It's tough to find the silver linings in a game like the cruel debacle witnessed yesterday, but they were there. At no point did a hydrogen-filled dirigible explode over the centerfield bleachers. If yesterday's game seemed like a depressing roller coaster ride of a loss, I submit your glass is half-empty, my friend. Things could have been worse.
But if we must talk only of the events on the field, it must be conceded that the loss yesterday was the worst of the year. Blowing a three-run lead in Colorado did get the stomach acid flowing, but there's something special about following high drama with high incompetence. It's why I never understood the constant replaying of J.T. Snow's homer in the 2000 NLDS. I was there, and I jumped around like an idiot. I hugged people who would make me leave a restaurant if I saw them within three feet of a salad bar I was planning eat from. I also left that game more dispirited and sick than any game in my life. The excitement fades pretty danged quickly if it isn't followed by a win.
Armando Benitez showing life on his fastball. The control is still a concern, but dialing up to 94/95 is the first step in healing our worried minds.
Barry Bonds. Obviously. He came off the bench and tied the game against the toughest left-handed reliever in the game, doing it with a melting body in the middle of a season-long slump. It isn't really something to analyze or comprehend. There might be a small cross-section of baseball fans who pity us; who know we're good baseball fans dealing with a distraction we didn't ask for, and didn't deserve. It's a nice gesture, but allow me to send that pity right back. Other baseball fans haven't been able to watch Barry Bonds for the last 14 seasons. We win.
The bullpen is becoming a disaster that could define a generation. I'm sick of writing about it.
Jose Vizcaino should never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, never, never, ever be sent up again in a position to win a game. There weren't any other options? Then that's a roster decision that needs to be made. Well, I concede that's overreacting, but Vizcaino is just murder at the plate. He was when he was 28, and he is even more so at 38. His role isn't to pinch-hit in high-leverage situations, but they will occasionally come up, and it isn't fun to watch.
Of course, he was playing in place of Ray Durham, who has been swinging the bat like Jose Vizcaino with lead poisoning. Durham is also guilty of not picking a great time to start producing, flailing away as a pinch-hitter yesterday.
The worst part about the loss is the day off we all get to stew in. Every team will have a loss or five like this every season. I hope we've met our season's quota in the first month, and can move on to sunnier topics. I'm also not confident with that hope, but I'm looking forward to Friday's game to get this taste out of my mouth.