Before the ranting, before the choking sobs, before the bargaining and anger, let's clear one thing up. The A's scored six runs. The Giants scored one. There are things to complain about. A lot of things to complain about. The first thing to complain about is that the A's scored six runs, and the Giants scored one. The Giants will lose a lot of games when they're outscored by five runs. That's just sabermetrics.
The A's played better. Sonny Gray pitched better. When he didn't pitch better, the Giants couldn't get the right hit at the right time. The Giants were sloppy, both at the plate and in the field. They chased horrendous breaking balls in horrendous breaking ball counts. They overshot the cutoff man in a key spot. They fumbled the ball. Madison Bumgarner didn't back up home on an RBI single because he was flustered. It was hard to watch, which is a theme over the last month.
If you're looking for an early night, you can stop the recap right there, because that's probably all you need to know.
But if you hate yourself, boy, do I have hundreds of words for you ...
That written, I don't remember a stretch of baseball quite like this. It's mesmerizing, in a way. In a stupid way. Runners on base that don't score. Every close call going against the Giants. The replays being upheld because they were just too close to call. Line-drive outs all over the place. 400-foot outs. Line drives down the line that just go foul. Sure-handed fielders making stupid plays. Their bloops falling in. Their pop-ups reaching the seats. Their grounders going through the hole with runners on base. The Giants' grounders hit on a nice, two-hop bounce to their infielders.
There's no way to quantify it. Don't take this as evidence that all the Giants need to do is turn that horseshoe upside-down, by gum. Revisit the first paragraph if you're thinking that. But you feel it. The what-now is tangible, visible. It hangs over every single decision the Giants make, every call that goes against them, and every hard-hit out. It's a combination of bad baseball and crap luck, when the bad baseball is certainly enough. The crap luck is the old joke about the doctor saying "you're ugly, too" when you ask for a second opinion.
Take the decision to let Madison Bumgarner start the eighth inning. The goal was to not allow any more runs, to keep it close. Is it conceivable that a well-worn Bumgarner, creeping up on 100 pitches, was the best option for the Giants there if they wanted to prevent runs? Yes. Yes, it's conceivable. The bullpen's a tired puddle of anarchy, and Bumgarner was pitching well to that point. The result? Two more earned runs for Bumgarner, which was a big ol' slap in the face on a night where he pitched well.
Nothing is working. I've never seen an oppressive death cloud like this over a team. Well, a team that I still, for whatever reason, can't let go. They're still in a race, even though they should be 20 games out and trading Pablo Sandoval in two weeks. This stupid team is still in a race. I hate them so much right now.
Can you imagine being as bad at your job as Angel Hernandez?
Chef: Okay, and then after mincing the garlic, you toss it in the pan.
Angel Hernandez, sous chef: Got it. Shave off flecks of bone, sauté with olive oil.
Chef: That's ... not what I said. No, I'm chopping garlic, not flecks of bone.
Angel Hernandez, sous chef: Then after shaving off the flecks of bone, remove the meat from the bone and discard. Color on the bone with a Sharpie, and ...
Chef: Get out.
Angel Hernandez, sous chef: /holds bone up to face
Angel Hernandez, sous chef: I'm Teddy Roosevelt! I'm going to end the Great Depression! Look at my mustache of bone!
Angel Hernandez, sous chef: ahfaccck oh god i'm choking on flecks of bone
He's the worst. Imagine being that bad. Imagine knowing you're that bad. Imagine knowing that everyone knows you're that bad. It has to be a crippling, miserable feeling. The loneliness.
Customer: Would I qualify for the 0.0 APR%? My credit is good, not great.
Angel Hernandez, car salesman: Think about it: How can jet fuel melt that much steel? How can it burn hot enough to bring down an 80-story building? Doesn't add up.
Customer: Oh, right, fuel. How many miles per gallon does this get?
Angel Hernandez, car salesman: And Building 7? That's where the vaccine program was being run. Look it up.
This is Angel Hernandez:
Always and forever. He wasn't that bad tonight, but only because he didn't have the opportunity. Mind you, he was equal opportunity awful. Madison Bumgarner doesn't want to hear it, but he got as many stupid calls as Sonny Gray, just not when he (or Brandon Belt) needed them.
Angel Hernandez, male escort: And I'll just remove your pants.
Patron: That's my hat.
Angel Hernandez, male escort: And now your shirt.
Patron: Those are my sunglasses.
Angel Hernandez, male escort: Let me just massage this and start things off right.
Patron: That's my nose.
Angel Hernandez, male escort: Let's take this to the tub.
Patron: You're sitting in the ice bucket from last night.
Angel Hernandez, male escort: Let me just slip into something more comfortable.
Patron: Please don't do that to the Gideon Bible.
Go away, Angel Hernandez. Telling Buster Posey not to push you? When Buster Posey pushes you, you'll know it. You'll have freedom all over your chest, and you'll sleep like a baby for the first time in years.
Hunter Pence is fired up. Hunter Pence can't believe the bad calls from Angel Hernandez. Hunter Pence doesn't want to hear it from the A's fans. Hunter Pence missed a curveball by six feet.
Hunter Pence should probably calm down.
You do this by choice. And if the Giants win the next two games, you'll feel okay with that choice.
What a weird decision we've all made.