After the momentum of Monday's game, there could not have been a better start to last night's game. Three-run homer the opposite way, don't let your jaw hit your ass on the way out, and you stay classy, San Diego. After peeling the cat from the ceiling as Bonds rounded the bases, I believed. Brett Tomko, to whom I penned a quasi-confessional love letter after his last start, was going to prove me right. Who was next? Pedro Astacio? Oooooh, I'm sooooo scared; the Padres would have a better chance with Eric Show. The Giants have won the pennant! The Giants have won the pennant! The Giants have....
...stepped in a big pile of Tomko. He doesn't normally have command issues. Just last night. And while he did suffer the fate of a couple of broken-bat bloops and infield bleeders, the runners he allowed gratis with a three-run lead were just deadly. It's a good thing he didn't challenge Ryan Klesko. Klesko is, after all, hitting above .240, and has so much confidence in his power he throws a temper tantrum after every long flyball. It takes four M.I.T. students to unbunch his Rubik's Cube-esque undies every time he blames Petco Park for his own failings.
There was still a good chance to win even after Tomko was covered with litter and scooped out of the game. Jeff Fassero, who really can throw a strike whenever he wants, started issuing the free passes. If you are a left-handed pitcher, and you think the only possible way you have a chance to get Brian Giles out with your lackluster arsenal is to have him chase a bad pitch, well, better luck in the Atlantic League. You do not belong in the majors anymore.
J.T. Snow has too much tenure and earned respect to slather with a choker label, like Jose Cruz, Jr. It was just poor, poor, poor timing, and probably the easiest play he has missed in his career. If Fassero isn't nibbling like a stoned goat, it isn't an issue. You can't blame Fassero for nibbling, as that's all he is able to do. It's a good thing Jeremy Accardo had his good stuff tonight, especially after the damage was done, but too bad he couldn't come in earlier. Fassero, you see, is THE LONG MAN, and needs to pitch at least two innings. Every time. Regardless of situation. He's THE LONG MAN.
Then the moment of clarity comes. Before the whiskey bottle goes through the picture window, the FSN crew puts the standings up on the screen. The Giants are now four games back, which is just swell, but more importantly, the record is on the screen for everyone to see. 74-83. We're worried about this team, why exactly? It's worthy of a laugh attack. We're not cursed; we're lucky to even have something to get our blood pumping right now. The Giants are faced with their worst team, by far, of the past nine years, and we're still in a playoff hunt. Sure, only because others have been just as inept, but that doesn't matter. We'll always have the ker-thump of Brian Giles against the centerfield wall. That's more than this team deserves. The team is still mathematically alive. I don't believe. But I'll get over it.