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It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly, a shot rang out!

An ankle was sprained. The maid screamed.

Suddenly, a losing streak appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the general manager lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm team in Connecticut, a player was developing.

No bonus points will be awarded for getting the reference. Alright, perhaps five or six. It was a dark and stormy night when Alou sprained his ankle. It was in the middle of the silly rain spell that was making the Bay Area a dour, miserable place to begin with. The game was the first in the Phillies series, and the Giants would eventually be swept. Matt Cain allowed a combined two thousand feet in home runs, and the most productive hitter on the team was taken off the field on an exercise cart. There were whispers that the injury could be season-ending.

The next day, I wrote an e-mail to the president of SportsBlogs Nation:

Dear Sir,

I am a blogger currently covering the San Francisco Giants for your fine organization. However, I recently noticed there is scant coverage of Major League Lacrosse on your network. I would like to stop writing about the Giants, and start up a San Francisco Dragons site. I've skimmed the lacrosse entry on Wikipedia, and am pretty sure I could pick up the nuances of the game quickly.

I hope to watch my first lacrosse game soon, and could e-mail you a sample post soon after.

Regards,

Grant

Without Alou, there would be lineups with Mark Sweeney or Todd Greene hitting cleanup. Ray Durham hitting fifth. Jose Vizcaino playing first base. Understanding of such twisted lineups wouldn't be found in a Baseball Prospectus or Bill James Handbook; they'd be found in the Book of Revelations. My guess as to how the Giants would fare until Alou came back: 14-35. The reality was much better: 15-12. Without much of a power threat, the Giants were able to score enough. With the offseason's big acquisition struggling to meet the lowest requirement of a quality start, the Giants were able to prevent enough runs.

Yesterday, Armando Benitez blew a lead in the tenth, which took a lot of the focus away from the end result. I'm as guilty as anyone for grumbling after the win, but it stopped quickly. After 30 innings, and several hours of rain delays, the Giants went into New York, and took a series from a tough Mets club. They're coming home for revenge on the Marlins, and get to try their chances against the Pirates. If there were ever a time to make a charge up the division, this would be it.

The dark and stormy nights passed. Trogdor Chronicles never got off the ground. The bullpen found its voice, with Jeremy Accardo making us all giddy. Matt Cain has a better balance between effective and erratic. Jason Schmidt has been phenomenal. Now Moises Alou is coming back. It's amazing to look back at the ho-hum reactions to the initial Alou signing, contrasting them with how dearly the team currently needs him. Getting him back will make a world of difference. The bench will now have Steve Finley, Randy Winn, or Barry Bonds as the first line of pinch-hitting defense. The rest of the lineup will shift accordingly. Bonds has yet to go on a tear, and I am still confident that will happen.

That strange, tingly feeling in the back of my head? Before the dermatologist diagnosed it as psoriasis, I thought it was optimism. And that's what I'm going to continue to believe. It had been a while since I've felt it, but now I'm anticipating Giants games like I haven't in a long time. Welcome back, Moises, and go team.