Giants drop third straight to Nationals

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

They outhit the Nationals again, but no one cares.

It's so easy to slip back into the stupor. That feeling of hopelessness and doom you haven't earned.

"Oh, Joaquin Arias is up with two runners on and no outs? I'll bet you this jerk hits into a double play."

Joaquin Arias did indeed hit into a double play.

"Jerk."

You scoff at a leadoff single. Like he's going to score. He's not going to score. He didn't score. Why are you even watching? You ask yourself that several times, never coming close to an answer. When a runner reaches third on a triple with one out, you know he isn't going to score. When he doesn't score, you tell yourself, "I knew he wasn't going to score."

The Giants get a two-out hit, and you mumble something about how the next guy is going to make an out. The next guy makes an out.

Three games. that's the answer. Like an owl chomping on a lollipop in front of a pantsless child (source), you are sure of it. Three. It takes three games to slip back into the stupor of expecting everything to be lousy. You, the person who watched a team move from a DeRosa/Rowand/Bowker Opening Day outfield to a championship, who watched Ryan Vogelsong emerge from the ashes to buttress Barry Zito's star turn a year later, who is a fan of the team with the best record in baseball and the biggest divisional lead in baseball, you're going to get cynical now? After three tough games, you spoiled brat?

Damned right. Welcome to sports.

This is probably the end of the world.

★★★

This is not the end of the world. The Giants have had a three-game losing streak this season. It's hard to remember, but the Giants lost three straight in April, dropping one to the Dodgers and two to the Padres, scoring a run in each game. The post-game thread used a pop culture reference from the '80s, if you can believe it.

Pence, Sandoval, and Posey need to hit for the Giants to win. Right now, they aren't. That will probably change. That had better change.

When it does change, it will be a barrage of glorious runs, and we'll be like Dusty Bottoms with the canteen:

/video of Dusty Bottoms

We'll splash the runs about our face and gargle with runs. And when we throw the runs over our shoulder, wasting them because there are just so many runs, the April 19 versions of ourselves will be staring at us, horrified. We'll offer them lip balm. We'll have no idea.

That happened. Oh, goodness, how that happened. The Giants had so much going right for them, they didn't know what to do with that much goin'-right. So they let the goin'-right leak out of the hose and into the ditch on the side of the house. Like they were going to need that again. They went so right, how was it ever going to go wrong?

Then it went wrong.

We'll start with Matt Cain, who wasn't unlucky. He walked the bases loaded to start the game. He wasn't getting squeezed, and he wasn't just missing his spots. He was a six-year-old computer hiccuping with every third thing it was asked to do. Balls went in the dirt. Balls went off the plate.

After that, he was fine. Baseball!

Really, there should be a rule where the third-straight walk to open a game is the same as a three-run homer, and everyone gets to round the bases. The pitcher gets to save some bullets, and the other team gets to do what was going to happen, regardless. We all knew, three batters in, that the Giants weren't going to win, even though they had been the most improbable team in baseball.

Three batters. Why, that's like three games. Which is what it takes to let the goodwill fester away and allow the festering thoughts to bubble up in your head.

★★★

Brandon Hicks was a mini-goat after Brandon Crawford's triple, taking a called third strike down the outside-middle of the plate with one out. A flyball would have been momentum. You know I'm seeing FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus, but it's not exclusive, so I'll occasionally exchange texts with momentum. I don't know, maybe it'll go somewhere.

Later in the game, the Giants needed a rally in the worst way, and Hicks laid down the best bunt he'll ever have in his career. If Gary Brown could bunt like that, he'd be the starting left fielder right now. Hicks would have been a stealthy hero, a player recognizing his own gutterslump and figuring a way out of it.

Instead, it just led to a run. A run of no consequence.

I loved that bunt, though. In another world, it successfully started a game-winning rally. But in that world, the Giants are 24-42. Choose wisely.

★★★

This made me feel better:

It's like I'm shaking hands with a 20-year-younger version of myself and talking about common interests.

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