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It's an uneasy disappointment when the Giants are beaten by one of the best pitchers in the league. The best way to get over a loss is to have a scapegoat. A starting pitcher not covering up the mound after he's made a mess. A never-hit shortstop who feebly grounds into a game-ending double play. A second-generation player who wins a Gold Glove in the outfield after he completely muffs a routine out in a crucial playoff spot, then joins the Dodgers in a wretched display of mid-'80s WWF treachery.

When the Giants lose to Jake Peavy, however, there's no easy way to blame someone.

Arrgggggghhhhghgghrrrrr, what are you swinging at Randy? The 95-mph fastball with movement bringing it over the inside corner of the plate? IDIOT!
That doesn't quite work. No, it's more a doffing of the cap, and a simple, "Good show, Jake old boy. Cracking good performance, mate." So what if the Giants were shut down by a great pitcher? It happens.

Making peace with a loss only goes so far, however. My feelings on that can be summed up with an mostly non-fiction e-mail exchange with a Padres fan last night:

Him: Peavy's going to win the Cy Young.

Me: He's pretty danged good. Nasty stuff.

Him: That's a tough pitcher to run into on opening day.

Me: Yeah, but it isn't the end of the world. Now, if the Giants don't tag Shawn Estes for five earned runs, I'll go down to the pound and light a homeless animal on fire.

Him: ....

Me: Too much?

Him: ...

Me: Okay, if the Giants don't tag Estes for five earned runs, I'll go down to the pound and light a homeless animal on fire...in my mind.

And that's the new McCovey Chronicles guarantee. If the Giants don't tag Estes for five earned runs, I'll go down to the pound and light a homeless animal on fire in my mind. Peavy beats us? Good show, chap. Estes beats us? I don't care if Lance Niekro goes 2-2 with three walks, there's no spice to make losing to Estes palatable.

So, go Giants. Win your first of the year. Start the ascent to the playoffs tonight. There are cute, fluffy animals in my mind who are counting on you. Babe Ruth and his children's hospital visits got nuthin' on me.