Giants get four hits, still lose

Thearon W. Henderson

Ryan Vogelsong was shelled for two whole runs, and the Giants couldn't recover.

There are two scenarios.

Scenario 1

This game is a brick in the wall, a three-hour poke in the eye that you stack and mortar, placing atop another three-hour poke in the eye. Eventually you'll build something awful and beautiful, a testament to heartbreak and baseball's immaculate design. And when the Giants win again, you can point at what you've built and declare loudly that, three-hour brick by three-hour brick, you've earned the right to share in that success. It might take 40 years. Brick by brick.

Right now, there's a Cubs fan who wants to punch you for nodding your head. How can we be so glum, so morose when the Giants were so successful recently? Easy. That kind of complaint is like a teenager telling an adult to stop complaining about his or her empty love life because at least they've done it. Yeah, we've done it. There are videos of it and everything. We'll watch them when we're feeling froggy. It doesn't help right now, though. It doesn't help much at all. Three hours is a long time to waste on something that only irritates you. When you do it 70 or 80 or 90 times every year, it adds up. The bricks go down.

If/when they win again, this is why you'll earn it. You watched Wade Miley come in with a 4.43 ERA and pitch like Tom Glavine. You watched the Giants hit baseballs all day, with all of them finding mitts. You watched the Giants get exactly one leadoff hitter on, and that leadoff hitter was picked off. The Giants had exactly two runners in scoring position all day, and that threat ended with a liner right into a glove.

Lay the brick down. It's just one brick. If the Giants win the World Series tomorrow, it won't mean much. You can leap right over it, by jove. But there's a good chance you're building a bridge to catharsis. A long, tortuous road to catharsis that fans of other teams won't understand. In the big picture, the Giants don't deserve a championship for the next decade or three. In the small picture, you just watched that game, and it stunk. Three hours, wasted. It counts as something you wish you hadn't done, and it took a big chunk out of your day.

Eventually, your faith will be rewarded. Eventually, you won't remember this game, but you'll be intimately aware of what you built using the bricks from games like this. You will be rewarded. You will be rewarded.

Scenario 2

You will die before the Giants ever win again. Good job watching whatever that was. It will never pay off. What a stupid decision. You could have done so much in those three hours.

There are two scenarios.

★★★

Don't worry. Ryan Vogelsong had a lower xFIP than Wade Miley. Based on the strikeouts, walks, and balls put in play, Vogelsong pitched better. That should make you feel better. No big deal. It's basically an xWin for the Giants. They're almost in first, you know.

Marco Scutaro looked dainty enough in the field, making a great play in the second inning after a pair of nice Hunter Pence plays. Everything augered well for the home team. They played phenomenal defense all game, really.

At the plate, the eye and the discipline looked intact, but the swings were oddly truncated. Can't describe it better than that. There was a follow-through we expected that wasn't there. Three weeks ago, I wasn't sure if he could use his right hand to get car keys out of his left pocket, so we probably shouldn't look this gift horse in the mouth. He hit a ball hard and took a walk, while making all of the plays he was supposed to, and one he would have been forgiven for not making.

Welcome back, Marco Scutaro. It was fun to watch you play, even if the game was a total hangnail.

★★★

The Giants have had six runners in scoring position over Vogelsong's last three starts. They have not had a hit in those situations.

Vogelsong has a 2.98 ERA over the last four games. He's 0-4 in those games.

The good news is it looks like the Giants were smart to re-sign Vogelsong. He's done just fine. There were a lot of options this offseason, but more than a few of them were total busts. Jason Hammel and Phil Hughes are doing really well, but Josh Johnson never took the field. Bronson Arroyo is out for the year, and Ricky Nolasco is -- you'll never believe this -- terrible. Of all the options out there, the Giants didn't do poorly.

Bonus: We know the guy and like him. His last few starts have been as encouraging as they've been discouraging, if that makes sense.

★★★

The last inning Vogelsong threw for the Giants in 2000 was against the Diamondbacks, and he faced Matt Williams, who singled. That's a total non-sequitur, but it seemed important.

★★★

You want a silver lining? The Sergio Romo we saw on Saturday was indistinguishable from the one who did so well in 2012. The slider was disorienting. The two-seamer actually did things. The command was sterling. He looked like a productive reliever, someone who could contribute over the next few months.

I missed that guy. I would pay at least $50 to get him back.

★★★

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