wait, that's not a metaphor.
I don't know what you're drinking, actually. And those flecks aren't purple on second glance. Still, heckuva game. Heckuva game.
I actually had this in my notes: "No matter who wins, excellent game. Worse to watch team play poorly and lose than this."
After Crawford's homer, I deleted every character while making farting noises. "No matter who wins, excellent game." What a dork. This was much better.
A short list of every walk-off homer from a San Francisco Giants shortstop before today:
|1||1958-04-23||Daryl Spencer||STL||Phil Clark||down 7-6|
|2||1975-08-01||Chris Speier||HOU||J.R. Richard||tied 2-2|
|3||1984-08-19 (1)||Brad Wellman||NYM||Jesse Orosco||down 6-5|
|4||1987-09-14||Jose Uribe||SDP||Lance McCullers||tied 3-3|
|5||2009-08-12||Juan Uribe||LAD||Guillermo Mota||tied 2-2|
Tim Hudson had his worst start as a Giant, which means he had about the fourth-best Giants start of the year. As an admitted sinker-fetishist, his start to the season has been even better than I could have hoped. Command, stuff, durability, grit. I want to see a Sliding Doors remake with Sabean picking up the phone and trading for Hudson instead of signing Barry Zito. You should have been here the whole time, Tim.
I listened to the game on radio, mostly, and when Hudson came out to start the eighth, I couldn't figure out why. That didn't seem like a Bochy move -- grind on the starters to get through the seventh, sure, but not grind on them to get through the eighth. When I saw the box score, I tittered. Hudson threw 85 pitches in 7⅓ innings. That's the first three innings for most Giants pitchers, even Bumgarner, occasionally. Hudson seems to have a cruise-control setting that most Giants don't always have.
He's fun, the Giants are fun, baseball is fun, walk-off homers are fun, so many Brandons, high-fives awkwardly, this is the best, everyone. And there's no way this feeling is going to end.